This weekend I finished Orange Is the New Black, season three. I think this was the best season so far, and I was particularly drawn to the presentation of faith. The final moments of the final episode were quite beautiful.
This Daily Beast article reviewed the role of faith in the show, and hits the nail on the head.
Orange Is the New Black is a show about how Big Faith, what Soso calls “capital-R Religion,” is a trap—the kind of faith that believes in ultimate justice and in final answers, the kind that says you can be confident in how the story ends. It’s the kind of faith that’s brittle, fragile, that sets you up for a brutal fall. Orange Is the New Black is a show that, as its fans can attest, takes great pleasure in keeping you from knowing how anyone’s story will end. It’s a show that’s deeply skeptical that everything happens for a reason and everything works out in the end—as anyone who’s spent any time studying the real-life prison system would be.
But the other kind of faith? Little Faith? Faith as tiny as a mustard seed? The kind that won’t throw away the armor of cynicism but will take it off long enough for a swim, that says that there’s no clear path by which everyday kindness and love will fix this broken world and bring a happy ending to our story? That’s the kind of faith that, by not asking for too much, isn’t too easily broken. It’s the kind that can survive betrayal, suffering, hypocrisy—even prison.