Which feelings would you add to the Feelings Jar?
Superstorm Wanda is on the way, and the hunger strike is in full effect. Soso wrangled Yoga Jones, Leanne, and Angie and into her struggle, and things are not going well. Yoga J is particularly snippy without food in her stomach, but you cannot blame an emm-effer — prison food looks like nasty business, but hunger pangs are REAL. Everyone wants to know why Sister Jane, the ultimate activist, hasn’t joined the struggle, and in this week’s backstory, we get to see why! It turns out she was tricked into the life of activism when she was a young nun in the 1960s; another young nun told her it was cool to go to a rally in Washington when it really was not, but it set her on a path of righteousness. She’s trying to be humble so Jesus will finally speak to her, but Jesus is too busy feeding Kanye West’s ego to take notice of this one little nun. It’s like a full-time job, sister! He hasn’t spoken to anyone else for years.
Figueroa is trying to organize a concert to generate some good PR for the prison, because that’s not an oxymoron or anything. The names she comes up with are atrocious — Rock Against Rape? Rape and Roll? As much as Daya and Bennett are ghosts, I feel like Fig is a fever dream. For Caputo’s role in helping her out, he gets the B-dorm bathrooms fixed and a bunch of new riot gear, for “if someone is raped and then decides to riot.” Fig, you have such a fleeting grasp on your job that I can’t wait until you flame out in the most spectacular fashion.
When Caputo finds out about the hunger strike in the Big House Bugle, he loses it, but shit gets real when Sister Jane brings up the illegality of compassionate release. GOOD. Someone needs to be put on notice about what they did to Jimmy.
Daya and Bennett (R.I.P.) have a tense, awkward conversation in the hallway , but it takes so much energy to fight when you’re a ghost. Daya ends up crying to her mom, afraid that her child will end up without a father; Aleida doesn’t have good advice, only encouraging Daya to think of the government payday this baby will bring her. Money doesn’t exist in the ethereal realm, so in the end it’s just cruel of Aleida to lead Daya on like that.
When Piper let Soso put her hunger-strike demands in the Big House Bugle, it caused a world of hurt. Piper asked Healy to check the page, but he’s so mesmerized with his ad for a Safe Place that he okays the printing without even noticing the hunger-strike demands. It turns out his mother had electroshock therapy to treat hysteria? Healy’s background speaks volumes sometimes. Piper puts her feelings of gratefulness in the Feelings Jar, adds Alex to her call list, and moves along.
Red can’t move along — she’s on the rampage, trying to find the person who sold her out. When Nicky drags her to the bathroom, Black Cindy tells her that it was Boo; the Family confronts Boo, and then they kick her out. Red just got her family back, but this was the ultimate betrayal, and Boo had to go. She thought Vee would take her in, but Vee said, “I don’t like snitches,” and cast her adrift on a sea of tears.
The ad worked — people actually show up for the Safe Place this time, but as soon as Suzanne walks in, everyone stops talking. She visibly cools the room, extending her power as Vee’s guard-dog to her interactions with everyone else. The way Suzanne acts around Vee is the saddest development all season; Vee knew precisely how to manipulate her, and took full advantage of the fact that everyone else took her for granted. Poussey gets prolific when challenging Healy about how hard it is to share, saying, “What if feeling our feelings makes it impossible to survive in here?” The inmates need a certain amount of insulation from their feelings, because depression would surely overwhelm everything else, and no amount of talking sticks and Feelings Jars would help. Watson is the perfect example of that; when she gets back from SHU, she’s raw and animalistic, lashing out at any- and everyone, no longer able to trust.
Vee is still terrorizing Poussey; she stands up for herself, but who is going to help her, really? How is she going to defend herself in the long term? When Taystee speaks up about Poussey, Vee tells her that Poussey is her problem now. Is she going to intentionally make things difficult so that Taystee fails?
Piper finally talks to Alex about what happened in Chicago; turns out Alex was offered a plea deal for ratting out Kubra since her testimony would put him away for sure. It didn’t, and now he’s out of jail and looking for her. She’s holed up in an apartment in Queens, petrified, but unable to leave the state because of the terms of her parole. Piper goes immediately to the selfish (“So I was the only one to go to jail?”), but then registers how frightening this situation is and how much danger Alex is in.
Sister Jane whips the hunger-strikers into shape, even after they lose Angie and Leanne to pizza. It turns out she was excommunicated for being too much of a narcissist, but she really does have the spirit of activism deep within her despite her need for validation. Her incessant need to keep score might come in handy in the Litch, but Figueroa’s need to be the baddest bitch on wheels trumps everything. She waltzes through the rec room one day, takes away all of their signmaking materials, cancels the Bugle, just like that. When Sister Jane faints, Caputo has her wheeled to medical and then starts the process of force-feeding her while she screams, entirely against her will. God, that was painful to watch.
The bad-news train keeps rolling when Piper finds out she’s being transferred to Virginia. Healy explains that it’s “not punitive” or about the Bugle, just a shuffling due to overpopulation. Piper is worried that she’s going to miss Alex, and she’s worried about leaving the Litch.
When Red stops coming to the shed, Taslitz and the other Golden Girls decide the only course of action is to kill Vee. Grandma, no! Taslitz gets out a shiv in the hallway and stabs a woman with big, Vee-like hair … but it’s not Vee. Vee is watching the whole thing go down, and now she knows the Golden Girls have a hit out on her. Would Vee kill your grandma? Probably, guys. Probably.
OUT IN THE YARD
- Polly and Larry told Pete about their affair, and Pete became a national hero by PUNCHING LARRY IN THE FACE. Do you actually think Larry is ready to be a dad? I thought they were just fucking, not turning this into a relationship.
- “History will remember you for this, though I still don’t trust you personally.” Soso, keepin’ it real with Piper.
- “I can’t believe it — I fell in with the bad nuns!”
- We’re all going to try Edward Pizzahands, right? “We’re just smelling it! We’re just licking it!”
- “Humility is a virtue.”
- “One of the highest; people in power are always saying so.” I love you, Yoga Jones!