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

 
 

Piper and Larry’s father have their meeting to prepare for the trial, and Larry’s dad is not having any of Piper’s pleasantries, or even hearing about how she misses Larry. He’s there in the capacity of her lawyer and that’s all. After her meeting with Alex, she’s beginning to back-peddle on telling the truth. Larry’s dad informs her that her testimony is vital to helping put Kubra away, and that at this point, lying isn’t an option. When she arrives back in her cell with a roach she’s smuggled out in her bra, her cellmates deem the bug not worthy. Piper has had about enough of their shit and accuses them of making up the whole roach transport business. They lash back, telling her that they aren’t afraid of her just because she’s rumored to be a murderess. Before anything escalates, Piper is called to testify.

Piper and Alex ride in a van, handcuffed and facing each other in a very awkward. tête-à-tête. Piper tells Alex that she plans to tell the truth, a fact that does not please Alex. Even though their conversation is tense and colored by shades of their past together, there is still a little light that shines between them. Alex wants to keep Piper safe, but Piper knows that isn’t possible no matter what the outcome of the trial. It’s time to stand up, and do the right thing for once, Piper declares.

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Piper takes the stand, and everything starts off according to the plan. Even with Kubra staring her down, Piper truthfully and clearly answers the prosecutor’s preliminary questions. That is until the door behind her swings open to reveal a clearly terrified Alex, who doesn’t realize that Piper can see her. When the prosecutor asks Piper to describe her relationship, Piper confesses that Alex was the love of her life. Then when the prosecutor asks if it was Alex Vause that introduced Piper to Kubra, she makes the decision to protect Alex. She repeatedly answers that she doesn’t recall to the frustrated prosecutors questions. Piper’s eyes tear up when he reminds her of her travels with Alex. When the prosecutor asks if she knows the penalty for lying under oath, she tells him dreamily, “I was there for Alex. She’s was what I paid attention to. Who I paid attention to. Everything else was just background.” And we all swoon to our deaths.

When Piper is returned to a small holding cell, Larry’s father confronts her. He reminds her that what she’s done could result in more charges or longer sentencing. She apologizes for disappointing him, but he’s more concerned that she’s a habitual criminal with no compunction for breaking the law or his son’s heart. “I made a decision that I don’t expect you to understand,” she tells him, so he washes his hands of her and leaves.

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Piper flashes back to a time where she and Alex were very much enmeshed in Kubra’s life. Piper and Alex sit in a pool together, Piper placed upon her lap, Piper’s arms wrapped around Alex’s neck. They kiss and flirt, while Alex’s associates and Kubra joke and laugh.  When Kubra gets an important call, Piper excuses herself to call her father for his birthday. It is then we find out that Piper kept with relationship with Alex a secret, a fact that Alex doesn’t seem to mind much. Secrets are sexy and intense…until they’re not. Piper chats with her dad, all while keeping up the ruse that she and Polly are traveling the world together, like two crazy college kids. She shares a tender moment with her father, who is concerned about her safety. She promises to walk on the well-lit side of the road, not talk to strangers, or jump out of buses, and certainly won’t fall in love with a dark and enigmatic drug dealing lesbian.

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When the flashback dissolves, Alex appears stepping out of an elevator. She’s wearing street clothes, a fact that Piper doesn’t notice right away. Piper tells her former/future love that she lied for her, just like Alex asked. Alex rushes over to the cell and her words come out like a trainwreck. Alex’s lawyer persuaded her to tell the truth. Piper becomes agitated and confused, and notices Alex’s clothes. “Are you getting out?” Piper yells as Alex is pulled farther and father away from her. Alex begs for forgiveness and promises Piper that she will explain, but all Piper can do is assume the worst. “What the fuck did you do Alex!? What the fuck did you do?” Piper manages to scream as a roach with a cigarette tied to its back, scurries by her feet.

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Orange is the New Black is available on Netflix. 

Follow me on Twitter @danapiccoli

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