The Queerest Things I Watched Last Week – September 30, 2019

Queerest Things - Orange is the New Black Series Finale

On this chapter of The Queerest Things I Watched Last Week, I write a bittersweet recap of the Orange Is the New Black series finale and cover some quick queer moments in returning Fall shows.

Warning: This post contains spoilers!
Orange Is the New Black – Season 7 Episode 13 “Here’s Where We Get Off” [Streaming]

In 2013, a show with a diverse cast and queer rep centered around some of the most marginalized people in society was groundbreaking. When OitNB hit Netflix, we were thrilled to finally have a series with not just one, but multiple queer ships and characters with a wide variety of backgrounds and gender expressions.

In my opinion, as the seasons went on, OitNB went downhill and degraded into torture porn. It lost its engaging and original storylines, and instead, tried to get away with depicting as gratuitously violent inmate abuse as possible. And then, in Season 4 when they killed the beloved queer character, Poussey Washington, I wanted to rage quit the show.

If it weren’t for this website and this column, I would have stopped watching. However, I powered on, and something began to happen — I started to like it again.

Maybe it was the change of venue, but season 6 was a turning point for me. We got a new setting and new characters like Daddy Duarte, Barb & Carol (not queer, but fabulously entertaining) and the show went back to its storytelling roots. There was still plenty of prisoner abuse, but it took a back seat to the lives and backstories of the inmates (also: kickball).

Now here I am, recapping the Orange Is the New Black series finale and it’s bittersweet. Years ago, I thought I’d be begrudgingly writing an angry wrap-up, but instead, I’m sad the show is over.

My wife and I usually hit “Skip Intro,” (sorry, Regina Spektor) but for this finale episode, we let it play. It was a chamber version of the theme song, which you can listen to in its entirety.

I usually only recap the queer parts, but this scene of the medical examiner driving away with Tiffany “Pennsatucky” Doggett’s dead body killed me.

Orange is the New Black series finale - Pennsatucky's last scene

Her story arc this season was so devastatingly sad. When the GED test results came back, I knew she got a passing grade before they revealed it. I know it’s realistic, but I wish she could have had a different outcome.

On the outside, Piper finished her parole and is now a free woman, and Zela got a new work gig in Queer Female Capital of America, Northampton.

Orange is the New Black series finale  - Come with me to Northampton

Here’s the big, “Who will Piper choose?” setup. Will it be a cushy life in Northampton with a wealthy girlfriend, or struggling to make ends meet while your prison wife serves the remainder of her sentence?

Piper’s dad is Team Zelda.

Orange is the New Black series finale - Are you asking me to Marie Kondo my wife>

I’m not Team Zelda. I don’t see a lot of chemistry between them, but I’m with Piper’s dad, her and Alex’s relationship has been tumultuous at best.

During an Alex visit, it looks like Alex may be Team Zelda too.

Alex thinks the Ohio transfer is a good launching point for the two of them to go on with their separate lives, but Piper is still in it to win it. When Alex mentions the fighting and cheating and Piper replies with, “Haven’t we always?” there’s the answer, in my opinion. They may love each other, but they do not have anything close to resembling a healthy relationship.

After the brake-up visit, Piper wanders over to Larry’s apartment (which used to be hers and Larry’s) and cries to him about getting dumped. He too is Team Not-Alex.

Orange is the New Black series finale - She said she wants to set you free

What’s the score now?

  • Team Not-Alex: 5 (including Zelda, me and Alex herself)
  • Team Alex: 1 (Piper)

Also, in case you’ve been playing games on your phone and not paying attention, the show spells it out for you.

Orange is the New Black series finale - I might go to Northampton

Thank you, show, for making that crystal clear.

Back at Litchfield, Alex breaks the news to Nicky that she’s being transferred to Ohio.

Nicky’s line, “The fans are gonna just eat it up,” felt like a nod to us. And this scene felt like a real “goodbye” between the two actors.

The last 10 minutes of the episode fast-forwards to wrap up everyone’s storylines. Piper is on a road trip (to Northampton or Ohio?). Nicky takes over the kitchen as the new Red. Gloria is out of prison and back with her family. Maria is trying to co-parent from prison with her baby daddy and his new wife.

And my number one favorite part was Alex going to Ohio and seeing some of the inmates we haven’t seen for two seasons!

It’s not like we got tidy wrap-ups for everyone, Big Boo and Soso are just living their prison lives, but seeing them again felt like closure.

And the endings continue: Blanca got the happy ending she deserved. Pornstache (I did not recognize him at all!) is raising Daya’s baby. Tasha (Taystee), with the financial help of Judy King, established the Poussey Washington Fund to help newly released inmates with financial literacy.

Orange is the New Black series finale - the Poussey Washington Fund

The Poussey Washington Fund is a real thing, and you can donate to support it!

The Poussey Washington Fund will support eight preexisting non-profits to benefit organizations focused on social issues surrounding criminal justice and policy reform, immigrants’ rights and helping those affected by mass incarceration.

The Orange Is The New Black creative team

But what happened with Piper? Did she choose Zelda or Alex? Let’s take a look.

I have a lot of feelings about this ending. Even though Piper has always gotten on my nerves, I wanted a definitive conclusion for Vauseman shippers. This was not that. What we can extrapolate from this one minute (only ONE MINUTE) scene, is Piper didn’t go to Northampton. She moved to Ohio, got a job at Starbucks, went back to school, and continued to try to make things work with Alex.

Will they make it? We don’t know because they didn’t even give us the audio of their visit! We have no idea what their conversation was. They could be rinse/repeating their pattern of cheating, mistrust, and fighting for the rest of Alex’s stay in prison. And after Alex is finally released, will they be able to adjust to life post-prison?

Y’all know my feelings regarding their relationship, but I’m a lover of OTPs and Endgames, and I know a lot of people were invested in Vauseman. For those folks, I imagine a future where Piper picks Alex up the day she is released and they live happily ever after.

While we’re at it, Nicky eventually leaves prison, flies to Egypt, gets Shani, marries her and they live happily ever after too.

There are very few shows I feel nailed the series finale — Six Feet Under being the best one of all. The Orange Is the New Black series finale was a good one. I will miss this show and these characters.

I’m going to end this recap with the finale end credits (scroll to 1:12). Goodbye, Litchfield. I’ll miss you.

The Deuce – Season 3 Episode 3 “Normal Is a Lie” [Live]

Abby, our favorite character from Old Saybrook, CT (my wife’s hometown), is at an art gallery opening where she meets a street artist named Pilar. Pilar is super flirty with Abby from minute 1 and invites her to see her art on Avenue A. Abby has to get to work, but maybe another time.

The Deuce - Rain check?

Ooooh, I just knew something was going to happen between these two, and I’m here for it.

Abby does cash in her rain check, and after they’re done perusing the art, she invites Pilar to a dance party.

You go, Pilar. They dance and have fun at the party, but no more kissing or anything.

What do you all think? Is Abby maybe queer? I’ll be watching to find out!

9-1-1 – Season 3 Episode 1 “Kids Today” [Live]

There wasn’t a lot of queer in this episode, but we did find out Hen and Ren are actively trying to conceive (TTC)!

9-1-1 - Are the IVF Shots taking their toll

I could start a queer TTC rant, but I’m going to spare you all and let this one go. Plus, the show redeemed itself with this scene.

9-1-1 - He's a sperm donor

Finally, someone did some research on anonymous donors. And I LOVED Karen correcting Buck, making sure he understands it’s a donor and not a daddy.

I usually don’t like lesbian TTC plots, but I’ll give these two a pass since they already have a kid. Knowing this show, Karen’s probably going to give birth riding a shark during an earthquake caused by an erupting volcano.

American Horror Story 1984 – Season 9 Episode 2 “Mr. Jingles” [Live]

If you’ve been tuning into this 80s horror movie meets gay porn iteration of AHS, you know Montana has been flirty with Brooke since the first episode. In this one, Montana makes a move after Brooke shares the disastrous story of her wedding day.

AHS 1984 - I need to get some air

Did you ever notice people on TV always need to “get some air?” Does anyone ever say that in real life? In this scenario, air is the cure for an unsolicited kiss from another girl.

Grey’s Anatomy – Season 16 Episode 1 “Nothing Left to Cling To” [Live]

Amelia and Link were playing, “What’s a thing you’ve never done, but want to?” Amelia says, “Have a 3-way.” I guess if you want to pursue a 3-way and you work at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital, the obvious person to solicit is Carina, the bisexual orgasm scientist!

Hitting on an OB is a comical way to find out you’re pregnant, but does that mean the pursuit of a 3-way stops? Just asking.

This week. One word. BATWOMAN!

About Tracy Levesque

America's favorite biracial, TV obsessed lesbian. Tracy will watch almost any show with queer female characters and has a lot to say about it. She is happy to have joined queer WordPress superpowers with Mika to build this site. She lives with her wife and kid in Philly.

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