"Orange is the New Black" captivated audiences with its depiction of life inside a women's prison, and one of the most intriguing characters was Alex Vause, played by Laura Prepon. Alex is a former drug smuggler who has a complicated relationship with protagonist Piper Chapman, who testified against her and helped send her to prison.
Despite being released early for providing information on her former boss, Alex ultimately ends up back behind bars. This article explores the reasons why Alex went back to prison and the consequences of her actions.
Background on Alex's Previous Incarceration
Alex's story begins with her initial arrest and conviction for drug smuggling. She was a key player in the international drug trade, working for Kubra Balik, a powerful and ruthless drug lord. Alex's smuggling operation was sophisticated and involved concealing drugs in products like lotion and shampoo. Her relationship with Piper Chapman, a fellow drug smuggler who had a romantic relationship with Alex, added an extra layer of complexity to the situation.
Piper and Alex had a tumultuous relationship, characterized by their passion for each other and their rivalry in the drug trade. Piper eventually turned on Alex and testified against her in court, helping to secure her conviction. Piper's betrayal shattered their relationship and left Alex feeling bitter and resentful.
Despite her conviction, Alex was released early from prison for providing information on Kubra Balik. She agreed to testify against him in exchange for a reduced sentence and witness protection. However, her freedom was short-lived. When Alex learned that Kubra had sent an assassin after her, she went on the run and ultimately ended up back in prison.
The reasons for Alex's return to prison are complex and multifaceted, as explored in the following sections of this article. However, it's important to note that her incarceration has significant consequences for her and the other characters in the show. Alex's story highlights the harsh realities of the criminal justice system and the toll it takes on those caught up in it.
Reasons for Alex's Return to Prison
Alex's return to prison was the result of a complex set of circumstances and motivations. Here are some of the key factors that led to her downfall:
#1: Involvement with Kubra's Drug Operation
Despite testifying against Kubra Balik and being released from prison early, Alex was unable to escape his influence. She learned that Kubra had sent an assassin after her, and fearing for her life, she ran. However, Alex's attempts to start a new life were thwarted by her involvement in Kubra's drug operation. She began working with a new group of smugglers to transport drugs, using her knowledge and expertise to help them avoid detection. Alex's connections with the drug world proved to be too strong to break away completely.
#2: Financial Need
Another factor that contributed to Alex's return to the drug trade was a financial need. After going on the run, Alex struggled to make ends meet and pay for necessities like food and shelter. With few marketable skills and limited options, she turned to drug smuggling as a way to make money quickly. Despite her initial reluctance to get back into the game, Alex soon found herself drawn back into the world of drugs.
#3: Desire for Excitement
Alex's involvement in the drug trade was also fueled by a desire for excitement and adventure. She found the thrill of the chase and the danger of her activities intoxicating, and couldn't resist the lure of the lifestyle.
Alex's decision to re-enter the drug trade was driven in part by a desire to recapture the excitement of her previous life.
#4: Relationship with Piper
Alex's relationship with Piper Chapman, her former lover, and co-conspirator, also played a significant role in her decisions and actions. Although Piper testified against her in court and helped send her to prison, the two women continued to have a complicated and fraught relationship.
Despite their turbulent history, Alex and Piper remained deeply connected, and their intense feelings for each other often clouded their judgment.
Consequences of Alex's Return to Prison
Alex's return to prison had significant consequences not only for her but for the other characters in the show as well. Here are some of the ways that her actions affected the plot and the other characters:
#1: Strained Relationship with Piper
Alex's return to prison strained her already complicated relationship with Piper even further. Piper struggled to come to terms with her feelings for Alex, and their interactions became increasingly fraught and tense. Despite their connection, Piper found it difficult to forgive Alex for her involvement in the drug trade and for jeopardizing Piper's freedom.
#2: Increased Danger and Risk
Alex's return to the drug trade also increased the danger and risk for herself and others. The criminal world that she inhabited was fraught with peril, and her involvement in drug smuggling put her in constant danger of being caught or killed. Alex's actions also put other characters at risk, as she involved them in her activities and exposed them to the dangers of the drug trade.
#3: Legal Consequences
Finally, Alex's return to prison had significant legal consequences. Her involvement in the drug trade led to her arrest and imprisonment again, and she faced the possibility of a long sentence behind bars. Alex's incarceration had ripple effects throughout the show, as other characters grappled with the impact of her absence and the changes it brought to their own lives.
Themes Explored in Alex's Storyline
The character of Alex Vause in "Orange is the New Black" is a complex and multi-faceted one, and her storyline in the show explores several important themes. These themes include the consequences of one's past actions, the temptation of criminal life, and the complexity of romantic relationships in prison.
#1: Consequences of Past Actions
One of the central themes of Alex's storyline is the consequences of one's past actions. Throughout the show, Alex struggles with the fallout from her involvement in Kubra's drug operation. She is haunted by the guilt and trauma of what she did, and her past continues to catch up with her even after she has left the drug trade. This theme is explored in detail in season six when Alex is sent back to prison for violating her probation. Her past actions have a ripple effect on her life, impacting not only her freedom but also her relationships with others.
#2: Temptation of Criminal Life
Another theme that is explored in Alex's storyline is the temptation of criminal life. Despite her past experiences and the trauma they have caused her, Alex is drawn back into the drug trade when she is released from prison. She is tempted by the promise of easy money and the excitement of a life of crime. This theme is explored in depth in season three when Alex is offered a job by a former associate of Kubra's. Her struggle with the decision to return to the drug trade highlights the allure and danger of criminal life.
#3: Complexity of Romantic Relationships in Prison
Finally, Alex's storyline also explores the complexity of romantic relationships in prison. Her relationship with Piper is a central plotline in the show, and it is marked by the challenges and difficulties of love in a carceral setting. The two women struggle to balance their feelings for each other with the realities of their situation, including the fact that they are both incarcerated and the power dynamics that come with that. This theme is explored throughout the show but is particularly poignant in the final season when the two women are reunited after being separated for years.
As we conclude this article, it is important to reflect on the significance of Alex's character and the themes it represents. "Orange is the New Black" is more than just a show about a group of women in prison. It is a thought-provoking exploration of themes such as social justice, inequality, and human relationships. Through the character of Alex Vause, the show sheds light on the complexities of drug addiction, the allure of the criminal underworld, and the role of personal choice in shaping one's destiny.
In the case of "Orange is the New Black," the show's creators have used complex characters and thought-provoking themes to capture the attention of audiences around the world. Alex Vause's character is one such example. Her struggles with addiction and her journey through the criminal underworld highlight how our choices can shape our lives. Through her character, we see the importance of empathy, understanding, and forgiveness.