Maritza and Flaca are the happiest clams in the clam-diver Panty Power Club, it’s like they got a little secret under their pants.
Maritza: I feel like I got a secret, you know? Like we’re part of this secret club that nobody knows about. I feel cool.
Flaca: Oh my god you just said that and my nipples got like, super hard.
Gotta say when I saw that line in the preview I was expecting a different context.
Big Boo tells the girls that her friend saw the panties online for $70 a pop, which gets them all a little riled up — they deserve more than flavor packs for all the pussy power they’re discharging.
Suzanne approaches the broom closet, tentatively… can she do this? Is she able to do this? Does she have it in her to really like, to truly once and for all, to absolutely and definitively do this?
Maureen senses her (and sees her through the glass), gets eager — Suzanne reaches for the doorknob but then, no. She can’t. She’s too scared. She’s not ready.
I hope Maureen used her private broom closet time to jerk off though at least. Just saying. It is our divine right as gay people to masturbate to homosexual fantasies in the closet.
The Normites meeting falls quickly into chaos ‘cause Leanne’s being bossy and nobody likes it.
Poussey: I mean, this is supposed to be about Norma, and now it’s all about you.
Leanne: Somebody’s gotta keep us on mission!
Weeping Woman: We don’t have a mission.
Poussey: Look, nobody’s here for no mission. We don’t need to be yelling our complaints or cleansing our organs or whatever the fuck that means. I mean, we’re here for Norma. ‘Cause she makes me feel seen.
Gina: Norma makes me feel like I matter!
Babs: Norma is my Jesus!
Angie: Norma is my mother!
Leanne: Norma is my grandmother!
Angie: Norma is my great-grandma!
Leanne: Norma is all of my relatives combined!
Angie: Norma is me!
Riese: NORMA IS A, BITCHES.
Before somebody can say that Norma is their right intestine, the guards show up and the flock scatters, only to be relegated to work duty. This is where Soso finds them, and Soso is a mess. Like nothing matters and fuck everybody. So when Leanne says, “See girls, I told you she thinks she’s better than us,” and Soso points out that it’s hard to avoid sounding condescending when they are literally scrubbing the floor beneath her feet, this doesn’t go so well:
Leanne: You’re a bitch!
Soso: You know what? Fine. Maybe I am better than you. And I’m not apologizing for it.
In the kitchen, Red’s found purpose by teaching the girls how to cook fresh vegetables and feeding them ratatouille. Eating it makes them feel like people! Human beings deserve real food. This should be a basic right.
Coates calls Dunkin’ Donuts into the office for a lecture regarding his failure to show up for a thing and also another thing, which means he’s on probation now, and probably also will blame it all on Tiffany, despite the fact that he’s gotten more job training from her than anybody else in this place.
The Visitor’s Lounge is all spruced up for the springtime! JK it’s like normal, but Mrs. Pornstache is there to say she’ll still adopt the kiddo if Daya’s up for it, which makes Daya almost cry.
Daya: “Yes, please take her. Take her and give her the best life you can give her.”
Mrs. Pornstache: “I will. I promise.”
Everybody’s gathered ’round the teevee to get the deets on where they’re gonna place Judy King, Queen of Strumpets and Quilts. Taystee’s just thrilled to have Poussey back, getting into it and leaning on her shoulder, far away from the increasingly unappealing band of Normaites.
Poussey: Man, this whole Norma thing has been fucking up my sense of normalicy.
Black Cindy: Uh-uh, it’s “normalcy.”
Watson: I don’t think any of them is right.
Poussey: Nah, it’s definitely “normalicy.”
Black Cindy: Just say “normal.”
Taystee: Why don’t y’all just look it up!
Black Cindy: Can’t! Ain’t no dictionary!
Poussey: Alright, then, I’m just gonna live in my reality and you can live in yours.
Taystee: Aw, I missed you guys.
Hey hey, the crew’s all back together! Also, bad news: Judy King is going to Alderson.
Piper and Stella are on a date, here’s the theme: Piper wants to know more about Stella so she’ll be less mysterious and then she’ll be less interested in her and we’ll be more interested in her. Unfortunately, nobody wants to give us any genuine backstory on this mysterious tattooed Australian heartthrob, and we get merely these morsels:
1. Stella’s parents moved to the US for a job but now they’re back in Australia.
2. Stella is an only child.
Piper asks if she misses her parents and Stella says, “I do.” That’s the moment when Alex Vause walks by.
Alex: “I do”? I know we’re all lesbians, but isn’t it awfully soon to be committing?
Piper: Shut up, Alex.
Alex: What? I can’t turn around without seeing Litchfield’s newest butt buddies.
This is the part of the season where Piper starts turning away from “a person who sometimes reminds you of the worst parts of yourself but in a way that can feel, at least, honest, if selfish,” into “somebody slowly taking on a kind of cold and hard monster virus.” Here she dares to be mad at Alex for, essentially, noticing that Piper’s been creeping around with Stella like flirtatious woodland creatures.
After Alex “sees herself out,” Stella tells Piper that she shouldn’t have to put up with “that bullshit” and then they stick their tongues down each other’s throats. Oh! But first Piper says her and Alex have been through a lot together… but fails to mention that Piper got Alex locked up this time so she’d have somebody to hang out with.
Stella says Piper shouldn’t do anything out of obligation, only ‘cause she wants to, as if Piper hasn’t been living the “I do what I want” ethos, with mixed but mostly terrible results, for 2.5 seasons. Red happens to walk into the corridor as the two ladies are swapping spit, takes note, and dashses.
The rest of this episode contains a series of assaults, physical and sexual, so if you wanna avoid that, don’t go to the next page. As Grover would say, THERE IS A MONSTER AT THE END OF THIS BOOK.