Everyone is taking things personally as we head into the final episodes of S3 of Orange Is The New Black.
Let’s bitch it out…
Alex & Piper: Just when the Whispers panty business is taking off, Flaca (Jackie Cruz) organizes the other girls to “exercise their collective bargaining rights” in order to secure “fair pay for skanky pants.” Naturally Red (Kate Mulgrew) has some sage advice: set up a Money Pack, aka cough up the dough and find a burner phone. Naturally Piper is excited (her face practically screams “project!”), while Alex (Laura Prepon) is far more hesitant. The result gets the job done – the girls are appeased and Flaca is fired – but Piper’s brutal power trip exposes the tension in her relationship with Alex. Words are said and the break-up that we’ve been anticipating finally goes down. ‘Bout time!
Penns (Taryn Manning): Boo (Lea DeLaria) finds out that she’s been raped and is appropriately disturbed by the fact that Penns tries to explain away Donuts’ (James McMenamin) actions (as we knew she would). Boo’s resulting brand of tough love, including threats of “buying” Penns’ love and a graphic account of the sexual positions they’ll engage in, is a little needlessly cruel, but it does the trick and prompts Penns to break down. Here’s hoping that these two pair up to exact some kind of cruel and just revenge.
Sophia vs Gloria: Mama Diaz (Elizabeth Rodriguez) tells everyone who will listen that Sophia (Laverne Cox) caused Gloria’s (Selenis Leyva) black eye. The resulting back lash wears on Sophia, who yells at people for participating in petty female backstabbing. This is probably the saddest story line for me because it’s needless drama that neither woman seems ready to de-escalate.
Soso vs the Cult of Norma: The battle between Soso (Kimiko Glenn) and Leanne (Emma Myles) escalates to include intimidation and physical violence in the form of a late night haircut (that is some horror movie shit, there Leanne). At this point this story line is mirroring Sophia and Gloria’s, which infers that we’re going to see a lot of violence in the final two episodes.
Staff: Let’s form a dysfunctional union! MCC’s fancy new computer system creates an administrative nightmare after Angie (Julie Lake) is assigned the ID number of another inmate and she is unexpectedly paroled early (Praise Norma!). When Caputo (Nick Sandow) tries to use it to reinforce how Pearson (Mike Birbiglia) doesn’t know which way is up, Pearson plays it against him with a sob story that sends Joe out on his own to retrieve Angie. Their candid conversation is pretty amusing – it’s the one time that his penchant for niceness actually pays off. Unfortunately Caputo proves that he hasn’t learned anything from his past when he ends up representing his inept employees in their attempt to unionize. Sure a chorus of singers launching into a galvanizing tune from Les Mis is great, but there’s every indication that this is going to be a terrible idea.
Daya (Dascha Polanco): Ruiz (Jessica Pimentel) rips Daya a new one (and hopes the baby does too) after Daya reveals her adoption plans. Like most of the other conflicts in this episode, there’s every indication that the explosive behaviour is more about a personal affront than anything else after Ruiz takes offense that she’s a less thoughtful mother because she didn’t sell her baby.
- We learn the sad history of Caputo’s history, which can basically be summed up by the moniker “Mr Do The Right Thing.” His life is basically a series of sad scenarios wherein he does the right thing by other people and it ends up hurting him every time. Painful experiences include being injured by his own sense of fair play in high school wrestling and eschewing the chance to open for Glass Tiger (on their East Coast tour) to care for his cheating girlfriend and the lead singer’s baby. The need for a solid income – and benefits – prompts him to join correctional services, which includes a flashback with Miss Rosa (Barbara Rosenblat)! Shockingly <sarcasm> the white picket dream with Lisa doesn’t work out, but she does have some interesting feedback for him during the break-up when she advises he take responsibility for his choices. Neither of them are kind, but at least they’re finally being honest.
Other Story Lines:
- Suzanne’s (Uzo Aduba) writing catches the attention of the administration, causing a snowball effect. The story is confiscated, leading to a nice emotional apology between Suzanne and Poussey (Samira Wiley) wherein they apologize to each other for the hardships with Vee last season. Things are a little more heated between Healy and Rogers, who is put on administrative leave. It’s hard to deny her claims that Healy is being awful. It’s strange how often OITNB paints this picture of a caring male prison employee who is simultaneously also a terrible misogynist/racist.
- Alex convinces Lolly (Lori Petty) to remain silent by playing along with her paranoia, which could either be the end of the story…or could end up coming back to bite her in the ass in the final two episodes. Even money on the latter.
- Finally, something tells me that the eclectic contraband Piper discovers in her cell phone montage (Poussey’s booze, a blunt, and a Jolly Rancher shiv) will prove useful later.
- Fig (looking at him after sex): “Ew” Caputo: “Gross”
- Boo (to Penns, not realizing just how badly she’s sticking her foot in her mouth): “Little girl, did I not tell you to suck a dick and get me some goodies.”
- Soso (battling Leanne): “I can’t help it if I have Pocahontas hair and it’s not my fault you chose meth over teeth.”
- Donaldson (about Suzanne’s writing): “And I don’t know how she knows about my birthmark.”
- Red (educating Piper about her ties to organized crime): “I worked for the Russian mob. We make the Italians look like guppies.”
- Wanda Bell (describing Les Miz): “Poor Russell Crowe. The guy sings like a dead carp getting a blow job.”
Your turn: what are your thoughts on Piper’s new cut throat attitude? How long have you been anticipating her break-up with Alex? Do you think Caputo’s involvement in the union is a bad idea? Excited to see how Boo and Penns wreak revenge? Sound off below, but please refrain from posting spoilers about the final two episodes.
Orange Is The New Black is available in its entirety on Netflix. Check in tomorrow for a revenge of the penultimate episode of S3.