“Orange is the New Black” recap (2.13): We Have Manners. We’re Polite.

 
 

It’s time to break out the prison hooch and raise a glass to the final episode of the second season. Not in a celebratory mood however, are the SIS officers who have come to Litchfield to find out why the hell everything has gone to shit as of late. Caputo tries to step in and be a big shot but the investigators only report in to Fig, so Caputo stands there like a sad puppy without a bone.

Cindy and Watson are charged with cleaning the supply room after the storm and between discussing the Wire and their mommy issues, talk turns to the incident with Red. As they discuss knowing who is responsible and what they will say when asked, Vee drops in. I swear that woman is everywhere! She fully admits to the girls that she’s the one who slocked Red, but here is the kicker: She instructs them to tell the investigators that they suspect that it was Suzanne. Damn, Vee, you are cold as ice! Cindy and Watson don’t feel comfortable with the situation but Vee doesn’t give a shit. Vee isn’t even worried that Red will turn her in. What’s done is done and Suzanne is to take the fall. Plus, you never know who might get a slocket to the head next time, Vee warns.

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The investigators haul the inmates in one by one to talk about Red’s attack. Morello is first and tells them that things got intense when Vee came around. Nicky is more than a little pissed that they are even going along with this charade when everyone knows that it was Vee that nearly killed Red. Flacca and Maritza have no clue but place their bets that it was Suzanne, on account of the pie throwing and crazy eyes. Rosa keeps it real. “That Vee, she’s a very rude person. I don’t like rude.” When it’s Cindy and Warren’s turn, they say what they’ve been ordered to but are both terribly conflicted.

Red, who is very much alive but whose face looks like a side of beef, lies to the investigators claiming she never saw her attacker. Sr. Ingalls, who is in the bed next to her, knows full well that Red is covering for someone.

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Caputo heads to the SHU where Piper has spent the last day since he found her stealing some of Fig’s files. He questions Piper about a possible investigation into Fig, but Piper stays mum. Piper knows she has the upper hand, and uses it to pull at Caputo’s strings. They both know Fig is dirty, so what’s he going to do about it? Piper confesses that she was planning to use the files to take Fig down, and Caputo wants to know how. Piper offers to give him the goods that he needs if he promises to stop her transfer.

Armed with evidence and a whole lot of hubris, Caputo busts into Fig’s office to confront her. His glee is tampered when he sees her sitting on the floor, crying…in slacks! Her destruction can wait for a few minutes, so he attempts to comfort her. She tells him about her husband’s affair with Gavin, which brings a smirk to his face. He tries to make her feel better by reminding her that even though she is a terrible human being, she’s still super hot. He then proceeds to let her know that he knows about the fraud and embezzlement. Surprise! Then things turn icky. He narrows his eyes at her and says, “You’ve been a bad girl. If I was your daddy I’d spank you real good.“ He explains that he’s going to ruin her so she orders him out, but immediately calls him back. He tells her to suck his dick and get this…she fucking does.

One of the through lines of Orange is the New Black has always been about power. Who has it, who doesn’t, what are you willing to give to get it? Yet, through all the power plays and machinations and scheming, this scene is wildly unsettling. When I first watched, it felt out of place. Like an ill-fitting piece to this brilliant puzzle. I thought about it for a long time, and I think I figured out why it made me so angry. Fig does what many of us wish we could. She’s risen to the top, she’s leaned the fuck in. She’s a woman in charge and even though she’s a heartless monster most of the time, there is something thrilling about seeing a woman in control. Her fall from grace at the hands of a small, spiteful man who thinks nothing of sticking his dick in her vulnerable mouth, is inciting. It’s supposed to be. Caputo thinks he’s a “good guy” but he’s not. Even Healy attempts to look inward once in a while. Caputo is always looking out. Man, fuck that guy.

Anyway, after Fig goes down on Caputo, she’s under the assumption that her troubles will go away. Caputo zips his pants and reveals that he’s already turned her in, making the whole thing feel even rapey-er. To make matters worse, he kisses her on the head as he leaves.

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Back in the medical ward, Sr. Ingalls asks Red why she didn’t turn Vee in. Red knows all too well what a brilliant manipulator Vee is and how easily she could get herself out of it. Red’s got her own way of handling things.

When Piper gets back to her bunk, Nicky begs her to confirm her masturbatory Fig fantasies involving a secret vibrator hidden in her desk. Piper shoots down that dream real quick when she reveals all the found were candy bar wrappers and files. Piper tells Nicky about her cancelled transfer but Nicky is more focused on Red’s condition. Nicky fights back tears as she talks about Red’s near death assault and the joke of an investigation they launched about it. Piper changes the subject and smiles when she tells Nicky that Alex is coming to visit. Nicky looks at her with disbelief. “Jesus, Chapman, you need to figure out what the fuck you want.” Preach. Nicky gets all worked up about Piper’s mono-focused view of the world, and suggests that she pull her head out of her ass and send some prayers Red’s way.

Ruiz is sobbing into the beefaroni when Caputo comes into the kitchen to secretly inform Bennett that he’s temporarily in charge now that Fig is out. He tells Bennett that the next few weeks have to go especially well since the warden will be testing his ability to lead. As his first act as Head Dick in Charge, he’s actually doing something decent. He cancels all of the transfers and sends Bennett to inform an elated Ruiz.

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In the cafeteria, Taystee and Poussey sit next to each other once again. Poussey wants to do a little lesbian processing but Taystee has had enough feelings talk to last a lifetime. So instead, they turn to Amanda and MaKenzie to help them out. There is once again balance in the world. As Vee sits alone at her table, Nicky, with Morello at her side, takes the opportunity to confront her for her crimes against Red. When Cindy and Watson step in, Nicky reminds them that only sheep would unquestionably follow a psychopath. Vee tries to act as if she’s above it all and asks them to leave her to eat her meal in peace. “May you never have a minute of peace,” Morello pipes in, her eyes steely and calm. Damn girl. I didn’t know you had it in you. When Vee leaves, Cindy and Watson make their way to Poussey and Taystee’s table. Poussey questions why they have thrown Suzanne under the bus, and reminds them that one day, they could suffer the same fate. When Cindy and Watson say they don’t want to ruin a good thing, Poussey and Taystee leave them to deal with their consciences.

Healy sets up for Safe Space (with Russian cookies and everything), but after a stabbing and a slocking, the ladies of Litch aren’t exactly feeling safe and no one shows. He angrily throws away the Safe Space sign and leaves. Luckily for Leanne, he also leaves the cookies. As Healy heads back to his office, he walks by Sophia’s salon, where Pennsatucky sits about to go through lesbian initiation with Big Boo. Her first alternative lifestyle haircut. (I remember my first. My senior year, I cut my chestnut tresses into a chin length bob, much to the dismay of my cheerleader girlfriend. I’d never felt more free. Um, sorry, enough about me!) Big Boo informs Pennsatucky that she’s got to go above the ears or it doesn’t count. Just them, Healy interrupts them to let Pennsatucky know that he’s cancelling Safe Space.

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