Opening where we left off in the last episode (Crazy Eyes whazzing all over the floor of Chapman’s new cell), Chapman is now dealing with aftermath and trying desperately to clean up this mess with maxi pads. Claudette is not impressed with Chapman’s cleaning skills – this maxi pad technique is all well and good but how is she going to disinfect the floor? ‘I don’t know, I’ve never cleaned up another person’s pee before!’ Prompting yet another dig at Chapman’s middle class status, Claudette responds, ‘what a privileged life you’ve lead.’
We then move seamlessly into a flashback from Claudette’s pre-prison life as a maid – with the implication that she has cleaned up another person’s pee before. The scene shows Claudette as a young girl, being taken to work for a cleaning company – it all looks very underhand, and we get the impression she will not be treated well.
Back in prison, Chapman is given her work assignment: electrical shop, where they are given the thrilling task of fixing broken lamps. Inmate Watson is put in charge of the tool checkout system, designed to prevent any tools being unaccounted for. Chapman picks up a screwdriver that’s already on her desk and attempts to fix a lamp. She doesn’t have much luck but they soon break for lunch (with about one minute to eat their sandwiches) and Chapman absent mindedly puts the screwdriver in her hoody pocket, but drops her hoody on the ground at lunch.
All hell pretty much breaks loose at the end of the day when they realise that a screwdriver is missing. Mendez uses the opportunity to search the inmates as a grope-fest, adding to the endless reasons of why he’s an arsehole. Having conveniently dropped her hoody with the offending item in it (Chapman has yet to realise that she has the screwdriver), they let everyone leave the room but the investigation will continue.
Chapman later finds her hoody outside and puts it back on (still clueless RE the screwdriver). Another inmate, Tricia, asks Chapman to help her write her appeal as her girlfriend Mercy is getting out and she wants to be with her. Chapman takes the piece of paper and puts it in her pocket, FINALLY releasing that she has screwdriver.
She runs back to her cell, freaks out, and tells Claudette. Following the urine-on-the-floor-situation, Claudette is getting pretty peeved at her new cellmate. To make matters worse, Mendez is on his way to conduct a room search. Claudette has some sort of cooking contraption going on and throws the screwdriver in the pot just before Mendez arrives. Luckily, Mendez is too busy being an arsehole to notice what’s in the pot.
The screwdriver saga goes on, as Chapman tries to return it but fails. Having hidden it under her mattress it has now vanished – we learn later that Boo has it. But Chapman tells Claudette it’s all sorted. When she discovers this is not the case, it’s apparent that Claudette is, quite frankly, getting more than a little fed up with Chapman’s antics. Chapman fights back, reeling off the list of things that have happened to her since coming to prison, topping it all off with arguably the worst of all: ‘being called Taylor Swift.’ (Though it could be worse – I’d probably take a comparison to Taylor over the nightmare that is Miley Cyrus).
The interesting thing about OITNB is, although it should be blaringly obvious (they are in a prison, after all), I find myself forgetting that these women are actually convicted criminals. Throughout the episode, I’m thinking to myself: what could Ms Claudette, this slightly strict but seemingly harmless old lady – have done to get herself locked up?
I don’t have to wait too long to get an answer, as flashbacks reveal that Claudette eventually became head of this underhand cleaning operation, which looks a lot like slave labour. Claudette asks one of the girls why they won’t shower, and she reveals that she has been badly beaten by a client whose house she has been cleaning. Claudette takes matters into her own hands and goes to the client’s house under the pretence that she will be cleaning it instead. Cut to the next scene: Claudette has killed the guy who abused one of her girls. Ah, that’ll be it then: I suppose murder will get you some time behind bars.
Back to screwdriver-gate: Luscheck, who was in charge of electrical shop, knows that he’s also in the shit for this whole situation. To solve the problem, he smuggles in a new screwdriver and says he found it under the sink. Phew.
Amid all this drama, another inmate, Taystee is fast becoming one of my favourite characters. This week, in the prison library, she tells off another inmate for standing on Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire in order to reach a high shelf – ‘Don’t be fucking with Harry Potter!’ Instead she tells her to ‘step up on Ulysses’ on the grounds that: ‘ain’t nobody got time for that!’