This episode is brought to us by Black Cindy, who, before she was an inmate at Litchfield, was the worst TSA agent ever. Ever. She harassed passengers during pat downs, stole food from the vendors, slept on the job, and stole electronics and other valuables out of luggage. Except vibrators. She already had plenty of them. And may I take a moment here to say EW. Who steals a vibrator? Don’t you know where that thing has been?
The irony is that Cindy treated the people at the airport the way the guards treat her at Litchfield. When the COs at Litchfield start looking for reasons to write the inmates up (Caputo is furious about Jimmy’s escape during the VD party), she doesn’t see the correlation to her own, earlier, behavior. In a way, she is just as self-absorbed as Piper was in Season 1.
Clearly Cindy was never what you would call a model employee, which does not bode well for her role in Vee’s entrepreneurial enterprise. When she hocks her share of the cigarettes (carefully concealed in tampon applicators), she is willing to let the inmates pay her in trade if they do not have Forever Stamps, Vee’s preferred method of payment. Cindy objects to Vee’s profit margin, and intends to get something for herself out of the deal. Cindy’s shitty work ethic extended into her personal life too. In the flashback we see her gifting her little sister with a stolen iPad. Only the little girl is actually Cindy’s daughter. Cindy is a deadbeat mom, and only shows up when it suits her, and her mom is raising the girl.
Vee could give a shit about Cindy’s motivation and has no intention of putting up with insubordination. Cindy can either play by her rules, or get put out of the operation. Period. In the end, Cindy agrees to ‘take her medicine’ and gets back into tobacco sales. This time hawking their product out of used tampon applicators. EW.
In the greenhouse, Red kicks her own contraband pipeline back into high gear. She is just in time too, as Bennett finally found his balls and refused to smuggle anything else into the prison for the kitchen crew. Daya yells at him for threatening her friends with the SHU and points out how skewed the power dynamic is in their relationship. File that under No Shit, sweetheart.
The prison newsletter proves popular with the inmates and COs alike. With Healy’s help, Piper gathers a small editorial team. Unfortunately, when she meets with the journalist who inspired this little endeavor, he is unmoved. He explains that prisons are shitty. Everyone knows and no one cares. What people might care about is the wife of a future senator embezzling tax payer money from the DOC. If Piper can find concrete proof that Figueroa has been skimming off the top, then they might be in business.
Outside of Litchfield, Figueroa’s senator wannabe husband appears to have the hots for his male campaign manager. This might explain why the Assistant Warden is such a bitch. I bet Nicky could help her ease all that tension.
Larry and Polly, having bonded while playing, make with the sexy time. Despite the fact that Polly’s husband has returned from Alaska. And despite the blocked milk duct on her left boob. Again. EW.
The most heartbreaking moment of the episode is the very end, when Jimmy is given a compassionate release. Piper and the other women watch as the COs bundle her onto the van, which will take her to a local bus station. Jimmy cries piteously for a family member that is either dead or with whom she no longer has contact. The inmates look on, grim faced, as they realize that Jimmy will end up on the street in short order.