Orange Is the New Black: Empathy is a Boner Killer

Orange Is the New Black

This week I’m looking at the Orange Is the New Black episode “Empathy is a Boner Killer.” That title should let you know this is the episode where Piper and Alex are just absolutely exhausting. It’s also a big episode for sweet, precious Nicky who absolutely does not deserve any of this.

The episode opens with Luschek telling Nicky he’s found a buyer for her heroin. She tells him that someone stole the heroin. He says, “I know I couldn’t trust you. I’m giving you a shot!” “For not giving you heroin?” Nicky asks. He’s genuinely thrown by that. Luschek is not a lovable dude, but credit where credit is due for being a comedy powerhouse. He tells Nicky, “This is why women end up in prison. Because you suck at crime!”

In a flashback, Nicky is hanging out with her friends when she gets the idea to steal a cab. She immediately crashes it. When her friend asks where she learned to drive, she reminds him that she grew up in the city.

Healy tells Red that he needs her to come to his office and translate for him and his wife. She says that she can’t be his marriage counselor. He insists that she’s just translating and says he’s already cleared her schedule.

Nicky walks into the laundry room while Soso is there. Soso leaves and Nicky puts heroin back in the fluorescent light fixture. Soso storms back in and asks why she won’t talk to her. Soso says that she uses people and then throws them away, that’s her thing. Nicky calls out, “That’s not my thing, alright? I look out for my friends, you just don’t happen to be one of them!”

In a flashback, Nicky asks her mom to pay her friends’ bail. Her mom refuses to give her any more money. Nicky starts apologizing and, as she does, she takes cash out of her mom’s purse. She explains, “I’m trying to be a better person and it starts with getting my friends out of jail!” She gets out of the car. Her mom says that she’s giving her a ride back to the police station but Nicky says she’s going for a walk and walks away from the car.

Poussey and Taystee perform a funeral service for all of the books that had to be burned because of the bed bug scare. Poussey says, “I’ve never been at a funeral for books before. And, like, there’s nothing I could say that wouldn’t be better said … in a book!”

Big Boo accuses Nicky of stealing her heroin, when Leanne and Angie are the ones who actually took it. Nicky reminds her she’s been clean for two years and wouldn’t want to almost die again. Big Boo says, “You best not be lying to me, bitch.” Nicky calls out, “Give me a fucking break.”

In the next flashback, Nicky talks to two of her friends about how her friends still have to spend a couple nights in jail. She says they could use a couple of nights in jail because they’re whiny bitches. She discovers she’s out of heroin. Nicky starts talking about a girl she knows who owns a lot of valuable rare books. She gets an idea of how to get into the building. Her friend says that maybe if they make enough of the books, they could help their friends out jail. She says, “Yeah, yeah, that’d be nice. You know, let’s play it by ear.”

Nicky runs into Angie and Leanne and sees how high they are. She realizes they stole the heroin. She goes to Luschek and says that originally she was the one who stole the heroin but now Leanne and Angie have it and they have to get it back. She reminds Luschek that she’s an addict and he says, “How convenient for you.” She reminds him that it’s not actually. She says they need to get this stuff out of there.

Luschek gets the heroin back from Angie and Leanne. He says that he’s going to bring them to Caputo, but they notice that he’s hiding them in his pants and figure out that he’s taking them for himself. He tells them, “You tell anybody about this and I will fucking kill you. With murder!”

They pack it up and he takes it out in a box. Later in electrical, Luschek tells Nicky the sales done. They’re getting along great and the conversation ends with him telling her, “You got it, partner.” The guards come in to search Luschek’s desk. He’s not worried until he sees that Nicky is. They find one bag of heroin left in there. Luschek turns immediately, saying it was Nicky’s. She cries out that it’s complete hearsay, but Luschek naming her is enough for Caputo and he orders her transferred to maximum security.

In a flashback, Nicky finds out that her mom’s lawyer worked out a plea for her but she’ll still have to do 5-10 years. Her mom tells her this is the best possible outcome. She tells her mom that she should’ve done something sooner, that she needed help and all her mom did was give her money. She tells Nicky that at least she’ll be out of her mom’s hair. Her mom asks, “You think that makes me happy?” Nicky says she doesn’t know. Her mom tells her, “I’m not the enemy. I never was.”

As Nicky is escorted out, Red runs up to her and asks, “Where did this come from? I thought you were doing okay.” She tells her that if she was struggling, she could’ve come to her. Nicky says that’s not what she does. Lorna screams, “I love you” as Nicky is taken away.

As Pennsatucky drives Nicky to maximum security, she asks if Nicky got a chance to say goodbye to her people. Nicky asks, “What people?” Pennsatuky says “All the dykes and your mom.” Nicky says, “Red’s not my mom. I wouldn’t wish that on her. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone.”

Photo Courtesy of Netflix

About Lenny

Lenny Burnham is a TV blogger and co-host of the podcasts Secret Lover and Rerunning Wild, available on iTunes. Follow Lenny on Twitter @lennyburnham.