Welcome to a recap for episode 303 of Orange Is the New Black, a docu-drama about the last, bloody effort of men to thwart the inevitable genesis of an earth-saving matriarchal society.
Norma is performing a morning blessing when Luschek grouses into her cubicle to wake up Nicky for an electrical emergency. Surprise, though: It is not an electrical emergency. Luschek has recruited his sister’s husband to unload Nicky and Boo’s super secret stash of zillion dollar heroin. The tantrum he throws when Nicky tells him the drugs are missing is really special. He stomps his feet, he pulls his hair, he says he’s going to give Nicky a shot. She goes, “You’re going to give me a shot for not selling you drugs?”
Whenever Luschek whips out his old Lois Lane-style reporter notebook and threatens to give someone a shot, I imagine him going to Caputo and turning in a little piece of notebook paper with crayon notes scrawled on it and a lot of frowny faces. He kicks the wall and explains that women aren’t in jail because they’re criminals, but because they’re bad at being criminals, and then he takes his toys and he goes home.
Flashback! Nicky is hanging out in Brooklyn with a few buddies trying to score some heroin for the weekend, and when their dealer shows up without any, she gets so agitated she steals his taxi. Well, no. First she whoops, “Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose!” And then she steals his taxi. And immediately smashes it into another parked car, before having a chance to reflect on the fact that Tami Taylor would never approve of that kind of behavior. Although, Julie Taylor would absolutely pull such bratty shenanigans, so maybe Nicky wasn’t so far off with her Friday Night Lights battle cry. Anyway, that’s how she ended up in jail. The first time.
In real-time in the library, Piper and Alex are hate-fucking. Just pulling each other’s hair and pushing each other down and around and debating who’s the most Slytherin between them. Um, both? Both of you assholes are the most Slytherin? You sold me out! Slap. You sold me out! Smooch. You’re a narcissistic psychopath! Shove. You’re an opportunistic asshole! Hair yank.
You can tell, even though they don’t say it, that Piper and Alex think they invented angry fucking.
Outside in the Vitamin D, Daya is planning her wedding with Flaca and Maritza and Maria, who are all full of advice about flowers and caterers and dresses and engagement photos. The only minor hiccup is they can’t choose a wedding date because they’re all getting released different times. Maria takes the hardline, all, “None of us will befriends after we get out of here; in fact, most of us will end up here again, because the system is so stacked against women of color it’ll chew us up and spit us back into Litchfield before we even have a chance to get used to sleeping on a mattress again.”
The Grandma Farming Co-Op is working in the garden, trying to figure out the most profitable crops to plant — amazingly, Frieda suggests corn so they can rent it out for sex hijinks once it gets tall enough — when Healey ambles on up like a mansplaining cowboy from the days of yore and asks Red to mediate some arguments between him and his wife. He thinks it’s a language barrier that’s keeping them apart, instead of thinking the correct thing, which is that he’s an angry, entitled shitbird with misogynistic leanings and an inexplicable lesbian chip on his shoulder. Also, he bought a wife. Red agrees to do it, though, because she has never seen an angle she can’t work.
The Office of Berdie Rogers, Compassionate HBIC. Alex has a hickey but she insists it’s not a hickey. She says she punched herself in the throat or whatever misanthropic thing. Rogers is super unimpressed and unintimidated by Alex’s aggressive better-thank-you over-it-ness and invites her to the improv drama class she’s teaching today. Alex would rather be trampled by a wooly mammoth/fed to sharks/etc. than go to a drama class, and because her thing isn’t just feeling nihilistic but also spreading her nihilism, she identifies what Berdie holds dear, zooms in on it, and tries to bludgeon it to death.
Oh, you wanna make a difference? Yeah, I get it. You’re one of the good guys. But guess what? We all think we’re good guys. I used to work for a drug dealer who wouldn’t hesitate to put a bullet in your head if you crossed him, or if you stopped being useful to him, but in his mind, he’s still a good guy. Heroin Robin Hood because he cut out the Mexican cartels and passed on the savings to the consumer, and he never cut his shit with brick dust. And you’re not just another shill taking a paycheck from an evil system of oppression, ’cause you’re fighting it from the inside, with drama class. Fine. Whatever you need to tell yourself to get by. But excuse me if I don’t want to spend my precious time catering to the delusion that you’re making a difference. I have my own quilt of lies to sew.
Rogers becomes my favorite immediately because she smiles so sincerely and says, “That was a great speech! I’d love to hear it again, in drama class!”
It’s no surprise that Nicky stole her own drugs, or that she hides them back in the same room in a different location, or that Soso basically thwarts Nicky’s creepin’ to monologue about how they can definitely still be friends even though they’ve done some hardcore scissoring with each other because there’s no point in trying to avoid hanging out because they are in prison after all so it’s not like they can get away from each other and Soso doesn’t really even have a best friend in here and isn’t this the way lesbians make best friends, by sleeping with each other and then breaking up? Nicky finally snaps at Soso to zip it and skedaddle, and hides her heroin up in the ceiling.