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: 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.