Orange Is the New Black is back! I know most people are bingeing and lots of people have finished the whole season by now, but I’m going to be taking a look at each episode one week at a time. Let’s do this!
Last season started with an episode that had laser focus on Piper, actually removing her from Litchfield. This season premiere took a completely different approach, giving many different characters in the ensemble a chance to shine.
It opened on Pennsatucky accompanying Wanda Bell and Eliqua Maxwell on a shopping trip to get supplies for a prison Mother’s Day celebration. Pennsatucky reminisces about her mom before it goes into a flashback. We see her mom keeping a young Pennsatucky on a leash (and this was before that was trendy) and making her chug down a huge bottle of Mountain Dew so she’ll act hyperactive as her mom requests extra welfare money to deal with her special needs.
Gloria performs a spiritual blessing on one of the inmates with an egg. When she breaks the egg, the inmate worries that she’s cursed now. Gloria assures her that they’ll start all over. After she’s gone, Gloria softly tells Norma that the egg breaking was not good.
Sophia works on Lorna’s hair. She says that she’s only doing mothers with kids visiting today. Lorna claims to have four kids but backtracks a little when Sophia asks to see her stomach as proof. Lorna begs but Maria tells her to wait until she sees her actual baby who exists. Lorna tells Sophia she hasn’t been feeling good lately and dolling up is the only way she has to feel better. Sophia generously agrees. Sophia says that her son is visiting for Mother’s Day. Lorna asks how that works “with you being a lady man and all.” When Sophia asks if she really wants to call her a lady-man right now, Lorna assures her that she thought it sounded nice and she doesn’t know these things. There’s a moment of pause that I love, where Sophia has to decide what battles she wants to fight. She lets it go and tells Lorna that she and her wife are sharing the day.
In a flashback, we see a pre-transition Sophia, played by Laverne Cox’s brother M. Lamar. It’s a quick flashback but it shows us how happy and affectionate Sophia’s marriage once was.
Nicky acts like she’s fixing a light in the laundry room, although Leanne and Angie don’t see a problem with the light. Angie tells Leanne about her theory that Nicky is working in this room so much because she has a crush on Angie. But, then we see the real reason: Nicky looks into a vent and we see some drugs are hidden.
In a flashback, we see Nicky as a little girl on Mother’s Day. She made a card for her mother and tried to make her breakfast. Her mother doesn’t notice and says that since it’s her day she’s going straight to the spa after brunch. Nicky sadly tells her maid, “She didn’t read my card.”
The black women talk about Vee. Poussey is paranoid about how it seems like someone put some dark force over Vee and then the next thing you know she was gone. Suzanne angrily says that Vee is fine and will be back. Cindy says they can’t deal with this again and they have to agree to disagree. Suzanne says, “Agree to disagree. Rhymes with Vee.” Cindy tells her, “Rhymes with ‘let it be.’” Poussey says, “Who knows what kind of forces are operating out there in the universe? Maybe it ain’t such a bad idea to try to get them on your side.” In a flashback, we see Poussey and her mother reading a Calvin & Hobbes book together. It’s another very quick flashback, but we see how much she loved her mother.
Maritza tells Flaca she’s so excited to see her baby that she doesn’t think she’ll be able to sleep. Flaca tells her, “You don’t want your baby seeing you with bags under your eyes. That’s setting a really bad example.”
Healy can’t believe that a new counselor has been hired and tries to get Caputo to get rid of her. When Caputo refuses, Healy says, “Fine, she can have the blacks and the crazies.” In one of the weirder flashbacks we’ve seen on this show, we see Healy bring breakfast to his mother who clearly has some serious mental problems. She throws something at him and then tells him, “Come dance with, mommy.”
Bennett checks people in as they arrive for the Mother’s Day celebration. Aleida’s boyfriend approaches him and says, “So, listen, I got a couple of your baby’s aunts and uncles here.” Bennett tells him to keep quiet and he says no one’s listening, then introduces all of Aleida’s kids and says that Bennett should learn their names. He tells Bennett to come to the house soon now that he’s family.
At the Mother’s Day celebration in the yard, Morello monitors the port-a-potties and asks kids who come out to take hand sanitizer. When a kid refuses, she tells him, “You filthy animal. Who raised you, huh?” before feeling awkward when she sees the kid’s mother.
Aleida talks to Daya about how it will feel after she’s had a baby. Daya asks if she has anything good to say about it. Aleida says, “It’s not all bad. I mean, you end up with a baby. It just ruins your life is all.” Daya asks, “You saying I ruined your life?” Aleida says, “Of course. They day you were born was the end.” In a quick flashback we see the actual day Daya was born and Aleida describes it as perfect and says she can’t imagine anything better than this.
In a brutal ending, Maria Ruiz’s boyfriend tells her as he’s leaving that he’s decided he doesn’t want to keep bringing her baby here since she’s starting to remember and notice stuff. Maria yells after him but he just walks away, leaving her sobbing.
Photo Courtesy of Netflix