Chapman tries to get back to electrical shop, but there are guards conducting frisks between her and it. And that IS a screwdriver in her pocket, and no, she is not glad to see them. And, just to make Chapman’s day perfect, Crazy Eyes shows up too, alternately threatening Chapman and trying to wheedle her back. Ah, who among us has not had a version of Crazy Eyes in her life? (If you’re nodding to that last sentence but wondering why it’s in the past tense, stand up right now and move to another state. You can sort things out later. It’ll be worth it.)
Chapman thinks on her feet and removes herself from both situations by thanking Healy, which is something that has not happened to him since he got this job and so completely flummoxes him. It also helps that Chapman is acting like she’s been shocked by that lamp a few too many times. And she does not make it to the electrical shop.
Chapman hastily hides the screwdriver in her bunk and is confronted by Boo and a bunch of other women. Tricia has been talking, and now everyone wants Chapman the reader girl to help with their appeal letters. Boo flops down on the bunk and totally Princess and the Peas the screwdriver while Chapman is distracted.
Claudette clears everybody out and Chapman lies that the screwdriver is all taken care of. Learning curve, Chapman. LEARNING CURVE!
Taystee stops another inmate from standing on Goblet of Fire in order to reach a high shelf, saying “Don’t be fucking with Harry Potter!” That whooshing sound you heard was Taystee’s immediate ascent to the top of Heather Hogan’s Favorite Inmate list.
Alex is reading in the floor and Nichols (Hi, Nichols!) stops by for a chat. Nichols says she’s died thrice and God loves her. They talk about college. Alex hung around campus, but wasn’t actually enrolled. Nichols asks if that’s where she met Chapman and inquires about all the drama. Alex isn’t spilling.
Nichols has two years out of five to go. Alex has a lot. She gets sad and Nichols comforts her. This is either going to get really awkward for everyone or really awesome for us. Maybe both.
Chapman goes over Trish’s appeal. She may be able to help, at least with writing a good letter. Claudette suggests staying out of other people’s affairs because “hope is a dangerous thing.” Dang, Miss Claudette.
As you might expect, Caputo is extremely pissed that the screwdriver is not found. Caputo reminds the guards that a screwdriver can puncture a lung, and that corrections officers are high on the Most Likely To Be Punctured List. Mustache Mendez smirks during much of this your-life-is-in-danger lecture, so he’s not just a dick to the inmates. He appears to suffer from congenital dickishness.
Chapman and Claudette’s cell gets tossed again. Chapman admits to Claudette that she lied and didn’t get the screwdriver back to the shop. …But their cell is clean and the screwdriver is not under the mattress anymore. Problem solved, right? Claudette is pissed that Chapman lied to her. Chapman wants some slack. She’s had a rough couple of weeks, she thinks she’s suffering from short-term memory loss, and people keep calling her <b>Taylor Swift</b>. Miss Claudette softens up one nanobit.
Claudette asks one of her adolescent girls why she won’t shower and discovers that she’s been horribly bruised by one of their cleaning clients.
Boo definitely has the screwdriver. That would be the same Boo who has a history of inciting fights to get other people in trouble. Uh-oh.
Taystee does some spoken-word poetry in Mercy’s honor. It’s a hit and the goodbye party is underway. Trish calls Alex on showing up when she’s not invited. Alex says she’s just cooking noodles and another inmate totally calls her on it. But she also whispers “High school is high school” in a comforting way. Aww, I’m glad Alex is starting to make a few friends. Even if she is a manipulative drug runner girlfriend.
Trish asks Mercy to wait for her on the outside, and Mercy confirms that she’s Tricia’s girl. They start to make out right in front of Boo.
Red swings in for a quick rescue, telling Boo, “Plenty of other pussy in here. Let it go.” I love Red. And, seriously, we all need that saying embroidered on a throw pillow sometimes. Or perhaps delicately tattooed on another woman’s forehead.
Tricia may need that too—she watches nervously as Mercy dances with Taystee.
Chapman runs into Nichols (Hi, Nichols!) and asks what Alex said about her. “She said you were a squirter,” Nichols grins. Chapman nearly ignites from embarrassment and says “Once! It happened once and it took us both by surprise!” POKER FACE, CHAPMAN! POKER FACE!
Nichols is delighted to have bluffed out that tasty bit of information. She also wisely dispels the scarier rumors about Claudette, saying she never murdered anybody; she just ran a slavery ring. She’s a good prison friend to have, that Nichols.
Claudette got mail, which never happens. She also sees that Tricia is up to something.
Claudette from CleanMakers shows up as replacement staff at the abusive dirtbag’s house. We see her cleaning up very, very well.
Which she needs to, because she just killed the hell out of that guy.
The way she steps over his body on the way out is awesome. Good little touch, show.