Hello and welcome to the thirteenth episode of the second season of Orange is the New Black, a show about reckless drivers and how frustrating it is to lose all your drugs! This is the series finale of this fine television program in which a whole bunch of shit went down. I hope all of you are really proud of Team Autostraddle for taking no less than four months and seven writers to recap this entire season.
We open in the great outdoors, where two men in suits have arrived to Investigate some Incidents that have taken place at Litchfield, for example the fact that Poussey and Taystee haven’t fallen in love and become girlfriends yet and that Watson isn’t a lesbian.
Caputo’s eager to say his piece but the Men in Suits wanna see Fig herself, STAT.
We then mosey on downstairs to the warehouse, where Black Cindy and Watson are shoveling dirt and Watson’s trying to look on the bright side of life, like that at least they’re not moving rocks or some Phantom Tollbooth type shit.
Black Cindy: Yeah, on the other hand, Paulie in Goodfellas had the joint wired, cookin’ big-ass dinners every night.
Watson: Italians have weird shit with their mothers. They like live with them way too long.
Black Cindy: We all got weird shit with our mamas.
Yes, like how my mother wouldn’t let me have Barbies. Obviously, Vee’s been creeping on them and announces her presence by slamming her shovel into the ground like a gravedigger from hell.
Vee informs the girls that although she’s the one who attacked Red, they’re gonna have to pin it on Suzanne, because Vee’s soul is actually just one of those balls hamsters run around in except without a hamster inside it. Black Cindy and Watson think this plan is cold, but Vee’s got a retort for that:
Vee: Is it cold for Amazon to underprice books just to capture market-share? No, it seems to me that as shareholders in this company, you are immune to the cold. Just like polar bears.
WHAT THE FLYING FUCK.
The Investigators are interrogating the Women of Litchfield regarding Red getting smacked with a lock-in-a-sock. Morello says it’s Vee ’cause Vee is the one who made shit hardcore, and Nikki knows that it’s Vee because, duh, it was Vee.
Blanca and Maritza both pin it on Suzanne, ’cause “she already be like, throwing pie all the time, but this is like next-level crazy, you know?” Rosa says Vee’s rude and she doesn’t like rude people.
Watson and Black Cindy finger Suzanne, as instructed, but they don’t seem happy about it. The coppers declare Suzanne their #1 top suspect.
In the hospital, Red says she says she saw nothing/nobody and is just a woman trying to grow a plant! SHE JUST WANTS TO GARDEN, Y’ALL.
We then slip down a magical tunnel into the fantastic underbelly of Litchfield, where Chapman’s been exploring her artistic talents in a tiny windowless cell known as the “SHU.”
Caputo shows up wanting more details on the case Piper was stealing those files for. Piper offers to tell him everything if he can stop her transfer.
Obviously Caputo found what he was looking for in those files because mere moments later, an excited Caputo bursts into Fig’s office declaring “I’ve got you now you dirty bitch!” Unfortunately his gusto is robbed from his cold living man-hands by the fact that Fig’s already on the floor, sobbing to herself in slacks that look like sweatpants.
Fig’s hubby is having an affair with a man named Gavin. HEY-O! Also, Fig thinks she used to be “hot” and now she isn’t, but Caputo reminds her that although she’s a horrible person with no soul, she’s still very sexy. Personally I think one cancels the other out but nobody asked me.
Caputo says he knows everything and is done cleaning up her crap (and, incidentally, the crap of the entire unit now that the plumbing’s gone under) and that she’s a criminal and she should suck his dick. Then she sucks his dick!
Fig: So we’re good?
Caputo: I do like you down on your knees.
Fig: Christ, you should never speak. Uh… the files. You’ll shut up?
Caputo: Oh, I already gave them to the warden. He’s got copies of everything. Bye Nat!
Despite the fact that we just had to witness this creature-on-creature beejer, you just gotta laugh, smile and clap for that. YOU GO CAPUTO. FOUR FOR YOU.
In the hospital Sister Ingalls wants to know why Red won’t rat out Vee. Red insists everything’s going so well ’cause bed-rest is affording her heaps of time to scheme revenge.
Also, Red used to take her boys to the carnival and it was so much fun. Probably because there’s lots of this at the carnival:
OOPS WRONG CARNIVAL IMAGE. There are no carnival images, just Red talking about carnivals.
Nicky is disappointed that there wasn’t a vibrator in Fig’s desk, just candy wrappers. I’m sure Gavin feels similarly.
Chapman conveys excitement regarding the cancellation of her transfer ’cause she doesn’t wanna “lose more people,” but Nicky’s unable to summon appropriate levels of exuberance due to Red’s recent clocking and its unfortunate impact on her ability to see the glass as “half full.”
Nicky: Ah! Whoopie! You get to stay here… in hell. Hey, maybe you’ll get slocked to death by a psychotic heroin dealer!
Piper then reveals that Alex is coming to visit, prompting Nicky to suggest that she stop thinking about her “fuck-up ex-girlfriend” and instead focus on whether Red will ever be able to plant another plant and see her Secret Garden grow.
In the kitchen, Maria’s crying and Gloria is sighing. I know this because the closed captioning reads “[Gloria sighs].” Maria’s sad about being transferred far away from her baby and Strong Silent Boyfriend.
Caputo shows up and Bennet explains why Maria’s so upset. Caputo informs Bennett that shit’s going down and that now his star might be rising while Fig’s explodes, which, believe it or not, is not a reference to the fellatio he received earlier. Caputo promises Bennett that as one of the “good guys,” he’ll benefit under Caputo’s new reign of power.
He lets Bennett deliver the good news that she won’t be transferred to Maria, because being the bearer of good news is fucking awesome. Maria cries tears of joy.
We return to the Mel Caf, where Taystee’s sitting down next to her One True Love Poussey. Poussey’s pleased for the company but before she gets too excited Taystee wants to be sure Poussey’s not about to lez out on her:
Taystee: Can we please not have a whole talk about our feelings and what happened and like, our status, because I never learned that and it really makes me like, wanna jump out of my skin, so, can we just sit here and be cool now?
Poussey: Well, maybe just a little talk?
Then they start joking like old times: doing Mackenzie voices, laughing about Jell-O and monkeys. Meanwile Vee gnaws on plastic utensils while undoubtedly thinking about murdering kittens. Nicky strides over to have a little talk about HER feelings.
Nicky challenges Watson and Black Cindy’s allegiance to Vee:
Nicky: What’s the matter with you people?
Black Cindy: “You people”? You mean black people?
Nicky: I mean blind people. All right? Blindly following a fucking psychopath!
Black Cindy and Watson decide to sit with Taystee and Poussey, who Cindy observes are back together again because “ain’t this some Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants shit.” Poussey says they’re on a rocky road with Vee and any of them could be next in line to be tossed in the dungeon of horror but Watson points out that they’re making money, so.
Taystee has some advice for her friends who still stand with V:
Taystee: Don’t feel bad if you don’t see it yet. It took me 15 years. I just hope you all wise up before it’s too late.
It’s time for another Safe Space meeting and Healy has his sign and his cookies but all the chairs are empty because nobody shows up and you guys there is nothing in the world sadder to me than throwing an event that nobody shows up to and so I can’t really talk about it. Also Leanne steals all the cookies and Pennsatucky is hanging out with the LGBTQ-Straight Alliance.
O’Neil tells Caputo that he bought a miniature banjo on craigslist, which means his day was more productive than mine. Also, there’s a bunch of nuns nunning it up outside supporting Sister Ingalls’ hunger strike.
Caputo begs the nuns to return in 3-5 business days, just like that miniature banjo I ordered on craigslist. The nuns refuse to vacate, so Caputo leaves O’Neil to entertain them despite his Nunny Issues.
Back inside the institution, Vee’s prepping Suzanne for her interrogation by convincing Suzanne that she indeed clocked Red with a sock. So this is the Long Con, it turns out. She saw a vulnerable, easily manipulated person and she dove right in and grabbed her like a limb.
Then Vee says they can “play Uno” later but she uses a tone of voice that suggests they could play DUO later, if you know what I mean.
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“Watson and Black Cindy finger Suzanne, as instructed, but they don’t seem happy about it.”
BAHAHAHAHAHA. I am a child.
Okay serious comment about the Fig scene: I know we’re supposed to be like YAY CAPUTO YOU COERCED A WOMAN INTO AN UNWANTED SEXUAL ACT WITH YOU but I have a huge problem with that scene. It just made me really uncomfortable- anyone else?
No, I completely agree. That whole thing made me extremely uneasy.
You’re not alone, that scene really bothered me too.
Fig makes my skin crawl, but Caputo *blackmails* her into giving him a blow job. That’s indisputably a sexual assault scene — and an incredibly graphic one, at that. Can we recognize this scene as an opportunity to unpack how rape & the threat of rape are used to punish and control women (even evil women characters)? I want to see Fig get her just desserts too, but I find the Mean Girls’ quote as a response to a (undeniably repulsive) character’s sexual assault disconcerting, y’all.
Yeah, that was defiantly blackmail and assault. Caputo knew that she was only making the offer in exchange for his silence.
That scene upsets me a lot too. I get a really gross message out of it; a woman in power can be easily degraded into a (rightful?) position that makes her submissive to a man. Caputo gets to show he has all the power by sexually humiliating Fig. I have trouble with this whole situation.
Now, I’m sure that Caputo won’t be able to handle the prison bureaucracy any better than Fig and he’ll inevitably screw up – probably worse than Fig ever did. But I doubt Caputo will have to give his successor a BJ. If the tone of the scene had been different, it could have been an interesting comment on complicities of sexism and power. But as it is, we’re supposed to celebrate with Caputo and that’s just unsettling.
Also think it is especially unsettling not only because the direction does seem to see it as a moment of celebration for Caputo rather than further making him out to be disgusting, but it also means that all of Figs major humiliations are sexual in nature. She gets off for embezzlement and looks like she will continue to play the dutiful wife role to see her husband win office. She even gets a clean record and can resign instead of be fired. All of her narrative “retribution” or “comeuppance” is around the husband she has endangered her career for cheating on her with a guy and her being tricked into giving Caputo a blowjob.
I was so unbelievably uncomfortable with it. I scrolled through the comments specifically to see if anyone else was. I mean, she was awful, but she was so ridiculously vulnerable in that moment and he took advantage of that and then laughed at her despair. Plus, consensual sex is all about consent and she while she may have consented to a sex act with him to keep those files safe (problematic enough as it was) that was not his intent so he withheld information which negated her consent making that sex act non-consensual and therefore an act of rape. Pretty effing disgusting all around. Plus, just the idea of him getting off on that sad sad desperate and seemingly helpless human being, was disgusting and very disturbing.
Yeah I really hate feeling like me as the viewer is complicit in this. I felt like they were trying to manipulate us into rooting for Caputo in this moment.
Man, can we do series where we replace mark wahlberg’s face with our queer fan girl idols? Or just get Soso a nice button down?
Is that an Empire Records reference in an OITNB recap? I’m not sure my brain is able to process that much joy!
I loved Red and Sister Ingalls this episode, with their sex talk and sandwich toasting. That was a great thing to see on TV.
Also, I really want to see more of Maria and Yadriel and their baby next season. Their scene in this episode was beautiful.
This season had some things that worked for me, most of all being the show finally wising up (as Pretty Little Liars never has with Ezra) to the fact that Bennett is an abusive asshole. I really enjoyed the way his portrayal this season (threatening some of the incarcerated women, tearing the bunks apart, etc.) gave some perspective on the ways in which his sexual and romantic relationship with Daya isn’t OK just because “I love her” and in fact bears some striking similarities to Pornstache’s sexual relationships with some of the incarcerated women. Also everyone realizing what an annoying person Piper is and treating her accordingly.
Things that didn’t work for me: the “ultimate villain” and one of the only characters who isn’t even slightly humanized (hell, even Pornstache got more sympathy in his scenes moping over true love with Bennett) as a woman of color and a person who is incarcerated. People recognize that Fig, Caputo, Healy, etc. are not really good people but they still have traits one can relate to; by the end, Vee was just a cartoon. Even her care for Taystee and RJ was completely invalidated. And on that note, the end of this season was a fucking cartoon period. People have already pointed out that Moretti being allowed to drive when she’s incarcerated for attempted murder is ridiculous; turning the car over to Miss Rosa so she can drive off into the sunset and on the way, take someone out, reads like the end of a comedic movie. If Orange is the New Black is looking to go full-on comedy, it’s the showrunners’ and writers’ prerogative to do so, but it’s a shame to think of the potential wasted (and the ways in which the dramatic abilities of the actors will be wasted). It turned me off completely. As much as I love ladies fucking, this season also spent so much on that at the expense of other storylines highlighting the complexities and inequities of the prison-industrial complex that by the end I was tired of that too.
tl;dr While I followed this season’s arc hopefully, I’m really hesitant to invest in Season 3 given how this season ended.
I don’t think Morello is supposed to be in for attempted murder given the length of her sentence and that it is minimum security, especially as it involved an attempt at a bomb. I think she may be doing these 3 years for the mail fraud. In some minimum security prisons inmates do do a lot of work, so her being allowed to drive while supervised if she is a non-violent offender (for this sentence at least) makes sense. Given the courtroom scene of her flashback, Christopher may have been a character witness against her.
As for Vee, I get why some people may feel it is problematic because she is shown as being a predator not seeking redemption. However, I also think it is a great portrayal of how much of a predator some people can be, and how they can draw vulnerable people in. She just doesn’t have the protections that privilege often offers. But she is a bad person who preys on people, and I think it is okay to portray her as such. The things she do, including selling heroin, harms people and communities. She is a standard ruthless bussinessperson who puts profit and power before all else. I think it would have been interesting for someone to comment on her being in prison but a representative from Phillip Morris being brought in as a special guest.
uugggh, *Morello, I fail at getting characters’ names right even when they are right in front of me. I like the suggestion you make about having someone comment on her presence but the Phillip Morris representative brought in as a special guest. And people like Vee do exist – it’s less the presence of her character that I have a problem with and more the fact that none of the characters in positions of greater power in the PIC are similarly portrayed.
Your comments about Morelli’s sentence make a lot more sense in the context of the prison world. I can’t remember from what they showed of her trial this season if it’s just Christopher who stands up talking about the bomb or if it’s the judge in the sentencing. On the other hand, Miss Claudette sure appeared to be in for murder based on how her story was presented, so it doesn’t seem like the internal universe has good consistency. I’m confused about that.
I get the impression Miss Claudette was in max security for a number of years and got down graded to minimum for good behaviour, so maybe not quite the same as Morello being allowed to drive?
It’s been a while since I watched it now and I can’t remember the finer details so well.
This final episode was everything.
1. I still think Soso’s backstory is going to be Morello-level out of left field.
2. I have always thought of Maria’s Silent Partner as one of my favorite characters. I mean, they are shown as the most faithful visitor, and they’re obviously a good listener. Also, I think the actor really showed their chops when they first found out about the transfer and were struggling not to cry while Maria talked to their baby.
3. O’Neill is full of so much win this episode, just so much win.
4. Doggett’s speech to Healey was a real heartstrings puller for me.
5. I found the ending a bit over the top, and given this show expect to have season three open with Vee alive, Ford fired, and Morello in SHU or at the very least with any liberties she might have restricted.
I agree I think that Soso is hiding something and I really enjoy Maria and her boyfriend Yadriel’s relationship. I just hope next season we get to see more of the Hispanic women’s backstories. I’d love to know how Maritza and Flaca met or just more of them in general ( which is partially due to my huge crush on Diane Guerrero)or more moments with Daya and Aledia. I have a feeling that the rules are going to get stricter in season 3 which is going to result in a riot. I mean that riot gear was foreshadowing something.
can we talk about how good soso looks in that tie though
good work, whoever made that happen
Loved this episode! The season as a whole wasn’t as good as season one for me mostly due to the lack of Alex and the Alex/Piper relationship which was what really kept me glued to the screen in the first season. So I was thrilled to see Alex will be back on her way to jail for season 3 and the visiting scene was absolutely heartwrenching. I think I literally squealed with joy when it was revealed Piper had saved all of Alex’s letters lol.
This last episode and that last scene was everything though. The middle episodes were really slow for me but the last few really ramped up the action and ended the season on a great note. Can’t wait for season 3!
You know Piper trying to sabotage Alex’s probation reminds me of when Miss Claudette stopped Trisha from planting drugs in Mercy’s cell. I will say one critique I have of this season is that I wish that there was a bit more foreshadowing in season one about Vee’s role. Maybe I’m being a bit nitpicky but certain things felt a bit rushed like “bam Taystee has an evil foster mother” or “bam Poussey is in love with Taystee” I also felt that the tone could’ve been handled a bit better. I mean the show goes from being a pretty campy show with dark moments to just a dark show. Vee is an evil villain but we don’t really know how she got to become so horrible to begin with and I had no idea that Taystee had a “foster” mother. Her role with Taystee makes sense and is interesting but I wish that she had gave us some hint about it in season one. Miss Rosa really shined this season though as well as Gloria and Poussey.
I’m crying because Rosa is perfection. PER. FEC. TION.