I’m so sad that this season is already coming to an end. Sometimes I wish Netflix would force us to consume Orange Is The Black more slowly, by rolling out each episode on an weekly basis, so that it wouldn’t be over so quickly. This episode was nearly ninety minutes long, but it flew by, thanks to dense plotting, a lot of jokes and the investment in so many characters that the showrunners have nurtured in us.
Thanks to Piper’s detective work, she is in the SHU, which she manages to get out of by negotiating the release of information that will incriminate Fig in exchange for having her transfer halted. Caputo is psyched to get one over on Fig, even letting her give him a blowjob of desperation (…?) in an effort to convince him not to sell her out. Afterward he lets her know that he’s already sent the documents to the warden, which doesn’t bode well for his promise to run the prison more kindly and gently than she has. She steps down without getting into trouble thanks to the warden’s aversion to scandal, and Caputo goes around doing lots of “good guy” stuff: halting transfers, feeding nuns, and so on. It feels like it’s only a matter of time before having the upper hand goes to his head.
Bennett tells Daya that he most definitely will not be confessing to being her baby’s father and going to jail, since he’s up for a promotion which means he can better provide for her and the baby. Daya basically rolls her eyes at this, as she should, and he is eventually moved to go to Caputo’s office and confess. Caputo, however, is perfectly content to let the guy who has already taken the fall for the pregnancy be the only guy who takes the fall for it, and advises Bennett to keep his mouth shut if he really loves Daya. Regardless of what happens, reality seems to be intruding on their delusional romance to a degree that’s impossible to ignore.
Red and Sister Ingalls are hanging out in the infirmary together. Ingalls is touched to discover that a bunch of nuns have rallied behind her and are standing outside the prison gates in solidarity. Red wants her to end her hunger strike, which she says she’ll do if Red tells the truth about who attacked her. Initially she told the SIS officers that she was hit from behind and didn’t see her attacker, which is demonstrably untrue. Red wants to keep quiet and get revenge in her own way, but eventually she realizes that she has an opportunity to prevent Vee from hurting other people, and so she recants.
Meanwhile, Vee is incepting Suzanne with the idea that she was the one who beat up Red, since Vee used her lock to do the job. Suzanne gets questioned by the SIS officers, and while she is clearly not all there, they are more invested in ending the day early than getting to the bottom of what really happened. Not even Taystee and co. deciding to recant their statements can get them to budge, until Healy shows up with a forged work order showing that there was no way Suzanne could have been in the greenhouse. Aw, Healy! He’s been softened up by Pennsatucky, who is learning how to rein herself in and show interest in people with lives different from hers. Their pairing has been so lovely and sad this season, I hope we see more of it in the third season.
Quick sidebar: two monsters made out of discarded Trader Joe’s bags and fair trade coffee grounds named Larry and Polly come to visit Piper to ask her to give their relationship her “blessing.” She is understandably reluctant, existing as she does so far outside their bubble of boring New York narcissism that she doesn’t even seem that mad — just amazed at how terrible they are. Later she uses their guilt to extract a favor: after Alex comes to see her, saying that she is afraid she’s going to be killed by her dealer, who walked despite her testimony, Piper has Lolly call Alex’s parole officer to tell him that she’s violating the terms of her agreement. I think the plan is to get Alex back in prison and safe with her, though it seems to be missing a few crucial steps. Piper’s never been a great mastermind.
Nicky and Boo are hoping to expose Vee’s drug operation when an alarm for an escaped prisoner interrupts them. Turns out Vee has used Red’s tunnel to flee at the news that Taystee and the other girls’ testimony will likely send her to a maximum security prison. While Boo seems to be happy that the problem has resolved itself, Nicky can’t stop staring at all the free heroin that Vee has left behind. In related news, Gloria and Lorna made a santeria cake to get rid of Vee, and they take this disappearance as a sign that they are true brujas. I love them.
Vee’s freedom is short-lived. Morello gives Rosa the opportunity to steal the prison van and go somewhere to die on her own terms, which Rosa gleefully does, nearly mowing down a dozen nuns in the process. As she barrels down the road she takes some time out of her day to flatten Vee like roadkill.
“Always so rude, that one!” she sniffs. Good lord, that’s a great note to end the season on. Can you believe we have to wait another year for more?