There are so many things wrong with this episode.
Piper is leaving on furlough, so obviously we’re going to have to deal with more Larry than we are prepared to stomach. Deep breath, dive in, let’s get through this mess together.
After Caputo unceremoniously fired Fischer, Figaroa decided to bring Mendez back. Even if he’s not guilty of THIS rape, he’s still guilty of other rapes, and shouldn’t be within 5 miles of Litchfield. Bennett seems to agree, even if he is a huge steaming hypocrite.
We get to watch a scene with Healy in therapy sessions, whining about all the ways life hasn’t been fair to him: a cis, heterosexual, white, man. He lashes out at his therapist and my patience for him is waning. Get it together, man, no one owes you their friendship, their love, or their respect regardless of what society has taught you.
In the weekly AA meeting, Nicky makes a heartfelt and truthful speech about how heroin is her girlfriend. She’s been strong so far, but I’m worried about her falling off the wagon. Would Red disown her like she did Tricia?
In the kitchen, Bennett catches Red out of bounds and writes her a shot, to which she responds, “You’re going to make a great father,” to remind him that she knows about Daya’s pregnancy. In a Red flashback, we see her when she first got to prison and was abandoned by “her people,” which meant she didn’t get a toothbrush. After her admission about having contacts on the outside with Neptune’s Produce, Vee becomes extra-friendly and offers Red some toiletries. It looks like Vee has always been an opportunist.
On the outside, Piper is back with her family for her grandmother’s funeral, spouting some casual misogyny at Larry: “Don’t ruin this by being a pussy.” I realize that people tend to talk like this, but is it really necessary to normalize gendered slurs even further, especially on a show that should know better? Piper hits on Larry, which is gross, but he rejects her advances as Piper goes off to confront her father about not visiting her in prison. Her father admits that he can’t see her “like that,” and Piper goes back to seeking solace in the arms of Larry. I had to watch a very uncomfortable scene with the two of them, which persisted until Larry admitted to “sleeping with someone,” and someone that Piper knows. Oh, like her best friend, you cretin?
In an odd turn of events, Piper’s brother Cal decides to marry his girlfriend at their grandmother’s funeral, which is definitely an interesting choice. After the funeral/wedding reception, Piper goes out to check on Red’s restaurant, which she finds closed up with a “for lease” sign on the door. Poor Red.
Back at Litchfield, Brooke Soso is staging a hunger strike. Or trying to, anyway — Mendez writes her a shot for inciting rebellion. Later, in the laundry, Pennsatucky tells Brooke that the hunger strike is “extra super stupid.” Leanne suggests that she might join the hunger strike, but its clear that she’d only do it to spite Pennsatucky, who then smashes her head into a dryer.
Bennett goes on the war path when he finds a cigarette butt, screaming: “Do you think I’m a pussy?!” I’m becoming more and more disillusioned with the casual use of gendered slurs in this show, and I have to say that it’s making me want to stop watching. I deal with slurs being lobbed at me every day; I certainly don’t want to hear it on a television show, regardless of how many people may or may not say it. Bennett throws all of the inmates’ stuff around, and has a massive tantrum until Mendez of all people tells him to calm down and takes him out of the room.
Red makes a special dinner for her “family,” apologizing for sabotaging the kitchen and pushing them away, but Boo seems like she’s not buying it. Back in Red’s flashback, we see one of Vee’s then-crew threatening to break Red’s ribs for not complying with Vee’s orders. When Vee shows up, she gives the order for them to pulverize Red, who ends up in a heap on the floor, sobbing. I guess we know now why Red is so dubious of Vee — she’s been here before.
After Poussey confronts Taystee about the possibility of Vee bringing in drugs, we see Taystee offer Nicky heroin. Oh. No.
At the end of the episode, Bennett tells Caputo that Mendez is the father of Daya’s fetus. Bennett is scum, just like Mendez, and just like Caputo.