Breaking Down "Orange Is The New Black" Season 2 Episode By Episode

Two of BuzzFeed’s most obsessed Orange fans discuss each episode of the Netflix prison drama’s sophomore season. Now with all 13 episodes!

Do not proceed unless you have already watched the entirety of Season 2 of Orange Is the New Black.


Or read on if you don’t mind being spoiled about major story lines. Again: SPOILERS!

Episode 1, “Thirsty Bird”

JoJo Whilden/Netflix

From: Ariane Lange
To: Jaimie Etkin
Subject: IT’S HERE!

Jaimie,

What I’ve really wanted to know since Season 1 of Orange Is the New Black ended is WHAT HAPPENED TO PENNSATUCKY and this episode held out on us for so long that I felt I could sympathize with someone who doesn’t know whether she bludgeoned an acquaintance to death (that is a joke, that is a joke). But for real, the suspense got to me.

Right at the beginning, when they’re in a van transporting Piper SOMEWHERE and no one will tell her what’s happening, one of the guards who’s been talking about women in this really dehumanizing way and calling them “poochies” explains himself: “Can’t say ‘bitches’ no more. It’s degrading.” It seemed like the theme of the whole episode — people just totally missing the point. First that guard misses the point, then we see Piper’s family missing the point of boldness and honesty in flashbacks to her childhood, and then Piper misses the point with her conflict over whether or not to tell the truth about Kubra in the trial. Actually, I don’t know that the cigarette-toting cockroach fits into this theme. So there’s that.

We find out that little kid Piper followed all the rules and then learned from her adulterer dad and her secret-keeping mom that it doesn’t matter if you break the rules as long as you seem to be following them! Although, when she’s hanging out with the drug ring in Europe and she says on the phone, “You taught me everything, Dad,” that shows us that the writers of the show think we missed the point. Wait. The flashbacks are supposed to be relevant to the main storyline?! —No one

I’m curious: What did you think about Yoda the cockroach?

Yours very truly,
Ariane

P.S. This is a weird first episode, and I feel like an Alex and Piper: Lesbian Drug Dealers spin-off is in the pipeline.

From: Jaimie Etkin
To: Ariane Lange
Subject: Can we talk about Kit Keller?

I would watch the shit out of Alex and Piper: Lesbian Drug Dealers.

As far as Yoda goes, I thought the cigarette muling cockroach storyline was a little too much of a forced metaphor in regard to what sent Piper to prison in the first place. (Like, we get it.) And I was surprised that none of the COs at this pretty high-security Chicago prison noticed the big white sticks waddling around on the backs of these large black bugs against the light-colored cement walls and ground. And I live in New York. I see enough cucarachas, thanks.

I definitely agree with you that this episode felt different from Season 1 of OITNB, but I also enjoyed the parallels between the two. Piper was once again being sent behind bars, getting strip searched, receiving Toms-like prison footwear, etc., and was largely in the dark about what was on the other side of that process. Only this time, she had almost completely lost her marbles. The poised Piper is gone and though the Season 2 version of her is, thus far, just as uppity and unaware of just how privileged she is, she is a far cry from the together waspy woman we knew (i.e., giving prisoners her days-old underwear to get what she wants, for one.)

Also, good lord, Taylor Schilling has an ugly cry face that rivals Kim Kardashian’s. And I did enjoy young Piper as well and embarrassingly very much related to her inner struggles with right vs. wrong. I was definitely the kid who wouldn’t jump out of the back of the bus. (Unsurprisingly.) And much like Piper, you learn that bad things happen to good people. Or those who do the right thing.

Also take 2, Lori Petty is the best. Kit Keller 4 lyfe. But can we go back to Litchfield now? Please and thank you.

Yours Yodafully,
Jaimie

Episode 2, “Looks Blue, Tastes Red”

Jessica Miglio/Netflix

From: Jaimie Etkin
To: Ariane Lange
Subject: Taystee FTW!

They’re baaaaaack. I’m not going to lie, Ariane. I didn’t really feel like OITNB had officially begun again until we were reunited with the ladies of Litchfield. And on top of that, it was a Taystee-centric episode and there are few things sweeter than that. How well cast was lil’ Taystee? She embodied the attitude and demeanor of the Tasha Jefferson we’ve come to know and love so skillfully. It was almost scary. Also, I audibly gasped when Taystee’s mother figured turned drug-dealing boss turned fellow inmate showed up in the auditorium in the final seconds of the episode. I am sure we are going to see more of her and I am scared for our Taystee Girl.

On the upside, this episode had plenty of adorable (albeit somewhat cheesy) scenes between Taystee, Poussey, and Black Cindy that I ate up. I was thrilled to see their signature wit (YAASSS, Frankenchacha, YAASSS!) and smooth moves back in full effect too. Also, where is my GIF of Taystee’s face when Flaca put her hand on the Phillip Morris rep’s knee?

But as much as I loved the Taystee factor of Episode 2, I loathed that Daya storyline. I kept thinking I missed some sort of symbolism with so much story centering on constipation, but apparently I did not. I’d take the cockroaches.

One last note: I did not miss Piper at all in this episode. This just goes to show how strong the ensemble cast is.

Chapmanless and chipper about it,
Jaimie

From: Ariane Lange
To: Jaimie Etkin
Subject: Constipated conflict?

Firstly, I am surprised you didn’t mention at all that this episode has more cock in it than any other episode of Orange Is the New Black. There’s a little sauna dick parade! This scene was not super critical to the episode and seemed like maybe someone just thought of the joke Larry’s dad makes, “A shvitz is a shvitz,” and then constructed that scene around it. Nonetheless, Jaimie, the bathhouse bears mentioning.

Actual relevant stuff: Vee is so menacing. Like, I want to use a shark metaphor, that’s how menacing I found her, with her cigarettes and her smiles. And this episode was heartbreaking — Taystee can’t catch a break! During that scene where her mother figure makes dinner for them and you can see Taystee’s just so happy that they seem like a family, I almost cried.

That aside during the debate showdown with Flaca, where Black Cindy tells Poussey about Monsanto and that “the real criminals don’t bother with small-timers like us,” felt out of place at first, but actually in retrospect, I think it fits thematically: The people who end up in prison are, by and large, people who have had been failed by the system in every other way, who were at the margins to begin with.

I’m happy Pennsatucky is getting new teeth. And that Red has been taken in by the old inmates.

As for Daya, I think we’re just supposed to see that her mom only cares about her when she gets territorial? I don’t know, man. She’s a dick.

Emotionally,
Ariane

Episode 3, “Hugs Can Be Deceiving”

Jessica Miglio/Netflix

From: Ariane Lange
To: Jaimie Etkin
Subject: A rose by another name

Well, I can never call Suzanne “Crazy Eyes” anymore.

Best episode so far. Suzanne punched Piper in the snow! Since Vee, Taystee’s (can we just call her her mom?) mom turned up at the end of the last episode, it’s become clear that she has a knack for making friends. And for surprisingly being old chums with Red? And, in particular, for making friends with overlooked people. Hopefully Suzanne will really internalize what Vee said about how she’s a garden rose and Piper is just a weed. I am slightly worried that this relationship will get Suzanne into trouble.

Dude, by the way, how clueless are Suzanne’s white parents? Was Suzanne their only black friend?

From: Jaimie Etkin
To: Ariane Lange
Subject: Still crying for Suzy

Never, ever, ever again will I call Suzanne “Crazy Eyes.” EVER. EVER! My heart broke for her last season when she cried on her bed after Larry’s NPR interview, but this episode took it to a deeper place, particularly seeing her younger days where her mother’s inability to do her hair was the least of her problems. It seems like Suzanne’s parents, or mom at least since we barely see her father, always had good intentions, but never knew how to treat Suzanne like her own. And her adoptive family certainly didn’t know how to exist without pointing out how “different” Suzanne was constantly. She had to have been the only black person they knew.

And on top of that, the fact that Suzy’s been shunned by her peers throughout her life is extra heartbreaking, especially when you see the special spark she had a child, one that still shines on occasion, despite others constantly pushing her down.

I am immensely worried Vee will crush her in the end because it is abundantly clear that Vee is a master manipulator. Sure, Suzy is feeling special and included now, but I feel like that can only last so long before it backfires in the biggest of ways.

But I really loved that reveal from the Season 1 finale about Suzy punching Piper. But even though she essentially saved Piper’s ass, I love that she rejected Piper when she thanked her. At least Vee is giving her the confidence to do things like that now.

And thank you for the plethora of pop culture knowledge that was dropped in this episode, OITNB writers. As ridiculous as it is — sometimes it sounds like Gilmore Girls: Behind Bars — I did love the “white Michelle Williams” reference and Taystee’s perfectly delivered, “Stars! They’re just like us, Mackenzie.”

(Sidebar: Nicky. Git it, gurl.)

Episode 4, “A Whole Other Hole”

Jessica Miglio/Netflix

From: Jaimie Etkin
To: Ariane Lange
Subject: MORELLOhhhhhh Nooooooo

HOLY SHIT, ARIANE! I did not see that coming. NOT AT ALL. Good god. We’ve watched Morello talk about her wedding to Christopher (or Christopha, I should say) for 16 episodes now and I did not even have an iota of an idea that she was Fatal Attraction-ing him. Now I sit here depressed, because the person I thought was one of Litchfield’s most with-it ladies is actually the looniest. She needs help and she needs it stat and that teddy bear isn’t doing it. I could not tell if the stalking is what sent her to prison or if it was the online shopping scam. But even if it was the latter, she was still brought to court for the former. Why wouldn’t she be in psych?! HELP MORELLO FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY! (Get it?! Hole-y. Three holes, ladies. It’s not that hard!)

I liked that this episode focused on characters we don’t usually spend much quality time with: Morello, Miss Rosa (whose scenes with that unnamed CO and teenage boy were quite beautiful), and even Poussey.

Can I tell you that I cried a little when Taystee shut her down and then offered to spoon her instead? Perhaps I am overly tired, but I thought that was such a sweet scene. The look on Poussey’s face as she tried not to let one tear fall because she knew many would if she did…rough stuff. Also, this scene sounds less impactful when one of the character’s names is Poussey.

OH! And the way Vee clearly put a wedge between the two of them. That was so very crushingly telling. I am worried about those ladies. And Suzanne still too. I told you: VEE IS TROUBLE!

P.S. Can Brook talk someone to death already so she has a reason to be thrown in the SHU? SHE IS THE WORST!

From: Ariane Lange
To: Jaimie Etkin
Subject: Bean-flicking Mother Teresa

Is there a worse euphemism than bean-flicking? Can’t we all just call it finger-banging like civilized people? You’re a finger-banging Mother Teresa, Nicky. Don’t act like you were raised by wolves!

There was a lot of butch misogyny in this episode, man, and it is true but also goat-getting. Big Boo, you are a woman, too, why you gotta objectify other women? But Brook, I feel like, might be clueless enough to survive prison without changing. Also, best line in the episode: A nun hissing, “These bogus bohemian babies have no idea what a nonviolent direct action is.” Dead.

I’m glad Red and Piper are becoming friends. And I can’t believe Vee drove a wedge between Poussey and Taystee just because she gave her a piece of cake before!

Morello. Now that we know, this crime seems so Morello.

Calling it finger-banging like a decent person,
Ariane

Episode 5, “Low Self Esteem City”

Netflix

From: Ariane Lange
To: Jaimie Etkin
Subject: Shitstorm

I like that Orange Is the New Black has such nuanced characters, particularly victims of gender violence. Gloria seems like a classic “she would never let anyone push her around” character, and to show her in this abusive relationship was — “refreshing” is obviously a fucked up way to describe it, but I appreciate it. Happens to the badass-est of us.

Is Caputo becoming a hero?! I mean, hero is too strong a word. But Caputo is the only person who gives a shit that there’s shit bubbling out of the showers! I was actually quite touched by that little bar speech of his about how he’s supposed to be taking care of the prisoners. There was a teeny tiny part of me that was expecting Healy and Caputo to make out, especially when Healy said, “I hate talking about women’s issues to women.” Felt like I heard him whisper a longing-filled “no homo” between sips of beer.

I’m surprised no one is placing bets on the Bang-a-thon. And I know what I said about butch misogyny before, but I find myself getting invested in this contest, I guess because of patriarchy. #TeamNicky

Banging,
Ariane

From: Jaimie Etkin
To: Ariane Lange
Subject: Fountains of Caca > Fountains of Wayne

#TeamNicky always, but also, #TEAMCHANG! Chang killed it in this episode and is so underused throughout the series. I was just so happy to see her and her mustache and then she had lines like this: “I don’t smell fingers; I just write numbers.” I mean, COME ON! She is the best.

I feel like Caputo is at least somewhat reforming his ways, which was hinted at when he didn’t jerk off after Pennsatucky and Piper left his office. (By the way, how he hasn’t gotten caught doing that yet is beyond me.) But, honestly, the men in this show could not be any less interesting to me for both obvious reasons and the fact that I just don’t think they’re as complex or well-written as the women. Though that Healy scene at home was hard to watch, da? Oh, and props for Caputo’s band name. I’d totally be proud to say, “I went to go see Sideboob last night.”

Piper’s dying grandma storyline is depressing and I hope wraps up in an episode or two. Watching her excitedly guess what her mother and brother didn’t want to tell her made me cringe.

Some other thoughts:

• Is Clive Owen still worth talking about in 2014? I didn’t think so, but maybe I was wrong.

• A bagnut makes me realize how ridiculous portmanteau food is and it doesn’t even sound good, as much as I like bread products and frosting. Speaking of Larry, when are he and Polly going to do it already? Never mind. I don’t really care.

• Have you noticed that approximately 50% of these subject lines we’ve written are fecal-related? Upsetting.

• The conflict between Vee’s crew and Gloria’s is going to get incredibly ugly and it’s already caca levels of ugly. I am nervous.

Smelling fingers and taking names,
Jaimie

Episode 6, “You Also Have a Pizza”

K.C. Bailey/Netflix

From: Jaimie Etkin
To: Ariane Lange
Subject: From Sister Ingalls’ mouth to God’s ears

HALLELUJAH! Praise Sister Ingalls. She finally told Brook to shut the fuck up (literally) and though I doubt she will, I couldn’t take another episode of it not being said.

But on to the true best part of this episode: Poussey. My heart broke about a million times over for her throughout these 60 minutes — when Vee basically told her Taystee would never love her, when a German official prevented her from being with his daughter/her girlfriend, when she told that girlfriend she didn’t love her in a not-so-veiled attempt to protect both of them, and when she finally broke down and stood up for herself and her girlfriend to that German official, only to be shut down. (Though violence was not the answer and I’m glad her father stopped her. Her dad is a hero in all of the ways.)

Of course Poussey’s backstory was heartbreaking, but so is her present with Taystee. I hate that Vee is driving them apart, but I also can’t ignore the fact that she’s right about Taystee and Poussey does need to move on in that regard. When she thought Taystee was going to give her a kiss and she gave her a cigarette instead, my heart sunk. Still, they should be able to be friends and Vee is making that impossible. She’s ruining the best posse in the prison by deeming herself its new queen and I am not having it.

As for as this love-soaked Valentine’s Day episode at large, it was slightly disappointing that the writers resorted to the weak mockumentary style of storytelling in asking each of the Litchfield ladies about their definitions of love. I mean, why would they be filming that? It makes about as much sense as whatever lame-ass doc would be the end result of Modern Family or The Office. But obviously, because I am a sap, I ate every last bit of it up. And when Suzanne told Morello her thoughts on loving someone who doesn’t love you? Forget it. I lost it. That was one of my favorite scenes of the entire series thus far.

Also, Piper is obviously onto Fig, but I could not be less invested in that arc. Really, without Alex, this show could totally exist sans Piper and I would be OK with it.

Oh and remember that time The Gay Edge Caputo said “profesh”? <3

Love,
Jaimie

P.S. I want a sugar cookie.

From: Ariane Lange
To: Jaimie Etkin
Subject: He wore a lot of vests

“He wore a lot of vests” is a really great reason to break up with someone. Mad respect, prison guard named Fischer. You lie like a damn professional. Good on you not falling for Caputo’s moves.

I was really happy that Poussey dispelled the myth of scissoring in this episode. Plus, she did it while speaking pretty good German! More smitten with her than ever, aside from the attempted murder part. And the sex scene with her German girlfriend felt real and relevant, while the makeout scene with Flaca and Maritza felt a little gratuitous to me. Am I at a college party, Orange Is the New Black? No, I’m not. Cut that shit out.

The “look into the camera and tell us stuff” thing was a little overdone, yeah, but strangely, my favorite part of this episode was when Norma described love wordlessly. Hopefully, Daya will take Norma’s explanation to heart soon and break up with her prison guard boyfriend, because fuck that guy, man. I don’t care if he seems cute and has one leg. I never want to hear him refer to her breasts again.

I really hope Piper’s prison newsletter that’s a cover-up for an investigation into the allocation of prison funds turns up some shit, but it also makes me sad that Piper’s the only person who could hook this up.

Also, Morello and Suzanne are, now that I think about it, a perfect match. Both wildly obsessive! Glad they found each other; hope those two crazy kids can work it out.

If I never saw Larry again I wouldn’t notice,
Ariane

P.S. Felt really bad for that poor old lady wandering around looking for her perfect, nonexistent love — it’s a hard life, being a metaphor.

Episode 7, “Comic Sans”

Linda Kallerus/Netflix

From: Ariane Lange
To: Jaimie Etkin
Subject: She’s my sister; she’s my daughter

OK, the fact that Cindy’s “sister” is her daughter felt a little cliché. Pretending your daughter is your sister is so 60 years ago, and despite the fact that Cindy is the flyest TSA agent I’ve ever seen in fiction or in life, this backstory was pretty bland. It didn’t really flesh out Cindy as a character. Cindy deserves better.

Polly and Larry had sexual intercourse. I won’t say anything more since I literally could not care less about this storyline if there were an appropriate idiom to describe how little I care about it.

And apparently Fig is married to a closeted gay man. This season better not try to humanize her, goddamnit. I can’t deal with another fully drawn character; the mimesis is killing me.

Honestly a little underwhelmed,
Ariane

P.S. FLY, NEWSLETTER, FLY.

P.S. I like Gloria’s new haircut and I hope Poussey keeps her integrity and doesn’t join Vee’s crew!

From: Jaimie Etkin
To: Ariane Lange
Subject: Oh Roberta

Firstly, truth to the scissoring and Flaca and Maritza moment from Episode 6. It was like one leap forward and a baby step back.

Secondly, I could not agree more about Episode 7. I was so excited to see this season giving the Morello’s and Black Cindy’s of the series backstories in addition to the core Litchfield ladies, but for how incredibly shocking and well-told Morello’s was, Cindy’s was equally as incredibly cliched and underwhelming. Plus, her backstory didn’t even offer any relevance to the present. But yes, of course, I would watch accompanying shorts of Cindy’s TSA agent tales any day. That Big Gulp guy did not know what was coming to him.

Beyond that, this episode was basically all my least favorite storylines rolled into one: Polly and Larry, Fig, that fucking newslet…Oh sorry, I just fell asleep. However, props for Flaca’s deepest thought ever: “Just because you’re writing a comic doesn’t mean you have to use Comic Sans.”

And it only got worse for that old lady and her walking/jumping-off-a-stage metaphor of a life. I’m glad she’s saying good-bye to Litchfield and I hope she goes peacefully and quietly. And let us say: Amen.

Times New Roman or bust,
Jaimie

Episode 8, “Appropriately Sized Pots”

Netflix

From: Jaimie Etkin
To: Ariane Lange
Subject: Shamalamadingdogs and skullets

Ariane, I cannot get over Piper’s “white privilege” spiel. How the flying fuck did she think her getting furlough was going to go over at Litchfield? And how the second flying fuck did she think yelling about people complaining about it was going to go over, especially after she asked everyone in the damn prison what she should do with her precious time off? I am so glad Suzanne threw blueberry pie in her newly Sophia’d blonde hair. It was so well-deserved. Honestly, I didn’t even feel that badly for her when she found out her grandmother had died. (Though RIP, G-ma Chapman.) It also seemed pretty predictable once her mother wasn’t answering the phone. In conclusion, life’s a bitch and so is Piper.

And we now have confirmation that Caputo is indeed still an asshole. Maybe Fisher wasn’t great at her job, but he fired her for the wrong reasons and he seems to be losing it. I did, however, really enjoy what I assume will be Fisher’s final scene on the show with Nicky. There is just something so damn charming about Natasha Lyonne in that role and I love every second of seeing her on screen. More Nicky please!

I found Miss Rosa’s backstory to be a bit far-fetched and though it wasn’t as cliched as Cindy’s in the last episode, it still lacked the “ah-ha” moment that many others have had this season. I guess once you see Morello’s, nothing compares.

Also, thank goodness somebody can see through Vee. (I’m looking at you and your neck tattoo, Gloria.)

And why is Brook crying over showering? Just shut up and do it, Soso! Did I mention how much I hate Brook?

Ironically looking for a way to use the phrase “as useless as balls on a dildo,”
Jaimie

From: Ariane Lange
To: Jaimie Etkin
Subject: Eyebrow envy

As someone who owned and deeply regretted owning two turtles, I can say that when Pennsatucky tells Brook “you smell like a fuckin’ turtle tank,” that’s a stench that has gotten out of hand. Nonetheless, I’m with Brook on the anti-perspirant front. That shit is some crimes against nature.

Daya better break up with Bennett; he’s a damn monster. More of a monster than Piper, whose white privilege speech was just — why, Piper? Why. Some have called her “consistent,” but you would think maybe when your tactics are failing so miserably you’d be less consistent with them. Change it up, test out not making speeches in the cafeteria and whatnot.

I have to disagree on Rosa’s backstory, though — I thought it was weird but great that she used to be a wild-haired bank robber. A bit far-fetched and romantic, but so were young Rosa’s eyebrows. What a pair of eyebrows she had.

Hankering for Red’s famous piroshki,
Ariane

Episode 9, “40 OZ of Furlough”

Ali Goldstein/Netflix

From: Ariane Lange
To: Jaimie Etkin
Subject: The apple doesn’t fall far from the self-absorbed asshole

This episode was preeeeetty Piper-heavy, and no one likes that, especially when it involves performing drunken oral sex on Larry. I consulted my notes on this episode, and I guess this was my immediate reaction: “GROSS GROSS GROSS.” Please for the love of all that is penis-free, let this relationship die.

I thought I liked Piper’s brother, Cal, but this episode really shows that they’re both self-obsessed dickheads in their own special way. Cal hijacked his grandmother’s funeral for his wedding! Fuckery runs in the family.

Fuckery also runs in the old ladies, who are secretly the scariest inmates at Litchfield. Threatening Flaca and the other girls in the kitchen! “You wanna know what I did? Cut my husband’s dick off with a butcher knife — and it wasn’t even sharp.” Red didn’t even know how smart it was to get in with those geriatric violent criminals (and I bet they’re more loyal than backstabbing Big Boo selling out Red’s tunnel to Vee!).

If Vee gets Nicky on heroin again, Red better come down on her like a red dragon of justice, which is another odd thing I wrote in my notes.

Seriously hate to say I told you so about Bennett,
Ariane

From: Jaimie Etkin
To: Ariane Lange
Subject: You can’t go home again

You are correct. Absolutely no one likes a Piper-heavy episode and this was far too much Chapman for my comfort. I mean, all Piper wanted to do was get furlough so she could go see her dying grandma. Then, she acted like her dead grandma’s wake and funeral were cramping her 48 hours of freedom. And she didn’t shed a single tear at either event. And then, she made both all about her and her inmate status, though she’s not as guilty of being the worst grandchild in history as Cal is. He is an increasingly annoying caricature of a human and I cannot stand him. I actually almost felt bad for their asshole of a father. Let me just say though: Any grandmother who asks her grandchildren to call her “grandmother” is a cold, cold lady. They are the Waspiest of WASPs.

Oh and how long do you think it’ll be before Piper learns that Polly is the lady Larry schtupped? I look forward to this unravelling, but I hope it does without having to see Larry’s face or hear about his penis. Gag.

I don’t really understand why Big Boo so easily gave Red up to Vee. It was one lousy dinner in a makeshift greenhouse. Sheesh. Vee is really causing rifts at every turn. The Poussey-Taystee friction crushes me episode after episode. C’mon now. You save Poussey if you’ve only got a kitty raft, Taystee! She’s smaller anyway. If that Vee-Red flashback taught us anything is that’s there’s no reason to trust the former as far as you can throw her. (And clearly, you cannot… so don’t.)

By the by, how have we not mentioned: THE RETURN OF PORNSTACHE! Who’s looking mulletier than ever.

One last question: Do straights still give handjobs? That was the least sexy thing of all time.

Wondering,
Jaimie

Episode 10, “Little Mustachioed Shit”

Ali Goldstein/Netflix

From: Jaimie Etkin
To: Ariane Lange
Subject: So, I guess Piper has never seen Billy Madison

OITNB took another lesbian-sex step back this week when Alex went down on Piper underneath the sheets. UNDERNEATH THE SHEETS! I blame Laura Prepon.

Speaking of whom, was back in a big way this week. It was interesting seeing the origins of the Alex-Piper relationship, but it’s pretty hypocritical of Piper to be angry at Larry for cheating on her when she was the other woman in her relationship with Alex back in the day and cheated on Larry with Alex in Litchfield last season. If we were supposed to cheering for her when she had Neri (also, Neri. LOL!) retaliate on her behalf against Polly, I was certainly not. And seriously, how has Piper not seen an Adam Sandler movie? Her brother is Cal, for Christ’s sake.

Confession: I rewatched Nicky’s impersonation of Alex three times because it was perhaps the best thing of all time. And Nicky comforting Morello after that heartbreaking Christopher visit? She warms my heart in every way. In case you couldn’t tell, I have a really big crush on Nicky. Nicky <3

In other news, Healy is the most despicable human ever. If I were his Dr. Melfi, I’d refuse to see him ever again. She has that right!

And as unrealistic as it might have been, I was really thrilled to see Sophia’s son take kindly to her during their visit. I will not tell a lie: The look she exchanged with her wife made me happy cry a little bit. Also, her haircut is fierce and I want it.

But far less happy tears came in the bathroom with Poussey and Suzanne. That fight left me just crushed. Crushed for Poussey, whose tears were so clearly coming from as much of a place of emotional pain as they were about the physical (Samira Wiley is killing it this season, by the way) and crushed for Suzanne, who’s being so badly brainwashed by Vee that she couldn’t even realize what she was doing to her former ally. There are clearly a lot of moments being shared between Vee and Suzanne that we’re not seeing because with a mere look, she was at Vee’s command…and proud of what she had done on top of it. Vee is a fucking scary-ass bitch. This is going to get worse.

Not missing Pornstache even a little bit,
Jaimie

From: Ariane Lange
To: Jaimie Etkin
Subject: Undercover

Who gives head under the blankets, Jaimie? Are we supposed to believe that Alex’s apartment was incredibly cold, because that doesn’t fit with what we know of her character, i.e., that she was loaded. Come on, people, perform pretend cunnilingus like normal human beings.

Turns out Alex was a cheating bastard, which I can’t say is surprising. And Alex is really good at sex, which we already knew. Did this episode give us an enlightening backstory? No. Whatever, man, Alex Vause is too charming for me to care. She says she didn’t love the girlfriend she cheated on, “but” she loves Piper. “But I love you” is the kind of thing that would make my mom roll her eyes and say, “What an operat-uh.”

Honestly charming: Sophia’s wife! Man, what a good partner and mom. I cried too, Jaimie.

On the heart-chilling side, Suzanne now seems like she’s nothing more than Vee’s lackey. Beating up Poussey (who has mad integrity)! Suzanne who was so weird and gentle is now a hammer, and I blame her dumb parents for this.

Gotta say, when Pornstache was getting escorted out of the prison for alledgedly raping Diaz, did you notice that it seems like he cares more actively about this fetus than Bennett does? He told her not to eat tuna, for crying out loud! Bennett didn’t even get why she wanted to take vitamins!

Crying proud tears over Nicky’s continuing sobriety,
Ariane

Episode 11, “Take a Break From Your Values”

Linda Kallerus/Netflix

From: Ariane Lange
To: Jaimie Etkin
Subject: Nun of that

SISTER JANE! She’s the last person I would have picked for a backstory episode and it turns out she is dope as hell, which is a characterization I feel isn’t entirely inappropriate considering that she’s been excommunicated. I like that she commandeers Brook’s hunger strike, and I just generally dig what a ham she is about justice. Her book title was a pun! All nuns should nun pun.

In a less passive way than Sister Jane, the old ladies of Litchfield continue to be the scariest inmates around. I hoped we’d see more of them, but when I said that I didn’t really consider that they might shank someone. Not to mention that it wasn’t even Vee like they all wanted! Still, this is a valuable lesson in not underestimating the elderly, either in their ability to shank people or in their inability to distinguish people of a different race.

So Vee’s still alive intimidating younger inmates into her service. When Poussey said she was “like a pedophile without the sex,” it almost felt like Poussey hit a nerve. I am afraid for her. Maybe she’ll get the elderly on her side?

Tensely,
Ariane

From: Jaimie Etkin
To: Ariane Lange
Subject: Uptwinkles and downtwinkles and allthewayaroundtwinkles

I think what we learned from that shanking incident is that all old white ladies really are racist and that we should all think before we shank, should we choose to shank. (Shank.)

How amazing was Poussey in this episode? I am so glad she stood her ground and didn’t back down when Vee threatened her, but the fact that she didn’t rat out Suzanne in “Safe Place” (LOL “Safe Place”) when she totally could have shows that she knows it’s all Vee. That she had the integrity to protect Suzanne, who she knows is just a victim of Vee’s manipulation, really makes me love her that much more.

Speaking of Suzanne-Vee, when Suzanne said, “My brain will always be there for you. Thinking things so you don’t have to” …Shit. That is fucking scary and not at all reassuring. That would haunt my nightmares.

Also, does that whole cuckold confession discussion situation mean we’re done with Larry and Polly for a while? Please god say yes.

Rapin’ the vote (No. Never. I’m sorry),
Jaimie

Episode 12, “It Was the Change”

JoJo Whilden/Netflix

From: Jaimie Etkin
To: Ariane Lange
Subject: I think that I’m throwing, but I’m thrown

NO! RED! NOOOOO! I am struggling to type much more than that because my hands are still clutching my head from those final five seconds of the episode.

I can’t say I was surprised that the pee-bucket-tossing-turned-choking-turned-trucing wasn’t genuine. I mean, we saw with Vee was capable of doing to R.J., her surrogate son turned fuck buddy. (But that’s a conversation for another time.) Plus, I’m pretty sure anyone who actually uses the word “truce” isn’t capable of keeping one.

But no matter how much I saw it coming, it was still so hard to actually watch Vee beat the shit out of Red with a sock full of locks. I almost want to start watching the next episode right now, but I’m worried my heart, eyes, and stomach cannot handle it.

On a happier, but still emotional note, TAYSTEE and POUSSEY! Taystey? Pousstee? I don’t know, but I couldn’t be more thrilled that they have rekindled their friendship after Vee ousted each of them. By the way, wasn’t that the saddest game of Fuck Marry Kill you’ve ever seen?

And on a purely happy note, Brook leading all of Litchfield in a sing-a-long of angsty mid-’90s chick music was a beautiful thing. I think this show could use a musical episode in Season 3 with a special appearance from Natalie Imbruglia.

Also, you totally called that Fig’s husband was a closeted gay man. I guess he did say “babe” a lot.

Oh, and I guess it’s taken me this long to mention the whole Piper is being transferred to Virginia situation because I don’t actually believe it is going to happen. Plus, I could care less.

I’d totally fuck Denise, kill Vanessa, and marry Claire,
Jaimie

P.S. Was that Tiki Barber?
P.P.S. Why do I know who Tiki Barber is?
P.P.P.S. I am so sad that we only have one episode left.

From: Ariane Lange
To: Jaimie Etkin
Subject: I am too stressed to think of something to write here

My chest is feeling a little tight just thinking about this. Red! How did she not see that coming? What’s going to happen to her?! This season really picked up a lot of speed at the end, and it’s making me anxious.

Now that we know Vee had sexual relations with her foster son, Poussey’s assertion that Vee is “like a pedophile without the sex” feels very shrewd and not strong enough. What a horrible, creepy scene. Poor Taystee! Looking back on how Vee comforted her at R.J.’s funeral — and now she’s talking about how Vee looked out for her — ugh, it gives me the willies. I hope Taystee stays banished into Poussey’s honest arms.

Another shrewd observation: When she’s talking with Healy about the “end of men,” Pennsatucky said, “Men bein’ in charge has never done me any good.” Pennsatucky! Who knew you had it in you? I hope more comes of her sincere belief in “the gay agenda to take over the world,” and I weirdly want her and Big Boo to become buddies. They’ve both been cast out by their friends. They need each other.

Really hoping Piper and Caputo team up to take down Fig.

Making an agenda secretly,
Ariane

Episode 13, “We Have Manners. We’re Polite.”

Netflix

From: Ariane Lange
To: Jaimie Etkin
Subject: What?!

I don’t know why I keep thinking about how my mom would react to this show, but my mom would have definitely turned to me at the end of this finale and said in a high, squeaky voice, “Were they on hashish?” And she’d have a point, Jaimie. It did seem like this finale, in which there is SO MUCH, was way over the top to make up for a season of not enough. The last few minutes alone — Rosa escapes in a van and then RUNS VEE OVER?! And then says to herself in her wild accent, “Always so rude, that one.”

One thing that was nice about this finale, though, was that my dreams came true and Pennsatucky kept being friends with Boo. However, I think Sophia was right in that an Emma Watson pixie was the direction to go with that haircut. Not a fan of the noncommittal short hair.

Norma and Gloria teamed up to curse Vee, which was cute and freaky. What with Gloria’s abusive ex dying in that fire and Vee getting hit by Rosa’s van, this season’s second lesson (after “do not fuck with old people”) seems to be “curses are real.” And really — obviously no one should be murdered — but Vee was an evil character. I kept expecting her to become more human, since this show doesn’t seem to be the place for pure evil, but she was pure evil. Trying to frame Suzanne for beating Red! Thank goodness Healy pulled through with that fake paperwork to save her. The two things we can count on are that Vee is the worst and we never know which guard to trust.

Wack finale. Wack.

Masturbating to Jesus,
Ariane

From: Jaimie Etkin
To: Ariane Lange
Subject: Like Stephanie Tanner, I guess Miss Rosa really has a problem with rudeness

Ariane,

Firstly, WE MADE IT!

Secondly, I definitely agree that this season was a slow build and the finale was overly stuffed with eventfulness that could’ve benefitted from being spread out over the course of the last two or three episodes. But let’s break.it.down.

Personally, I could’ve done without the Norma-Gloria cursing storyline, but I’m glad, however it happened that Vee got hers. I was certainly surprised by the turn of events (and that they used that pretty cheesy Rosa-to-Young Rosa metamorphosis as she drove away) because I didn’t think rudeness begot murder, but let’s be real: That bitch had to go. The way Vee manipulated poor Suzanne was absolutely crushing. She turned on her so quickly after getting her right where she wanted her and watching Suzanne struggle while being interrogated and with Healy was just…Jenji Kohan, just rip my heart out and dance on it, why don’t you?! (Also, Uzo Aduba in those scenes, man.) Though it broke my heart to see Suzanne bawling over Vee while holding that pack of Uno cards, I loved the fact that ultimately Vee’s horrible treatment of Suzanne led her to find real friends in Litchfield. The way Poussey, Taystee, Black Cindy, and Watson eventually rallied behind her really warmed my broken heart. Even Healy — who might be the world’s most pathetic human being (with Fig being a close second) — came to her aid. Sometimes, good things happen to good people and bad things happen to bad people and the world functions as it should, even in Litchfield. Kumbayfuckingya, bitches!

Also, Morello was a hero in this episode: A) Her description of Vee to the SIS officials investigating what happened to Red was so amazing, B) That Toy Story bit forever and ever, C) The fact that she thought little people were in the radio performing for her (because, as a child, I thought the same thing about VHSes), and D) Her insistence that Miss Rosa break free, all just made me fall in love with her for the umpteenth time.

Though I am a fan of Sophia’s work in general, I must be honest and say I feel like she failed to give Pennsatucky a proper Watson Pixie. She kind of looks like Peter Pan. Nevertheless, I do enjoy her friendship with Big Boo (aka “fatty fatty man girl”) and wonder if next season she’ll cave on the “no fingering” front. I feel like we’re moving toward that, no?

And I suppose we should address the fact that Piper got Alex sent back to prison, partially for her own selfish reasons and partially to make sure Alex was safe. But mainly for her own selfish reasons because she is selfish. Selfish, I tell you. Also: Polly, fuck off.

Oh, and remember that time Red and Sister Ingalls talked about masturbation? I will look back on it fondly.

All and all, to be honest, I found myself smiling by the end of this episode and then internally sobbing over the fact that we have to wait 12 MORE MONTHS for Season 3. Hold me, Ariane. HOLD ME!

May you have many minutes of peace,
Jaimie

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