OITNB: Don’t mess with a Latina, you’ll get burned

Gloria (Selenis Leyva) confronts Vee (Lorraine Toussaint) in “Low Self Esteem City”

The fifth episode of Orange is the New Black focused on prison cook Gloria Mendoza (Selenis Leyva) and the bang-off contest between Big Boo and Nicky – the only show that could actually get away with having this as a plot line for the characters.

Finally we learn more about Gloria’s past in “Low Self Esteem City.” The first flashback takes us to Gloria working a convenience store somewhere in New York. In the back of the store, her aunt is performing a sort of cleansing on a man. An angry customer walks in and asks for a refund because his cleansing didn’t. As they wait in the store, a customer walks in with a Welfare debit card and asks her for cash instead. She tells him no in a loud voice so the other customers hear she doesn’t do fraud, yet she takes the card and keeps $50 as a fee. Her Dominican boyfriend shows up and as she jokes with him about not having a job, he slaps her.

Gloria isn’t the tough girl she is inside the prison as we see her take her boyfriend back even after her aunt warns her this is not a way of  being treated. Her aunt tells her that he could start hitting Gloria’s two young sons but he publicly begs her and cries on his knees at a playground. Her aunt was right though and we later learn that he hit one of her kids.

Gloria tells her aunt that she’s been saving money in a box from the welfare debit cards she’s been accepting. As she is telling her this, the police come in and arrest her for fraud. The disgruntled customer ratted her out. But before this happens her boyfriend comes in with apologies and sees her box. But never mess with a ‘curandera’ (healer) because their magic comes back to bite you in the worst possible way.

Back at the prison, the Spanish Harlem bathroom is flooded and the Latina girls take over the black girl bathroom. Vee (Lorraine Toussaint), of course, is not taking this lightly. This time around she plays it cool though and starts taking control of situation by playing games. Vee tells Gloria to move 2 girls from maintenance to the kitchen so two of Vee’s girls can move to maintenance, it seems like a smart move, but Red tells Gloria she’s been played. When Gloria confronts Vee, she sort plays the hyena in disguise by telling Gloria she wants no trouble, yet the lioness lurks inside her taking control while no one else notices.

Piper (Taylor Schilling) learns that her grandmother is dying when her mother and brother visit her. She asks Sam, the counselor, for a three-day furlough but he tells her they don’t exist. Later though Sam tells her he is putting her on the list but she has to call her fiancé, Larry, to make sure she can stay at their house.

Big Boo and Nicky in OITNB

And since boredom must kick in heavily at a prison, Nicky and Big Boo come up with the bang-off contest. It’s kind of like playing a basketball game, whoever scores the most wins. The girls are ranked in points by how hard they are to lay. Nicky takes a challenge in trying to bang the correctional officer Fisher who is considered a 10 pointer.

Things are starting to get interesting in the prison. Players are making chest moves and positioning themselves in places to gain power. We’ll have to wait and see how things will work out.

Here are some memorable lines from the episode:

“I was hoping that you would have like a gnarly scar. Add character and mystery,” Piper’s brother.

“Furlough is much like the Loch Ness monster. Much discussed but never seen,” Sam.

“I’ll put a coconut in my sock and BAAAM! Sock a nut bitch!…I’m just playing.” Hayes.

“I don’t smell fingers. I just write numbers,” Chang.

“Bagnut. It’s like a bagel crossed with a donut,” Larry

“Le voy a poner una vela a Santa Barbara para que te destruya!” Gloria’s tia.

OITNB: Lorna is cuckoo for Christo-puffs

Lorna (Yael Stone) wearing a veil on OITNB’s “A Whole Other Hole”

It looks like Lorna really has some loose screws in her pretty little head, and the inmates learned the vagina has its own separate pee hole in “A Whole Other Hole.” This fourth episode of Orange is the New Black focused on Lorna (Yael Stone) and her sketchy past.

In the previous episode we learned her fiancé Christopher was marrying someone else and we finally got to meet Christopher in her flashbacks but we learn first she is running a credit card scam by ordering expensive clothing like Prada and then telling the company she never received them. She meets Christopher at a local post office as she is picking up her packages and he asks her out on a date.

In present time, Lorna drives Rosa for her chemo sessions from the prison to the hospital and while waiting in the hospital’s parking lot, she looks at her map and takes off. She arrives at a house and breaks in. She sees a picture of Christopher with the new fiancée.

In a courtroom, Christopher is on the stand and recounts his only date with Lorna and how she threatened his life and his fiancée’s. He recounts how she left notes on his car, voice mails about not helping with the dog that did not exist, and how they found a homemade explosive under his fiancée’s car. Lorna, on the other hand, seems happy and tells her lawyer that the whole thing is blown out of proportion.

Back at the house, Lorna goes through Christopher’s belongings and finds the wedding veil and wears it while she fixes herself a bath. Bathing with the veil on, Christopher comes home. She puts on a robe and runs out the house but not before she takes a teddy bear. She makes it to the hospital as Rose finishes her chemo.

Elsewhere in “Hole,” Piper’s (Taylor Schilling) storyline is was left to find her belongs as she starts seeing the other inmates with her books, shoes, and a blanket, which  she tries to get back from Big Boo by pimp out Soso. She is now roommates with Red who is not happy to have new company.

Red (Kate Mulgrew), on the other hand, is trying to get her old friends back but they are not having it. They still haven’t forgiven her for losing kitchen and she instead sits at the old lady table. Red stumbles on an old green house with wooden floors. She pulls one up and finds it leads to the sewer. Could this be the beginning of the great escape for Red or a good way to sneak in products?

The lioness Vee (Lorraine Toussaint) is still on the prowl to regain her queen status in the prison by causing trouble within the own black girl click. She is taking every opportunity she can get even trying separate Taystee from Poussey who shared an intimate moment. Vee tells Taystee that being gay for the stay isn’t right and that people will find out once she gets out. Taystee falls for the trap and doesn’t save a seat for Poussey at movie night.

As in every episode, there are very funny moments and this episode involved the vagina holes as some of the girls were not educated in their reproductive system. Sophia had to draw them a picture as she designed her own vagina.

Sophia educating the prison women about their own chachas,

The flashbacks are working this season for OITNB as it is focusing on the other characters and letting the viewer’s know more details into their life prior to prison. And not only is there politics involved outside the prison but inside is just as corrupt. The power struggles between the ethnic groups is what will drive this season.

Here are some memorable lines from this episode:

“I designed one myself. I had plans drawn up and everything. I’ve seen some funky punani in my days,” Sophia about the vagina holes.

“Stay off my tracks. Enough to clitoference.” Big Boo

“Inspector Gadget was not a good detective. He just had a lot of stuff. Plus he had Penny and The Brain helping him,” Piper.

“Peoples loyalty means nothing because the second you’re not useful to them you’re out,” Red.

“Gay for the stay is for punk ass bitches who aren’t strong enough to be true to themselves,” Vee.

OITNB: Are hugs deceiving?

Vee (Lorraine Toussaint) and Crazy Eyes (Uzo Aduba) on “Hugs Can Be Deceiving”

“Hugs Can Be Deceiving,” the third episode of the current season of Orange Is the New Black, had a lot going on since Piper arrived back to the prison with the rest of her cellmates. In Hugs, we also got more insight into Crazy Eyes as the story showed flashbacks of when she was younger. This episode wasn’t as good as the previous as the story line is getting more complicated and involving the rest of the supporting cast, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

So instead of doing a rundown of what happened throughout the entire episode, I’ll give a summary of the main players involved in this episode.

Crazy Eyes: We first get a glimpse of young Suzanne “Crazy Eyes” (played insanely perfect by Uzo Aduba) meeting her newborn white sister dressed in a pink butterfly suit. Her parents were able conceive after adopting her. In these flashbacks, we get to see Crazy Eyes’ mental stability. In one particular flashback, her mother has pushed her to sing at her high school graduation, and as a teenage Suzanne stands before her classmates, she begins to scream she can’t and hitting herself in the head.

Although her mother’s intention was for Crazy Eyes to have the same opportunities as the rest of her white friends/classmates, by pushing her to be someone else, it, however, didn’t allow Crazy Eyes to be herself. Crazy Eyes took out her anger instead on Piper, who resembled her mother, in a flashback to the season finale episode that revealed Crazy Eyes punched Piper and saved Pennsatucky from getting killed.

Vee (Lorraine Toussaint): Former Taystee boss seems to be a big player this season. Although her scenes were minimal, her lioness demeanor was very present. She revealed that she had been in prison before as she and Red hugged and reminisced about old times. Vee also befriended Crazy Eyes and told her she was a garden rose and  to not consider herself anything less. It seems that Vee is stirring up trouble in what seems to be a peaceful women’s prison. She traded some old cigarettes with the new cook Gloria for a cake she then shared with the other black girls. She told Crazy Eyes that when she was there, the black girls ruled the prison and it seems this lioness is trying to reclaim her turf again by gathering all the other black girls and creating a deeper racial divide.

Pennsatucky not only came back with new teeth but also with a much bigger ego. Her friends accused of thinking she was better than them and are not liking her new found attitude. Pennsatucky and Piper also met to hug out their differences.

Larry also meets with City Post reporter Andrew who wants an inside scoop on the prison since he’s investigating money laundry. The reporter told him he wants to talk to Piper. Larry tells him that he will talk to Piper and the counselor since he’s gotten closer to him. Of course, all of this is a lie since Larry and Piper are no longer together.

Lorna learns through a phone conversation with her sister that her fiancée, who’s never visited her at the prison, is marrying someone else. She is heart broken.

Deception was a big part of this episode. Even though we consider hugs to be warm and friendly, the hugs given in this episode were  frigid and full of lies.  Here are a few great lines from the show.

“The White Michelle Williams” –Poussey to Taystee on a charade game.

“Momma said pretty is for flowers and movies stars ‘cause neither one gots a brain,” Leanne to Pennsatucky

“He doesn’t realize she’s a whore. You don’t go Jessica Simpson when he’s got Rhianna,” Lorna on hearing her fiancée is leaving her.

“You’re one Cheerio in the bulk box of life but you fucking tickle me so I think it would matter” Nicky to Piper after Piper confesses about considering death.

“You’ll even get the hang of pooping while making eye contact with somebody,” Piper to new inmate Soso.

OITNB: All about Taystee in ‘Looks Blue, Tastes Red’

Taystee and Nicky from Orange Is The New Black

It was all about Tatstee in Orange Is The New Black second episode “Looks Blue, Tastes Red” and I had no qualms about it. In the first episode we left Piper back in Chicago with her new cellmate Yoda and now we return to back to the upstate prison in New York with the rest of her former cellmates.

It was nice to start the episode with a flashback of a young Taystee at a park vying to find a family as she is in a group home. She is vibrant and loveable even as a kid telling would-be prospective parents that she is real smart and knows the whole periodic chart. She also meets Vee at the park, a drug dealer, and future Taystee boss.

Back at the prison the girls are playing dress up for a mock interview challenge. Nothing new has progressed since last season, they are still in prison. The girls meet at the chapel all dressed up for their dress up challenge and Taystee (Daniell Brooks) is doing her best to impress the judge with her business like suit. Seeing Taystee take the challenge seriously, you realize that she is no dumb girl.  She has just made bad choices. Brooks does an exceptional job playing Taystee bringing warmth and a real appeal that you root for Tasytee to make it out of prison.

During the flashbacks, Taystee begs Vee for a job. Taystee is good with math and Vee finds Taystee’s quick wit and charm appealing. Vee hires her and forms a familial bond. In one scene, Vee and Taystee are having dinner along with one of Vee’s teen employees and Taystee’s eyes light up because, to her, this is the closest thing she has to a family. I think more is going on with Vee and Taystee but we’ll see what future episodes reveal.

The mock interview scene with Taystee, Flaca and the Philip Morris employee was hilarious. I don’t want to give too much away but a new character is introduced at the very end that may turn Taystee’s world upside down.

We also learn that Pennsatucky (Taryn Manning) is alive, just toothless. She meets with correctional officer Sam (Michael Harney), who if you remember from last season, set her up to kill Piper outside in the snow. Sam wants to meet with Pennsatucky to talk about what happened and make things clear to her. And just when you think that Pennsstucky is one dumb squirrel, she tells him that she remembers everything and blackmails him for some brand new teeth.

Here are some memorable moments from the episode:

“I still look hella office,” Taystee after losing the dress up challenge.

Larry to his father, “Why did you bring us to a gay bath house?” Dad, “I had a groupon.”

“Are you aware that you just told a woman in prison she should be a correctional officer? What the fuck is wrong with you?” Nicky.

“I was hoping I could work with mentally ill children. I think I can offer some insight into what they might be experiencing and helping them heal and recover,” Crazy Eyes.

“I use my time efficiently. I’m almost never late.” Flaca Gonzalez

OITNB: ‘Thirsty Bird’ recap season 2 premier episode

orange is the new black

Screen shot of “Orange Is The New Black”

Last year Netflix come up with a few original shows to stream and one of the biggest surprises and best quality shows has been Orange Is The New Black based on Piper Kerman’s memoir about her experience in a women’s prison. Its second season started streaming Friday (June 6) with all 13 new episodes available to view. And like any junkie who binges, a good kind of binging, will devour all 13 episodes in two days.

I admit that I am a so called Netflix binge-junkie; however, I will take the time to do a summary of each episode of OITNB so as not to OD in two days. I will sacrifice my—anyway, last season OITNB ended with Piper at her worst. Her fiancé had left her, her former girlfriend and prison mate had betrayed her, and out pure rage beat Pennsatucky to death, or so she thought.

In the first episode titled “Thirsty Bird” Piper (Taylor Schilling) is in solitary confinement and is woken up by guards who take her to a plane with more prisoners on board. She doesn’t know where she’s going nor why she is being moved. She demands answers from the guards, but when you are a prisoner, all you are told to shut up and sit down. While on the plane, we get a flashback of Piper when she was a young girl in a school bus with her friend telling her to jump from the back with the rest of the kids. Young Piper tells her that she can’t because it’s the wrong thing to do. Young Piper isn’t a risk taker.

In a different flashback we also see a young Piper going to watch an R rated movie (Dazed and Confused) with her friend but she’s hesitant to go in. While debating with her friend about doing the right thing, she sees her father kissing a woman that isn’t her mother. She tells her grandmother that after telling her mother the truth, her mother completely ignored it. Young Piper thought telling the truth was the correct thing to do. This theme of doing the right thing ran thought the episode.

Piper finally learns her destination: Chicago. But she isn’t aware of why she’s there. As she meets her new cellmates, they begin to yell at her for killing their pet cockroach named Yoda. “She killed Yoda” should have been the name of the episode but that is just my take. Her cellmates demand her to find a new Yoda otherwise a crazy cellmate will sit on her face. Yoda was used to transport cigarettes to different rooms in the prison and he always came back. He was master Yoda

While out in the courtyard she sees her former girlfriend, Alex. Piper manages to sneak a note to Alex by giving a male prisoner her worn underwear. When Piper and Alex, Alex tells her that they are there for the trial of Alex’s former drug boss Kubra and warns her not to tell the truth because Kubra’s business is vengance. Piper tells her that she cannot lie under oath. At the trial, Piper begins telling the truth but at the last minute backs out. In the last scene, Piper is sitting in a cell at the court house and as Alex walks by tells her that she told the truth about Kubra and is getting released from Prison and Piper goes ballistic.

In this episode, we don’t get to see the rest of the cast as it is Piper’s story with flashbacks.  Isolating Piper’s character from the rest was a great way to start the show because just like Piper feeling left out from her former prison life so is the audience. Taylor Schilling does a great job in this episode showing her comedic timing and vulnerability. At the beginning you get her sense of urgency to find out what is going but once she learns she hasn’t killed Pennsatusky, Schilling is back to her wittier self.

I’ll be back with next episode soon but in the meantime here are some funny lines from the show:

“Are you famous? You’re Lindsay Lohan?” inmate to Piper.

“You better be praying to God! Him, baby Jesus, Buddha, whoever else might lookout for dumbass bitches!” Scowly Inmate to Piper after she kills Yoda.

“Oh, I thought he was a rapist! I’m so relieved.” Piper after learning her helper was a murderer.

Gay Dating in Sacramento: zero degrees of separation

Zero degrees of seperation

Zero degrees of seperation

A few days ago a friend of mine (we’ll call him Tom to conceal his identity) met a guy (we’ll call him Lorenzo) for their first date. They met online, both local guys from Sacramento. They met at a trendy coffee shop downtown (Starbucks) and as they sipped on their green tea infused drinks and smiled nervously at one another, their conversation dove into what a normal first date might lead into: the ex-factor. Not a big deal, right?

As they begun to discuss their dating lives and interject funny anecdotes about past loves or one-night stands, Tom’s date mentioned that his previous ex didn’t like to hold hands and had a weird last name. Tom recalled he had briefly dated (2 dates) someone with similar characteristics and asked Lorenzo to give more details about this ex. As Lorenzo trickled more details about this guy, Tom began to connect the dots. It was the same guy…Tom smiled widely with his lips twitching nervously and avoiding eye contact with Lorenzo at all cost.  Lorenzo caught on to Tom’s awkward smiling and nervous laughter.

Lorenzo asked if Tom knew who Lorenzo was referring to. Being the honest guy that Tom is, he said yes and told him they had ‘briefly’ dated. Lorenzo then asked if Tom knew him biblically, and of course, Tom knew him biblically. There was a moment of silence between them and Lorenzo finally said, “I need to move out of Sacramento because everyone has slept with everyone else or dated everyone else.”

Lorenzo words are exactly what you feel when you are gay and date in a small city such as Sacramento. The degrees of separation between someone you dated or slept with are zero to none. The gay dating scene is tough enough as it is and when a relationship ends, you want to start fresh and rid of whatever toxicity your ex might have brought you. But when you date in Sacramento or in small cities, it seems that the ex-factor will, in doubt, be right around the corner or, in this case, in the new guy you are trying to date.

There is no six degrees of separation in Sacramento’s gay dating world. You sleep with one guy and you might as well add the whole lot of gays you see every week at the same clubs in downtown. The scenery doesn’t change unless some poor soul is visiting or passing through and everyone wants to sleep with him too. I was immune to this clustered dating phenomenon in Sacramento as I was dating someone form a WHOLE different country. But after the relationship ended, and I started to date locally, I began to see that in one way or another, everyone was connected. It sort of freaked me out for many reasons: no fresh start, moving forward might be harder, seeing the ex at the club with another lover was likely to happen, rumors, and more importantly, STD’s.

This clustered dating phenomenon is not easily escapable in Sacramento. So what do you do in such circumstances? Not date at all? Date someone from a different country like I did? (Not recommend) If you really want to avoid such phenomenon, maybe try dating someone from a nearby town but you also run the risk of the same dating phenomenon such as in Sacramento. My advice is, if you really like the guy, it really won’t matter who he’s dated as long as in the end, he is faithful. And just in case you are wondering, Tom and Lorenzo are going strong and have moved on to a second date and survived that as well.