Orange Is The New Black Episode 301 Recap: All About Your Mothers

IT’S MOTHER’S DAY PARTY TIME! So far, it looks like the guards are enjoying working this shift about as much as I enjoyed working Mother’s Day at The Olive Garden. Especially Bennett, ’cause Aleida’s boyfriend is there with all her kids wanting to talk openly and loudly about Bennett’s upcoming fusion with their family.

You wanna hear her play "twinkle twinkle little star" on her harmonica? I could set that up.

You wanna hear her play “twinkle twinkle little star” on her harmonica? I could set that up.

The prison yard’s a-flutter with more color and happiness than we got in the past two seasons all tied up in a bow. Demented mini-golf! Adorable puppies! Outdoor games! YOUTH! Suzanne made a kite! But Healy won’t let her outside, she’s forbidden from interacting with children after some shit from last year. So she’s just gotta gaze out from the inside, which I imagine reminds her of, oh, I don’t know… her entire life?

You don't think this looks like Fig? Not even a little bit?

You don’t think this looks like Dane Cook? Not even a little bit?

Outside, the festivities are in full swing, with some things going well and others going not-so-well. Only one of Gloria’s sons made the trip after two years apart, and he says the other’s been cutting class. She’s mad but shoves it down, happy enough just to be with one of her kids on this day. Soso’s gotta run a piñata station without piñata-busting tools. Nobody appreciates the brilliance of Flaca’s face painting.


You remind me of the babe.


What babe.

The babe with all the power.

The babe with all the power!

Yoga Jones tells the children to take a deep breath and follow their own path. Another inmate is keeping coke in her baby’s diaper and leaving her baby where-the-fuck-ever while she sneaks off to do it. Maritza’s adorable daughter shits on her shirt. Morello’s working the port-o-potties.



Everybody’s having mommy issues: Poussey’s depressed that Taystee and Black Cindy are being mean to the kids and dissing their own mothers ‘cause she liked her Mom and now her Mom is dead. We know this season is about “motherhood” and this episode kicks that off and then some — Taystee says she’s done with mamas, and mama stand-ins, too. Black Cindy says her Mom thinks she’s a shit.

Taystee: I am parent-free and proud.
Poussey: Yeah, well I liked mine.
Black Cindy: Maybe when mine dies, I’ll like her better.

Poussey, rolling through her deep blue sadness, tells Norma she wants in on the “voodoo magic” she’s heard Norma’s got some of ’cause she’s missing somebody real hard today.

Hey, you know where I can get a wad of 2-ply toilet paper around here? Ideally Charman?

Hey, you know where I can get a wad of 2-ply toilet paper around here? Ideally Charmin?

Take these pebbles from my hand, grasshopper


But before I can really get into a good solid cry about dead parents and how much I want Poussey to be released tomorrow and dropped off at A-Camp, we must witness Bennett trying to unsuccessfully pal around with the Diazes.

So who here has seen "The Wire"??

So have any of y’all seen “The Wire”?

Why are white guys always trying to talk to us about The Wire

Is that white man still talking

Caputo gives Bennett a speech about how anybody could use prison as a pussy buffet, which’s as awful for everybody involved as you’d expect.

Caputo: When those feelings come over me, you know what I do?
Bennett: Please don’t tell me.
Caputo: I take care of my fucking self. (pause) Do you know what I’m saying?
Bennett: I’m pretty sure I do.
Caputo: I spank it out, Bennett.
Bennett: Uh, it’s…
Caputo: And for the love of Pete I suggest you do the same. Like decent men have been doing since time immemorial.

Bennett says it’s about “more than sex” but Caputo thinks he’s a fool. Who are we, who do we think we are, etc.

Then we’ve got Sophia and Michael: that old ache. Michael’s got his walls up and Sophia’s scampering to climb ’em diplomatically.

Michael: I mean, I just feel bad because it’s her day and she’s just sitting in the car while I’m here.
Sophia: I didn’t mean to steal your mom’s day.
Michael: Yeah well, I don’t need another mother.

Yes, the #1 balloon is drifting over to me just like I planned

Yes, the #1 balloon is drifting over to me at exactly the right moment I hoped it would

Sophia says the pastor’s not teaching him the right way to shave and that his “wait for marriage” advice, re: girls, is no good. Also no good? The advice Sophia ends up giving, re: girls, which she says her Dad gave her: find an insecure girl and practice with her so when you find someone you really like, you know what you’re doing.

Michael: You really wanna be a lady in a world where men do that?
Sophia: God help me, I do.




The piñata is empty. “Ugh, this is such a metaphor for their lives,” says Soso. The guards pass the buck on who was supposed to fill the thing with candy. Ugh, that’s such a metaphor for adulthood.

Just remember children, love is a lie, everybody dies alone...


Aleida’s full of mothering advice for Daya but it’s mostly warnings of how bad shit’ll get, like that she should prepare for her vagina to stretch out and never snap back.

Aleida: It’s not all bad, you end up with a baby. It just ruins your life, is all.
Daya: You’re saying I ruined your life?
Aleida: Of course. The day you were born was the end.

Flashback to Aleida in the hospital bed with her new baby, declaring her perfect, saying nothing could be bad if they made something like that. That man with her is gonna leave her in two years, though, and maybe that’s when Aleida stopped believing that miracles are really miracles.

What do you think about the name "Ira"

Let’s name her Ira, like Ira Glass!

Then we flash back to the lawn where Aleida’s lost track of Lucy and wants the fam to go hunt her down while she does special stretches on the lawn.

Back in the visitor’s room, Red’s got the whole big family there: three large sons, one silly husband, all of them disturbed at her plan to disband the contraband operation. ‘Cause Red is the all-knowing all-seeing Janeway, she sees right through ’em when they claim everything is going well at the market.

Translation: It's not fine, nothing is okay

Translation: It’s not fine, nothing is okay

Pennsatucky has made little popsicle stick graves for her six unborn babies and wants Jesus to bless them and let them into heaven.

Well I guess it's time to pour one out for "Crossroads"

Well I guess it’s time to pour one out for “Crossroads”

Big Boo’s being a scary butch lesbian clown, aka my type. Just kidding. Pennsatucky feels sad about aborting all her babies, but Big Boo’s read Freakonomics and knows about that “Roe v. Wade leading to a crime dip in the ’90s” theory and tells Pennsatucky to slow her sad roll:

Big Boo: My point is that you were a meth-head white trash piece of shit, and your children, had they been born, would’ve been meth head white trash pieces of shit, so by terminating those pregnancies, you spared society the scourge of your offspring. If you think about it, it’s a blessing.
Pennsatucky: Never thought about it that way.
Big Boo: Maybe you should. Stop punishing yourself. What does a good mother do? A good mother does what’s best for her children. And what did you do? Wiped them out before they had to live fucking miserable lives.

Thus, Big Boo feels like she’s done her clown duty and is ready to retire.

C'mon, don't you wanna pet just one little ball?

C’mon, don’t you wanna pet just one little ball?

Daya makes the mistake of telling her dumb boyfriend that Lucy’s missing, ’cause now he’ll have to call it in and everybody’ll have to get down and freak out the children. They’ve got 20 minutes to find her OR ELSE. Aleida heads inside to hunt her down…  and, you know, while she’s there, to slip a letter from Connecticut into her underpants. At just that moment, the blaring begins, and Aleida hits the floor — and there’s Lucy!

What did you do with my Sparia fanfic collection

What did you do with my Sparia fanfic collection

Stop it you're embarrassing me

Stop it you’re embarrassing me

“I want to stay with Daya,” Lucy says. Aw dang, kiddo. Dang dang dang. Meanwhile in the yard, the children are radically confused about why their Moms are all lying belly-down in the grass — some cry, some let go of balloons, some join the face-plant in solidarity. Happy Mother’s Day!

Back at the gates, Maria hands her daughter back to Yadriel and says she’ll see them next week. He says no, not next week, ’cause now she’s old enough to know things and he doesn’t want her to think that her Mom being in prison is normal. Oof. Maria is, of course, devastated.

What? It's from Gymboree!

What? It’s from Gymboree!



The balloons, advertising good wishes for every holiday besides this one, float up through the darkening sky. Inmates pick up flags, discarded toys, plates, cups, cardboard sticks covered in paint and promise. They jam the insufficient garbage cans with the remains of the mother’s day.


Where the hell is Stef, I swear I saw her on the staff schedule for A-Camp Carnival clean-up

Poussey, heavy-limbed, sweeps up pieces of the empty piñata.

Damn this broom/pinata situation is like in the Phantom Toolbooth when they had to fill a well with an eyedropper or some shit

This broom/pinata situation is like in the Phantom Toolbooth when they had to fill a well with an eyedropper

Then a piece catches her eye and she snatches that shit up. It’s the Calvin & Hobbes cartoon she read with her Mom in the flashback! Nice job, show.



The twee acoustics amp up, Poussey looks down, half-hopeful that this is a sign of more good things to come. MAYBE. HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!

And thus concludes the first recap of the third season of Orange is the New Black, A Place for Friends. Gabby will be recapping Episode Two and you can expect that to drop early next week! Heather, Gabby and I will be recapping this season for y’all. However, if you’re an undiscovered and hilarious teevee recapper looking for your big break recapping OITNB, hit us up! (We pay!) Heather’s got lots of shows on her plate already and I’ve got a crazy summer so I wouldn’t mind taking a few episodes off.

Also I love this season. It’s so good. I’m gonna finish it RIGHT NOW.

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Riese is the 41-year-old Co-Founder of as well as an award-winning writer, video-maker, LGBTQ+ Marketing consultant and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and now lives in Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in nine books, magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. She's Jewish and has a cute dog named Carol. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

Riese has written 3198 articles for us.


  1. LMAO! Good work getting the Sparia fic reference in! Poor Poussey keeps hurting my heart. I wish she could get a lovely lady to make her feel better. :( I mean i’m on episode five and she hasn’t so far.

  2. This season is just. Oh man. I finished it and oh man.

    Also while I have no tv-recap-writing experience, I have recapped tv and have writing experience, so I Am Interested in tryin out for an episode or two.

  3. Damn it Yadriel I was rooting for you we were all rooting for you how dare you also Flaca’s make up skills are on point also poor Poussey and poor Gloria and poor Maria. Man I just want nice things for everyone

    • YES i was like NOOOOOOOO i was so happy at the end of the last season when they busted his story open — when it became clear that he did love maria and did care desperately about their child, he just wasn’t a big talker, and it really forced the viewer to confront their own pre-conceived stereotypes about what his silence meant. AND THEN.

      • I know I was really rooting for them, man and I also liked that little twist last season. I mean on some level I get where he’s coming from but I don’t see how he thinks it’s a good idea to take away one of the only things that Maria has to look forward too.

  4. Sparia fanfic and mysterious lesbian sex are my all time two favorite running gags and here they are, together at last

  5. OK so at some weird point in my life this winter I had a dream that OITNB came out super early and y’all recapped it. The whole dream was just me sitting there reading the recap, so this is giving me a weird sense of deja vu right now

  6. “Taystee shows up like an old friend we’ve missed since June 7th, 2014, but who is played by an actress whose off-season journeys into Leslandia kept us reasonably entertained on instagram in the meantime.”

    LOL! Oh Reise, if you only knew how much I enjoyed this line. I wasn’t expecting a recap so early! Thank you Autostraddle

  7. this recap was brilliant. also love the captions- specifically the references to Rachel Dolezal and the Phantom Tollbooth one. excellent!

    • i wasn’t sure anybody would get the phantom toolbooth reference but i think about that part all the time! bless you

      • the phantom tollbooth reference was my favorite! very closely followed by the labyrinth reference. SO GREAT.

  8. Tears, this episode nearly brought them so many times! I saw my mother today, <3

    Poussey’s vignette really caught me. I REMEMBER that Calvin and Hobbes strip (said everyone ever.) When she saw it in the pinata remnants…

    I've only seen the first two episodes, but Sophia's parts have hit close to home as well!

  9. Bless you for filling the void after finishing the season with hilarious banter and captions.

  10. I just finished the season. I have so many feelings. So good and somehow they redeemed every character that I never really liked before. And somehow made me love tastyee and black Cindy even more. But now I don’t know what to do with myself. Who was I before season 3, what did I do with my spare time? Also ruby rose was criminally under used. I look forward to reliving it all with future recaps.

  11. This is the only episode I’ve seen so far! I want to watch the rest but I’ve got prior engagements (watching Sense8).

    Also I thought that was so weird when Sophia was talking to her son about how to shave and talk to girls. but i think she was just trying to deal with being a trans parent and not quite knowing how to do that, you know?

    also that part with maria and her baby and Yadriel KILLED me. that was too much. like, way too much.

    • that part with sophia WAS weird, i felt like it was kind of out of character for her as she’s been written so far

    • That scene between Sophia and Michael (her son) was definitely weird and out of character for her. But I’ve been erring on the side of that was the intentional point? She’s in a position of trying to relate to and parent her teenage son who has only just now began to allow her back into his life. And I think she’s also (subconsciously) trying to “one up” her ex-wife’s new boyfriend and the role he plays in her son’s life. She’s a little afraid of being replaced, I think. And maybe all of those layers led her to make some misguided choices re: advice to give her son.

      I dunno. That situation has got to be hard. And awkward. I think the scene necessarily and adequately demonstrates that.

      But It’s entirely possible that I’m giving too much credit to the writers here.

      • @c-p @meyrude It struck me as SO WEIRD too but like you suggested @c-p, also reminded me of how when I’m feeling insecure about winning somebody over, I’m often liable to say all kinds of ridiculous things that i shouldn’t say in order to get them to bond with me? and then i hate myself afterwards? like it’s easier to form a bond with somebody by sharing something that isn’t fit for public consumption — something special and controversial and just between the two of you — than it is to say something anybody could say because it’s a thing that’s acceptable to say. like specifically to say a thing the pastor would never say.

        but yeah, that could be too much credit. i think even if it was what we’re saying it was, the advice itself still doesn’t make much sense? like what? that’s stupid advice any way you cut it. why an insecure girl? ’cause she’d be more likely to put out? i mean, sure, okay… but that doesn’t really compute… also like, if you want to learn how to be a good sexual partner, it’s probs better to be with somebody who’s vocal and confident about asserting what’s good for them and what isn’t.

        • i think maybe the spirit of the writer who’s been ruining broad city haunted the script of oitnb in that moment. cuz i was like, wait…so now we’re praying on insecure girls? how did we get here??

  12. Great start to the season. It really set up the theme of the season which, to me, is that trying to make everyone happy doesn’t work…especially in prison. The “kinder, gentler Litchfield” is going to backfire and big. The girl doing drugs she smuggled in her baby’s diaper was a nice reminder of where they were.

    And I loved little Nicky!! (Not the movie.) So cute!

  13. Oh man this episode was A LOT. Like, a lot a lot. Moms and sad Poussey and Bennet meeting Daya’s family (BENNET ) and just too too much. They really started off the season with all of the Feelings.

    • yes! i liked that everybody got a little time, too — like last year’s premiere felt so weird ’cause it was only piper? and i totally understand, story-wise, why it had to be that way, and it was an interesting experiment. but this felt better, seeing everybody at once, and set the tone for the whole season to be more evenly distributed between storylines than previous seasons.

  14. I WILL HIT YOU UP ABOUT RECAPPING. Should we just leave the “your submission” section blank?

    • at a-camp lauren morelli said they’ve already started writing season four, i wonder when we’ll find out if ruby rose is gonna be in it

  15. If the season doesn’t follow up on the Maria/Yadriel situation I am going to melt into a sad confused pile.


  17. piper and alex need to get on the Maury. they’re whole love thing isn’t cute. the name of their Maury episode needs to be Help I’m Still In Love W the B*tch Who Put Me In Jail

      • I would TiVo the hell out of that.
        [Does TiVo even exist anymore? Anyway]

        Pennsatucky’s hair this episode was the bane of my visual existence aaaaagh.

  18. Hello thank you for this, it was very funny, especially the part about the cost of tootsie rolls.

  19. That last scene made me tear up… Wanna give Pousey a big hug! Her Mama’s hanging out with my mama in heaven…

  20. I’m late to the party – just finished watching the third season today. So many mother issues, so many feelings! Looking forward to reading through the recaps as they get published so I can process some of those feelings with all you wonderful persons.

  21. Who else squealed when Alex was the one who turned around in the bunk?! I never thought I’d be so happy to see someone in prison clothes again lol. I think I literally had heart eye emojis for eyes during the Alex and Piper snuggling scene in the chapel. They might be the most dysfunctional couple ever but they’re also the cutest couple ever *sigh*

  22. SO LATE TO THIS BUT. I really am enjoying the season so far! I like how they kicked it off with Mother’s Day. Way to give everyone feelings.

  23. I don’t want to be rude, and I know that it’s been a month and so nobody will see this probably? But it’s Morello, not Moretti… just wanted to let you know. (I referred to my roommate’s gf as Steph for an entire conversation even though I knew full well her name was Soph and when called out realized I genuinely hadn’t noticed I’d been saying something else. So. I feel u)

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