Powerlessness has been a central theme of Orange Is the New Black since the beginning, as is appropriate for a prison show. Unlike its companion Netflix hit House of Cards or other “prestige” TV dramas like Breaking Bad or Mad Men, it’s the opposite of a power fantasy; it’s a story about what happens when power is stripped away.
And thus Season 3 zeroes in on a theme that goes hand-in-hand with powerlessness: faith. The season finale shows each of the major characters’ childhood encounters with religion and with God—positive, negative, or just bizarre.
Religion matters in prison. After all, it’s a place filled with people who, stripped of any agency in their own lives, have no options left but to pray.