Morello (Yael Stone) breaks down in a scene from Orange is the New Black's season two.
The first three episodes of Orange is the New Black's sophomore season was a tour de force of actress Taylor Schilling's emotional range for Piper Chapman, who in just three hours into the season went from delusional to confused to scared to angry to relieved — finally settling into a numb yet threatening "lone wolf" state of mind.
Episodes 4 through 6 still depict Chapman as that hardened inmate. But the show, as it has already done so effectively this season through character flashbacks for Crazy Eyes and Taystee, continues to flourish when it puts the supporting cast under the microscope, giving us deeper looks into each particular inmate's backstory.
EPISODE 4: "A Whole Other Hole"
This episode begins and ends on the lovelorn Lorna Morello, with flashbacks in between that expose the reason she's in prison and the heartbreaking truth behind her wedding-planning obsession. The twist? Her "fiance" Christopher was never her fiance ever. Chris is real, but she imagined their relationship in her deranged pursuit for a dream man.
"A Whole Other Hole" opens with Morello waking up and removing hair rollers made out of toilet paper from her head. It appears she's starting to recover from the devastating news she learned earlier this season. Chris has moved on and found a new woman to marry, to which Morello tearfully reacted in Episode 3 with one of the season's best lines: "He doesn’t realize she's a whore. You don't go Jessica Simpson when you've got Rihanna."
Despite knowing the relationship is over for good, yet still in denial, Morello tells correctional officer Susan Fischer that she has pushed the "pause button" on wedding plans. Together, the two women drive a cancer-ridden inmate to chemotherapy. Upon arrival, Fischer demands Morello wait in the parking lot alone for three hours. Morello then gets the crazy idea to spend that time going to Chris' house. She breaks in through a back door, cries at the sight of their engagement photos and wedding invitations, puts on the Chris' finacee's wedding veil and hops into a bubble bath with it still on. She falls asleep.
It's humanizing, private moments like Morello's breakdown that have OITNBviewers crying and laughing with the characters all season long.It's humanizing, private moments like Morello's breakdown that have OITNB viewers crying and laughing with the characters all season long.
Meanwhile, back at Litchfield prison, the inmates discuss the female anatomy, thus explaining the name of Episode 4. Poussey, touting an invention that allows her to urinate standing up, gets the conversation going. Sophia, played by transgendered actress Laverne Cox (who recently graced the cover of Time magazine to represent the trans movement), sets the record straight with a well-educated lesson on female parts.
Sex talk gets dirty when Big Boo discovers Nicky's journal of sexcapades. "I collect vaginas," Nicky proclaims, inciting Big Boo and her to launch into a game of who can have the most sex. Big Boo pursues new inmate Brooke Soso, with Piper's help, but in the end, it's Nicky who gets with the talkative newbie.
After catching Taystee cuddling with best friend Poussey, the conniving Vee warns Taystee to avoid the "gay" interactions with Poussey. Vee is doing this to punish Poussey for denying joining forces on a contraband business.
Piper gets reassigned to a bunk with disgraced prison chef Red, who hasn't had a bunkmate for 12 years. Red tells her to not move her stuff. Piper does it anyway and says, "What are you going to do? Not feed me?" Red, who lost power of the prison kitchen in Season 1, looks defeated. Eventually, the two make amends and bond, with Red offering words of wisdom: "People are fickle … You have to be selfish in here. That’s how you survive. Loyalty means nothing." Red makes friends with the older "invisible" inmates and decides to resurrect the greenhouse to give them all a new hobby.
It seems as though Vee and Red are rounding up allies, likely for their own selfish reasons because they're hellbent on regaining the power they once had.
Amid all this, the episode kept the focus on Morello. Flashbacks reveal her materialistic past and the mail scam she orchestrated to fuel her criminal fashion needs. We see the first time she met Chris, who looks like a dream guy from a magazine page she had plastered in her bedroom wall. The most-telling flashback, however, is the one of Chris in court testifying that he only ever went on one coffee date with Morello before losing interest. Her obsession for him never wavered, though, and he eventually had to get a restraining order. She once put an explosive under a car to try and get revenge.
The flashback ends with Morello waking up in the bubble bath as Chris comes home. She hops out of a window before he finds her and drives back to chemotherapy.
Still reeling from almost being caught, Morello cries at movie night. Yoga Jones asks if she's OK. Morello, having spun lies about her fictitious fiance during her entire stint in prison, continues her fake fairy tale and says she misses Chris.
"We’ll be married. We’ll be married," Morello says.
EPISODE 5 — "Low Self Esteem City"
The self-segregated prison groups, separated primarily by race, butt heads after plumbing in the "Spanish Harlem" bathroom malfunctions and regurgitates sewage into the showers. Head chef Gloria brings her group into the "black" bathroom to shower there, but new group leader Vee tells Gloria and her girls to take a hike.
Unwavering, Gloria wins this battle, sparking an all-out war that persists throughout the episode. Vee's ladies steal their enemies' shoes and tie the shoestrings together, making Gloria's gang late for kitchen duties. To retaliate, they spoil the food that day with an excessive amount of salt. A displeased Watson sticks her foot out and trips secretly pregnant kitchen crew member Daya, who falls to the ground. Prison Guard John Bennett, the father of Daya's unborn child, throws Watson on the ground and punishes her.
While the war intensifies, the show sprinkles in flashbacks of Gloria's abusive pre-prison relationship with her boyfriend.While the war intensifies, the show sprinkles in flashbacks of Gloria's abusive pre-prison relationship with her boyfriend. In one scene, he slaps her while she's on the job at a convenience store. In another, she has a black eye and contemplates leaving him but doesn't. Gloria reveals to her friend that she's been stealing people's food stamp money, and putting the funds in a wooden box under the register, to make a living. She lands in prison after a disgruntled customer turns her in to police.
Gloria confronts Vee, pulling her into the bathroom to warn her not to mess with the women under her wing. Vee, always the manipulative one, fakes her way through a watery-eyed excuse that she's getting too old to fight and too weak to pretend she's the glue holding her newly acquired group together. They make a deal: Gloria can have the working showers in exchange for letting two of Vee's girls start working in the kitchen. Red, who is busy reviving the greenhouse, hears the news and storms into the kitchen to talk to Gloria. Vee "played you," Red says. "You have no idea what you’ve done."
Meanwhile, Nicky and Big Boo's contest to have sexual encounters with the most prison occupants rages on, with Nicky calling herself "a sexual Steve Jobs."
Piper learns her grandmother is gravely ill. She asks corrections officer Sam Healy, who isn't fond of her and let her almost die in Season 1, if she can have furlough in order to say goodbye to her grandma. He initially says no, but after having a change of heart because of his fractured relationship with his Ukrainian mail-order bride and lack of friends, he tells Piper he will try to make the furlough happen.
Piper calls her ex, Larry, who gushes that he misses her as a tear rolls down her face.
In the kitchen, Gloria lights a religious candle and then puts out the flame before the episode's final flashback takes us back to the convenience store where her boyfriend steals the wooden box of money but forgets his keys on the counter. He goes to the store's back room, accidentally knocks over a lit candle and starts a fire. Locked in without keys, he dies.
EPISODE 6 — "You Also Have a Pizza"
It's Valentine's Day at Litchfield, and it's hard to find love in the air. Piper says that love is "like coming home after a long trip." Maritza, who ran for prison government last season using the slogan "If you want more pizza, vote for Maritza," describes love as having "pizza" together. Sophia says love is pain, the kind you want to feel over and over again.
The episode explores a different kind of pain, though, via flashbacks to Poussey's life in Germany, where she fell in love with a German-speaking lady.
Their love is cut short when the German woman's homophobic, military father catches the couple naked in bed.Their love is cut short when the German woman's homophobic, military father catches the couple naked in bed. The dad reassigns Poussey's family, forcing them to move back to America so Poussey's relationship will end. None too happy with the outcome, Poussey angrily approaches her lover's father. She almost shoots him, but Poussey's own dad intervenes before she can even pull out her gun.
It feels like a similar type of heartbreak, though to a lesser intimate extant, that Poussey is experiencing with Taystee, Vee continues to try and tear the two best friends apart. By the end of the episode, Vee's plans hit a boiling point, as Poussey and Taystee yell at each other at the Valentine's Day party. Poussey is now as an outsider in Vee's group.
Daya and Bennett pretend to be a normal couple in the kitchen, scheming on how to make their holiday a special one despite having to keep their love and pregnancy secret. They eventually have sex in warden's assistant Joe Caputo's office. Daya's imprisoned mother and other inmates begin to use Bennett to smuggle in items in his prosthetic leg.
Larry comes to visit Piper, asking her to help him as a journalist to expose the prison's misuse of funds. She gets mad and calls him the moon. He spits back by calling her the sun: "At least people can walk on the moon. Anyone gets near the sun they just burn right up.”
Piper has second thoughts about Larry's request. Piper starts to investigate where the money is going in the prison. Corrections officer Healy catches her asking guard Lolita Foster why a planned gym was never built. Piper, needing a reason to explain her incessant questions, weasels out of the situation by saying she wants to start a prison newsletter. Healy believes her, and Piper may have a way to get back on Larry's good graces.
Larry, who has been filling his time by hanging out with Piper's married best friend Polly Harper, kisses Polly. Uh oh. Polly's husband returns seconds later but missed the kiss.
Meanwhile, wheels are spinning at Litchfield, as Vee and Red embark on separate contraband businesses. Red is using a sewer hole in her greenhouse to smuggle in goods for inmates, while Vee is launching a tobacco empire.
"Good thing we're too good for any trouble," Red quips. "You know this will not end well."
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