From this week onwards, The town is going to be painted in orange or should I say the jailhouse is going to be decked in glaring orange as the women of “Orange Is The New Black” spark a riot. On June 9, the intensity ratchets up like never before as the inmates of Litchfield Penitentiary seek their own justice after the death of Poussey Washington’s (Samira Wiley). On top of the aftermath of such a devastating loss rises issues about racism, gender discrimination, privilege and how America treats its prisoners. There’s even unexpected alliances as every inmate deals with the tragedy involving one of their own. Jessica Pimentel (Maria Ruiz), Emily Althaus (Maureen Kukudio) and Emily Tarver (CO Artesian McCullough) will each have an their own compelling storylines that will ensure massive binging on Netflix.
Just like the complex makeup of an individual, Jessica’s character Maria Ruiz is both sturdy as a rock as she is a woman with a heart of gold. Last year, she proved to be a worthy antagonist and in Season 5, could we see her forging an alliance with Piper (Taylor Schilling) for the greater good? Kudos to Jessica for tackling some hot button topics on the show such as race relations in prison and the unforgettable swastika arm burning scene. Jessica’s dynamic portrayal of Maria Ruiz is undoubtedly a fan favourite and off screen we know her to be a charismatic and grounded multi-faceted talent that has the adulation of viewers around the world.
Catching the eye as Maureen Kukudio who has been a big part of OINTB with her LGBTQ storyline alongside Uzo Adubo’s Crazy Eyes and in the new season it does seem she’s at the centre of some intense scenes. Just from the trailer, you can get a glimpse of her bruised face foretelling she’s going to be involved in an altercation or two that would impact her physically and emotionally. There lies the riveting performance by Emily who wonderfully characterised a mentally ill woman yet one whose very much in love. Off screen, Emily enraptured the world when she arrived on the red carpet at the SAG Awards in an immaculate dress with a plunging neckline!
You could say she’s the personification of unsavoury prison guards and Artesian McCullough proved to have a slightly racist attitude towards black people. Emily Tarver embodied the no-nonsense Litchfield with an edgy incisiveness who has zero tolerance from the antics of her colleagues. We saw in the finale she was held at gunpoint by Daya Diaz (Dascha Polanco) but what will her fate be? Notable for her comedic work on the TV series Donny!, it’s a wonderful thing to see her shed her more luminous endeavours and sink her teeth into a somewhat villainous role. As they say, it’s a whole lot of fun to play bad and she’s nailed her role with dramatic aplomb.