Check out the previous installments of Becky Graebner’s ongoing series exploring Netflix’s Orange Is the New Black:
August 21: Prisons Run on Hope (And Cup O’Noodles)
August 28: Love Wars: When the Loser Strikes Back
Thirteen hours, one notepad of paper, many laughs, and several puzzled glances later, I finished the first season of Orange Is the New Black. My feelings on this show have been mixed — which I’m sure you can grasp from my writing on the subject — and I’m still trying to process my overall impression of the prison comedy. What I do know is that season one ended with a bang — or should I say a “KAPOW! @#?% WHAM!” Poor Tiffany (not). I’m honestly looking forward to how Jenji Kohan is going to start season two after Piper’s life seemed to completely fall apart even more than usual when one enters prison. Here are a few plot and character predictions for season two.
1. Piper Chapman: From Princess to “Plotter”
Well, Piper completely lost it in the last few minutes of Season One, Episode 13. Larry officially left her, Alex is no longer her friend or confidante, and she has become a new target for the vengeful Officer Healy — culminating in a murder attempt by deranged Tiffany. While the audience enjoys the softly falling, New York snow against the background of Christmas carols, Piper beats the crap out of Tiffany in the prison yard—who is, ironically, dressed like an angel.
I think season two is going to open up with Piper being in solitary ruminating about her tattered life. I suspect we will see a hardened Piper in season two. No more “oblivious white girl” who is missing her designer lip gloss, I think Piper is going appear more like reserved Miss Claudette than happy Taystee. I’ve heard rumors that Laura Prepon will not be in season two (she plays Alex Vause), so we might return to Litchfield to find out that Alex transferred to another prison. If this is the case, I think Piper will return to the “general population” with revenge on her mind, mainly directed towards Healy and Tiffany’s group of followers. I think season two is going to be a little darker—Piper will shed her innocent persona and finally realize her mistakes and selfish behavior. She will come into her own — and will come out stronger, tougher and wiser. I think she might “dispose” of Healy herself…
2. Alex Vause: The Missing Character?
Like I said, Laura Prepon might not be returning for season two—which means the Alex character needs to make a quick exit. I predict that she will transfer to another women’s prison and we will only hear about her through Nicky—similar to how we heard about Mercy through Tricia.
3. Larry Bloom: Gutless to Gallant
Good ‘ole Larry finally showed some backbone and self-respect when he dumped Piper. I think season two will show Larry’s quest to “find himself” and his struggle to climb the writing ladder. I think he will continue to appear on the NPR program, talking about his relationship with Piper, and he will slowly realize that he still does love her and that there could be a possibility of a second chance. I think his personal growth, in addition to my predicted change in Piper, will lead to them reconciling—but it will be awhile down the road. I’ll say episode 8 or 9 in season 2.
4. Daya Diaz/John Bennett: Love Exposed
I hear the pitter patter of little feet. I think the Daya-John affair is going to be exposed in season two. If Mendez still can’t get over his “love” for Daya, then I think John will inevitably step in to stake his claim to Daya and the baby. I foresee somebody being transferred, but I’m hoping it is Mendez…
5. Tiffany Doggett: A Ticket to Psychotown
I think this girl is going to need facial reconstructive surgery—or at least I hope she does. Her “angel of God” routine at the end of season one really creeped me out and I’m glad Piper took her down. I think season two will pick up with Tiffany in solitary (like Piper), but I don’t think she’ll be plotting her revenge. Kohan has already played Piper and Tiffany off of each other in both the “potential friends” and “mortal enemies” plot lines. For the sake of variety, I could see Tiffany being hauled off to another prison or disappearing like Miss Claudette. Season two will need to develop a new “villain” within the prison population and I think Tiffany’s departure is essential for this to happen.
6. Officer Healy: The Target
I think a major plot line within season two is going to be Piper’s take-down of Sam Healy, exposing his obsession with her and his willingness to look the other way when she’s in danger. Looking the other way during attempted murder? Yea, not okay. I think Red might also have a hand in it since she’s the bridge between Healy and his wife. Maybe Healy will be given a taste of his own medicine and end up a solitary bachelor…
7. Themes for Season Two
Overall, I think season two is going to be darker than season one—primarily because I think the audience will inherit a Season Two-Piper who is completely broken and has nothing to lose. I think season two’s themes are going to revolve around growth, justice, and redemption.
Both Piper and Larry will experience personal growth that ultimately leads to them becoming better people and reconciling. I might even suggest that he ultimately helps her bring down Healy… which leads me to the theme of “justice.” I think Healy will be sacked thanks to an elaborate plan concocted by Piper. I think Mendez will also meet some kind of end befitting his creepy mustache. As for redemption, season two could end with Piper’s release from prison — and the possible release of some of the other major characters. We all hope Piper will reenter the “real world” a better person than when she left it.