Entertainment

These 18 Moments From The Entire OITNB Run Prove That The Latinas Of Litchfield Carried The Show On Their Backs

July 26th marks the release of the seventh and final season of Netflix’s original series, “Orange Is The New Black.” After six explosive seasons that made us laugh, cry and want to bring down the gates of Litchfield Prison, the series is wrapping up the story it began back in 2013. We’ve been through a lot with Piper, Alex, Red and Taystee but we’d be lying if we didn’t admit that the ladies from the prison’s C Block —  also known as Spanish Harlem — are our favorites.

Daya, Gloria, Maria, Flaca, Aleida, Blanca and Maritza make up the original Litchfield Spanish Harlem crew and we’ve been through quite a few adventures with that group. From pregnancy and births to releases and separations, our girls have seen it all. 

Now that the series comes to an end, it’s time to relive some of the most memorable moments we’ve had with las mujeres of Spanish Harlem.

1. Daya Goes To Jail 

Netflix / “Orange Is The New Black”

In the first episode, we see Piper, Watson, and Dayanara entering the prison in their brand new orange jumpsuits. As they tour the different bunks — Spanish Harlem, The Suburbs, the Ghetto ect. — another prisoner comes up the trio and slaps Daya. This is her first introduction to prison and our first look at her mother, Aleida. 

2. Maria’s Intense Labor 

Netflix / “Orange Is The New Black”

When we start the series, Maria is heavily pregnant so it doesn’t take long for us to see the Latina in labor. Unfortunately, the prison won’t take her to the hospital until her contractions are one minute apart. In order to help her, the ladies of Spanish Harlem take care of her when she comes back from the hospital later without her baby. 

3. The Iconic “And You Have A Pizza” Moment

Netflix / “Orange Is The New Black”

In Season 1’s Valentine’s Day episode, the Litchfield prisoners share what love means to them. To Flaca, love is like being in a warm chocolate pudding bath while listening to The Smiths and being rubbed down with oils by five dudes. Sounds pretty nice but Maritza sweetens the deal by suggesting, “And you have a pizza.” Love sounds pretty awesome.  

4. Daya And Aleida’s Mother-Daughter Moment 

Netflix / “Orange Is The New Black”

After the entire prison learns that Daya is pregnant with what they think is Pornstache’s baby, the Latina is left feeling overwhelmed. So much so, that she goes to her mom to have a pep talk. The two aren’t used to talking to each other like this but they manage to have a moment and it’s the intention that counts with this one. 

5. Rosa’s Grand Escape  

Netflix / “Orange Is The New Black” 

While Rosa isn’t usually put together with the ladies of Spanish Harlem, the Latina’s grand escape deserves a spot on this list. In a daring move, Rosa steals the prison’s van and breaks out of the big house. Once on the road, Rosa feels like her old self again and we see the daring bank robber she was in her youth. She also does us the favor of giving Season 2 baddie, Vee, just what she deserves. 

6. Gloria’s Toughest Love 

Netflix / “Orange Is The New Black”

Someone should have told Gloria’s son, Benny, that he should never miss with a Latina mom. When the teenager begins acting out and being disrespectful to his mother, Gloria lays down the law and lets her kid know what the score is. His intimidated face after her verbal beat-down is proof that her tough love worked. 

7. Daya Gives Up Her Baby 

Netflix / “Orange Is The New Black”

Pregnancy wasn’t good for Daya. First, she had to hide it. Then, she had an on-again, off-again relationship with Bennett. Don’t even get us started on Pornstache. For a number of reasons, she didn’t think it was a good idea to keep her baby and eventually agreed to give it up to Pornstache’s mother. It was probably for the best but it had to be tough on Daya.

8. Gloria Goes Toe-To-Toe With Sofia 

Netflix / “Orange Is The New Black”

Season 3 has Sofia and Gloria’s sons spending extra time together which causes problems when the hair stylist’s son starts acting out. Sofia confronts Gloria about it and accuses Benny of being a bad influence on Michael. Several fights follow between the two — most of them when Gloria is holding something sharp. 

9. Maria Takes Control Of C Block 

Netflix / “Orange Is The New Black”

Season 4 saw the prison population double and tensions run high between the White Nationalist/Neo-Nazi faction and the Latinas at Litchfield. When Blanca is targeted and thrown down the stairs, Maria takes control of the situation. Arguing against a swift and reckless revenge, the new leader plans a smarter way to get even and protect her mujeres. 

10. Maria’s Harsh Revenge 

Netflix / “Orange Is The New Black”

When Maria decides to get into the prison pantie business, she gets push back from Piper, who has her own interest in the profits. When the blond recruits Neo-Nazis and White Nationalists as enforcers for her business, Maria decides she deserves the same label as her compatriots. The Latina leader orders that Piper be branded with a swastika on her forearm in this cringe-worthy scene. 

11. Maritza And The Mouse 

Netflix / “Orange Is The New Black”
During Season 4, Maritza and Flaca have a game of “would you rather” and get overheard by one of the new guards. Later, the same guard takes Maritza to his quarters and presents her with the challenge: eat a live baby mouse or several dead flies. He then puts a gun to her head and asks her to choose. This is definitely one of the most traumatizing scenes in the series. 

12. Blanca’s Resistance 

Netflix / “Orange Is The New Black”

By the end of Season 4, tensions are high and the whispers of rebellion are becoming louder. In an act of defiance, Blanca stops bathing to protest the stop-and-frisk policy that the prison has adopted. When she refuses to bathe, one of the guards makes her stand on a table until she will relent. Little does he know that Blanca is in it for the long haul. 

13. A Decision Daya Can’t Take Back 

Netflix / “Orange Is The New Black”

After a tragic death, things escalate quickly. Daya winds up holding the smuggled gun, pointing it at the sadistic guard and choosing to shot him in the leg. This will eventually lead to his death and an irreversible sentence for Daya. Needless to say, this situation was intense.

14. Blanca Secures The Prison 

Netflix / “Orange Is The New Black”

When the riot breaks out in Litchfield, some women use it as an excuse to wild out. Not Blanca. Our forward-thinking Latina uses it as an opportunity to secure the prison so it can’t be retaken later. Smart thinking and a moment that literally allows Season 5 to play out. 

15. Maria’s Rallying Moment 

Netflix / “Orange Is The New Black”

In the beginning of the riot, Maria establishes herself as Jefa by holding a rally to get all the inmates on the same page. She promises that they will do a better job running Litchfield than the abusive guards and passes out cellphones in an Oprah-esque moment. 

16. Flaca And Maritza: Youtube Stars 

Netflix / “Orange Is The New Black”

What would you do if you’ve gone years without the internet or a phone? Start a Youtube channel! At least that’s what Flaca and Maritza do. The duo cover everything from DIY to a day in the life of Litchfield prison. Don’t forget Maritza’s innovative beauty tutorial using Latin spices.

17. Maria Double-Crosses Gloria 

Netflix / “Orange Is The New Black”

Throughout Season 5, Gloria’s main concern has been getting out of prison to see her son. To do so, she makes a deal to release the guards who have been taken hostage. Unfortunately, Maria finds out and double-crosses her by releasing the guards instead. This sets them up for bad blood in Season 6. 

18. Daya’s Abuse In Prison 

 

Netflix / “Orange Is The New Black”
Season 6 starts with Suzanne hallucinating that what she sees around her is channels on a television. This is how we come to see Daya being abused by prison guards because they blame her for the guard’s death from Season 5. This abuse eventually turns into a bad drug habit for Daya, who has given up all hope of ever leaving prison.  

This ‘Orange Is The New Black’ Actress Says She Broke Down Crying Just While Shooting An ICE Scene

Entertainment

This ‘Orange Is The New Black’ Actress Says She Broke Down Crying Just While Shooting An ICE Scene

When it comes to her role as Natalie “Fig” Figueroa on Netflix’s hit series “Orange Is The New Black” actress and activist Alysia Reiner might come off just as cold bolded as Fig is. The break out star has become known for her role as the series secondary antagonist of OITNB’s first two seasons where we watched her callously deal with the show’s female inmates.

But in a recent interview Reiner, the name behind the series’ character who ultimately became an anti-hero in later seasons, is proving she’s got a much softer heart than her character might lead us to believe.

During the series’ final season Fig took on the role of warden at an ICE detainment facility.

The highly talked about story plot has received rave reviews from critics for its timeliness and heartfelt depiction of current events related to immigration in the U.S. Many of the series beloved characters battled issues such as deportation, and saw one of the series original cast members sent back to a country she hardly knew.

As warden of the facility, Fig was often caught up in the terror of ICE and the depicted border crisis. Speaking about the experience of shooting these scenes with Buzzfeed, Reiner said that she found herself often experiencing overwhelm.

At one point, Reiner said that “just the imaginary circumstance of it” was upsetting.

“My character doesn’t break down. She handles it. She keeps it in,” Reiner said in the interview. “But after two takes, it was the first time in my life where I stopped a set, where I could not breathe and I could not stop crying. Just the idea of what’s going on… It’s deeply heartbreaking.”

After only having a “light” version of the experience that so many women, men, and children are currently enduring on U.S. soil, Reiner is encouraging fans of the show to get involved.

In her interview, Reiner encouraged fans of the show to contact “representatives to say this is not okay.”

Reiner specifically encouraged fans to contact their local representatives to address a recent incident involving ICE that had directly been influenced by the show. Earlier this month, after the show featured a real and free hotline that offered detainees a chance to contact lawyers, ICE shut it down.


“This hotline is necessary for people in detention centers. It’s horrific that it’s been shut down, so deeply wrong,” Reiner said during her interview and encouraged users to contact representatives to complain.

ICE Targets Immigrant Helpline After It Appears In Episode Of ‘Orange Is The New Black’ Proving The Cruelty Is The Point

Things That Matter

ICE Targets Immigrant Helpline After It Appears In Episode Of ‘Orange Is The New Black’ Proving The Cruelty Is The Point

@cmargalaz / Twitter

In it’s seventh and final season, Orange Is The New Black aired a storyline to shed light on the dehumanizing features of immigration detention centers. However, there was a glimmer of hope presented in the fictional Netflix series: a hotline for immigrant detainees that provided free lawyers. Best of all, the hotline existed in real life. It’s not crazy to think that the level of exposure the show provided for the hotline could literally save lives. 

But even on the show, use of the hotline came with a warning: “You have to be careful, though. Apparently, if they figure out that you’re using the hotline, Big Brother shuts it down,” Gloria warns Maritza in the seventh season. 

In a chilling twist, consistent with the Trump administration’s war against immigrants, two weeks after the series aired, the hotline was shut down. It’s nothing short of gut-wrenching. 

Immigration advocates want answers. 

The California group Freedom for Immigrants, an organization that runs visitation programs in detention centers nationally and who provides the hotline, believes ICE’s decision to shut down the hotline was a direct response to Maritza’s immigration storyline. 

On Thursday, Freedom for Immigrants responded to the shutdown with a cease and desist letter. The letter claims that termination of the hotline is a violation of free speech and is retaliation by the government. Over 100 organizations and six actors from Orange is the New Black signed the letter addressed to ICE Director Matthew Albence. 

“Even a freely given benefit such as the pro bono hotline can’t be taken away simply because the government is now unhappy with how we are sharing with the public what we know from our communications with people inside,” said Christina Fialho, co-executive director of Freedom for Immigrants.

Maritza’s story is too familiar.

Diane Guerrero who portrays Martiza in the show has been an outspoken advocate of immigration reform. Born to undocumented immigrants from Colombia, Guerrero, who is a citizen, stayed in the U.S. after her family was deported when she was 14. She told her story in the memoir In the Country We Love. Just as it is for most Latinxs living in the U.S., immigration for Guerro is clearly personal. 

When Maritza’s character is essentially left for dead at an immigration detention center, she is told about the Freedom for Immigrants hotline by Gloria. The hotline was toll-free, a pivotal detail because immigrants don’t have the right to a free phone call after they are detained. Heroically, the duo passed the hotline number to other detainees. It was a small act of liberation, as was featuring it on the show. 

Abolish ICE.

ICE told the organization that that tollfree numbers for pro bono attorneys and organizations require approval by the Executive Office for Immigration Review. Funny, it was never an issue before. Almost seems like this administration is actively seeking legal loopholes to be as cruel and callous toward immigrants as possible. Freedom for Immigrants has provided the hotline since 2013. The organization received as many as 14,000 calls a month from detainees and is run by volunteers who connect immigrants with free lawyers. Losing this service will have a cascading negative impact on immigrants and their loved ones.

The cruelty is the point.

Meanwhile, the ACLU is suing the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office in Louisiana for the unlawful jailing of Ramon Torres. Despite providing his passport, social security card, and driver’s license to police officers to prove his citizenship, he was jailed for four days. The Sherriff’s Office deputies told Torres that every Hispanic person was being automatically held for immigration review. Yes, they’re rounding us up. Because we know, because we been knew, this was never about immigration status. This has always been about race. 

“Ramon Torres was held in jail for four days simply because he has brown skin and a Latino name,” ACLU of Louisiana legal director Katie Schwartzmann said. “This is racial profiling, which is unconstitutional and deeply harmful to our communities. What happened to Mr. Torres is inexcusable. Locking people up based on race or ethnicity is antithetical to our most cherished American values.”

We won’t be silenced.

There’s no sugar-coating what is happening in the United States. While it has never been the American Dream we were promised, now it is increasingly dangerous to be Latinx in America. Our stories and visibility matter most of all during this time. Art has the power to enlighten and normalize experiences. Art has a way of bringing the unseen to the forefront. This usually activates its viewers for the better. However, we have an administration that lacks any and all humanity. “Now we see life mimic art in the most destructive way,” she said. “I wish this were more of a fictional situation and we were exaggerating reality, but it’s kind of the other way around,” said Laura Gomez who plays Blanca, another character who falls victim to ICE on the show.