by Billie Doux
Can you say 'abuse of power'?
Healy decided to teach Piper a lesson for "acting out". But solitary confinement for dirty dancing? Is this Footloose? Even Pornstache thought it was unjustified, although he was probably just turned on by watching Piper and Alex all over each other.
It's not surprising that solitary was the final straw that made Piper totally lose it. With what was probably the worst timing ever, she told Healy exactly where to stuff it in a great big way. When she got out, the first thing she did was throw herself at Alex. Unfortunately, Healy just called Larry with what I bet will be a zinger about Piper and Alex.
This was the Alex flashback episode, and it made me like her more. She grew up poor with a single mother who tried to make her feel special by telling her that her father was a rock god. Of course, young adult Alex went in search of the guy, and of course she was horribly disappointed -- so much so that she jumped on a truly bad job opportunity in international drug carteling. As usual, the flashback made Alex's poor choices more understandable and sympathetic. Okay, a little sympathetic. A part of grown-up Alex just wanted those stylish sneakers, and not to be made fun of any more.
Pennsatucky has stepped up her harassment of Alex and Piper. She not only ran to Healy and got Piper in SHU, she stole Alex's mattress and broke her glasses. I get the feeling that angering Alex is not a good move. And after her SHU experience, Piper may turn out to be someone you don't want to trifle with, either.
Alex and Larry were both understandably upset about eating Thanksgiving dinner without Piper. Surprisingly, this episode actually gave us the most likable Larry yet. I thought it would backfire when he started calling everyone at the prison to complain about Piper in SHU, but surprise -- it worked. It was just a little sad that Larry was at his nicest and did something good for Piper, and now she's back with Alex.
Since this is a Thanksgiving episode, there were at least three touching subplots:
(1) Crystal is in love with her new pastor, and after some sound advice from Sister Ingalls, Sophia called Crystal and gave her her blessing. It was the sweetest thing Sophia could have done for Crystal. And then Sophia got her meds back, which was like an instant karmic reward.
(2) Daya tried a voodoo sort of abortion, and again got screwed over by her mother. Aleida sees children as her only real accomplishment in life even though she pays no attention to them, so hey, what's good enough for Mom is good enough for Daya. The hell with what Daya wants.
(3) Poor Taystee. Instead of experiencing the well-deserved joy of being released, Taystee's boasts about her plans after release weren't even close to being true. She actually had a better home, a better bed and better friends in prison. That's just sad.
-- Red and Pornstache are at war now. Unfortunately, Pornstache won the battle of the gravy. Horrible.
-- Nicky was obviously feeling guilty about giving up Red to Pornstache.
-- Pennsatucky gets fan mail because… she bombed an abortion clinic? That fits.
-- Piper said Larry would make an ugly girl.
-- Crazy Eyes has white parents. I'm sure there's a story there.
-- Miss Claudette gave Taystee a pep talk. That was sweet. Like Red, Miss Claudette feels responsible for the younger women.
-- Larry has just gotten an opportunity to tell Piper's story on NPR. Uh oh.
-- We met Cal's girlfriend Neri, the underwater welder.
-- Cal talked about eating Polly's placenta at the Thanksgiving dinner table. Who does that?
-- The opener where Piper cried because Sophia was washing her hair was touching. Pun intended.
-- On the wall in solitary: "Kill me now." and "You fool."
-- Was there really someone on the other side of the wall in SHU? I think there was, but left it open to interpretation. I don't think Piper wasn't in there long enough to start hearing things.
-- Piper and Alex once went to Java together.
-- Big Boo gave her corn to her new puppy program dog. That's love.
Red: "We got trimmings from the factory. Fifty cents a pound."
Nicky: "Trimmings. Shit no one else wants. That's a bag of turkey assholes right there."
Leanne: "She's a defender of the unborn."
Alex: "Geez. That sounds like a bad X-Men movie."
Pennsatucky: "… and you're not invited because they don't allow gay people on the rapture bus!"
Alex: "There's a bus? Are all the seats already taken by Appalachian meth-heads?"
Pornstache: "No Thanksgiving suicides! Chapman, what are we not to do on this day of thanks?"
Piper: "Commit suicide?"
Big Boo: "We give you maize and you give us smallpox blankets."
Pornstache: "Exactly. Everybody wins."
Piper: "Wake up, Healy! Girls like me? We don't fuck ignorant, pretentious old men with weird lesbian obsessions. We go for tall, hot girls, and we fucking love it. So that leaves you on the outside, living your sad, sad little life."
Best Piper scene yet.
Fahri: "Most people are better in the abstract."
You could say that again and be right twice.
Daya: "You want me to end up like you? I'm already in prison. All I need is five different baby daddies and an ass tattoo of a dog."
Aleida: "It's a wolf."
Sister Ingalls: "You never stay focused on a member of the opposite sex for too long. That's how I watch every Russell Crowe movie."
Caputo: "Christ, he's probably got the Obamas on the phone by now."
This was a transformational episode for Piper, and it was terrific. Four out of four Thanksgiving dinners,
Billie Doux is the founder of Doux Reviews and has been reviewing her favorite shows for quite some time. More Billie Doux.