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Orange Is the New Black “Little Mustachioed Shit” Review (2×10)

22 Jun

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The prison system corrupts. Whether it’s the administration or the prisoners, there are always instances of people believing in or becoming part of an inherently flawed system; we see it with someone like Caputo, who’s generally a good guy, but has slowly become controlled by the belief that he can still do good by this prison. It’s not so much a hopeless situation as it is a situation unable to be governed by people clinging onto the past.

Vee’s changing the status quo of the prison and causing many characters to revert to their former selves, or at least versions of themselves that portray them in an unflattering light. Suzanne, for example, has become Crazy Eyes again, the person other people view her as before they get to see her true character. Sadly, though, her true character is easily manipulated and falls into line with Vee in a heartbeat, and while it’s easy to look at her and dislike what she’s doing, remember that Vee’s the underlying cause, the reason why Suzanne would pour water on Rosa’s food to get her to move. She’s powerful and protected, and Janae being sent to the SHU won’t harm Vee because she’s on top in the prison.

Poussey’s had enough of this, though, and decides to confront Vee in one of the most harrowing scenes of the season. She ends up sobbing on the floor of the bathroom, taken down by Suzanne, a symbol of the corruption caused by Vee’s influence. Poussey, on a larger scale, tries to break apart the rigid system that’s been implemented and runs into a brick wall, and on a smaller scale, is just trying to get her friend back.

Another focal point for the episode is the exploration of Alex’s and Piper’s backstory, one we’ve already seen before, but with an added revelation: Alex had a girlfriend, Sylvia, whose vendetta against Piper only drove Piper and Alex closer together, resulting in a flaming bag of dog (or human. It’s being debated) shit being left on Piper’s doorstep. You can draw parallels here to Poussey’s explosion of rage in the bathroom: both emotion-driven, useless attempts to effect change, and as we see in the present, Piper playing the part of the girlfriend–after finding out about Larry and Polly and punching a wall a few times–is only a small dose of satisfaction, a way to get back at someone who’s not a part of her world anymore. Early in the episode, Piper lies to Red about her market, and there, we see Piper empathizing with Red’s dreams of the outside world. Red spurs on Piper’s revenge scheme, but when you’re dealing with the outside world, how much of an effect do your actions have?

Finally, it’s time to get to good ‘ol Pornstache, who’s fired by a gleeful Caputo and arrested in front of the whole prison. And here, we see yet another gray area in our characters’ characterizations, because although the guy absolutely deserves to be in jail, he only cares about Daya and the baby’s well being as he’s being carted off. It’s a sympathetic moment for him, and an entertaining one, and Litchfield’s finally gotten rid of him. What else will they be able to get rid of, though?

GRADE: A-

OTHER THOUGHTS:

-The Michael-Sophia scene is great. At least someone in this episode gets to effect change (it feels like that’s the 50th time I’ve used that phrase in this review). I really hope we get to see more of Sophia soon, because she’s been on the fringes quite often this season.

-I don’t know how to feel about Figueroa. I understand the show trying to shade in her character and I understand how her methods might actually help, but I can’t shake the feeling that the nuances were just thrown in there a few episodes ago.

-Yoga Jones’s words to Soso also speak to the way the prison system is structured, with punishment doled out in such a careless manner that it actually impedes change.

-Morello’s scene, in which Christopher yells at her and reveals to everyone the truth behind their relationship–it’s nonexistent–is truly heartbreaking. Once again, Morello’s a disturbed individual and Christopher’s completely within his rights–how would you feel if no one believed you when you said someone broke into your house, even though that someone was in jail?–but it’s difficult not to feel for her. Maybe this is what she needs, and maybe Nicky’s guidance will help her get better.

-Oh, Healy and your empty support group. Sometimes, change isn’t so easily effected.

– “I’M GONNA NAME HIM STAN!”

Photo credit: Netflix, Orange Is the New Black

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