Alex is taking off her glasses, because this recap is getting down to business. You know this is what she looks like when she gets down to her business, too.
You’re welcome. That is all.
This episode opens with a vagina. Finally, you say? Sort of. Said vagina is a picture pulled from the site “Prison Poon” and don’t worry, I did the hard work for you and it’s not a real thing. Assistant Warden In Charge of Ladies Or Something tells Caputo that this bits pic came from inside the prison, and they need to track it down and stop it and punish it. Hard. The vagina makes it way to a wanted poster in the staff mailroom, and oh my god, adorable! They put a mustache on it! I wish my vagina had a mustache. Healy, the man who brought you “lesbians are weird and dangerous and cannot be trusted” is strangely calm when confronted by the sight of a vagina. Good for him.
Also, the most relevant thing you should take away from this scene is that Taystee is sick of watching Toddlers & Tiaras. I just goddamned love Taystee.
Piper’s mom is visiting, and questions her daughter’s sanity while making racist implications in the same breath. Polly hasn’t answered Piper’s calls since the conference call was royally fucked by the chicken situation. I’m about to say “first world white girl problems” when Piper has a moment of self-examination that is…kind of refreshing? Okay, honey, I’m beginning to see a little merit in your large deer-like eyes. Also Piper was a debutante? Do you think the amount of lesbians who are former-debs is the same amount as lesbians who are former-Catholic schoolgirls?
Nicky tells Piper she looks like her mom. Damn, dude! You never tell a fellow rugmuncher she looks like her goddamned mom! Do you know the Mommy Issues we have up in this community? That is cold. Nicky reminds Piper not to be ungrateful for her mom visiting, as usual putting things into perspective.
But it’s FFFFLLLLAAASSSHHHBBBAAACCCKKKK TIME. Younger Nicky is in the hospital. She’s just had to have a heart procedure because of drug use, and her mother decides this is a good time to bring up her being a shitty lying junkie excuse for a daughter. Nicky reminds her mother that she was raised by a nanny in a separate apartment, so.
Daya slaps her mom in the face, kind of like when her mom slapped her in the face. This time it’s for getting naked and trying to have sex with her own daughter’s crush. Yeah, that was a pretty fucked up move when you write it out in a sentence.
Polly is still not answering Piper’s calls. I don’t know why, but this scene made me wonder if Piper and Polly were ever having a girls’ night and drinking boxed wine (or that Skinny Girl shit) and started making out on the couch? And then later they laughed it off and thought it was nothing, just girls being girls, but Piper knows her way around a girl and she knew that what they were doing wasn’t innocent, and Polly’s thought about it a lot but she’s never going to admit that out loud, not to mention that she’s heard Piper talking about her love life and wasn’t she the one on the bottom? And maybe she’s jealous of that love life, and the shitty people who seem to parade in and out of Piper’s radar when Polly’s always been there, and Polly’s always understood her better than anyone, and why the fuck can’t Piper see that Polly gets her, really fucking gets her, and could be that person. But Piper’s already gone, already flighty and lost in someone else’s issues. So now Polly’s always mad when Piper’s with Larry, and mad when Piper’s in prison with her ex, and mad that she lost her best friend and someone she sometimes has tingly girl parts feelings for, but whatever. She’ll get over it, like she always does.
I just wrote a Polly/Piper fanfic in this recap, didn’t I?
Caputo is questioning the guards about the noonie picture. Everyone says Pornstache looks suspicious, and everyone is right. Pornstache just always looks really, really suspicious. Bennett attempts to deal with a meeting about inappropriate work relationships the best way he can, but he’s flopping in his seat like an eel in a boat. If you’re not a dyke who was raised on fishing metaphors, he’s also flopping like a fumbled football, an unfinished literary device, a lobster in a pot, and a limp penis.
Also, there’s a new lady guard named Susan! Just when you thought they couldn’t cram more ladies into this narrative because modern media would have us believe that two ladies is already a crowd, we get more ladies. Keep ’em coming, powers that be.
In the rec room, everyone seems particularly pissed at each other.
Poussey and Taystee are fighting over who gets to watch what.
I just really love them a lot.
The scrabble players are also fighting. It’s just a rough day for everyone, so guess what? They’re going to start elections for WAC, which I believe stands for Women’s Advisory Committee? Or Wow, A Committee? Or Words Are Cheap. All of these are sort of spoilers. Pretty sure Healy thinks this will cure lesbianism.
At lunch, everyone is getting hyped about the elections. Representatives are divided racially, or “tribally” as they’re calling it in the prison, which continues to be a weird and uncomfortable concept for Piper and the viewers. Things that are also weird and uncomfortable: Piper is sitting with Alex, who is also sitting with Nicky and Morello. When the spit chain connections are suddenly severed, the saliva flyeth. Morello has Red’s endorsement, but she’ll be running against Doggett to represent the whites. Sophia and Taystee are running against each other. I love that Sophia is running on real campaign issues and Taystee is running on snack foods and I honestly don’t know which one I’d vote for.
Bennett and Daya meet up in the closet for what Bennett is intending to be a talk about how they can’t keep doing this anymore, when surprise, they do this anymore. Specifically Daya pulls down Bennett’s pants and manages to make a blowjob scene very sweet and tender. I applaud you, Daya.
Piper is sent to Healy’s office where she sees a vagina picture and then has Healy holding up dresses for her. Before this turns into a kidnapping or cannibalism plotline, it turns out Healy is just trying out dresses for his wife. Healy thinks Piper should run for the WAC. Piper has enough problems on her plate, mister, like dyke drama and chickens and stuff.
Larry is striking out with his editor on the edging piece. Wow, that’s a fucking surprise. The editor wants him to write about his wife being in jail, and I think we all could see where this was going.
In the Dyke Drama of the week, Alex is straight up hitting on Morello in front of Piper and Nicky, both of whom are having conflicted feelings for their respective former bangmate. Alex is now straight up ignoring Piper, since Piper was previously straight up ignoring her.
But no worries because it’s FFFFFLLLLAAASSSHHHHBBBBAAACCCCKKKK TIME. And oh, what a flashback it is. Alex and Piper are drinking champagne at a fancy party. Polly is there, and Alex can’t remember her name. Alex has to go talk to a sketchy obviously drug cartel dude and Polly is quick to let Piper know that her girlfriend is a fucking toolbag. Piper is so whatever about that.
If that isn’t a gigantic metaphor, I don’t know what is.
Nicky and Alex have a moment in the showers talking about drugs. Nicky loved taking them, Alex loved selling them, and they miss that business a whole lot. Piper awkwardly tries to say hi to Alex. Oh baby Jesus, just kiss in the shower already.
Polly and Piper reconcile while Polly is on the table at a gyno appointment? Things I don’t do at my doctors’ appointments: call my friends and talk to them about my business ventures and my vagina euphemisms? That gyno is like “fuck, I do not get paid enough for this.”
Election speeches are going on in the rec room. They’re a hot mess, but also wildly funny. Tricia asks Pornstache where her drugs are, so I guess that’s a thing that’s been going on. The drugs, I mean. Obviously Tricia is gayer than a two dollar bill that eats out girls. Miss Claudette notes that all the inmates are present at this insane hoe-down, and Piper’s like oh darn! And she runs off.
To the private bathroom. Because nature calls. Also, someone is calling on a phone that’s hidden in the wall, because while we all thought that crazy chick was talking to the devil, she was talking to her boyfriend and sending him noonie pics! Mystery solved. And she would’ve gotten away with it too, if it wasn’t for that pesky bisexual and her insistent colon.
The speeches have broken down into a rap battle. Our government would be so much more efficient if it followed these procedures.
Piper takes this time to smell Alex’s pillow. Ah, pillow smell. The thing you end up missing more than anything, even when the relationship had more red flags than Google maps.
The rap battle has turned into a dance battle, and of course Healy walks in when things are getting particularly lesbianish. He quickly and uncomfortably shuts the party down like a campus safety officer at a dorm basement orgy.
Daya and Bennett have a moment. She drew him a picture, he tells her insanely personal things about his leg. The usual.
In the visiting room, Larry tells Piper about the possibility of him writing an article about the whole prison experience. Piper stands up for herself, as she should, and tells him that’s fucking bullshit. Meanwhile, Healy and Caputo are throwing away the votes. This is like our government after all!
Morello is nervous, but Red reassures her that she’s got this. Nicky is jealous, and it’s not of Morello’s absentee lesbian affections but of Morello’s closeness to Red. This prompts everyone’s favorite FFFFLLLLAAASSSSHHHBBBAAACCCKKKK to when Red was mothering to Nicky during her withdrawal and we see that Red is actually a mother figure to Nicky, warm feelings, cyclical mommy feelings, etc.
The results are announced, and the winners are Taystee, Maria Ruiz, Chang, and Piper. Yes, Piper’s name was released from Goblet of Fire even though she totally didn’t put it in there. She’s not even of age! Dumbledore raises an eyebrow from across the prison dining hall. Piper never wanted to be the chosen one, but it’s too late now.
Someday I will write an article comparing this entire show to Harry Potter, but today is not that day.
I am so glad I wasn’t the only one whose brain immediately went to Goblet of Fire during this episode.
Also these episode recaps are giving me life, thank you!
Although re: Polly/Piper–I find any scene with Polly in it a bit too cringe-y to deal with. I know that she’s supposed to be the “me me me I’m special” kind of character, but ugh. So hard to watch.
I can’t stand Polly. I hate all the non-prison characters.
Yes she sets my teeth on edge more than any other character; like, there are definitely more reprehensible characters on the show but they are either more interesting as humans to watch (Daya’s mom, Pornstache) or are more obviously cartoony (Piper’s mom, Pornstache). I feel like the “friends growing apart” trope is generally really tricky to pull off well, though — most of the time, as a viewer I find it hard to really see how the clearly now terrible friend was supposedly once an awesome friend.
Really? I love Polly, she’s hilarious. I mean, yes she’s not the greatest friend to Piper now that she’s in prison but that’s the point.
You know who I can’t stand? Bennett. Because this whole Daya/Bennett storyline and its power dynamic make me cringe so much. They’re supposed to be OMG!so in love and I’m absolutely baffled as to why because they haven’t even had a proper conversation. Also there’s a reason guards and prisoners aren’t allowed to have a relationship so you know, don’t do it, dude. Or if you re
Really? I love Polly, she’s hilarious. I mean, yes she’s not the greatest friend to Piper now that she’s in prison but that’s the point.
You know who I can’t stand? Bennett. Because this whole Daya/Bennett storyline and its power dynamic make me cringe so much. They’re supposed to be OMG!so in love and I’m absolutely baffled as to why because they haven’t even had a proper conversation. Also there’s a reason guards and prisoners aren’t allowed to have a relationship so you know, don’t do it, dude. Or if you really have to, put on a condom. Just ugh. So so dumb.
I am even more in love with Susan than Caputo is. Like, I’m creeping myself out, but I can’t stop making squeal-y noises at my laptop.
I fucking love Fischer, she’s one of my favourite characters. I also totally thought she was gay and hitting on Piper at first. Clearly I just like her that much.
I THOUGHT SO TOO! I was really hoping she was gay. Ironically enough she looks like a straight girl I had a crush on in high school….
Can someone please to a tutorial on how to do Alex’s rockabilly bangs? I am challenged in the hair department!
tease ’em at the root a whole bunch, spray with hairspray, pin back making a kind of a pompadour shape, pin with bobbypins. smooth with the back of a comb, spray with hairspray again.
I like the twist of Bennett’s artificial leg. Between Sue as perpetual punching bag and the cringe-inducing appearance of Wheelchair Juvie Girl for laughs, he’s the only disabled character they’ve done right by.
My dislike for Piper grows each episode. Her and Polly…let’s just say I could stand in a puddle of their character depth and not get my feet wet.
They’re actually doing something sneaky-cool with Sue. First, they make you laugh at her along with the characters, and then, they make you feel like a shithead for laughing at her. They’re doing it and doing it without being quite preachy.
Juvie Girl also was in there for a good reason. Like the snarky deaf woman in Saving Grace, she’s showing us that disabled people get stereotyped as innocent sweet angels, further disabling them.
But, yeah, Bennett, for sure, they’re doing a great job. Showing a disabled character in a sexual relationship is like a fucking unicorn. And again, it’s even (almost) ok that he’s kind of a dick at some parts because it shows disabled people aren’t freaking saints. They’re people. He does need to get his shit together towards the end of the season though. Straight up.
Also totally agree with Taystee about not liking toddlers and tiaras because of ‘the sexualization of them baby girls’ we would be friends
I just love Poussey and Taystee so much, I’m waiting for their spin off already.
I can’t wait to see more of guard Susan next season, and of inmate Sue. Especially inmate Sue.
I was really bothered by Chang’s portrayal in the show; it made me really uncomfortable. Chang was Ken Jeong’s character in Community; couldn’t they think of another name? Or give her some more substance or something? Am I the only one who felt like it was racist? I just don’t know how I feel about the only asian character in this show being portrayed like this. I mean she has her moments, like when she was dancing with Boo, or when she brought them the oranges in a later episode, but come on.
In response to Chang’s name, I thought it was just because of the commonality of the surname, like having Smith or Brown for Anglo-surnames. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chang_(surname)
The rest of your comment, however, is totally valid. I’ve always found it…unsettling that Chang has a faint Fu Manchu (sp?) mustache, like they need to further Asianize the only Asian character.
First time I’m going to say I liked a bj scene haha but it was sweet
What is an accent a droite? I’ve been wondering about the spelling of Poussey’s name
An accent to the right, like so: é (Actually called accent aigu, but pretty much I’ll accept anything Poussé gives us. :3 Allllll the feels.)
Merci beaucoup :) She is the best!
I’m right with you on the Harry Potter parallels. Like Pennsatucky reminds me soso much of Bellatrix !
I was convinced that the actress playing Pennsatucky was somehow related to Helena Bonham Carter. So weird.
They do look like they could be related
She’s actually related to the Manning brothers (of football fame). She’s their cousin.
As the season progresses the more I want to hate Piper but I can’t. She’s like friend that for some reason can’t stop making dumb decisions but you end up loving them despite that.
Oh my gosh the fanfic. I can’t stop laughing.
Oh. My god. The opening gif.
When I reflect about the show after watching it, my rational brain points out that Alex takes off her glasses an awful lot for someone with a strong prescription. My rational brain, however, can’t tell me anything when I’m looking directly at Alex taking off her glasses.
It’s true. My prescription isn’t all that strong (although I do have astigmatism) and I don’t take mine off half as much as she does.
I’m blind-ish (275’grade’) with astigmatism and I’m like Harry Potter: I wear it all the time with the exemption of showers+sleeping but I’m not complaining, Alex Vause can always take her glasses (and other articles of clothing, too….) off and shower us with scenes that can be made to a gif… *evil grin*
Mine is probably as strong as Alex’s (-10.5, -11, respectively) and, actually, I take off my glasses (or stare over them) in the following situations: when I’m showering, when I’m going to sleep, when I’m about to have sex, and when someone is pissing me the fuck off and I need to not react immediately (the people get fuzzy and it’s easier to ignore them).
Maybe she’s always about to shower, sleep, fuck, or lose her shit?
Mine’s only -5/-6 and I pretty much only take them off for showertimes and sleepytimes. (I would, per Krista, also remove them for sexytimes, but ALAS.) I was pretty baffled to discover how strong her prescription is.
Just when you thought the recap couldn’t get any better — “AND NOW I HAVE TO FIGHT LESBIAN VOLDEMORT”. God love ya.
I can’t believe I missed the glaring GoF parallel. Do I have to hand in my Harry Potter fancard now?
(seriously though that is the best comparison ever I love you)
I will never not want to see Alex take off her glasses.
Agreed. I’m right there with you.
Am I the only one who actually likes Polly? I think she had some great lines in this episode! “That’s just excessive” made me laugh my ass off.
But it’s not just her funny lines, I actually think that, unlike some characters (*cough*LARRY*cough*) she plays a really important role in the show. Polly is the Piper-who-could-have-been. Polly is the girl Piper would have been had she not met Alex, had she not carried drug money, had she not gone to prison. So while we follow Piper’s storyline in prison, we also follow Polly’s parallel storyline on the outside, and it’s a constant reminder of who Piper could have been. And I think that parallel is really important in telling the story of who Piper will become.
And also, it’s a flashback in a later episode to where she’s getting married and Piper is helping her get dressed, and she just has some GREAT lines. You’ll see.
That was one of my favorite scenes in the entire show and I’m not entirely sure why. I did rewind to watch it twice, though, so.
Okay Autostraddle, consider this my living will. Should I happen to come to an untimely end, I want the phrase “gayer than a two dollar bill that eats out girls.” on my headstone.
Posts in AS comment threads are legal documents right?
Piper Potter and the Prisoners of Lezkaban?
Please tell me that someone else caught the moment when Nicky says to Red (aka Kate Mulgrew, aka Capt. Janeway, Star Trek Voyager)
“I thought I was your Spock?” And Red replies, “My what?”
Ok, that’s my official nerd-out for the day.
Hahah that was a brilliant nergasm
That’s what happens when you type in the dark
caught it, too! i was way too excited by the reference, not gonna lie…if the username doesn’t ring any bells as is :’)
The Trekkie in me squealed at the reference and the irony. =)
In the Piper/Alex flashback when she said, “I’d rather play Doctor” or something like that I may have screeched I volunteer at my laptop.
“I just wrote a Polly/Piper fanfic in this recap, didn’t I?”
Heart you, and this recap, so so hard.
wait, explain more about these “mommy issues”….now im worried and confused haha :c
You missed the chance to use the best gif from the episode:
She used that one in an earlier recap.
I desperately need more Flaca and Maritza. Like STAT.
Really loved seeing Nicky’s backstory in this episode mostly because it highlights how amazing and fascinating Natasha Lyonne is, because, real life spoiler, Natasha ACTUALLY KIND OF WENT THROUGH THE SAME THING as Nicky (bacterial heart infection and other issues from heroin addiction, did some jail time, came very close to dying in the mid-2000s). The scar on Nicky’s chest (I think it shows up in a later episode) is really Natasha’s. If it sounds like I’m fangirling about her right now it’s because I very much am and I just love her a lot and respect her and yes.
Reminding myself that Polly/Larry/the parents are *supposed* to be incredibly shallow helps me get past the recurring urge to bitch-slap every one of them.
Also, I kind of like how their presence makes Piper’s prison experience seem that much more real.
Polly and Piper are not, and will never be a thing. We don’t need to write fanfic about them. As a queer lady, I thank God everyday for the great not-sexual or romantically interested relationships I’ve had, and DAMMIT, I’m happy to see chick friends on a TV show that aren’t banging each other or having lame longing for each other.