Orange Is The New Black: Episode 8

ep 8 oitnbA bad case of the flu is doing the rounds at the Litch. Piper, ever the craftsman, has whipped up some face masks made from sanitary towels – who knew they had so many other uses? Mrs Claudette isn’t largely impressed by the prospect of wearing a sanitary towel on her face. “I look like Michael Jackson”, she says. Piper proceeds to simultaneously start moon dancing and correcting her: “no, you’ve got the wrong skin tone. I look like Michael Jackson.” Either way, it seems they are finally getting along and Mrs Claudette has gotten over the whole urine on the floor/rogue screwdriver/Piper generally annoying her situation.

Out in the “real” world, Larry has published his article about having a wife in prison, despite Piper asking him to let her think about it. Healy carries on his ‘I hate Piper’ crusade by showing her the article then throwing it in the bin and pouring coffee on it. He seriously hates lesbians. Ergo, he seriously hates Piper now that she is one (again).

Pennsatucky’s on the warpath again, and, in her usual reasonable manner, she locks Alex in a tumble dryer. Chapman and Alex have a deep and meaningful conversation (DMC) with Alex locked in the dryer. They are eventually found by a guard and taken to Healy, who is obviously furious. He doesn’t know what’s been going on but he suspects it involves lesbians and he certainly doesn’t like it.

We can see Alex and Chapman’s relationship developing – as they become closer, she is more distanced from Larry. The article he wrote doesn’t help matters, and once she finally gets to read a copy, Chapman goes to Alex to talk about how she’s upset with Larry. Something is totes going to happen between Alex and Chapman. Healy is going to go apeshit.

We also get the news that Taystee is getting out. I for one, am DEVASTATED. Quite a weird reaction to have when a character you like gets good news, I admit. But that’s the thing about this show, it makes you react in ways you wouldn’t expect. There’s a lot of grey areas about how we should feel towards the characters. They are convicted criminals after all. A fact that is surprisingly easy to forget.

Elsewhere, Tricia is in withdrawal. Nicky wants to help her, and goes to Red as she helped Nicky get off drugs. Red is having none of it. “Two strikes, that’s what she gets. Russians don’t play baseball.”

Red’s harsh reaction is linked to the fact that Mendez is trying to use her kitchen deliveries to sneak in drugs. So when he finds out that Tricia is in recovery (having been in prison 10 months) he’s desperate to get to the bottom of it. In an uncomfortable and sinister scene, Mendez makes Morello drive him out to a deserted spot as he grills her on who is bringing drugs into the prison. She insists she doesn’t know. Mendez is getting angry and it seems like he’s about to sexually assault her. Morello stands her ground but her eyes are welling up and Mendez eventually tells her to turn back. Phew.

Aside from drugs and flu, it’s all about babies this week. Maria goes into labour and is taken to the hospital at the last moment possible, to allow her the minimum amount of time outside prison that’s necessary to, you know, give birth. The scene where she returns from having her baby is heartbreaking.

Cut to the opposite end of the spectrum: Polly is in labour with all her friends and family around to see her new baby (minus Piper, obvs). We also flashback to pre-prison-Piper taking a pregnancy test. She starts to think that she could raise a baby in prison. Larry is not convinced, and the test is negative.

Finally, while everyone at the Litch is vomming from the flu, it seems that Diaz is vomming from morning sickness. Mum Diaz confirms this at the end of the episode, as she tells her daughter, “you’ll feel better in about nine months.” Uh oh.

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