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: Little Mustachioed Shit

Piper and Alex on “Little Mustachioed Shit” in OITNB

Karma is a bitch and it usually comes back to bite you in the ass just as hard or even harder than expected. In “Little Mustachioed Shit,” Piper (Taylor Schilling) discovered out the hard way what it feels like to be betrayed by someone she considered her best friend.

In the flashbacks, Piper was the other women and last season, Piper cheated on Larry with Alex. This time around Piper’s best friend, Polly (Maria Dizzia) slept with Larry. Larry told Piper he had slept with someone Piper knew. Polly went to visit Piper in prison and through an awkward conversation, where the truth wasn’t actually revealed, Polly’s behavior said more than was necessary for Piper to figure out who the other woman was.

“Mustachioed” focused on Piper and Alex’s beginning romance. After sleeping with Alex, Piper learned she had a girlfriend when she was punched in the face while Alex’s bed. Alex told her it was ‘complicated” as if it was a Facebook status. Of course Piper wasn’t finished and one night  followed Alex to the women’s bathroom at the bar.

A younger Piper was telling her best friend, Polly,  of her new lesbian experience when someone left a bag of shit on fire in front of their house by Alex’s former girlfriend.  In present time, Piper had her new sister-in-law do the same to Polly. Also in present time, Piper returned to prison after her furlough. She lied to Red about Red’s business which had closed down. She also received another letter from Alex but refused to open until she found out that Polly had slept with Larry.

Vee on OITNB

In other prison news, Vee and her gang have made a name for themselves as the rest of the prison knows about their business gainig the respect of the other fellow inmates. Vee has also made Crazy Eyes the sidekick and also the girl who does the dirty work. Vee is the queen of the lioness pride and is taking full advantage of it. Although Poussey is not falling in line, Vee wants the library as a place to hide her product. Poussey gets drunk off her own concoction she brewed up and drunkenly attacks Vee in the bathroom where Crazy Eyes quickly takes Vee’s orders and beats a drunken Poussey.

Nicky is tempted by the heroin that was given her but Gina followed her around to make sure she didn’t use. In the end, Nicky gave Red the heroin and tells her that Vee is smuggling in drugs. Vee also pays a visit to Red’s greenhouse who wants to use the greenhouse as a means of transporting drugs in. Red isn’t having none of it and tells her to find another way.

Lorna gets a surprised visit from Christopher.  But it isn’t a happy one she was hoping for. Christopher isn’t thrilled to see her and accuses her of breaking into his house. As Nicky watches, he tells her that she’s  psycho and will kill her if she comes near his family.  Lorna runs out of the room and confesses to Nicky that she might be a little crazy for which Nicky replies that she still loves her anyway.

Pornstache on OITNB

The other big news is Pornstache’s love for Dayanara. Pablo Schreiber as Mendez steals the show in his shorts scenes. He’s an asshole you feel sorry for because he has no clue he’s being played by Dayanara. In his twisted mind, he loves her and when he’s told Dayanara is pregnant, he doesn’t care he’s going to prison since sex with a female inmate is considered rape. “Mustachioed” ends with Pornstache arrested for his sexual crime and telling Dayanara to wait for him.

Here are some memorable lines from the episode:

“They’re from Marshal’s. Fuck you!” Piper about her shoes.

“That poor girl is carrying around a sadistic little mustachioed shit inside her,” Caputo to Pornstache.

“Hey girl, sorry I fucked you over in Chicago. It was for your own good. Let me lick your pussy,” Nicky about Alex’s letter.

“I’ve never been punched before. It was probably a good life experience,” Piper.

“Did you cry it out the other night, after your little lady meltdown,” Pornstach.

“In case you ain’t notice, this place is full of criminals and we’re 2 of them. Three if you include coo-coo over here,” Taystee to Poussey.

“You know what that means? It’s all coming through the rectal pipeland. You know what that means? Someone has been slacking with the cough and squat,” Correctional officer Bell.

“Why don’t you get me an Iphone so I can take photos and play CandyCrush?” Piper to reporter.

“Stop hitting walls. And plot your revenge,” Red to Piper.

“I’d like to join your little garden club” Vee. “We’re not accepting new members,” Red.

“Your ass haunts me,” Caputo. “Sorry to hear that sir,” Pornstache.

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: El beso de la muerta (The kiss of death)

Miss Rosa and her young protege

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.

A young Miss Rosa gives her cursed kiss

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:

“Am I like the boy in the Sixth Sense who sees infractions that no one else sees? Am I in a Shalamala movie?” Figueroa

“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.

OITNB: Clowning around in ‘Comic Sans’

Adrienne Moore as Cindy Hayes on OITNB

Have you ever traveled and some of your belongings from your luggage went missing? Or were felt up in appropriately by a TSA agent as you went through the security check point at the airport? Then you’ve probably ran into someone like Cindy Hayes, Orange is the New Black’s fictional character.

OITNB seventh episode “Comic Sans” focused on the comical Cindy Hayes character played hilariously by Adrienne Moore. In her flashbacks, Hayes employment prior to becoming an inmate at the New York state prison facility was working as a TSA agent, who would rather be fooling around than working. She had no work ethics – stealing laptops and snacks from airport vendors and practically molesting passengers and she tapped them down during the security check point.

As funny and likeable as her character might be, this girl is a slacker, forgetting all sense of responsibility. In her flashbacks, she visits her younger sister for her birthday and gives her the stolen IPad which still contain pictures of the previous owner. She then decides to take her for ice cream but leaves her in the car alone while she talks to her hommies.

When she comes back home late at night, Cindy’s mother chastises her for coming home late. Cindy backfires at her own mother telling her that she can do whatever she wants with her since it’s her own daughter! Yup, her younger sister is her daughter but she does not want the parental responsibilities that go attached with having a child. Instead, Cindy chose to leave her daughter to be raised by her mother.

Cindy and her younger “sister”

Cindy’s lack of responsibility is also visible at the prison. As a worker bee for Vee selling cigarettes, she starts doing what she likes and instead of collecting stamps as she’s supposed to, she has other inmates clean her bunker or bring her food in exchange for smokes. Vee, of course, is not having it and tells her if she wants to continue selling smokes, she better come up with the stamps.

Being the loud mouth that she is, Cindy tells Vee (Lorraine Toussaint) she isn’t afraid of her. But during the night, the lioness pays her a visit and calls her a loser, telling her she has never taken anything serious in her life and has given up on herself. As cruel as it may sound, Vee is right. Cindy is a loser who can’t even admit to having a daughter to a complete stranger.

In other prison news, Piper (Taylo Schilling) meets with the reporter who is trying to find out about the missing 2 million dollars from the prison fund. The reporter thinks the prison warden is either embezzling the money or is getting duped. Piper is also busy with her prison newsletter with the help of Lorna, Flaca and Dayanara – who wrote a comic sans featuring a walrus based on the counselor, Mr. Healy.

Larry (Jason Biggs) and Molly (Piper’s friend) end up having sex. This has been building up in previous episodes as they were spending time together but Molly is married and just had a child so we’ll see what this develops in the next episodes.

Red is continuing her smuggling of goods into prison and learns Vee is smuggling tobacco and knows it will end badly. The old lady with dementia, Jimmy, injures herself in fall and is released from prison but has nowhere to go and the prison isn’t willing to pay for special care. Nicky tells Poussey she should get close to Vee so that Taystee won’t pull away from her.

“I’ll just look that up in the handy inmate Internet they gave us for when we get curious about stuff,” Piper to reporter.

“Have you ever been kissed by a 6 foot tall transgender women?” Sophia to Red

“Have you ever been kissed by a 6 foot tall transgender women?” Sophia to Red.

“A bunch of Latinas can’t make rice and beans. What’s wrong with this picture?” Gloria.

“Ok but good porn. None of that Japanese shit. And I want a magazine with just guys in it. What?! It’s hot! And plus I don’t want to be exploiting women and shit. It sucks out all the sexy,” Flaca.

“The year book isn’t even a real class. You just take pictures and smoke weed,” Lorna.

“Trust me you do not want to short Vee. She will go wolverine on your ass,” Taystee.

 

 

 

 

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.