Pennsatucky: She's aliiiiive, and she's never been more saner! Even though she's got to be on a liquid diet; after Piper's beatdown, Tiffany's Jack-o-Lantern gums have officially begun to resemble those of a pumpkin left out weeks after Halloween. But don't get used to that sight. After a month in the SHU, Pennsatucky is brought into Healy's office for a little negotiation. The basic gist: Tiffany will scratch his back by neglecting to tell the Powers That Be how Healy walked away from the fight that nearly killed her, and he'll scratch hers by okaying a trip to the oral surgeon. Everybody wins, especially Tiffany's gums.
But as happy as her new pearly whites -- pristine as the pearly gates! -- may make Pennsatucky, she shouldn't get too comfortable: Trouble is brewing among the other meth-heads, who seem to think their former leader has gotten a little too big for her britches. At least the mock job fair taught pale Leanne the benefits of makeup: "I didn't even know you had eyelashes until today," Angie tells her by way of compliment.
Daya: She's pregnant and constipated, which means we're in for a lot of poop puns. More importantly, she's at the center of a maternal arms race between Gloria and her biological mother, Aleida, both of whom think they've got what it takes to get Daya's pipes moving. Perhaps it's more important to note that Gloria and her gals seem to be enjoying their new position of power in the kitchen, which gives them a perfect perch to gossip about their territory's former czar in Spanish. Speaking of:
Red: What happens to a Russian deposed? Does she dry up, like a raisin in the sun -- or slowly fade away, like the hair color she can't be bothered to keep applying? After losing her throne, Litchfield's former top dog is a broken shell of a woman, one who returns to the cafeteria only after her commissary money goes dry. (According to her son, all is not well at the family business; cutting off the supply of contraband to Litchfield has hurt her kin on the outside as well.) Once there, Red finds that she's got nobody to sit with but the Golden Girls. It may not be time to cue up a recording of Bryan Cranston reading "Ozymandias" just yet… but still, the tides have certainly shifted. What will it take for them to shift back?
Healy: Still trying to learn Russian for his mail-order bride; still a total skeeze. We can't forget who the real enemy is.
Fig: That corruption stuff teased last season? Yeah, it looks like it's going to be a bigger deal this year -- which I'm sort of torn about, since as a storyline, it's a little more contrived than I want or expect Orange to be. Anyway, Litchfield's administrator tries to use her feminine wiles to throw an intrepid reporter off the scent... but he doesn't seem like he's buying what she's selling. Also important to note: Fig's husband is running for state senate, instantly giving me flashbacks to The Office
Morello: Would totally wear a sailor suit to a job interview. Also comes up with the perfect way to describe Red's downfall: "It's like when you see a cop in sweatpants in the kitchen after he spends the night with your sister."
Sophia: Looks fierce in a tiny, spangled, totally office-inappropriate dress, but otherwise doesn't have too much to do.
Poussey: Alters Taystee's skirt so that she'll have a leg up at the job fair, because their relationship is the best. Seems to be doing Jay Pharoah's Kanye West impression when she's describing her ideal job, but it's funny enough that I don't mind.
Suzanne: Asked what she'd like to do for a living, Suzanne answers that she'd "love to work with round things." Why? Because "round things are very pleasing to me." Marry me, Suzanne.
Cindy: Be prepared to watch her become a bigger presence in the cast this season. I loved her philosophizing when Poussey started complaining about Philip Morris: "The real evil are them companies killing without consent… Monsanto, Big Pharma, BP, Halliburton." The lady has a point.
Larry: Finally, the Larry scenes we've been waiting for all these months!! ("We" are "Jason Biggs and Jason Biggs's mom," right?) Okay, that was harsh; there's some amusing stuff here, between Larry and Mr. Blum's uncomfortable trip to a gay bathhouse ("I had a Groupon!") and Larry's uncomfortable trip to Polly's House of Exposed Nipple. Hey, another example of motherhood (Frantic Yuppie flavor) -- everybody drink, if you dare!
Big Boo: Ew. Ew. Ew. All you need to know is that Little Boo is out of the picture, after a truly disturbing event we'll refer to only as The Peanut Butter Incident. (Ew. Ew. Ew.)
Pornstache: Neither seen nor mentioned, though you know he's got to turn up at some point this season.
- Be still, my beating heart: Young Taystee can recite pi up to 56 digits.
- More Taystee, awed by the bougie craft store: "They had a whole f---ing aisle of pipe cleaners!"
- And another thing: Young Taystee is searching for her "forever family." Teenage Taystee says that drug running is not her "forever career." Should we take these semantics as a sign of her continued naiveté? How do you think her concept of "forever" has changed since going to prison?
- I'm mesmerized by Taystee's ever-changing hair; how many different styles did you count altogether?
- You can trust Pennsatucky; she was on Greta Van Susteren!
- One last example of motherhood: Maria, the inmate who went into labor last season and had to return to prison right after her newborn was taken away from her. Here, we see her spend a few precious moments with the baby during visiting hours; it's a harrowing couple of minutes.
- Do those naked dudes in the steam room mark the first hint of dong we've seen yet on OITNB? Hooray for equal opportunity nudity!