This Orange is the New Black review contains spoilers.
Indulge me for a moment as I skip straight to the most awesomely hilarious moment of this episode: Larry and his dad visit a gay bathhouse.
I’ll just let that sink in for a minute. I don’t know about you, but I would not want to visit any kind of bathhouse with one of my parents. Awkward.
Anywho. Larry grills his dad about Piper’s trip to Chicago while defending his sexual prowess. His dad tells him to get over Piper by sticking his dick in someone – like the two dudes sitting next to them in the steam room seem so eager to do. Hrm…let me add getting indiscriminate sexual advice from a parent to the list of things I do not want.
On a less maladjusted note; in an effort to emphasize the enrichment programs at Litchfield, Figueroa invites a journalist to Job Fair, an event that is supposed to teach job skills to the inmates (how to dress for success, write a resume, behave during interviews). In reality it doesn’t teach them shit and there are no actual job placement programs. Can you smell the bureaucracy? Aw. Yeah.
Taystee wins Job Fair, blowing her interview out of the water in a stunning display of intelligence and resourcefulness. When she asks for an actual interview, Figueroa gives her $10 toward her commissary instead. Ugh. Unfortunately, this kind of slap in the face is nothing new for Taystee. The episode opens on her as a little girl at a community adoption day, trying to impress prospective parents with her intelligence (she knows pi AND the periodic table), only to alienate them with her brash manner. A child of the system, she is shuffled between group and foster homes, abused and institutionalized. The only person who sees her true potential is Vee, the local heroin dealer who promises her “kids” a family, complete with home cooked meals – as long as they can successfully sell smack.
After years of resisting Vee’s siren song, trying to scrape by with an honest living, Taystee turns to her in order to escape an abusive foster father. But her new home is far from perfect, as she soon learns when her friend RJ is killed by a cop.
And with that, Season 2 welcomes us back to Litchfield. Mendoza is still successfully running the kitchen while competing with Aleida for the role of Daya’s mother. Both women get a little competitive, trying to help Daya take a poo after she has been backed up for about a week. Ah, pregnancy.
Mendoza graciously allows Red to eat with the other inmates when her commissary runs dry, forgiving the old Russian for trying to sabotage the kitchen at the end of last season. The only other inmates who will talk to Red, however, are the other old ladies. Hard as brass tacks, suffering from dementia, they represent Red’s steady decline into irrelevance.
Like Piper, Pennsatucky has been in SHU for the last month. Her religious fervor seems to have gotten knocked out along with her teeth, and she swears to Healy that she has all her marbles back. She tells Healy that she remembers him leaving her to get killed by Piper; an observation which scores her a brand new set of teeth, compliments of the DOC.
Finally, Piper returns from Chicago looking disillusioned from Alex’s betrayal and a lot less likely to put up with bullshit. As she walks down the hallway, to the amazement of the other inmates, it is clear that she has earned a level of respect for snapping out on ‘Tucky. Who knew she had it in her?