“Orange is the New Black” recap (2.3): Hugs Can Be Deceiving

It’s new inmate day at Litchfield, and Morello leads the little fishies around, showing them their new, less than impressive surroundings. Big Boo is there to scope out a future prison wife, and sets her eyes on a fresh faced inmate. Poussey, Flacca, Black Cindy and Boo get a good laugh in at their expense but shit gets real when a familiar face enters the hall. Piper Chapman is back, and she’s got a new swagger y’all. The kind of swagger that says, “I will gut you with a plastic spoon if you touch my pudding.” The women are shocked and awed. Black Cindy even makes the sign of the cross. No one knows what to say as Piper silently floats on by.

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In the bathroom, Red is shaving her own legs. Her own legs, people! How the mighty have fallen. From the other side of the room, she hears a woman quietly singing in the shower. When Red peeks her head around the corner, she sees Vee soaping up. Red quickly retreats, and the look on her face tells us that there is history between the two women. One that doesn’t bear repeating.

In the rec room, Black Cindy, Poussey, Taystee, Watson are playing a spirited game of Celebrity, while Suzanne “Crazy Eyes” keeps time. Poussey and Taystee dominate the match easily, speaking a language that only best friends can. Suzanne asks to take a break from clock duty to join in, but the women refuse. Suzanne flipped out the last time they included her and now even the regal game of Jenga has been sullied. Suzanne takes the disappointment and pushes it back down to wherever she’s been storing it all these years.

Flashback to Suzanne as just a wee butterfly flitting about the hospital where her mother has just given birth. Her father has brought her to meet her little sister for the first time. Suzanne comments that the baby looks just like her mom and dad, and her mother tells her that’s because they made her. (If you recall from Season 1, Suzanne’s parents are a Caucasian couple.) Suzanne asks to hold the baby, and they allow it with a little hesitation. See, Suzanne is already mighty intense, even at the age of five or six. When her father takes the baby from her arms, Suzanne has a tantrum. She is calmed by a kindly nurse, who talks sweetly to her and offers to fix her hair. It’s where Suzanne picks up her signature look.

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Morello leads Piper and the new recruits back to the same cell Piper was first assigned when she arrived at Litchfield. This time, it brings her comfort instead of despair. She runs over and kisses Miss Rosa on the cheek, and hugs and open armed Anita. She teases Piper about her run in with Pennsatucky. New inmate, Brook Soso is taken aback when she hears that Piper is a lover and a fighter. Morello assigns Brook to the bunk above Piper, and hands her some soap and a toothbrush because “she doesn’t look full Asian.” Ah Morello, your beauty is only surpassed by your relentless racism. It ain’t cute, kid. Morello hands Piper the same toiletries and the two share a tender little moment of reunion. When Vee asks for a toothbrush and soap as well, Morello pretends like she’s fresh out. “One of the black girls didn’t come around when you got in.” Vee stares her down with the intensity of a thousand fiery suns, but Morello is non-plussed.

Pennsatucky is back in her house of worship: the laundry room. She’s all smiles because now she has Taryn Manning’s teeth and all is beautiful and right with the world. Angie and Leanne are not quite feeling the love however. They won’t even acknowledge her new teeth. Pennsatucky accuses them of being jealous, and lashes back at them. She wants something better than folding nasty panties all day long. A higher calling, only this time with fewer delusions of grandeur.

In Taystee and Suzanne’s bunk, Suzanne is making all sorts of strange noises and annoying the shit out of her roomie. Suzanne reminds Taystee that she was adopted, and Taystee declares that she wasn’t, so fuck all. Enter Vee, who questions Taystee’s response. It’s the first time they’ve spoken since Vee’s arrival. Suzanne starts talking but Vee tells her not to interrupt, which shuts Suzanne right up. Taystee is angry with Vee because when Taystee got out of prison a few months back, she went to find Vee, who was in the wind. Taystee tells Vee that she’s pretty good at looking out for her own ass, too bad she wasn’t there when Taystee needed her. Taystee walks out, leaving Vee and Suzanne alone. Suzanne tries to give Vee her best advice to deal with hurt feelings. (Just keep buffing.) Vee perks up when she hears this and asks Suzanne is she’s on maintenance. She is indeed, buffer extraordinaire. Suzanne realized at that moment that she has no idea who this woman is. Vee introduces herself then boops Suzanne right on the nose like a little girl and calls her Suzanne, not Crazy Eyes like everyone else. This delights Suzanne to no end.

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