Orange is The New Black Episode 310 Recap: There Is A Monster At The End Of This Book

Hello and welcome to the tenth recap of the third season of Orange is the New Black, a Foo Fighters reunion concert starring the cast of Finding Nemo! Every time I’ve told anybody I’m recapping episode 310, they give me a look of sympathy and despair. Perhaps you are making a sympathy/despair face right now, thinking about you and me and this tangled web we weave together.

A heads-up that if you’d like to avoid reading about the last ten minutes of this episode (which includes sexual assault) then you should skip the last page of this recap.


FLASHBACK! It’s Tiffany’s First Period Day, in which blood gushes from between her legs and her mother informs her that she’s not dying, it’s just “life coming outta ya, like pee.”

Ms. Dogett: Now you’re like a case of pop. You got value. Look, there’s some things you gotta know. Now that you’re a tittin’ and a hairin’ boys are gonna look at you different. And pretty soon they’re gonna treat you different. Best thing is to go on and let ’em do your business, baby. If you’re real lucky most of ‘em will be quick like your Daddy. It’s like a bee sting in and out, over before you knew it was happening.

This will be the first and last time in my life I’ve ever thought, “maybe she should’ve just gone with absitenence-only education.” So this is the world according to The World of The Dogetts: sex is a thing that boys do to girls, and it’s best to just let them do it ’cause it’ll be over soon enough.

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I don’t think your Pretty Liars show is on tonight, sweetheart

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Why did I even wake up today

Anyhow, Tiffany’s Mom feeds her ice cream and Mountain Dew which I imagine will also come right out of her, like life or pee.


Back in Litchfield, Officer Coates chases Tiffany down to apologize for treating her like an actual dog JUST KIDDING he chases her down to suggest that perhaps his inability to express his feelings about hanging out with Tiffany is what led him to jam his tongue down her throat without permission.

Coates: I’m really sorry if I made you uncomfortable or did anything you didn’t want to do. But maybe you also… did want to? ‘Cause I could be misinterpreting, women are difficult to read sometimes.

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So yeah, that was me. I’m the guy who woke up at 1AM on Prime Day to buy a VCR Rewinder for 75% off, and I’m pretty proud of myself for getting SUCH a good deal.

You are a monster

Why did I even wake up today

Yes, he affirms, he likes her. He likes her likes her. And because of the life she’s lived and where she’s been and what love and men has been to her before now, she feels flattered by this instead of completely disgusted.


Luscheck is really cashing in on that heroin deal.

Seriously? My ex-boyfriend is following me to work now?

Seriously? My ex-boyfriend is following me to work now?

Papa's got a brand new bag, baby

HOW YOU LIKE ME NOW, DADDY

Out in the yard, the Normites are screaming at the goddesses about their various maladies, like hating papaya, having the same itch for three months and not knowing who A is. Or being confused now that A isn’t Andrew. It’s hard to say.

Poussey: THIS IS STUPID!
Leanne: I’d like this to be a little more group positive, but okay.

ONE TIME REGINA GEORGE HIT ME IN THE FACE AND IT WAS AWFUL!

ONE TIME REGINA GEORGE HIT ME IN THE FACE AND IT WAS AWFUL!

Caputo orders them to disband The Breakfast Club and go eat breakfast, which is a big disappointment for Leanne. Maybe they’re having Eggs Benedict in a bag!


In the Mel-Caf, Alex Vause demands Lolly get thrown into psych on the basis of the notebook in which she documents Alex’s every move.

Don't lie to me. I SAW YOU

Don’t lie to me. I saw that bitch Gina on Facebook wearing the Scissoring Sweatshirt I GOT YOU for Hannukah last year.

She was cold

She was cold!

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SCISSORING WAS *OUR* THING!!!!!

This plan backfires quickly, earning Alex two shots and getting Lolly off the hook.


In the Audio/Visual Entertainment Center, the ladies learn that Judy King is guilty on all counts and therefore could be arriving at Litchfield any minute now to teach them how to make every fall into a Fall Festival.

Watching "Orange is the New Black"

Watching Criminal Minds


In the yard, Piper recruits more vulvas for her Panty Project with the help of her Aussie Sidekick, Stellar Stella Shane. Piper and Stella McShaney Shane Stella offer Flaca, Maritza and Maria Ramen flavor packets in exchange for a little of their own Creamy Chicken, delivered from vadge to Whisper Pink Thongs.

Listen, have you ever had a churro?

So, when you get out, you have to check out these artisanal churros they’re making at this bakery in Greepoint ——

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Me interrupting you right now is me doing you a favor

Flaca says these prison panties make her butt sad, which’s how my butt felt when Hanes stopped making these. Anyhow, they’re in.

Stella tells Piper she’s hot when she’s closing and goes in to close a smackaroo, but Piper withdraws — not because she’s doing that “guilty, whining tortured cheater thing,” though, because Piper is “not interested in sitting around and analyzing everything [she does] anymore.” Stella’s got her hand on Piper’s nubile neck when Alex rounds the corner, sees it happening, and instead of confronting them, just shakes her head and sighs. Of course this is happening, how could anything else ever happen. How could her and Piper ever work as anything but antagonists who hate how much they’re in love with each other, because it makes them weak, because they define weakness as a lack of self-reliance.

So, did you read the article Buzzfeed

That’s right, I’ve been the topic of at least 46 Buzzfeed articles in the last two weeks. Wanna make out?


Suzanne’s having a whale of a time walking in a straight line when Maureen shows up to offer up some suggestions for further installments of It’s Two People Connecting With Four Other People and Aliens, by Suzanne Warren.

Mainly, Maureen wants exactly what we always want:

May I suggest that you pander to your audience
with more girl-on-girl stuff
It’s not rocket science

Look, it may not be an exact rhyme, but I’d like that couplet/triplet printed on cardstock and laminated and hand-delivered to the producers of every show ever.

Hey man, it's not cool to hog the balance beam all day

Hey bro, it’s not cool to hog the balance beam all day

It continues:

If you need to research the activities
I’d be happy to join you
As I have homo proclivities

Man I bet Ilene Chaiken got poems like this in the mail all the time.

“You don’t have to say anything!” Maureen says, nervously, ‘cause it’d overstimulate and destroy her if she did. But she’ll be in the broom closet later if Suzanne, you know, wants to meet her there. OR WHATEVER.

WELP THIS IS ADORABLE!


Soso tries out the talking cure with Berdie, who tells her it’s normal to be depressed when you’re eating bagged Beef Wellington and sharing a room with an undeveloped tertiary character and all the good books just got burned as part of an arbitrarily designed bedbug prevention program.

This pillow is my only friend. I named it Janet, like Dannielle's cat.

This pillow is my only friend. I named it Janet, like Dannielle’s cat.

Also, says Birdie… maybe Soso can’t make friends ‘cause she’s just not like the other girls. Normally “not like the other girls” would mean “queer,” but this is prison, so.


Red’s in cahoots with Lorena Bobbit, who brings vegetables to her kitchen for non-sexual purposes.

I'm telling you, it was the biggest dildo my ass has ever seen!

I’m telling you, it was the biggest dildo my ass has ever seen!


Over in the Trip Advisor Top Traveler’s Pick Visitors Lounge Gloria glares at Sophia visiting with Michael while Morello listens to some chump talk about how he wants to smash his hands into her hair which he hopes will smell like rice pudding. When my girlfriend doesn’t wash her hair for a week, it smells like Doritos?

You make me feel like I just got force-fed a seafood buffet

You make me feel like I just overate at Long John Silvers

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Michael’s in a bad way, though, stealing cell-phones from his Mom’s desk like he’s A or something, ‘cause she can’t take what’s his. “Nothing is yours. You live by the grace of me,” says Michael’s Mom like a queen. Sophia comes down hard too but Michael’s not having it.

I wish I was at home reading Autostraddle

I wish I was at home reading Autostraddle

You know when your ex won’t let you go to a thing because whatever, she RSVP’ed before you broke up and can’t you let her have just this one thing and then the whole time it’s happening you’re fantasizing that she’s just having the GREATEST TIME at this thing and it makes you madder and madder the more you think about it even though the funny thing is, your girlfriend is actually having a terrible time at the thing? That’s what Gloria’s doing right now, envying Sophia’s visitation like it’s a jolly musical review and she’s stuck listening to 8-tracks of whales communicating with other whales when she’d really rather be watching her son tap-dance. She misses her kids. Aleida is like, “that’s real,” and is also like, ‘do you want one of mine?”

C'mon the veggies are fresh and it's the closest thing we're gonna find to a dildo in this place

C’mon the veggies are fresh and it’s the closest thing we’re gonna find to a dildo in this place


Tiffany tells Big Boo that hey, maybe she really likes this guy, ‘cause they talk about things and stuff and he hasn’t called her any really bad names quite yet except for that whole dog thing.

I'm just saying, what's the point of living in a Tiny House if we spend all our time outside eating donuts?

I’m just saying, what’s the point of living in a Tiny House if we spend all our time outside eating donuts?

Big Boo: Hey maybe next time you could suck his dick, get us an ice cream cake.
Pennsatucky: C’mon you know that would melt before it got here so that’s not a good idea, duh!

Awww.


FLASHBACK: You know those “parties” in the middle of nowhere that big groups of bored teenagers have because they live in the middle of nowhere and there isn’t jackshit to do besides drink, fuck, do whip-its and make fun of each other? This is one of those parties. I don’t miss these parties.

I'm using this photo for the cover page of my new book "Misandry For Everybody"

I’m using this photo for the cover page of my new book “Misandry For Everybody”

A tall douchebag compliments Tiffany’s skirt and offers her a six-pack of Mountain Dew in exchange for letting him stick his dick in her, which is an unacceptable valuation that she unfortunately accepts.

Hey uhhh I was just wondering if you  wanted to come over and watch me play video games?

Hey uhhh I was just wondering if you wanted to come over and watch me play video games?

Awwww, he doesn't know we're lesbians!

Awww he doesn’t know we’re lesbians

He brings her out back and bends her over to get going, and she’s there but not really there, just a vessel, the possessor of a body part her mother told her men would want a piece of. When she gets stung by a bee — an actual bee and an actual bee sting — and lurches away from his hard-on to look at her sting, his inability to give a shit about any piece of her besides her vagina becomes immediately apparent. Pissed and in pain, she returns to the “party” while he yells at her for not letting him finish. I hope somebody runs him over with a truck.

Then there’s this other guy with long-ish hair who maybe cares a little bit and wants to help her cure her sting. He’s new in town and his Dad is as drunk as everybody else’s Dad and his name is Nathan and maybe they could go to a movie sometime?

How about now? Do I look like Ethan Hawke in Reality Bites now?

How about now? Do I look like Ethan Hawke in Reality Bites now?

“What do I gotta do,” she asks, ‘cause that’s all she knows — heterosexual relations are two people getting something from the other, and that “something” is not a movie. But Nathan don’t play like that, he’s like the Caleb of OITNB.

In the Mel-Caf, Black Cindy is searching for Jews and Taystee wants to talk to Poussey about Judy King but Poussey’s hanging out with the Silent Faith-Healer Normamites.

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Dude, did you see that “Megaladon The Monster Shark Lives” documentary last night? That shit was crazy!

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That shit was made up. It wasn’t a real documentary.

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CO Ford’s pissed that they’re not in a union anymore, but CO Luscheck doesn’t give a fuck ‘cause he’s a drug dealer now and he doesn’t have kids who need to get vaccinated… just like, I imagine, all the underqualified brand new part-time hires.

Hey any word on my screwdriver

Somebody has that screwdriver and I’m gonna find out who it is if it’s the last thing I do

Black Cindy has located a Jew! The bad news it that it’s not me. The good news is that it’s a Jew.

Ginsberg: My last name is Ginsberg, for fuck’s sake.
Black Cindy: And?
Ginsberg: My Hebrew name is Shayna Malka.
Black Cindy: Huh?
Taystee: Shayna Mala?

Wait, I thought Hannukah was the most important Jewish holiday of the year?

Wait, I thought Hannukah was the most important Jewish holiday of the year? The one with the presents?

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This whole exchange is pure gold. Or PURE GELT, if you will.

Ginsberg: I was Bat Mitzvah’ed at Temple Beth Israel, and at the party, I played “Wind Beneath my Wings,” backed up by a full orchestra. I killed it, by the way.
Black Cindy: But hold up now shawty, you got blonde hair and blue eyes, you know what I’m saying? That combo don’t show up much with y’all from what I hear.
Ginsberg: So clearly you’re already an expert! Okay, I’m gonna go sit at another table—
Black Cindy: No sit sit sit sit sit. Now I’m just assessing over here. I’m offering hella commissary for some Jew 411. So I’m gonna need to know if I’m getting my candy’s worth okay? Now calm the fuck down. Next question: what you in here for?
Ginsberg: Money laundering.
Black Cindy: Okay, now we talkin’.

As a Jew who feels pretty confident that she’s convinced her Christian fiancé to convert eventually and who has a newly-converted friend (HI ELIZABETH!), this storyline makes my heart sing Oseh Shalom with the ghost of Debbie Friedman. Once again, I am challenged to recap a Black Cindy scene because she is already funnier than anything I could ever write about her.


We then travel to a high-security prison where Pornstache’s being held to save us from having to look at his face too frequently. Mama’s come to visit! She listens to him whine about how Daya ignores all his love letters about how they’re star-crossed lovers like Romeo and Juliet and Shane and Cherie Jaffee.

Is your refrigerator running?

Oh honey, you look awful! Who gave you that haircut?

Then you better go and catch it, MOM.

I GAVE IT TO MYSELF.

Unfortunately, when Mama breaks the news about his alleged offspring’s parentage, he will not take “you are NOT the father” for an answer. See, as Pornstache sees it, that woman and her baby, like so many women and their babies, are not in fact actual humans with their own needs, wants, desires and dreams, but rather they are vessels created to cure the rotten souls of men like this man right here. Surprise!


Suzanne and Morello share a touching sweeping moment together in which they sweep and Suzanne discloses that she’s a virgin, and she’s so tender and embarrassed about it and Morello is so tender and sweet in return. All that sex stuff she writes is just made-up, like that time I managed to get a lesbian erotica story published despite never having had lesbian sex before. Don’t worry, I had LOTS of lesbian sex shortly thereafter and you can trust me now.  Anyhow!

Now you're gonna wanna start gentle, maybe just one little finger —

Now you’re gonna wanna start gentle, maybe just one little finger —

But I masturbate with my whole hand...?

But I masturbate with my whole hand…?

Morello says Suzzane’s first time is gonna be messy and weird and bumbling ‘cause everybody’s is, like her first time in joey Italiano’s basement when she was 14.

Suzanne: What do I do with my hands?
Morello: Put ‘em inside her.

Just two little misfits, hanging out in the hallway, talking about putting hands inside girls.


Tiffany and Coates go for a drive, shooting each other sly smiles while Tiffany angles for some ice cream by flirting. He makes her pull over and tells her what she needs to hear:

Coates: You don’t have to do anything. We’re friends now, I like you. If you want ice cream, you just ask, okay?
Tiffany: Okay.

Wait did that ad say ladies got in free BEFORE midnight, or AFTER midnight?

Wait did that ad say ladies got in free BEFORE midnight, or AFTER midnight?

She loves double fudge chocolate and he loves rainbow sprinkles, so they’re both pretty gay.


FLASHBACK! Nathan and Tiffany are chillin’ out maxin’ watching some porn, porn that shocks her ‘cause it involves a woman smiling and getting eaten out and seemingly experiencing something unlike the malice of a frightening insect. So this is where we learn that she’s never had an orgasm or masturbated or learned, in any capacity, that sex is supposed to be fun for women, too. I’m so glad she found a lesbian boyfriend.

Tell me again why I can't call your penis "Mr.Piddles"

Tell me again why I can’t call your penis “Mr.Piddles”

He undresses her and tells her she’s beautiful, brings her closer, kisses her, puts his hand down her underpants and she’s not sure if she likes it until she realizes that she likes it. “You ain’t gotta smile,” he says. “just trust me.”

“Is this what they write songs about?” She asks. She says he’s magical. She feels amazing, this is not like the sex she learned about back then. This is not a bee sting. This is honey.

It's okay, everybody queefs!

It’s okay, everybody queefs!


In the luxurious yet low-key ambiance of the Litchfield Correctional Facility Ultra Lounge, Morello’s found a nice young Italian man who thinks she’s the most beautiful woman he’s ever seen!

I think my Diva cup just flipped over

I think my Diva cup just flipped over

Ya know that happened to my sister once and I thought it was Raspberry swirl!

Have you ever heard of tampons?

“There’s something about a man in a gold chain that makes me feel protected,” she gushes. Lennie says he’ll protect her from whatever, from anything at all, and she pounces: There is this one guy who’s just been so awful to her… 

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.

I heard that the macaroni and cheese is actually just potatoes mashed up with dead cats

I heard that the macaroni and cheese is actually just potatoes mashed up with dead cats

Get out of here, that looks nothing like potatoes

Get out of here, that looks nothing like potatoes

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.

Bless us, O Lord, and these, Thy gifts, which we are about to receive from Thy bounty. Through Ellen DeGeneres, our Lord. Amen.

Bless us, O Lord, and these, Thy gifts, which we are about to receive from Thy bounty. Through Ellen DeGeneres, our Lord. Amen.


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?

Don't mention

I think I can I think I can

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.

Something about this image screams "YA Novel cover" to me

I hope she’s coming soon it smells like despair in here

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.

Hey look I didn't invent the game or anything but are you sure this is how you play "Never Have I Ever"?

Hey look I didn’t invent the game or anything but are you sure this is how you play Ring Around The Rosie?

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.

I'M SORRY FOR FUCKING UP SO BAD WHEN I EMPTIED MY DIVA CUP EVERYBODY STOP GLARING AT ME

I’M SORRY FOR NOT KNOWING THAT YOU CAN STOP THE SODA FROM EXPLODING BY TWISTING THE CAP SHUT AGAIN AND THEN OPENING IT IN SLOW INCREMENTS, I MEAN SERIOUSLY I KNOW YOU’RE ALL ACTING LIKE I’M THE ACTUAL WORST BECAUSE I DIDN’T KNOW THIS BUT REAL TALK: RIESE CEO OF AUTOSTRADDLE DIDN’T KNOW THIS UNTIL LATE 2007 WHICH IS WHY HER STRATEGY FOR A SODA LOOKING LIKE IT WAS ABOUT TO EXPLODE WAS TO DROP IT ON THE GROUND AND RUN AWAY


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.

mmmmm poison

mmmmm poison


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.

Look I don't know why just yet, but something about your attitude suggests to me that you're a moron douchebag

Look man, the handlebar mustache is MY THING, I made it CRYSTAL CLEAR that new COs were not supposed to be growing their own

Sooooooo

But


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.”

Look I just finished Back to the Future III and if you don't mind I have a few questions—

Look I just finished Back to the Future III and if you don’t mind I have a few questions—

Do you want to name the child Verne

Do you want to name the child Verne?


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.

Wait we're in the drama category now?

Wait we’re in the drama category now?

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.

CLAIRE DANES???!!

“Maybe if I just stand behind Watson and stare at the floor with my eyes lowered and don’t move a muscle, it’s like I’m not really even here.”


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.

Did you bring any Vegemite with you from your homeland?

So is that a yes or a no on “do your parents ever mail you Vegemite?”

Vegemite? Really? Americans can't handle Vegemite.

GIRL.

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.

Tell me one thing you know about this chick besides that she's hot and seems to be in DIVA magazine a lot. One thing.

Tell me one thing you know about this chick besides that she’s hot and seems to be in DIVA magazine a lot. One thing.

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.

Orange_Is_The_New_Black_S03E10_1080p__1813

Dooo doo doo

Orange_Is_The_New_Black_S03E10_1080p__1814

Oh!

This subplot can't possibly work out

I will see myself out of this storyline, thank you


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.

This is when things ramp up and the episode gets dark and low, like now we’re in the underground bunker where everybody is inside-out and all their ugliest bits are right there on their skin for everybody to see.

So we’re split, here, between two bathroom scenes: in the first, Alex confronts Lolly, who she’s convinced has been sent here by Kubra to kill her.

Really? You think I killed Maya now?

Really? You think I killed Maya now?

Maya? I'm here to avenge the death of MONA, bitch

MAYA?! I’m here for MONA, bitch.

Mona is not even fucking dead. What episode are you on?

MONA IS NOT EVEN FUCKING DEAD.

In the second, Gloria and Aleida are confronting Sophia, because she’s in “their bathroom” and she’s been acting really out of character and it’s awful.

You took the cookies from the cookie jar, didn't you?

You took the cookies from the cookie jar, didn’t you?

I DON'T EVEN LIKE COOKIES. I PREFER CAKE.

I DON’T EVEN LIKE COOKIES. I. PREFER. CAKE.

Aleida’s the one egging Gloria on but Gloria’s so torn up over losing access to her son that it’s not hard for her to take the bait.

Sophia: You have no idea who you’re messing with.
Gloria: No? Aren’t you the one who took Benny away from me even though he didn’t do nothin?
Sophia: You’re trippin’!
Gloria: No, I’m mothering. And I’m a ferocious, pissed off real mother but you wouldn’t know nothing about that, would you? Naaah. ‘Cause you ain’t nothing real.

It’s just so easy, right? You get mad at the trans woman and there you go, right next to you is a garbage bin full of jokes and insults and easy takedowns. It’s right next to the bin of recycled racial slurs that get slung around all day in here. So right there, at your disposal, the entire arsenal you need to rip somebody apart on grounds entirely unrelated to your personal disagreement with her at that time. But when Sophia pushes Gloria, Gloria hits the wall and collapses, and Sophia is instantly horrified and apologetic.

Orange_Is_The_New_Black_S03E10_1080p__1899

Here’s the thing, though: the Sophia we’ve followed through 2.5 seasons would’ve apologized to Gloria when she found out it was Michael’s fault the kids got in trouble, not Benny’s. Orange wants to tell a story about violence against trans women in prison, and so here it is, but the thing about violence against trans women in prison is that it doesn’t need a reason, it happens all the time for no reason. Trans women get beat up and raped in prison just for being trans women. Sure, plain ‘ol discrimination is not necessarily the stuff entertaining and complicated television is made of, but… is this?

In the other bathroom, Alex and Lolly are going at it but Alex can’t figure what Lolly’s talking about — terrorism, treason? The NSA? This woman cannot possibly be working for Kubra, can she? Lolly franticly assures Alex that she’ll work with Alex and tell her everything she wants to know, ’cause Alex is one of those NSA folks, right? So she’ll work with them if that’s what Alex wants she will!

Dude, you are REALLY BAD at CPR

Dude, you are REALLY BAD at CPR

“Shit,” says Alex, exhaling into the vacant embrace of her own (justified) paranoia. Lolly is batshit crazy and thinks the NSA is after her. She’s got nothing to do with Kubra after all. Shit. 

Orange_Is_The_New_Black_S03E10_1080p__1894

Shit, thinks Sophia as Aleida crouches by Gloria, still konked out on the floor.

Orange_Is_The_New_Black_S03E10_1080p__1900

Shit. Morello’s new boyfriend shows up at Christopher’s to ensure he really never sets foot in another FedEx ever again.

C'mon guys, we're gonna get Shane back for leaving Carmen at the altar

Oompa loompa loompity doo

Dad?

Dad?


FLASHBACK! Nathan’s leaving in the morning for Wyoming and Tiffany thinks shit is gonna suck extra hard without him here to give her cunnilingus and respect. Tiffany is a person who doesn’t do things so much as she lets things be done to her — that’s what women are supposed to do, right, as far as she knows — so Nathan leaving feels especially hopeless. She doesn’t see herself capable of finding another Nathan, all she knows to do is wait for another Nathan, and it’s hard to conjure hope out of stasis.

You know the rules. No boys allowed unless you got the password

You know the rules. No boys allowed unless you got the password

So Tiffany says goodbye to her One True Love and trudges upstairs for a beer from the bathtub — but Abe’s not far behind, palming a six-pack of her favorite soda and a grudge from that time a small flying insect interrupted his fuck-session by injecting her with venom. He shuts the door behind them in the bathroom, and he’s gonna get it.

Orange_Is_The_New_Black_S03E10_1080p__2002

He wants to get what’s his, he tells her, but it’s not his to take. It’s only hers to give, and she’s not giving. “I ain’t even fucking wet,” she says. He doesn’t give a shit. “Fuck your mama,” she says, and again. He tells her to relax, and he pushes through. She’s not giving it, he’s taking it, he doesn’t give a shit, and she resigns. Shit.

Her eyes go dead, her body goes slack. He rapes her. She becomes just a vessel waiting for him to finish with her, maybe already imagining it being over. Like a bee sting, except the scar he’ll leave is both deeper and more invisible than what any insect could ever do.


Back in the present day, Tiffany follows Coates outside, talking about rainbow sprinkles like he’s a Nathan and not an Abe. But he’s an Abe. Most men in Tiffany’s life are Abes. Like the addict in Season One who got her pregnant and suggested keeping the baby so they could get free baby food from the government and make it into casseroles, and then said he was too busy to take her to the abortion clinic. Like the guy who did drive her to the abortion clinic, and warned her not to use all his squirrel pellets when she reached for his rifle.

Is it any wonder she strode into prison in Season One with guns blazing, ready to strike first? Is it any wonder that the story we just got told is identical to the backstory of at least fifty other female addicts on Intervention? First comes scattershot parenting, then comes partying, then comes sexual assault, then comes addiction, violence, anger, numbness, a desire to prove oneself resilient and intimidating.

Coates: I got in trouble. I missed count yesterday because of our little detour. You told me we had enough time and I believed you.
Tiffany: Sorry. I didn’t realize you had to be back.
Coates: Well, now I’m on probation.
Tiffany: Oh that’s nothing, I can help you figure out when you gotta be back for count!
Coates: No, I don’t want any more help from you. All your help gets me is into trouble.

Yeah, that's right, he told me only one of us could have a fancy mustache!

Yeah, that’s right, he told me only one of us could have a fancy mustache!

She reaches for him and he pushes her away, and then grabs her closer, asking “Is this what you want from me?” and no, it’s not, but things have turned before Tiffany’s mind has even caught up. She fights back, he lifts her and tosses her into the van, no fuck your mamas this time, but she is a small person and he is a larger, stronger person, and it doesn’t take long for him to subdue her. And her face is the face of resignation, to the thousands of Abes out there, to the fact that undoubtedly Coates has done this before and will do it again, that maybe he wants to keep this job so bad because it gives him the power over women he’s always craved. He’s a creep, a criminal, a rapist, and she’s a girl who’s good at following orders and just wants to be loved. Yet somehow he’s in a uniform given to people who police criminals, not people who are criminals. And there’s her cheek flush against the seats of their new vans.

He presses her face into the seat of the van and rapes her. He calls her Dogget. He says, “This is what you asked for, I love you, I love you.” And all we see is her face: her dead, sad, loveless eyes.

And that’s the end of the episode.


Rape is not an easy thing to portray onscreen, but that hasn’t stopped television writers from subjecting their viewers to it, often gratuitously. There are some ways that this is done: for television aimed at children or teenagers, like Degrassi or an after-school special, we usually get a cut-away. The viewer is shown enough to conclude that rape is about to happen, but the scene ends before we see it. Then there’s Game of Thrones, Queer as Folk or True Blood, where we’re forced to watch it play out, all bodies involved seen in full.

But here, in this show, we don’t see both bodies, we just see one sad face, and briefly. This isn’t about a sex act between two people, it’s about one person being attacked by another. “I always think there’s like a lineage of abuse,” Taryn Manning told Buzzfeed about her character’s relationship with her mother. “It’s always like, who’s the person who’s going to change the cycle, and clearly it wasn’t her mom.” When I read that I thought, you know, chances are very good that her Mom is a survivor too, but probably has never talked about it or even thought of herself in those terms.

This story is tough to stomach, but it’s also so real — and real in a way that we don’t see quite as often as we see those other stories about sexual assault. How she checks out so quickly, and accepts trauma as an inevitable element of being female. I feel uncomfortable declaring that her past assault “fit in” with her character as she’d been written until now, because I feel uncomfortable declaring that rape ever fits in with anybody’s story, even a fictional character’s. But of course it fits in to her story! Because it fits in with so many of our stories. Because sexual assault is, unfortunately, a part of who so many women are. Especially in prison: Bureau of Justice Statistics found 57.2% of females in state prison and 39% of federal inmates were had been sexually abused in the past. Women in prison are twice as likely as women in the general public to report childhood histories of physical or sexual abuse. Once they get into prison, the numbers get darker: although women comprise only seven percent of the state prison population, they’re 46% of sexual abuse victims, and males are the perpetrators in 98% of staff-on-inmate sexual assault cases. Daya and Bennett’s story is the anomaly here. Tiffany and Coates’ story? That’s real. That’s awful and disgusting and so very real.

I’m not angry, I’m just sad.

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Riese

Riese is the 41-year-old Co-Founder of Autostraddle.com 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 3178 articles for us.

34 Comments

  1. i loved boo and doggett this season.

    best buddy pair

    nathan though. totally unconvincing pixie dream guy.

  2. Actually, the fact that Doggett’s rapes fit her character so well are why I wasn’t happy with it. Daya and Bennett were *not* an anomaly, they are a romanticized version of Doggett and Coates. I wanted the show runners to explore the abuse of power there instead of introducing another, more black-and-white version of the same story. I feel like a lot of the subtlety got thrown out the window this season, unfortunately to the disservice of the characters the show has spent so much time illuminating.

    • I’m completely agree that the storyline about Daya and Bennett is disgustingly romanticized, and I think similar problems show up in the interactions between Red and Healy. In the earlier scenes involving Tiffany and Coates I was expecting more of the same, so I feel like at least for once the show didn’t go that route.

      • Red and Healy were problematic, but Red at least got that great speech about leaving a woman with only one option when you take away her power. Fuckin patriarchy in a nutshell, right there!

        I kinda hate how the flashbacks made Healy into a fucked up version of Charlie Brown.

        • it drove me batshit that we were supposed to believe red would ever go for healy, though. it just grated at me all season!

  3. “This isn’t about a sex act between two people, it’s about one person being attacked by another.”

    Thanks, Riese, for articulating the difference between rape in OITNB and rape everywhere else on TV (GOT I’m looking at you). Game of Thrones not only glorifies rape by portraying it as a sex act, it pretty much does the same thing with violence and murder.

    I am not interested in rape on TV as a plot device. I am not interested in rape on TV as titillation. We will only advance past the rape culture in this country when rape is shown for what it is — an attack, a show of violence and power, the effects of which can be extremely difficult to overcome.

    OITNB had some issues this season but I think they dealt with Tiffany’s chain of abuse better than anything else I’ve seen.

    • “I am not interested in rape on TV as a plot device. I am not interested in rape on TV as titillation. We will only advance past the rape culture in this country when rape is shown for what it is — an attack, a show of violence and power, the effects of which can be extremely difficult to overcome.”

      AMEN

      • My LDR was in town when we watched it, before we gave up on the whole LD thing. It was the hardest episode to watch, I needed a minute to just hold her on my couch, but yeah, this is the feeling.

  4. This storyline made me so fucking sad. It reminded me of how lucky I am that this has never happened to me, and made me think two thoughts: “will this ever happen to me,” followed quickly by “when will this happen to me?”

    Because rape seems so inevitable to so many woman, and it breaks my heart and I can’t even deal with the rage that this inspires in me.

    I want to take a sword and go out and fix all of rape culture.

    Actually in my ideal world, Big Boo would be wielding a sword, and she would have a horse, and there might be artistic flames. And everyone would be out of the prison but the guards, and the women would live in a beautiful commune surrounded by a ring of fire to keep out everyone that had wronged them.

    This episode seriously made me feel all the feelings.

    • I’ve always thought of rape as inevitable. “When will this happen to me?” is a question I’ve often asked myself, and though I’ve never thought this was a unique thought to have, it hit me pretty hard to see you ask the same question. *tight, consentual hug*

  5. I really appreciate you doing this recap, even though I know it must’ve been rough. I did appreciate their focus on Tiffany’s face, and her experience.

  6. Thank you for writing this.

    Can I also say that living in a tiny house and spending all my time outside, eating donuts would be the perfect life?

  7. I took this episode pretty damn hard. But this was a really good recap- and I’m glad you continued the conversation at the end.

    (also PURE GELT made me laugh a lot)

  8. Well the great commentary at the end of the recap made me cry.
    So I’m gonna go back to that line with Morrello’s face “I think my diva cup flipped” because this is the funniest thing on the Internet today.

  9. This episode was fucking depressing. Considering how hard it was to watch, I know it had to be hard to write about. Thanks, Riese.

  10. It’s amazing how my feelings regarding Piper and Pennsatucky have changed through the seasons. I was 100% cheering on Piper in season one and hating on Pennsatucky. That was slowly changing episode by episode until this one firmly planted me in the opposite camp. I felt horrible for Tiffany especially at the end as she was just resigned to getting raped. Meanwhile I wanted to rip Piper’s hairs out of her head one by one as she once again cheated on Alex and treated Alex as the interloper when she is her girlfriend not Stella. Oh and yeah as Riese pointed out there’s that little thing about how Piper got her thrown back in there so she’d have someone to play hide behind the library shelves with. Too bad Piper wasn’t the one getting coldclocked instead of Lolly or Gloria.

    • I agree I think that Tiffany has come along way from who she was in season 1 and I’m glad that she’s found a friend in Big Boo. Also I really began to despise Piper as the episodes went on. In season 1 and 2 I disliked her but found her to be more annoying than anything else. I’m not the biggest Alex fan but at least she’s more self aware and doesn’t try and pretend to be morally superior.

  11. No shade but Maritza and Flaca have way more sexual tension than Stella and Piper. I mean really their whole “panty twinsies” and “nipples got hard” lines, come on. Also I agree Sophia was acting pretty out of character when she hit Gloria. I mean you could argue that maybe stress from her son acting out combined by the threat of not seeing him as much caused her to do it but we’re just assuming these things.

  12. Pennsatucky was built up to be this horrible character in Season one and I felt this episode strike doubly hard because I was one of those who judged her and loved to hate her back then.
    Her whole arc tied in so perfectly with this episode, though, that it hurt.
    I wouldn’t have believed in a million years that of all the inmates, Pennsatucky’s storyline would almost physically strike me like this.

    • I agree so much I hated her she was the annoying religious-freedom bearing kiddo and now ugh I love her and boo

  13. I am sad, and I am angry.

    I appreciate the way you handled the TW, also. Sensitive in a way that is also upfront, frank.

    It was so difficult to keep reading these recaps, knowing that this episode was coming. Thank you for doing it, for using humor where you normally would have and letting it fade away where real life starts to really slip in. Thank you, thank you.

  14. This whole episode was terrible. Not even getting into the sexual assault bits.

    I also very, very much hated Alex in this episode. Again. Like, she’s a terrible person, but manipulating a seriously mentally ill person and just eugh. Using a seriously mentally ill person’s paranoia for your own gain. I really don’t like Alex. (I also really don’t like Piper and her blatant disregard of Alex’s mental health issues.)

    (But you don’t see a whole lot of criticism on Alex about the whole manipulating of a mentally ill person. And that’s a shame. Speaking as a mentally ill person.)

    • I’m confused…are you talking about this episode? How exactly did Alex manipulate a mentally ill person? She found Lolly’s journal that showed Lolly was tracking her every move. And then she attacked her when Lolly brandished the huge piece of sharp glass at Alex. As soon as Alex realized she was mentally ill and not send by Kubra she stopped choking her. I thought Alex behaved pretty admirably all things considered.

  15. Thanks for writing this. I am so sad about this storyline because it hits so close to home for me, and so close to home for so many. I always envied those who had some anger and defiance at their assualts (I don’t for a second think that’s a logical or fair feeling), but all I have is tiredness, sadness, and self-blame. I’m glad Tiffany has Boo.

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