As promised, I’m recapping with the quickness! Another 3 episodes for you, coming up!
Ep. 7 “It Sounded Nicer In My Head”
I really did not want to start this (or any) episode hearing the phrases “Aryan Brotherhood” or “white and proud” but here we fucking are. Sankey and the skinheads (cool band name, I guess) are still following Chapman, in what seems to be any daily activity now. Piper wanted protection, and she’s got it, in the form of vehement racists! Be careful what you wish for. Meanwhile, Hapakuka is sincerely not about this life and Piper- ONCE AGAIN- thinks she’s the only one being targeted for framing Maria, despite the fact that Hapakuka laid out Ouija just a few episodes ago. Piper “cannot be responsible” for her, even after employing her. Nice.
“I would not say I’m throwing you to [the wolves]. I’m saying that wolves exist…which I am helpless to defend you against” -Piper Chapman, self-proclaimed “Gangsta with an A at the end”
…and Sankey rounds out the scene by calling every other race “mongrels” right in front of Hapakuka, with Piper once again saying nothing. What is nuance among privilege, guys? What is social justice, again?
Nichols gets the most half-assed re-introduction to Litchfield ever, including sass from a CO. Maybe shows how things have changed a little bit? But as Nichols gave some of her best cynical, yet lovable asshole schtick to Lolly, we’re taken back…to Lolly’s life as a journalist.
We meet her as her story on chemical dumping is killed. It seems that submitting topics that are out of scope is a habit of hers. We also get some insight to her schizophrenia, and how it played into her eventual distrust of so many people. And…this is totally off topic but…Lolly’s style was as adorable then as it is now.
Speaking of journalism, we get the black girls trying to make a buck out of getting Judy’s Litchfield life in the paper. Taystee seems to know quite a bit about it..maybe she’s reading too much USA Today in Caputo’s office? I will say that Alison’s reaction to Cindy is probably the most apt thing that anyone can respond with if somebody decides to make a Muslim terrorist joke. Can we just…not, OITNB writers? Cindy’s smarter than all that mess.
Caputo and Linda’s couple thing make me gag a bit. They’re really not a good match, but Linda did put her neck on the line for Caputo offering some liberal arts classes that he proposed in an earlier episode. They accepted it, but there’s an obvious catch: MCC probably doesn’t like the fact that inmates will be learning anything, much less liberal arts. Especially because liberal arts is more expensive (graduate right here with debt speaking). More “vocational training” seems to be what they’re going for with this school…and Joe falls for that, without any specifics. Good job, man.
A Nichols reunion with the crew commences, with Morello right on her arm. Gosh, they look so cute together. And upon Piper introducing her new crew, Morello gives us my favorite line of the season so far:
And Red takes shots for Nichols in exchange for a hug! So cute.
Present Lolly gets chased by COs after rummaging in the trash and past Lolly…also gets thrown away, so to speak. Her friend tries to drop her off to a home, but Lolly runs after being threatened by Randall, a resident who likes to speak in 3rd person.
While I generally try to ignore the smaller points, one comes to a head as Judy and Yoga Jones discuss Judy’s past racial…discrepancies, so to speak. In short, Judy had a puppet show that she used to spice up her cooking program, with a black puppet on it, named…Chitlin Joe. Well damn, here comes Paula Deen. Regardless, this starts a somewhat funny tension between Judy and the black girls, with the perfect atmosphere for blackmail.
The white power group goes to the gym…yay. And Nichols asks Piper “what the fuck is wrong” with her, a question we’ve wanted to know the answer to for quite a while now. Piper assures Nichols that “this isn’t what it looks like” and, well, you could also not have hung out with or incited a white power uprising in Litchfield, so what it really is as opposed to what it looks like is a moot point, really. Piper also finds out that she was never invited to Nichols’ welcome back party, probably meaning that some social ties have been severed. Oops.
Piscatella continues to just be a shithead. Racist, ableist, etc. I get that we’re trying to humanize shitty characters throughout their respective arcs, but making him gay honestly makes all of what he says towards these inmates worse. His words towards Lolly were unnecessary, but it leads to a very steady scene between her and Healy. And an even cuter scene where Lolly kinda helps the community out by delivering her coffee services to anyone who can and can’t afford it.
This second scene is just adorable, up until Lolly learns that she’s being uprooted.
In Red’s kitchen, there’s a little play on privilege here when Mendoza speaks on Judy King needing special meals while Sophia gets tossed in the SHU for asking for protection. Outside in the cafeteria, we learn way too much about meth-head extracurricular activity. We found the shower shitter, and it’s Angie!
Caputo gets to learn that his classes were approved…but entirely switched out for “vocational classes” that ultimately spell out chain gang for our inmates. What, did nobody teach you how to read fine print, Joe? You just essentially sold out your inmates to become slaves. Nice job.
And we see Lolly’s schizophrenia increase, to the point where she gets arrested…probably for “disorderly conduct”.
Aleida gets the boost she may have been looking for from Judy, who is kind of reminding me of Regina George at this point? But whether or not she’s actually praising her for her nails, she has sparked an idea for Aleida’s future.
Piper picks NOW to speak up against the skinheads? Eh, might be too little too late. In the next scene, we see exactly why she wasn’t included in that party. Nobody likes a tattletale, especially in prison.
Nichols is not doing so well to kick her drug habit anymore. It sucks, because even though I saw that scene last episode, I thought she would at least try to avoid it. But she’s going full throttle, especially after learning that Angie has the goods.
Lolly has a hard time connecting with anyone at the party, and her schizophrenia gets the best of her, causing her to retreat. After Healy tracks her down, he stumbles upon what Lolly was digging through the trash for…a homemade time machine. Lolly and Healy in this time machine is probably the best I’ve ever seen either of them. Both of them want to go back in time to help, and I kinda wish that they could.
Hapakuka finally gets an apology from Piper about…her general demeanor. And we get thrown into THE most exhilarating scene of this season. Piper said she didn’t like being part of a brand in the beginning of the episode, but WELL….
sure enough, it is too late, and the woman gets branded as a Nazi sympathizer to match the rest of her new crew. I’m going to go ahead and applaud all of the acting in this scene, but I will say that this punishment is very much like Joffrey’s death in A Song of Ice and Fire…plenty in the way of a comeuppance, sure, but definitely not satisfying. In fact, it’s kind of sickening.
Ep 8. “Friends In Low Places”
We open to Red, scrambling through her dorm, looking through her mirror. I feel a little worse for Murphy honestly, who is absolutely terrified of Red at this point. Hapakuka slightly regrets her decision to ally herself with the Latinas, but not enough to really apologize to Piper for what she did. Piper did tell her to make new friends, after all.
Yoga Jones is drinking AAAALLL the Kool-Aid(or, the seltzer water), and is not looking back. She’s lapping up all this luxury even more than Judy is, and to be honest I find it to be WAYYY out of character for her. She used to be a voice of reason in this show? What’s going on? Unfortunately most of her scenes entail this particular issue with her, and we don’t get a lot of variety from her this season, at least not so far.
Piper tries to get some sense of normalcy, and calls Cal because that’s her normal, I guess. Turns out her brother is having a baby, and something hits Piper hard. Maybe it’s the burn on her arm festering, or the fact that she’s been so caught up in herself she doesn’t realize how quickly the world is turning around her. She’s interrupted by a PA that the Whispers employees have to single-file to the yard, only to receive the news that Whispers has been replaced with new inmates due to “infiltration”. All eyes point at Piper, and she begins to reap what she sows. Anyway, the girls get introduced to “Construction 101” and their FINE instructor (there may have been some commentary about cat-calling here, but I may be reaching)
Maritza has another close call with getting “the hard stuff” out and a CO almost catches her. Thankfully, it’s just about makeup tips (which is kinda cute) but it makes her want out. She tells Maria but la jefa isn’t having it. She clearly takes after her father, and has to intimidate Maritza into staying in the game.
Daya is being a Negative Nancy while Aleida thinks up business plans. She immediately shuts down any thoughts Aleida had of opening a salon when she gets out. Has anybody noticed that Daya is very, very different this season? Maybe it’s because Daya is still (understandably) pissed at Aleida for losing her baby. But when Daya’s in a scene with Aleida-which is 90% of the time-it’s all starting to look the same.
I haven’t seen a lot of Poussey, and thank god this episode remedied that. Judy approaches her because-well, she’s racist, and she wants to correct it. Filled to the brim with microagressions, they have a dialogue that eventually leads to an agreement.
So, um…Piper does crack in this next scene, and her, Alex and Nichols all essentially make the garden a confessional. Through the power of crack, Piper realizes just how shitty she is.
And Alex confesses.
And Nichols continues her downward spiral. Riveting!
Morello talks to her sister about her growing suspicion that but Vinnie is cheating on her, and her sister tries to talk her down from going where she did with the man that landed her in prison. Eventually she agrees to help Morello out by visiting Vinny.
Meanwhile, we see another drug outlet for Nichols, and Maria slowly going mad with power. Listen, I don’t really get why Maria’s going legit with this, but if she gets caught…more time is the least she has to worry about.
Judy and Poussey have worked out something to ease the non-existent racial tensions between her and the black girls: basically making Cindy Judy’s jailhosue girlfriend. At least, that is what the paparazzi will think with the photo that they got! Can we say money?
Caputo goes over his failure of a school, although we’ve only seen one class so maybe not? I like to hold out hope. Linda points out the obvious- the school never really had a chance- and tries to boost morale, amongst other things. Until a knock at the door reveals…Crystal Burset, once again getting in Caputo’s face to #FreeSophia. All of a sudden, Linda becomes scary as all shit and pulls a gun on Crystal (which just aggravates me to no end here, because Crystal is literally harmless). This… ends up turning Joe on. Don’t go over to the dark side like that, Joe. I swear to god…
In the last scene, we revisit the kitchen, to rebrand Piper’s Nazi symbol into a window. Damn…I was kinda hoping it would get her in trouble, but short term punishment for some seems to be a motif here. She is burned once more, this time by her allies. Don’t exactly know what you’re trying to say here, OITNB. Maybe it will be revealed next episode?
Ep. 9 “Turn, Table, Turn”
It seems that love is in the air at Litchfield- posed, interracial, southern love. The photo of Cindy and Judy gets publicized, except that Cindy sees a caveat- Judy could probably get away with all of this while Cindy gets chewed out by Caputo. Hopefully that’s not the case, but I do agree that Judy was trying to clear her name, and this is the best she could possibly do. Ah, the power of fake-ass love.
Piscatella is none too happy about the photo either, and demands a phone sweep. He puts Luschek in charge, but it’s quickly revealed that he’s the one who put it out in the first place. He also demands that the officers “go freestyle” in order to keep the inmates in line. Excuse me but…no.
Blanca and Maria talk business, as the latter realizes that they have to lie low. The COs already stop and frisk all the time, so there’s no reason to give them more to work with. Also, what happened to no congregating? I waited a few episodes to see if anyone would break them up again but the white power task force seems to have stopped being so caring.
As Maria tells Blanca to take a shower, she does just that…in an old white lady’s house, before she got to Litchfield. It seems that a lot of these flashbacks are just becoming parallels of the future, no? They give insight but somehow are not as good as the previous seasons. I will say, though, that I loved Blanca’s snippet. That lady is terrible, like 100% disgusting, and clearly was around when brown people were treated like less than nothing- either that or she has no semblance of manners. Anyway, I think we get a glimpse of who Blanca was texting in Season 1…
So a few things about this next scene. 1. Piper has lost her appetite and apparently the word vomit (what is yerg?) 2. When did Piper and Alex become friends again? Why does Alex keep going back to her? Seriously I would’ve given up already. 3) I don’t like when my otp fights 🙁 stop it Nichols, you’re tearing the family apart!
In another part of the cafeteria, Sister tries her hardest to be rude. It’s adorable. She’s trying to start some shit, and I think I know why…
Maritza and Flaca play a variation of “would you rather” called “gun to your head”, in which CO Humphrey listens in on. Is it me, or does Humphrey not seem all the way there?Reminds me of Littlefinger, in a way…
Blanca stops for a mandatory frisk, but gets shooed away after the CO says that she stinks. Obviously, this starts the gears in her revolutionary head.
And Maritza, in an attempt to get herself out of the game, outs Alonzo and essentially halts all drug progress. Maria finds out (as all Latina moms do) and lays down the law. But I’m siding with Maritza here, CO Humps doesn’t look like someone to fuck around with.
Meanwhile, Pennsatucky and Boo talk about possibly forgiving Donuts, and Boo reacts pretty much the same way I would if someone was saying we should forgive their assailant. While it’s evident that Donuts is now hyper-aware of any shitty thing he may possibly be doing that negatively affects the inmates, I’m on Boo’s side here. None of this new leaf stuff makes him a good guy, especially considering recent company.
Sister tries to get in trouble again and is punished with a penance of 10 Hail Marys. Third time’s the charm?
During visitation, Morello ends up suspecting her sister of cheating with Vinny. We see her start to unravel again, and the health of this relationship reaches an all time low.
While Blanca thinks up ways to get the Dominicans an out-of-frisk free card, her flashbacks show the same discord after finding out that Dario was fired, due to “not being focused”. God, that lady is just cantankerous.
Red stumbles upon a smoking gun- Nichols in the bathroom with a cigarette, probably still tweaking from the various drugs she’s been getting. Red cries over her “daughter” getting addicted once more, this time under her watch.
As Blanca continues to disobey, we learn-as we have before with other characters-that she has a knack for it. She positions herself to get caught in the act by the old woman, straddling Dario with a cheeky grin on her face. This clearly scared the shit out of the old woman, although I’m not quite sure why. But a win is a win.
Meanwhile, it seems that Sister was missing a little something in order to get her wish to go to the SHU- Mendoza. While attempting miniature arson, Mendoza points out that her schemes are too small time to get her sent to Max. So, Sister “assaults” Mendoza with a quick right hook to finalize the deal. I feel like Sister will do fine down there for a bit. Nunneries are very similar, are they not? Anyway, I mirror Mendoza’s statement that she’s a crazy bitch, and I love her for it. Bring back our girl sis!
That motherfucking Humphrey, I KNEW HE WAS NOT OKAY!! Why does he have a gun?? Why didn’t any of these COs get psych evals before coming here?? How DARE he threaten Maritza. This man is probably one of the least humane characters in the whole series, point blank.
The CO that keeps stopping Blanca has now assigned her to…more civil disobedience? He’s essentially orchestrating a stand-in, and more than likely that CO has picked the wrong inmate to fuck with. A new age Frida Kahlo? Probably.
Bonus: There’s a sub-plot about Piper and Alex trying to get a burger. They then spend the rest of the episode debating on if it’s worth a…sexual favor to CO Bayley. It’s not.
I’ll be back soon with the last 4 episodes! See you soon.
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Images Courtesy of Netflix