Season 2, Episode 4: “A Whole Other Hole”
Well, for those who didn’t already know that a woman’s body is made up of complex systems needed to sustain everyday life, from sex to going to the bathroom, then was this an informative episode! And Sophia (Laverne Cox) gets a moment to shine for the first time this season, even if it’s just for the scene where she explains the difference between the vagina and the urethra the other prisoners.
But that’s not the focus of the episode, as it should be. Nor is it Vee (Lorraine Toussaint) lurking around the background, trying to get the African-American population on her side while Red (Kate Mulgrew) looks for a new route to smuggle contraband in from. Instead, it’s poor, lovesick Morello (Yael Stone). Emphasis on the sick. You see, what brought her into Litchfield wasn’t the credit card scams she’d been running on the outside. It’s the fact that she’s a dangerous stalker.
As it turns out, her so-called fiance Christopher is real but their relationship is not. He was just a guy she went on one date with and while he moved on, Morello didn’t. She concocted a full, blossoming love worthy of a romance novel in her own head, all the while leaving threatening messages on the man’s voicemails, and even trying to put a bomb in the car of his actual girlfriend. The girlfriend who he is now planning on marrying, according to the announcement in the local paper.
Lorna’s disassociation from reality is pushed even further. After driving Rosa (Barbara Rosenblat) to one of her cancer treatments, Lorna quickly makes a beeline to Christopher’s current home. Luckily for her, neither he nor his fiance are there so she puts on the woman’s wedding veil for one last game of pretend, and slips into a bathtub full of water.
Now, who else here thought that she was going to knock that clock that was plugged into an outlet in the tub with her? I really believed that Morello was a goner, thanks to director Phil Abraham (Mad Men) and Stone’s best performance yet. That build up to her in the tub was a nail-bitter — and for good reason. Instead of suicide, we got Christopher walking into the house and Morello escaping in the nick of time.
The title “A Whole Other Hole” may have been a tad off the mark, since it doesn’t fit in thematically with the main storyline. A more appropriate title could be something along the lines of “Mirrors” or “Reflections”: Sophia gets the girls to use mirrors to check out their anatomy; Red and Vee are starting to mirror each other in terms of personality and in turf; Morello looks into a mirror to see the veil on top of her head, to see the reflection that she wants to see — she’s a woman in love who deserves love and all that comes with it. She just wants it a whole lot more than humanly allowed.
Season 2, Episode 5: “Low Self-Esteem City”
Life is shit. Piper’s (Taylor Schilling) grandmother is dying. Nicky (Natasha Lyonne) can’t seem to score with guard Fischer (Lauren Lapkus) in her sex contest with Big Boo (Lea DeLaria). And there’s literally shit coming out of the pipes of showers the Latina population of the prison uses. But Gloria (Selenis Leyva) is a girl who can make any arrangements needed: first with the prison itself, by getting her girls access to the African-American showers, and then with Vee for the same service without the hassle. But she traveled a long road to get this position of power: she was a victim of domestic violence.
This episode is filled with red herrings as the religion Santeria plays a big part of it. We keep thinking that something deadly will befall on the shitty boyfriend thanks to a couple lit candles and prayers — which it deservedly does — and that is the reason why Gloria is in jail. Instead, like with Morello’s backstory, it was something else: food stamp fraud. (It’s actually the inverse of Morello’s tale, where fraud didn’t play a role in her incarceration.) But in a way, it was a blessing is disguise as Gloria gets to finally be rid of her abuser and finds the power within herself to control her own life. Even if it’s in jail.
Unlike the other inmates at “Low Self-Esteem City”, Gloria no longer has that problem.
Season 2, Episode 6: “You Also Have A Pizza”
Ah, Valentine’s Day is upon the assorted characters at Litchfield in the best episode of the bunch that’s being recapped today, especially since it ties in with the season’s big arc involving Vee’s takeover of the African-American wing, as everyone’s favorite gogetter Poussey (Samira Wiley) takes centerstage.
Poussey is slowly being ostracized by Vee and her girls, including Tastyee (Danielle Brooks), all because she doesn’t want to get too involved in their illegal operations. (And the fact that Vee doesn’t want the girls who form friendships since that would get in the way of her controlling them.) Having access to her friend blocked off mirrors (here’s that word again) her past relationship with her German girlfriend, the daughter of one of that country’s the base commander. It’s a loving relationship but also youthful as it’s filled with your typical sexual exploration and fumblings. (And a nice knock against the male idea of lesbian sex.)
Poussey’s father, a ranking officer in the United States Army, is reassigned to a post back stateside when the girlfriend’s father catches the girls in bed. The Commander is a homophobic jerk who wants to separate the lovers, and Poussey knows it. One day, Poussey confronts the man while declaring her love for his daughter. When he continues to be unreasonable about their relationship, and her father’s assignment, she is ready to pull out a gun. Her own father intervenes before the weapon can be brandished but we get a pretty rad reveal here: Poussey’s dad accepts who she is and loves her for it. Score one for Team USA!
Oh, and that’s not the reason why she’s in prison, as far as I can remember, but I’m pretty sure it involved her temper.
In the meantime, Piper is starting a prison newsletter to coyly expose the fraud and corruption at Litchfield. That’s an interesting development — and it gives her something to do! More on that next week…
We’re return Monday, June 23rd with recaps of Episodes 7-9: “Comic Sans”, “Appropriately-Sized Pots”, and “40oz. of Furlough”.