Ugh, y’all are so needy. This is episode appropriate, but still shows Alex in a scenario you can create fantasies around, if that’s your deal.
Welcome back to another episode of this show that you’ve probably watched four times in the span of me getting to recap number eight. This episode’s theme is human infants. For a show about prison, there sure are a lot of babies going on. Anyway, the flu is sweeping through the prison like the quinoa craze hitting the lesbian world back in the early 2000s. I hate quinoa, and when I eat it, I throw up like Daya. Unlike Daya though, my vomiting is not used as an obvious nod towards impending pregnancy. I’ve watched too many teen soap operas to know that when a character with a vagina has sex with a character with a penis and then throws up within two episodes of said sexual encounter, there is a bun in that oven. It is never not pregnancy. Did you watch Degrassi? It is never not pregnancy.
Piper is doing maxi pad crafts, unintentionally fulfilling a lot of queer stereotypes in a single action. The maxi pad crafts are actually a face mask for Miss Claudette. I’m very allergic to the materials in maxi pads (and you don’t want to know about 14 year old me figuring that out when she got her period at a Fourth of July picnic) so I wouldn’t want to put that on my face, but it seems like a really nice thought.
Piper runs into Healy in the cafeteria, and he’s not superbly happy about a little something I liked to call Larry’s Number One Dick Move. Yes, Larry wrote himself a New York Times special all about Piper in prison, without Piper’s permission if your memory is currently serving you, and it’s now in circulation. Piper has now become okay with this in a way that is frighteningly Generation Me, and asks to see the copy. Healy pours coffee on it after he throws it in the garbage so that it is rendered unreadable. The queer in me was shocked at his not recycling and wasting perfectly good material for distributing knowledge, but then I took the queer out of me because we were switching positions and it was my turn to penetrate.
Did I mention this episode was about babies? Because the super pregnant inmate named Maria has just gone into labor. A baby is a-comin’! I have no idea how babies work, given that my dedication to queerness obviously aligns with a desire to overthrow society using witchcraft and the sacrifice of my own first born son as a method of calling on Lilith to dethrone the patriarchy, but apparently babies don’t come out of the butt. Which I believed until I was about 11. Which I think a lot of One Direction slash writers still believe, actually.
Since Red is the go-to mother figure at this establishment, Pornstache suggests she give Tricia a helping hand with her current withdrawal which is, you know, technically his fault for enabling and supplying an addict. Red is like, are you kidding with this bullshit, a sentiment that continues to define her on this show.
You know what else defines this show? FFFFLLLLAAASSSHHHBBBAAACCCCKKKKKSSSSS. Back in the version of Red’s past that closely resembles the plot of the short-lived Russian Dolls, Red’s husband and the Russian Mafia guys are talking about business prospects. Red comments that restaurants are child’s play and don’t have the consistency or big payoff that government contracts would. Red’s husband is like, whoa, free-thinking woman, are you on your period or something? Who let you out of the kitchen?
Larry is a douche canoe buying a lot of copies of the New York Times and explaining how he is in it. As someone who someday dreams of having something published in a major publication, I will do like most normal people do and just share a link to the article on all of my social media outlets instead of creating social anxiety with newsstand clerks. Gosh.
Maria is still in labor but not the kind that pushes the baby out? I guess that’s a thing? Look, I don’t know how these things work, okay? Sometimes I glance down in the shower and am literally shocked to see I have a vagina because I forgot for like three days.
Nicky and Piper are the only ones who show up to the electrical shop since they are the only ones who aren’t sick. Nicky doesn’t believe in getting sick, also doesn’t believe in the mission of the heteropatriarchy. Nicky is a solid lady. Piper and Nicky are sent to fix a dryer for some reason. I’m sure that will be a super successful mission.
So, how many non-heterosexuals does it take to fix a dryer? Three. Two to fix it and one to make a tumblr post about the oppressiveness of routine appliance maintenance.
Apparently Taystee’s hearing didn’t go too well, but Poussey wants her to know that her hair looked good. These two, seriously.
Piper and Nicky are about to doubleteam this dryer situation. But look who’s here! It’s Alex, straight out of your lesbian fantasies, and she and Nicky have a really weird exchange in cheesy hetero porn language that makes both me and Piper kind of wigged out. Is Norma who never speaks a Piper/Alex shipper? She removes Nicky from the situation by literally throwing nuts at her, and gives Alex time to admire Piper attempting to butch it up for the moment. As a butch, I know that nothing makes panties hit the floor harder than a toolbelt.
Red and Nicky are fighting over whether or not Tricia is worth coddling. Nicky is fighting for Tricia, Red says she’s done with how many people want her to hold their hand through their problems. Look, Kate Mulgrew. You just have very nice hands, okay? They seem so firm and wise and capable of mothering all of us lost queer kids in our times of need. And queers have hand fixations. We are essentially walking around with our sex organs out and gesturing and counting money and turning pages and flipping through smartphones at all times. It’s a hand’s world.
Piper is actually attempting to fix the dryer, despite not actually knowing how to fix the dryer. She and Alex are flirting in a fun gossipy way when Doggett walks in. Since Doggett has been established as the villain and scapegoat of this show, we are meant to interpret this as just a really shitty thing. Alex is going to help Piper fix the dryer, because reasons. Flirty sexy reasons.
Nicky has to go break the news to Tricia, and damn if it’s not a tough scene. Tricia thinks Nicky’s there for company and helping her out, but besides that orange juice, there’s no help to be had. Nicky says that Red’s given the verdict, and the verdict is that Tricia turns herself in and goes into SHU. And from here on out, she’s not under Red’s protection.
Maria is still trying to push the baby out, y’all. Daya’s mom tells Maria that her baby better not turn out like Daya. What, pregnant? Babies having babies? There’s a lot of babies in this episode.
Alex and Piper are in the process of fixing the dryer when Piper realizes her vibrator needs more batteries. Not now, Piper! I, of course, mean flashlight, because everyone knows that you don’t even need a vibrator when you have a dryer to sit on, and Piper wanders off in search of some batteries to flake on. In the meantime, Alex has crawled into the dryer to fix it, which breaks Rule One of Being A Handy Queer: Do Not Crawl Into or On Top Of or In General Trust Your Physical Being With the Object you are Fixing. Doggett locks Alex into the dryer. Maybe Doggett is trying to help Alex reconnect with her womb self?
Piper finds Alex in the dryer. She wants to go get help, but Alex doesn’t want her to leave. She stays. It’s…cute.
There’s a subplot involving Pornstache dealing with drug fallout that’s kind of blah at this point, but why do we need to worry about what the men are up to when there’s babies afoot? And a lot of them! I mean, really, Alex is a metaphorical fetus right now!
Alex and Piper decide this is a good time for the talk. By the talk, I mean the one they’ve been pussyfooting around for ages. Piper’s like oh, is Nicky your girlfriend or something, I mean whatever, I’m fine with it. And Alex is like, oh, was I supposed to wait for my parts to dry up while you made up your mind. And Piper’s like well, I’m engaged, to a man, with manparts. And Alex is like, that’s been going really well for you so far, please tell me about your success in that realm. And Piper’s like okay, fine, let’s agree to be friends or something since putting a name to what we are is easier than trying to figure it out with bodies. Alex is like I have seen you naked, I have touched your g spot with all ten of my fingers on separate occasions, I would know your cervix in my sleep, I can’t be your friend.
That’s essentially what happened.
Piper tries to kick the dryer to open it. It’s not a vending machine, honey, and tasty as she may appear, Alex is not a Snickers caught on the third tier.
Pornstache attempts to threaten Morello into telling him about Red’s drug trades by getting into the van with her and making her drive around. Morello literally doesn’t know anything and has nothing to share. Pornstache is not doing well with interrogation, but are we surprised?
Alex and Piper get turned in to Healy for fucking around with the dryer. Or maybe for lesbianing, because we all know Healy’s stance on these things. The latter is actually more of the facts, since Healy just wants to know if they were using the dryers for masturbation. Didn’t I tell you? I’ve never tried it myself, but I did watch that episode of Mad Men where Betty thinks about the air conditioning salesman while leaning against the dryer.
Nicky and Red fight because Red has given her silent Norma for a roommate – okay, I love Norma, whatever – and Nicky doesn’t want Red controlling her life. Kind of like…a…mom?! Mommy issues, I swear. Pornstache thinks this rift is his in. Okay, keep trying, honey.
FFFFLLLLAAASSSHHHBBBBAACCCCKKK to Red breaking bread with the big guns of the mafia while her husband is on kitchen duty. Looks like government contracts are the way to go. You see Red in her familiar element and damn it if you don’t want her to adopt you right then and there. What? I have mommy issues, too.
Ugh, we’re back in Larry narrative. I hate this fucking narrative. Larry is celebrating the article being published, blah blah, I don’t care. He is out with his friends and Polly goes into labor, another baby is coming, whatever, babies, Larry, it’s all lame, there you go.
Miss Claudette and Piper are talking about Larry, which triggers a FFFFLLLLAAASSSHHHBBBAAACCCKKKK to Piper waiting for the results of a pregnancy test. Larry is like hey, um, you’re going to prison, not a time to pop a human out of your vagina, but Piper believes that a baby might make prison meaningful. Meaningful?! The privilege white Kool Aid is on the menu here. Luckily, she is not put in a position to treat a baby like a chapter of Eat Pray Love, and then gets really sad about the negative test. Let’s all agree silently that this was not a thing she was ready for in her life.
Larry calls Piper to report on Polly’s baby, but Piper wants to also talk about the shit she’s been thinking about lately. Specifically, who is the fucking girl in the article, and what is up with their relationship. Good timing, good. Meanwhile, Maria gets back from delivering the baby. Babies can’t come home with their mothers if their mothers are convicted criminals, though, so there’s no new baby in the prison. It’s the saddest scene in this episode, bar none.
Pornstache gets Nicky when she’s alone and riles her up with news of Tricia’s extra punishments. Then he asks how the drug shipments come in to Red’s kitchen. Nicky’s in rebellious and super angry mode, so she actually tells him. Pornstache now knows what produce truck to hail down, which is poopyshit. But hey! Taystee heard from the hearing committee and she’s leaving prison. Baby girl! And another hey! Alex has the flu, and Piper visits her in her bed. They have another Moment, and they hold hands. And so it begins, friends. Just like I always said it would. Not that you didn’t see it coming, but.
Meanwhile, Daya is pregnant because I told you, and because Degrassi never lies. Except when I found out that Drake wasn’t actually in a wheelchair. Degrassi had been lying to me the whole time!