Orange Is the New Black Episode 303 Recap: The Double Reverse Jinx Strategy

Flaskback redux! Nicky’s mom bails her out of jail, and on the way home in their limo(?), Nicky begs for some cash so she can bail out her friends too. Nicky’s mom knows she wants the money for drugs and not for bail, and she gives her cash and credit cards and basically her whole entire wallet, because if she doesn’t, Nicky’s just going to steal an airplane and crash it into a playground. That’s the addict life. Higher stakes and higher stakes until you blow up the world.


Next time we do vampire role play, you be Princess Bubblegum and I’LL be Marceline!

In real time, Alex storms through Litchfield until she finds Piper talking to Morello and Yoga Jones and Sister Ingalls about how mouths evolved to give blow jobs, which I absolutely refuse to believe is true. Plus also, Google backed me up when I looked it up just now. Mouths and lips evolved for eating and chewing and maybe kissing. Did you know chimpanzees kiss on the mouth to make up after they fight? And bonobos French kiss? I learned that just now too. Also, Bonobos are all bisexual, but I knew that from a long time ago. Alex clomps up and points at her hickey and yells at Piper about how she just did it to be possessive and controlling, which seems accurate.

Morello is happy the Get Along Gang is together again and can’t wait to express the fullness of her knowledge of “Chlamydia dell’Arte” (“which is from Europe!”) in drama class. Morello! Ha! I love Morello so much! I also love her face when Alex says Piper is her sex cow. She’s goes, “Oh. That’s … sweet.”


I mean, I’d rather be Engagement Ring Princess or Fire Princess, but I guess I could try to be Toast Princess.

Healy gets gross with Rogers before her drama class, talking about Father Knows Best and no one’s going to come to this thing and don’t get too disappointed, little lady, but then of course the class fills up with practically everyone in the whole jail because Rogers is heaven and people just want to be near her. Healy also cannot tell the difference between women clowning lovingly on each other and him calling Alex a “dumb bitch” because he is the biggest fucking idiot.

Actually, it’s a toss-up between the two best events in Litchfield history. Inside is Rogers’ drama class, but outside, Poussey and Taystee are holding a funeral for all the books that were burned in the Great Bed Bug Breakdown of 2015. It’s probably the greatest scene in TV history.


I had already burned the third Hunger Games book, so that one’s not in here.

Taystee: We are gathered here today to mourn those that were martyred in the Conflagration of Three Days Ago! It is a sad day when any book is not returned, or when it is returned with pages missing because some fool needed to write a note or they need to wipe their nasty ass, but anyway. To have our entire flock taken from us is almost beyond reckoning! So, we take this time to honor those titles that we have lost. Go head, Washington.
Poussey: Yeah, I’ve never been at a funeral for books before. And like, I feel like there’s nothing I can say that wouldn’t be better said in, like … a book.
Taystee: Mmm!
Poussey: But books are made of paper, trees. So we thought they should be returned to the trees. From whence they came and everything.
Taystee: The ultimate book return.

Poussey starts reading off the names of the books that were martyred. Great Expectations, The BFG, Squirrel Nutkins and then loses it when she gets to the dictionary: “Damn. The dictionary. The dictionary, man! What are we going to do in the world without a damn dictionary?!”

Daya wanders up and says she didn’t know Flores was so into books, and Flores speaks for me:


Really, Daya is just looking for Bennett, who hasn’t been around in many days. She tells herself his shifts probably got switched up, even though she knows in her heart that he has moved to Shondaland without her.

In the laundry room, Angie and Leanne are talking about the Blessings of Norma when it starts raining heroin from the ceiling. Their faith has been proved genuine! Praise and glory to Norma! Her promises have been revealed! They stuff the bags of dope into their pants and bounce up outta there.


Your swagger and your bearing, and the just right clothes you’re wearing.


Your short hair and your dungarees, and your lace up boots.


And your keys! Oh, your ring of keys!


Drama class is going as amazingly as you suspected it would. Morello is doing improv with Chang, who keeps shooting down her scenarios and flipping the script to dogs and dicks. Everyone thinks it’s super hilarious, except for Morello. Suzanne wants a turn next, to “sublimate her abandonment issues through the art of role play,” but Rogers calls on Piper and Alex, who start making a scene about it immediately, about how they can’t work together, about how they can’t give their best performances today, about how they don’t need an improv class to be a black hole of melodrama. Rogers says she doesn’t want a performance; she wants to see them stop masturbating to the sound of their own voices and listen to what another person has to say for a single minute of their lives. “Let’s worry about empathy,” she says, because she doesn’t know Piper or Alex.

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Heather Hogan

Heather Hogan is an Autostraddle senior editor who lives in New York City with her wife, Stacy, and their cackle of rescued pets. She's a member of the Television Critics Association, GALECA: The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics, and a Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer critic. You can also find her on Twitter and Instagram.

Heather has written 1619 articles for us.


  1. I was sad to see Nicky go. I don’t read spoilers so I was completely shocked that it happened. I missed her all the rest of the season.

    I don’t know if the writers wanted us to be turned on by Piper and Alex’s hate-fucking but I was so far from that. I didn’t find those scenes sexy at all. And while the actresses may have chemistry(though that is subjective), I just don’t care anymore. All of their scenes these days leave me with a bad taste in my mouth. I am so glad that I don’t watch this show for them or I would have quit watching a long time ago. Thank God, everyone else is so much more interesting. Piper and Alex(to a lesser extent), look whiny by comparison.

  2. it is a massive testament to natasha lyonne that she has me rooting for a scheming, lying junkie to turn it around like she keeps promising she’s going to. i hope we get nicky back next season!

    and i agree with you about piper and alex thinking they’re too good to be in there, although part of me feels like alex was sliiiiightly more aware that this was a potential consequence of their actions.

    healy is just so, so gross.

    • Yeah, so agree with you about Natasha Lyonne. I will be heartbroken if she doesn’t come back. She is a wizard.

      I also agree about Alex being like a fraction more self-aware than Piper about her horribleness. But just a fraction.

  3. I had a bad day but reading this made me cackle and all of my roommates think I’m INSANE. I’m probably going to be thinking about the phrase “masturbating to the sounds of their own voices” for many, many days. I’m still giggling about it.

    I agree with you about Piper and Alex, Heather. I’m having a hard time getting through the season because I give no fucks about them.

    Do you think Healy owns a meninist t-shirt? Because I imagine that Healy is always wearing a meninist t-shirt under his CO uniform, and that at least makes me giggle while he’s saying dumb shit.

  4. Perfect recap, just perfect.
    I missed Nicky so much for the rest of the season. Also I agree, I’m not feeling the Alex and Piper thing. (Okay…yes, their scenes were hot af.) Too much back-and-forth hate and love and it’s just a weird relationship that I don’t see having a healthy future. Reminds me of the one relationship I’ve had. And that shit was dumb.

  5. Agree with everyone else re. Piper and Alex. Snore, go away already.

    Poussey doing the book elegy in her I’m-tough-but-in-a-cute-way persona was the cutest cuteness.

    Any opinions on whether the heroin that Caputo found was actually stashed there by Nicky for later (which seems like a not very smart idea and I don’t understand why she wouldn’t have just taken it back down to the laundry room or wherever), or by Luschek so that he could screw her out of the 20% (which also seems unlikely because he could just… not give her the 20%)? Neither scenario makes much sense to me.

    • I assumed that Nicky stashed it there because she couldn’t let it all go. She didn’t really seem like she was angry when she was carried away. To me it seemed more like she was pissed at herself for fucking up again because of drugs. But I could be very wrong, I haven’t finished the season yet so I’m not sure if it comes up again!

      I think your right that it seems really odd for Nicky to stash it under Luschek’s desk rather than put it somewhere where it had gone undiscovered for so long. I mean, OF COURSE someone was going to find it eventually. I wonder if there was a bit of self-sabotage involved. She knew that it was possible for her to get heroin in minimum security, and she knew that if she started using again she would probably die. So maybe getting caught and transferred to max is the better option?

      I think the more likely answer is that they needed a way to get Nicky busted and that seemed convenient. I’m not at all surprised that she held on to some, but I’m with you that the placement was weird.

    • I imagined Nicky had only a couple of seconds to hide it somewhere — like if Luschek turned away for a moment — and she saw the desk and went for it, meaning to retrieve it when she had the chance later.

      I’m pretty sure that Nicky was the one to hide it though, from her panicked look when they started searching.

  6. The end of this episode really had me bawling my eyes out, particularly how Red feels a sense of responsibility for Nicky. You can tell in some sense Red feels like she failed as a prison mom in looking out for Nicky, but at the same time you see that Nicky’s problems go back so much further and probably have quite a bit to do with her actual mother, and Red couldn’t have stopped Nicky’s self-destruction.

    • Everyone I know watches the show because of Alex and Piper so trust me you’re not alone! I’d like to see what would happen if some people got their wish and they weren’t on anymore. My guess is that would be the last season for sure.

  7. Heather I died, like scream laughed to my death in front of Laura W. with this line:

    Nicky gets so Gollum with them that Luscheck has to pry them out of her hands while she screeches about nasty little tricksy hobbitses.

  8. I am so happy with the use of the captions to make silly pop culture references. Was especially pleased with the Fun Home runner.

    Heather, you do such a great job of distilling the essence/subtext of scenes/jokes into both different jokes and poignant words. (I realize now that this is just kinda a job description of recapping. Still great though!)

  9. The drama scene with Alex and Piper was hands down one of the best written, directed and especially acted scenes ever on the show. Laura and Taylor played the hell out of the subtext of that scene and played it to perfection. I would’ve liked Alex waiting longer to forgive Piper but it played out so perfectly that I can’t argue with it. I will miss their hate sex though ;)

  10. ” but Piper and Alex think they’re too good to be here. There’s this superiority and exclusivity to the way they act, like yeah they sold drugs, but they’re pretty white women who sold drugs, so it’s extra unfair that they have to go to jail for it”

    Damn that’s some huge projection. LOL. There is literally nothing in the show to support your projection-claim, particularly for Alex. Sounds like you’re just bitter they’re “pretty white women” who have a tumultuous ongoing relationship you dislike and they get screen time.

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