One of the things that I find so special about Orange is the New Black is its ability to surprise me. To introduce me to characters I didn’t really think about before, and turn them into characters that beguile me and break my heart. Such a character is Miss Rosa. We see Rosa in Mr. Healy’s office, as he attempts to counsel her. Key word: attempts. She is in need of an operation to increase her chances at surviving her cancer, but the DOC isn’t willing to pay for it. Rosa knows that this is a death sentence. As Healy tries unsuccessfully to comfort her, she calls him out on the truth of his particular circumstances. He’s useless.
Flashback to the late seventies where we find out the Miss Rosa was once a stone fox! She’s part of a merry band of back robbers, including her boyfriend Marco who gifts her a pistol before her first job. Before they head into the bank, she and Marco kiss. “We kiss before, we kiss again after,” he tells her before planting one on her. The robbery goes smoothly enough until on the way out, Rosa comes face to face with a security guard. She fires her gun, but it’s not loaded. Marco pushes her out of harm’s way but is hit himself by the guard’s bullet. In the car, Marco shows Rosa the money and has her smell all of its inky glory. Marco also starts to fade away from his injuries, kissing Rosa before dying in her arms.
Red walks into her greenhouse to find Caputo inspecting her plants. He’s impressed by her green thumb and announces that he will be taking a little section of the garden for his own plants. (Don’t you have a house or something?!) Red tries to convince him to let her do the planting but Caputo insists on joining the garden club. Little does he know it’s a smuggling club as well.
In the laundry room, leave it to Soso to find gratifying work in washing prison panties. Angie and Leanne take this opportunity to casually mention the new deodorant available at the commissary. You know, ahem, for your stinky pits. Soso doesn’t catch their drift, informing them how toxic antiperspirant is. Pennsatucky takes the opportunity to tell Soso the what-what. “You smell like a fucking turtle tank, go take a fucking shower.” Friends tell each other the truth, according to Tucky.
Piper sits down with Freida and Taslitz as they tend to their knitting and talk about poor Jimmie. Turns out they had been hiding the extent of Jimmie’s dementia for years and they don’t have much hope for her survival on the outside. Piper tells them about her dying grandmother and how she taught Piper to knit. Also how her mother sold her knitted blanket at a garage sale for a quarter. “Your mom sounds like a twat,” Taslitz replies in her deadpan way. Piper reminisces about her Nana, who is quite the amazing lady. “Go out and eat the world, Piper,” her grandmother used to tell her. Healy interrupts them and pulls Piper out into the hall. Turns out, he may not be completely useless after all. Healy pulled a few strings and got Piper furlough. She’s shocked beyond belief, but thankful.
In the hall, CO Fisher and Luschek are having a bit of a lovers quarrel while Caputo listens in. They are all distracted by a very angry Fig, hobbling down the hall, chewing gum stuck to the bottom of her Louboutins. Fig throws down the gauntlet, naming various infractions that she sees amongst the inmates, and chastising Caputo and Fisher for not doing anything about it. Fisher runs off to hand out some SHOTS while Fig shames Caputo for his crush on the young CO. As Fig leaves, she crosses paths with Soso and instructs Caputo to make sure she takes a shower.
In the cafeteria, while Daya and Ruiz discuss options for when the baby is born (i.e. smuggling the little one out in Bennett’s fake leg), Vee spies Red and Gloria conspiring.
At the hospital, Rosa and her young fellow patient Yusef sit in chemo together. Rosa impresses Bucketboy (which is better than Shitpot) with her casing abilities. He wants in and they plan a heist to steal the mean, drunk nurse’s wallet. Rosa figures, why the hell not. Having the adrenaline of a heist coursing through her veins beats the chemo pumping through them any day.
Flashback to young Rosa who is now the leader of the bank robbers. She’s moved on to dating Andy, the getaway driver. She’s also masterful at casing the locations they plan to rob. After putting her fellow robber in check for doubting her abilities, she kisses Andy before the heist. “We kiss before, and we kiss again after,” she said, echoing Marco’s words. It’s good luck, she believes. While the robbery is a success, Andy suddenly has a heart attack during the getaway. Rosa weeps for him but leaves his body as they flee from the police.