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Orange Is the New Black Season 2, Episode 3 Recap: Can I Hold the Miracle?

Piper is back in Litchfield. She’s happy to be out of Chicago, but not necessarily happy to be back. But this is the episode where we finally get to peek into Suzanne’s background! Finally!

The biggest pain in Piper’s ass is new inmate Brooke Soso, who talks like the Micro Machines guy about equally inane topics. She thought prison would be a Lilith Fair-style jamboree, and the harsh reality of loneliness and territoriality is smacking her in the face with a sweaty palm. When Soso sits on Piper’s bed to “set her intentions for the day,” Piper fah-reaks out on her, saying, “No one has a FUCKING CLUE what you are talking about, ever. We are not friends. Not your new safety blanket. Not your new Meadow. I am a lone wolf, and a vicious one — don’t make me rip your throat out with my teeth.”

DAMN, SON! It’s like Pet Sematary – Piper came back wrong.

Suzanne’s life isn’t necessarily sad, just troubling. Her mother is fierce about protecting her; when she dropped her off at the sleepover party her little sister was attending and the mother of the house gave her the side eye, she launched into a tirade about racism and giving undervalued kids a chance. Her parents want her to have everything; so why are they so obtuse when it comes to her obvious mental illness? We didn’t dive into her backstory too much, so it’s possible that they’ll address it (and last season when they visited her they asked if she was on her meds), but they also seemed to let her suffer. She clearly didn’t want to sing that song at graduation, and it resulted in an epic, face-slapping nightmare that could have been avoided. But maybe that’s the balance of parenting; you want to push your kids to succeed and make them feel like they belong, all at the risk of putting them in harm’s way.

Suzanne seeks out mother figures and women to adore. It was sweet to see that she wears her hair in bantu knots because a nurse at the hospital did her hair as a kindness to her when her sister was born. Vee sees her vulnerability and takes advantage of it right away by taking an uncharacteristic stance — she makes Suzanne feel like the most important person in the room instead of overlooking her the way other people do. But Vee seems predatory, always rooting out the most disenfranchised people to do her dirty work. Before long, Suzanne is practically electrocuting herself to get a pack of old cigarettes out of an electrical box. When she gives them to Vee, she sees Piper (Dandelion) in the room and flips out; Vee tells her “I see you,” and makes her feel important by telling her she’s “a garden rose, and that bitch is a weed.” On the one hand, it’s about time someone valued Suzanne as more than the resident weirdo, but why did it have to be Vee? She’s already using her, and I don’t think that train is going to slow down anytime soon.

Red sort of freaks out when she first sees Vee in the bathroom. When she went to Sophia to get herself glammed up I thought we were gearing up for a war, but it turns out they’re old friends. Even though she just complimented Gloria’s cooking, she tells Red that the kitchen is “no bueno” with her not in it, obviously playing both sides. Red sees right through her, and says that her plan to keep her head down is bullshit. Maybe there will be a showdown after all?

Vee is a tricky bitch. She basically becomes the living embodiment of the red paper-clip game of the Litch, trading her kindness for a friend that would get her cigarettes out of a hiding place, and trading the cigarettes for a sheet cake from the kitchen, and the sheet cakes for a gang of friends.

How much leverage does ten minutes on NPR get you? Because Larry is milking his segment for all it’s worth. It turns out the guy with Figueroa in the last episode is not an auditor but a reporter for the City Post, and he wants to run a piece investigating fraud at Litchfield. Larry lies and says he’s in deep with Piper and her counselor. He’s going to try to turn this into something bigger, right? Something he can take credit for or work on in a larger scale? Chill out, Larry!

Pennsatucky’s crew is breaking up. She has a set of new teeth and Leanne thinks she “acts like she’s better than everyone,” so they ask her to GTFO in no uncertain terms. What’s going to happen to Meth Kingdom? Will a new queen arise?

Caputo thinks the fight between Piper and Pennsatucky was fair since they both got punched and he doesn’t want to take any further disciplinary action, but Piper swears Pennsatucky never touched her. In a flashback, we see Suzanne getting teased after the Christmas play muteness, and then charging outside to punch Piper in the face twice. She thought Piper would be mad at her, but it actually was the one thing that saved her ass and got her back to Litchfield.

Lorna has a complete meltdown when her sister tells her that Christopher is getting married. It’s long been thought that she was delusional about her relationship with him, and now that he’s getting married to someone else you’d think she was ready to move on. Instead, she internalizes the pain, insisting that he’s getting married on the date she chose just to hurt her. Fisher takes a keen interest in the phone calls; is this going to lead to some type of monitoring?

OUT IN THE YARD

  • Taystee: "Chick whose husband died real young." Poussey: "The white Michelle Williams!"
  • Caputo deciding against jerking off for once after he made Pennsatucky and Piper hug it out. He’s such a dirtbag.
  • Nicky’s thoughts on what sort of woman would choose another woman’s wedding date: “Someone who doesn’t get excited by the wedding industrial complex and society’s bullshit need to infantilize grown women.” Preach it, sister. 
  • She’s also keeping a book of her sexual conquests: “Katie, came twice, slapped her ass, big fucking nipples!” I feel like it’s Chekov’s gun – is it going to get stolen, or used to blackmail her in some way?
  • Gloria does not give a shit about your gluten free diet. “Don’t commit the crime if you can’t fucking have flour.”
  • Nicky defended Alex by saying she was a lamb; Piper said, “Alex Vauss was never a lamb; she is the wolf that eats the lamb.” Alex is probably going to be gone for most of the season; how is she going to pop back up in Piper’s life? And when she does, will lone wolf Piper be ready to go for the jugular? 
  • “You can’t blame the wolf – the lamb is delicious, that’s smart eating!”
  • I know they’re not going to last, but I loved the woman who went on a date with Larry, talking about the pitfalls of dating. “STOP PRETENDING THAT YOUR PODCAST IS WORK, RIGHT?”
Photo: Jessica Miglio