Orange Is the New Black‘s “A Whole Other Hole” starts with Lorna waking up and doing her make up. There are a lot of group scenes on this show and it’s nice to see a character besides Piper getting a quiet, solitary moment like this.
Lorna has to drive Rosa to the hospital, along with Susan who’s along to supervise them. As they drive, Susan asks Lorna how the wedding planning is going. Even though we know Christopher is engaged to someone else now, Lorna has a big string of excuses for delaying her planning, like too many people wanting to come to the wedding and not being able to call caterers from inside the prison. Rosa tells Lorna that she’s still young and pretty and she’s got her whole life ahead of her, and Lorna smiles with adorable cheeriness, before Rosa adds, “I’m gonna die here.”
We get a flashback to Lorna’s life before prison and learn that she saw Twilight about a dozen times in theaters. She goes past her large family and up to her room. In her room, there’s a big West Side Story poster. Y’all remember in season one when Nicky said Lorna’s entire worldview is based on West Side Story? Lorna calls a shoe company to tell them that the shoes she ordered never arrived, but as she makes the call we see her playing with her new shoes. She insists on a full refund.
Back in the prison, we see the black women having lunch. Poussey shows them that she’s designed a pee funnel that’ll let her pee standing up — “it’s genius, yo!” Taystee says that instead of using the funnel she can put the tube inside her and Poussey says, “No, ‘cause that’s not where the pee comes out.” No one believes her, but Poussey insists there’s a different hole. “There’s the main coochie hole and then there’s another little hole just for pee.” Taystee insists it all comes out the same hole. “Then how come you can still pee when you’ve got a tampon in?” Poussey asks. “I’m telling you there’s two holes.” It’s already a perfect scene of television, but it gets even better. It all leads up to the best moment in television history: Suzanne looks at her very seriously and says, “Three holes.” Everyone looks at Suzanne with confusion and then she explains, “The butt!” Vee says, “You are all disgusting. I’m out.” This proves Vee is truly a monster. How could she not delight in this conversation?
After Vee leaves, Taystee says, “Yo, I’m so confused. Where is it at?” We cut to Taystee standing with one foot on the toilet, looking up her crotch with a mirror and saying, “I still don’t see it.” This is the best show.
Poussey tries to give Taystee instructions on where to find everything and Taystee asks her how she knows all this. Poussey says, “I’ve been up close and personal with my fair share of pussy.” Every time I’ve watched it, this moment has been jarring to me. It’s so incredibly casual that I feel like they must have revealed Poussey to be queer at some point previous to this and I missed it. When established characters are revealed to be queer on TV shows, it’s always some long process. Vague allusions are followed by discussions of “maybe” and “what if” and then there are tearful revelations. This is nothing like that. It’s one quick but extremely blunt line in the middle of a scene completely about something else and it’s great. Poussey offers to just come over and show Taystee where it is. Taystee says no and you get the feeling she’s not entirely comfortable with Poussey having been up close and personal with her fair share of pussy.
As Poussey keeps trying to explain where it is and Taystee keeps struggling to find it, Sophia walks in. She can’t believe what she’s hearing and explains to them where everything is, then adds, “I designed one myself.” When Taystee finally finds it, with Sophia’s instruction, she says, “Aww, it’s cute.”
In the next scene, Big Boo confronts Nicky to complain about her going after girls she knows Big Boo wanted. “Enough with the cliterference.” In the middle of the conversation, Big Boo finds Nicky’s notebook where she has a list of her conquests written down. Nicky explains, “It’s a collection. I collect orgasms. I’m all about giving.” Big Boo immediately responds with, “This here is my kind of competition. It’s on. This is on.”
Piper is listening to Brook talk -— and clearly getting sick of it -— when O’Neill comes and says he’s moving them to a different cell. “Does that mean we’re going to be roomies?” Brook asks. Piper gives O’Neill a ‘please no’ look behind Brook’s back.
Piper returns to her old cell block and discovers everyone’s stolen her stuff. She grabs a book of hers from someone else’s cell. O’Neill brings them to a bunk and tells Piper, “Chapman, you’re in here. Soso, follow me.” Piper mouths a thank you for not sticking her with Brook.
Piper discovers she’s sharing a cell with Red. Red won’t move any of her stuff to let Piper have a shelf, but Piper moves it anyway, then looks at Red and asks, “What are you gonna do? Not feed me?”
When Rosa and the rest of the car arrive at the hospital, Susan Fischer starts to put handcuffs on her. “I hate this part,” she says. Rosa responds with, “Poor you.” They walk into the hospital, leaving Lorna in the car. A love song comes on the radio and Lorna starts crying as she sings along.
In a flashback, we see her carrying a bunch of packages at the postal service when she bumps into a cute boy. He jokes that she has so many packages she must be running a mail scam. She laughs hard. She asks for his name and he says Christopher. When she says her name is Morello, he says, “Beautiful and Italian. This must be my lucky day,” then asks to take her out for coffee. It’s a pretty adorable meet cute.
In an incredible montage, Piper gets back all of her stuff from the other inmates. When Cindy claims something isn’t hers, Piper points out that it has her inmate number on the back. Cindy says, “Pfft, fine, Inspector Gadget.” In what is absolutely Piper’s best moment in the show’s run, she very, very seriously says, “Inspector Gadget was not a good detective. He just had a lot of stuff. Plus he had Penny and the Brain helping him.” They could have made that moment on a loop for an hour the entire episode and I would have been completely satisfied. And yet it’s still not the best moment of the episode because nothing tops Suzanne saying “the butt!”
When Piper tries to get Big Boo to return a blanket to her, Big Boo refuses. Brook approaches Piper and starts talking to her, ignoring Big Boo when she tries to interrupt. When Big Boo sees that Brook seems to do whatever Piper says, Big Boo says, “You really want that blanket? Maybe we could work out a trade.”
In an adorable scene, Taystee and Poussey are hanging out in bed, bro-ing out. Taystee playfully tickles her and they’re both giggling and having fun when Poussey impulsively kisses her. Taystee says, “Sorry, P. We’ve been through this.” Poussey says, “I know.” Taystee suggests they cuddle for a minute. This scene is great. There hasn’t been build up to it in any major way, yet when Taystee says “we’ve been through this” it makes complete sense with everything we’ve seen. I feel bad for both of them and it just rings so true emotionally.
Lorna is driving instead of waiting at the hospital which cannot lead to anything good, but we don’t get to see what she’s up to right away. First, they cut back to Rosa at the hospital. As she’s getting chemo, she’s sitting next to a teenage boy who’s absorbed in his iPhone as he also gets chemo. She tries to talk to him but he says he doesn’t want to spend the next two hours talking to an old lady. He ends up giving her a bit of interest when he discovers his iPhone is almost out of batteries and there’s no charger, but he’s not truly interesting until he sees that she’s accompanied by a correctional officer. When he finds out she’s a bank robber, he’s excited to hear all about it. It’s adorable.
Meanwhile, Lorna pulls up to a house. She breaks in by smashing a window so she’s definitely behaving rationally. Inside, there are pictures of Christopher with his new fiancé and Lorna starts crying. She sees the floor arrangements for their wedding and the nice invitations. Upstairs, she finds the wedding dress and she puts on the veil.
Back in prison, Piper and Red are actually learning to live together. They bond over both having friends who’ve turned their back on them. Piper says she doesn’t blame her friends or Larry for turning away because she was selfish. Red tells her, “You have to be selfish in here. It’s how you survive.” You can see relief fall over Piper’s face upon hearing about this. It’s a nice, emotional bonding moment, but what’s most incredible to me about this scene is that both Red and Piper talk about how chin hairs grow in sometimes. I know this show has done a lot of things that are more obviously progressive and subversive, but the fact that they had two cis women discuss the fact that, yes, facial hair sometimes grows in really struck me.
Instead of getting the hell out of Christopher’s house, Lorna draws up a bath and lies there wearing her veil. In a flashback, we see Lorna’s trial. Christopher is on the stand and Lorna is smiling up at him lovingly from the defendant’s chair. A lawyer asks him to describe his relationship to her and he says that they went on one date, going on to say, “I wasn’t interested in pursuing things further. I told her that very clearly.” He then describes how she continued to relentlessly contact him after their one date, despite him making it clear that the advances were unwanted. Much like the reveal earlier when we found out that Poussey and Taystee have had to have talks about Poussey’s feelings for Taystee, this reveal feels like a huge 180 while also making perfect sense. It’s an incredible twist on Lorna’s entire character. Back in the present, Christopher comes home and Lorna has to hurry out the window — but she stops to steal a teddy bear.
At dinner, Piper tells Brook that it can be dangerous in prison and, as a pretty girl, Brook can expect to be a target. She explains that Brook has to find a prison wife who’s tough. “One night with the right protector can keep you safe for the rest of your sentence.” Brook seems pretty eager as she asks, “You mean you?” She seems disappointed when Piper says, “No, I’m not tough.” Big Boo is listening in and she feels like Piper is blowing it, so she quickly walks over. Brook asks what’s going on. Big Boo says that Piper sucks at this. Piper says, “Clearly, this isn’t working, so can I just have my blanket back?”
Brook stares at Piper and asks, “You tried to sell me for a blanket?” Piper says, “Well, when you put it that way…” Brook walks away, leaving Big Boo to grin with amusement. Big Boo laughs hard and tells Piper, “You’re a horrible person.” It’s an amazing moment that would be the standout moment in most episodes, but since this episode is an incredible gift, I’d say this moment is probably third or fourth.
Brook goes off to cry and Nicky comes up to comfort her. She asks, “Do you want to talk?” And we immediately cut to them naked in the chapel together.
Vee is mad at Poussey because she refused to help her sell hooch earlier, so she convinces Taystee that Poussey is trying to turn her gay in prison. While Taystee doesn’t really believe it, her old loyalty to Vee is returning and Vee definitely has her attention.
Then we get to see Sophia doing a talk to everyone about the parts of the labia. O’Neil looks up interest when she mentions where the clitoris is and keeps looking on as she says, “Now for those of you are having trouble finding the clitoris…” It’s a great, fun little scene.
Later on, as all the prisoners are watching a movie, Poussey discovers that Taystee hasn’t left a scene for her and is now sitting next to Vee. Meanwhile, Lorna starts crying during a romantic moment in the movie. When Yoga Jones asks her what’s wrong, Lorna says, “I just miss my fiancé Christopher.” She starts talking about her plans for the wedding and what she’s going to wear and we see her start to look happy again.
It’s amazing that we got all this in just one episode. It’s easily one of the strongest episodes of the series so far.
Photo Courtesy of Netflix