Orange Is the New Black Episode 311 Recap: I Can Do Breaking Bad All By Myself

The other thing happening in the cafeteria is Leanne being a real butthole to Soso. She trips her like it’s middle school and makes her spill her tray of food everywhere.


Forty dollars! I can get TWO cups of coffee at Starbucks!

Angie is nervous as heck as she goes through check-out processing, but she doesn’t need to be. These new guard can’t even tie their own shoelaces. They can’t read her prints, can’t tell the difference between one human woman’s face and another human woman’s face, don’t know anyone’s name. So they give her $40 and a bus pas and load her up in the van and send her on her way. Pennsatucky’s driving the van — while Coates is being a raping creepster in the passenger’s seat, talking about how much Penn would miss him if she ever got released — so she wonders aloud how come Angie’s getting out so soon when she has so much time left on her sentence. Coates is all, “Don’t you have a whole different name that’s not Angie?” And Angie is all, “Um, yep. Mmm hmm.” And Penn goes, “Oh, yeah, I just call her Angie ’cause she reminds me of Angelina Jolie.”

When they drop of Angie at the bus station, she apologizes to Pennsatucky for their season two feud. Everyone was always just looking for something to believe in, you know? Pennsatucky does. know.


Later, Lara Croft.

Back in Litchfield, Leanne arrives at church with the news that Norma’s blessings allowed Angie to just walk the heck right out of prison this morning. The Normaites are so psyched! Poussey tells Norma to hook her up! Everyone else gathers round and presents offerings of Snickers, Doritos, and Vagisil! Soso, however, is still unimpressed with this new religion, so she storms into the meeting to tell Norma that her followers are bulling her, mostly Leanne, not to name any names, but there’s a name. Leanne and Soso get very mean with each other and when Soso finally leaves in a huff, Leanne tells Norma not to worry about it, that she’ll “take care of it.”

If Leanne ever told me that, I would tie her up. Leanne “taking care of” something is like dropping a nuclear bomb on a traffic violator. What’s going to burn? Everything! When’s it going to burn? Now!

Actually, instead of setting Soso on fire, she just chops off all her hair in her sleep.


You smell like the most important person in the universe, Pipes.


That’s just my natural pheromones. I don’t even use soap.

Out in the hallway, Stella bumps into Piper and asks why Piper’s been avoiding her. The answer is that Piper Has An Alex, obviously, but her attention is starting to wane on that front because it’s like Alex only wants to talk about Piper’s interests 50 percent of the time lately and it’s starting to bore her to death to hear Alex drone on and on about all the ways she keeps getting murdered. Stella pulls a sack of used panties from under her shirts and gives them to Piper, even though it means she’s breaking up Piper and Alex and crossing the picket line. She just wants Piper’s business to thrive because Piper is the smartest, bravest, beautiful-est, most successful girl in the world.

Piper spontaneously orgasms from the praise and returns to her bunk to get some advice from Red.


It’s no Time Hump Chronicles, but I was bored.

Piper: I need to talk to a criminal mastermind.
Red: Okay.
Piper: I mean someone who thinks like a Batman villain.
Red: Bitch, I make Catwoman look like a dumb little kitten.
Piper: Okay, I’ll talk to you then.
Red: For ten percent of your profits, you will.
Piper: FINE.
Red: Okay, for starters, don’t be a fucking Trump. Pay your workers a fair wage and stop being a racist ass. You can do this by finding one of the ten thousand contraband cell phones hidden in the walls and putting money onto cash cards for them. And for seconders, stop this shit with Stella. She’s sexy and mysterious and her accent is great, but you’re Larry-ing her. You only want to fuck her because she makes you feel like she’s the luckiest person in the world to have her fingers inside you. That’s bad for business.
Piper: Oh wow, thank you.
Red: You’re welcome. That will be one million dollars and a sack of fresh vegetables.

Piper digs through all the trash cans and looks inside all the drains and takes some bricks out of the wall and crawls through the air conditioner vents and gets inside the oven and takes apart all the electronics in the building. She finds a bunch of contraband she doesn’t care about, including a dagger made of Jolly Rangers, and finally gets her hands on a flip phone and a charger. She runs out to the playground to brag to Alex about how she’s really, truly becoming Walter White, okay, she’s totally going to do it, but rather than cheering her on as some kind of diabolical genius, Alex tells her to grow up. I mean, it’s pretty much the end of them right then. If you refuse to validate Piper’s insatiable lust to be praised, she’s never going to love you.


You’re a virgin who can’t drive!


Donadlson takes Time Hump Chronicles to Healy who calls in Suzanne who lets it slip that she was kind of writing her erotica for Berdie’s drama class. It’s a stretch and Suzanne knows it’s a stretch. Berdie’s much chiller about violent stories than sex stories. The whole time she’s weaving this yarn, Healy’s eyes are getting narrower and narrower and his face is folding up into a terrified Grinch smile. The guys on his subreddit are gonna fucking love this. Healy takes the story to Caputo, but Caputo’s not there, so he gives the story to Danny, who immediately suspends Berdie because he’s the biggest idiot in a forest of idiots. Healy drops by Berdie’s office to gloat, and she’s just like, “I mean congratulations? I’ll serve a month-long suspension and then come back and continue being awesome at this job and life in general, and you’ll continue being an racist, sexist, impotent little motherfucker for the rest of your life. Big win, Healy. Good job!”

Where is Caputo, you ask? (LOL, JK, no one asks that.) Well, Caputo has realized Angie walked out the front door today, into the wide world, and after flipping out on Danny about how this is all MCC’s software’s fault, Caputo grabs his keys and drives to the bus station in Ithaca to track down his wandering inmate.


I got a callback for Smoky and the Bandit, you guys!

First, though, you should know that one time Caputo was in a band that was about to get a big break, and he had hair and a mustache and a denim jacket like some kind of ’80s Jersey cowboy. Also, he had a girlfriend who was pregnant. Only it wasn’t Caputo’s baby. She slept with one of the other guys in the band when she and Caputo were on a break and he put a baby inside her and now everyone is going on tour. Oh, but not Caputo! He will stay! He will stay and get a job in a prison as a guard and take care of this baby like it is his own! He will do this for one full year until his girlfriend leaves him for the guy in the band who followed his dreams.

On the plus side, his relentless internal monologue that drove him to try to be a hero did allow him to meet Ms. Rosa!

ROSA! She watches TV whenever she fucking wants to.


Her favorite movie is The Great Gatsby. She watches it every time it’s on A&E.

So anyway, Caputo goes to the bus station and it only takes him about ten minutes to find Angie. She’s sitting on a bench eating some chips and drinking a soda, and when she sees him, she sighs and confesses that she didn’t really think it through. She didn’t have anywhere to go. (And even if she did, $40 isn’t going to help her survive longer than a single damn afternoon.) Caputo’s actually really sweet to her. He sits with her on the bench and lets her finish her snack and tells her to please come back with him and spend a few days in max, instead of making him call out a brigade of cops to treat her like an escaped convict. She offers him a blow job; he politely declines.

Back in Litchfield, Daya’s body hurts because she has been pregnant for about ten years now. Her baby weighs 70 pounds. Maria tries to help. She gives Daya a blanket and a pillow and some advice about how to breathe and moan when she goes into labor in 2022. Daya feels really grateful and Maria feels really gracious, until Daya tells her she’s giving her baby up for adoption because she can’t provide the life her baby deserves, and of course Maria takes this as a violent slap in the face because she kept her baby, who has now been taken away from her anyway. She takes back her pillow and her blanket and she yells. Neither of them are wrong. The system is built to break them.


And Flaca, every Stark besides Arya and Sansa gets bludgeoned to death at the Red Wedding.



Speaking of which white-controlled capitalism: Piper meets with the Piptoria’s Panties employees to tell them she’ll now be paying them $8 per pair of panties to be deposited onto cash cards. Also for benefits they will receive two packets of Ramen per week. Oh, and Flaca’s fired because she had the audacity to challenge Piper’s authority and if anyone ever does that again, Piper will fire their asses too because they need this job way more than she needs them to wear her panties. And if Flaca dimes them out, her friends will lose hundreds of dollars a month, just P.S.

Again, Piper spontaneously orgasms. Nothing gets her off like her own displays of power.

Poussey is bummed that Time Hump Chronicles got confiscated, but Suzanne feels free. Everyone coming at her with their ideas for her story all the time, complaining about what she wrote, about what she didn’t write. And anyway, they weren’t into her for her. They were into her for what she could do for them. The thing about Vee, Suzanne says, is that yeah she was a user and yeah she was an abuser, but she’s the only person who ever always treated Suzanne like a human person. Everybody needs to be loved. Poussey knows it and she’s sorry she’s been such an ass to Susanne. Suzanne forgives her because she did actually beat the literal hell out of Poussey last season.


I know I said I’d write you some Sparia fan fiction but the PLL finale burned me up!


Will a Faberry drabble help?

Suzanne revealing herself as the wisest person on this show continues to be my favorite thing.

When Caputo returns with Angie, he rips into Danny about how he’s had it with MCC’s incompetency and from now on, his guards are going back to full time and they’re going to get benefits and this prison is going to stop being run like some kind of social experiment designed by Nazis. This isn’t Azkaban, okay? This is the United States of America. People have inalienable rights here. Danny shrugs. He says Caputo should stop trying to be everyone else’s hero for once in his life and take care of himself. He’s not wrong. But he’s still a gross little monster baby.

Big Boo arrives in Penn’s bunk with a whole bunch of stuff from the commissary and hands it over and starts demanding sex stuff. For the Oreos, Penn will go down on her. For the Starburst, Penn will finger-bang her. For the Cheetos, Penn’ll use a strap-on on her. I mean, isn’t that how it goes? All Coates had to do was buy her a dollar-store bracelet and he could do whatever he wanted to her. Right? Penn’s for sale now? Finally, she breaks down and says she didn’t want it and it hurt and she wanted it to stop, she just wanted it to stop. Big Boo grabs her and hugs her and says it’s going to be okay. Penn just needed to say it. They’re going to take this motherfucker down. YES. GOOD. MAKE HIM PAY, BOO, MAKE HIM PAY.


Nope. Still no jokes.

It’s the end of Vauseman as we know it, and I feel fine!

Piper tracks down Alex and tries to regal her with tales of her awesomeness, about how she fired Flaca in front of everyone and made her pay for wanting money, but Alex is so over Piper’s shit. It’s one thing to be generally narcissistic. That’s the human condition. It’s entirely another not to realize that you have become the human embodiment of MCC. Alex for real goes, “Of course they wanted money, Piper. They’re poor! They’re excited about a job that makes one fucking dollar an hour! That’s how fucking desperate they are because of a fucking system that has tried to crush the humanity out of them so they can be used as labor robots! You’re a child and I’m done with this. The business this and the you this. Done.”


You don’t just go around spoiling Game of Thrones! You want a spoiler? It’s 2050 and you wasted your life being a narcissistic prick.


That’s mean! … but am I still pretty in 2050?



Alex bounces. It’s the sexiest thing she’s ever done.

Caputo goes to the Hog’s Head to meet with the guards who are there to unionize. At first he tries to chastise them, but when they realize he knows what he’s talking about, they beg him to be their hero. He finally agrees and they sing Les Miserables to him. It’s the wrong song, though. Caputo’s no revolutionary. He’s just wants to be a king. He lives in a castle on a cloud.

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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, the Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and a Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer critic. You can also find her on Twitter, and Instagram.

Heather has written 1379 articles for us.


  1. You know I’m not the biggest Alex fan but man if I wasn’t cheering her on during that scene. Piper’s getting what I’m assuming roughly 300 to 500 dollars per week and she’s paying her workers in flavor packs. Not only that but she has the nerve to cheat on someone who she got thrown back in prison with her because she was lonely? I also really dislike the whole Sophia/Gloria feud. I feel like both women are acting really out of character. I’d rather just have had a storyline where Sophia is struggling to raise her son while also maybe developing feelings for someone else. That Big Boo/Pennsatucky scene was heartbreaking.

    • When writers need a third person (Aleida) to go out of their way again and again to pit two people against each other it’s a sign the fight is going to be forced and boring. And it is. They really have no reason to dislike each other.

  2. I actually sort of enjoyed the Caputo backstory. Obviously it’s not as entertaining as the prisoners’ backstories but compared to Healy’s constant 1 step forward 2 step backs (EVERY EPISODE FOR COUNTLESS MINUTES) approach to figuring out he’s actually a bad person or the 2 guards who used to be fun until they kept getting 5 minute scenes about donuts or the scenes with annoying Danny and his dad, Caputo was down right riveting. I think the show should have 1 guard/management person to root for and despite his mustache I feel like Caputo could be that guy now that Bennett is gone. It just would have landed better if they didn’t spend so. Much. Time. On the other guards too this season.

    I should probably find Piper’s actions really gross this season but when her business is used panties…I can’t help but find everything to be this cartoonish criminal mastermind character and find it funny (I don’t laugh at the end of 3.13 though.) what she did to Flacca wasn’t good but it just put Flacca in the same position she was in before Piper started her schemes so I wasn’t horrified. Her lack of understanding that Alex is in real danger is much more infuriating to me.

    • I liked Caputo’s backstory, to tell the truth. This show asks us to feel compassion for the least likely people, and he’s on the list, so I appreciated that. I enjoyed a lot about how this season really got into the system’s machinations to show how little choice it left the people (like Caputo) who look like they’re “in charge,” but are still ground down by the entire system. When the final say on everything is left in the hands of people who won’t even spend one work day at the prison, someone else has to be the bearer of bad news at every turn. Caputo’s arc this season was really fascinating to me. Plus, Nick Sandow is a damn good actor.

      That Angie subplot was fantastic in the way it advanced the new guards vs old guards plot, gave her character more to do, tied in with the Norma story, let us see more of Caputo’s humanity (including him turning DOWN a blow job, ha). And it was also a bit of comic relief at a point in the season where I think the audience was desperate for it considering the episode just before it.

    • I like Caputo; in that, as Weez above said, (paraphrasing), he is one small wheel surrounded by larger lumbering slow turning wheels who usurp his effectiveness and intent in supporting his team and the women in his “care”. I have found Caputo to be mainly ethical in his intentions and behaviour with his staff and prisoners such as Angie at the bus depot, Piper when she revealed Figueroa’s prison fund embezzlement.. other examples escape me for now. I thought that Caputo has humility, kindness, zero hypocrisy, and treats people as human and gets infuriated when the prison system and Useless Foil Danny disables him in doing his job, which is to ensure the safety and welfare of his prisoners and staff. Caputo is compromised in fulfilling his job description because of the shit in the way (Danny and Danny’s Father, CEO Corporate Legit crime solutions) sabotaging him at every turn.
      The hate-fucking scenes with Figueroa were priceless, that was the punchline that keeps on giving to the mutually beleaguered impotency both Caputo and Figueroa feel. Also the various compromises Caputo has made for certain people in his personal life and career make for a late brewing volcano of resentment and disgruntlement. I thought the various breakthroughs of Caputo’s fury and injustice were compelling.

    • What I like about Caputo’s backstory is that it shows he’s been a Nice Guy his whole life. The toxic “I’m doing the bare fucking minimum to be a human person; please give me my cookies and my free girl” brand of Nice Guy.

      • I don’t think that is it. He has the obsession with Do The Right Thing And The Universe Will Reward You. Something most of us want to believe is true but know isn’t. And sure that popped up in his love life but you also see it with the unions or even with his band and burying the hatchet with his friend. He really believes in karma.

        • I agree. Caputo is interesting because he can see and actively fights, the hypocracy (despite caving in to mutually fuck with Figueroa), and unethical treatment that the corporate prison systems doles out to its women prisoners. He is ethical, he won’t stand for treating his charges (women in his care) as anything other than human. In a system where the Danny’s of the world are a spineless ethically apathetic and indifferent dime a dozen, Caputo stands out as a fucking human being who is accountable, and CARES.
          What goes around comes around, and if Caputo is the hub of that paradigm, I’m in. Karma is real and he could be written potentially as an advocate for fairness and justice, and vengeance. I would love the storyline to develop this way, as it is showing that trajectory already.

  3. Straight up, this read was worth it just for the use of the phrase “Piptoria’s Panties.” I mean, obviously, it was all that and more, but any fictional LLC that challenges my current fave of Dildopolis deserves a gold star. Maybe 70 gold stars…

  4. I am actually heavily enjoying Piper’s negative character development. She went from ‘appears flawed’ to ‘deeply selfish’ to ‘cruel and power-hungry’, and I think it’s brilliant that prison is shedding her layers to reveal an ugly core, given that 86% of her annoyance in the first season was her expectation that prison would make her (and the ‘lesser people’ she encounters) into an improved person.

    Piper is a Slytherin through and through, but how far she is prepared to go to would probably have stayed completely hidden had she not gone to prison. She is an awful person artfully disguised as a nice person, and I love it.

      • I think it’s more of the fact that she has this really pious veneer and is trying to use Slytherin cunning to get ahead while insisting that she’s got a Gryffindor heart. If she owned her shit like a real Slytherin, she’d be 1000% less annoying. Btw, Slytherin won the house cup at Pottermore! There’s a thing about the greatest Slytherins in history as part of the celebrations :)

      • No insults here! I’m not a Slytherin, but my two most important friends are. I’m referring to the very Slytherin-type combination of ambition, self-preservation, intelligence, high social smarts, and tendency to override people’s autonomy when she feels she knows best, that forms the base ingredient for Piper’s character.

        This combination can develop into an awful person (Piper), or you know, not at all – I wouldn’t be dedicating myself to people in my life who are awful or potentially awful.
        Slytherins are also, among other things, brave and unflinchingly loyal to those they choose. There’s a lot to love, and I do. Piper’s just an example of the Slytherin Dark Side (there’s a Dark Side for all houses, I assure you).

  5. Great recap! And a minor correction: the bus station is supposed to be in Utica, not Ithaca. Except that I actually live right near Utica, and the real bus/train station is a lovely old marble and wood giant hall. We do have a minimum security prison here, but it’s men.

  6. You know, I feel like this season was the result of a bunch of dudes and straight people complaining that the show wasn’t hetero enough. WAY too much time was spent on Caputo and Danny and Healy (who has literally not changed a single iota in 3 seasons). Literally why.

  7. I honestly don’t get what they’re trying to do with Caputo and Fig. Like there’s not enough dysfunctional hate-sex relationships on TV? Was I the only one who was grossed out by the blowjob last season too (the power balance, not the hetero sex bit)?

    Loved Angie though. Of course she would just end up sitting at the bus station wondering what to do next. This show is full of people who, when it comes down to it, would have no idea of what to do with a miracle if they got one. Like if Poussey got a service puppy and wandered up to their bunks to see if they wanted to go on a walk and recite poetry to each other, I dunno if they’d even be grateful for that shit, let alone take her up on it!

  8. I am actually laughing so hard at your (spot on) descriptions of Piper that I literally can’t breathe! She was so infuriating in the second half of the season and this episode was her worst. I’ll always want Piper and Alex together but even I was standing up and cheering when Alex broke up with her narcissistic, cheating, lying, completely unsympathetic ass. On the flip side I love seeing Alex’s newfound maturity and wanting to go down the right path. I’m gonna need a whole lot of groveling and redeeming from Piper before I want her back with Alex!

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