“Orange is the New Black” recap (1.2): “Tit Punch”

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Get ready for a corker of an episode kids. There’s good acting all around in Orange is the New Black, but it’s time to hit your knees and show a little love for Kate Mulgrew. Damn, she’s good.

Red’s Flashback!

We’re in the restaurant/bakery that Red runs with her husband. He wants her to go over and meet some Important Russian Ladies, and – Whoa! – Red is actually nervous, looking at their flashy watches and jewelry. She doesn’t want to go over.

Prison kitchen, today!

Red is firmly in charge, as she was meant to be.  We’re reminded that Red served Chapman a tampon for breakfast. Don’t you feel better about your oatmeal?

Red, Big Boo, and Gina talk about Piper and the Tampon.Image Courtesy of Netflix. Photo by Barbara Nitke.

Office!

Chapman goes to see Healy. She says she needs to go to a new prison, which goes over about as well as you think it would. Healy’s preoccupation is becoming clearer – he immediately asks “Did someone try to engage with you… Sexually?” and whips out a pen for a complaint form. Chapman wises up and says everything is just great.

Orientation!

Alex is there. Chapman chooses a broken chair over sitting next to her.  There’s a hilarious intro video, sort of like the airplane video that explains seat belts, but with more makeup and big hair.  Mean mustache guard talks about a copper pipe and a shiv in a creepy/suggestive/gross way, accidentally giving the inmates weapons manufacturing tips as he tries to be macho. The suicide counselor is not very good at it. Not-Nice Phone Guy is also a bit of a racist. Natalie Figueroa, the warden’s assistant, says she’ll visit a lot and help the inmates with their needs as women, then immediately brushes off a question from Diaz and zooms out so fast she suctions the door after her.

oitnbUselessWardenImage Courtesy of Netflix. Photo by Barbara Nitke.

Dining hall!

Red’s assistants still won’t let Chapman have any food, and Dickhead Mustache Guard won’t let her leave the dining hall til lunch is over. And yes, he knows she’s being starved out. Apparently the prison officials think a little Lord of the Flies helps keep things running smoothly. Chapman looks for a place to sit and finally another inmate eagerly pats the bench next to her. Morello pulls Chapman away, calling the other woman “Crazy Eyes.” Chapman’s tablemates are sympathetic, but sure as hell will not be feeding her. Chapman hits a level of Desperation Perky and tells her tablemates she’ll apologize to Red, easy as pie. Who could fail to see reason? We see a brief shot of Alex with no place to sit.

Laundry!

Diaz walks in to see her mom, who greeted Diaz yesterday by smacking her. Diaz is confronted by another woman who claims to be Mom’s daughter. Hmm. Also? Diaz and Mom don’t get along so great. Mom makes fun of Diaz and New Sis calls her “puta.” Mom refuses to give Diaz any extra khakis, and says not to try for them too soon – she’ll be “old news” as soon as she’s out of her newbie orange jumpsuit. A girl in the laundry room kissyfaces Diaz as she goes out.

Library!

Another inmate (Who, after looking her up, I’ve finally figured out is Taystee. Please, Orange Is the New Black – say people’s names!) is whispering gossip, passing along rumors about what Chapman said to Red and the starve-out. We reverse the shot and whoa – she’s actually ratting to Healy. Taystee gets candy for her trouble.

Shower area, I think?

Red listens to an aria and reads as another woman shaves her legs. And toes. Awesome. Chapman comes in. She apologizes lavishly and tries the old “You and I are not so different” gambit. You know what you can trade an apology for in prison? Give yourself an Attagirl if you guessed “nothing.” I’d give you a gold star for that, but as we’ve established, apologies are worthless here. Red explains that in prison, you’re weak the moment people start thinking you’re weak. And that will not be happening. Chapman wonders what the hell she’s supposed to do, and is dismissed.

oitnb_ChapmansScrodImage Courtesy of Netflix. Photo by Barbara Nitke.

Recreation area! Ice cream fight! Or, rather, a fight over some ice cream. A King Cone, to be precise. Taystee is the aggrieved party. The cone hits floor, and Chapman gives some serious thought to eating it.

Lights out!

Nichols (Hiiiii, Nichols!) Happily scarfs snacks right in front of Chapman. Nichols says she’d give Chapman a pretzel, but the walls have eyes. So no. Mama Rose says the way to settle this is to have a good old-fashioned brawl. Apparently she lost one with Red years ago. Mama Rose then notes that she’s glad she has cancer, because “no one fucks with cancer.” Goodnight!

Flashback!

Piper tries to talk Larry into doing the Master Cleanse and deliberately starve themselves. Larry isn’t into it because they’re already clean-eating Whole Foods organaballs. Piper guilts him into going along. Starvation karma is a bitch, Piper.

Visiting day!

Larry is here. Good boy, Larry! The visitation room guard is the same one who made Chapman spread her cheeks and cough a few days ago. She is not a lady who leaps to be helpful. There’s a scene of the inmates crowding and cheering – at first it looks like it’s for Chapman’s Big Brawl, but it’s actually the women crowding around a window to see their loved ones come in to the main yard. Aww. Diaz asks Bennett, the nice guard, for some gum. He says he can’t give her any because it would look like he liked her. She replies “Don’t you?” Nice game, Diaz.

Visiting room!

Larry compliments Chapman on her awesome model-cheekbone looks and she explains that she hasn’t eaten since Wednesday. She says the only way she’s going to get food is to fight a Russian lady with a bad back, and segues into freaking out. The guard yells, “No touching!” and we all have an Arrested Development moment. It would be nice if we could complete that moment with an ice cream sandwich, but the vending machines are broken. Chapman gets all freakball paranoid and says Red must be doing it somehow. Larry says her money will come through soon and she’ll be able to buy candy at the commissary. Hello, awkwardness! Alex is in the visiting room with a girlfriend. Chapman asks Larry to not watch Mad Men until she gets out so they can marathon it together while eating delicious takeout. Larry says of course yes. Which is good, because it’s best to end things on a good note and visiting hours (minutes) are over. The inmates get their going-out hugs and Alex winks at Chapman over her girlfriend’s shoulder. Do not have a drug runner girlfriend.

Piper and Larry reunite under Thompson's watchImage Courtesy of Netflix. Photo by Barbara Nitke

Hot boi extra walks by being hot. She has absolutely no relevance to the plot, but I’d hate for you to miss her. I have your back that way. That’ll be three soaps and a King Cone. As the visitors leave, an inmate takes the Out of Order sign off the vending machines, plugs them back in, and mouths “Sorry” to Chapman. Daaaamn. Do not mess with Red. Red’s cell Red sleeps under a knit blanket. A worried kitchen helper wakes Red up and tells her Betty is dead. The kitchen staff gather around mournfully; this is a big deal. Surprise! Betty is a freezer. The repairman tells Nichols, (Hiiii, Nichols!), who is a junkie, that the freon gives a nice high just like crack but without the migraines. Has he not worked in a prison before? The hell? Nichols exchanges a look with the woman who turned off the vending machines.

oitnb_HiNicholsImage Courtesy of Netflix. Photo by Barbara Nitke.

The kitchen staff are freaking out trying to unload the freezer – Holy yuck, what kind of animal was that? – and Chapman comes in and tells Red to hit her so they can solve this. OH, MY GOD, RED IS TERRIFYING. It’s like she’s suddenly a rabid werecat whose kittens are being threatened. She snarl-hisses that this will not be a temporary punishment – Chapman will be leaving this prison as a skeleton. Red finishes their exchange with “Now march your Yuppie ass out of my kitchen,” which is a phrase I will be using at the earliest opportunity, whether I am in a kitchen or not.

The freezer is broken, Red Shames Piper. Sparks flyImage Courtesy of Netflix. Photo by Barbara Nitke.

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