Warning: Spoilers ahead for the first nine episodes of
“Orange Is The New Black” Season 2. Please stop reading now if you haven’t caught up to this point.
What’s going on
Piper gets a taste of the outside, while on furlough and we dive into Vee and Red’s past in episode 9.
What would you do if you had 48 hours of freedom before heading back to Litchfield? Well, unfortunately for Piper, her 48 hours is pretty jam packed with funeral festivities. This was a big episode for our title character and brought back a lot of memories from Season 1. But there has no doubt been a major shift in the Piper we met in Season 1 and the Piper on furlough — this episode is her most exposing yet.
The new Piper is the kind of gal who tries to jump her former fiance’s bones in the bathroom at Grandma Celeste’s viewing. Embarrassingly, her attempt is unsuccessful due to Larry’s performance issues. To top it off, he decides to confess to Piper he slept with someone she knows, mid-hookup. On the plus side, its really over for the former couple. She is no longer the woman Larry fell in love with and wanted to marry, and he is figuring out what he wants out of life for the first time.
After Piper’s brother hijacks the funeral to marry his hippie dream lover, Piper is without an unbiased supporter and has to fend for herself as all of Grandma Celeste’s friends talk about what a wonderful and promising future they had predicted for her when she was a little girl. Even her father confesses he has never come to visit Litchfield because he just can’t bear to see his little girl that way.
Probably the best evidence we get this episode Piper is a changed woman, is the way she chooses to handle all of her furlough stress. She grabs some malt liquor from a store and drinks it out of a paper bag while sitting on a bridge and enjoys a burger from Storky’s (Taystee’s former place of business). This is dark Piper at her finest and we love it!
Pipes does manage to make it to Red’s store, but sadly it is boarded up with a big “For Lease” sign in the window. There’s no way she can tell Red about this — it will crush her.
That brings us to our favorite red-headed Russian powerhouse, who we see meets Vee on one of her first days at Litchfield –Red’s first days — Vee is returning to the big house and its clear by second one this isn’t her first rodeo. The villainous Vee must have a radar pointing to the weak and impressionable, because almost immediately after befriending Red, the Russian lets it slip she has connections with a prison vendor from her days on the outside. Vee encourages her to bring that connection inside, leading to Red’s booming contraband business.
However, when business gets really good, Vee wants a cut and this leads to big trouble between the so-called besties. Now, a way more confident woman than the one Vee met, Red stands up to her and refuses to include her. So Vee retaliates in the only way she knows how, by sending her henchwomen to beat the living day lights out of Red.
Back in present day, Red finally gets the family reunion she has longed for and an opportunity to apologize. We know this loving feeling will be short-lived because almost immediately after, Big Boo betrays her friend and sells out the location of Red’s contraband tunnel in exchange for 10% of Vee’s cigarette business (making us start to question Boo’s intelligence level).
Also more trouble is ahead, because Vee has somehow managed to smuggle heroin into prison and has Taystee trying to push it on former junkies like Nicky. If Red’s store closure wasn’t the most heartbreaking moment in this episode, it was definitely when Poussey confronted Taystee about her new job — that disappointed look P gives her former bestie, brings a tear to our eyes just thinking about it.
Although there are a ton of great moments in the furlough freedom episode, by far the best and most surprising was when Bennett, tired yet again of standing in Pornstache’s shadow, loses it on the inmates. We might be alone on this — but there was something sexy about seeing Bennett stand up for himself that had us pining for more. Adding insult to injury its Mendez who comes to his rescue and calms him down. In one of the season’s most “Did Not See This Coming” moments — despite Daya’s urging against it, Bennett tells Caputo Mendez impregnated Daya, thus sealing Pornstache’s fate.
Brook: “The D-list Burt Reynolds, but more rapey.”
Pornstache: “Mendez is back, b******!”
Piper: “Do not defend your boner to me right now.”
Bennett: “Don’t let me catch you anywhere near the kitchen again. You know the drill.”
Rosa: “The thing about reality is — it’s still waiting for you the next morning.”
Piper quoting Grandma Celeste: “LIfe is made in the mistakes.”
Caputo: “When I said prove it, I meant it in a Coach Taylor kind of way.”
“Cleaver Lever,” The Growl: Mendez returns to Litchfield.
“Come On Up to the House,” Tom Waits: Piper bridge scene.
“Bad Bad Daddy,” Atmosphere: Caputo finds out exciting news from Bennett and end credits.