OITNB bids farewell to Litchfield

Spoiler warning for anyone who hasn’t watched the first six seasons of “Orange Is The New Black” — this review will discuss events from previous seasons.

Well friends, an era has come to a close. Netflix released the final season of “Orange Is The New Black” (OITNB) and audiences are forced to say farewell to the eccentric Litchfield ladies.

The final season of OITNB was much better than I had hoped it would be (not every season was a winner) and the showrunners kindly graced viewers with the glimpses of what happened to the characters that were displaced after the season five riot.

The seventh season of OITNB focuses on Piper’s life readjusting to life on the outside (blessedly, not too much) and the lives of the inmates still residing at Litchfield Max. Of course the showrunners introduce viewers to new characters; Kharla, a single mother fighting to get back to her children, and Shani, Nicky’s compelling love interest, and viewers meet some of the Litchfield ladies during their confinement at Litchfield’s ICE detention center. The series explores the grim nature of the detention center and immigration proceedings.

Over the past seven seasons audiences have watched characters progress while others devolved. Pennsatucky, Suzanne and Ruiz each take steps to improve themselves while Daya, Taystee, Red and Lorna are spiraling. The character transformations are not limited to the inmates; the Litchfield staff and former wardens expand on their characters before the finale credits roll.

In a series rife with new beginnings, deportations and heartbreak the brilliant OITNB cast brings new depth to each of the characters. Kate Mulgrew provides a gutting performance as Red, who after spending the better part of a season in solitary has lost not only her signature hair color, but has her feisty spark extinguished. Adrienne C. Moore gives viewers a glimpse into a vulnerable Cindy, who tries to come to terms with how her actions have hurt Taystee and her family. Laura Gómez shines as Blanca tries to evade a wrongful deportation, giving the actress plenty of well-deserved screentime.

The final season of “Orange Is The New Black” has 13 episodes. All seven seasons are available on Netflix. Audiences who enjoy ensemble dramas might also enjoy “GLOW,” another female heavy ensemble series, following a group of women trying to become famous as professional wrestlers.