Orange is the New Black: Don't Make Me Come Back There

"I want her to have a better life."

This episode was about how some things just aren't fixable. Tiffany can't be un-raped. Sophia will never be accepted by some, no matter what. Aleida can never go back and be a good mother to Dayanara.

Was this episode supposed to make Aleida more sympathetic? Because it did a little, but mostly it didn't. In the flashbacks, Aleida's love for Daya was touching, but so, so selfish. Forcing herself to put little Daya in Camp Skylight (what an interesting name for a camp meant for urban kids) was so difficult for Aleida, but it was what made Daya discover art. After bringing her home, Aleida had second thoughts and did everything she could to erase Daya's positive experience because she needed Daya to adore her, even when she absolutely knew that Daya would be better off away from her. (Aleida even said that having little kids was like having fans.)

Obviously, Aleida wants Daya to experience what she did: the uncritical love of her own baby. But the thing is, that wasn't what Daya wanted for her own daughter. No matter how much Aleida loves Daya (and I teared up when Daya was taken away in the ambulance and Aleida cried), it was wrong of Aleida to call Mrs. Mendez and tell her the baby had died. (Mrs. Mendez happily surrounded by diapers and formula and baby paraphernalia when she got the news made me so sad for her.) Even in the episode where Daya gave birth, hey, it's all about Aleida.

The other devastating plot point was Sophia being punished with a trip to the SHU because she refused to just accept getting beaten up. I loved how Sophia reconnected with Sister Ingalls and took her advice not to let those that were persecuting her see her unravel. At least Danny Pearson tried to help Sophia, to do the right thing, even if he failed. And at least Gloria felt bad about it. It's so unfair that Sophia ended up suffering because she tried to do Gloria a favor. Sophia looked so fragile without her wig. It was like she lost her armor.

I thought Tiffany and Big Boo would go to Caputo, but no. They were sure they wouldn't be believed. So it's Girl With the Dragon Tattoo time. If you haven't seen the movie, you probably just got spoiled on a major plot point -- the titular character takes pretty serious revenge on a man, essentially her jailer, who raped her. But when it came down to carrying it out, Tiffany just didn't have the rage to take revenge. I guess I'll find out in the next episode what they ended up doing to the unconscious Charlie.

In fact, when Poussey saw someone unconscious in the library, I thought it was Charlie, sleeping it off. But no. It was Soso, unconscious because the incompetent Healy prescribed medication and the incompetent MCC doctor left a prisoner alone in a room full of drugs. (Sophia was a victim of MCC incompetence too when Sikowitz, the "chipmunk in boots", ran off and didn't break up the attack.) Soso had better not be dead.

In an episode about a bad mom, we got several nice scenes with a couple of good moms. Red has found a way to express her creativity and cooking skills by nourishing her girls, except she has to do it by lottery. It was so kind of Healy to replace the corn. Not creepy at all for a change. Loved the little quid pro quo plate of quiche on his desk.

And Taystee realized, after taking the lead and negotiating with Red to make good after the corn theft, that she was the new mom of the African American clique. I'm very fond of Taystee, and she certainly makes a much better "mom" for those women than Vee.

Finally, I wish I were into Piper and Alex as a couple so I could feel sad that they're broken up, or into Piper and Stella so I could be intrigued by their massive flirting. But I'm not and I'm not. But I did like the clever way Stella intimidated Bayley into staying in the panty smuggling business. And then I was surprised that Stella is getting out on Tuesday. That makes her less likely to be Kubra's assassin, doesn't it? Or will she knock Alex off right before she leaves?

Bits:

-- The Cal and Neri show never fails to amuse me. The blue cheese and tuna and the fact that Neri lied about having sex with girls was really funny. Is it bad of me to want Cal and Neri to take the business away from Piper?

-- Black Cindy said the New Testament was fan fiction. :) Who is writing the fan fic of the Time Hump Chronicles? Is it Maureen?

-- Maureen is an expert conversationalist on at least four topics. I want to know what they are, don't you?

-- Tiffany said that Daya looks like a goldfish. Laugh out loud.

-- I've been waiting for someone to see the chicken again, and it was Caputo. And how perfect that Chang's hole in the fence for her oranges is how the chicken gets in and out.

-- Flaca is being shunned now. She mostly just looks sad.

Quotes:

Maritza: "I can't wait for this baby to come so she can stop being pregnant." A nice little acknowledgement that Daya has been pregnant for three seasons.

Gina: "I guess she lost faith. Either that, or there's some kind of flaw in our randomly improvised Norma-based theological system."

Piper: "What am I supposed to do now? It's like, we still live in the same place. It's not like I can just take off and visit my slacker cousins in California for a few weeks while I lick my wounds and stalk her on Facebook."

Tiffany: "So I get fucked and now I'm screwed?"
Big Boo: "Yep, that's about the short of it."

Big Boo: "We are gonna go full on Girl With the Dragon Tattoo on this guy."
Tiffany: "What's us getting tattoos gonna teach him?"

Maria: (about her baby) "I'm not freaking out cause she needs me. I'm freaking out because I need her."
Aleida and Daya again.

Taystee: "You got to stop using slavery every time you want to justify some foolishness."
Black Cindy: "I'm just using it as a placeholder 'til I become Jewish and I can pin it on Hitler."

Aleida: "It was for nothing. You turned out just like me. I made kids, then I fucked them up. I'm a terrible mother. And I never want you to feel how I feel."

O'Neill: (after the chicken and the oranges) "I feel like we're in Narnia."

Cal: "It's like you're Madame Curie, but stupid."

Cal: "Okay. First we gotta get some miso to lay down a nice umami base note. Then we can go from there."

Stella: "Listen, you quivering Michael Cera-looking sack of squid bits, you think an opportunity like this comes along every day?"
What an exceptional and focused insult.

Yoga: "Rumi says 'Lovers never meet. They're in each other all along'."
Alex: "Yeah, it's kinda like that. Only with drugs and backstabbing."

Suzanne: "Vampires are derivative."
Yes, but I love them so.

Very good. Three out of four sacks of squid bits,

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

3 comments:

Jess Lynde said...

I'm pretty much with you on the Aleida stuff, Billie. I actually did feel for her at various moments --- I particularly related to her moment in the car after dropping Daya at camp --- but she's so selfish, so much of the time. Watching her tear down Daya's camp experience was rough. And yet, it made that moment when she recognized and copped to her failings fairly powerful. "I never want you to feel how I feel," made me tear up.

Of course, I'm not really sure how to process her lie to Mrs. Mendes. I just can't decide if it was the right thing or not. Or the wrong thing for the right reasons. Deep down, Daya really didn't want to give up the baby, but she made her choice. And Aleida once again upending things with lies seems bound to blow up in everyone's faces.

Boo and Penn working together was nice, but I really didn't feel right about what they were planning for Coates. I was so relieved when Penn put the brakes on the Dragon Tattoo action and said she wasn't angry, just sad. I hope the two of them just left him that way, wondering what the hell happened to him.

Poor, poor Soso. It's so hard for me to view Healy in any kind of positive light when he's treated a woman practically screaming for help so badly, and undermined her chance at working with a good counselor because of his petty insecurities. No matter how many nice things he does for Red, I'm just not down with Healy.

Anonymous said...

After the momentously offensive ways they've dealt with rape on Game of Thrones, especially in the almost entirely original and universally awful Season 5, it gives me such hope that it's treated so well in this show. The whole 'rape and revenge' schtick always feels like it's a minimizing plot point, and this episode made it clear that women writers (or at least male writers who don't have their heads up their ass, and I say that as a guy myself) are needed to properly deal with these subjects in a realistic way. It broke my heart that Tiffany knew that paying Coates back wouldn't mean her trauma didn't happen, and she was inherently enough of a good person to not take that kind of revenge even on someone so despicable. The entire storyline has benefited from excellent writing and wonderful acting from everyone involved (and I'm including Coates' actor in that).

Aleida is still an awful, self-obsessed bitch. Healy is still struggling with his very persuasive demons, his own ignorance and his desire to be the good guy in spite of that. Stella still looks just...just awesome.

Juliette said...

The moment when they take Daya away in the ambulance and Aleida can't go with her is the only moment in the whole show I've ever felt sorry for Aleida. She's just horrible and Daya would be better off far, far away from her and her toxic idea of what love is.