Hello! Welcome to the fifth recap of the second season of Orange is the New Black, a charming program about indoor plumbing and the women who suffer when it breaks. You might notice something a little different about this recap — most notably, that I am not Kate, your esteemed, hilarious and insightful Orange is the New Black re-capper.
Unfortunately, bois and grrrls, Kate’s work schedule has gotten so overwhelming that she can no longer commit to recapping the rest of the season (but she did publish an excellent piece on femslash today), and thus we’ll be doing something creative for the season’s remainder — I’ll be recapping 205 and 206, and after that we’ll be featuring a different recapper for each episode! DOESN’T THAT SOUND LIKE FUN? I mean, not as much fun as Kate’s recaps… but fun! Please don’t throw produce at my head. I’M NOT WEARING A SNAPBACK. Kate looks better in hats than I do. OR DOES SHE.
We open in the “Spanish Harlem” bathrooms, where Maritza’s talking to Flaca about missing her son’s first birthday and everybody is naked or almost naked.
Gloria pulls a lady out of the shower by her nipple so she can assert her righteous position atop the personal hygiene throne but before Gloria can strip down and lather up, the sewers revolt, spewing forth liquid feces because THIS PLACE IS A HELL-HOLE.
So Gloria and her girls head to the bathroom in B-Block and are met with immediate resistance from Taystee and Black Cindy and basically everybody. Gloria says nobody gets breakfast until her crew freshens up. Then Vee emerges from the swampy hellscape where she ingests whatever sour poison replaces the blood in her veins to inform Gloria that her “girls” are “not inclined to offer special privileges.” What does that even mean.
Then everybody tries to punch each other in the face! Then everybody gets a shot! Like the song.
Cut to Flashbackland, where Gloria’s operating a bodega that also sells Santería candles because she is #1 Boss.
Also, she’s running a little food stamp scam operation ’cause she’s saving up cash to drive to my house to see the #1 Boss candle I made in her honor.
Also, she’s got at least two kids and her sister Lourdes does Santería in the backroom.
Also, her boyfriend is an unemployed asshole who beats her. So, I hope he dies in a fire.
This has become a relatively common story in Orange is the New Black Flashbackland: that there are these smart, tenacious, resourceful women who are trying to overcome their oppression by breaking/bending the rules created by a merciless, racist oligarchic government … and then there are these men who fuck up their shit. Many Litchfield inmates are their own worst enemy, but that’s not what’s happening to Gloria, and it’s not what happened to Watson or Daya, either.
Back at Litchfield, Big Boo and Nicky are continuing to hash out the detailed rules of their Bang-Off Spectacular, which is like Regionals but for prison.
Chang: All of the girls must want to have sex.
Big Boo: Yes Chang, we know, it’s not a rape contest.
Nicky and Big Boo bicker about who’s better at giving girls multiple orgasms and Chang reveals an illustrated guide to The Women of Litchfield, in which each lady’s worth a different number of points. Chapman’s devastated to be worthy of a mere three points.
Chapman: I am so more than a three. I am so not easy.
Nicky: You’re slutty, not easy. There’s a difference, semantically.
Big Boo: Yeah, you’re not easy. You only fucked your worst enemy.
Chapman: Alex was not my enemy. At the time. That I knew. It was complicated. She has that effect on me.
Big Boo: Me too. Love to get my dick in her mouth.
Yes, ladies and gentlemyn, that was Lea Delaria getting really meta and referencing a thing she said in an interview right here on this website that was not very well received (it plays much better coming from Big Boo). WE WERE IN THE SHOW YOU GUYS WE WERE IN THE SHOW. I wonder if she said the word “Autostraddle” on set and if so how Samira Wiley felt about it.
Elsewhere in this fine cafeteria, Vee is stirring shit up ’cause that’s what she does, she’s a shit-stirrer. She should go to the Spanish Harlem bathroom and make some soup but instead she’s in the cafeteria reminiscing about the good old days when she could stick forks in everybody’s eyeballs and get to work on time.
Poussey gets jokey and cute because she’s my girlfriend and Vee gets bitchy and cruel because she’s the worst.
Vee: Do you like being another woman’s doormat?
Poussey: Who said anything about being a doormat, man, I’m my own doormat.
POUSSEY I WOULD NEVER TREAT YOU LIKE A DOORMAT I WOULD HAND-CROCHET YOU A DOORMAT USING FABRIC TAKEN FROM HOODIES YOU WORE IN HIGH SCHOOL AND BLESS IT WITH A GLORIA CANDLE AND MAKE SURE IT NEVER GOT DIRTY BUT IF IT EVER DID GET DIRTY I WOULD HAND-WASH IT 10,000 TIMES WITH ORGANIC WOOLITE
Vee says they’ve gotta “do something” now or else “The Spanish” will run the place, and Suzanne enthusiastically agrees. ‘That’s right, baby,” says Vee, tenderly manipulating Suzanne with hand-to-hand contact. Jesus.
Cut to the greenhouse, where Red is leading the olds in some spring cleaning and Jimmy is excited about her date to see Easter Parade with Jack at the cinema.
Healy shows up to get Woman Advice from Red — should he take his wife to Our Town at Litchfield High School? If he asked ME I’d say “absolutely fucking not” because although I love Our Town and starred as The Stage Manager in the 1993 Emerson Middle School production of Our Town, it’s way too dialogue-focused and setless for a lady who’s not into English because even people who like English find Our Town to be a total snoozer.
“I don’t know, I’m not familiar with the actors at that particular high school,” Red snarks, and Healy keeps going — maybe he could take her to dinner? They just opened an Italian place! I hope it’s The Olive Garden. Red says they don’t scratch each other’s backs anymore so she doesn’t give a fuck about who’s getting a Create a Sampler Italiano or listening to Emily say goodbye to clocks ticking. But oh well:
Red: “Skip the play. Take her to dinner.”
Jimmy mutters “Shit licker” as Healy departs, because she is an angel.
It’s Visitor Time In the Visitor Plaza! Maria’s getting a visit from her silent husband/boyfriend and Chapman has the pleasure of spending time at a small table with her hilarious brother and uptight mother creature. It’s the first they’ve seen her since the three weeks she spent in solitary for her brawl with Pennsatucky. Cal’s disappointed she doesn’t have more dislocated limbs or visible bruising.
Also, Cal’s girlfriend Neri is in the lobby due to an apparent problem with her background check, where she’s chatting up an innocent youth about how this place looks just like her old high school.
Neri: “I tell you what I find most disturbing is that it looks almost exactly like my old high school in here. Same cinderblock construction, low ceilings, oppressive fluorescent lighting. I wonder if that’s intentional. Like part of the punishment? If so, kudos to the government, because it’s genius.”
Piper’s Mom wants to know if Larry visited, but she should already know he hasn’t ’cause her chair isn’t covered in mayonnaise. Piper reminds her Mom that they broke up and Mom wants to find her a new man but Piper says no because she read on the internet that Alex will be back for future episodes.
Also, after an extended (and hilarious) guessing game of “why isn’t Dad here” between Piper and Cal, we learn that Piper’s grandmother is dying. WOMP WOMP
Cut to the kitchen, where Gloria’s wondering out loud in the form of a question when Caputo intends to fix their bathroom so they don’t have to bathe in human waste. He says they’ve gotta wait for Fig to return from her undoubtedly relaxing vacation to Albany with her smarmy husband who’s running for office. I HATE FIG SO MUCH.
Flashbackland: Lourdes thinks Gloria should call the police and get her boyfriend deported ’cause he keeps beating her up and SPEAK OF THE DEVIL
Lourdes, goddess of the playground, tells him off while he pleads with Gloria to give him another chance. Lourdes says he can work on his problems on the way to hell and DONT TOUCH THE CHILDREN
Arturo gets down on his knees in the playground and makes a scene, grabbing Gloria, pulling her close. She’s got a black eye. Lourdes is praying for her. It’s really fucking sad.
Back at Bang-Off Bangers Club, Big Boo tells Nicky that she banged Gruber in the shed or something. Nicky claims to be aiming much higher than good ol’ Gruby — she wants to bang Correctional Officer Fischer! THIS IS A TERRIBLE IDEA.
Nicky: “I’m a sexual Steve Jobs and that bitch is worth ten points.”
Also she will make that bitch pocket-sized, hook up some headphones to that bitch, and sell her to you for one hundred points! While wearing a turtleneck.
Cut to Healy’s House of Sadness, where Katya’s refusing to attend their date to The Spaghetti Factory ’cause she already has plans with her girlfriend. Not the good kind of girlfriend, the other kind.
Healy yells at her about how she should speak English and how it’s not crazy for him to want them to do something nice together, because it’s not like she has to WORK or anything. Healy is such a sad sack. He says her girlfriend can come along on their exciting date because his friends are her friends and vice versa and she’s like BUT YOU DON’T HAVE ANY FRIENDS, SAM. Ouch.
Some inconsequential amount of time later, the ladies of Spanish Harlem are unable to find their shoes, which happened to me all the time when I lived in Spanish Harlem too. One time I made a LOST sign for all my unmatched socks and hung it up all over the apartment and my roommate was like WHY ARE YOU SO WEIRD. Anyhow.
Good news! Gloria has found their shoes — all tied up to each other in her bed. (No word on my unmatched socks, however. Probably because they’re nowhere near my old apartment on 115th & First Avenue.)
Meanwhile, Chapman’s in her cell feeling sad because her grandmother is sick and dying.
“I don’t wanna bore anyone with my problems,” says Chapman, which is a total lie. Consequently Red is a good friend and asks kind questions about the situation and makes some astute remarks about the fallibility of human organs.
Chapman: “I’m not looking for sympathy. I’m trying to follow your lead, actually. Be strong. Suffer in silence.”
Red says Piper can’t ever let go, and casts longing glances towards Gina, who isn’t having it.
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I’m glad you wrote this, since I forgot many details of this ep due to the number of times I watched the ep where Poussey has sex with a girl!
Your all-caps paragraph is spot-on (the one concerning Poussey and doormats) and also this whole recap is hilarious and I enjoyed it very much and want to link it to my roommate but probs shouldn’t because I link her things pretty much everyday…
It’s great that you guys are doing a recapper rotation for OINTB. Could you do something similar for The Fosters? It is the only show about adult lesbians being adults while not in jail, your older readers would be very happy if you did.
I 100% agree! I watch the fosters religiously and miss the recaps! I volunteer as tribute to recap episodes as well! I seriously miss recaps when they don’t happen :(
I love your recaps, Riese. I can’t wait for Glee to come back just so I can have more of them!
I died with the kids asking for crystal meth. Also, yerba mate doesn’t taste good WHAT IS YOUR PROBLEM.
I want Orange to last forever too!
YAY A RECAP!! =) This makes me happy. We’re just about to get into the nitty gritty of it guys. Hold your horses. And I liked the cruella vee. lolz.
Was anyone else bothered by the recap’s less-than-respectful treatment of Santería, particularly by the presence of terms (magic, witchcraft) that have been central to the rhetoric used to delegitimize and demonize the ritual lives and practices of marginalized groups, women and people of color included?
I would have to agree with you! Even though I know that flippant humor is definitely one of Riese’s writing styles (at least that is what I have gleamed from all of her glee reacaps- which I LOVE, by the way!), I think that the tone didn’t really match well here.
I sincerely doubt that Riese intended any harm, but it definitely came across as disrespectful. Especially when taken into consideration with the fact that the OITNB writing team went as far as to get an actual Santería priest to consult on the episode to make sure that THEY weren’t disrespectful in their treatment of the religion. I would hope that Autostraddle would have the same consideration in their recaps. The website staff is generally pretty good about making sure its inclusive for all lady and/or gender-flexible queer folks, regardless of race, religion, culture, etc.
They really dropped the ball here.
oh wow, i had absolutely no idea what I was talking about and definitely didn’t know that “magic” would be considered offensive at all!! also we’re understaffed this week and training a bunch of new people so nobody proofread this before it went up. i’m seriously five minutes away from walking out the door and was just perusing the comments quickly before heading out, but I’ll edit to reflect this information when I get back. I’m really sorry!
okay it should be fixed now? thank you
It is so much better! I kept checking back periodically, because I had hope that someone from the team would correct this once they saw the comments. I’m glad to know that my faith in the goodness of Autostraddle continues to be proven true! Thanks for the fix, it really made a difference :)
Girls, we WILL have to fight over who gets to crochet Poussey a doormat.
It looks like we are *counts on fingers* about a few thousands in line, so I’ll have to be quite inventive to win this one…
I think we should make a bracket, then that way
I don’t have to beat up all of you.everything’s easier to keep track of.
Wait I take that back, I don’t like fighting. Once, my sister pulled my hair when I was like 5, and that’s where my personnal experience with physical violence ends, and I like it that way.
Maybe we can each crochet a row, and mail the doormat to the next person? And Poussey ends up with a mile-long doormat, with a “rainbows, polka dots and pterodactyls” design?
I am okay with other people doing the recap as long as every recap starts off with that picture of Kate.
Oh hooray! I knew I’d feeling bereft of something lately around these parts and it’s definitely OitNB recaps.
I love Gloria so much. She kind of snuck up on us in terms of importance, which is always fun from a less flashy character. (I love the flashy characters, too, of course.)
I love her too, she’s become one of my favorite characters. I like her more than Red and hopes she gets to stay in the kitchen. Or maybe her and Red can form some sort of alliance in season 3
I’m just happy this was posted because that means we’re one episode away from the Poussey episode.
To be honest all I cared about in the episode (spoiler) was that scene between Maritza and Flaca
love your recaps