Oh yes — the fates have graced us with a Suzanne backstory episode.
Me: Suzanne! Wife: Suzanne!! Literally everyone with half a brain cell: SUZANNE!!!
We all love Suzanne. If you were still calling her “Crazy Eyes” after seeing her cry when she heard Larry’s stupid NPR interview, then I probably don’t want to know you. In any case, we all wanted to know more about Suzanne’s past, and this episode totally delivered. So, Piper is back in Litchfield now, but she is Grade A boring 95% of the time. Her only interesting moment in the episode was when the new inmate, Brook Soso (who is apparently a Furby come to life: she never, ever…EVER stops talking) sat on her bed, and Piper told her off in a way that was almost convincing. Piper thinks she’s tough, but it’s no wonder that everyone else laughs at her cluelessness.
Yeah, okay, Piper. Luckily, it’s not long before we get a look into Suzanne’s past — she was raised by two well-intentioned but totally naive white parents, who gave birth to her little sister, Grace, when Suzanne was about four years old. We can see that Suzanne has been having what look like manic episodes since she was very young — will this ever be addressed, or are the showrunners happy to paint her with this very wide, vague mental illness brush? A nurse in the hospital offers to do Suzanne’s hair for her — and it’s the same style she wears now. Another flash back shows Suzanne’s mother bringing both girls to a sleepover party, and ripping into the other mother who definitely doesn’t want Suzanne at the party. While many will commend Suzanne’s mom for standing up for her, the way she continually describes her daughter as “different” makes it obvious that they are the sort of white people who “have black friends,” and in this case, that friend is Suzanne. They have no idea what to do with her quirkiness, and even less of an idea of how to deal with her race in the face of bigots. Poor Suzanne obviously doesn’t fit in with the younger girls — for one thing, there’s a four-year age gap (and at ages six and 10 that’s pretty substantial), and for another, her exuberant creativity alienates the other girls. My heart broke for her! When you consider Suzanne’s upbringing, it’s hardly surprising that she gravitates toward Vee, the mysterious new inmate who makes my spidey-sense tingle. While I love that she told Suzanne that she is a garden rose while Piper is a weed, I am genuinely worried that Vee is going to use her for her own nefarious purposes — and that it could land Suzanne in hot water.
It definitely seems like Vee is planning something, and from where I’m sitting, she’s the Margaery Tyrell of this show — a master manipulator, with an uncanny ability to read people. Red certainly seems like she’s “been there, done that” with Vee, which will make for a very interesting dynamic going forward. We also found out that Piper didn’t face any punishment for beating the teeth out of Pennsatucky is because Suzanne ran outside after being teased by Flaca and Martitza for forgetting her song, and whalloped Piper in the face. Twice. Which made it look like a fair fight — and Pennsatucky was more than happy to take the credit for it. Larry has lunch with a journalist who wants to use him to get to Piper, who will be his “in” and get him information about the possible embezzling at Litchfield. Larry is visibly sad that he isn’t there to laud him, interview him, and worship at his feet. Good — I hope Larry is always sad. They broke up, anyway, so why are we still having to look at his sad, boring face? Next! Pennsatucky has new teeth, and wants everybody to notice them. Too bad her gang of angry Christians didn’t miss her while she was in SHU, and want to get rid of her. Poor Tiffany?
Don’t hate me, but I can’t stand the Daya/Bennett thing. She cannot legally give consent, it was rape, it will always be rape until she’s released, and they can never be on equal footing. Daya was telling him that she needs prenatal vitamins to get folic acid, and he replied, “Well, I doubt your mom took them!” A+, Bennet. Morello finds out on a phone call from her sister that her beloved Christopher is getting married to someone else. She completely loses it, sobbing and saying that he chose “their” date just to hurt her. We’ve never seen a lot of genuine emotion from her, and this outburst hints at something deeper and darker about her “relationship” with Christopher. Onward, to episode 4!