What is love? Is it wanting to murder the person keeping you apart? Is it collapsing into a friendship under the sheer force of desperation? Is it Sideboob singing to you about your hair and eyes being on fire?
It’s Valentine’s Day at the Litch, and everyone misses someone. Well, everyone but Gloria, who thinks Valentine’s Day was invented to make people feel like shit. Stay sour, Gloria! The world is beating at your back.
The bathroom situation is officially ridiculous. Thanks to Vee and Figueroa’s 30-second shower rule, all of the black girls have to soap up in the sink and use the shower to rinse off. Like prison isn’t hard enough. When the water in my building doesn’t heat up within 30 seconds I start hammering my landlord’s door down with an axe, so I don’t know how these conditions aren’t making people pop the fuck off. Our ancestors didn’t endure slavery for this! At least that’s what I tell the cops when they ask me what I’m doing with an axe.
Vee washed ashore like a rotting whale and just stunk up everything within a one-mile radius. Everything she touches turns to poison, like a fucked-up Midas! She manipulates Taystee into giving up her library job for custodial by mentioning all of the help she gave her when Taystee was trying to get out of her group home, and convinces everyone within eyesight that she’s working in their best interest while making shady deals on the side.
Daya and Bennett tried to role-play a normal couple for the romantic day, but then it made Daya sad, but then it made her horny, and they boned. I was sure they were going to get caught, but no one cares about them anymore because they are ghosts. I’m convinced they died between seasons, and everyone who sees them is like Haley Joel Osment in The Sixth Sense. I don’t know how you died or when you became so boring, but R.I.P., Daya and Bennett. And, while I’m pouring one out, R.I.P., M. Night Shyamalan’s career.
Bennett might actually be alive, because everyone is shaking him down. The blackmail train started with Gloria, who wanted him to do her the family favor of sneaking contraband in through his prosthetic leg, but it continues with Flaca and Maritza, who want fluoride treatments and iPod shuffles to keep quiet about his relationship with Daya. Leave this man’s leg alone! You can’t even fit a foot-long sub in there, let alone a bottle of ACT mouthwash. Calm down, ladies!
Larry, future leader of the MRA movement, came to visit Piper to remind us all that most people would rather live in dysfunction than be happily alone. What are these two even doing at this point, besides poisoning my eyeballs with their fuckery? Piper says that she wants to come home when she gets out of jail and jokes about Florence Henderson–based sex games, skipping right over the part where they’re not even together anymore. To his credit, when Piper tells Larry he’s like the moon because he doesn’t have his own light, he snaps back at her that she’s not the sun at the center of the universe, and seeing her stuff all over the house makes him feel like he lives in a sarcophagus (which she quickly corrects to "mausoleum," because the asshole inside of her seeps out like a spirit being released from an urn). To his discredit, he only visited to convince her to be his mole while he steals the story of fraud at Litchfield from that reporter at City Post. Larry, you’ve taken white male privilege to startling new heights, and I hope a brigade of falcons pecks your eyes out.
Piper does it — she actually agrees to be a spy for Larry, which results in her asking questions all over the place about shoddy workmanship, jobs that never happened, and buildings that were never constructed. Healy doesn’t like her snooping around, so she deflects by telling him she wants to start a prison newsletter. That’s how the question of love came up; she’s been asking people “What does love mean to you?” and recording their answers to cover up her real task, which is bringing down Litchfield from the inside out. Healy only agrees because he overhears Soso saying the girls don’t like him anymore, and he spends the entire episode trying to get in the good graces of the women in his life. He even has a tender moment with Pennsatucky on the bench at the Valentine’s Day party when Leanne decides to give ‘Tucky the boot from their group once and for all. Healy is a complicated shithead; he seems to hate women, but I’m not sure if it’s because he’s old-fashioned or cruel. I’m not making excuses for him, but it’s confusing to see him at his best when we’ve seen him at his worst.
But love is in the air, even if it’s the dismantling of a relationship and the harsh reality of the bitterness love brings when it ends. The backstory this week is Poussey, who loved and lost as a teen when her father was stationed in Bavaria, Germany, and she was caught boning the lieutenant’s daughter. The lieutenant has her father transferred back to the States, and before they leave she confronts him, attempting to bring out a gun before her father catches her and prevents a bad situation from getting worse. It’s hard to watch Poussey lose love twice in this episode; now that Taystee has figured out Vee’s game is to import and sell tobacco, she’s onboard with her 100 percent. Poussey has pulled away from Taystee with a little help from Vee, who told her that Taystee will never love her “like that.” I will never forgive you if you ruin this friendship, Jenji Kohan! Do they get back together? Don’t tell me. But tell me. But don’t tell me.
Red is using her garden shed for contraband, so it seems like everyone is back in business. Her son cuts through the storm drain under the wooden floor to sneak in a duffel bag full of goodies that she hands out during one of Yoga Jones’s classes, easily working her way back into everyone’s good graces. Everyone except Gina, whom she burned to a crisp, and Norma, who has sworn a wordless blood oath against her. Red is worried that there’s going to be an uprising and they’ll all need to stick together; she might be right, but it takes more than a packet of salve and some pencils to make someone forgive you for setting up a grease fire that turned them into Harvey Dent. We’ve all been having fun with the woman named Jimmy who constantly rolls around looking for Jack; she’s like your senile, incarcerated meemaw, fun but harmless. Well, Jimmy wandered away from the Valentine’s Day party and escaped, probably through Red’s contraband tunnel! All we know is that Caputo, rejected again by Fischer when she shows up to his gig with the rest of the guards and spends the night flirting with Luschek, gazes over the crowd and sees a filthy Jimmy rocking out to the music, looking for the elusive Jack. GO FOR IT, GRANNY. Though this might mean the end of Red’s flourishing business if that is indeed how she escaped.
OUT IN THE YARD
- Larry, unable to control his base emotions, kisses Polly when he brings over a bunch of Piper’s stuff to her house. Sit down, Larry! You are way too turnt up, and everyone knows that you don’t fuck with best friends.
- Once Boo found out Nicky told people she had crabs, they called off their Bang-Off in a very sportsmanlike manner.
- Fischer is officially listening to calls now, which to her is “like reading Dickens.” Sure, if Dickens had to listen to calls about anal sex.
- “See, I told you scissoring wasn’t a thing!”
- My favorite part of the episode might have been Norma miming what love means to her.
- Suzanne makes Lorna feel better after she sees the wedding invitation in her trash, but based on the way she sniffed her hair during that hug, I think that’s going to turn into her next obsession sooner than later.
- Flaca and Maritza, who shared an awkward kiss, are right; there’s always a pizza present when it’s true love.
- Even Sister Ingalls has had it with Soso, screaming at her to “shut the fuck up!” during her theoretical rant about Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. (That theory was pretty great, though.)
- “Are you calling me Hillary Clinton?”
- It looked like the ladies were playing a round of Pin the Dick on the Honkey?
- Fischer shoving that dick cookie into her mouth to avoid the embarrassment of Bennett seeing her eat it — SO FUNNY.
- Piper threw out the letter she got from Alex without even opening it, but she’s never successfully been able to avoid her permanently. Alex has balls for sending it, though.