Saturday, September 13, 2014

Summer TV Rewind: Orange is the New Black 1.13: "Can't Fix Crazy"

“Yeah ‘you gonna die’ is really vague. Like totally open for interpretation.”

“Orange is the New Black” certainly knows how to do a holiday episode. Christmas wasn’t really the centerpiece of the episode, but the Christmas Pageant was definitely an important event. As is appropriate since this is the season finale, a lot of the conflicts that have been brewing all season finally come to a head. The Larry/Piper/Alex triangle must be resolved. The Piper/Pennsatucky feud must be resolved. Red losing the kitchen must be dealt with. There’s a lot to cover for one episode! The episode also leaves us on a big cliffhanger for season two. As annoying as Piper has gotten, the situation Piper finds herself in at the end of the episode was shocking and left me wondering where she show would go next.

It’s almost Christmas, and as the episode opens, the ladies of Litchfield are auditioning for the pageant. The auditions are all entertaining, at least. There’s plenty of bad singing, some beat boxing, and Pennsatucky tries to make a case for being cast as the Angel. There are all sorts of crazy talents that will probably have no place in the pageant. Taystee can actually sing, and Suzanne does a silly dance that is her trying to pretend she’s ice skating. Sophia and Sister Ingalls (who are directing the pageant) are going to have a heck of a time trying to put a show together out of all this.

In the previous episode, Larry gave Piper the ultimatum that they were either going to go through the rest of Piper’s sentence as husband and wife (aka get married right away), or break up. Piper asks Healy for a marriage request form (which he denies, since he’s a child and he’s still pissed at her), which means she has accepted the get married right away side of the deal. Doesn’t seem like the smartest idea to me, but Piper is desperate to have a socially acceptable life. When Larry tells his parents that he and Piper are getting married, the reaction isn’t positive, to say the least. His mother jokes that Larry can’t be worried Piper will meet someone else in prison, and while he doesn’t say anything, Larry just looks crushed. He and Piper are both kind of horrible people, so I’m not sure how I feel about this.

There is all sorts of administrative drama happening around Litchfield too, of course. Because of the drug smuggling reveal, Caputo essentially fires Red from kitchen duty. He doesn’t even promote one of her minions. He puts Gloria in charge of the kitchen and says she can choose her own staff. Meanwhile, Fig has a plan to make sure the drug smuggling won’t be a problem for much longer. She has a meeting with Bennett, and she uses Bennett’s over-eagerness to her advantage. You see, Bennett stopped the Neptune Produce truck before it even entered Litchfield grounds. So it wasn’t Neptune Produce that brought drugs to Litchfield. It was Bennett. It’s a really *headdesk* inducing chain of logic. Poor Bennett thinks he has been foiled.

The relationship drama continues as well. Alex and Piper talk, and Piper basically tells Alex that she chooses Larry because she needs a more structured life. Alex is pissed. Meanwhile, Pornstache stops by Litchfield. He claims he’s just there to pick up his check, and he asks Bennett how Daya is doing before he disappears. He’s a creeper, that one. We also get a scene of COs sorting inmate mail, and there are two interesting letters. One is a letter for Daya signed “Hot 4 You.” The other is a letter from Larry to Alex asking Alex to put Larry on her visitation list so they can talk. Alex does so, and the two have a bit of a verbal confrontation at visitation. Alex tells Larry that Piper was the aggressor in the rekindling of their relationship, and she warns Larry that Piper is messed up, and he’s going to have to deal with that.

Not realizing that Larry has this new information from Alex, Piper is still pursuing the marriage request form. This time, she asks Fig. She tells Fig about how Healy called Larry to tell him about her “lesibian activity.” Fig had been meeting with Piper to talk about Larry’s radio show. She had a list of “corrections” that she wanted Larry to incorporate in any future public comments on Litchfield. When she hears about what Healy did, though, she’s pissed. Fig grants the marriage form, and she later gives Healy quite the talking-to about how he needs to stop his lesbian-phobic idiocy. Healy, as you’d expect, is not amused.

Breakfast at Litchfield is pretty awesome under Gloria’s watch, but Red’s minions all have to make themselves say it’s too spicy. Also at breakfast, Nicky is organizing a Secret Santa for the white inmate clique. They decide to include Alex and Piper, too. Nicky drops off a Secret Santa paper at Red’s cube, and Red is clearly not in a good way. She’s been eating nothing but Cup O Noodles since being kicked out of the kitchen. And she’s not interested in Secret Santa-ing. Later that night, Red sneaks into the kitchen and tries to sabotage everything she can. This includes putting lots of extra grease in one of the ovens. One of her minions gets severely burned in the resulting explosion, and Norma (the usually silent minion) confronts Red by tearing up her Secret Santa paper that had Red’s name on it. To make things worse, Red is also now persona non grata in the chow line, just like Piper was earlier in the season.

Pennsatucky, of course, is determined to kill Piper. Her minions try to laugh of the rants, but Pennsatucky is serious. Things come to a head when Piper is taking a shower, and Pennsatucky’s minions block the door. Pennsatucky herself barges into the shower and freaks out Piper by using a razor to cut herself and smearing blood all over piper. Girl is certifiable. Luckily, Taystee had seen things start to go down, and she called a CO to rescue Piper. Taystee tells Piper she needs to go on offense and take Pennsatucky out already. The next day, Boo arrives in Piper and Taystee’s cube (Taystee is Piper’s new roommate) to deliver Piper’s Secret Santa gift. It’s the screwdriver that went missing from the electrical shop early in the season.

The Christmas pageant itself is pretty sweet. There’s actual decent music, which I wasn’t expecting given the audition footage we saw at the beginning of the episode. There is a sweet moment when Crazy Eyes gets stage fright, and the usually silent Norma takes her solo and kicks ass. Piper can’t take too much of the pageant, though, and she walks out. Pennsatucky walks right off stage (she got to be the Angel like she wanted) and follows her outside. Pennsatucky tries to attack Piper with a sharpened wooden cross, Buffy-style. Healy sees all of this going down, but because he’s pissed at Piper, he decides to ignore it and go back inside. In the middle of the fight, Piper takes the advantage when she kicks Pennsatucky in the crotch. She then starts whaling on Pennsatucky while she’s down, Ralphie in “A Christmas Story” style. And that’s where we leave her for the season.

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