Orange is the New Black: Comic Sans

"Every day in this place I get more confused."

I like Black Cindy. She's funny and sassy, and I think that for the most part, she's a good person. But I wouldn't leave my child with her. As it turns out, her mother wouldn't leave Cindy's own child with her, either.

Black Cindy and the fam

So Black Cindy was once a TSA agent in Pittsburgh with a badge and huge earrings and she stole out of suitcases, felt up cute guys and zipped around in a golf cart at the airport shoplifting and scaring people. She was such a bad employee that it jumped the fence into stereotype, and yet she did it with such joie de vivre that I couldn't help laughing. Wonderful performance by Adrienne C. Moore as Cindy.

Her home life was a bit different, though. In a previous episode, Cindy mentioned a seriously religious upbringing. This time we learned that Cindy's mother is raising Cindy's little girl Monica as her own. Cindy's mother was most certainly grim and overprotective, but at least she is being a parent. Cindy is so negligent and wrapped up in herself that she left her daughter in a car so that she could have fun with her friends. (I thought something bad was about to happen there. Fortunately, no.)

Vee and her girls

It was easy to compare Black Cindy's relationship with her mother to what was happening with Vee. Instead of obeying Vee's instructions, Black Cindy was trading cigarettes for grape jelly and personal favors instead of postage stamps. Vee stopped by Cindy's bunk in the middle of the night to tell her she was an irresponsible loser. As Vee later explained to Suzanne while they were playing chess, you have to think ahead, you need to plan. I'm not sure if Cindy is capable of learning this sort of lesson, even if she does have to clean tampon applicators as penance. And yuck.

My favorite scene was the oh so perceptive Nicky talking with Poussey about being in love with a straight girl (Taystee) and focusing frustration on the straight girl's loved one (Vee). And then Vee made an employment overture toward Poussey, who is thinking it over. I really don't want Poussey to work for Vee. It's bad enough that the other girls do.

Caputo and the escapee

So Caputo wants to be warden. He's showing initiative, channeling his ambition, and damn, the guards have to give out five shots a week, which is ridiculous and cruel. If it was Caputo's decision to throw poor demented Jimmy out with the trash and call it "compassionate release", my opinion of him just plummeted.

Bennett and the blackmail

I'm not happy with Bennett, either. I sort of didn't blame him when he took a stand and refused to be blackmailed any more (or buy gay porn), but then he realized he had all of the power, and he abused it by sending Maritza to the SHU for something everyone else was doing. It was unfair and in fact, exactly what Healy did to Piper last season for dancing.

Not only that, we learned that it's Bennett's fault that Daya is pregnant because he didn't want to use a condom. Way to act like a jerk, Bennett.

Piper and the newsletter

I don't have a whole lot to say about Piper's latest hobby that is covering up her attempts at spying on Fig, except that the best thing about it was Daya's cartoon lampooning Healy (who was oblivious) and Piper making everyone an assistant editor in order not to appear racist. It was sort of sad that Caputo immediately took over an activity that was supposed to be about the inmates and made it all about the guards, instead.

At least Piper is now meeting directly with Andrew the reporter. Piper will probably still end up doing a lot of dangerous undercover work and not get credit for it, but at least Larry won't benefit.

Piper also showed how kind she could be when she sat down and helped Jimmy eat. Poor Jimmy.

Bits and pieces:

-- "Comic Sans" is the font Daya was using for the captions in her comic. But "sans" also means "without" in French, and "Comic Sans" applies to what happened to Black Cindy.

-- There's a White Cindy. Of course there is.

-- Fig's husband is as bad as she is. And he doesn't sleep with her and is making eyes at his male assistant or possibly intern. I sort of feel sorry for her. No, wait. I don't.

-- I liked Red's cilantro truce with Gloria. They both care about their "girls". A marked contrast to Vee, who is all about the money. Or stamps.

-- Bell called O'Neill "Panda", and he mentioned learning about the female anatomy (via Sophia's visual aid in "A Whole Other Hole"). Like Healy and Pennsatucky, it'd be cute if they weren't so awful.

-- Soso complained that she was starving because the prison diet was terrible for vegetarians. She's right.

-- Polly showed up at Larry's and threw herself at him. Later, Pete dropped by to complain to Larry about Polly. Awkward.

-- Taslitz killed a guy with an axe. Never underestimate an old lady, that's what I say.

-- Instant coffee as eye shadow. Live and learn.

-- Susan the guard heard something about Daya's pregnancy during her phone tap thing.

-- This episode's feminine hygiene product was the cigarettes concealed in used tampon applicators. Bleah.


Piper: "I'm not going to fuck things up for myself by playing high stakes Harriet the Spy."
But then that's exactly what she did. And she's not being all that subtle.

Sophia: "I think a nice faux-hawk will give that 'don't fuck with me' vibe, you know?"
Gloria: "I mostly use my face for that."

Piper: "Under the present circumstances, I'm pretty sure that even Paul McCartney would be all up in the tuna casserole."

Sister Ingalls: "I've never gotten a shot before."
Rosa: "It's the end of days, I'm telling you."

Nicky: "I'm not the one who started a Negro League tobacco shack."

Caputo: "We're just doing our job, you know? Things get out of hand, it's bad for everybody."
Piper: "That's kind of what fascists say."
Caputo: "I may be related to Mussolini on my mother's side."

Polly: "Maybe next time you decide to make some deranged declaration of love to an emotional zombie with blocked milk duct and a husband who recently purchased an Aleutian hunting spear, you could consider calling first."
As much as I don't like the "outside" plot line, Maria Dizzia can most certainly deliver a complicated, funny line.

Two out of four … should it be Aleutian hunting spears, pink I-pads, or used tampon applicators?

Billie Doux is the founder of Doux Reviews and has been reviewing her favorite shows for quite some time. More Billie Doux.


Josie Kafka said...

Aleutian hunting spears.

Not only that, we learned that it's Bennett's fault that Daya is pregnant because he didn't want to use a condom. Way to act like a jerk, Bennett.

Yeah, I've been uncomfortable with this plot. Sure, they were both willing, rules be damned, but that Bennett lost his sense of responsibility makes me disrespect him. And not wearing a condom in this context is just an absurd level of stupidity.

ChrisB said...

Although I felt this episode dragged a bit in places, I do feel as though the story is moving into some interesting ideas. Bennett is becoming less and less likable, and Caputo is just too much.

The scene at the end really upset me. What an indictment on the way we treat the elderly in prison.

Juliette said...

I have to admit I really don't like Black Cindy - as in, if she was real I wouldn't like her, rather than anything against the writing or acting. I think that's a good thing. The point of the show is to humanise prisoners and not to judge people for past mistakes, but at the same time, you've got to assume some people in prison aren't that likeable - for me, I think Black Cindy might be one of them.

Anonymous said...

Agreed, Black Cindy is the worst. As an employee she was a bully who sexually molested people, she was negligent to her daughter and used her as a prop. She's selfish, irritating and shows a lack of empathy toward anyone else. She and Vee deserve each other.