TV Club: Orange Is The New Black refuses to add dimension to its worst villain

Welcome to The A.V. Club‘s coverage of Orange Is The New Black season five. These reviews and their comment sections are intended for those who have seen up to this episode—please refrain from revealing or discussing events from future episodes in the comments.

Orange Is The New Black has a complex relationship to “villainy.” In the first season, Piper was our primary point of entry, and so any of the other prisoners who antagonized her—first Red, then Pennsatucky—could arguably function as a villain in the context of the story being told, with Pornstache perhaps the other “villain” in Litchfield. But even then, the show was resisting the argument that any one prisoner is an outright villain, and began fleshing out all characters such that calling any one of them a villain would be misleading. In season two, the show replaced these “villains of perception” with …

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