OITNB: It Was The Change

Vee (Lorraine Toussaint) with her young lover RJ.

The penultimate episode of Orange Is The New Black finally gave us Vee’s (Lorraine Toussaint) flashback.  She has been the storm brewing slowly this whole season. We got tidbits about Vee’s life prior to being in prison in Taystee’s episodes.

In “It Was the Change,” the flashbacks take us to Vee dealing with menopause and sleeping with her protégé who could easily be her grandson. However, Vee takes advantage of young kids and uses them to do her dirty drug business. She is the patriarch, the lioness.

She learns from a dirty cop that her young lover, RJ, is dealing on the side in a different part of town. Like a lioness who is going to lose her spot at the top, she has RJ killed. Vee isn’t one to be messed with and Taystee learns it the hard way. Back in prison, Poussey is drunk and decides to piss off Vee by destroying her drug supply. Because Taystee couldn’t control Poussey, Vee kicks her out of the gang.

In other Litchfield news, there is a storm approaching the prison and emotions are brewing up all over the place.  Piper (Taylor Schilling) tells Morello that she was the first person to be nice to her when Piper arrived. She also confides in her that her family seems relieved she is being transferred father away since they won’t have to visit her on the weekends.

Red (Kate Mulgrew) sends Vee a strong message after the mishap from the previous week. With the women having to spend the night in the cafeteria because the prison has flooded, Red fears not only for her life but also for her AARP gang. Red tries to choke Vee with plastic wrap but fails and makes a truce. Vee, however, does a much better job of taking down Red again knocking her out with a sock full of rocks in Red’s greenhouse.

The prison’s accountant begins to question Figueroa (Alysia Reiner), the warden, about where some of the prison funds are going and she invites him to her husband’s fundraiser. She discovers that her husband has his own secrets when she sees him secretly kissing the campaign assistant guy.

Dayanara tells Bennett he either comes clean about her pregnancy or walk away.  One highlight of this episode was watching Poussey and Taystee reunite their friendship after Vee had separated them.

Highlights and quotes from “Change”:

“It’s like step one, pick a person to kill. Step two, kill that person,” Red.

“Frank? Like a hotdog?” Dayanara to Bennett about their baby’s name.

“Oh man, we have a serious problem in terms of weight, class. You know what I’m saying,” Morello to Red about Vee’s gangs.

“Great, we’ll challenge them to a Sudoku contest,” Gina.

“We’re supposed to be fighting them? ‘Cause that’s the lollipop guild over there,” Hayes about Red’s gang.

“That’s how they get you. Being cool,” Healey about lesbians.

“How does the agenda work? They gay agenda … to take over the world.” Pennsatucky to Big Boo.

“It’s mostly farts,” Aleida to Dayanara about the lack of fresh air.

“You used to be something. You know that Red. You lost your damn mind. And you’re sad. She don’t need to fight you, she already won,” Gloria to Red.

“I feel trapped inside my face,” Angie after eating nutmeg.

“You just tried to strangle me with plastic wrap to sell mascara in jail,” Vee to Red.

Soso has the girls singing Lisa Loeb’s “Stay” as they wait out the storm.

OITNB: Take Away From Your Values

The last time I wrote about Orange Is The New Black was this past summer. Life and winter came around and it took my time away from writing the last three summaries of OITNB. I didn’t want to leave these last 3 episodes undone so I’ll give a very brief summary.

“Take Away from Your Values” was about the mysterious Sister Jane (Beth Fowler). She was God’s servant, a fighter, a rebel, and a narcissist. In the end, it was her selfish behavior which got her booted from the church and into prison. Without the church backing her up, she was not legally supported for all the protesting she was doing.

In “Values,” she also tried to help Soso but lands herself in the hospital after she becomes weak from joining Soso’s hunger strike to improve the overall quality of life in prison. All it got Sister Jane was a trip to the infirmary.

In Piper and Alex news, Piper calls Alex and asks her why Alex screwed her over. Alex tells Piper that Cooper (Alex’s old drug lord boss) walked from the trail because of a mistrial and now he’s after her. Piper learns that she is being transferred to Virginia with a few other inmates.

Larry and Polly, the oddest couple from this season, must also come clean to Polly’s husband, Pete, of their recent love connection. It doesn’t bode well with Pete as he punches Larry in the face.

After Red finds out that Big Boo betrayed her to Vee, Red confronts her with the rest of the AARP gang and expels her from her gang. It wasn’t a good episode for Big Boo. Not only did Red kick her out of her gang but Vee tells Big Boo she doesn’t like snitches.

Here are some of the better lines from “Values”:
“Did you come back to prison on accident or because outside you’re too weak for anybody to take seriously,” Poussey to Vee.
“I give you Bengay and this is how you repay me?!” Red
“I’m not an alcoholic. I’m Australian” Pete.
“You’re like a pedophile without the sex,” Poussey to Vee.
“I remember the Alamo too, but that don’t keep me from eating Mexican food,” Hayes.
“We would like more musical guests, like Johnny Cash” Angie. “Johnny Cash is dead” Yoga
“Look, I’m Edward Pizzahand,” Angie.
“Don’t talk to me about spirit. Without me, you’re just a couple of hippies on welfare,” Sister Jane.
“You come back here with your scarecrow gang, trying to act all gangster. You try to buy my loyalty with candy and skincare products,” Big Boo.

OITNB: Prison family is key for survival

Red and Vee in a prison flashback

Finally Orange Is The New Black gave me the episode I had been waiting for since they introduced Vee (Lorraine Toussaint) this season in “40 oz of Furlough” by flashing backing back to Red (Kate Mulgrew) and Vee’s prison past. It revealed when these two different but strong women met each other at the Litchfield Penitentiary.

Both Red and Vee arrived to the prison around the same time and as soon as Vee came in, the black girl gang brought her some prison essentials as an offering to be part of their gang. Vee told them she didn’t want it and offered some to a fragile Red who has been recruited to kitchen duties. Red quickly takes advantage of the kitchen, beginning to sneak in goods and shows Vee her secret.

One day a black girl comes back and tells Red she wants to buy the kitchen smuggling business. The Russian redhead laughs it off and tells her to bring in her boss. Vee later shows up in Red’s kitchen and asks Red who she though ordered the girl to buy it. Red is confused and considers Vee a friend but Vee tells her they never made a friendship bracelet. Vee demands her to continue taking in orders but that her girls will distribute the product. Red tells her she will tell Healy but Vee tells her that Red’s first mistake was not having any backup and slaps her across the face and orders her girls to beat up Red.

In prison you need family to survive and if you got one the better off you are and Red has been on the outs with her friends since she lost her kitchen and has been desperately trying to get them back since Vee arrived. She’s made new friends with the AARP club (old ladies) but since she’s had her “greenhouse” business going with no backup, she has been trying to get her old friends back.

She asks Nicky to get the girls at the greenhouse for dinner. The gang (Nicky, Lorna, Big Boo, Gina, Yoga Jones, Sister Jane, Norma and the AARP gang) meet for dinner and Red tells them they are her family and she is sorry for hurting them in the end. Norma, the quiet one, accepts the apology and the rest follow. The dinner reminded me of the last supper with Red, playing Christ, and her posse of apostles and a trader among them.

Red and her AARP gang.

These flashbacks are what the season needed to tie Red and Vee together. They were strong women before the prison and continue to be strong in the prison in knowing how to survive. Red is not making the same mistake this time around.

The other major story in “Furlough” was Piper (Taylor Schilling) getting 48 hours of freedom to attend her grandmother’s funeral. Schilling showed her comedic side again as there were plenty of jokes about Piper’s prison days and her ex’s flaccid penis. However, the jokes are quickly overshadowed by the fact that Piper wasn’t there for her grandmother’s last surviving days and her father being disappointed in her. To add to that, Piper learns that Larry slept with a close friend of hers as they tried to have sex. While in the bathroom with Larry, she realizes their relationship is over.

Piper drinking a 40 oz across NYC

While Piper had 48 hours of freedom, it seemed like she never felt more lost in her old world. Her relationship was over, her grandmother was dead, her brother was starting a new life, and her father was didn’t approve of her life. She ended up leaving the funeral/brother’s wedding reception to go check on Red’s business which was now closed. She buys a 40 oz. Colt 45 and watches New York City from Harlem, realizing that her life isn’t there anymore.

In other prison news, Poussey learns that Vee is not just smuggling in tobacco. She questions Taystee about it but Taystee tells her not to get in Vee’s way because Vee’s her family. Pornstasch enters prison and begins his reign again as the prison asshole but has competition from a jealous Bennett who makes a big reveal to Caputo.

Here are some memorable quotes from this episode:

“What could I possibly be taking out of prison?” Piper.

“It just warms my heart you’re finding your way in here, settling in with the AARP crowd,” Vee.

“Mendez is back bitches,” Pornstach.

“Just one, I learned I like to smoke after I read my sati times novelas. It feels glamorous you know. But I am not a real smoker,” Flaca.

“This sound great. I like where your head is at. It’s great to know you’re a rule breaking criminal at heart,” Cal (Piper’s brother).

“Nope see, no handcuffs,” Piper.

“I can see that with my normal people eyes. I bet those slits make it hard for you to see,” Pornstach to Soso.

“How long as it been since you came in a real life vagina and not in your hand,” Piper to Larry.

“Do not defend your boner to me right now,” Piper to Larry limp penis.

“The D list Burt Reynolds but more rapey,” Soso about pornstach.

“One of them looked like a Disney witch,” Ramos.

OITNB: Love is like pizza

Poussey (SamIra Wiley) in “You Also Have Pizza”

Valentines Day can be a sucky day for single people anywhere, now imagine how it can be for a group of women living in prison. The 6th episode of Orange Is The New Black “You Also Have A Pizza” focused on this cheesy romantic day.

It started off with several inmates talking into the camera expressing what love meant to them. It varied from inmate to inmate. For some it was great sex, others pain, or having pizza because love is pizza. I love pizza. If love was like pizza, everything would be cheesy and gooey and fantastic….

However, “Pizza” left me wanting more in this episode as it focused on Poussey (Samira Wiley), the girl who is always wearing baggy clothes and joking with Taystee. The flashbacks from this season have given us details about what the women did to be in prison but with Poussey we only got glimpse of her teenage years when she lived in Germany with her parents in what looked like an army base.

In Poussey’s flashbacks we learn she speaks German and has a German girlfriend who is the daughter of a high ranking military general who catches them having sex. Poussey is smart and cool but once she learns she is leaving the base, she shuts down and becomes cold. The girl who described love as being with someone you can just chill with can only tell her girlfriend that she has nice tits and will remember her for that.

Poussey real test of character was in prison when she stood up to Vee (Lorraine Toussaint). Just like she stood up to her girlfriend’s father, who tells her she needed to be “fixed,” Poussey told Vee she better not get Taystee in trouble or she will kill her. Just like her girlfriend’s dad, Vee took it as a joke and told her that Taystee will never love her the way Poussey wants. Although she walks away like a tough bitch, her eyes tear up knowing Vee is right.

Vee continues her quest to become the lioness off the prison. She starts smuggling in tobacco through the cleaning supplies. But she is not the only one. Red (Kate Mulgrew) is also smuggling goods through her green house. Instead of using the sewage to escape, Red is bringing goods to buy her old friends back. She knows that a war is coming and wants to have her crew together.

To keep with the theme of Valentines, the inmates had a dance. One couple “Pizza” focused on was Dayanara (Dascha Polanco) and John’s (Matt McGorry) relationship, who despite being stuck in prison, seem to actually care for each other. During the dance, they sneak out to a private room and have sex. Dayanara’s emotions have made her act a little crazy recently from the pregnancy making her lash out at John. And the poor guy isn’t getting any slack from Dayanara’s friends (Aleida, Flaca, and Ramos) who are asking him to sneak them things in order to keep their silence about their romance.

Piper (Taylor Schilling) also gets a visit from her former fiancee, Larry (Jason Biggs). She tells him she wants to go home when she gets out but he fires back telling her he can’t live off of hope. Larry also tells her about the reporter who wants to write about the prison funding and asked Piper to get information for but he wants to write the story. They argue and Larry storms out.

Piper starts asking some of staff and other inmates, who have been there for a longtime, questions about funding and programs that have not received money. Sam, the counselor, questions her about this but she tells him she wants to start a prison newsletter. She tells him the newsletter is a great way for the inmates to get to know each other, and since Sam has overheard the inmates saying he’s a creep, he goes for it and asks Piper to give him writing samples.

“Pizza” has some melancholy moments between the inmates. Ramos and Flaca get drunk and makeout and they realize they are missing the best part of their young lives stuck in prison. Lorna is still heartbroken about Christopher but Crazy Eyes comforts her.

Here are some memorable lines from “Pizza”:

“Pain, horrible pain that you want again and again,” Sophia describing love.

“Gabriel got me flowers. He stole them from his cousin’s funeral. It was so sweet,” Ruiz.

“I had a thing once with my boss at Long John Silver. Then I found out his wife was wicked hot,” Leanne

“Freedom of the press should not be only for the free,” Piper to Sam.

Ramos and Flaca describing Valentines Day

“And you have a pizza,” Ramos

“You’ve been hoarding this room like some Hilary Clinton dictator. And we want to be a democracy,” Leanne to Pennsatucky.

“You know what gets me? We are wasting the best years of our lives in here. Like, our tits are never going to look better, our asses are never going to look better,” Ramos

“It’s like coming home after a long trip. That’s what love is like. Like coming home,“ Piper.

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.