New Show Recap: Orange Is The New Black, 02×04, “A Whole Other Hole”

Season two of Orange is the New Black continues to deliver both gut punches and gut laughs. This episode is no exception. So far, I have enjoyed watching the back stories about my season one favorites. This episode’s A-Plot focuses on someone I’ve been wondering about: Morello.

It turns out that her puppy love for her fiancé is not all that it seems. Lorna Morello comes from what movies and television tell me is a stereotypical New Jersey Italian family. Her crime? Mail fraud committed by claiming not to have received pricey goods for which she receives refunds. The writers set her up as being the biggest and most annoying romantic of the 21st century by telling us that she’s seen Twilight fourteen times.

Back in prison, we get the scene that launched a thousand gifs: Poussey mentions to the group that there is a pee hole that is separate from the vagina hole. The girls don’t buy what Poussey is selling until Sofia precisely describes the vagina, labia, clitoris, etc . Watching the group use a mirror to discover their bodies was super fucking awesome. I’m not sure how to take the fact the trans character plays Mistress Miagi to the cis women. Is there inherent transphobia in setting up Sofia as this magical vagina oracle? I am not sure. Despite my misgivings, I laughed and appreciated that a TV show actually talked about vaginas and accurate anatomy.

Courtesy of this episode’s comedic relief plot, “Clitoference” is my new favorite word, especially since it comes from the competition for maximum pussy between Big Boo and Nicky. Since my wife and I are huge Natasha Lyonne fans, we feel like her turn as Nicky might be the third best thing about Orange is the New Black.

Back at the A-Plot, Morello’s break down over her fiancé and his soon-to-be wife while she waits for Rosa to get her chemo is the episode’s dramatic highlight. As Morello took off in the van, my wife and I screamed at the television for her not to do it. This type of physical reaction on the part of viewers is one hallmark of a great show. In flashbacks, we learn that she met Christopher at a UPS store, at which point he asked if she had so many packages because she was committing mail fraud. Way to knock us over the head with foreshadowing, writers.

Over at Red’s seasonal story arc, we see the beginnings of Red’s return to power. We also meet the old ladies of Litchfield, who will soon be Red’s new allies. These women are some of the most fascinating characters in season two mostly because I have a hard time believing older women exist in prison. These characters bring a new voice to the show.

Although the main character of the show is Piper, I continue to ignore that Piper and Larry are still characters on this show. In this episode, Piper has to get her stuff back after her trip to Chicago. And the writers attempt to make Larry empathetic because he’s helping Polly with her new baby, but it just comes across as creepy.

In Vee’s seasonal arc, she catches Poussey and Taystee cuddling, which gives her an idea about how to set up the wedge that will drive Taystee to Vee and away from Poussey. The main thing we learn is that Poussey is gay and has a crush on Taystee. Before this episode, I didn’t have an opinion on Poussey’s orientation, but it’s nice to see another queer character on the show, though I do not look forward to how her orientation will be used against her.

Back to the Morello plot: OMG. She breaks into a house, which seems like a terrible idea for someone who just ran away with a prison van. As she enters Christopher’s house, you realize all is not what it appears to be. Wanting the comfort of love and her ideal mate, she puts on the fiancé’s wedding vale and takes a bath in the really nice bathroom. You definitely feel sorry for Morello, even after discovering that she is a bit delusional about her and Christopher’s relationship.

In a flashback to Morello’s trial, we learn that she and Christopher only went on one date and that Morello stalked Christopher and his soon-to-be wife. The scariest thing is the revalation that she placed an explosive device beneath the couple’s car. Waking from her bath nap, Morello realizes she has very little time to make it back to the hospital to pick up Rosa and Fischer. Stupidly, she takes some clothes and a stuffed bear from the house. I do not know if this will come back to haunt her. While giving me and Carolina heart palpitations, she makes it back in time.

Back at Red’s plot, Red finds an old greenhouse and discovers that a loose floorboard could be a link to the outside world. She approaches Caputo about getting the old ladies into gardening. Red is a crafty woman. The war is escalating between Vee and Red with this move.

What I really appreciated about this episode was the beginning of Rosa’s back story. We get a taste when she tells Morello that she has two dead husbands, and we see a little sparkle in her eye as she talks to the teen having chemo next to her. I just want to know more about her now. I cannot wait to watch the rest of the season to see where these storylines go. I could do without Larry and the rest of the outside world. I guess I am more invested in the ladies of Litchfield than a magical white dude from New York.

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Alyson

Queer Pop Culture Junkie in the Northwest. Addicted to Coffee, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Fantasy Sports, The Mountain Goats, and Tottenham Hotspur.

2 thoughts on “New Show Recap: Orange Is The New Black, 02×04, “A Whole Other Hole””

  1. I didn’t feel like it was transphobic to have Sophia give them the lecture about their ladyparts. It makes sense that she has had reason to really think about female anatomy in a way that cis women don’t. I also welcome the way that they maintain an awareness of the fact that Sophia is trans without going down the route of constant transphobic bullying, which I think a lesser show might have done.

    I wondered whether the mail fraud was actually a misdirect – we were set up to assume that was why Morello went to prison, but surely she’s really serving time for stalking and attempted murder of Christopher and his fiance? It was unclear whether she was ever caught for the mail fraud, unless I missed something?

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