Orange is the New Black 203: Don’t Trust A Bitch With Funfetti

The Prodigal Daughter of White Trojan Horsery has returned to Litchfield, minus her bespectacled toxic popsicle and plus a newer harder attitude. What adventures await our little vanilla wafer? Time can only tell, inmating ritualists.


Enter Brooke Soso, the carbon copy of that one girl in your Women’s Studies class who wouldn’t shut up about that time she went to Ghana as part of her study abroad program and like, I don’t know, fucking breastfed the starving babies with AIDS, curing them of said AIDS and taking lots of pictures with all the little brown children! Brooke wants to be Piper’s best friend. Too bad Brooke has also been marked as Big Boo’s prison wife target. Ugh, we can all agree Big Boo is gross this season, right? Not that she wasn’t kind of gross last season, but now it’s less as a background laugh and more in a predatory everyone-on-this-show-is-terrible-but-she-in-particular-comes-off-like-a-person-to-avoid way.

Red’s in the bathroom casually shaving (as opposed to formally shaving) and hears a familiar singing voice. Why, it’s none other than Vee, and the way Red has an inner panic attack makes all of us here at homebase feel like Vee and Red have an intense past marked by betrayals and broken dreams! Red hightails it out of there like my latex-allergic ass whenever the geniuses at Pride decide to throw condom balloons into the crowd.

You know who are you, you bastards.

You know who you are, you bastards.

Your favorite clique is playing a raucous game of Celebrity that peaks with Poussey’s “the white Michelle Williams!” and the deep connection between her and her boo, Taystee. I just love everything about their friendship and their relationship and their deep emotional bond, platonic or nay. Also, it’s time for a flashback, so your feelings are about to bust out of their already tender love cages. Suzanne’s story is just as heart-strangling and effective as ever, with the child actors on this show continuing to smash it out of the park. I love the way Orange is the New Black treats flashback sequences like a superhero’s origin stories. It’s not just about the character’s time before they were incarcerated — it’s about how the character got their telltale physical traits, their larger-than-life personalities, why they choose the sidekicks or henchmen that they do, etc. It’s poignant and complicated and always really wonderfully acted, so of course, Suzanne’s origin story is no different. Flashback to young Suzanne visiting her new baby sister in the hospital. Cue OITNB-typical moments of subtle commentary on race — “She looks like you.” — and family — “That’s because we made her.” — all in one. Kid Suzanne gets very overstimulated by the experience of holding her baby sister, and a nice black nurse comes over to help her calm down by doing her hair, which she can probably tell has never been properly addressed by her very white parents. This is the origin of the Suzanne bantu knots.

Piper’s returned to her old cell, which feels to her like an intensely emotional homecoming. Morello gives Brooke her toiletries because she looks like she could be part white, and tells Vee that another black lady will probably provide her with a gift basket. Vee could not be more pissed, but apparently she forgot the most important part of prison?

Taryn Manning doesn’t have to wear fake teeth anymore, which means everything is right in Pennsatucky’s world. Except her former toadies are all pretty sure that they want to stage a coup, and Pennsatucky’s pretty sure that they’re jealous of her pearly whites. You can already see the rebellion burning in all their meth-yellowed eyes! Pennsatucky’s like, pretty much, whatever.

pretty much

Finally, it’s the Vee/Taystee confrontation y’all have been waiting for since… last episode. Anyway, Taystee’s getting irritated with her roommate Suzanne when Vee comes up and tries to make cozy. Except guess what, bitch? You weren’t anywhere to be found when Taystee got out, leaving her minus a support system and with no choice but to head back to prison. Before Vee leaves, she makes a note of giving Suzanne a nose boop and calling her by her real name. As everyone should know by now, a) Vee is not to be trusted, and b) Suzanne will do just about anything for someone who treats her like a human being for more than five seconds. Could Vee have picked a more vulnerable and desperate-to-please individual? Nope, that bitch could not.

Flashback to Suzanne and her little sister being dropped off to a sleepover that only her little sister has been invited to, an inevitably awkward situation. Did anyone else start sweating and getting upset as soon as this scene started, knowing just how cringeworthy it would end? Does anyone else feel like all the scenes involving young Suzanne have made your heart literally bleed into your brain and then explode into a million pieces? Okay, good, I’m not the only one. When Suzanne says that dragons are cool, I want to wrap my arms around her, I want to tell her how amazing she is and how she doesn’t need to feel bad just because her mom’s need to prove her abilities as a mother has bled into her need for Suzanne to prove herself to everyone.


Anyway, Suzanne is a perfect girl and I wish she were real and had been the same age as me so we could teach each other Shakespeare translated into Sindarin and write extremely dark fairy tales.

Daya and Bennett have one of their typical interactions that’s more depressing than it is cute these days. Like it was cute before they were making terrible decisions, such as having sex without a condom in a fucking prison. Now it’s just this sad doomed thing where Daya has to depend on Bennett for the health of herself and her child and Bennett doesn’t seem totally ready to be serious about anything. What a healthy and serious situation that will absolutely turn out in a positive no-flaws way! Mazel tov! Later, Bennett will give Daya spinach and it’s like kind of cute but also indicative of how desperate shit is and you want to say “aww” but instead you say “this could have been avoided so easily, dummies.”

This was filled out five minutes prior to the Daya/Bennett encounter.

This was filled out five minutes prior to the Daya/Bennett encounter.

Red says she needs a makeover because she needs to scare the shit out of Vee. Sophia’s fierce versus “fierce” line is probably one of the best on this season, I must admit. In Other White People News, Morello finds out Christopher is getting married to someone else on the day she’d picked out for their wedding. If tiny but insistent alarms aren’t going off in your head at this point, I’m not sure you’ve been paying attention. On one hand, Morello has a cute but semi-terrifying voice that sometimes says things that strike me as really fucking unhinged. On the other hand, everyone in prison is a little bit off their rocker, so maybe it’s just business as usual! At any rate, I was surprised at this point that Christopher wasn’t actually a volleyball in Morello’s basement with a face drawn on it in blood, you know? Because that’s sort of how Morello strikes me.

Literally, if Jesus walked in and was like hey, I'm available, I will give you three wishes if you'll just come with me - if you're with Rihanna, you walk away from Jesus. If you're with Rihanna, NOTHING ELSE MATTERS BUT THE SHEER FACT OF RIHANNA

Literally, if Jesus walked in and was like hey, I’m available, I will give you three wishes if you’ll just come with me — if you’re with Rihanna, you walk away from Jesus. If you’re with Rihanna, NOTHING ELSE MATTERS BUT THE SHEER FACT OF RIHANNA

Piper and Nicky have a cute reunion, talk smack about Alex and how they are now eternally bonded by the Great Homo Spit Chain, a term I think I invented but probably didn’t. Nicky seems to recall Alex being brokenhearted by Piper, and Piper seems to recall that Alex was a conniving cunt. Yeah, it’s the day hell freezes over, because I’m siding with Piper on this one, guys. Speaking of people who are on Piper’s side or trying to crawl up it, Soso spends the night crying and Piper, in what is probably a combined effort to be a decent human being but also shut this girl the hell up, comforts her with the knowledge she also cried on her first night. Brooke is, like, totally obsessed with Meadow, guys, since once again she cannot stop taking about the chick and I don’t know, her freckled breasts swinging low over the fields of the organic farm, the commune they lived on briefly while Brooke’s parents paid rent on her apartment in Georgetown… I’m just, I’m just saying you all know this girl, right?

Suzanne has overheard Vee asking Cindy to get her something from the maintenance room, which Cindy rebuffed in typical Cindy style. Suzanne takes it upon herself to win Vee’s loyalty with this task, and already we are feeling our chests flutter and our little hearts race because no, baby girl. You don’t have to do this. Even if you messed up that graduation song, even if no one believes you when you say you’d be good at Celebrity, you don’t have to do anything Vee wants you to do, honey. Because Vee figures out that Piper and Suzanne have a past, and despite the sheer beauty of the pep talk she gives Suzanne — “you are a garden rose” — I just kept cringing because I knew she’d picked out the one person who would never say no. And that continues to break my heart. Other Vee things that got to me: her and Red hugging it out was still the fakest shit ever. I don’t care how they laughed and teased each other, you know there is something absolutely cutthroat beneath their gentle reunion. Give it time, kids. Give it time. Or, witness it as tumblr user rexuality has put forth:

except mufasa doesn't die MUFASA DOESN'T DIE

except in this one mufasa doesn't die MUFASA DOESN'T DIE DON'T DIE MUFGASAS

Except in this one mufasa doesn’t die MUFASA DOESN’T DIE DON’T DIE MUFASA

We finally found out some more details about the night Piper and Pennsatucky had their showdown — the reason Piper was returned to Litchfield and not sent away forever was because Suzanne, humiliated from messing up her part in the pageant and overstimulated by the moment, punched Piper in the face, unintentionally making it look like the Pipertucky fight had been an equal match. Piper wants to thank Suzanne for this, but Suzanne rebuffs her offer to be friends, knowing it’ll please Vee if she stands up for herself.

I gotta address it: the Nicky and Big Boo shit, it was gross. I understand Nicky is someone for whom sex is kind of her only source of self-esteem but also this weird way she asserts power and Big Boo is like, the definition of creepy motherfucker this season, but this scene man. It was like watching someone drunkenly critique another person’s bowling technique. Blech, gross, misogyny, ugh.

The author’s general reaction to these scenes, because I guess I am a humorless wet blanket.

Oh, by the by! In picturesque Nopetown, Larry is back on the dating scene! It goes about as well as you’d expect, with him pretending like he is a great guy in his thirties whose parents don’t pay his rent, and us watching with one eyebrow raised or using this time to take a bathroom break or microwave some tofu. I know you really needed your Larry updates, here’s a picture of him in this episode:

I love his new haircut!

I love his new haircut!

Piper finally turns on Soso; she seems to have turned in her sanity, too. “I am a lone wolf, and a vicious one. Don’t make me rip your throat out with my teeth.” Not to worry, folks. This didn’t just become an episode of Hannibal. How do I know? For starters, they’re not killing off or belittling all my favorite female characters! Haha! Killing off all the women on your show is hilarious, isn’t it, Hannibal? Anyway. The show ends on Vee providing her new black posse with a funfetti cake, which, okay, is really appealing, but coming from Vee, we’re all a little suspicious. Don’t trust bitches with funfetti, guys. That’s your takeaway lesson from this episode.

I'm just going to use this image constantly for no reason other than to celebrate its existence.

I’m just going to use this image constantly for no reason other than to celebrate its existence.

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Full-time writer, part-time lover, freelancing in fancy cheese and cider.

Kate has written 130 articles for us.


  1. Dragons ARE cool! I’m glad we finally got to see some of Suzanne’s back story, but hated watching Vee manipulating her.

    I agree that the Sophia and Red fierce vs. ‘fierce’ exchange was one of the best of this series. Also, this series did not have enough Sophia.

  2. I damned lost it at the mayonnaise jar. Full on sputtering spit-take of laughter, well done.

    I have so many mixed feelings about this show and sometimes it’s hair-tearing but gahhhhh I am addicted.

  3. Ooooo I’ve been waiting for this! Totally agree about Big Boo being super creepy this season. Like what the fuck. Also, I totally knew Brooke’s equivalent in college (didn’t we all) and I hated how I had to scrounge around to make rent every month while she was rhapsodizing on world peace and all that shit. Some of us were too busy working two jobs to save the world is all I’m sayin.

  4. Did anyone else feel like Vee made the request of Black Cindy within ear shot of Suzanne on purpose? Because that seemed really sneaky and intentional to me. It was at that moment that I was like nope, this chick is BAD NEWS!

  5. I did a Buzzfeed “Which OITNB character are you” quiz before I started watching season 2 and I got Soso, and now that I know who she is, I… don’t really know how to feel about that. But I actually in real life do know a real person named Meadow (she’s only 3, but still). I live in B.C., I can’t help it, ok?

    Anyway, before I started season 2 I was glad you’re taking your time and doing only weekly recaps so I could have time to get caught up, and now that I’m caught up I’m impatient for the next one because I need to talk about my episode 4 feelings.

  6. Ugh, this episode was rather boring (in comparison with the other episodes following this one).

    Although it tries to explain Suzanne’s backstory, it doesn’t tell us anything at all except that she wasn’t really liked by her peers (who always thought she was strange and under-developed) and grew up under pressure. But it does unfortunately miss IMHO the most important point: how she got into jail!

    Suzanne’s flashback would’ve been alright if we’d learned something new about her but alas, most of the things from her past were things I’ve already guessed for myself.

    Also, I hate Vee with such a passion it’s not funny anymore, guys! She’s such a sociopath, with always manipulating people and playing stupid mindgames. Ugh Vee! Go! Away!

    To conclude, rather boring episode which doesn’t really tell us anything except that Vee & Red have history and I’m rooting for Red to take this B*tch down!

    • Hmm, I disagree. I think Suzanne’s backstory did a lot to humanize her (she’s been treated as a bit of a caricature up to this point, I think) and help people empathize with her more. I also think this episode set a lot of really important groundwork in creating tension and building up Vee’s sly, manipulative character. Nothing especially shocking happened, no, but a series needs to have some less-intense episodes or the points of high action won’t be as effective.

    • I keep getting the feeling that Suzanne may have a developmental disability. As far as how she got into prison, I wonder if someone got her into trouble. However, her parents don’t seem like the kind of people who would easily lose track of her. They come to see her, etc.

  7. Maybe it’s because I haven’t watched the whole season yet (applause, please!), or because I love Lea Delaria, or I haven’t paid fully attention to the storyline this season, but for whatever reason, I don’t think Big Boo is more gross than she normally is. I find her quite charming in a strange, yet fascinating way..:D

    (does this belong in the category of things you should only think, but never say out loud..?)

  8. Maybe it’s just me, but I found myself quite sympathetic to Brook by the end of the season, and I actually quite liked her. Maybe it was the (SPOILER ALERT) shock of that shower strip scene, where I went from laughing to feeling horrible for laughing, or the racist comments towards her (I’m also multiracial East Asian & white and they hit home), or the fact that I was annoyed by those two white girls in her protest group much more than I was annoyed by her, or her general conviction, or that talk with Piper near the end of the season, I don’t know.

    I kinda grew to love her by the end of it all, and I hope we find out a little more about her.

    • Oh, and the gross bullshit that was Nicky, Big Boo and Piper’s ~fight~ over having sex with her.

    • I also felt a lot of Brook sympathy. She was just constantly barraged with bullshit (such as Piper making fun of her name…this is something that makes me FURIOUS in real life). Her reactions to being in prison felt very natural to me. I think that I would have behaved similarly.

      She is one of the very few characters on the show who aren’t terrible.

  9. I had a whole lot of feelings about this episode. Perhaps even more than episode 4 (because come on, we all had feelings about ep 4) particularly because of my brother’s special needs and the fact that I’ve worked with dozens of children with special needs and medical conditions for the past decade. Suzanne has always been one of my favorites and no one else on this show is as capable of breaking my heart.

    I have to say though… I really liked Suzanne’s mom? I guess I didn’t see her as being pushy or trying to prove her parenting style. She was a bit unaware, yes, but she seemed really dedicated to making Suzanne feel accepted and empowered. The speech she gave to the other mom at the sleep over brought tears to my eyes. She seemed fierce in that way a lot of moms of children with special needs learn/have to be to keep other people from limiting and marginalizing their children. And despite how it ended, Suzanne seemed really thrilled at the beginning to go to the sleep over and be involved in the same things as her sister. It didn’t seem like she was being forced.

    Perhaps she shouldn’t have pushed Suzanne so hard, but you see in the way Suzanne is treated by her parents and her sister that she came from a loving family. Even in the hospital, despite the fact that her parents were obviously tired from childbirth, I think the actors were trying to show that her parents consciously try not to “other” her. They never shamed her for being the adopted child. Even the things she says speaks to her mother’s attempts to prepare her for reality but also make her feel good about herself. “Sometimes people don’t want to play with you, and that’s okay.”

    I think the world and society wore down Suzanne’s confidence and feelings despite the best attempts of her family, not the other way around.

    I warned you I had a lot of feelings. :)

    P.S. Big Boo has always been pretty gross to me but this season was just disgusting and predatory. I already feel like consent is a bit dubious in prison without one of the biggest, baddest protectors in the building exploiting her protection for sex. It was even grosser that the show never addressed it as unacceptable. No one called them out, no one said “this is wrong.” It was a joke. Eww.

    • “No one called them out, no one said ‘this is wrong'”

      This is really what bothered me about Big Boo (and Nikki, to a lessor extent) this season. I’m perfectly fine with flawed characters, even evil characters – I don’t have to want to hang out with a character for them to be compelling. But it bothered me that the show didn’t even treat Boo’s predatory behavior as problematic, it was just played for laughs.

    • I agree, Suzanne’s character pulls more of my heart strings than any other. Not so sure about her mom, though – the way she reacted to her little “episode” with her baby sister was off for me. And also, there must be a reason Suzanne was screaming “NO, MOMMY” when she attacked Piper.

      • okay, i need to go and watch this part again. suzanne was associating the blond piper with her blond mom, right? but what was the sitch again?

        • It was a flashback to the Xmas pageant, when Suzanne froze up before her solo. She fled the stage, encountered Flaca and Maritza in the hallway who made fun of her, ran out into the yard to see Piper beating up Tucky, and then started screaming “No, Mommy” and something about always being pushed too hard.

      • i assumed it was just because piper is the same kind of anaemic, neurotic waspy blonde as suzanne’s mom

    • Totally agree with you. Suzanne’s mom is doing her best IMO. I mean every parent want the best for their kids, and it’s not an easy task… My mom always says that babies don’t come with instructions so you have to learn while teaching.

    • Having just watched this episode and two adopted siblings, I have a lot of feelings about Suzanne’s story. Suzanne’s story elicited so much opportunity for discussions about race and adoption. On the one hand, you can see that Suzanne’s parents (or at least her mother) in many cases is advocating for her, particularly in regards to social behavior. Based on the episodes from her life that we saw, though, it also seems like her parents were totally unprepared to parent a child of color as white people. From her hair in the beginning, to the sleepover, to her high school graduation, it seemed as if they made little or no effort to ensure that Suzanne wasn’t isolated in a white community as a person of color.

  10. This is great.

    the character I had the strongest feelings about was Brooke. ugh. that girl.

    agreed with Mayonnaise and also Boo’s and Nicky’s predatory misogyny.

    • This is great.

      the character I had the strongest feelings about was Brooke. ugh. that girl. but the racist hate speech towards her was also awful.

      agreed with Mayonnaise and also Boo’s and Nicky’s predatory misogyny.

    • i actually liked larry better this season, altho i can’t remember if it was this ep where i began to like him more, so i won’t say anything.

  11. Uh oh…forgot to add some thoughts. lol. So anyway. Soso. TALKING. I liked how they showed how Piper was last season compared to this one. Prison changes you huh..I was glad to see A LOT of back story this season whether it was semi-related or really related. Anyway, the manipulating though. THAT SHIT WAS TOUGH TO WATCH. But dragons. I would’ve probably said the same thing if I were at that party. Those girls didn’t have ANY imagination.

  12. I’m glad I’m not the only person creeped out by Boo. I’m conflicted about Lea DeLaria in general: I totally respect the fact that she has spent all her career making lesbians, butch lesbians especially, more visible, but then she makes comments that come off as essentially misogynistic and I feel very gross about it. I know that there’s a generational divide etc but it reminds me of everything I hate most about my masculinity in terms of the misogyny I’m expected for perform and that others expect me to participate in. I shudder to think of how this impacts what my gender represents to femmes and other non-butch identified women.

    Boo seemed like a caricature to me this season; she was basically a scheming predatory creep who proved perverted enough to have sex with a dog, like some kind of homophobe projection. Not only is this a disappointing portrayal of a butch dyke, it also normalizes the creepy part for other butches. Thank god for Poussey.

  13. Oh god I literally choked on my tea at that Lion Queen comparison. LOOK AT THOSE LUXURIOUS MANES

    Also I was trying to describe OITNB to my mother and her first question was whether they had made an effort to include characters with mental illness/disabilities/etc which I’m so glad they’ve done with Suzanne. She is such a sweetheart and it broke me watching her try to please Vee. I’m still dying to know how Suzanne got in prison but I’m glad they took the chance to more fully humanize her first.
    I’m also realllllly liking how they seem to be doing more childhood flashbacks because a) these child actors are killing it and b) I think it was in the last ep’s comment section someone compared it to superhero origins and I LOVE that.

  14. Am I the only one who thinks Soso might be in prison for doing something other than a violation at a protest of some sort? Like, I feel they are going to shock/surprise us with her crime. And I am not at all surprised by Boo’s creepiness, I mean I don’t think anyone should ever lose sight of the fact that she had a previous girlfriend who was about to leave prison get jumped. She.Had.Someone.Jumped. And everyone seem really concerned for the ex-girlfriend of hers who was about to leave. Boo is not a nice person.

  15. Nice touch at the end when they play the Bobby Hamilton song ‘Crazy Eyes’ the soundtrack

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