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Well, everything is beginning to bubble up to the surface. Tensions, trials, tribulations, and the truth. Turns out the pipes of Litchfield penitentiary aren’t the only things full of shit in the fifth episode of Orange is The New Black. Everyone, whether they like it or not, is chock-a-block with the stuff. And the stink hasn’t even begun to set in yet.
Most of the aforementioned poo was metaphorical, natch, but that didn’t stop the first few minutes from getting all literal on us. Actual shit bubbled up through the shower drains in the latina section of the prison and the stuff was everywhere. (It should be noted that I sat down to watch this episode, unknowingly, with a fresh helping of some Nutella rice pudding I’d made from scratch. It is sitting in the fridge untouched.) Naturally, the ladies who run the kitchen knew the time for breakfast was nearing and being so fresh and so clean while you’re scrambling eggs is important. So! They went over to “the ghetto” to finish up their morning clean routines.
Naturally, Vee and her girls (oh yes, they’re hers now, thanks to that magic combination of Funfetti and shame) were none-too-pleased about this and, of course, a wee tussle broke out before they were ultimately allowed to shower.
It’s frustrating even if not wholly surprising to see so much tension between the two largest contingencies of minorities at Litchfield. The prison is, sadly, one of the few places where they can assert themselves and have control (which, yes, is truly fucked up and we’re heartened you realized that, fair reader), and Vee, Ms. “Back In My Day Black Women Ran This Place” was clearly not happy that, she feels, they’ve lost control. And instead of fighting the powers-that-be, they’re reduced to in-fighting. No use fighting the real enemy — the system — because it always seems to win. It’s, yes, bullshit.
Meanwhile, all the white girls are sitting around non-the-wiser playing a sex game that reduces women to points and sexual dalliances to “win”. A Bang-Off, wherein points are assigned to various ladies based on their looks and general fuckability in order to crown an ultimate orgasm victor: either Nicky or Big Boo. Way to treat your fellow women as nothing more than objects and prizes. Jeez, ladies. Anyone here remember feminism? Anyone? Bueller? A lot of this actually reminded me of last year’s #SolidarityIsForWhiteWomen. White privilege: even in jail, it’s so real.
Like how Piper might be getting a furlough for a sick/dying grandmother. Daya tried (and failed, and was also lying but that’s not the point) last season and was denied. In fact most all furlough requests, apparently, are given the hard pass. So what makes Piper special? We’ll give you three guesses and the first two don’t count.
So: did the showers get fixed? No! Of course not! Because where would the funds come from to fix a major sanitary and structural problem? Surely not the prison, they have a “deficit.” Fig can only drive so late of a Mercedes model, folks! Her husband’s running for state senate.
Instead the numbers were crunched and a new system was put in place for those particular showers. All water time? Limited to :30 seconds.Max. Thirty FUCKING seconds! I mean for fucks’ sake you guys — we’ve already established that prison is the worst but goddamn that’s just inhumane. What’s a girl gotta do to feel human around there?
For reasons we have yet to see — though Red’s ominous warning made us believe it will be serious — Vee and the black girls took over the shitty showers, giving theirs up to Gloria and the kitchen crew. In exchange for what? A shitton of Vee’s crocodile years and moving 2 of Gloria’s girls to the kitchen staff, leaving room for some of Vee’s unwitting henchladies to step onto the custodial crew. Though lord knows why. But knowing Vee it probably ain’t good. She is the queen and conductor of manipulation station. So the war’s still on.
And we haven’t even talked about Sideboob, Caputo, and Healy yet! (Don’t worry, I didn’t forget: how could I?) These two. Good lord. There’s just so much to say and not enough eyerolls in the world for them. And they are so oblivious to how much they’re part of the problem. “I hate talking about women’s issues with women,” Healy remarked to Sideboob guitarist, Caputo, in a bar. “Creepy.” Caputo agreed, and the conversation turned, quite aggressively, to wanting to “keep them [the women] fuckin’ clean.” Over and over again it was repeated: this idea of a need for cleanliness (which felt a hell of a lot like purity) and how they’re, really, the only ones (the only ones!!) looking out for the women. Why can’t everyone else understand that?! If only they could keep the women clean and pure and exactly how the men want them — everything would literally be perfect! And we’d all have a million dollars in the bank and live happily ever after, the end.
Of course they don’t realize how misguided their “good intentions” are — you saw that well on display between Healy and his wife Katya. He is trying to learn Russian, and does really seem to care, but the fact of the matter is he BOUGHT HER. She’s a mail order bride. He wants her to be what he wants her to be when he wants it. It’s like he, and everyone else, cannot seem to wrap their heads around the fact that women are people. And frankly, that’s just shitty.
Odds and Ends:
– We got some insight into Gloria’s backstory tonight: turns out she was arrested for fraud.
– And, ooh damn, do we think her boyfriend burned alive?
– Suzanne’s instructions for the manners the latina women need were hilarious. Oh Crazy.
– Best Quote of the Episode: “I’m a sexual Steve Jobs!” Bravo, Nicky.
– “Yeah, you’re not easy, you only fucked your worst enemy.” Big Boo was comin’ in H-A-R-D with that one, you guys.
– Cal and Piper’s little charade was the best. More Cal and Piper, please.
– Also more Cal. Cal is hilarious.
– Cal’s fiancé’s bit about the florescent lights was pretty great, too.
– Larry: still holdin’ on after all this time or looking for a way back into the prison for City Post/to feel relevant?
All caught up with this episode? What’d you think? Let’s discuss it in the comments (or on Twitter)!