Another strike against grasshoppers? Poor, dumb Bennett, who's discovering more and more every day that chasing momentary pleasure at the expense of safe sex was pretty much the worst decision possible. The Latina girls, who've got no plans to let up on their blackmail, have taken to calling him "Santa." (Even though he's not really bringing them exactly what they want; Blanca doesn't get her phone, and Flaca is disappointed to find that the iPod he's lending her is "full of Fleet Foxes and sh--." If he stops doing their bidding, Flaca and Maritza threaten to turn him in to the highers-up for raping an inmate. (Which, again, he definitely should be punished for, no matter how cute and nice he seems. OITNB: It's got layers!)
Except in Bennett's case, it turns out that even poor planning may be overruled by something even more powerful: Privilege. Sure, the girls can talk a big game about ruining his career -- but he's got the power to place them in solitary any time, for any reason. (Or even no reason at all: When Maritza asks what justification he has for sending her to the SHU, he snarls, "I'll figure it out later.") The moral of this section of the story: It's better to think ahead, but it's best to also be a straight white dude.
Piper, Flaca, Daya, and Morello's work on Litchfield's brand-spanking-new newsletter -- charmingly named The Big House Bugle -- may not seem to fit with the rest of the episode's theme. By establishing it, though, Piper's managed to ingratiate herself further with both her fellow inmates and the guards -- Caputo requests and gets a feature about how the C.O.s "are people too." (There's also a comic in there making fun of Healy, but it's subtle enough that the man himself doesn't get the joke.) This could go a long way toward helping her investigate the prison's history of corruption. The unceremonious removal of poor, crazy Jimmy -- she's getting a "compassionate release," which basically boils down to being left destitute on the street -- seems like it's going to invigorate Chapman to dig even deeper into Fig's dirty doings, which is sure to have major consequences down the line.
We're at the season's halfway mark as of this episode, and it's easy to see how this running thread could end up as season 2's most important plotline. Could these 13 episodes end with Fig being removed -- or even with Litchfield being shut down for good? It seems sort of silly to speculate when every episode is already available for viewing -- but they're interesting questions to ponder if you're one of those people who's got enough self control not to finish the whole damn thing by this weekend. (So a unicorn, in other words.)
- Predicting now that White Cindy gets her own flashback in Season 6.
- Today in Prison Ingenuity: You can make a lighter out of a battery and a foil gum wrapper.
- A deadpan Piper, when Journalist Andrew asks for more information about Fig's fraud: "Okay, cool. I'll just look that up on the handy inmate internet they give us for when we get curious about stuff."
- Why can't Suzanne be a saleswoman? Because, as she intones -- in a voice implying that she's carefully memorized this sentence from Vee -- "I make people uncomfortable."
- I'm suddenly imagining a whole other show that focuses solely on O'Neil and Bell's tumultuous relationship. It'd be like Mike and Molly, but darker (and probably funnier.)
- Journalist Andrew calls prison "the single greatest stain on the American collective conscience since slavery"... but doesn't OITNB make it seem just a little fun?
- Brook, doubling down on being The Worst: "I'm a vegetarian. Obviously."
- Red's still staying out of the dangerous contraband game -- but you've got to wonder if she'll manage to keep her distance as Vee gains more and more ground.
- Finding out that Flaca is a closet grammar stickler might mean she's my new favorite.
- Some Golden Girls are not impressed with Ratatouille: "The health code is still the health code!"
- Unnecessary Info Alert: I'm from Pittsburgh. That is not what our airport looks like.
- Literal excerpt from my notes for this episode: "UGH LARRY WHO CARES." Anyway, Boring Affair with Piper's best friend (who, semi-interestingly, was actually friends with Larry before they each met their current significant others) is a go. Anyone else thinking they might be into Polly... if she were a supporting character on a different show?
- Fischer's plan to listen to inmate's calls has already yielded dividends: Now she knows that Daya is pregnant. Ruh-roh.
- Prison relationships in a nutshell: "That is my sister in here. I don't even like the bitch, but she's family."