So, in addition to this being a Joan episode, it’s also a Doreen episode, because she is now so pregnant she resembles the Death Star. Jess moves into H Block to be closer to Dor, although Doreen wisely insists that she at least stay in a separate cell. Our comment section poll last week revealed that fully 100% of your believe that Jess is evil and would steal Doreen’s baby right out of her vagina given half a chance. That may be the case, but in the meantime, she is a fierce advocate for Doreen’s well-being, and petitions everyone from Officer Miles to the Prime Minister for Doreen’s right to some goddamn chocolate ice cream.
Then there’s some business where everyone makes it very clear that Liz is on her last strike, and if she fails to stay sober and repair her relationship with Sophie, no one will watch her back anymore.
When Franky arrives at her usual therapy session, she knows something is amiss when Bridget requests that she leave the door open, lest anyone get the (right) wrong idea. She informs Franky that they have to stop meeting like this, before it destroys Bridget’s reputation and Franky’s chance at parole.
Franky: This is not about my interests. This isn’t even about the rumors. It’s about what I told you. You pushed and pushed for me to open up and now that I have, you don’t know what the fuck to do with me.
And then, her voice shaking with the effort of restraining her tears, she storms from the room, convinced all over again that she’s damaged goods.
We then cut to Joan’s fencing practice, which is easily the laziest metaphor on this show, but this week it gets a little better since lo and behold: the fencing instructor speaks. What he literally says, almost verbatim, is “conceal, don’t feel.” Feelings make you weak, according to Evil Syrio Forel, and in an enemy, they are merely a weakness to be exploited.
Joan isn’t so sure about that, so that evening she casts her mind back to the last time she had a feeling: her doomed love for Jianna Riley, deceased prisoner. In an act of transference so tragic it is nearly comic (or perhaps the reverse) Joan elects to transfer her feelings for Jianna to the inmate who most closely resembles her: Doreen. She sneaks her into the kitchen for some late-night chocolate chip ice cream. It would be a sweet moment, if it didn’t take place with film noir lighting and if Joan didn’t accidentally call Doreen Jianna.
The next day, Doreen reports this strange encounter to Bea, who is very interested in this Jianna person as a possible chink in The Freak’s armor. She tasks Doreen with finding out who Jianna was and what she meant to Joan, an assignment that may very well help Bea, but will almost certainly kill Dor. It’s like if Little Orphan Annie decided to play the Game of Thrones.
Wait, WHAT HAPPENS TO NED STARK?
While Bea moves Doreen into play with her left hand, she tries to learn more about her henchman with her Red Right Hand. She invites Kaz Proctor back to the prison.
I STARTED A WEBCOMIC ABOUT US PLEASE READ IT AND LOVE ME.
Kaz: Thank you so much for having me back, and I just want to let you know I have nothing to do with those Red Right Hand crazies.
Bea: Well, I actually need their help.
Kaz: In that case, I am totally the boss of the Red Right Hand, and we are your humble servants, Khaleesi.
Bea: Okay, see this pencil drawing of a man with a head like a chewed-on eraser? I need you to find him.
Kaz: IT SHALL BE DONE. I SHALL SERVE YOU HIS HEART ON A PLATTER MADE FROM HIS PELVIS.
Bea: No—no, you won’t. Just tell me who he is.
Kaz: Anything for you, Bea. You’re my hero.
Bea: That’s nice. I’m sure you’re a hero too.