Returning to ‘Orange is the New Black’

At one point in the fourth season of Netflix drama “Orange is the New Black,” Pennsatucky (Taryn Manning) differentiates the meaning behind pain and suffering. “Pain is always there because life is freaking painful, okay,” she says, “but suffering is a choice.”

Even though pain has always been a part of “Orange is the New Black,” the suffering’s more prominent in its fourth season. In this season, several characters are noticeably absent in solitary confinement, maximum security prison and the psychiatric ward.

What’s left of Litchfield Penitentiary feels like a different place, privatized by MCC and run by harder and fiercer correction officers including new captain of the guards Desi Piscatella (Brad William Henke) and also a host of sadistic and inexperienced recruits including Thomas Humphrey (Michael Torpey), B. Stratman (Evan Hall), Baxter Bayley (Alan Aisenberg) and Charlie Coates (James McMenamin).

Under their command, racial tensions and human injustice burn hotly in the tight and dangerously overcrowded corridors of Litchfield. Women are bullied, groped, humiliated and tortured. Male guards stalk female inmates in the showers and strip search women in the halls.

The only strength now comes in numbers and numbers gather and disseminate into different gangs: Dominican Republicans, white supremacists and neo-Nazis.

These ingredients make the latest season of “Orange is the New Black” its most dangerous season yet.

“Orange Is the New Black” was written and created by Jenji Kohan.

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