Orange is the New Black: Fake It Till You Fake It Some More

"To quote Philip K. Dick, it's strange how paranoia can link up with reality now and then."

It wasn't that easy to tell what this episode was about. Deception? Self-esteem? At one point, I started thinking that maybe it was about pee. At least it made me laugh a lot. (My quote section is too long.) And Marisol 'Flaca' Gonzales' backstory did what it was supposed to do. It took a background character I hadn't thought much about, and made her more interesting.

Flaca, a clever high school student with purple streaks, blue lipstick, and a taste for Depeche Mode, didn't want to make a living creating fake designer dresses like her mother. Her ambition and self-esteem led her to make a bad decision: creating and selling her very own fake acid. And then she was shocked when a guy imagined himself high and threw himself off a roof. Flaca was arrested for selling an idea, not drugs, which is sort of fascinating.

It echoed the bogus test thing for the exciting new job. Danny the MCC guy just pulled a personality test off the internet so that the inmates who didn't get the job would blame themselves instead of management. There's something evil about that, isn't there? Manipulative and heartless. It bothered me.

And now we know why MCC wanted a women's prison: they needed a sweatshop for sewing pink panties. That probably wouldn't work in a men's prison. (Although that's quite a fun visual.) I enjoyed all of the wild, imaginative speculation on what the new, better-paying job could possibly be: firefighting, party planning, testing genetically modified wheat, making bamboo forks. Sewing pink panties isn't quite as out there, but it's probably a better job than evicting pube nests from the showers. And I bet Flaca will be darned good at it.

So it wasn't a shock to learn that the new owners suck. The guards just got their hours cut, and Danny is treating Caputo like a brainless placeholder who doesn't know his job. At least the inmates are getting mattresses again, and even stall doors on the toilets. (I liked the little related bit of Caputo being unable to pee in front of Danny, who must be obsessive-compulsive or something because he has to count five metal objects before he can pee.)

Continuing with our deception theme, Taystee was stealing Poussey's hooch stash to save her from herself, and somehow, squirrel-raccoon hybrids were blamed. And continuing with our pee theme, Poussey used her very special invention to ward off the squa-coons. Laugh out loud.

At least the deception theme didn't carry through with Red and Healy. I was completely freaked when Red changed her look and started flirting with him. (Red, could I just mention that irritable bowel syndrome isn't romantic?) The light dawned when Red seductively asked Healy for her kitchen back. Healy's disappointment was obvious. I was so relieved.

And Daya isn't deceiving herself about Bennett any more, although she's definitely deceiving Mama Pornstache about the baby. I actually liked Cesar this time. (Hey, a real man sucks it up and takes it for nine months; he doesn't split.) I loved that all Bennett left behind was a mug that looked like a hand grenade. Symbolism doesn't get more fun than that.

Bits and pieces:

-- Flaca's defection from the kitchen made Gloria mad and Maritza upset.

-- Loved Piper trying to freak Alex out by pretending to be Kubra's inside woman.

-- Suzanne's reaction to the test was the most interesting and touching. "I spend most of my time trying to understand things." "Ideas are better than reality."

-- Soso thought the test was to find out if an inmate was too emotional, because emotional equals unproductive.

-- Mama Pornstache likes true crime TV. Maybe that will make her consider the possibility of a paternity test.

-- Soso accurately observed that Norma just looks empathetic and people project their emotions onto her and feel better. Hey. If it works...

-- Soso was trying to find a way to relate to Leanne and Angie, so she talked about Wal-mart. Too funny.

-- O'Neill takes a longer drive to work because he likes pretty houses.

-- Poussey and Leanne both speak German.

-- It's hilarious that Healy was at Woodstock and didn't know, and didn't care.


Poussey: "Arms and the Man, by Bernard Shaw … after a horrifying sawing accident leaves him armless, the man sets out on a journey of self-discovery, realizing that legs can do everything that arms can!"

Taystee: "You should see what piles up in the corners of the showers. Little pube-tropolis of buildings and shit, for spiders and bacteria, living their lives, growing..."
Poussey: "See, you went urban, right? I would have said a hair jungle, right? Spiders be jumping from pube to pube, bacterias all like fuck, it rains a lot in here, get off me!"

Piper: "Electrical sucks without Nicky's running commentary."
Come back, Nicky!

Big Boo: "I want you to know that I have a wide array of talents, besides the criminal and papier mache variety."

Healy: "Who's the real prisoner?"
Red: "Still me, I think."

Maritza: "Who knows who they'll stick in to replace you? What if she's mean or likes Coldplay or something?"

Flaca: "You know, when I wear that apron in the kitchen, I'm really wearing it ironically."
Maritza: "Wow. I had no idea."

Daya: "Did you find him?"
Cesar: "Daya, that fucker hobbled away into the sunset."

Cesar: "You're better off. He had one leg! I mean, you go around losing body parts, that's some pretty irresponsible shit."

Piper: "You know when we get out of here, I could find electrical work. You could landscape. We could drive a pickup truck. We would be living lesbian stereotypes. We could stop shaving, start camping, we could go to golf tournaments..."

Alex: "She's super sketchy and clearly, her Disney princess is Jasmine."
That woman Alex freaked out about: I wonder if she actually is Kubra's hit woman?

Leanne: "You steal from someone who's giving it away for free? That's like double negative karma."

Suzanne: "The opposite of me is better."
Taystee: "The opposite of you is boring. You're obviously too creative for that job."
That was kind of Taystee. I like how Taystee is treating Suzanne these days.

Suzanne: "Once you know Santa Claus isn't real, it's all downhill from there."

Taystee: "Time to go sweep up some pube hives."
Suzanne: "I like to think of them more like, pube nests."

Definitely three out four hand grenade mugs. Or maybe I should go for Disney princesses. Should it be pube nests?

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...

I really liked this episode, and if I had to pick a theme, I'd go with fakery as currency. (Is this the episode in which Red talks about how her current circumstances give her only one form of currency?)

Flaca's mom fakes dresses, Flaca fakes drugs, Red fakes interest, and Taystee uses the squirrel/racoons to fake out Poussey. Meanwhile, the lingerie company fakes quality by relying on a sweatshop of prison labor.

Danny the MCC guy just pulled a personality test off the internet so that the inmates who didn't get the job would blame themselves instead of management. There's something evil about that, isn't there? Manipulative and heartless. It bothered me.

Me, too.

sunbunny said...

I often forget Maritza and Marisol's names and just think of them as the pizza girls. "And you have a pizza." So classic.

The test bothered me but not half as much as Danny's knowledge and frank admission of what it does to the inmates. He was so casual about what I'm going to exaggerate and call psychological torture.

Is it really illegal to sell fake drugs? That seems...kind of pointless.

Raya said...

Sunbunny, I thought it was weird too, so I checked and yes, it's actually illegal. "Taking money from someone under intentionally false pretenses is fraud" (found here).

I still find it weird, though.

Jess Lynde said...

I was relieved Red was faking, too. Until my concerns about a vengeful Healy kicked back into gear. Last episode I was concerned that if Red didn't return his affection he'd spite her, but now she's gone and made it so much worse by not just rejecting him, but by trying to play him. Geez.

Grandma Mendes seems like a genuinely nice lady who might actually wants to do the right thing and may be able to give Daya's baby a decent life. It sucks that it is all built on a terrible lie that's bound to blow up in everyone's faces at some point.

I loved O'Neill's explanation for taking the slightly longer route to work. I do that sometimes. Take the longer route because the scenery is more inspiring. Such a nice way to tell us more about the character with just a brief moment. The increased focus on the other guards --- especially their concerns about going private --- is really working for me this season.

Juliette said...

I felt so sorry for Flaca. I didn't think tat was illegal either - even if it was, I wouldn't have thought it came attached to such a long jail sentence (not sure how long, but she's been in there longer than Piper and Daya is looking pretty pregnant now).

Dustin said...

Danny the MCC guy just pulled a personality test off the internet so that the inmates who didn't get the job would blame themselves instead of management.

Having taken those tests before, this makes more sense than actually trying to find meaning behind the questions.

Nonei said...

As far as the length of sentence - This is from the article that was linked to above:
After following undercover agents to a hotel parking lot, a Missoula, Montana, man attempted to sell them a sheet of paper that he claimed was “blotter acid.” Even though the paper tested negative for LSD, the man was charged with criminal fraud and faced a five-year prison sentence and a fine of $50,000.

Juliette said...

Blimey! Not that I'm OK with fraud or anything (obviously not) but that seems a tad excessive.

mazephoenix said...

About inmates in a men's prison making pink panties..HBO's "Oz" was about a maximum security prison for men and they had a dress factory.
Mostly I think they showed an elderly inmate making a dress briefly, so it's not as visually arresting as big, burly guy sewing pink panties.
Oh man poor Flaca. I felt for her. And sorry, not liking Piper freaking poor Alex out. I'm not feeling Piper this season at all. She seems so cold. Miss Nicky, really miss Nicky. Hope she'll be back.

Marianna said...

Sunbunny, I also think of them as the "and you also have a pizza" girls!

I loved the interaction between Soso and Norma. The person who talks too much and the person who doesn't talk at all; seems like a perfect match!

I also loved Cesar's explanation of why Daya should blame Bennett, not herself. Even the guy who thinks it's okay to get some action on the side knows Bennett's a bad person.