Here's A Theory On Why Alison 'Got Time' In OITNB & It Makes SO Much Sense

Photo: Orange is the New Black
Alison Abdullah from Orange is the New Black
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What's her deal?

After a year of waiting, Orange is the New Black has come and gone (don't pretend you didn't cancel all plans in order to binge it).

But as usual, there's a certain curiosity attached to the characters that linger as we piece together the puzzle that is each and every one of these complicated women serving time — this season, in particular, we focused our curiosity on Alison Abdullah — the only inmate of Muslim descent in Litchfield.

She was transferred there during an attempt to fill the prison with more inmates despite there being little room to actually do so. 

Each season, the one question we find ourselves asking as we watch seemingly normal women operate "behind bars" is why are they there? And how did they get there?

What did they do to find themselves behind bars? You'd certainly never guess most of them did the things they did. These women are mothers, wives, and daughters. They're human beings.
 

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I suppose this is why they say don't judge a book by its cover, but OITNB has a way of humanizing a group of people you wouldn't otherwise think twice about (let's be honest).

Our first thoughts are "criminal = bad, awful people," instead of people who possibly made one bad decision in their life (obvi, not the case for all).

And, although the writers throw us little chunks of some characters stories, it's usually just enough to keep you guessing and so that's where we're at with Alison — guessing.

After first appearing in season four of the Netflix series, we finally got some of Alison's backstory in episode four of the current season of OITNB, "Litchfield's Got Talent" as she sealed her bond with Black Cindy and the rest of the girls in "the ghetto." 

We learned a lot about her life, but not quite the details leading up to her doing a prison bid. This is what we know:

She's a mother and wife like so many of the other women, who led a full and happy life with her family, although it was slightly abnormal by American standards. Polygamy is a cultural norm for many men of Islamic faith, and we get to see this explored just a little bit as she and her husband discuss the prospect of bringing a second wife into the picture.
 

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In fact, it's even Alison that persuades her husband, Hassan, to take on a second wife after he insists that he is fine with just the one wife. Despite her initial skepticism, she counts all of the ways she's busy and all of the ways both her husband and daughter may need additional support at home (even after her husband points out that's what nannies are for), eventually telling him: "We're not getting the best parts of each other."

Eventually, the two decide to table the discussion until they find someone who may be worth it, and by the end of the episode, we find that they do end up finding someone (Sahar) who fits the bill. 

While Alison says her reasons for wanting Hassan to follow his in father's lead and take on more wives is part of her desire for "a peaceful home," we watch as Hassan's new wife becomes part of the family — almost too much so for Alison's liking. 

As the episode carries on, her jealousy makes her act in ways she wouldn't normally do in order to be seen more by her family; small things like getting her ears pierced after reprimanding Hassan's other wife, Sahar, for allowing their daughter to "mutilate" herself. This is a turning point in her character, since we see her devotion to her religion in the restaurant scene with her husband, and it's a significant one that doesn't really get much screen time but says a lot about her. Allison begins to lose morality in small ways as she competes with the other woman in her home

So, what exactly did Alison do that led to her doing time?

There has been speculation but no definitive answer (because that would be too easy to end things without cliffhangers); however, based on all that we know about Amanda Stephen's character I fully believe that her time in Litchfield is related to a domestic squabble that got out of hand. 

It wouldn't be the craziest thing to land one of the ladies in Litchfield, and aside from her being a transfer, it might certainly explain why the only person she seems to be in communication with is her daughter, Farah, as opposed to both her daughter and husband. 

 

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She hasn't so much as mentioned her husband once, and that seems slightly abnormal considering how strong of a bond they appeared to have in the flashback clips. We also know that she wears her hijab with pride and abstains from violence while holding her own... that's who we've known Alison to be, and that's not a murderous killer by any means.

The only other prediction I'd bother entertaining is Bustle 's suggestion that she was imprisoned for some type of con, as it might be possible that her jealousy led her to a desperate act in order to buy herself more time at home with her family

But whatever went down, I'm convinced that it's more related to her backstory than we realize at the moment. 

Sadly for us, there's no real guarantee that we'll ever find out —​ at least not for this season! 

That said, the fate (and thus history) of most all of the characters is in limbo for another year. 

I guess our fan-theories will have to hold us over for the NEXT YEAR. 

 

 

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