Poussey dies and the prison riots
This is maybe the saddest moment on the entire show. Tensions build in the prison between inmates and CO’s at an exponential rate as season 4 progresses, and it culminates in this one fateful moment. Our beloved Poussey Washington falls victim to prison brutality, and is asphyxiated during a scuffle between some prisoners and officers.
I think it’s safe to say that for the most part, OITNB does not challenge us to really face the realities of race and prison politics; for the most part it’s kind of a crazy romp, and it’s easy to get lost in each character’s relationships and quirks. But this might only be the second time — Sophia Burset’s solitary confinement being the first — that we’re confronted with something very ugly that happens in prison far too often. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Eric Garner might come to mind in watching this scene. Sandra Bland as well.
Well what happens next leads us into the wackiest season of all — season 5. The entire prison riots against the authority. There were already rumblings of this happening, and surprising unions were being made to do so (such as the black family and the white supremacists). It seems like the show was inevitably building up to this moment… but where do we go now?