Since she can’t attend the funeral, Bea accepts a visit from Harry and makes all the arrangements. She also learned that Debbie had a boyfriend named “Brayden,” which for some reason both she and Harry think is just a precious little discovery, as opposed to the probable cause of her death.
Out in the yard, Bea is approached by Simone, who, you will recall, was stomping on Bea’s face only weeks ago. But now she just wants to offer her condolences and give Bea some gossip magazines to take her mind off things. Jacs witnesses this exchange from the shadows and starts to fear that her plan may be backfiring. Far from sensing weakness and destroying her, the women now rally around Bea even more.
Even Erica feels the pressure, and finally agrees to let Bea attend Debbie’s funeral. But at the last second, Derek refuses to sign off on it, just to punish Erica for refusing to sleep with him. And there’s this moment in the yard when Bea is all dressed up in her civilian clothes, and thinks she’s about to leave, and gives Erica a nod of gratitude. And Erica looks back, knowing she’s about to crush this woman. It’s shot in slow motion, which has the potential to feel really melodramatic, but it actually serves to highlight a moment in which seismic, albeit silent changes occur. Because when she finds out she can’t even say goodbye to her daughter, the Bea that we have known up until now dies.
But the funny thing about spiritual is that we keep walking around and, most of the time no one even notices that we’ve already gone. That night, Bea collects all her pictures of Debbie and tries to remember her at her happiest and most innocent, as if by forming a clear enough picture of her, it might become her destination when she leaves this world.
Thankfully, Bea’s suicide attempt wakes up Liz, who recruits the rest of the cell block to help her down from her noose. Afterwards, Liz tells her to hang in there, and that she will find joy again. Bea counters that she doesn’t want to find joy, because every smile from here on out would be a betrayal of Debbie’s memory. So Liz asks her what Debbie would want, and since that is the question Bea has asked herself for years, it is enough to keep her hanging on to life.
Trying for a late-game comeback in the Decency Competition is Fletch, who explains to Vera that the reason he was such a cad the other night was that Bea’s trauma reminded him of the senseless suffering and death he witnessed as a soldier. That’s valid, but then he goes and blows all his points by agreeing to meet up with Derek to try and steal Erica’s job. Which, no. Your morally simplistic, legalistic approach to the world is one thing, but if you are the reason Erica leaves next season then you are on the shit list forever, Fletch.
Out in the yard, the women hold a memorial in Bea’s honor. Even Erica attends.
Next week: EVERYTHING HAPPENS. No kidding, like, there are twists and turns and KISSES. THERE ARE KISSES.