Previously on Orange is the New Black, ‘Lesbian Request Denied’
Poor Piper is patting pee with pads. Say that three times fast! Seriously, Piper is using sanitary napkins to clean up Crazy Eye’s piss as Miss Claudette makes it clear that she is NOT happy with all the nastiness going on in her room. Piper is all, “Um, does it look like this is what I wanted?”
Later, Tricia asks Miss Claudette to bake a cake for her girlfriend, Mercy, who’s getting out soon. Tricia was real impressed with the cake Miss Claudette made for Easter. Miss Claudette basically only bakes for Jesus, and since Mercy hasn’t died for our sins, she tells Tricia to beat it.
To Piper’s dismay, the next day she learns her assigned job in prison is to work in the workshop. She was hoping to do something with teaching. The guy who runs the shop, Luschek, is a bit of an asshole. He gives Piper a broken lamp and a manual and says she can’t leave until she can get the lamp to work. Nice. Luschek has a run-in with Janae, who we know has a fast mouth and bad attitude. He gives her the job of checking out the tools to the other prisoners and making sure they’re all turned in before they leave.
Mercy is giving away all of her crap since she won’t be needing it in the outside world, where Red has already hooked her up with a job. Her ex, Big Boo, is annoyed that she’s giving away a shirt she gave her, but seeing as how Mercy has now moved on to Tricia, she gives zero fucks about Boo’s feelings.
Piper takes a very short lunch break and sits outside with Nicky. She put the screwdriver she was using in her hoodie pocket, and mistakenly leaves the hoodie outside. Ruh roh.
Miss Claudette meets with Healy and learns that there is the possibility of having her case re-opened. She’s not interested. We see via flashback that she came to the country from Haiti as a very young girl and had to work off her travel debt by living in a house for girls and going to work as a maid. The young man who arranges her housing, Batiste, seems to really like her.
A Missing Screw… driver
The day is coming to a close and Luschek realizes there’s a missing screwdriver. He blames Janae who blames him right back. She gets carted off for a thorough search by a female guard while everyone else is patted down by Pornstache, who is super rapey.
Outside, Dayanara and John talk about his new chew habit because he’s trying to quit smoking. He lets her try it and Dayanara ain’t about that chew life. She spits it out and he then uses her earring to help her get the tobacco out of her teeth. It’s really sweet, but kinda gross. Actually, more gross than sweet.
Piper discovers the missing screwdriver in her hoodie pocket and rushes off without telling Alex, Nicky, and Tricia why. That night there’s a mandatory room search and Claudette helps her by stashing the screwdriver in her boiling pot of food. She later warns that Piper better handle that shit cause she don’t want anymore drama up in there.
When Piper is unable to find a place to stash the screwdriver, she settles for putting it under her mattress, but lies to Miss Claudette, telling her it is gone.
Tricia approaches Piper, asking for help preparing her appeal letter. She wants to get out now that her girlfriend, Mercy, is leaving. It doesn’t help that Big Boo keeps planting seeds in Tricia’s head that Mercy is a user and will forget all about her when she gets out. Piper makes no promises, but agrees to look over the paperwork. While she does, later that night, Miss Claudette asks what she’s reading and points out that “hope is a dangerous thing.”
Via flashback, we learn that Miss Claudette eventually ran the home for girls, and though she was strict, she was a lot nicer to the girls than the previous woman was to her when she was child. Batiste comes to visit and introduces her to his new wife, who is young and pretty and kinda bitchy. You can tell that Claudette is crushed.
The next day, Big Boo and others come to Piper’s room to ask if she’ll work on their appeals as well. Miss Claudette kicks them all out.
Stuff and Things
Nicky bonds with Alex in the library. She’s curious about Alex’s connection to Piper, but Alex won’t tell. We see Alex vulnerable for the first time and she admits she did stupid things to end up there and doesn’t really know what her future holds. As she cries on Nicky’s shoulder, I found myself wondering if it’s all an act. We’ll see.
There’s another room check and Piper freaks out because the screwdriver is still under her mattress. Miss Claudette is NOT happy. Surprisingly, Pornstache doesn’t find the screwdriver because it’s gone! Yay!
Not so fast. Miss Claudette tells Piper that’s her second strike. First, Crazy Eyes pissing on her floor and now she has lied to her. Don’t let there be a third, Piper.
Another flashback reveals why Miss Claudette is in prison: She killed a man who had beaten one of her young maids.
At Mercy’s going away party, Big Boo continues to seethe over Mercy’s and Tricia’s relationship even though Red tells her she needs to let that shit go. As Mercy dances with Taystee, Tricia watches, jealous and sad because Mercy is leaving.
Gloria has a nice moment with Alex, who was not invited due to a run-in with Tricia earlier, by the microwave. She tells her that “high school is high school,” referring to the social norms being much the same in prison. This point is driven home as she loudly tells Alex, “Don’t be talking to me, white girl,” but smiles and winks before walking away.
Piper is tricked into revealing her past relationship with Alex when Nicky says that Alex told her Piper was a squirter. “It was just that once and it surprised us both!” Nicky laughs and says she was kidding. Alex is keeping Piper’s secrets.
Love is Not an Excuse
Miss Claudette catches Tricia trying to plant drugs in Mercy’s belongings so that she’ll be forced to stay. Miss Claudette tells her she has no right to mess with that girl’s life like that. “But I love her,” Tricia says.
“Love is not an excuse.”
Later, John gives Miss Claudette her mail. It’s a letter from Batiste saying that his wife has died and he’s coming to America. He wants to see her. She goes to see Healy and says she has changed her mind: she’s interested in reopening her case.
Luschek sneaks in a screwdriver from Home Depot and puts it in the spot of the missing one. Piper knows it’s not the original, but is just happy she’s in the clear.
While I’m sure most everyone, including me, thought that Big Boo took the screwdriver to kill either Tricia or Mercy, we were only half right. She took it to use as a masturbation tool. Ain’t nobody gonna want that thing back after that!
Mercy has a tear-filled goodbye with Tricia, and even Big Boo. Everyone watches, including Miss Claudette who has such a look of hope on her face.