Friday, August 7, 2015

Orange is the New Black 3x08 "Fear, and Other Smells" (On the Edge) [Contributor: Rae Nudson]

"Fear, and Other Smells"

Pieces are moving into place at Litchfield as Piper gets her smelly panty business closer to opening, Suzanne writes more chapters to her story, and Poussey falls apart just a little bit more. Everything is right on the edge of becoming something new this episode, until bit by bit things start to unravel.

Alex is on the edge of sanity, and she assumes new inmate Lolly is going to kill her in jail for turning on her drug dealer. Piper tells Alex it’s all in her head, but based on Alex’s flashbacks, I think Alex might be right.

The backstory this episode centers on when Alex found out her mom died, which we knew happened from previous season’s flashbacks when she was with Piper. This time it’s from Alex’s point-of-view, after she went to her mom’s funeral and her life turned upside down. She relied on drugs and dancing to ease the pain, but that was just distraction. Because she’s having fun at a club, Alex convinces everyone not to pick up one of their drug runners at the airport, which leads to her getting arrested. I kind of like the disaster of Alex and Piper together, but I haven’t been feeling them as much this season and these flashbacks weren’t my favorite either. For the trauma and excitement Alex went through, they should have been much more compelling (someone got shot! Right there!), but the connection to Alex, as a character, hasn’t been there for me.

I am, however, very interested in Daya and her baby, Daya and her mom, and Daya and Pornstache’s mom. Daya was on the edge of committing to give up the baby, but then she revealed the truth and told Lady Pornstache that the baby’s father is someone else. To see Lady Pornstache learn what really happened, and understand the reason for the lie, was super sad. She knows that this scheme would have maybe given the baby a better life, but that doesn’t make it hurt any less. She walked away for now, but I expect she’ll be back. I do wonder why Aleida is so adamant that Daya give up her baby. I believe it comes from love and regret that she couldn’t give her own children a better life, but it can’t be easy for Daya to hear so often that the better choice would have been to send her away.

Most of the women at Litchfield are dealing with demons from their long-ago past — at least before they got to prison — but Daya is right in the middle of her nightmare. Her romance was a bright spot for her and for the show, but now she’s left with nothing but despair as she tries to make a better life for her child than she had. I logically know that keeping up the charade that Pornstache was the father might have worked for a while and given her baby better opportunities, but it’s also hard to see how starting a life with so much deception would be healthy or good either. Now the truth is out, so Daya can breathe easier, but there’s still no solution in sight.

Piper is trying to launch her dirty panty business venture and is right on the edge of getting everything to come together. She stocked up on ramen packets to bribe the women to contribute dirty underwear to her business. I like Piper’s don’t-give-a-what attitude, but I can’t see this ending any other way than poorly. This storyline did give the episode some of its biggest comedic moments, though, as she delivered an inspiring speech about giving panties to perverts. Piper is busy scheming every chance she can and is finally using her manipulative powers for something (sort of) productive.

Pennsatucky is having a really nice day — but that won’t last. (It never lasts at Litchfield.) Right now, she is making friends with the donut guy, who became a new guard. They run errands, stop at a donut shop, and feed the ducks. If I didn’t know better, it would look like a pretty cute date. Which, of course, will make it all the worse when everything inevitably comes crashing down.

Caputo got Danny to alllllmost ask for help for Litchfield at his business meeting. It turns out the only reason Danny got hired was because his father runs the company. And then, he became stuck on prison detail because nobody else wanted to do it. Now, he’s slowly getting worse and worse at running a prison, even if he did (kinda) try to get some new books and job training. Danny knows that Caputo is the prison’s best shot, and the company’s best shot at not getting sued or falling into disrepair. But Danny doesn’t have enough experience or self-possession to get things done. Caputo is right that it isn’t worth pinching pennies only to get sued for millions down the line, but Danny can’t get the message across to the real decision makers. Caputo, though, is definitely learning how things work at this new corporation, and he’s navigating corporate-speak and red tape with the best of them.

Suzanne is still working on her story, and I love how many fans she has. With no books, the women are thirsty for entertainment, and Suzanne’s erotic fiction has many of them begging for more. Suzanne is starting to feel the pressure of producing chapters on demand — and she isn’t great under pressure. Poussey is quite invested in the story because it gives her an escape from her loneliness. Every scene with Poussey kills me. I just love her, and I’m so sad that she’s so sad. Taystee is trying to be there for her, but one friend can’t fill the hole in Poussey’s heart. Poussey turns to alcohol and Norma’s newly formed cult for comfort. Neither of those are very solid support systems.

This episode moved a lot of pieces around and set things up to come crashing down. Like Litchfield itself, the inmates are straining under this new leadership and all the changes in their lives.

  • Inmate of the episode is Soso, who is trying so hard to make a change for the better.
  • Ruby Rose, I see you being adorable every time you’re on screen. (tbh, I can only think of her as Ruby Rose, even though that’s not her character’s name.)
  • “That’s too bad. I really liked eating. It was part of my daily routine.”
  • This episode is more evidence that all business meetings are terrible.
  • Sophia and Gloria’s friendship is very sweet to me, even when they are mad at each other.
  • Healy is the WORST. the absolute worst.


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