Hello and welcome to the eighth recap of the third season of Orange is the New Black, a network television beauty pageant that pits Evangelical Christian mermaids against renegade Wiccan Werewolves to decide once and for all who’s worthy of the last Strawberry-Rita.
Welcome to mystery-meat hell, snitches. Red’s kitchen is the New World Order and that means bags of pork-and-cow-guts puree have arrived on the scene. Litchfield bought them wholesale from the local school district. No word yet on if they’ll also purchase the school’s surplus of six-month-old graham crackers and hard-as-a-rock, slightly gray raisin snacks.
Marizta and Blanca slice the bags of chunky meat smoothies open and slop them into a metal pan. Beef Wellington. It’s a celebration.
Red is pissed. She was hoping they’d be able to expand the vegetable garden with grazing land for cattle. She’d envisioned the day she could sacrifice her fattened calves to the Russian Gods of War and use their flesh to feed her prison kindred. All those innuendos with Cracker Barrel Healey were for nought.
The slop makes the cafeteria rounds. It’s a symbol of what actually trickles down when trickle-down economics is served to the masses. Beef Wellington, my ass.
Black Cindy, the New Jew on the Block, greets her table of fellow kosher diners with all the warmth and affection of a sitcom Bat Mitzvah. Judaism has saved them all from having to consume Guy Fieri’s backwash meat surprise-a-rooni.
Of course whenever Black people have something wonderful, there’s gotta be some jealous fool trying to scheme on taking it away or getting their portion of it. We see you, Piper. Can Jewish Black Cindy live, y’all?
Morello’s cool with it. Maybe one of her imaginary Jewish husbands will actually marry her and then she too can have a bowl of Stef’s vegan matzoh ball soup.
Piper, who’s never had life so hard before, wonders what Demarco is sprinkling on her meat chowder. Obviously, it’s meat-flavored Crystal Light. Piper is now jealous of both Jewish Black Cindy and Crafty-With-A-Flavoring-Packet Demarco.
Listen, JBC might be switching religions but she’s not one of those Norma-worshipping nutjobs. Huge difference. Huge.
At Norma’s table of Dianetics and drag queens, all followers are holding hands and whispering, “If you can’t love yourself, how the hell are you gonna love anyone else?” over and over again.
Poussey is so sad she’s not at that table with them. She was really hoping to lip-sync for her life and win. What’s the prize, you ask? Is it ten thousand dollars worth of cubic zirconium diamantes? Nope, it’s 30 seconds of intense eye-contact from Norma, La Santera Blanca.
Taystee tells Poussey it’s a cult. Black Cindy tells Poussey it’s a cult. Everyone tells Poussey it’s a fucking cult, and yet: they don’t know what it’s like to get touched by La Santera Blanca. None of them know what Poussey knows. None of them have seen the heavens overflowing with marigolds and semi-naked loverbois plucking on harps.
Poussey has seen the Promised Land. She’s been touched by Norma and that shit is too real for words. And if anyone has a pill for believing in this storyline, please send it my way. Actually do you have enough for all of us on the OITNB recap team? That’d be great, thanks.
In the hallway of broken dreams, Pensatucky meets one of the creepiest dudes to hit Litchfield yet, C.O. Charlie Coats. Like what kind of casting calls is OITNB putting out?
Wanted: White men who look like they could be pedophiles or serial killers or murderous clowns. Actually, if you look like you could be all three of those things, you’ve got the part.
C.O. Coates is on van duty with Pensatucky but since he doesn’t know his dick from a doorknob, Pensatucky must instruct him on how to be a guard and start a vehicle.
In the edgy white-girl section of the Litchfielmd dorms, Tank Girl and Bif Naked chit chat about interior design strategies. Tank Girl wants to cover the walls in monochromatic chevron wall paper. Alex isn’t having any of that. Chevron is over, Tank Girl. It’s fucking over.
So Alex does what any good Scientologist would do and uses a beard to have a baby while jumping on Oprah’s couch. A frightened Tank Girl flees the scene. Alex is surrounded by criminals, heavy rollers even the sheisty individuals. She doesn’t trust anyone, not even a beloved comic book heroine.
Flashback to Alex crying at a funeral and could she be anymore gorgeous in the moment? No. Alex is literal perfection. She’s at her mom’s funeral, without Piper. And I swear to Jewish Black Cindy, one of the best ways to weed people out of your life is to take attendance at a funeral. Alex’s mom sounded like she was the actual best. She cared for shelter dogs, fed homeless people, and loved her drug-dealing, gal-pal-having daughter. What more could you ask for in a mom?
Alex leaves the funeral looking so fly. Blue hair extensions hanging down her back, black leather jacket, etc. As she walks away from the funeral, Fahri rolls up in his totally neutral, not-used-for-selling-drugs and/or doing-illegal-activities car and scoops her up. Ugh, we all have that one friend who’s a complete bastard and yet somehow manages to be there during our roughest times.
Fahri is that friend. He’s the friend that says “fuck your ex-girlfriend” while offering you a bump of funeral cocaine. And if you’re really lucky, before you snort the coke, he’ll also put you on to a drug deal in Paris. Cuz money makes the world go round and your mom’s dead, so what do you have to lose? Nothing. Alex takes it all.
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I didn’t even read the recap yet I just wanted to say Gabby you are amazing.
Great recap, hilarious as always.
I may or may not have taken notes on Alex’s outfit at the funeral, her outfit was entirely too on point.
also corn roads? I can’t do it. Someone hold me.
i will hold you. did you click the link tho? that corn roads pic is unfortunately hilarious.
I just want to stroke Maureen’s hair and rest her head on my shoulder and tell her it’s going to be OK. Which I guess means that Emily Althaus is doing an excellent acting job.
i was like who? so i googled and yess! i love her and she’s the cutest. i hope her and suzanne fall in lurvveee.
I am so glad you knew her name I had just been calling her Suzanne’s cute white gal pal. Maureen is much quicker to type.
This episode was my least favourite of the season, with Piper’s picnic-table sermon taking the prize as the most cringeworthy, over-the-top, cheezeball, annoying-as-fuck scene in the entire series. Like really? Ugh.
On a completely unrelated note, “Healey can’t help her because despite all his rage he is still just a rat in a cage” is the smoothest pop reference ever inserted into a paragraph. Because it’s so true! But it’s also a lyric! But it’s true!
and i agree with you, re-watching that scene with Piper and her perve panty grandstanding made me feel so tired. like what is this? who wrote this? why is it happening?
if this had been an episode of Wentworth, Bea would have nodded at Boo and Boo would have smacked Piper across the face with her chess board and her and Morello would have gone back to playing chess.
yes yes. that scene was THE worst. utterly painful.
I agree the picnic table scene with Piper was awful but overall this was one of my favorite episodes of the season. Season 1 spoiled me with so much Alex and then after hardly any of her last year it was great to finally see a whole lot of her in this episode plus get individual flashbacks for the first time in two years. As you can tell I agree with Gabrielle that Alex Vause is literal perfection so I might be a bit biased haha
Jewish Black Cindy bwahahahahaha! Can she live yall?! Can black folks have ONE happy thang without white folks scheming to take it away??? Lol
Black Cindy becoming Jewish Black Cindy was my favorite story line of the season lmao
same. 10000000 times over again.
jewish black cindy has always been the best damn character on this show and i’m overjoyed to have her among my people. shit, she’s more dedicated to judaism than my shiksa sister-in-law.
ditto being overjoyed to have jewish black cindy among my people!! <3
Yeah…because taking the kosher meals in the first place had nothing to do with cultural appropriation, right?
is it? i don’t think they’re asking for kosher meals because they suddenly thought this one aspect of jewish life sounded cool. they’re asking because the food is better; i know a lot of non-jews who ask for kosher meals on planes because the quality is generally superior to regular airplane food. i have no idea; i don’t think i’ve gotten a meal on a plane since the early 90s. the show didn’t mention whether or not there were jewish inmates unable to receive kosher meals because they’d all been spoken for (that might be an actual issue), but if all this fictional prison requires to dole them out is a request on the lunch line, they have to be ready for those meals to be requested.
i just looked this up and apparently as of 1984, if inmates want to request a special diet, they have to submit an application to the prison chaplain, but whatever, this is hardly the most unrealistic thing to happen on this show.
i have no idea how those microwaved tv dinners they called kosher meals happened to have crunchy vegetables in them, but if they do, damn, black cindy and taystee et al can have a table at my bat mitzvah any day.
Yeah, I didn’t feel like it was appropriation either but especially because of the outcome for Black Cindy. Maybe it started with crunchy vegetable frozen dinners, but Cindy discovered something genuine she wanted to dedicate herself to along the way and I thought that was awesome. I mean, that was the realest explanation of Judaism I’ve ever heard on a TV show (her answer to the rabbi on why she wanted to convert). Also previously the only Jewish characters on the show were Larry and Larry’s family and I was NOT happy with that representation so… I am so here for this
Can we talk about the ATROCIOUS Holocaust joke in this episode? I completely loved Black Cindy’s conversion storyline. Honestly, it’s one of the best portrayals of Judaism on TV, as far as I’m concerned. But did we have to balance that with a Holocaust joke so subtle that a lot of people probably missed it? (If you missed it and want to know: in the board meeting, Linda makes a joke about getting soap from the Jews — the Nazis made soap out of the human fat from their concentration camps.)
YES, that was a despicable line from a scene with a despicable group of people. At least the character got fired for it, though.
But like, why? What was that showing us about anything? That character did literally no other things. Were we supposed to be learning that the corporation is… not that evil? because they fire people who make horrible jokes? It was pointless and, in my opinion, incredibly upsetting.
No, I agree that it was completely gratuitous and unnecessary to the plot of the show.
Yo, to be totally honest, I didn’t understand her joke but I knew it was a Holocaust joke.
Googling the joke has made me absolutely sick. I missed a huge opportunity to call out that cruel attempt at a cheap anti-semitic joke. There was no need for it whatsoever.
It was really subtle. Like, it was clear it was anti-Semitic from context, but you really have to know some things to get how truly awful the joke was.
Oh shit! I knew that comment meant something deeper, but didn’t know (or remember) that about the Holocaust. Damn.
i got the joke and i mean, is there such a thing as a non-fucked-up holocaust joke? i took it as linda being frustrated by how gross the corporate fat cats are being about prisoners’ lives.
I saw it more as her being opportunistic and showing off how “cool” of a woman she could be with the boys.
“These Kosher meals are really expensive.”
“OH WAIT I KNOW A GOOD ANTI-SEMITIC RESPONSE TO SHOW OFF HOW COOL AND FUN I CAN BE. HA HA, WE ALL AGREE THAT RACISM IS FUNNY, RIGHT? RIGHT GUYS? GUYS?”
That’s exactly what it was… she was trying to be “one of the guys” and failed miserably.
That’s also the kind of thing you can write if your showrunner is Jewish. A Gentile showrunner would be well advised to stay far away from that.
I didn’t think the joke was subtle at all, I’m surprised that so many people missed it. Maybe it’s because I’m European.
Okay okay, bullet points:
-“a network television beauty pageant that pits Evangelical Christian mermaids against renegade Wiccan Werewolves to decide once and for all who’s worthy of the last Strawberry-Rita.” IF ONLY. It would’ve improved the season by A LOT
-CORN ROADS I AM DONE DONE DONE! White people trying to be black is the most hilarious/sad thing ever
-I’ve never liked Piper, but this was the episode where i started to HATE Piper
-Alex really did look like a drowned rat in that flashback. Like I literally cringed at the featured image.
-Puddle of Mudd oh wow I feel 18?
-Poussey Poussey Pousseyyyyyy I feel for her so strongly and I just want to squeeze her cute little face and say it’s gonna be okay, but like IS IT? She’s in prison. I think that’s why this show gets me so hard, because like even when the characters are “okay”, they’re still in prison. And so it’s like, no one ever gets a happy ending here.
-I just generally love your captions Gabby, they are great, this recap was great, thanks a million
thanks for the high praise, alaina. thanks for all of the bullet points. makes my heart all fluttery.
poussey, poussey what are we gonna do about poussey? they need to pick a lane for her. if she’s going to have a drinking problem, let’s go deep into that. if she’s going to have a religious awakening, let’s give her something sublime to work with. but half-assing all her pseudo-storylines isn’t doing it for me. it’s not development. it feels cheap.
Yeah, I totally feel this. Poussey is a babe and an awesome character, but they’re just going too wishy washy on her.
So even though Laura Prepon is amazingly sexy I’ve never been a huge fan of Alex as a character. Still watching her literally fear for her life while Piper tries to live out some kind of Breaking Bad fantasy is making me sympathize with Alex a tad more. They’ve both done more than their fair share of gross and self serving things but this season Piper was a lot more grating than usual.
Also can I just say I love the music choices this show makes? “Getting to know you” will never be the same for me.
After watching this episode, I officially gave up being a Piper defender. She is THE WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOORST.
Just want to add that I had a really really great dream about Poussey/Samira Wiley last night and even though I’m sad it’s over I’m still kind of floating on the memory, you know?
float on, charlotte, float on!
where can i buy me a copy of that hip new single “YOU’RE THE FUCKIN’ WARDEN!!!”
also did piper’s speech remind anyone else of this:
how is this not available to stream on netflix??
i torrent 4 u.
The disturbing scene between Coates and Doggett made me so sad. I know a consensual relationship is impossible between them but I was happy she had someone to have a bit of fun with. Also, Poussey breaks my heart!!
I hate Healey more than anything omg. He is just the worst. I hated that actor’s character on Weeds, too, and I think that makes me hate this dbag even more.
LOVE Berdie, though. Thank goodness for her presence
Oh man, the intersectional sofa was my favorite bit! Literally laughed out loud. I’m actually kinda glad Piper is going down this rabbit hole, although it’s not like we need another despicable, entitled character on this show. She surprised herself when she beat the shit outta Pensatucky and now she’s inhabiting that space more and more. She doesn’t realize how much she gets off on being cutthroat quite yet, but I feel like the illusion of piety she’s been maintaining is close to the breaking point.
I really wish Poussey’s storyline wasn’t just about her spinning her wheels. I would have loved to see her and Suzanne really work things out because, not only do they both deserve resolution, but I think Poussey would really enjoy being one of the few people who can puzzle out how Sue’s mind works.
I’m actually really pissed about Pensatucky this season. Not her character, but the whole thing with CO Coates. I’m really done with that kind of shit being on my TV. If the writers wanted to go to that well, I think that exploring the !entirely ignored! inherently non-consensual nature of Daya and Bennet’s relationship would have been so much more satisfying. Berdie could have been involved, we could cry buckets and Daya maybe would have had a chance at having some fucking agency.
I agree. Tucky’s episode was my least favourite because it seemed like they had to go to such…drastic measures to paint her in a sympathetic light. And I vehemently agree that the idea of non-consensual relationships on OITNB is terribly dealt with.
I agree I always found it weird how in season 1 the show romanticized Daya and Bennett and in season 2 they touched on it a little bit and it was just dropped. I would’ve done more with the power dynamic between them.
So much YES to this. They just skimmed right over this as if it was twu wuv, so who cares about consent/power dynamics issues.
“human sack of instant mashed potatoes”. LOL. Accurate.
I love these recaps!
I thought and think the power dynamic played out between Pennsatucky and CO Coates has been written very honestly, and makes me incredibly uncomfortable for Pennsatucky when she is with him, as she is “serving an corrupt master honourably”, and treating him with consideration, honesty, kindness and interest, all of which are revealed to her later in twisted reciprocation as abuse, violence, contempt and desire to hurt her and punish her.
It is excruciating watching Pennsatucky’s genuine attempts to connect and reach out, and give respect to CO Coates and see the sadism and fucked up world that this guy starts to manipulate her into. It is one of the clearest depictions of pimp and pimped, and it is all the more painful seeing the depth and simplicity with which Pennsatucky just wants to connect with another human. Real sad. When they first get to talking on the way to the doughnut shop there is a dialogue wherein Pennsatucky is framed by CO Coates as an unknown quantity, in that, she could be dangerous, and why the hell should he trust this felon? But unfortunately Pennsatucky is too generous to this Sadist and she offers him protection of sorts, which backfires on her later. I did not know what was going to happen to Pennsatucky whenever she was with this guy, but all sorts of violence started to be implicated. I am actually surprised she wasn’t killed. And, same goes for him at Pennsatucky and Boo’s hands. Mixed feelings.
“We almost lost Red to this human sack of instant mashed potatoes.”
This is both hilarious and an insult to instant mashed potatoes everywhere.
“She asks Daya if she’s thought some more about giving her baby to Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. Daya shrugs; she’s not sure if they can handle another baby. Aleida’s smacks Daya in the face and asks her if she’s that stupid. Of course they can. This would be their first Latino baby so you know it’d get spoiled.
I CAN’T EVEN. This is just too good. Also all the Scientology stuffs.
Was this the episode where Red kept popping up into all scenes to apologise for the food? I really enjoyed that.
omg so glad you liked the scientology jokes. haha. i wasn’t sure if they fell flat or not.
Those were golden, especially in light of that recent interview that Prepon gave to a Scientology magazine.
I find myself increasingly interested in Doggett. I think it’s been really interesting to watch her development as a character and she’s certainly grown on me as a character. I therefore really wanted to punch Coates in the face because that guy is awful.
Also, I really hope we see more of Berdie in the future because she was a great addition to the show. I loved watching her press all of Healy’s racist/misogynist/generally-being-an-arse buttons by being so much more competent (and a better person) than him.
Sometimes I feel like a lot of this show is just written so to make edgy quotes or funny gifs or something, but not for character development or a real plot line. Case in point: that ridicoulous speech Piper gave about panties. It sounded like something the writer would hope gets quoted on the internet as something hilarious and empowering or something, but I just cringed.
Also all the smart feminist statements the characters drop, while true, are incredibly hard to take seriously if it doesn’t seem to fit the character.
I do care about the show though and I love the recaps!
insightful and hilarious as always! Especially loved the Scientology jokes & the Rent and Puddle of Mudd references (s/o to middle school me). (Also, fuck capitalism, both Piper’s and the Company’s.)
Gabby, this was perfection.
Initially thought Corporate Weasel Jr. did a shit job arguing for books, education, etc. Educating women should help women to have some opportunities when they get out of prison and therefore reduce recidivism (which should save the government money in the long run). Then I remembered that if there were less prisoners then the prison company probably wouldn’t get as much money from the government. Kinda wish they had brought up that point a bit more explicitly.
The solution to the ridiculous debate about donuts selling other doughnuts or being cannibals for eating other doughnuts is clearly to have one doughnut eating the other doughnut out.
“…one of the best ways to weed people out of your life is to take attendance at a funeral.”
I read this sentence, stopped and reread it out loud.
Yes. It makes me want to cry, but yes.
I was 14 when my mom died and my dad (ex-husband) refused to go to her funeral. How fucked up is that? By then he’d remarried and SHE was there for me during that awful time, but Dad stayed home on principle.
Note to people: You go to funerals because you support the mourners. How you feel about the deceased should be secondary.
I love my dad, but I don’t think I’ll ever be able to forgive him for that.
I really feel you here. After my dad died, I had a friend who had actually lived with us, who I thought really cared about him, who didn’t even send a note. To me, that was the last straw for our friendship.
Death is hard as fuck. I have had fights with loved ones that lasted months because our grief didn’t match up and we just kept triggering each other no matter how hard we tried to make it work. But even that was better than no contact. We always ended up ok because we knew the other person was hurting, and we knew they had tried. It’s the complete absence that I can’t forgive. It’s better to try but make a hash of it than not even be there.
i had this one friend that i loved so much but when her dad died i disappeared. i thought it’d be better to leave her alone and i didn’t know what to say any way. when i finally called her months later, maybe even a year later, she didn’t have time for me. rightfully so. and she ended our convo with “you could have at least called me. i needed you. friends call each other when their parents die” and then she hung up. we never mended our friendship. and she was right to cut me off, i proved that i wasn’t reliable and that i was totally selfish. i’ve never forgotten that and now it’s something that i’ve used to protect my heart during times of grief.
i can’t imagine having that type of barrier between myself and a parent tho. so sorry you’re going through that. much love.
Soso is me every time HH favorites/retweets something of mine. I feel so accomplished. Plus also it instantly gets another 20 favorites/retweets, so that’s always fun.
OK, but for real… where’s that cemetery?
I think that the reason why Sophia doesn’t like Benny is because she blames him for her son acting out. Also I agree why isn’t Flaca head of the panty enterprise? It’d be interesting to see this lighthearted character become more ruthless and dark. I mean her mother is a seamstress and it makes more sense. It’s not like Piper needs the extra money anyways if worst comes to worst she could stay with her family or Cal for a while when she gets out or even Larry.
I think part of it is he wasn’t acting out (that she knew of) until he met Benny. Also part of it might be a class difference thing.
you…dont know why someone wouldn’t like Benny? Is there more than one Benny?
Because the Benny I remember cracked a doorway by slamming a door to intimidate his aunt (or whoever the lady taking care of Gloria’s kids is). He straight up refuses to look at them during one of their visits and thinks it’s hilarious that they’re intimidated by him. That Benny? Who was also being a shit when Gloria was trying to tutor him?
Gloria’s other kid seemed cool though.
Chiming in with Gabby love for this recap. Hallelu!
Thanks Gabrielle for by far my favorite recap of season 3 on this site! Yes Alex Vause is perfection and I was so excited to finally see her flashbacks of what happened after her Mom died/Piper left. It’s no wonder she thinks Kubra sent someone after her in there and rightfully so based on her experience of seeing what he can do to people who betray him or let him down. I literally yelped when I saw that Lolly was keeping track of her every move! And on a completely shallow note…if I wasn’t already gay Laura Prepon’s dance moves while rubbing her hands all over her body definitely would have made me switch teams :D