Saturday, August 16, 2014

Summer TV Rewind: Orange is the New Black 1.10: "Bora Bora Bora"

“Look, adventure is just hardship with an inflated sense of self.”

“Bora Bora Bora” showcased some of the best and the worst of what makes “Orange is the New Black” the show that it is. The tragedy of what happened to Tricia, both in the flashbacks and in the present day, is some of what the show does well. The empathy that we as viewers felt for Tricia was truly earned, and it is going to be interesting to see how what happened to her affects Litchfield, both administration and inmates, going forward. On the other side of the spectrum, my annoyance with Piper reached new heights. She has the nerve to be pissed off with Larry for not calling her while she’s having sex with Alex on the regular. Get it together, Piper!

The episode opens with Piper and Alex at breakfast trying to hide the fact that they had a morning tryst from Nicky and Morello. Nicky knows what’s up, though, and word has spread pretty thoroughly through Litchfield that Piper and Alex are an item. Piper and Alex do indeed spend quite a bit of time together in this episode. They’re hanging out in the rec room, for instance, when some fellow inmates invade to learn about participating in a Scared Straight program for some youth. Suzanne wants a meatier acting role, though, like Desdemona or Clair Huxtable. Because she’s badass like that. While hanging out with Alex, Piper has the nerve to complain about Larry not calling her. Later, she calls her brother and talks to him about the Larry situation a bit, and it turns out Larry’s hiding at her brother’s trailer. He hasn’t figured out what he wants to do with the information he learned from Healy yet. Piper’s brother does tell Piper, however, that Larry is working on prepping for an episode of the NPR show he was raving about in the last episode.

Tricia is back from detox in this episode, and as such, she has the honor of being the primary focus of the flashbacks. We see her in her teenage runaway days as she tries to help out a fellow teenage panhandler. She tells her new friend that when it comes to panhandling, less is more. If you just sit there, people will give you more money than they would if you had been aggressive. Tricia also shows her new friend the notebook where she keeps a log of everything she’s ever “borrowed.” Any time she has taken anything from anyone, she has intended to pay them back. We later see Tricia and this friend again, only by this time, the friend has gotten her life together while if anything, Tricia has slipped deeper into junkie-dom. Finally, we get a scene where Tricia tries to pay money for a set of headphones she took a while back while stealing a necklace. It catches the attention of the cops and is probably the beginning of her road to Litchfield.

Piper’s flashbacks, meanwhile, are all about her relationship with Larry (*gag*). The first flashback is Polly and Pete’s wedding, and Piper is helping Polly get ready. Polly advises Piper to start dating more low key people who know when to order Chinese food. Why does it have to be an either/or? Can’t you be with someone exciting who also knows when they need to step back take care of you (and vice versa?). Later, Larry, who also happens to be friends with Polly and Pete, is “plant sitting” for them when Piper bursts into the apartment. She has keys to the apartment, and she needs some place to lay low for a little bit because she was just bitten by the dog. Larry is seriously awkward as he tries to help Piper, but then he offers to order Chinese food, so we know Piper is going to try dating him as a change of pace.

For now, we see that Pornstache is successfully bringing in drugs through Red’s produce shipment. This irks Red to no end. When Tricia returns, she asks for her old kitchen job back, but Red refuses. She doesn’t allow junkies in her inner circle. Tricia tries to call Mercy for emotional support, but Mercy is being about as communicative with her as Larry is being with Piper right now. And we’re surprised by this? Pornstache tries to sell drugs to Tricia, but she wants to stay clean. He says that to repay the debt she owes him, she’s going to have to sell a bag of pills for him. Of course, the inevitable happens. By the end of the episode, Pornstache finds Tricia slumped in a storage closet, dead from an overdose.

On a sort of (but not entirely) lighter note, throughout the episode, it seems like some of the Litchfield inmates have starts a long con on Pennsatucky. Pennsatucky has decided all of a sudden that she is capable of faith healing. And some of the inmates are going along with it. It’s hard to know if they’re playing along for shits and giggles or if they have some bigger plan to mess with Pennsatucky. Meanwhile, the Scared Straight kids arrive at Litchfield, and the volunteer inmates immediately have fun trying to scare them. The only one who isn’t scared immediately is a tough girl in a wheelchair named Dina. She robs liquor stores and runs her own gang, so she thinks she can handle anything.

Meanwhile, the drug dealer dude who has slept with both Daya and her mom pays Bennett a visit in his apartment. He delivers the news that Daya is pregnant, which is quite the shock to Bennett. Bennett quickly arranges a meeting with Daya. He asks, rather stupidly, if there is a pill she could take or something. I kind of liked Bennett up until this point, even if he was a bit dumb. Now that I think back on it, the power imbalance just makes his relationship with Daya squicky from the beginning. Daya says she wants to have the baby, and they’ll think of a way to keep Bennett out of trouble. Daya’s mom also gets in on the conversation, and she says they’re going to need Bennett’s wounded veteran pension. Bennett says he didn’t actually lose his leg in combat. The loss of the leg resulted from an incident with a dirty hot tub in Florida. Womp womp.

Eventually, Piper is the one tasked with trying to finally get through to Dina. She gives this great speech about how the person you really have to be afraid of in prison is yourself, because it’s an experience that makes you confront who you really are. Then, after she leaves the bathroom where she had this conversation with Dina, she tells Pennsatucky that there’s a girl in the bathroom in need of some faith healing. Next thing we know, Dina’s on the floor and Pennsatucky’s trying to make her walk again. It causes a huge commotion, and the Scared Straight girls have to leave Litchfield immediately (and Pennsatucky has to go to psych). There’s just one catch. They have to avoid the hallway where Tricia is hanging from the ceiling (Pornstache did it to hide the overdose death). When Red and Nicky hear about Tricia’s death, they are devastated. Nicky admits she’s the one who told Pornstache how to smuggle in the drugs. Red says this means Nicky is going to be her most loyal minion going forward, because she’s going to feel the need to atone for this betrayal.

No comments:

Post a Comment