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Orange is the New Black: WAC Pack

"But you didn't even run."

After the chicken, all Piper wanted was to stay out of the spotlight. Oh well.

There was wild excitement among the inmates as they held elections for the Women's Advisory Council. It's sad, though, that they were so excited when WAC represented only the tiniest modicum of power and freedom. As Healy said, it was like when your mom said you can take a bath before or after dinner -- you're still going to get wet because you don't really have a choice. And since Healy rigged the election, they really didn't have a choice.

The rap battle and Big Boo's dance in the common room were a lot of fun. The outright racist and ageist voting set-up was both funny and appalling, and it sparked a ton of race-related discussion; my favorite was Taystee and Poussey doing white people ("Did you hear that piece on NPR about hedge funds?"). The candidates made frivolous campaign promises (pizza! water beds!). Sophia was a one issue candidate, but she probably would have done a decent job. Pennsatucky continued to creep me out with her campaign sign that included a giant cross. She's found a theme and she's sticking to it. (A whites only bathroom? Really?)

I had been waiting for some Nicky flashbacks, and voila -- but there just weren't enough of them. That flashback to the hospital room was heartbreaking. Nicky told her mother exactly what was wrong with their relationship and what she wanted from her -- just a mother that would hold her and show that she cared -- but her mother wasn't even capable of something so basic.

But Red was. The other flashback showed Nicky in newcomer orange hitting rock bottom, and Red holding her in her arms. If I weren't in love with Red already, this would have done it for me. I think the point of this episode is that our family can disappoint us, but our true friends do not. Red was there for Nicky, and Polly forgave Piper for blowing the Barneys conference call.

Piper's mother visited and while she was marginally better than Nicky's mother, she was pretty much useless. Piper gets it now -- she told her mother, "I am no different from anybody else in here. I made bad choices, I committed a crime, and being in here is no one's fault by my own." Her mother's response was that Piper should have gotten off because she was once a debutante. That explains a lot.

Daya outright slapped her no good very bad mom for what she did to Bennett, who thank goodness did not succumb to the mom attack. Which led to some oral sex in the utility closet where Dayanara discovered that Bennett had lost a leg, and she kissed him right above his prosthesis. That was just lovely. Despite the certainty that their romance cannot possibly end well, the Daya/Bennett scenes are just so sweet that I want them to make it somehow.

I'm starting to feel the same way about Piper and Alex, too. Telling Piper that Alex didn't name her seriously boomeranged for Larry, because this episode was wall to wall Piper mooning over Alex to the point of caressing and sniffing Alex's pillow. (That was fast.) Contrast that with Larry's new writing assignment, and it just seems obvious that Larry writing about Piper's experiences in prison can only lead to great big trouble.

I'm not sure how the cell phone plot fit into all this, except that it showed Piper has absolutely no desire to send Larry pictures of her tutu. Not that that's a requirement in any relationship, but it just feels that they're so over. Doesn't it?

Character bits:

-- When Nicky was a child, her mother left her to live with her nanny. Who does that?

-- Taystee and Poussey are becoming my favorite pair. They are hilarious together.

-- There was a flashback to Alex with her drug boss demanding that she increase her input. Alex said she was glad she wasn't expendable, but the boss's expression said she was.

-- Healy's anniversary is tomorrow. Will we meet his wife?

-- Daya liked that women in comics were different than real women, and she related it in a positive way to Bennett's artificial leg.

-- Pornstache gets drugs for Tricia, and the cell phone search was inconveniencing him. He threatened Red with an electric toothbrush, of all things. It's hard to tell whether we should be afraid of Pornstache, or laugh at him. Probably both.

-- Caputo likes new guard Susan, although I don't think getting flirty about it was appropriate.

-- Caputo calls Healy 'Samantha'.

-- Alex and Nicky talked about being different sides of the same drug coin.

-- The crazy bathroom stall lady's boyfriend is named Diablo. If he's submitting photos of her to Prison Poon, he's not a very good boyfriend.


-- Nicky hasn't had a visitor in four months, poor thing.

-- I share Taystee's revulsion for Toddlers & Tiaras, but I'm not a fan of Shark Week.

-- Any episode that starts with a beaver shot can't be all bad. I'm kidding. Was that for shock value?


Caputo: "Forgive me for questioning the no doubt pristine reputation of Prison Poon, but how do we know for sure that it came out of here?"

Nicky: "I always miss you until you're here. Then I realize the mom I miss must have been someone I invented when I was a kid."
Nicky's mother: "I don't know what more you want from me."
Nicky: "I want you to do things mothers do. I don't know, hold me. Give me sips of water. Anything."

Female guard: "If I were you, I'd ask Mendez. He looks guilty. It's probably the mustache. You ever noticed how guys with mustaches always look like they just fingered a little girl?"
(Close-up of Caputo and his large mustache.)

Big Boo: "No such fucking word as 'knifes'."
Morello: "No? Then what does Tony do to Bernardo in West Side Story? I'll tell you. He knifes him."
Big Boo: "Well, aren't you the plot spoiler."

Nicky: "You can only vote within your race or your group. Just pretend it's the 1950s. It makes it easier to understand."
White, Black, Hispanic, Golden Girls and Others. Okay.

Nicky: "I thought I was like your Spock."
Red: "My what?"
Nicky: "You know, your right hand, your girl Friday, your VP."
I think you mean her Tuvok.

Piper: "I came seven times last night."
Polly: "Well, that's just excessive."

P.A.: "Attention. All maple syrup is now considered contraband after last week's incident."
Which just makes you want to know what the incident was.

Nicky: "Should coconut be beige?"
I don't even want to know.

Three out of four obscene wanted posters,

Billie Doux loves good television and spends way too much time writing about it.


  1. This was a show all about mothers and daughters and the very often fraught relationship between them. Like you, the scene between Red and Nicky was simply lovely -- my favorite, by far.

    Healy has his issues, but he does seem to be the only one trying to figure out how to help these women and how to make them feel responsible. I have a feeling his decision on who won the white vote will backfire on him, however.

  2. The flashback with Polly meeting Alex made me like Polly for the first time. She seemed to get a good read on Alex. Alex and Piper's relationship seemed to be based on Alex being in power and Piper doing as she was told. I gather having someone tell her what to do is comfortable for Piper, but I think her relationship with Larry is far more healthy.


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