The trailer for season five of Orange Is the New Black has dropped, and we got literal goose bumps while watching it.
Take a look.
Right off the bat, we’re being told that there’s a different tone to this season: unity. Gone are the race politics that used to pit groups of inmates against each other. With one bold declaration, Maria Ruiz inspires her fellow inmates to unite against a common goal — the prison itself.
Breaking up the standoff between Dayanara and a guard, Ruiz declares, “If we want to turn this place right, we have to speak as one united group. Who’s in?”
Seconds later, we see the second theme emerge. Faced with this uprising, Caputo asks an inmate, “Are you insane?” to which Taystee interjects, “No, she’s angry! We’re all angry!”
And bam. There it is.
I think we’ve all been labeled crazy by some man or another for displaying anger in response to a situation that wholeheartedly deserves it. We’ve all heard that exact tone Caputo’s using; disbelief that we’re raising our voices and disapproval that we’re getting “emotional” or being “unreasonable” or saying no.
Nevertheless, she persisted. Our girl Taystee continues, “You done our girl wrong, Mr. Caputo. And we want justice.”
OITNB is accustomed to telling hard stories. The past four seasons have covered rape, sexual assault, betrayal, birth, death, the heartbreaks and rewards of motherhood and the innately complex nature of female relationships. All of these stories have pivoted around the tense relationship between those with power and those without. But this season, Season 5, the show is tackling this tension head on with the clearest dividing line between powerful and powerless possible: prisoner vs. prison.
It seems the prisoners have staged a coup, and they’ve realized that they need to form a united front to do so. “We, the inmates of Litchfield, are human beings,” says Alison Abdullah, reading what appears to be a statement from the prisoners. “We are protesting the abusive conditions under which we are being held.”
And while the trailer is sprinkled with the show’s trademark humor, there’s an undercurrent of dissent rippling beneath it all. And it’s eerily reminiscent of the current political situation bubbling over in the United States right now, making the trailer that much more poignant. It feels like a protest song.
The image of thousands of women from different races, creeds and backgrounds banding together to protest those in power perfectly mirrors the Women’s March held in November. The blunt way the living conditions of the inmates are described — “We get beat for no reason. We’re stuffed four in a bunk like factory chickens. We’re denied basic humanity” — is a stark reminder of the brutal U.S. prison system, one that has recently been examined in documentaries like 13th. Privatized, for-profit prisons like Litchfield were on their way out under Obama’s government, but under the Trump regime, they’re now back in favor.
This trailer seems to underscore the old adage that art imitates life, and what it’s playing back to us are themes of unity, resistance and female empowerment.
We’re rooting for you, Litchfield, and we can’t wait to binge-watch Season 5 when it’s released on June 9.