Leave it to Litchfield to keep us on a toes.
As OITNB creator Jenji Kohan told EW approach behind in Jun of final year, a “nice blonde lady” during a core of Orange was never meant to be a series’ usually focus. Instead, Piper was designed to offer as a “gateway drug”: “We wanted to write stories about all sorts of women and their experiences. But it’s unequivocally tough to sell a uncover about women of opposite colors and opposite ages and opposite socioeconomic backgrounds,” she explained. “This way, we roughly get to hide in these extraordinary characters and extraordinary stories by this white lady going to prison. With any part we try a opposite character.”
The devise went off yet a hitch; via Season 1, Piper remained a executive participation yet began ceding some-more and some-more shade time to a show’s ever-expanding ensemble. We practiced to life in jail a same approach she did: initial by observation a ladies of Litchfield as one-note ancillary characters in a play that was Piper’s life story, afterwards gradually removing to know them as tellurian beings with pasts and multi-faceted personalities. Piper, too, altered along a way, not usually removing worse (“Bitches gots to learn”) yet also divulgence herself to be some-more than a bougie classify she seemed to be in a show’s pilot. By a finish of a initial season, Orange was no longer simply Piper’s uncover — a gateway had been opened, divulgence an garb filled with difficult characters any means of anchoring a series in her possess right.
Which is given it’s so startling to see deteriorate 2 of OITNB start a approach it does: With an part that’s focused totally on Piper, to a ostracism of roughly everybody else we got to know and adore in deteriorate 1. Have Daya and Bennett been found out? Did Pennsatucky get those new teeth? How’s Red adjusting after being nude of her power, and what’s a mood during Litchfield like now that a Latina women are fundamentally using a show? We won’t know a answers to any of these questions until during slightest part 2, that is a flattering confidant pierce for a module that wrapped a initial year with a array of increasingly violent cliffhangers.
Instead, part 1 starts with an definitely removed Piper, who’s left so nuts after 4 weeks in a SHU that she’s portrayal a walls with her aged egg yolks (“I’m job it Thirsty Bird”). Then a uncover isolates her even further, transporting a gateway drug out of unique and holding her on a Kafkaesque tour to an different location. By a finish of final season, we had come to know Litchfield as an makeshift village — a arrange of Springfield-ian tiny city superfluous with quirky residents, despite ones who had all committed sovereign crimes. It never felt like a protected place, accurately — remember that when many of Litchfield’s ladies were fastening over soul-stirring Christmas music, Piper was bustling violence Pennsatucky half to genocide — yet there was still a clarity that on some level, these women upheld or during least understood any other.
But once Piper leaves a relations cocoon that is Litchfield — a multitude that’s mostly matriarchal, on levels both micro (the members of a WAC) and macro (Fig eventually manners a place with a tight, manicured fist) — she’s subjected to a array of sparse and not-so-petty humiliations and degradations, scarcely all during a hands of men. The masculine guards who chaperon her out of unique provide Piper as yet she’s invisible, refusing to answer when she asks where she’s being taken or when she’ll get there; they rivet in uncensored man talk in front of her, shortening a women they know to collections of aesthetically appreciative physique tools (“she’s got that Kunis face, yet not that Kunis ass”); they retaliate Piper for being a “demanding poochie,” giving her a ride bus’s tightest shackles; they even speed her along when she’s relieving herself, perfectionist to hear a heavier urine stream. The many distinguished thing about a male/female energy differential in this part is that it exists even between masculine prisoners and womanlike prisoners; once her Con Air moody goes coed, Piper is harassed by a hitman named Gun (hey, it could be worse — she thinks during initial that he’s a rapist) and, eventually, reduced to giving a guy her unwashed underwear in sell for a favor. Say what we will about Litchfield, yet it’s a small some-more courteous than Chicago’s Metropolitan Detention Center.
Why is Piper so distant from home? At first, she’s assured that her send contingency have something to do with Pennsatucky. Though weeks have upheld given their snowy fight, Piper is clearly still nervous by it – generally given she’s not certain either Tiffany survived a brawl. It’s all she can do to keep from violation down when sharing details of a occurrence with her new Con Air pal. (I’m tempted to call a new impression Ellen, given she looks like a speak uncover horde competence if she spent some time in jail — yet her name is indeed Lolly, and she’s played by a poetic Lori Petty.) The admission stage has Emmy Reel created all over it — yet Taylor Schilling never overplays a element as she digs into a “really, unequivocally bad thing” Chapman did in December. She competence be an emotionally manipulative narcissist, yet shame like this is explanation that Piper’s got a good heart, underneath it all.
As it turns out, Piper’s outing to a Windy City isn’t associated to a beatdown. After days in conditions that make her aged dungeon retard demeanour like a five-star hotel, she eventually learns that Pennsatucky is alive. Piper isn’t being condemned on murder charges; she’s indeed being called as a declare in a hearing of Alex’s aged boss, a drug trafficker named Kubra. (Fun fact: This is a closest a uncover has gotten in awhile to following Piper Kerman’s tangible discourse Orange Is a New Black. Partway by it, a genuine Piper is taken to Oklahoma City, afterwards Chicago to attest opposite her ex-lover’s aged boss. It’s during this tour that she gets reacquainted with a women on whom Alex is based, yet she’s called Nora in a book.)
NEXT: Déjà vu all over again
This information is conveyed, naturally, by Alex herself, who’s also on palm to attest opposite Kubra — and who will evidently always be usually a few stairs forward of Piper. There’s a sniff of laxity around Chapman’s sudden confront with her ex — she and Alex reconnect abruptly and randomly, usually like they did in OITNB‘s pilot. In fact, Piper’s time in Chicago feels like a funhouse counterpart chronicle of her introduction to Litchfield in a lot of ways: Once again, she immediately antagonizes her frightful new cellmates, not by scornful a food they finished yet by stepping on their dear cigarette-running cockroach. Once again, she’s caught off ensure by an sell with another invalid about bed-making. And once again, she’s immediately and aggressively followed by an inconstant associate prisoner, despite one who seems a lot some-more dangerous than a Woman Formerly Known as Crazy Eyes: It’s tough to suppose Suzanne ever satirical off another woman’s tongue and swallowing it. (The face lick finished me wish to write fanfiction about Biter and Huck from Scandal. That’s a normal reaction, right?)
The difference, of course, is that a unequivocally atmosphere in Chicago seems kaleidoscopic with malevolence; even a organisation of women who entice Piper to stay comfortable with them during rec time seem threatening. (And naturally, a quarrel breaks out not prolonged after they extend a invitation.) Then again, Piper — and viewers, by prolongation — felt flattering likewise about Litchfield before we got acclimated to life there. Could it be that if Orange spent a small some-more time in Chicago, we’d eventually get to know and adore these ladies (and men), usually as we did in Litchfield final year?
It’s an open doubt — and one we’ll have to contemplate later, given we haven’t even gotten to Piper’s testimony. Before a trial, Alex urges her ex to perjure herself, observant that it’s a usually approach to strengthen opposite Kubra holding “sick, low revenge” opposite them: “There is no justice, Piper,” she explains. “So we will distortion to strengthen ourselves. Or we will.” The suspicion creates Piper understandably uneasy, nonetheless a episode’s flashback sequences uncover that via a march of her life, she’s gradually grown some-more accustomed to lying: As a nerdy, rule-abiding child, Chapman once hold her father kissing another woman. When she told her mom what she’d seen, Mrs. Chapman responded by transferring her annoy about a infidelity onto Piper herself. Over milkshakes, her dear grandmother explained that bizarre greeting by reciting the categorical bearing of a WASP Code of Conduct: “Sometimes it’s not a matter of right and wrong. It’s about creation a choice that will means a slightest volume of pain to others — gripping things to yourself, sitting on information and feelings, and vital with your secrets.”
So wait — if grown-up Piper sits on a information she knows about Kubra, does that meant she’ll be inflicting a slightest volume of pain on others? Not exactly; yet she competence save herself (and Alex) from a drug dealer’s wrath, she’ll also be causing copiousness of pang by interference probity and preventing a feds from putting him divided for good. Lying in justice — and thereby putting herself during risk for combined time or resentencing on new charges — also means spiteful Larry…especially given his father, who’s also behaving as Piper’s lawyer, is there to hear his client tell a decider that Alex was a adore of her life. Lying about her familiarity with Kubra is usually topping on a cake. Mr. Bloom is troubled with Piper, revelation his onetime destiny daughter-in-law in no capricious terms that after this latest betrayal, he’s finished with her. Piper seems unhappy to see him go, yet she also doesn’t bewail her decision; if prison’s taught her anything, it’s a significance of looking out for array one.
And afterwards Alex walks by Piper’s holding cell… wearing travel clothes. All a atmosphere is immediately sucked out of a room. “I had to tell a truth,” a lady who landed Piper in jail tells her. Wait — Alex is removing out early?! And Piper could have gotten a same deal, if usually she’d listened to her possess instincts instead of her WASP conditioning and her ex-girlfriend’s bad advice? This… is… brilliant. Devious, and terrible, and shocking, and shining — not to discuss an superb approach to get Laura Prepon off a show, during slightest for a small while. (More on that below.)
We’re left with a steer of Piper, totally cracked and disillusioned… until she spies a cockroach steadily carrying a cigarette on a back. So even in a frequently dour star of Orange, miracles are probable each now and then. Maybe Piper can get over this latest reversal by eating a roach smarter than a other roaches and interesting a power.
And now a collection of miscellaneous thoughts, questions, observations, and quotes that I’m going to call The Commissary:
- Waaait a notation — cigarette-running roaches are real?!
- A semi-spoiler: According to Buzzfeed, we can design Laura Prepon to uncover adult in three some-more episodes this season, and as a array unchanging in deteriorate 3. Which means we substantially shouldn’t count on Alex gripping her freedom.
- Hey, Piper’s 33rd birthday is Jun 7! Figures she’d be a Gemini.
- When Piper was initial hauled out of a SHU, we suspicion she competence be taken to a maximum-security jail — and hold out wish that it’d be a same place where Miss Claudette is now incarcerated. Will we see Miss Claudette during all this season, do we think? It doesn’t seem unequivocally likely, generally given a singer who plays her (Michelle Hurst) was in a serious automobile crash progressing this year. (She’s on a highway to recovery, thankfully.)
- This episode, like deteriorate 1′s “Lesbian Request Denied,” was destined by Jodie Foster. Notice any grave similarities between them?
- Who else felt a small chill when Uzo Aduba’s name seemed in a opening credits?
- Today in Prison Ingenuity: The Pee Pad, “two maxis stacked, so they’re like a Maxi-maxi.” Never blink OITNB’s ability to concurrently intruigued and offend you.
- Piper, when Hannibal-Masked Inmate requests a bit of a vaseline Lolly stored in her ear (eww): “Even if we was peaceful to hold her ear glob, and even if we was means to strech opposite a aisle with no ensure noticing, what creates we consider that we could get adult underneath that facade and hold your lips?” Hannibal-Masked Inmate’s expressive response: “F— you, we reticent bitch!”
- Another good impulse from Con-Air: “Well excuse me, Carmen Sandiego.”
- I’m certain there’s no approach to move Spongey behind onto a show, yet we wish to know his whooooole story.
- Inmate Joyce’s favorite cockroaches: Yoda; Gremlin; Fred Savage III.
- The line that competence sum adult Orange improved than any other: “Hello, passengers. We wish to appreciate we for drifting with us today. We know we have a choice in your atmosphere travel… kidding! You have no choice during all, given you’re prisoners…Relax and suffer a in-flight entertainment, that is staring off into space.”