The smell of money can bring a certain rush and ignite a hunger for more and in the eight episode of Orange Is The New Black, Miss Rosa’s character vice was money.
In “Appropriately Sized Pots,” the story focused on Miss Rosa (Barbara Rosenblat) and her battle with cancer. We had already learned in a previous episode that Miss Rosa was in jail for robbing banks when she told a young cancer patient of her Bonnie-type days, and in “Pots,” it dove into her past as well as the present.
In the opening scene Healy tells Miss Rosa that the doctors recommend surgery for her cancer, however, the prison isn’t willing to fork out the money for the surgery. He tells her she has to continue with chemo. Miss Rosa is a tough lady and instead of crying or making a big scene she takes the news as reasonably as possible.
Her cool demeanor is what made her one of the guys as the flashbacks showed a young, vibrant and sexy Rosa was part of a trio of male bank robbers. But with her first heist came the first casualty. Her boyfriend Mario’s superstition was to get a kiss from Rosa one before and one after the robbery. As they made their way out Mario caught the security guard’s bullet and Mario died in the car after his second kiss. The second casualty came when her second boyfriend, a surviving member from the gang, died from a heart attack after a heist after receiving the second kiss.
With the last surviving male bank robber, Rosa’s thirst for money did not end and wanted to continue to rob another bank. Her male companion tried to stop her and as she tried to give him the second kiss, he refused. She decides to rob the bank solo. It was the last time she smelled money.
At her chemo sessions, Miss Rosa had befriended a teenage boy, who is also getting chemo. To show him she was the real deal, Miss Rosa told him they would pull a heist of their own. They were going to steal money from a nurses’ purse. Her keen eye for observation paid off and they made out with $68. The boy got $20. Back in the prison Miss Rosa lay in her bunk and smelled money once again.
In other prison news, everyone hates Piper (Taylor Schilling). The word is out that she was granted furlough to visit her dying grandmother and the rest of the prison isn’t happy. A theme throughout the season has been the racial divide among the women and the privileges white women receive in prison, and upon learning that a privileged white girl was granted furlough when the other women of color like Poussey who couldn’t visit her dying mother or Sophia who didn’t get closure with her dying father is creating tension between the women. I’ve never been to prison but just like in the real world these racial privileges happen way too often. It wasn’t Piper’s fault for receiving furlough but it shows that in prison the color you are still allows you certain privileges.
Red’s (Kate Mulgrew) plan to turn the greenhouse into a tunnel to sneak in goods hit a road block. Caputo (Nick Sandow) wants to grow some vegetables in the greenhouse and notices that some of the plants are in oversized pots. Figueroa, the warden, questions him why some of the girls in the prison are chewing gum, which is banned in prison, after her very expensive Manolo Blahnik’s steps in one. He has no clue and she ridicules him for not doing his job in front of the correctional officers.
Correctional Officer Fisher stands up to Caputo about how unfairly he singled her out and he fires her on the spot even though he is crushing on her. Caputo realized that Red is the one bringing in the banned goods and turns the greenhouse upside down but Red is way too smart to get caught and has them moved to a safer location.
With Fisher gone, Figueroa brings back a figure from last season who will more than likely be causing trouble once again for the women in the New York prison.
Miss Rosa’s story was one of the better ones to watch this season as her crime spree and cursed kiss showed a sexy and exciting character’s past that some of the other back stories this season have lacked. Her battle with cancer also demonstrates how unfair prison life can be and the politics that goes along with it.
Here are some memorable lines from the show:
“One, two, three…what comes after three? I forgot,” Nicky.
“You smell like a turtle tank. Go fucking take a shower,” Pennsatucky to Soso.
“Try to reason with the bitch to lay off the sticky fingers but if she doesn’t listen, drag her to a place no one can see and bash her head real good,” Flaca on her prison advice column.
“No way that white ass is going to clap,” Dayanara to Piper.
“I had medical and dental. I was paying off my Kia,” Fisher after being fired.