And we’re back! Kicking things off with a gif of Alex asking you to be her little spoon, because all you ever wanted in life was to back your booty up into a criminal and snuggle until your sentence is up.
The actual episode starts out with Piper cleaning up Sue’s pee. Miss Claudette cannot believe she has to put up with this shit. Piper says she’s never cleaned up someone else’s urine before and girl, what?! Seriously? I can think of at least three or four times I have cleaned up urine that did not come from my own peehole. Not to mention all those times where you’re like, is it squirt, is it pee, who has to sleep in the wet spot, do we lay down a towel before sex since you squirt every single time now, I’m sorry I know it’s technically my fault I make you squirt, okay fine I’ll sleep in the wet spot, etc.
But wait! It’s FFFLLLLAAASSSSHHHBBBAAACCCCKKKKK TIME. Preteen Claudette is riding an elevator with Late Teens (?) Baptiste. Claudette is clearly nervous and Baptiste is being really sweet to keep her calm, plus she’s never ridden in an elevator before. I hate elevators and typically get nervous unless I’m making out in them, so I feel her. It turns out that her parents owe some kind of debt, and she’ll be paying it off by working with other young girls in a cleaning service. Call it what you want to call it, but by all counts, it’s not a legal or moral form of work. It’s indentured servitude.
Did you guys say you like queer storylines? Well, that’s pretty cool, because we’ve got another queer storyline. Tricia, who is already complex because she’s really cute but fuck, those cornrows are appropriative, comes to Miss Claudette for a favor. Her girl Mercy is leaving prison, and she wants to throw her a going-away party. I say ‘her girl’ because in case you can’t tell by her general swagger and the way she sets her mouth sometimes, she is gaaaaaaaay. Miss Claudette says she only bakes cakes for religious reasons and is Tricia seriously comparing her girlfriend to Jesus right now. Tricia is like well, I do nail her a lot and it involves hands, so.
Then, straight out of nowhere and the far left field of dear christ no, Tricia offers sex in exchange for the cake. Trish, honey. No. Maybe offer to clean, or help in the kitchen. Do not try to grab Miss Claudette’s crotch.
Piper is at her shop class doing electrical things, which involves so much handling of tools. I guess I’ve been watching too much Wentworth because I was flabbergasted that they were allowed to handle so many objects that could be used to stab people in the face at any given time. This is a good moment to say that if you find Orange is the New Black a little too safe and bloodless for you, let me advise you to check out Wentworth, which involves really brutal shit but has a really hot lesbian named Franky who has the most unbelievable tension ever with the prison governor. Again, shit is brutal, the stories are dark, but great acting and hot lesbian plotline. Anyway.
I love Nicky. I seriously do.
How did Nicky get a hold of my undergraduate liberal arts thesis?! That crazy kid.
Piper really wishes she was in the education program instead of the technical program because she was a TA in college. Also, because she implies that she has so much to teach her fellow inmates, but OH HO HO wouldn’t you know that on this show, she’ll find out she’s the one with a lot to learn. Barney and Friends plot twist, y’all.
Watson says that the work and pay here is absolute shit and yep, she’s right. The electrical teacher, who is clearly an asshole in the spirit of all the other guys who work here, puts her in charge of handing out the tools. And, in the continued spirit of all the other guys who work here, he calls her a monkey. Fucking hell, dude.
Mercy’s giving away her clothes, and lo and behold, it turns out one of her shirts was a gift from her ex-girlfriend, Big Boo. Boo doesn’t want her to give it away, but Mercy is pretty nasty about it. Boo says she should watch her back as she no longer wants her ass. I would argue that sometimes the back and ass are equally great because you can scratch a back and bite an ass and they’re both going to make very pleasurable situations, but I digress.
Hot second for my rare butch seriousness: I don’t know how I feel about the way they’re dealing with Boo on this show anymore. First of all, I’m psyched to see a full-fledged not even a teensy bit questionable butch on television, being her butchy self. So many times we get “but oh, she’s wearing pants and she’s sexually aggressive, so she must be the masculine one” in lesbian portrayals, and in walks Lea DeLaria with fucking ‘butch’ tattooed on her arm. But I feel like we haven’t actually moved past the punchline point. I get that Lea is a comedian and it would make sense to play to her strengths as a funny lady, but Boo gets one second of complexity and then bam, back to us not taking her seriously. That’s already a problem when we see butches on television, even if it’s a blink and miss the joke moment. I want this show to do better, I guess.
Piper goes for lunch and accidentally takes the screwdriver with her. This is like that time I shoved my strap-on into my pocket so my visiting mother wouldn’t see it and lo and behold, it was hanging out of my jacket by my afternoon class. Of course, there wasn’t a massive consequence for this besides everyone figuring out that my strap-on is a lovely shade of pearly violet. Not a prisonwide crackdown and an extension of sentencing, which is what Piper will face if the screwdriver is found. That said, I feel like this show needs more dildos.
Miss Claudette could go home early, but no, she is invested in remaining a latchkey inmate because the snacks are great. This is all to say that she doesn’t think her case is worth reopening.
What does this mean? It means it’s FFFFLLLAAASSSSHHHBBBAAACCCCKKKK time. Miss Claudette is much older and is now in charge of the slave orphanage cleaning service thing. Baptiste is visiting and he is also much older and even more handsomer. But even more handsomer Baptiste has brought his wife along who is not so much older but more on the younger and more beautifuler side of things. Trophy Wife is bitchy to Miss Claudette, who takes it with the silent coldness we have come to expect and respect in her character.
Back in the electrical shop, Piper is being docked butch points for giving herself a shock while fixing a lamp. Just kidding, butch is not a narrow identity with concrete gender roles and occupational skills associated with it, so you can’t lose butch points because there are no butch points! Mind-blowing, I know!
Electrical shop guy calls Watson a monkey again and I literally don’t care if he shocks himself into death any time soon. Then everyone has to get down on the ground, and not in a sexy way.
Bennett goes to get his chewin’ tobaccy and Daya is there, lying on the ground because it’s a drill of some kind. Daya asks if she can have some, only to find it is super gross. I’m not going to say I have partaken in the dip but I wouldn’t be a redneck son of a gun if I hadn’t tried it at some point and yeah, not exactly the best taste that’s ever been in my mouth. I think we all know what the best taste that’s ever been in anyone’s mouth is*.
* I look forward to your comments re: the taste of lady genitalia and your preferences therein.
Daya spits it out and then gets Bennett to pick it out of her teeth for her. Girl, you have already got him wrapped around your little finger and I’m all about that. Just try to kick that transphobia out of him while you’re at it, yeah?
Meanwhile at Ye Olde Electrical Shoppe, a screwdriver is missing! We all know that Piper has the screwdriver because she’s a dipshit sometimes and that dipshitness went full throttle when she pocketed that screwdriver. Everyone is freaking out and everyone needs a strip search. Watson, who thus far has utilized an “I hate The Man and white supremacy and all your assorted bullshit” attitude that I greatly admire and support and agree with and feel will lead to big trouble in this establishment, gets in big trouble. She wants a female guard to strip search her, and they send her to SHU. Not the appropriate response, guards.
Piper and Nicky are waiting outside when they’re approached by Tricia. Tricia heard that Piper is booksmart and learned and she needs help with her appeal. Now that Mercy is getting out, Tricia wants to get out sooner rather than later because it’s pretty hard to U-Haul when one of you is still in the slammer. Piper says she’ll help, sure, and in the process of putting the appeal in her pocket, discovers she also has the missing screwdriver. Oh, Piper, you glorious dipshit.
Piper runs back to her dorm freaking out about the screwdriver she is now in possession of and thus could possibly get five extra years for. Miss Claudette cannot believe she has to deal with this bullshit. Luckily Pornstache is super bad at doing dorm checks and more interested in making a shitty mess, so he misses the whole screwdriver in a pot thing. Miss Claudette says sneak it back onto the wall like nothing happened or so help her, baby Jesus.
Mercy’s going away party looks like it’s gonna be a barnburner because there’s toilet paper decorations. Who am I kidding, I have attended way too many parties where toilet paper was a crucial part of the decor. Boo tells Tricia that Mercy is gonna dump her ass just like she dumped Boo’s ass, and they have a little confrontation about the spit chain. Yep, this is exactly like every gay party I’ve ever attended.
Piper is attempting to get back to Ye Olde Electrical Shoppe to return the screwdriver but everyone is getting surprise pat downs. Piper decides her only option is to be courteous to Healy, which is turns out is the ultimate distraction since Healy a) takes compliments very well and b) hates lesbians a lot.
Piper hides the screwdriver back in her dorm under the bed because that’s her brilliant plan? Glorious darling dipshit. Meanwhile Boo et al show up wanting Piper to proofread their appeals because Piper is booklearned. I hope you are all pronouncing that as book-learn-Ed. Boo pulls a sneaky butch tactic and takes the screwdriver. Obviously after watching all of Wentworth, I anticipated Boo stabbing Tricia in the eye later. Miss Claudette asks Piper if the screwdriver is gone and she’s like yeah, duh, I’m not a total dipshit and I’m always honest!
Meanwhile at the library, Taystee says the best line of the entire episode, mayhaps the show:
Alex and Nicky have a heart to lesbian heart, and Nicky is trying to get in on the Piper-Alex dramedy backstory. Alex says she hung around a college campus but didn’t go to college, and Nicky asks if that’s where the Piper stuff started. I’m picturing Alex roaming around the bars of Northampton, hitting on Smith undergrads whose panties are suddenly all in a tizzy. I’m all about this scenario. I’m also all about this blossoming friendship but not sure how I feel about anything else happening. Although I think we’ve all been in that situation where we’re either out of other options or not sure if we want to do or be our new friend, so. If it happens, my queer heart won’t be shocked.
And once more, the cells are being searched because the prison is freaked about the missing screwdriver. Piper confesses to Miss Claudette that she didn’t actually take care of the screwdriver, and Miss Claudette is like ARE YOU KIDDING ME WITH THIS SHIT. Luckily the screwdriver isn’t here because if you recall, Boo stole it to stab someone in the eye or something. Also Piper talks about the oppressive nature of being called Taylor Swift.
But FFFFLLLLAAASSSHHHBBBAAACCCKKKK to Miss Claudette discovering that one of her charges is covered in bruises. This can’t be good.
Back to the present day, and Ye Olde Prisone Partye. Taystee performs her spoken word poetry, and Taystee, I love you. I really do. Alex decides to cook her ramen at the same time as the party, which makes Tricia confront her about being totally uninvited from this shindig. Like, Tricia told Alex she totes couldn’t come at the beginning of math class and now Alex is there anyway? Total social suicide, who does that bitch think she is? This is middle school and there are rules of conduct.
Mercy and Tricia confess their commitment and start macking in the middle of the party. Red tells Boo there’s more catfish in the sea.
Piper and Nicky are having yet another priceless conversation. Piper asks Nicky if Alex has said anything about her because obviously today is middle school day at the prison. Nicky says that Alex said that Piper is a squirter.
I think it’s super cute when people are surprised/terrified of squirting. Remember on The L Word when Dana squirted and she was freaked the fuck out? Like, why are people shocked by this happening, and if you figure out how to do it, why are they only doing it once? Anyway, enough about my sex life.
Because we’re FFFFLLLLAAASSSSHHHHHIIINNNNNGGGGG BAAAACCCCKKKK. God, I am getting sick of typing all those letters. Claudette shows up to the girl’s assignment, and the man there seems to be surprised. We see her doing a great job cleaning up the man’s body because she stabbed that rat bastard dead. Claudette gets a flower crown this week, guys.
Back in the present, Claudette intercepts Tricia planting drugs in Mercy’s cell so that Mercy will be forced to stay. Not cool, Trish. I don’t care how badly you wanna safety scissor your lady – ruining her life is not exactly something I’d put under the definition of love. Miss Claudette tells her it’s “puppy love” and a) I’m really glad that someone as seemingly cold and super Christian as Miss Claudette recognizes lesbian love as legitimate, and b) tells Tricia to get her shit together.
Electrical shop dickhole buys a new screwdriver and sneaks it onto the wall so they’ll stop being suspicious. Wow, let’s let this guy run the prison from now on! Safety first, motherfuckers.
And now we see where the real screwdriver is – Boo is masturbating with it. I want to dissect this moment and talk about butch sexuality as grotesque portrayal, but I’m just going to say that this is a simultaneous facepalm and smile moment for me and anyone else who has waited forever and a day for butches to be sexual on television.
Claudette finds out that Baptiste is back, wants to see her AND that bitchy young pretty wife is dead. Oh ho ho, well then. Miss Claudette has plans. She tells Healy she wants to reopen her case.
Everyone says goodbye to Mercy. Boo says she’s sorry and there’s a moment where Boo is a genuine character and not comic relief, but if you blinked, you missed it. Mercy says she’ll wait for Tricia. They’re really cute, whatever.
And on that note of cuteness, tune back in (or you know, go back on your Netflix queue because you bitches all binge-watched this in one day, didn’t you?) for more lesbians in prison, more objects being put into holes, more vaginal wall art. Only the best.