“Orange Is The New Black” Episode 103 Recap: Lesbians Are Very Dangerous

Let’s just go right ahead and kick off this recap with a gif of Alex. Let’s make that a thing that we do, okay? Okay. This one comes to us courtesy of tumblr user ladyadventuress, and it’s a great way to respond to homophobes, crazy exes, and all those angry men whose girlfriends you’ve stolen over the years.



We’re in the burnt-out ruins of a house. A firefighter is taking cell phone photos of financial documents leftover from the fire. I smell fraud. It smells like burnt toast, or the charred blackened ruins of my soul in the wake of Bomb Girls being canceled. Yes, it’s still a war zone in there, and yes, my heart still bleeds Betty McRae. Which reminds me: If you’ve swept through this show like a sapphic tornado and are looking for more lesbian shows to consume in your natural disaster-like state, please download both seasons of Bomb Girls and then join the rest of us in our emotional prisons.

But back to the ffffflllllaaassshhhhhbbbbaaaccckkkkk. The same firefighter is getting changed post-fire situation, and wow, isn’t that the cutest bra ever? Maybe I’m biased because I love a girl who can rock even the tackiest pink lingerie. We realize this is Sophia, and then we flash forward to her current amazing self.


i make no apologies for gratuitously photoshopping crowns onto sophia as she is amazing

Pornstache is ogling Piper while she gets changed. Yes, that’s his character’s name. Pornstache is one of those interesting blends of misogynistic nasty and comedic relief that this show does pretty darn well; he’s such a caricature of macho bullshit that he’s almost completely neutered in terms of his threat to the prisoners, but he has his moments where you feel the shitstorm of patriarchal rape culture he represents. This is one of those moments.


We find out how the prison divides up its prisoners and surprise, it’s by race. Nicky calls Piper out on being afraid that she could be bunking near Alex soon. Nicky sees your dyke drama and she calls you on your dyke drama, and that’s the sign of a true lesbro.


Piper needs to pee but ah, the blasted Satan stall is taken. Yes, there is a stall occupied by a woman talking to the devil. Yes, it is the only stall with a door on it. As someone who had to strategically plan their shits around perfect timing and hidden campus bathroom locales, I cannot imagine the hell that is completely non-private bathrooms. Ladies, don’t tell me you have not done this either. I don’t know at what point I internalized the socially popular fact that girls don’t poop, but damn, it is hard to shake.


Sophia is also in the bathroom, and she lets Piper know the 411 on the bathroom situation. She also shows off her homemade duct tape flip-flops.


She is amazing, and I’m in love with her, whatever.

Sue (or Crazy Eyes, but I’ll refer to her as Sue because I have a lot of feelings about this character and her dehumanization) comes in as Piper is peeing. Sue is making romantic eye expressions at Piper during said peeing. I can see how this might be awkward. To make it less awkward, I’ve inserted a cat into this scene, as cats improve everything that could possibly go bad for a homo.


i don’t think the cat worked

Bennett, who is the nice cute guard, is talking to Pornstache, the creepy misogynistic guard, about having sex with the prisoners. This is ironic because Bennett has that nice cute little thing going with Daya, and Pornstache is an uninformed idiot who thinks when ladies are kept together in a small space and deprived of dick, they go mad for the hetero sex. Buddy has clearly never been to a women’s college or Girl Scout camp. Pornstache makes a move on Sophia, and she turns his ass down as she is incredible and I love her.


Pornstache and Bennett have a moment discussing Sophia, and wow, Bennett, way to be a transphobic piece of shit? I can’t tell if he’s trying to fit in by talking some macho transphobic bullshit, or if those are his real feelings, but wow, okay, no. Even Pornstache doesn’t talk that kind of shit about Sophia, despite totally objectifying her and focusing on her genitalia. Bennett, I know you were in Afghanistan and have a nice cute face, but your words are neither nice nor cute and I am judging you and your moves super hard from now on.

Picture 192

now all i can think about is blade runner

Sophia is in line for her meds, only to find out they have cut her off her regular hormone treatments. The pharmacist tells her she’ll need to talk to her counselor about this Grade A bullshit. Oh, she will talk to her counselor alright.

Watson, one of the new inmates, has been assigned to bunk with Miss Claudette. If you recall, no one fucks with Miss Claudette even more than no one fucks with Red, and Watson goes right ahead and fucks with Miss Claudette. We assume this will not be ending well for Watson.

Piper is picking up her new uniform. Alex is there, too, looking like her usual hot snarky self. Alex remembers Piper’s shoe size because anyone in a lesbian relationship knows that you memorize your partner’s shoe size by the second date. Hello, you need to know your optimum clothing-borrowing options. Why rock one flawless dyke wardrobe when you can combine your powers and rock two-in-one?

Picture 193Picture 194Picture 195

Piper is going for a run on the prison track, which is somehow still nicer than any of our athletic fields at Catholic school. I guess the prison system cares more about fitness than the Pope? Sue catches up with Piper and recites a poem she wrote for her. I wish I could say that writing poems to woo girls is not something I have done multiple times in my life, but that would be a lie. I have written a lot of poems pre- and post-sex. A lot. Piper is not really into what the poem implies, and brings up her fiance. Sue doesn’t give a shit about your heteronormative institutions, Piper.

Picture 196noshithasbeengiven

Unfortunately, the track is being closed due to budget cuts, and Piper and Sue are informed that their swirling must be taken elsewhere. I hear swirl and all I can think about is how deprived I am of soft serve ice cream.

Sophia tells Healy that she needs her hormones, no ifs, ands or buts. Healy says she can’t see a doctor unless it’s an emergency. She does this, courtesy of pipeschapman‘s gifs:

I just want to kiss her face because everything she does makes me love her even more.

Piper’s sitting alone at lunch until Alex tries to sit down across from her. Oh, Alex. Unpopular opinion: Alex, you can do so much better. Sue notices this development and asks Piper if Alex is bothering her. Alex is just trying to have a conversation about boundaries or whatever, but Piper takes this opportunity to say that yes, Alex is totally bothering her, and she’s a meanie. I’m not sure Piper knows what she’s dealing with, but it soon involves the throwing of pie and Sue calling Piper “her wife.” I wish throwing pastries at people’s faces was all it took to get gay married these days. I might actually have a wedding if I just got to throw pie at my wife’s face and then eat a lot of it.

You know what? On second thought, you’re all invited to my wedding, where I will be throwing and eating lots of pie.

Sophia gets to see the doctor because there’s a corgi bobblehead in her colon, and she finds out that they’re now taking her off her hormones entirely because they fear liver damage. Sophia knows this is bullshit and calls the situation on its bullshit, but the doctor isn’t budging. I’m ridiculously pissed for her at this point.


This flashback made me cry, so please prepare yourself for the crying. Sophia is trying on outfits, and her wife is trying to help. Crystal tells her she needs to look like a mature lady, and gives her a less teenage-girl-vibes dress. Crystal pleads with Sophia to at least keep her penis if she’s going to go through with the surgery, and the conversation is one that’ll rip out your heart. You can see Sophia’s inner struggle to honor her own needs and identity while simultaneously wanting to make her wife and family happy. When Sophia and Crystal kiss, their son walks in on them, and quickly leaves in a huff. Yeah, my heart is breaking all over the place on this one.

Picture 199


Piper calls Larry and they have a fairly hilarious conversation where Larry slowly and sexily describes the organic fair trade groceries to her. Oh, yuppies. What would we do without you? NPR probably wouldn’t be funded, for one. Then Larry attempts to move into the realm of actual phone sex, which crashes and burns for him because Piper would rather listen to a description of buffalo mozzarella than contemplate sex with Larry. I’m with you, Piper. I will listen to someone graphically describe the contents of their gym locker over a graphic description of hetero sex. Am I biased? Yeah, I’m biased, and these recaps are biased, but if you came to a lesbian site and don’t want me to show a lesbian bias, then I don’t know what you expected.


Daya’s new roommate does not want her posting her art on their walls. Bennett says the art is allowed. Bennett, you’re being nice and cute now, but that does not excuse your bullshit transphobia earlier and you will be on watch.

and maybe later you can draw me like one of your french girls

and maybe later you can draw me like one of your french girls

Piper gets a visit from Polly and Piper’s mom. Piper’s mom is everyone’s favorite brand of WASP mom with Tory Burch Limited Edition Stick up her ass, and makes this conversation about Piper’s dwindling fertility. Polly seems pissed at Piper for not being present during business decisions, which okay, we’ll hand it to her, Piper going to jail at the start of their joint business venture is a shit situation that is technically Piper’s fault. And Piper’s contribution to all of this is that she really doesn’t want a prison wife.

In Red’s kitchen, it is noted that vegetables that could be doubled for dildos have been disappearing. Woooooow. I look forward to your defensive comments re: using vegetables for dildos. Sophia tells Red that she needs estrogen, but Red’s not going to start pushing estrogen, despite the fact that we are to assume her kitchen deals in a lot of other substances. Red does say she’ll give her some natural solutions to low estrogen, which is very 1970s wiccan lesbian of her.

then maybe you should try hanging onto something vagina shaped

a problem we can all relate to, i’m sure

FFFLLLLAAASSSSHHHHBBBBAAACCCCKKKKK to Sophia buying sneakers with her son Michael. Michael is a little man after my own heart, as I too am a sucker for expensive shoes that appeal to boys. Sophia has a lot of credit cards in her wallet, and I’m willing to bet they are not all hers. An old firefighter friend recognizes Michael, and then does a doubletake at Sophia. The exchange is awkward and sad, and sends Michael running out the door. Again, why does my heart have to hurt this much?

Piper goes to see Healy, only to find out that there’s been a request for her and Sue to bunk together. And if we know anything about Healy and lesbianism, well. Here’s a priceless set of lines:

Picture 205Picture 206Picture 207Picture 209Picture 210



Anyway. FFFFLLLLAASSSSHHHBBBAAACCCKKKKKKK. Piper is applying for a job at a bar where Alex just so happens to be drinking with her friends. If I recall, this was the era of long corduroy pioneer skirts at H&M (which I owned in dark brown, whatever, middle school was fun) so her pioneer outfit is right on track. Alex is really working that circa 2003 rockabilly riot grrrl thing, and I just don’t understand how there isn’t a line of girls waiting to smash their mouth into her mouth at all times. Piper orders a margarita and Alex comes over and tease-flirts her. Oh man, I love tease-flirting. That’s my brand of flirting right there.

and by that i mean the ability to handle at least one fist

and by that i mean the ability to handle at least one fist

Back to life, back to reality. Larry is hanging out with Piper’s brother, who is pulling a Lars and the Real Girl except with more banjos. They talk about masturbating until you’re about to orgasm, and then stopping yourself. Apparently this is called edging and it sounds like the most miserable shit in the world. I look forward to your defensive angry comments re: the benefits of edging.

Piper now has prison money to spend at the prison store, so she’s handing out prison presents in return for past prison favors. Prison Christmas has come early this prison year! Sue’s there to visit her prison wife, but Piper takes her aside and explains that she definitely can’t be prison married because she’s got a not-prison future husband and she’s really prison sorry. Sue seems to take this a little too well, so we can assume this will blow up gloriously at a later time.

am i good prisoner yet is this how be good prisoner

am i good prisoner yet is this how be good prisoner

Sophia is at her visitation with Crystal, and she’s begging Crystal to sneak in estrogen for her. Crystal does not react well, and tells her she’s not going to risk the penalties. There’s a lot to her critique that sounds like the typical “your trans* identity and its needs are all selfish pursuit” rhetoric, and that hurts my damn heart. Crystal tells Sophia to “man up” and come home to their son. God fucking damn it.

Miss Claudette gets Watson kicked out, because again, you don’t fuck with Miss Claudette. We don’t yet know why Miss Claudette is a) a total badass and b) feared by everyone in the prison, but definitely look forward to our finding out.

There’s a scene involving Larry and masturbating to porn, but we won’t be talking about it here. Things this recap doesn’t give a shit about: Straight guys jerkin’ it. Big ol’ what to the ever.


Piper runs into Alex in the bathroom, and confronts her about Alex naming Piper and thus getting her thrown in prison. Alex denies this, but also points out that Piper was conscious of what she was doing, even excited by the possibility of being a bad girl for a while. She kind of has a point, guys. I get why Piper is mad at her, but I also don’t get why Piper is acting like an innocent girl who did nothing wrong when she was just as guilty and conscious of her decisions as Alex. Alex, I love you, I want you to be happy and continue being the grey area badass you are, but damn you could probably do better. I will still root for this if you want this to happen, but honey. Your fellow top thinks you need a more considerate bottom.

in the biblical sense! in multiple positions!

in the biblical sense! in multiple positions!

Daya and Bennett have a moment. God damn everything, I do not know how I feel about this anymore.

Piper calls Larry and tells him to find out if Alex is the one who snitched on her. Larry says okay, but clearly little buddy is starting to pick up on the fact that his fiancee is awfully obsessed with her ex-girlfriend. Some day this will all make sense, Larry.

Piper gets reassigned as Miss Claudette’s roommate! This could either be terrifying or really wonderful for all parties involved.

and i hold a pride parade here once a year

and i hold a pride parade here once a year, very popular

Sophia sees Pornstache has just traded a blow job with an inmate for drugs. This triggers a FFFLLLAAASSSHHHBBBAAACCCKKKKK to Sophia getting arrested in her home. Her son Michael is sitting on the stairs with her wallet, and I think we’re supposed to assume he somehow was the one who got her arrested? Urgh. Little pains in my heart all over the place.

Back to the modern dayo, and Pornstache is straight up propositioning Sophia. Thank goddesses she turns him down, and I just want to give her a gigantic hug and a flower crown and take her away from this shit mess. The panic in her face when she’s tweezing her chin in the mirror…phew.


Later that evening, Piper and Miss Claudette are snuggled like two bugs in a prison rug, when surprise! Surprise urination on floor courtesy of Sue! Oh, that’s really lovely. Part of me was kind of like, well, it’s a linoleum floor and it’s just pee, but then I realized that the cells don’t come with paper towels and Swiffers.

this no how be good prisoner

this no how be good prisoner

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

Kate has written 130 articles for us.


  1. The only thing that would make this show better would be welcoming Clea Duvall to their cast!

  2. Well this had all the awesome things:
    Alex gif
    Arrested Development references
    Defensive comments re things

    These might be my favourite recaps!

    And given the previous posts’ comments sections have been 70% somehow related to Alex I’ll just start it off:

    Unfff, Alex

  3. I’ve already watched the series twice and I am loving these recaps. So on point. “AND I HOLD A PRIDE PARADE HERE ONCE A YEAR, VERY POPULAR” <3

  4. Your recaps are my favourite! All hail Queen Sophia! And P.S – edging is awesome! Just not when the incorrigibly lame Larry does it…

    • Hell yeah! I was like,”Oh shit, this sounds familiar… wait? No way?! They put Bo$$ in this?!?!” *Insert Spanish football voice impersonation* Goooooaaaallllllll!!!

  5. I love the flower crowns on Sofia! I just want to hug her ever time she comes on screen.
    Also, the Princess Bride reference perfectly depicts what I thought when watching that scene.

  6. Is it bad that part of me secretly likes Piper because I am convinced that she is eventually gonna go back to her lesbian loving ways and make sweet sweet prison love to Alex??
    (I have only just finished this episode though so DON’T RUIN IT GUYS)

  7. i watched the first 4 episodes until 4 this morning, and had to be at work at 8. my eyes won’t really stay open, but i do not regret it.

    also these are super wonderful recaps and i love your captions/flower crowns.

  8. Your gratuitous photoshopping—my favorite kind of photoshopping—made me dream a dream of a world where the commissary stocks up on some nice crowns

    Interesting, sad fact: according to this article (http://wapo.st/13jImcU), the butch/little boy’s wing was a reality in a Virginia prison.

  9. Yup, at this point, after watching all 13 episodes, I feel Alex is too good for Piper. I don’t hate Piper or anything, but I don’t find her as enigmatic as Alex. And also, the way she treats everyone around her- Alex, Larry, fellow inmates feels too self serving for me to feel really good about it.

    • Yeah, I don’t dislike Piper but I definitely think she’s got a lot of issues to work through and (ATTN: SPOILERS) as shown in the finale and as Alex says to Larry, Piper is the one who seems to be at the root of all the drama and problems for both of them. I do think Alex deserves someone who can commit to her but I also get how “inevitable” (to use Piper’s words) they both seem to each other.

      • I think we’ll just have to see how that works out. My analysis is that as long as Alex is a drug dealer- and she said she doesn’t want to do anything else, she will never have enough time for Piper and they will always risk going to prison. Which is what caused their relationship to end in the first place.

        And Piper evidently needs someone like Larry for her every beck and call, because she’s quite high maintenance. And that’s something Alex will never be able to give her.

        Logically, I just don’t see how it can work out. Just relationship wise, regardless of chemistry. Even though I’d really love if it worked out.


          I don’t think it’s fair for everyone to have a come bash at Piper party. I love Alex. I think Larry is nice. But after watching 13 episodes and flashbacks, I see more chemistry between Piper and Alex than Piper and Larry.

          That being said, it’s not as if Piper is choosing between two similar people who just happen to be of different genders, she’s choosing between a “WASPy hipster life” and an “adventurous life with a former drug dealer who makes it clear she could go back to that life post prison.”

          I mean that’s a big decision. If she chooses Alex she has to be okay with being with someone who has no problem being an international drug trafficking Goddess.

          So yes I do think her “in love” feelings are deeper for Alex than with Larry, but is Piper really a “ride or die?” type. I don’t see her quoting Jay-Z “I do anything necessary for her, but don’t let the necessary occur.” with Beyonce singing Part II in the background “I don’t care if they give me, I get all of my life from you (http://rapgenius.com/Jay-z-part-ii-on-the-run-lyrics).”

          And I don’t think that’s a bad thing. We see it in this episode with Sophia’s wife. Sophia asks her wife to smuggle in contraband. Her wife flat out denies request. Are we saying Sophia is too good for her wife?

          And plus by the end Piper accepts she’s in jail because SHE made bad decisions.

          This trope is prevalent in movies. The girl choosing between the sweet ‘guy’ or the passionate ‘guy’ from her past who’s also a bad ass.

          It’s a matter of passion or stability? It’s a genderless question.

          Because ideally people want it all in one person. That’s the goal at least.

        • Sorry the lyric is “I don’t care if they give me life, I get all of my life from you.” As in life in prison, lol.

        • @James

          While I agree that Alex and Larry are different people with very different lifestyles and outlooks, I can’t call this a “genderless” question at all. Hetero relationships are portrayed and treated as serious stable commitments. Gay relationships are portrayed and treated as adventurous temporary flings, especially lesbian relationships. You can’t divorce it from that context. Read this: http://thoughtcatalog.com/2013/girls-dont-count/

  10. Watson kinda made me sad this episode… I know she’ll be awesome soon, but I want her to be awesome Nooooooooowwwwwww

  11. My heart broke at least a thousand times during this season. I just want to hug them all.

    …and I’d like to hug Nichols with more than my arms. Just saying.

  12. This episode was so heartbreaking. Feels everywhere, all over the place, pouring out of me. At the end of the episode, when Sophia turned Pornstache down, I just about lost it with the cheering and the flailing and the relief at “omg thank God they didn’t turn her story that direction.”

    Also, I’m only four episodes in, but words cannot express my love and adoration for Nicky. #lesbrooftheyear

    These recaps are awesome. And thank you for photoshopping pageant queen crowns onto Sophia. She would totes love them.

  13. Oh, Alex. Have we talked about Alex yet? Sigh.

    Also, because I now feel that a defensive comment is compulsory: I bet vaginal epithelium takes up beta-carotene pretty effectively. Maybe those inmates are just supplementing their diets!

  14. Nicky is the greatest – her comments to Piper in episode 10, just the absolute best thing.

    • Those were probably my favorite lines of hers all season. She always has Piper’s number in regards to Alex.

    • I love Nicky and I wish I could remember the conversation you’re talking about, but all the phrase “episode 10” conjures up for me is the memory of my heart breaking a thousand times.

      • The part where Nichols is grilling Chapman about her new breakfast routine i.e. her poor cover-up of her new affair.

      • Nicky calling out Piper at breakfast right at the beginning of the episode. Ahem.. And I quote:

        “Let me be clear. By softball, I mean two in her front and then one in the butt, and then just eating her pussy a lot cause you like it so much.”

        I DIED.

        • I spent 10 minutes trying to pause ep 10 in the right place so I could Snapchat that exact line to EVERYONE.

  15. I’m starting to think this show is just one big excuse to show every minority in the world getting treated like garbage. In that fucked up dehumanizing way that Kate mentioned about Sue.

  16. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE, LOVE, Sophia and have a pretty big crush on that actress, but asking someone to commit a crime for you when she’s struggling hard to raise your son and will risk being thrown in there with you, leaving your son with no one, is pretty selfish. Even though Sophia’s partner coulda picked some less transphobic words, she has a point. Other than that, poor Sophia got thrown the fuck around in this episode, and I wanna hug her, love her, and cuddle her. :(

    • “asking someone to commit a crime for you when she’s struggling hard to raise your son and will risk being thrown in there with you, leaving your son with no one, is pretty selfish.”

      1) Remember this show is written by cis people, not trans people. This is a cis person imagining what a trans person would do in that situation.

      2) Sophia is a trans woman of color inmate. She’s not there to be some perfect idealization of the trans community or a saint… she’s a human being in a desperate situation. You can like her even if she would act like a jerk… just as the other characters behave. Personally, from what I’ve known of trans people in prison, she’s treated waaay better in there than trans inmates are in real life. In the real world, many trans women would be placed in the SHOE for their entire sentence for ‘safety’ reasons.

      3) I love OITNB… love it. But it’s still a trans person’s life imagined by a cis person. Guess what, after you have SRS you produce next to no testosterone (less than cis women) and body hair growing in the absence of hormones is not going to be an issue. (this is an old cis person’s fantasy about trans women that they’re somehow going to turn back into men if they don’t have their hormones).

      4) I also love the Sophia character (and really, more so, Laverne Cox), but she’s really a rather minor character in the show and I still feel as if they treat her with kit gloves and make her marginalized (in the book Piper Kerman mentions her but says almost nothing about her as a person). In the series, she has elements of the “good negro” archetype as when black actors play flat police commissioners or doctors. I would like to see a little more complexity coming out other than just… I spent 5 years transitioning to be the woman I am.

  17. the superimposed illustrations were a nice touch :)

    although, Miss Claudette is straight! I don’t know about pride parades for her..

  18. “Sue is making romantic eye expressions at Piper during said peeing. I can see how this might be awkward.”

    I had to stop reading right there because those two sentences made me so happy I went and poured a drink. Okay. Back to the show.

    • Yeah, I mean I want to see Sue as a character and not just Crazy Eyes, but really, that crosses the line by far too much for me to really take her seriously. I’m glad we get a bit more insight into her later, but without an episode of flashbacks dedicated to her I’m still having trouble getting past the crazy of bathroom peeping and floor peeing. Like, really. Not okay.

      • Yeah, I want to have Sue’s character developed more next season, but right now, I keep back and forth between “Oh come on, it has to be an self-defensive act.” and “Omigod, is she actually that unhinged!?”

  19. “I get why Piper is mad at her, but I also don’t get why Piper is acting like an innocent girl who did nothing wrong when she was just as guilty and conscious of her decisions as Alex.” This pretty much defines my feelings around Piper. Then again, it is really nice to have a flawed main character who gets on our nerves and thus has room to improve, because that’s really not very common.

  20. I love OITNB, I binged on it and even went through a few hours of Alex withdrawal… But, I’m really hoping that they could introduce butches/dykes that would deviate a bit from the stereotype.

    • I took this to mean some lesbians and/or butches who don’t seem stereotypical, but then again there’s lots of queer women of various types, plus the “gay for the stay”s like Morello and possibly Mercy.

    • There’s a frosty-haired boi they keep using as a background extra that I would very much like to see some flashbacks from. Or flashforwards. Or sideways. You know — whatever ; )

      But, Real Talk? I hear you. I hope in the next season from this show to see a more complex and nuanced exploration of what butch is, not just the expected, visible masculine shtick. I did feel like they almost got there in the episode where Boo says goodbye to Mercy. But the writing took a long way round, making Boo first seem scary and vengeful in her love, rather than locking in sooner on the hurt that Lea DeLaria was showing the whole time in her expressive eyes.

  21. I love this show. I love these recaps. I love you for writing these recaps. I love I love I love I love I love

  22. I love this show, and I assume/hope next season we get some more flashbacks for the girls we haven’t gotten them for which will be fantastic because I need more character development! I love it so much so far, and I love these recaps!

  23. I don’t want to be a humorless asshole, but I really am not digging this part of the recap:
    “if you came to a lesbian site and don’t want me to show a lesbian bias, then I don’t know what you expected.”

    I personally don’t identify as a lesbian, and I know many of the staff and other readers also don’t, and I don’t really dig graphic descriptions of most people’s sex lives, but plenty of us here have had or still have ‘hetero’ sex, and it’s kind of a dick move to tell us that this isn’t our community and that it’s a lesbian site, all of a sudden, rather than a community for queer women.

    • I think by lesbian she is referring to the female-on-female aspect of queerness. Like she is saying that she will be more partial to Piper’s lesbian relationship with Alex than to Piper’s heterosexual relationship with Larry.

      • There’s a difference between what Kade said and being more inclusive by saying “This is a site for queer women so I’m going to focus more on those relationships through a queer lens”.

        Disco, that made me cringe a little, too.

      • I don’t think that Kate isn’t entitled to her own opinion, and that it’s not ok to say something like “as a lesbian, I have a lesbian bias”, but telling me that as a non-lesbian-identified queer woman that I’ve come to a ‘lesbian website’ feels kind of fucked up. This website is really important to me and I really don’t like being told that it’s not a space where I belong, and that I shouldn’t have an opinion about lesbian women telling other queer women that sex they have with cis-men is inherently more disgusting or whatever than sex they have with anyone else. I also sincerely doubt that Kate intended to be offensive, but it was offensive, and it definitely managed to make me feel shitty and less welcome in a place that I normally am so proud to be a part of.

        • hi, please read my comment below. i’m not a lesbian (or a girl) and i’m not telling queer people (not just women) that any sex they have with any kind of person is gross. i apologize for referring to this place as a ‘lesbian’ site. i was using the term ‘lesbian’ to refer to the relationships on the show, and i wasn’t thinking when i kept using the term. writing a non-stop humorous recap is sometimes a whirlwind of a process, and i definitely will keep an eye out next time to make sure i’m using all-inclusive language at all times in the next recaps.

        • I’m bisexual. I’m actually in a relationship with a man right now. It is a thousand times easier than being in a relationship with another woman. Hetero sex is so so so so supported and celebrated in society at large, that I really can’t get mad at a queer person calling it gross or boring.

          Are there ways that women that have sex with men are maligned unfairly in the queer community? Yes, “gold star” pushes a misogynist narrative of women being tainted by sex, and often punishes women for having sex they didn’t really want to have. Likewise “breeder” is thrown around to shame poor women who have children, and to devalue those children. These slurs reflect gross narratives in wider society.

          Calling hetero sex unappealing? Nope.

        • I am bisexual and I don’t care, if somebody states that hetero sex is unappealing to them. What I do care about however are labels. And I really do not appreciate when someone labels the relationships and the sex that I have as THEY see fit, which usually happens by monosexual standards and is solely based on the perceived gender of my current partner. This is not okay because it implies that the label of my sexual identity is less valid than the labels that apply to my partner. And it also contributes to bisexual invisibility/erasure.

          And I know, it’s really the show, that does a horrible job on making a difference between homo- and a fluid sexuality and the specific situation in prisons where heterosexuals temporarily may have same-gender flings. They just label everything as either gay or straight and by doing so they create an artificial monosexual binary between the two. And this is also how heteronormativity wins in the process: The lesbian side becomes this super vague, temporary, lighthearted fling-thing while the straight side is perceived as “normal” and therefore stable and good. Consequently the fluid characters, both of whom are forced to “pick a side”, walk the line towards straightness.

          This is so fucking obvious, that the writers clearly don’t understand what fluid sexuality is about. It is not about a mysterious final choice of picking an entire group of people of one gender over an entire group of people of every other gender. But it is about the ability to fall in love with ONE person (or X amount of people, if also poly) who happens to have a specific gender identity.

          I am bisexual. I do not magically turn straight or gay. I do not “go back to men” or am “back on a softball team (because I love it so much)”. I do not have straight relationships and hetero sex. I do not have lesbian relationships and homo sex. I am bisexual. Always. And there is no side to pick, there are only awesome people of various genders to fall in love with and lots of sport teams to like.

    • hey y’all – i’m just referring to the show and my recaps’ bias towards lesbian relationships on the show over hetero relationships on the show. since piper and alex both identify as women, their relationship is a lesbian relationship (as far as we know), so that’s why i use the term lesbian. i should have said ‘queer’ to refer to the website, since you’re totally right, this is definitely not a site that’s only for lesbians. i mean, i’m not a lesbian, nor am i even a lady! i’m genderqueer and queer-identified, so i’m definitely not ousting myself from my own community.

      • Thank you, I appreciate that as well. It is definetly possible to focus primarily on the queer aspects of the show without talking about how gross hetero sex is. It’s not necessary to go there. Otherwise I loved the recap though :)

  24. Kate. You are so funny. Unless you delegate the task of captioning photos to your personal intern/shoe shiner. Then you are funny but said intern gets at least 3 golden stars from me. What I am trying to say is “and maybe later you can draw me like one of your french girls” made me laugh aloud at work and then I had to make up something about how Microsoft word 2007 is just so funny sometimes and what isn’t funny is those gay ladies who look at queer webspaces while on the clock because I am new and a temp and no one believed me, but
    Kate Winslet, you know?

    • I feel you bro. Except that I am actually incapable of reading Autostraddle at work, since I am a cashier at Target. If I could, though? Not gonna lie, I probs would.

      And the captions, especially that one, made me laugh too. Kate/Kade’s pretty great.

  25. I had so many heartbroken feelings for Sophia in this episode, she is such a brilliant character. Also, I completely and unreservedly love Miss Claudette.

  26. PHOTOSHOP ALL THE CROWNS ON SOPHIA. Those images are amazing. And she really, really is the best.

    I am no longer cognitively capable of separating events per episode, so I’m just going to join the Vaus-Fan-Club swoonfest over here.


  27. So today I found out that Sophia’s pre-transition scenes were played by Laverne Cox’s real twin brother. This is an incredibly cool way of doing this and I got really excited about it and needed to share you guys.

    • That’s so cool!! I assumed she went into drag for that scene, but that makes a lot more sense =D

  28. Benett, my little employee of Tyrell Corp…*sad smile*. If you only knew how much there is involved. I am so bittersweet about the greater turn of things reaching far outside the series, in which this episode is just one grain of sand in a desert.

    1.Sweetness, the chocolate, the good things in bad times:

    the cold factual truth. something intended to be hurtful, shaming of difference that relies solely on everyone’s internalised perception of said difference as inferior. ‘Cyborg’ i would see to be like my experience of ‘dyke’ or even ‘lesbian’ when uttered by some idiot passing me in the street. I have done my homework obviously, because by now i have this sense of wonder as to why they expect me to feel offended – i am one. Pride, eat the rainbow, all that jazz. And all i can do is acknowledge the fact with a tongue-in-cheek likeness of a military salute.

    And yes i am not blind to the difference in circumstances – right now i live in a world that generally does not prey upon me for being lesbian. That’s conditional anyway – as there are still many places where being gay is stigmatised or even criminalised – and i was born in one of those places. Even in contexts where i have to be careful i am still lesbian – and there is nothing wrong with it in my own eyes. It is a learned perspective and pride is the reward of one’s internal battle with heteronormative socialisation.

    Same i would think is the situation of transsexual women and technology allusions like *sigh* cyborg pussy. Well, face it, the lovely delectable shells like Sophia’s do not make themselves or grow in a tree. Cpn Serena Obvious, at your service and sorry to bring disillusionment if you thought those bodies create themselves or occur naturally. While i’m at that – also there’s no Santa. Too many cold, hard facts for one day maybe? Anyway, transsexual women’s bodies. They’re perfectly functional good stuff, able to take their owner through lots of good ladyfrolicking. Which is the point – the only point the shallow, dirtyminded me is concerned about, anyway :P And slurs about the technological nature, annoying as they are, reference something that IS there and which one can technically reclaim and make it into a strength. Like ‘dyke’. That’s a positive development over being called something you are not (comparison: ‘pedo’ and ‘man-hater’ for gay people) and which you can’t reclaim or take pride in, no matter the effort.

    2. bitterness, the wormwood, hopefully a component in the absinthe of Singularity:

    The conflict nears. The one between Replicants and humanity, Skynet and Resistance, genetic and technological patterns of evolution. We ascend, technology brings major existential changes faster than even a slightest insignificant alteration could be brought about by genetic evolution, thus rendering the latter obsolete or changing its role to a backup.

    And fuck is there instinctive, hardwired hate of difference. Fuck is there oppression. Fuck is there trickledown economy of respect and being decent. Will it never stop? Every time i read about hatemail addressed to Lepht Anonym, every time i see things like this http://elitedaily.com/news/world/augmented-reality-explorer-steve-mann-assaulted-parisian-mcdonalds/ i can’t fail to see what’s coming. …’I’ve seen the future, brother – it is murder’. Got to love Leonard Cohen.

    And i still haven’t forgotten our own technology discussions here on Autostraddle. Nothing beats transsexual women weighing in with Google Glass hate in dark and twisted irony.

    I wish we broke from the pattern, just this one time.

  29. Pornstache is weirdly progressive in this episode because, talking about Sophia, he says that he “live in the present, not the past” and he’s therefore totally on-board with her being a woman. He’s still a macho bully asshole but the show manages to make him less of a caricature. Which is why this show is so good. As are those recaps.
    Also, I have zero interest in the Daya/Bennett relationship. It reallly says something that the least interesting storyline of the show is the purely straight one.

    • I thought that too, usually Bennett is the good guy and Pornstache is the baddie, but in this instance it was reversed. Of course, he said those things while totally objectifying Sophia, but at least he was recognizing her womanhood.
      Nuanced characters are the mark of great TV, and this show has them in abundance.

    • I thought that too. Pornstasche is a power-baiting asshole who is for the most part absolutely despicable. But he has moments throughout the season that shed light on him as a complex character with some redeeming qualities without having the viewer change their outlook on him which is ->reprehensible asswipe.

    • I liked Daya and Bennett’s relationship at the beginning, but I hated the direction it went. (NO SPOILERS, I SWEAR!)

  30. i laughed so hard at “is this how be good prisoner” but then i realized that we’re never going to learn how be good spy and i got sad again, WOMP :(

    • I know!! When they said “Betty is dead” in episode 2, I totally expected a crossover recapper reference. Kate’s BG recaps were terrific!

  31. the captions on the photos are freakin priceless. Completely enjoying reading these even though Im almost done with the season

  32. Is it possible that Bennett calls Sophia a freak show because of his own insecurity over his condition that we find out about later? He’s probably been referred to several times using similar language, and since this is the only time we see him acting ignorant/bigoted, I’m thinking he said that because of some kind of self-loathing or because we was covering for it, like saying, “There’s nothing unnatural about me.” Not saying that’s an okay way to talk about a transsexual, but I’m trying to break down his motives here, and that makes sense to me.

    • The comment seems so out of place for him that it almost *has* to have an explanation. Looking back now that I’ve watched the whole series, I see that comment as a bit of a Chekov’s gun.

    • Cis men OFTEN make transphobic comments in front of other men to demonstrate how they don’t find a trans woman attractive. That’s reality. Just as cis women often make nasty comments about how trans women look to prop up their own fragile sense of self-worth as a woman. I don’t think it has to be explained in the show… Bennett doesn’t have to be some paragon of acceptance because he’s “the cute one.”

  33. Lesbians ARE very dangerous. And I’m pretty into it.

    Thanks for these.

    I was thinking it might also be awesome to recap which books characters are reading throughout. I feel like they’re making some pretty pointed choices/statements about the characters via their reading material.

  34. Argh these recaps make me so happy but there are TOO MANY SPOILERS IN THE COMMENTS, Y’ALL.

  35. why mention bomb girls at a time like this (this being anytime since bomb girls was canceled). Sophia is the Vera Burr of this show. I just want to cover her in flower crowns and feed her cookies and adequate doses of estrogen.

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