“Orange is the New Black” recap (2.1): Thirsty Bird

Piper gets a chance to make a call and she leaves Larry a voicemail, letting him know where she is and that she is royally screwed. She needs his dad, the lawyer’s help desperately. Back in her cell, Joyce delivers a rousing rendition of “Natural Woman” whilst dropping a deuce, and berating Piper for her lack of a cockroach champion. Meanwhile, Mazall needles at Piper for her time of birth.

In a flashback, young Piper approaches her mother about her father’s affair. Her mother brushes off Piper’s confession and while fighting back tears, actually punishes her for going to see an R-rated movie. The Chapman Home, where denial rests its weary head.

Back in the Windy City, the inmates are sent out into the yard for “exercise.” If you’ve ever been in Chicago in February, then you know this is cruel and unusual punishment. While searching for a roach, she comes across a huddle of inmates that invite her to join them and keep warm. Auntie Tank Girl approaches Piper to say hi, which manages to irritate Piper’s new friends. Aunt TG and the group of women start to tussle, but not before Auntie TG announces that Piper is a murderess and not to be messed with. The fight intensifies as Piper stands there frozen. The guards break up it up and order the inmates inside, but not before Piper sees something she recognizes. A figure that she would know a million lifetimes from now, whose every curve and angle she has memorized. Piper calls out, “Alex!” and the gorgeous, be-spectacled figure turns to meet her gaze. The guards separate them even further, but now Piper has found a tiny bit of hope in this terrible, fucked up place.

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Inside at dinner, Mazall stalks Piper for her birth time again, but Piper needs intel. Mazall lets her know that Alex’s unit only joins them for yard time and they won’t cross paths for another week. Piper spies the male inmate who propositioned her on the plane. She asks him to deliver a note to Alex, but he wants something in return. She offers a kiss, then a handie, but they settle on her dirty panties.

Later Piper wakes up with a wild eyed Mazall, perched on top of her. Mazall demands Piper’s time of birth, then licks her face. Makes one long for the days when someone would just pee on your floor, eh Pipes? Piper gives her the info, which makes her go away, much to Piper’s extreme relief. The next morning, Piper tries to play it cool when Mazall strikes up some astrological chit chat. Mazall mentions that people who end up in prison were usually led astray by dark forces. When Piper questions if that’s what happened to her, Mazall matter-of- factly admits that she bit off her girlfriends tongue and swallowed it. So yeah, you could say that.

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A buzzer rings and Piper is able to GTFO of there. She walks into the cafeteria, and sees Alex waiting on the other side of the bars. Piper runs to her, beyond grateful to see her. She asks Alex to tell her if she is indeed a murderer, but Alex mercifully puts Piper’s heart and mind at ease. Pennsytucky is very much alive. Piper is relieved and finally able to snap into the reality of the situation. Why the hell are they in Chicago? Alex is surprised that Piper doesn’t know, but informs her that they are there to testify in their extradited drug kingpin Kubra Polik’s trial. Piper cries with relief until she remembers that she and Alex didn’t exactly leave on good terms. Alex can’t seem to hide the smile that creeps across her face, even though she likely wishes she could. She doesn’t hate Piper. They try to hug through the bars, but are yelled at by a guard. Out of the corner of Piper’s eye, she spies a massive roach, but it gets away before she can convince Alex to get it. The trial can start any minute now, and Alex warns Piper not to admit to knowing Kubra, for both of their safety. Piper doesn’t want to lie under oath, and her stoicism pisses Alex right off. Lying is the only way they can guarantee their safety, and that’s what Alex plans to do, whether Piper follows suit or not.

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Flashback to little Piper and her nana, sipping eggcreams in nana’s kitchen table. Piper tells her nana about her father’s infidelity and her mother’s unusual reaction. Nana is like, Piper honey, that sounds exactly like the reaction your mother would have. When Piper brings up the wrong and right of it all, Nana gives her a kindly dose of reality. Sometimes you have to lie (or at least omit the truth) to protect the people that you love.

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