The third season of the hit Netflix original series, Orange is the New Black, was met with some pretty rave reviews by the shows many fans. And while season 3 did step it up in some ways, there were a few things about the show’s third season that just didn’t click. Let’s take a closer look at 2 major things that didn’t end up working in Orange is Jethe New Black season 3.
Cindy’s conversion had no lead-up
One of season 3’s most memorable moments was Cindy’s passionate speech to the rabbi who was sent to the prison to “test” the prisoners for their proclaimed Jewish faith, which they initially only did in order to get the coveted kosher meals which were miles above prison fare in terms of quality. After the rabbi outed the prisoners for pretending to be Jewish, the show depicted Cindy working on a “conversion essay” and researching the Jewish faith in order to “retake” the test and, in her own words, get kosher meals. However, Cindy finally met with the rabbi again, he was not completely taken with her words—until he asked her why she wanted to be Jewish and she gave an emotional speech from her heart.
The speech was a good one, and the actress was impeccable; unfortunately, the show provided no lead-up to this sudden reveal that she was seriously considering converting to Judaism and that Judaism spoke to her heart. All of the scenes leading up to that point made it seem like she was just doing it to get kosher meals. Even a simple throwaway line about how “this Judaism is pretty interesting” to another inmate or a small moment that would imply that Cindy was in it for more than the meals would have improved the scene and Cindy’s new storyline.
Stella Carlin was a lifeless character
One of the major subplots for the last few episodes of season 3 involved Stella, an inmate that hasn’t been seen before; Stella ends up flirting with Piper, who breaks up with Alex in order to have a fling with Stella. Stella ends up betraying Piper by stealing her money a few days before Stella’s sentence is up—and in return Piper plans contrabrand, including a deadly weapon, in Stella’s bunk; Stella is sent to maximum security while Piper points to a tattoo Stella gave her that says “trust no bitch.”
While a lot happened in the Stella storyline, the character herself was simply flat and lifeless. She had no personality traits beyond being a bit snarky and cool; her past was never revealed and she was never shown doing anything but flirting with Piper, making snide comments about Alex, and generally appearing not to care about anything. If Stella had been introduced earlier in the season, things might have gone a lot smoother—as there would have been time for her to be integrated better into the ensemble past, and we could have gotten a glimpse of her personality.