feature image via Netflix
Welcome back my friends to the recaps that never end! In this episode of Orange Is The Season 2 Has Been Out For Three Months Whoops Whoops Whoops, Piper gets to leave Litchfield for 48 hours! Woo!!! Let’s see if it’s everything she hoped for:
After a reminder to visit Red’s shop and pretty awesome bend-over-and-cough, she’s released straight into the loving arms of Cal, whom I just adore so much in this episode. He’s such a doofy dude.
Red is buying a lot of cooking ingredients at the commissary, FORESHADOWING ALERT. She tells Nicky to invite all of the former White Ladies group to dinner in the secret clubhouse/greenhouse for a Jane Austen Book Club reunion or possibly Fight Club, depending on how everyone is feeling about Red these days.
Guess who is baaaack? Pornstache struts on down the hallway, which is just so fucked up I can’t put it into words. I mean, the word that immediately come to mind are “toxic masculinity,” but you know. He starts writing shots immediately, power tripping the fuck out. This isn’t going to go well. Bennett busts into Caputo’s office and questions the legality of Pornstache’s presence, just like me, just like you, just like us all!
Caputo tells Bennett that he needs to be “up to the task,” so now Bennett gets to be on edge for the whole episode, trying to give out more shots. IT’S TIME TO MAN UP! Gross.
Healy is is in psychotherapy, frustrated with work and his poor mail-order bride. His therapist talks him through some anger issues and remains patient even after he screams at her. Better you than me, therapist lady.
Nicky is at an AA (NA?) meeting, talking about how glad she is to be sober, so you know this is about to be a giant bummer. Vee sits in the back reading The Fault In Their Stars like she has some kind of heart when really she’s like a lion stalking a gazelle. Also the way she’s made Suzanne her pet is so disturbing and interesting and I love this show. Vee offers the book to Rosa, who is basically just like “Fuck you.” Oh my gosh, Vee, you can’t just talk to people about their cancer like that! Then Vee tries to walk out of the meeting with Nicky, all chummy, much to Red’s stalkery dismay. Nicky’s not having it, though, don’t worry. If Nicky is the gazelle in this metaphor, she’s like a Teenage Mutant Ninja Gazelle or something tough. I don’t know, this analogy is falling apart. NEXT!
Red goes to Gloria to “unburden” Gloria of Red’s goods. Gloria wants the rest of her shit, but before we can learn more, Bennett busts on in to tell Red to get out of the kitchen. She tells him he’s going to make a great father. Ha! Red – 1, Bennet – 0.
We get Red flashbacks this episode! It’s the Mis-Adventures of Young Red and Young Vee, like The Muppet Babies but with more racial tension. Red makes the mistake of opening up to Vee (NOOOOOOO RED NOOOOO) and telling her that on the outside, she used the same vendor that’s in the prison. Vee immediately sees an opportunity, but Red seems all doe-eyed and naive. Certainly this will end well for everyone involved.
Daya and Bennett argue in the broom closet while she’s giving him a handjob. Daya defends Pornstache because of toxic masculinity, and we all collectively dry-heave over literally every aspect of this scene.
Poussey is selling cigarettes hidden inside tampons at the library. She later finds out that Vee is bringing in more than just cigarettes after Leanne asks her for “the red light special.” Seems like Vee is selling heroin on the inside, just like she did on the outside, because she is the Voldemort of Lichfield.
When Poussey later confronts Taystee about it, Taystee stays loyal to Vee. QUIT PLAYIN GAMES WITH MY HEART, TAYSTEE.
Piper reunites with Larry, which feels really awkward, except that Piper just starts listing all of the Rich White People things the house smells like: French pressed coffee, Anthropologie candles, etc. Larry says she can stay there with about as much genuine honesty as he can muster, which is to say: not much. Piper wants to go get burgers and drinks, and Larry, little mother hen over there, reminds her that she’s not supposed to drink. Oh, fuck that. Come on. That’d be the one thing I’d want to do, too. Cal breaks the tension by reminding them that actually, they have plans: you know, Grandma’s wake. Womp womp, Cal’s the only adult in the room.
The wake in itself is fucking awkward, as no one knows exactly what to say to Piper in the receiving line. She helpfully lets them know that yes, she is the one in prison for drug smuggling and hot lesbian sex. So hard to keep all the grandkids straight! (ed. note: zing!)
Soso’s shower strike has been put to an end, so instead, she begins a hunger strike. Mendez gets pissed and drags her out of the cafeteria. Surely this will end with funfetti cake and party games!
After the wake, Piper is chugging wine and eating straight from the salad buffet (get it, girl) and Larry makes fun of her, saying he can’t believe she’s wasting time on lettuce. She says she can’t remember the last time she had a crunchy vegetable, which is gross and sad. Piper propositions Larry for The Sex and Larry’s all, “Oh, I don’t know, I’m sleeping with your best friend” but he doesn’t really say it in those words, or any words. Larry did not attend the communication seminar at the Couple’s Tantra and Vegan Soap Making Retreat last fall.
Piper’s father finds her to scold her for drinking, saying the last thing anyone needs is for her sentence to be extended because of violating her furlough rules. Piper turns into the badass form of Piper that we love and root for, saying, “Really Dad? Is that the last thing anyone needs? Or is that the last thing you need because you refuse to visit your only daughter in prison and you don’t want that weighing on your conscience any longer than it has to.” Daaaaaaang. He says he just can’t stand that she’s in prison, that’s not who she is. Oh yeah? Maybe it actually is who she is. I like that this episode just has people telling Piper who she is and that she’s finally pushing back against that.
Piper pulls Larry into the bathroom to have sex. Having sex with your ex-fiance in the bathroom after your grandmother’s wake: Piper’s being very efficient with her time on this furlough! She tries to go down on him, but he says he slept with someone. She gets mad at him for telling her that while his limp dick is in her mouth, which is understandable! It would be way better if she at least got to have like a Snickers bar or something.
They end up sitting on the floor, discussing the cheating and the situation, and eventually just say “I love you” in the most honest way. This is a relatively high point in the vast sea of mediocrity that is Larry’s arc.
Meanwhile, the line for the bathroom is wrapped around the block.
Down in the laundry dungeon, Pennsatucky slams Leanne’s face into the washing machine after Leanne stands up to her.
Healy, high on therapy, decides that he just wants to pretend what the fuck he’s talking about and become her therapist. Oh good! No one I would trust more with the fragile emotional and psychological wellbeing of women who have been doubly failed by social infrastructure and the prison system.
Red’s Golden Girls storm the kitchen to collect some of Red’s things. Initially this seems like it might be adorable but then becomes terrifying. They’re actually really scary here! I wouldn’t fuck with them! One of the women reminds the younger girls that she definitely mutilated her husband’s genitals – and liked it! – and it’s so fucking scary that the younger girls give over Red’s stuff immediately. It seems safe to say that tensions between different Litchfield factions are slowly on the rise.
In another Red and Vee flashback, Vee tells Red that she’s the head of the black women now, and Red trusts her for some reason, showing her that the vendor helps her sneak stuff in. Uh oh. This is like watching a train wreck in slow motion.
At their grandmother’s funeral, Piper and Cal are giving speeches, which is a strange thing, maybe? Is that something you do besides a eulogy? Or is this the eulogy? Either way, Cal makes things unbelievably awkward by telling everyone he’s so glad they’re here and that he and Neri are getting married RIGHT. NOW. Piper and Cal’s mom is soooo pissed. Neri and Cal’s relationship is so weird and getting married at a funeral is so bizarre that it’s hard to tell how to feel. Is this adorable and kind of a deserved fuck-you to this incredibly uptight family? Or is it just super inappropriate and sort of horrifying? Also, how many layers is Cal wearing?
Red has everyone over for dinner, which the Golden Girls helped her cook and prepare – they all show up! yay! – and she apologizes, telling them that she just wants her family back. Everyone is gorging themselves on Red’s food and I’m so hungry. Big Boo doesn’t seem all that into the dinner or the bonding because she’s playing Judas in this Last Supper reenactment, but she is noticing some strange things going on with the floor. She’s sort of like a dykey Columbo.
Bennett loses his shit when he finds a cigarette on the floor because he’s upset about Pornstache being considered tougher than he is. Poor Bennett, his masculinity was called into question. Call the official Litchfield Wambulance. He demands to know what’s going on and immediately searches the bunks, ripping everything apart. Bennett gets so maniacal that Pornstache has to restrain him and get him out of there. You know it’s bad when Pornstache makes the right decision?
Pornstache finds the the tampons filled with cigarettes… Uh oh! But he doesn’t realize what they are and he gives them back to Taystee, apologizing for the fuss.
Piper watches Cal and Neri having their first dance, and it feels bittersweet after what happened with Larry. It also feels fucking weird because uh, guys, this is a funeral? Or was a funeral, I guess? Family friends talk to her about how she used to be an overachiever and assume that she can’t wait for her to “return to her old self.” She cuts them off at the knees, saying, “I’m not, actually.” Guess Piper realizes prison has changed her, and in many ways, for the better.
Piper hoofs it on over to Queens to visit Red’s shop, but finds the place boarded up, a For Lease sign above it. Ouch. How’s she going to gently tell Red about this? Probably she won’t because Piper’s whole thing is that she doesn’t handle difficult conversations very well. Or, like, most things.
She gets a 40 and a burger and eats her feelings, as one does.
I feel that feel. I also feel that organizing Piper’s glorious furlough to be a huge disappointment is done so realistically and amazingly in this episode. It’s just the right amount of disappointment, hitting the right notes. She’s not who she was, and she’s learning that and trying to show other people that, as well.
The next morning, Big Boo gives up Red’s secret to Vee in the bathroom, negotiating a 10% cut of all the monies. Yeah, right, like that’s EVER going to happen! Boo is becoming rapidly less and less likable.
In a flashback, Vee and her new group of lackeys invading the kitchen to take over Red’s business. Vee demands 100% of the income, and Red isn’t having it. Because Red’s pretty much defenseless except for Norma’s company, Vee’s group starts to beat Red when she refuses to give in. We definitely see why the two of them hate each other, and of course, why Red needs friends more than ever.
Poussey finds Taystee giving drugs as presents to Nicky, who is just as horrified to receive it. Et tu, Taystee?
We end with Bennett getting in trouble for his behavior with the searches. He looks so out of it. He tells Caputo that Daya is pregnant and Caputo looks chuffed as chips. AS CHIPS! IT’S WEIRD AND I AM UNCOMFORTABLE.