by Billie Doux
Pennsatucky is as dim as a two watt lightbulb and mean as a bag full of vipers, and her flashbacks certainly didn't make me think any better of her. She had abortions so she wouldn't get arrested for drug use, and shot up an abortion clinic because a clinic employee "disrespected" her. I strongly believe in choice, but five abortions? Seriously, there are plenty of birth control options out there.
Although Pennsatucky seemed sort of interesting and possibly relatable when she was talking about how Psych made her doubt her religion ("There ain't no justice. We just crawl around this earth like ants, and then we die"), Piper trying to make peace with her by praying to Jesus and consenting to a baptism was such a mistake. Huge. And then Piper tried to make it right by telling Pennsatucky honestly what she believed in (I believe in Neil deGrasse Tyson too) and you just knew it would backfire.
Now that I'm thinking about it, this "opposite" thing was a theme. Pennsatucky lucked into being a hero to the abortion movement by having a lot of abortions, losing her temper and shooting at someone. Piper spent the entire episode trying to make peace and amends and she ended up with a death threat. Caputo told Susan the nice guard that she had to be strict and nasty, and it got Susan choked and our dear Miss Claudette into Max. Bennett thought he was going to be a hero by finding the drugs, and he ended up victimizing Red, who was trying to stop the drug traffic. Even Daya thought she was saving Bennett by having sex with Pornstache, and all she did was upset the man she loved.
(I was particularly sad about what happened to Miss Claudette, especially after she and Piper made up over the pink nail polish. Miss Claudette's mistake was that she let herself hope, but how can you not hope? People don't come back from Max, but I hope Miss Claudette is the exception.)
Getting to the truth did seem to strengthen the Alex/Piper relationship -- at first. They were even starting to make plans to be together after prison. (Notice how Piper asked if Alex was going to get a job. Was Piper planning to sponge off Alex again?) And then we got the cliffhanger of Larry giving Piper an ultimatum: either they have to get married, or break up. Larry just continues to alienate me, even with the cuteness of him hanging out in the woods with the weird and wonderful Cal and his fighting fiancee, the underwater welder.
But love is strange. One fast tryst in a closet, and Pornstache has decided that he's in love with Daya, while Bennett has decided that true love has been trumped by Daya having sex with a man she despises in order to protect Bennett and their baby. Bennett and Daya are living in different worlds with completely conflicting sets of rules. He doesn't see her situation for what it is, and that's sad.
All this, and I haven't talked about the best scenes yet.
Loved the wonderful Sting take-off where Red, Gloria, Morello and Gina set up Pornstache. I just wish it had done more than get him suspended without pay. You just know Pornstache is going to get away with it.
Loved that Janae has gotten past her anger and that she wanted to make it up to Yoga Jones. Yoga responded by confiding in Janae about how she accidentally killed an eight-year-old boy whose father took away his Nintendo. Orange is the New Black constantly gives us strong and unusual scenes that shouldn't work but they do, like Yoga Jones and the do-it-yourself shock therapy. OitNB also keeps giving us heartwarming friendships that started badly, and I would love it if Janae and Yoga became one of them.
Finally, I was so touched by Poussey's reaction to Taystee's return. Their strong friendship and their ability to tell the hard truths to each other really got to me. I completely understand why Taystee decided to break parole with the alternatives she had to endure. There is something deeply wrong in our society where there is no real help for an intelligent, kind woman like Taystee, who if she had been born and raised under better circumstances could have held down a decent job and lived a more productive and enjoyable life. Poussey's initial disappointment was completely understandable, too. How sad that Poussey never got to say goodbye to her mother. And how lovely that Poussey and Taystee at least have each other again.
Bits and pieces:
-- The opener with Suzanne explaining that she cleans in order to deal with her feelings spoke to me. Suzanne was right that Piper is not a nice person, even though Piper did have the sensitivity to apologize beautifully.
-- I liked Cal's observation that Larry has to put a label on Piper. Cal said that she was just Piper. I also thought Cal comparing sex with Larry to squash and sex with Alex to softball was funny.
-- The inmates raiding Miss Claudette's bunk was sad. Will Piper end up with Taystee as her new roommate? They could both do a lot worse.
-- An oatmeal and cheese sandwich, no crusts, is Caputo's favorite? I knew there was something wrong with him. Especially since he sees the inmates as sheep.
-- Caputo said Sister Ingalls killed a man. Susan said she thought Sister Ingalls was a political protester. Which is it?
-- Caputo kissed Bennett on the mouth. Everyone wants to kiss Bennett.
-- I liked the scene where Red was translating for Healy and his Russian wife. Before she was called to Caputo's office. Uh oh. I love Red. I don't want anything bad to happen to Red.
-- Figueroa got a call from a reporter about what Larry said about budget cuts on NPR, right before she got into her expensive Mercedes. Uh oh again. Fig is corrupt. I wish I could say I was surprised.
-- You can get fox pee at Home Depot for $120 a gallon. Live and learn.
-- A can of Rockstar and a hundred paper clips?
Suzanne: "This floor is my mind. That is called 'coping'. And the COs don't care 'cause they like things clean. And that is called 'symbiosis'."
I love Suzanne. What a special character.
Larry: "She's the most interesting thing about me, and I used that. And I guess it was a dick move."
No kidding, Larry.
Miss Claudette: "I'm going to eat dinner at dinner time. At 7 o'clock. Like a person."
Fig: "An armadillo could run this place better than you can, I swear to God."
Another reference to the maple syrup incident. I really want to know.
Clinic employee: "Number five, huh? We should give you a punch card, get the sixth one free."
Caputo: "You have not seen crazy until you've seen two hundred women with anger issues fighting over who's going to be the ass end of a camel."
Yoga: "A deer can jump an eight foot barbed wire fence with a smile on his face like Donald O'Connor."
For context, if you've never seen Donald O'Connor's amazingly athletic dance number from Singin' in the Rain where he literally runs up walls, here it is.
Pennsatucky: "You believe in Hussein Obama? Electric cars and Shakespeare books? And do you go out to eat to restaurants? I don't have any of that, okay? All I have is him."
Nice performance. Such a dislikable character but you kind of get with just those lines how Pennsatucky feels about her place in life.
Piper: "Dear… Mister Christ?"
Sister Ingalls: "I would have looped in the Blessed Virgin to cover my bases, but that's okay."
Piper: "I'm an emotionally manipulative narcissist who bailed on you when your mother died."
Alex: "And I'm a ruthless pragmatist who sold you out and then lied about it. We suck."
Alex: "If you want to have babies and remodel your bathroom, then please go. Do. Nest. If you want to do X on a beach in Cambodia with three strangers in drag… I'm not saying it's gonna happen. But it could."
Piper: "I love Cambodia."
In other words, Alex isn't planning to "go straight" when she gets out of prison, and Piper is okay with that.
Black Cindy: (re: the photo of Denzel Washington) "We going to my bunk where Book of Eli never happened."
Pennsatucky: "She disrespected me. Now I'm gonna have to kill her."
Not quite as strong as the previous three episodes, so I'm ready for a blow-out of a first season finale. Three out of four cans of Rockstar,
Billie Doux is the founder of Doux Reviews and has been reviewing her favorite shows for quite some time. More Billie Doux.