8.9

Orange Is The New Black: "Take a Break From Your Values"

(Episode 2.11)

TV Reviews Orange Is The New Black
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<em>Orange Is The New Black</em>: "Take a Break From Your Values"

This season we’ve had many hints that the Golden Girls weren’t cute little old ladies. We learned one was in prison for cutting off her husband’s penis with a knife that wasn’t even sharp. They successfully shook down Gloria’s kitchen staff to get Red her contraband back. And they did their best to protect their friend who was clearly suffering from dementia.

Still, nothing prepared me for Taslitz’s solution to Vee trying to take over their greenhouse tunnel. “How about I kill the bitch?” she asks. Well okay then. That’s one solution. These ladies may be in a minimum-security prison, but they’ve committed maximum-security crimes.

Red is on a tear to find out who ratted her out to Vee. “Somebody did rat you out, and it was Boo,” Cindy tells her. “Wow, that was a short mystery,” Nicky deadpans. Boo is in trouble now that she’s been outed by Red (after one last bag of Jolly Ranchers) but Vee doesn’t want her, either. “I don’t like snitches,” Vee tells Boo. Now Boo is without any prison “family,” which is not a good position to be in.

As I suspected (feared?), Piper decides she needs closure with Alex and calls her. Alex tells Piper that her testimony did get her out of prison, but it also didn’t put Kubra in jail indefinitely as her lawyer promised. He’s out on a mistrial. Now Alex claims she fears for her life. Honestly, I just don’t trust Alex, and most of me believes that she’s lying to Piper just so Piper forgives her for double-crossing her. Also, Alex got annoyed that Piper didn’t put additional phone credit in her account before she called Alex. Really, Alex? REALLY? You think you get to complain to Piper? Ugh, those two deserve each other.

In flashbacks, we learn about Sister Jane falling in with the “bad nuns” early on her convent days. She wonders why Jesus doesn’t speak to her and begins participating in protests. But Sister Jane’s problem is that she was never humble: she even wrote a book (Nun Shall Pass) about her activism, which was the last straw for the church. They excommunicated her and would no longer pay for her legal fees (is that the reason she’s in prison? She didn’t have the money to defend herself?). But she might be let back into the church if she demonstrates contrition. While the others have ended their hunger strike, Sister Jane soldiers on and is taken, amid the cheers of her fellow inmates, to the infirmary. So much for her learning humility in prison.

Poussey goes to Healy’s “Safe Space” group only to be followed by Suzanne. When Taystee implores Vee to leave Poussey alone, Vee asks, “Why do you keep defending her over your family?” and warns that if “anything happens again, it’s on you.” Meanwhile, Poussey has called Vee out for who she is: someone who came to prison because she could be a big fish in a small pond behind bars. Vee’s only power on the street was getting foster children to do her bidding. “You’re like a pedophile without the sex,” Poussey tells her. “I bet the real players laugh in your face.” Yeah, this is not going to end well. At all. The whole situation is stressing me out.

I’m not sure why, but we spent more time with Polly and Larry, who have decided that they are actually in love. Polly tells her louse of a husband that she’s leaving him. “It’s real and I think it’s the best thing that’s ever happened to us,” Polly says of her relationship with Larry. So I could go on about how stupid these two are and how this isn’t love, that they are both in the throes of a rebound relationship. But, again, I just can’t care about these two. And any time spent on them takes us away from Litchfield.

Diaz’s mother once again goes for “Mother of the Year” and gives her daughter, who is still struggling with her guilty conscience, the awesome advice that she should sue the government because Mendez raped her and also get money from Bennett. She sees Diaz giving birth in prison as a moneymaking opportunity. Like I said, “Mother of the Year.” The only one who seems happy about the Mendez situation is Fig. “This shameful sexual violation is really working out for you,” Caputo tells her.

At the end of the episode, Piper learns she’s being transferred to Virginia. Healy claims it’s random, which is unlikely considering Piper published the Big House Bugle and has been meeting with a reporter. This is upsetting news. But who is Piper worried about? Alex and Alex’s upcoming visit so they can get closure. “Chapman, you’re going down south,” Healy tells her. “Not having closure with Alex Voss would be the least of your problems.”

In the final moments of the episode, Taslitz attacks Vee. Except it’s not Vee, it’s someone who looks like Vee from behind. Did Vee send out her double because she knew she was about to be attacked, or was she just lucky? Either way, now Vee knows she’s a target.

Other thoughts on “Take a Break from Your Values:”

• As annoying as Soso is, I do love the demands of the group: “There’s a maple syrup situation.”
• I’m really worried about Janae. “I don’t feel like being your token black friend. Don’t talk to me anymore.”
• I’ll miss the Big House Bugle

Amy Amatangelo is a Boston-based freelance writer, a member of the Television Critics Association and a regular contributor to Paste. You can follow her on Twitter or her blog.