R29 Orange Is The New Black Binge Club: Season 3 Recaps

Photo: Courtesy of Netflix.
First, Netflix gave us Orange Is the New Black, and it was good. Then, it up and dropped season 3 a day earlier than expected and it was a miracle for the modern age. It can also only mean one thing: It's time to kick off R29 Binge Club. For 13 glorious hours, we're all going to watch the new season of Orange Is the New Black together.

Follow Vanessa's excellent instructions for a perfect binge, then join me in hunkering down as we head back to Litchfield with Piper and the gang. [Please imagine the metal clang of a cell door here for effect.]


Photo by: JoJo Whilden/Netflix
Season 3, Episode 1: "Mother's Day"
Be honest: When you're binge-watching, do you fast-forward through the opening credits? Please leave your thoughts in the comments.

Okay, we're kicking off the season with Pennsatucky maybe having learned something about tolerance, because she corrects herself when she uses a racial slur. She makes the correction while making a racist comment, though, so baby steps, I guess. We head into a flashback of young Pennsatucky and her mother visiting social services.

The theme of this episode is Mother's Day, which is also what Pennsatucky and two of the correctional officers are shopping for. This is also where I confess that I'm so bad with names I have to Google those of two characters who literally have theirs sewn onto their uniforms. [Hangs head in shame, also looks up "aphasia" on WebMD.]

Back at Litchfield, Red is moving into Rosa's old bunk, so Rosa has definitely passed away. Let's all pause and pour one out for her. Consider robbing a bank today in her honor. Just kidding; definitely do NOT rob a bank in her honor. We'll miss you, Rosa.

Now that we've had our moment of silence, guess who's back...back again? No, not Shady. It's Alex! She rolls herself on over and Red smiles. At least Piper will have something to do this season besides write a newsletter. As a writer, I know I'm being a hypocrite when I complain about that plotline, but at least I know that it would be boring to watch me do my job.

Cut to Caputo, who's walking a new corrections officer, Counselor Berdie Rogers, around the grounds. She's beautiful (she's played by actress Marsha Stephanie Blake), and Taystee teases Caputo about his new girlfriend. Rogers doesn't have time for any bullshit and she also picks up on the major tension between Caputo and Bennett.

In the kitchen, the ever-thoughtful Poussey asks Gloria for ways to make Mother's Day as fun as possible for the kids visiting their incarcerated mothers. This interaction has two important outcomes: We learn that Poussey's mother passed away and that Gloria's kids are coming to visit for the first time in a long time. Fingers crossed that neither one of them gets let down by their expectations for how the holiday will go.

Over in the happiest place on earth (the yard), Piper and Luschek are discussing their preferred method of suicide. She requests a change of subject when he drops the bomb: Her girlfriend, “the Bettie Page of Litchfield,” is back. Piper jets off, leaving Luschek to untangle wires and contemplate the human condition (and how to end it) on his own.

Sophia is giving mothers priority at the salon, but Morello lies about having children to get her hair done. Ever since it was revealed that she has a pathological lying problem, her character's stories have always made me sad — especially because she doesn't lie out of malice. And because she curls up like a pillbug under attack when challenged, which is exactly what happens in the salon. Sophia diverts attention away from Morello's four fictional children (which Morello doesn't have the stretch marks to prove exist) by mentioning that her son is coming to visit. Cut to a flashback of a pre-transition Sophia (hi, Laverne Cox's twin brother!) and a pregnant Crystal.

Nicky and Boo are still trying to figure out how to get their heroin stash out of the prison, and we're treated to a Nicky flashback. Oh, what a lonely, privileged life she led. It's Mother's Day, but her Chanel suit-clad mom wants to spend it at the spa. She doesn't even look at Nicky's handmade card as she leaves her daughter with the nanny.

Over lunch, Taystee, Suzanne, Poussey, and co. are discussing Vee's disappearance. Just when I thought I couldn't love Taystee more, she compares the situation to Cedric Diggory dying in the Triwizard Tournament in Harry Potter. Five hundred analogy points to Gryffindor Litchfield.

In a flashback that's the complete opposite of Nicky's, we learn that Poussey's mother was absolutely lovely. The two of them are reading Calvin and Hobbes together. Her mom patiently waits while young Poussey sounds out a new word (pupa). They freely exchange "I love yous." We still don't know how Poussey wound up in prison, but we definitely know that she experienced heartbreak when she lost her mother.

Caputo is apparently trying to run Litchfield in a more efficient yet also more lenient way than his predecessor. This includes midnight Wiccan gatherings on the lawn, which provide a perfect opportunity for Red to fill in the tunnel Vee used to escape. "R.I.P.," she writes in the cement. Is this the end of Vee?

Alex and Piper have a reunion in the chapel, and I send up a prayer to Jenji Kohan that she didn't make us wait for it. Moving on.

It's finally Mother's Day! Bennett is awkwardly welcomed into the Diaz family at check-in, which sets the tone for the whole day. He later tries to break the ice again with a joke, only to have Caputo take him aside and suggest he masturbate instead of continuing his relationship with Daya. Bosses, am I right?

Crystal waits in the car while Michael visits Sophia, and even though Sophia says that she didn't mean to steal Crystal's day, Michael tells her that he "doesn't need another mother." Sophia looks hurt and tries to change the subject, so she asks about the pastor. He gave Michael bad advice about both shaving and girls. Sophia wants to help her son, so she passes along some advice from her father that I find very questionable, so I'd love to hear your thoughts.

"Find a real insecure girl and practice on her. That way, when you meet a girl you really like, you'll be good at it," Sophia relays.

"Do you really want to be a lady in a world where men do that?" Michael asks.

"God help me, I do," Sophia replies.

I guess that works out well for the girl the person really likes, but what about the "real insecure girl" who's just being used for "practice?" If she's okay with the arrangement, maybe it's fine, but what if she doesn't realize she's being used? Not okay.

Meanwhile, Pennsatucky is having a very different kind of Mother's Day. She uses popsicle sticks to make crosses for all of her unborn children, and creates a graveyard where she can mourn all of her aborted pregnancies. Boo finds her and explains, using the principles of Freakonomics, that maybe it's for the best that Pennsatucky does not currently have six children.

Then, of course, the episode takes the tragic turn we all knew was coming. Lucy, one of Aleida's daughters, wanders into the prison because she wants to stay with Daya. The whole place goes into lockdown, scaring all of the visiting children.

Once Lucy is located, all of the parents have to say goodbye to their kids. Maria hands her daughter over to Yadriel, and that's the moment he chooses to let her know that he'll no longer be bringing her to visit. A heartbroken Maria screams as Yadriel walks away with their adorable child.

Finally, Poussey is sweeping up at the end of the day and finds a Calvin and Hobbes comic. A small smile plays at her lips. A small tear creeps out of the corner of my eye. The credits roll.
Photo by: JoJo Whilden/Netflix
Season 3, Episode 2: "Bed Bugs & Beyond"
Flaca thinks she has crabs...on her arms. Turns out it's bed bugs, which sets off a round of finger-pointing as to who brought them into the prison. Time to strip those beds.

Red finds out that Piper lied about visiting her family's restaurant and won't listen to Piper's protestations that she was trying to do a nice thing. Red says, "Nice is for cowards and Democrats...now I like you less." One point for Red.

Hey, it's Mary Steenburgen! She's playing Mendez's mother, Delia Powell, who wrote to Daya after she found out about the baby, which Mendez still thinks is his. Daya didn't respond, but Aleida did. She invited Mama Mendez to the prison for a little grandmother-to-grandmother chat. It turns into more of a "How much are we talking per month?" type of discussion after Delia says she wants to adopt the baby so that she can raise it like her two other boys, who grew up to be a dentist and an art historian.

Over in bed bug land, Bennett tells Daya about Delia's visit. As per usual, Caputo bursts in and ruins their time together. "This is not 3 Men and a Baby. You and Mendez are not Guttenberg and Selleck. You are two morons and a ward of the state. Let go. Let go of the dream." Way harsh, Caputo.

The inmates are all dealing the infestation in different ways. Poussey gets a garlic necklace from "GloMo" (Gloria and Norma) because "they drink our blood," so she's applying Dracula logic. Black Cindy has decided not to shower. Alex wasn't lucky enough to get one of the paper uniforms, and it's adding to her slow breakdown.

Bennett and Daya confront Aleida about her meeting with Mendez's mother. She explains why she wants Delia to adopt the baby. Daya has 37 months left in her sentence. Her grandmother is too old to raise a baby. Cesar would fuck it up. Daya once spent a year in foster care, and it was terrible. "Did you ever spend a night in a room by yourself? That baby could have a real life...with money and clean towels and shit," Aleida tells her daughter. Bennett remains an idealist in a dream world. "Daya and I are happy," he insists. But it's too late. The idea of a better life for her child has been planted in Daya's mind, and the scene ends on an inconclusive note for Litchfield's star-crossed lovers.

Anddddddd we immediately jump to a flashback of Bennett on active duty, and by "active," I mean shooting a viral video of troops dancing to "Hollaback Girl." I'm going to need the internet to GIF that, ASAP. Matt McGorry has got some moves. Like, Channing Tatum-body-roll-and-pec-isolation skills. Way to diffuse the tension, Orange Is the New Black. You made my morning.

Back at Litchfield, the entire purpose of a scene in the laundry room is for Luschek to have to take his clothes off and reveal that he's carrying weed. Nicky notices, and a plan clearly starts to form. A short while later, she approaches him outside and speaks allegorically ("You want to talk about Al Gore?"), letting him know that she has some candy she needs to sell. The two agree to go into business together.

In the bathroom, Alex's breakdown continues, and she gets two shots. The next time we see her and Piper, they're at lunch. Alex is now wearing a plastic garbage bag, and she notes, "I'm literally garbage." It's probably not the best time to start confessing things, but Piper was never one who could read a room. She tells Alex that she had a friend report her for violating parole, and that's why she was back in prison. Now Alex can stop having that nervous breakdown. Um, and be mad at you, Piper. Alex calls her manipulative and storms off, which is an ongoing theme of their relationship.

Over in happier couple land, Bennett and Daya are engaged! The ring is temporary and made out of gum wrappers, but she finds it romantic. Later, he goes to visit Cesar and deliver the good news along with a present for Lucy. The visit is terrible — Cesar has a new girlfriend, and she just had a baby. "Don't tell Aleida," he warns Bennett." Later, he pulls a gun on his son when he refuses to eat his dinner.

Cut to a Bennett flashback of another time his life that quickly turned from halcyon to hellish. He's sitting in a tent with his unit when someone throws a grenade at them and gunfire breaks out. Bennett's friend throws himself over the grenade, while Bennett cowers away from it in a corner. Before it explodes, the show cuts back to the present day.

It turns out bed bugs aren't Litchfield's biggest problem, though. It's closing in two months. No one even thought to tell Caputo, although he probably should have figured out what was happening when a ton of prisoners got out on early release. They don't have the budget to replace the mattresses being burned due to the infestation, nor does the state think it's worth it when they'd only be in use for a few weeks.

Piper and Red have a bonding moment during which Piper realizes that, yes, she is manipulative and needs to feel that she has the power in a relationship. She also spouts some annoying facts about how you only think you feel it when bed bugs bite you, but it's all in your head. Even in self-actualizing moments, Piper is an annoying know-it-all. Anyway, this realization leads to her and Alex having angry hate-sex in the cordoned off library.

Back to Bennett, to whom this episode really belongs. We see him sitting on the side of the road with tears in his eyes, clearly contemplating his next big step. He grits his teeth and speeds off, and we see that he left Daya's crib, which Cesar had given to him, behind. Ouch.
Photo by: JoJo Whilden/Netflix
Season 3, Episode 3: "Empathy Is A Boner Killer"
Luschek comes to let Nicky know that he found a way to sell the heroin, but she has some bad news for him: She lost it. He says that women are terrible at selling drugs, and I already know that this business arrangement of theirs is going to end terribly.

Not knowing that Bennett has ridden off into the sunset, Daya is already planning her wedding with Flaca, Maria, and Maritza, who knows a great dubstep DJ.

Officer Ford confronts Caputo about whether or not the rumors that the prison is closing are true. In typical Caputo form, he uses a lot of weird misdirected metaphors to talk around the subject, then tells Ford, “If you lose your job, you’ll be the first to know.” Caputo continues to be the Boss of the Year. Maybe Michael Scott can hand over his mug.

Alex meets with the new C.O., and we learn a bit more about Berdie Rogers. She thinks it’s fucked up that our country has more inmates than teachers or engineers, and that "prison is bullshit." "There are people here with potential that’s being squandered, and I want to make a difference." Oh, idealism. Alex isn’t having it, and she launches into her own monologue. Rogers just smiles and says she’d love to hear her redeliver said soliloquy in drama class later.

This is a Nicky flashback episode, so my stomach continues to sink about the pending outcome of her drug deal with Luschek. It turns out that her mother tried to help her, but she was so distant during Nicky’s formative years that it was tough for Nicky to see her support as anything other than her mother throwing money at a problem.

A quick levity break as a few of the inmates discuss the evolutionary history of the blow job over lunch. Is it why humans don’t have super-sharp incisors? Please ask your dentist the next time you visit.

The levity continues as Poussey and Taystee hold a memorial for the books that had to be burned due to the bed bug infestation. “Great Expectations. The BFG. The dictionary, man! All the David Sedarises…Sedari?” Poussey continues to be fucking rad.

Drama class has actually turned into improv class, and no one seems to be taking the “Yes, and…” rules of the game seriously. Soso knows: She took a class at UCB. Rogers pairs Alex and Piper together and has them do a scene in a grocery store. Alex is supposed to be returning a bruised piece of fruit, which of course becomes a metaphor for their broken relationship. Did Piper intentionally sell Alex a damaged piece of fruit because she missed her patronage? She admits it was wrong, but she’s #sorrynotsorry. She offers Alex a metaphorical persimmon, and it is on. Improv really does bring people together.

Caputo calls Fig and tries to appeal to her nonexistent compassionate side in an attempt to save the prison. When she says she doesn’t care about saving any of the C.O.’s jobs, he switches tactics and references her husband’s lover, Gavin. She doesn’t respond well to blackmail, and he tells her to burn in hell.

Over in marriage counseling with Red, she’s again serving as translator between Healy and his wife, who wants a divorce. In a rare outburst, Red comes to Healy’s defense, telling Katya that she doesn’t know how good she has it. I wonder where this is going, especially after Red asks that her lawyer be added to her visitation list so that she can get divorced.

Luschek gets the heroin back from Leanne, but not before she and Angie get high and start telling anyone and everyone that they should look for drugs in electrical. The C.O.s don’t take action because they’re pissed at Caputo for lying to them about the prison closing, but he forces them to perform a search.

They sweep Luschek’s desk and find a bag of heroin, and he immediately fingers Nicky. Well, that was the quickest betrayal in history — although Nicky lost Luschek’s trust when she told him she had heroin to sell, then hid it and retracted her offer. Addiction is powerful and devastating: That's the real takeaway here.

"You have an unquenchable thirst to self-destruct, and someday you will," Nicky’s mother tells her in a flashback. Oh, foreshadowing. In the present day, Nicky is led out of Litchfield and down the hill to max as Red and Morello say tearful goodbyes.

"Did you say goodbye to your mom?" Pennsatucky asks in the van.

"Red’s not my mom. I wouldn’t wish that on her. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone," Nicky says.

Roll credits.
Photo by: JoJo Whilden/Netflix
Season 3, Episode 4: “Finger In The Dyke”
Boo asks Pennsatucky if she can borrow some toothpaste because she’s running low, which reminds me that I haven’t brushed my own teeth today. Unlike Tucky, mine aren’t porcelain, so I’m pretty sure they do require routine maintenance. In addition to being an entertaining show, OITNB is also a great promotional tool for oral hygiene. Dentists should play it on loop in their waiting rooms.

In a Boo flashback, we learn that her dad saw the way she wanted to dress as a costume. He felt that he had to wear one every day, too, when he put on a suit and tie to go to work. Her parents allowed her to dress the way she wanted to at home, but it was an ongoing battle for her to demonstrate to them that her clothing choices weren’t just about external appearances. Boo always remained unapologetically true to herself. She would not be made invisible.

Caputo is trying to save Litchfield! This involves a lot of kowtowing to a private corporation called MCC that owns and operates prisons — but hey, the man has a heart. MCC usually only deals with men's prisons, so its hesitant to take over Litchfield. Caputo takes a group of MCC executives on a tour, which of course turns into a series of unfortunate events, in addition to more sad commentary on the state of the U.S. penal system. Litchfield spends $1.79 per inmate per meal, but the national average is $1.58, and the prison is clearly going to have to get that number down if MCC has anything to say about it.

An executive asks if it’s harder to house female inmates because of their “health requirements,” and the camera cuts to Morello, who’s weeping over the loss of Nicky. “The ladies here are all synced up. It’s a real rough couple of days, but at least it’s not all spread out,” Officer Donaldson chimes in, thinking he’s helping. A quick visit to the ladies in the kitchen confirms that the executives’ visit falls during that prime time of the month.

Healy and Red’s courtship continues in the garden, where he helps her with a wheelbarrow and refers to her by her real name, Galina. She opens up about losing Nicky. “I feel like I lost a child.” They have a moment where it feels like they’re going to kiss, but instead Healy walks away.

Another Boo flashback: Her girlfriend interrupts their postcoital bliss and asks if she’s going to visit her mother, who’s sick. She encourages Boo, who she calls Carrie, to forgive her mother before it’s too late. Boo can never forgive her parents for denying who she really is, though. That’s also why she couldn’t go along with the scam she was going to pull on Pennsatucky’s reverend in order to get money for her commissary. Keep on swimming upstream against that current, Boo.

The Chapman clan is at Litchfield to visit Piper on her birthday, but the occasion of her turning 32 has become a painful reminder that she isn’t where her parents think she ought to be in life. Piper comes to the realization that maybe this is exactly where she’s supposed to be, and she refers to Alex as her girlfriend to her family. She heads to Alex’s bunk to make it official, and Alex gives her a non-birthday mix. Here are a few songs on it, should you be interested in capturing the Alex/Piper magic in your own relationship:

“Only You,” Yaz
“You Wouldn’t Like Me,” Tegan and Sara
“The Pussy Is Mine,” Miguel

Back on the Tour of Terrors, Daya pulls Caputo aside and asks what happened to Bennett. He encourages her to accept that he’s gone, and the executives express their concern over the cost of caring for a pregnant inmate. Reproductive health care costs are a lot cheaper at the men’s prisons they usually deal with, what with men not having uteruses and all.

Daya finds Gloria outside smoking and begs for a cigarette. “He’s gone,” she cries. “I know,” Gloria replies. Have we truly seen the last of Bennett? Has anyone checked How to Get Away With Murder?

Even though the tour was a total shit show, MCC wants to take over Litchfield, thus setting the course for some major changes in the next part of the season. Victory, Caputo.

Also, Taystee helps Suzanne recover from the loss of Vee. Suzanne, of course, takes it too far, and the episode ends with her trying to spoon with her cellmate.
Photo by: JoJo Whilden/Netflix
Season 3, Episode 5: “Fake It Till You Fake It Some More”
The whole prison is buzzing with talk of changes MCC will be making when it takes over, specifically new job opportunities for the inmates. The kitchen staff heard rumors of a call center. Flaca says she could clean up there because of her sexy voice.

And, it’s a Flaca flashback! She’s helping her mother sew a dress that looks like the peach Calvin Klein gown Emma Stone wore to the Golden Globes in 2011. Her mom’s knockoff inspires her to make some imitations of her own. She prints some cherries on paper and starts selling them as fake acid tabs at school. Flaca is such a creative hustler that she even has a ready-made answer for when someone complains that nothing actually happens after taking her drugs.

Healy and Red are now in a full-on will they/won’t they relationship. Do you think they should? I can’t decide. The amount of smiling and laughing they’re both doing is making me uncomfortable. It’s so out of character.

The inmates are all taking a standardized test that seems to measure morality, ethics, IQ, EQ, and many other qualities that probably aren’t best ascertained via Scantron. Flaca has breakdown and is forced to leave the exam, which brings us into another flashback. One of her classmates, supposedly high on whatever she sold him, is freaking out on the roof of the school while the other students watch horrified below. He jumps.

Over in Alex and Piper world, the two lovebirds are busy planning their perfect stereotypical lesbian future together (landscaping, golf tournaments), when the writers realize it’s about time they throw the pair some drama. Alex points out a prisoner she’s never noticed before, but has now seen twice that day. Alex thinks Kubra sent her. Piper tells Alex she’s being paranoid. I’m bored with their plotline as usual, but anything that gets them talking about something beside themselves is a step in the right direction.

In another storyline I’m having trouble seeing as anything aside from totally superfluous, Poussey realizes that a squirrel that’s currently passed out in a tree may have discovered her secret underground booze stash. She attempts to protect her booty with some sort of spray, and in the process we learn that she and Leanne both speak German. Maybe that'll come up again later. And, in a weird bit of real-world continuity, my neighbor who lives across the courtyard is also tending to some plants on his balcony while drinking. He’s not using Leanne’s dad’s trick of warding off animals with piss and cayenne pepper, though. Small blessings.

Delia comes to visit Daya, who tells Mendez's mother that can have her baby. Delia expects more of a fight, but Daya seems to have lost her will now that Bennett is gone.

Red tries to use her burgeoning romance with Healy and the new round of work assignments to worm her way back into the kitchen. He feels betrayed that she’s been using him just to get back in her chef's cap. Is this plotline over yet?!

Even though Flaca was thrown out of the exam, she gets the new job that she wanted. She heads to the kitchen to say goodbye to everyone, but her pride takes over, and they end up cursing each other out. It turns out her personality and intelligence are not what got her the job, though. The new supervisor selected 40 inmates at random for the new positions, which involve…making underwear in an underground room that looks alarmingly like a sweatshop.

The episode ends with Flaca shaking her head as she realizes she’s stuck in prison, doing the exact same task from which she was desperately trying to escape at home. Too smart for her own good, that one.
Photo by: JoJo Whilden/Netflix
Season 3, Episode 6: “Ching Chong Chang”
There’s some new blood at Litchfield, the first new inmates since the prison went private. Judging by the title of the episode, though, we’re finally going to learn more about Chang. In a flashback, her brother is trying to arrange a marriage for her. She has cystic acne, which is making it difficult to find a suitor.

Down in the Whispers sweatshop, we get our first glimpse of Ruby Rose, one of the new inmates. She and Piper exchange a smile across a row of bobbins. The love triangle begins. Finally, some excitement in this joint.

The C.O.s confront Caputo about a classified ad they spotted in the paper looking for part-time corrections officers at Litchfield. What starts as a standoff turns into a bunch of adult colleagues declaring their love for one another. This continues to be the weirdest bunch of coworkers ever.

One of the new inmates demands a kosher meal, which is something I’ve often wondered about while watching OITNB. They actually do have some in the freezer, as Red informs Maritza. Who knew? The kosher meals look delicious, and the other prisoners start to notice. “Shabbat shalom, bitch!” — Black Cindy, getting that tastier food.

The Whispers catalog has provided an opportunity for Flaca, Black Cindy, and Janae to discuss the lack of representation of diverse women in advertising. They also bemoan the overly Photoshopped pictures and unrealistic body image standards being presented.

The Whispers setup is actually providing a lot of fodder for broader conversations about gender and sexuality within the context of the show. When Piper starts complaining about the sexy lingerie they’re making, Stella (Ruby Rose’s character) plays devils advocate and wonders why attractive women can’t just own their attractiveness. She also says she only identifies as a woman because the “options are limited.”

Meanwhile, Morello goes on a stream of pen pal dates, adopting a different personality for each guy when he comes to visit. When she mistakes one of them for an ornithologist (he’s actually a Brazilian jiu-jitsu enthusiast) and breaks down in tears over losing Nicky, she manages to make her first real connection.

Back to Chang’s flashback: After she busts a bunch of black market scammers, she becomes a badass kingpin, just like we all always suspected. She shows no mercy, even ordering a man’s gallbladder to be cut out as punishment after he calls her ugly.

Taystee stages and impromptu intervention for Poussey over lunch, urging Poussey to come to AA with her. Poussey realizes that what she really needs to get through prison is “a girlfriend…love."

Healy puts Red back in charge in the kitchen after all, and she strides in triumphantly before the credits roll. We’re halfway there, folks. Everyone request a kosher meal for lunch.
Season 3, Episode 7: “Tongue-Tied”
Whispers workshop conversations are quickly becoming my favorite part of the show. Here are just a few topics they’ve touched on so far: bronies, panty-sniffers, used-underwear vending machines in Japan, and nose fetishes. Piper keeps stealing the merchandise, though. Isn’t someone counting their output? Does Piper not know how sweatshops work, or does she not think she’s going to get blamed for theft? This is going to blow up in someone’s face.

This is Norma’s flashback episode, so we journey with her to a mystical workshop in the '60s. The workshop soon reveals itself to be more of a cult situation, but Norma looks happy as she marries its leader, Guru Mack, in a ceremony where he marries several other women as well. Oh, Norma.

I very much want to read the complete draft of Suzanne’s “kinky sex fantasy set in space,” which involves a pangolin, four to six other people, and aliens. Taystee calls it "worse than Fifty Shades." It sounds amazing. If any OITNB writers are reading this and want to post it online somewhere, your fans are waiting.

Oh wait; those Whispers coffee klatches had a purpose after all, as did Piper’s realization that Whispers wasn’t utilizing every last inch of fabric in a bolt. She’s going to use the scraps to make additional pairs of underwear, have the inmates wear them, and sell the worn underwear on the internet to the thriving panty-sniffer market. This is the second show this season to make use of the black market for used women’s underwear as a plotline (Younger also had Liza selling her skivvies on Craigslist for extra cash). Why are so many television writers aware of this trend? I didn't even know this was a thing until I watched these shows.

And with that, the episode starts falling into place like a very conveniently laid-out jigsaw puzzle. Cal comes to visit Piper and says that he and Neri are thinking about having a baby, but he’s worried about money. Piper says that she has a job for him: setting up a website for her used underwear business. Cal is a font of knowledge when it comes to the pre-worn panty market. For example, he knows that people will pay more for underwear worn by pregnant women.

It’s funny Cal should mention pregnant women, because Daya also approaches Piper to express financial concerns. Piper rambles on about studies that have been conducted to determine if The Beatles were right in their hypothesis that all you need is love (apparently love and a cool $75K per year is ideal). As Daya is walking away, Piper asks what size panties she wears. There’s probably a less creepy way to tell Daya about your exciting new business opportunity, Piper.

Quick flashback: It’s the return of the Mack (Guru Mack) and Norma, sans his flock. They apparently stopped believing when the government came after Mack, so now he and Norma are on the run. Their van runs out of gas, and a frustrated Mack starts venting to Norma about where it all went wrong on a cliff. Pro tip: It’s never a good idea to take all your anger with the world out on the one person who’s been your faithful servant for the past few decades at the edge of a cliff. Mack is absolutely horrible to Norma, and (surprise!) she pushes him off the cliff. Bye, Mack.

Gloria is having a rough go of it this episode. Sophia was nice enough to get Crystal to give her son Benny a ride up to the prison for visits, and he turns out to be a terrible influence on Michael. Just like Mack, she takes her anger out on someone else, and this results in her getting replaced by Red in the kitchen. The prison’s new corporate overlords have replaced their food supply with prepared bagged meals, like beef Wellington that just needs to be boiled, though, and Red is dismayed.

As the episode ends, we see that Norma did pick up a trick or two from Guru Mack. She strides silently into the chapel and takes her place at the head of her flock. They clasp their hands together in prayer. All you need is love — and a silent leader.
Season 3, Episode 8: “Fear, & Other Smells”
In a flashback, Alex is leaving her mother’s funeral when Fahri pulls up. She’s sad that her mother died, but she’s also upset that Piper didn’t come to the funeral. Fahri offers her some coke and the chance to drown her sorrows in Paris. Alex accepts. This, of course, turns out to be a terrible decision, because while she’s having a fantastic time tripping balls at a Parisian discotheque, the drug mule whose arrival she’s awaiting is arrested.

Back at Litchfield, Sophia is on the phone with Crystal, who says that Benny has been spending a lot more time with Michael. Michael also shared what Sophia told him about finding an “insecure girl for practice” with his mom, and now Crystal is questioning whether Sophia is teaching Michael how to respect women.

The inmates are officially hooked on Suzanne’s erotica, which now has a name: Time Hump Chronicles. The two protagonists are named Rodcocker and Gilly. I love everything about this story. If E.L. James can become a millionaire from Fifty Shades of Grey, surely Suzanne deserves a publishing deal of some sort. Someone on this show deserves to become a millionaire, and I want it to be Suzanne with her erotica, not Piper with her panties.

Piper the entrepreneur is hard at work on her internet pantyloining (not a word, but that’s what I’m calling it now that I’m on hour eight of this binge) business. She’s definitely been watching Shark Tank, because she’s figured out a way to get her product with the lowest margins possible. Thanks to the shitty new food in the cafeteria, demand for the flavor packets that come with the ramen sold in the commissary is at an all-time high. Piper buys all of the available ramen, and then uses it as a bartering tool in exchange for soiled panties. She makes an impassioned speech about not being ashamed about what you excrete in your underwear, but most of the people listening stopped paying attention once she said she had flavor packets to trade.

I’m not going to lie, I blacked out for a little bit after that because I’ve now been watching OITNB since 8 a.m. I came to when I heard someone shooting Fahri in Paris. The guy then turned the gun on Alex, who held her hands up in surrender.

The kosher meal-plan abuse is now becoming a cost issue, and has made it all the way to an MCC board meeting. This starts a round of terrible anti-Semitic jokes, which thankfully gets the woman who makes the worst of the bunch fired. I take this opportunity to reply to my mom’s weekly “Shabbat shalom” text message.

The board meeting also provides some other interesting information: Danny, who acts as the liaison between the corporation and Caputo, is also the son of one of MCC’s SVP's. His time at Litchfield is also starting to wear on his conscience, because he asks about allocating budget for legal books and job counseling services during the board meeting. Both ideas get shot down, and Danny looks defeated. He takes his frustration out on Caputo, who he blames for planting the false seeds of hope that he could do some good in the world.

Daya has another sit-down with Mendez’s mother and learns that Aleida was using Delia for money. When Daya hears that, she confesses that the baby isn’t George’s. “I can’t lie for money,” Daya says. “Thank you for telling the truth,” Delia replies as she stands up to leave. This baby may never be financially wealthy, but he or she will always be rich when it comes to love, support, and having a parent who knows what’s right.

Okay, remember how I said I loved Suzanne’s erotica? Well, I don’t like what it’s doing to Poussey, Time Hump’s number-one fan. “Love is just sex without the money shot. That’s why everyone loves Rodrocker…’cause he’s got a 10-gallon money shot,” a wasted Poussey tells Taystee when she finds her in the stairwell. Taystee urges her to go to AA and get help. “Is AA gonna make me feel useful? Make me feel like I have a future? Like I have someone to spend that future with? I’m lonely. I’m always going to be lonely. Gilly couldn’t find love, and he’s the purest soul in the universe.” A little later, instead of going to AA, Poussey joins Norma’s silent cult of meditation. Taystee spots her in the group and looks disappointed.

It turns out Alex wasn’t being paranoid about Kubra planting someone in the prison to spy on her. Lolly, an inmate Piper met en route to prison in Chicago in season 2, is now at Litchfield, and she’s been monitoring Alex’s every move. “Getting to Know You” plays as Lolly notes Alex’s bedtime in her notebook.
Photo: JoJo Whilden/Netflix.
Season 3, Episode 9: “Where My Dreidel At”
Suzanne has now become the George R.R. Martin of Litchfield, with fans constantly asking her for new chapters and plot details. If the OINTB team and Netflix don’t realize the marketing goldmine that awaits them by publishing Time Hump Chronicles, they have only themselves to blame. “The universiality of my work unites all the races,” Suzanne says while taking questions from her adoring public during her unofficial book tour (a.k.a. lunch). I love it.

Danny has brought in a rabbi to assess the increasing number of Jewish inmates requesting kosher meals. Caputo points out that this is illegal, and they have no right to question anyone’s religious beliefs, but Danny calls it a “legal gray area.” This is definitely going to be…interesting.

It's clear this episode is going to be very faith-based, because back in the chapel, Norma’s burgeoning new religion is also being questioned. Leanne comes to her defense, and we’re launched into a flashback. She’s at a party drinking and doing drugs. The next morning, the sun is rising over a cornfield, and there’s Leanne, changing into an Amish dress and bonnet. Now it makes sense that she speaks Dutch and German. What she does during her Rumspringa catches up with her, though, and that’s how she landed in jail. It’s especially ironic because she compares the freedom she experienced in the outside world to being in prison.

Since Leanne grew up in a religion with such a strict set of rules, she’s taking the reins in helping to establish the groundwork for Norma’s. She blows up at Soso over her commitment to the faith, but later tries to apologize. Soso, of course, only hears that Leanne once drove a buggy. She and Chang mock Leanne for being Amish, “like Harrison Ford in Witness.”

Next, it’s time for a montage in which a rotating bunch of inmates try to convince the rabbi that they’re Jewish. “I think y’all are doing a wonderful job controlling the media…I mean we…we are doing a wonderful job,” Lolly says. Everyone else talks a lot about Annie Hall and shellfish. Many of their comments are unintentionally anti-Semantic, and most of them confuse cultural Judaism with commitment to the Jewish faith. It ties into the larger message the episode is trying to make about faith and religion, which is that belief is incredibly personal, and it’s impossible to measure to extent and sincerity of someone else’s.

As expected, everyone fails the Judaism test except for Sister Ingalls (“The Abrahamic-based religions are all very similar up to Jesus,” she explains). She gleefully accepts her kosher meal, while everyone also goes back to eating slop. “There’s only one thing to do now…convert for real. Where my dreidel at?” Black Cindy announces.

Pennsatucky and Officer Coates are getting mighty close feeding doughnuts to the ducks, but things take a turn when he starts treating her like an actual dog. As they’re leaving their weird role-playing experience, he pushes Penn up against a tree and starts kissing her. He tells her how much he likes her, but it’s clear she’s not into it. “Right, boundaries,” Coates says, stepping back. Yeah, this isn’t going to end well.

Over in Pantyland, Piper rushes to tell Stella the good news from Cal about the success of their online used-underwear empire. Why didn’t she tell Alex? Stella inquires. Well, Alex is being paranoid and annoying lately (and rightly so). The episode ends with Stella and Piper kissing. Next!

Season 3, Episode 10: “A Tittin’ & A Hairin’”

The episode starts with a flashback to Pennsatucky getting her period at the age of 10, which leads to a life talk from her mom abut how men are going to start paying attention to her in a different way now. Back in the present day, Officer Coates apologies to her for what happened at the duck pond the other day. He brings her donuts in a t-shirt. Maybe things won’t turn out so terribly for them after all? No wait, I still have a terrible feeling about Coates and how he treats women.

In the dining room, Alex tries to confront Lolly about her creepy notebook, but this isn’t Lolly’s first rodeo. She’s got a backup notebook with different handwriting ready to call hers, and Alex ends up looking crazy. She gets two shots. Sorry, Alex. Maybe put more thought into your confrontations.

Piper and Stella’s business now counts Maria, Flaca, and Maritza as “Panty Ladies.”Alex sees Piper and Stella getting a little too close. I don’t have the energy or desire to describe their relationship drama. It’s only a matter of time, though, before the Panty Ladies get wise to how much money Piper’s making off of their used underwear. Let the revolt begin! Panty Ladies of the world, unionize.

In other dangling plotlines: Michael’s attitude is becoming more and more of a problem for Crystal and Sophia. Suzanne has writer’s block.

Back in a Pennsatucky flashback, “Pretty Fly for a White Guy” is transporting all of us back to elementary or middle school, depending on how old you are. She locks eyes with a sexy stranger, but goes off to have unsatisfying sex with another guy. Halfway through, she’s stung by something and runs off, leaving the dude screaming about blue balls. What an upstanding gentleman. Luckily, the stranger has an emergency first aid kit and treats Tiff’s leg wound. He also asks her out on a date. She wonders what his ulterior motives are, which makes me sad about how men have treated her up until this point in her life. He doesn’t appear to have any; he just wants to go to the movies. Aww.

Whoa, it’s…Pornstache! Minus the ‘stache. He’s just George now and he’s in prison. Delia goes to visit him and he cries because Daya hasn’t responded to any of his letters. His mom delivers the tough news that Daya isn’t actually carrying his baby and I think my heart actually breaks a bit for Pornstache.

OKAY this scene between Pennsatucky and her hunky high school boyfriend (the stranger with the first aid kit from before) where he helps her have what appears to be her first orgasm is legit hot. Nine hours of watching OITNB finally pays off, but I’m worried that this incredible win for Tiffany Doggett only spells disaster later on.

Delia goes back to see Daya at Litchfield, because much like Daya, she appears to be a genuinely kind-hearted person. She says that she’s got space for a baby and the offer to house Daya’s still stands. “Take her and give her the best life you can give her,” Daya says. “I will. I promise,” Delia responds as the two clasp hands across the table.

The episode culminates with three fights and two sexual assaults. Sigh.

Fight 1: Alex confronts Lolly again, only to realize that she’s paranoid and delusional. She thinks the NSA has been monitoring her every move and she offers to bring Alex in on her surveillance operation.

Fight 2: Sophia is using the Latina bathroom and Gloria confronts her about their sons. They argue, and Sophia pushes Gloria, who accidentally hits her face into a tile wall as she falls to the floor. Sophia immediately apologizes for the fight turning physical, but the rift between them has clearly grown to irreparable proportions.

Fight 3: Morello’s pen pal boyfriend and a gang of friends show up at Christopher’s house, mistakenly believing what Morello has told the pen pal boyfriend (I’m blanking on his name; apologies) about him.

The sexual assaults: One occurs in another Pennsatucky flashback. She’s in love with that amazing boy from before — and he loves her —but unfortunately, he’s moving away. The same terrible boy from before (the one she was having sex with when she was stung) locks her in a bathroom during a party and rapes her.

Then, in present day Litchfield, Officer Coates confronts Pennsatucky about making him late for count (which got him placed on probation). She apologizes and says it won’t happen again, but he throws her into the backseat of the van and rapes her, saying “I love you, Doggett,” over and over. The camera stays focused on her face as tears stream out of her eyes.

Season 3, Episode 11: “We Can Be Heroes”
Caputo and Fig are apparently meeting for hate-sex on the reg now, so he’s feeling both intensely self-loathing and satisfied as he walks into the C.O. meeting where they’re talking about unionizing.

The next scene between Pennsatucky and Boo is absolutely heartbreaking, but so, so important because it portrays a part of sexual violence that’s not often explored fully on television: its effects on the survivor. Boo notices that Pennsatucky isn’t her usual self and that she’s wearing a new bracelet. Upon taking a closer look, Boo sees the bruises on her wrist the bracelet is concealing. She asks Pennsatucky if Coates forced himself on her, but Pennsatucky blames herself, saying she led him on. She appears to be in shock; she’s talking in that not-all-there sing-songy voice that she used the last time she got out of the hospital after getting in a fight with Piper. All Boo can do is look on with tears in her eyes.

Norma continues to accidentally perform miracles, this time in the form of getting Rice released from prison, even though it’s really a case of mistaken identity. That’s enough for her flock to keep intensely bullying Soso, though.

The underwear money keeps rolling in, but the Panty Ladies have decided to unionize (a recurring theme in this episode). Piper, in turn, basically decides to start a prison gang. She takes this brilliant idea to Alex, who wants no part of it, because she’s spent enough time in drug cartels to be able to recognize an illegal operation when she sees one. Piper goes ahead without Alex, and in her first official meeting as the head of a crime syndicate, she fires Flaca for insubordination to set an example. When she recounts her triumph later to Alex, she warns Piper not to be so harsh and again says that Piper doesn’t know what she’s getting into. In fact, Alex is out of the business and out of their relationship.

ROSA CAMEO! I REPEAT: Rosa cameo! A young Caputo has decided to raise a friend’s baby as his own because he loves his girlfriend (who the friend impregnated before they started dating), and he took a job at the prison for the benefits. During his orientation tour, he stops by the TV room and who should be watching wrestling, but Rosa. Missed you, m’dear.

Suzanne’s erotic story flew too close to the sun and it caught the attention of Danny and the sexual misconduct committee. She’s actually okay with it; the clamor from fans for more was getting annoying. Unfortunately, it also drew negative attention to C.O. Rogers and she was placed on probation so her “misconduct” in drama class, which apparently gave rise to the creative endeavor that was Time Hump Chronicles, could be investigated. Healy gleefully stops by to see her as she’s packing up and reveals himself to be as racist and misogynist as she suspected all along.

Caputo tracks down the escaped inmate and he negotiates for better benefits for the C.O.s. It’s nice to see him get a win for once, because in the past, it was a steady stream of defeat that he didn’t know how to own or understand.

Boo goes for the tough love approach with Pennsatucky and she finally breaks. “I wanted to stop. I wanted him to stop so bad,” she cries. “Good, because we’re gonna get that motherfucker.” Hell hath no fury like a Boo and Tiffany Doggett scorned. Get him.

The episode ends with the newly unionized C.O.s singing “Do You Hear the People Sing” from Les Mis in a bar like they’ve been reading my dream journal or something.
Photo: JoJo Whilden/Netflix.
Season 3, Episode 12: “Don’t Make Me Come Back There”
Daya is in labor, but things are proceeding slowly. Still, she resists all help from Aleida, which leads to a series of flashbacks about other times in her life when she resisted help from her mother, who just wanted her daughter to need her.

Gloria arranges for an attack on Sophia. When Sophia goes to see Caputo, he knows exactly what happened, and blames herd mentality. There’s nothing he can do, and Sophia storms out of his office. Even Gloria looks upset when she sees Sophia’s bruised face in the cafeteria line.

Cal and Neri refer to the soiled underwear they’re selling as “premium artisanal shit,” and I spent a good minute or two laughing on my couch at how much these people drink their own Kool-Aid. I’ve clearly been binge-watching for too long. Neri wants to expand the business, but Cal says it’s Piper’s thing. Is the dirty-panties black market going to ruin yet another relationship? How many couples are going to be torn asunder by underwear? Why must Orange Is the New Black force us to look at such hard questions?

Over in the land of people with actual problems, Boo and Pennsatucky have decided to seek Girl With the Dragon Tattoo-style revenge on Officer Coates. Boo has been stockpiling dog sedatives for an occasion like this. They implement their plan at movie night, where everyone else will be distracted. When the time actually comes to sodomize Coates with a broom, though, neither one of them can actually go through with it. “This was your big, dumb, Swedish idea,” Pennsatucky says. “You’re the victim,” Boo argues. “I thought you’d want to do it. It’s my gift to you. It’ll help you work out all that rage and anger.” “I don’t have rage; I’m just sad,” Pennsatucky admits.

This episode also has a lot of elements of magical realism. The chicken is back, only this time, it’s Caputo who sees it. When he goes looking for it, he discovers a mysterious bag of oranges on the other side of the fence. Meanwhile, a few flats of corn show up in the kitchen the morning after Cindy, Taystee, Janae, and Poussey eat the corn Red had been growing in the garden for a big dinner.

Aleida calls Delia and says that Daya’s baby was born with the cord wrapped around his neck, and he died. I just know that she’s lying, and my suspicion turns out to be correct. Daya actually gave birth to a healthy baby girl, and the two of them are happily bonding in the hospital together.

Back in the laboratory of human stupidity, Neri is trying to concoct a mixture that looks and smells like something that would come out of a human vagina. The only problem is that even though she went to Vassar and claims to have had affairs with women, she actually has no idea how ladyparts smell. Cal decides to help out. The two of them certainly are well-suited to one another in their idiocy.

Suzanne discovers chapter nine of Time Hump Chronicles in the bathroom…only she didn’t write it. “Fan-fiction is cheapening my legacy,” she complains to Taystee. This chapter introduces sexy vampires to her space saga. I love Time Hump Chronicles and all of its fanfic so much, and I’ve never even read a page of it. Also, Taystee is the mom of the group now.

During movie night, Piper reaches for Stella’s hand, and they both admit that they’re terrible at being alone. Piper says they should be business partners. Sure, that’s why you grab someone’s hand in a meaningful way and bring up emotions — to propose a business relationship. Stella looks upset, both at Piper’s disappointing suggestion, and because she has an announcement of her own: She’s getting out on Tuesday.

Poussey goes to the library to retrieve some hooch and discovers that Soso has overdosed on pills she stole from the doctor.

The episode ends with Sophia being escorted to SHU. “You must have pissed off some pretty big dogs,” Donaldson tells her. Only one more episode to go, and I’m more sad and angry about this season than anything else. How about you?

Season 3, Episode 13: “Trust No Bitch”
The episode picks up right where the last one left off. Poussey, Taystee, and Suzanne rush to the library, where Taystee says that Soso isn’t dead. Whew. We head into a Soso flashback, where her mother is telling her to stop cheating as she practices “In the Hall of the Mountain King.” Cheaters are never remembered, her mother says. Back in the present day, Taystee, Poussey, and Suzanne revive Soso by forcing her to throw up all the pills she swallowed.

Flaca convinces Piper to let her back in the Panty Ladies. Flaca's mother has lymphoma and she needs the money to help her pay for treatments and medical bills. Piper agrees she can start working again at a lower rate, but Alex doesn’t approve.

Morello’s also experiencing some heartbreak. Her pen pal boyfried is back for visiting hours, but he’s there to break up with her. He’s got crazy feelings for her — “Pauly D/J Woww 2010 kind of feelings,” he says. Now, I’m going to stop for a second and say that it’s been a while since I watched Jersey Shore (five years, Lauren, he just said the year), but weren’t Sammi and Ronny the Romeo and Juliet of that show? Were Pauly D and J Woww ever in love? Morello’s guy (Vince! I now know his name is Vince.) says, “That’s the thing; they couldn’t act on [their feelings]. J Woww had a boyfriend.” Seriously, though, I have zero recollection of any sort of unrequited love connection between those two. Does anyone remember? This is VERY important, obviously.

Back to Morello’s Romeo/Pauly D, though. “It’s like blue balls for my heart, Lorna!” he says. She proposes to him with a photograph of a ring she tore out of a magazine. He accepts. They kiss and some smooth jazz saxophone music plays. It’s cheesy and oh-so-appropriate for a couple whose idea of great historical lovers are two MTV reality show stars.

The religious theme continues through a Morello flashback, where we see her at her First Communion, and then the ever-evolving group that now includes Taystee, Poussey, Janae, Cindy, Suzanne, and Soso. In another flashback, we learn that Janae needed a track scholarship to go to college, but her uniform went against the modesty standards of Islam. She renounces her faith and her father slaps her across the face.

Daya confronts Aleida about her decision to lie to Delia about the baby and have Cesar come to retrieve her from the hospital. Aleida thinks Daya is trying to thank her but doesn’t know how. I know that Daya will be a great mother when she gets out of prison two years from now, but in the meantime, Cesar already has five (or six?) kids at home. He probably doesn’t need another one.

Over whiskey flights at the country club, Danny, his father, and Caputo are discussing Litchfield’s current and future priorities. His dad is doing that annoying bullshit-y thing where people talk around topics instead of directly addressing them, though. Danny is angry that Sophia is still in the SHU — and he quits. “Enjoy nose-fucking your whiskey,” he tells his father as he storms off. Fuck yeah, Danny.

A revived, but still zombie-like Soso goes to talk to Healy. She asks if C.O. Rogers is coming back, and he says that she’s not. “You’re really bad at your job,” Soso tells Healy. “You make me feel worse every time we talk.” That seems to be a recurring theme with many of the women in Healy’s life, save for Red.

Black Cindy gathers a beit din and makes an impassioned speech about why she wants to convert to Juadism. Her three witnesses all agree. Welcome to the tribe, Cindy.

Piper is showing Cal the white-ink tattoo Stella gave her to cement their business relationship with benefits. It says “Trust no bitch.” He confesses that Neri has been selling “knock-off prison panties.” “You’re diluting the brand,” she tells him. “You’re not Walter White yet...you’re Walter White-ink,” is Cal’s sassy reply. Piper doesn’t know what he means, so he spells it out for her: Someone drained the business account that morning.

Piper goes on a hunt for suspects, with Flaca being number one. It turns out the culprit was a lot closer to home, though: Stella. She was nervous about getting out of prison with $20 and zero contacts to her name, so she panicked and stole from Piper. The rest of the Panty Ladies and the Whispers workers watch their confrontation go down, which means Piper just lost a lot of her street cred as the boss of her little empire as well.

In the van, Coates is telling Pennsatucky that he can’t remember what would have happened the other night to make him wake up in the laundry room with his pants down. She’s being evasive, but he wants her to pull over so they can have sex underneath a bridge. She offers up a few excuses, but clearly this isn’t someone who knows how to take no for an answer. Pennsatucky fakes a seizure and has an accident, crashing the van into a concrete barrier and roughing up Officer Coates pretty decently in the process.

Morello and Vince tie the knot, and Healy and Red lock eyes in a meaningful ways as they exchange their vows. As they stroll through the halls after the ceremony, however, Red tells Healy, “Our ships passed too late in the night.” I guess they won’t, after all. Even though you don’t get conjugal visits in federal prison, Officer Bell agrees to stay with the newlyweds while they spend an hour together in the vending machine room. They consummate the shit outta their marriage up against the snack machine. “Young love,” Bell says wistfully.

It turns out Piper’s learned a thing or two after all during her time behind bars. She takes all the illegal contraband she found during a recent search and dumps it in Stella’s bunk, then reports. The C.O.s arrive to search and Stella tells them they won’t find anything; she’s getting out in two days. They find everything, of course, and a stone-cold Piper simply holds up the message on her arm for Stella to read: “Trust no bitch.”

Quick dangling plotline recap: The C.O.s turn their backs on Caputo, who’s changed his mind about their decision to unionize now that he’s closer to the higher-ups at MCC. Someone from Alex’s past gets hired as a C.O., and things do not look good for her when they’re alone in the greenhouse. The DEA busts into Cesar’s apartment and takes all the kids to child services. Piper gives herself a tattoo, because why not?

Towards the end, Judy King, a celebrity chef and lifestyle expert whose character was inspired by Martha Stewart, arrives to self-surrender. There’s nary a guard in sight, even though her husband supposedly called ahead to make a reservation, like Litchfield was a four-star restaurant and not a prison.

Everyone’s out back, where some idiots repairing the fence have left a big hole in it. The inmates are all sprinting towards “Freedom Lake,” as Poussey’s calling it. Black Cindy sees it as her mikvah. Suzanne dives into the water and the rest of the inmates follow her in. Everyone looks so carefree and happy as they splash around and play in the sand. Suzanne and her equally zany number-one fan (sincerely yours, this is Stan) played fetch with a turtle. This goes on for a long time.

It’s not over yet, though. While the old gang’s out back having a day at the lake, a whole new shipment of inmates is being bussed in. “I Want to Know What Love Is” plays us out of season 3. What does it mean? What does any of this mean? I want you to show me, song/OITNB/life/existential crisis I’m having due to excessive binge-watching.
Photo: Courtesy of Netflix.

This concludes the very first edition of R29 Binge Club. Thanks for watching with me. Leave your thoughts about season 3 in the comments. Good night and remember: Trust no bitch.

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