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Orange is the New Black Review: Some Slack Please

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We learned a bit more about some of the inmates on Orange is the New Black Season 1 Episode 4 and found out how difficult it can be for those on the inside to say goodbye when those they've become so close to move on.

Piper has been in prison all of two weeks at this time, and although she starts out the episode mopping up the pee that Crazy Eyes unceremoniously dumped outside her room at the end of Orange id the New Black Season 1 Episode 3 with maxi pads (which seem to the single most useful item in prison), she seems to be getting on alright. 

Nicky and Piper Chat

There are so many moving pieces in prison. Piper received her job assignment, and while she doesn't get to work in the education department (there is mold in there and it was closed down), she does get to learn a new skill.

I haven't quite figured it out yet, but I'm going to be able to rewire a lamp. Soon. And I'm very excited about that. I always felt I lacked practical skills in life. And I don't know.

Piper

It's while tackling this new challenge that she inadvertently walks out with a screwdriver, throwing the entire prison into high alert.  For good reason, as well. One of Boos old lovers is getting out of prison and decides taunting her is the right approach to take before she goes, and through a series of unfortunate events, Boo gets the screwdriver and could have shanked her. She didn't. Thanks Red.

There were some really touching emotional moments between people we hadn't seen together before. First Nicky and Piper shared their two minute lunch break and in response to Nicky's inquiry about her mental health, Piper talked about the minute when she just wakes up, before she remembers where she is each morning. 

It's scenes like those that can bring you back to reality. Shanking, people peeing on the floor - those things seem impossible or improbably to the average TV viewer. But it's easy, somehow, to imagine opening your eyes to a waking nightmare. 

Nicky also got a similar response during a discussion with Alex, and we discovered not only is Alex in for a very long time, but she's still quite raw with the news of it. Nicky is quickly becoming my favorite character on the show and I enjoy every time she comes into the frame. I laughed out loud when she tricked Piper into sharing her secret about squirting. 

It was also Nicky who pointed out to Piper that while some people have imaginary friends, Piper seems to have imaginary enemies. I had to agree with her, as she was - at that time - concerned about Miss Claudette, and I was amazed at how great she and Miss Claudette were getting on.

It was apparent how quickly Claudette took to Piper when her first instinct was to protect her by hiding the screwdriver in her rice-a-roni. We later learned why she was in prison, and her mothering of Piper made complete sense. I guess understanding Piper's mother is why she imagines everyone is an enemy.

I especially enjoyed when Piper told Claudette to cut her some slack and counted down the things that had happened to her in the two weeks since she had arrived. All things considered, they were pretty tame in comparison to what I would expect if I were heading to prison. 

Red continues to have a calming influence on the inmates, and she was able to put the kibosh on Boo's plans to harm Mercy. Instead all of the inmates had a nice party and a rather poignant goodbye scene. Those left on the inside will be forgotten and live with the hope that when they get out they'll somehow fit into the life of the person they loved. Knowing it will never happen can drive people to do bad things to keep them there. 

Instead, we had a happy ending all around. Mercy left, Boo was pleasured, Piper had her room restored to how she liked it instead of how Claudette wanted it and Claudette heard from the man she once loved and it inspired her to allow people to reopen her case on her behalf. 

And that's "Imaginary Enemies" peeps! I know you're all amazed that I'm not plowing through these, but let me tell you it's only because there is so much regular TV to cover right now. The second half of the season will go quicker, methinks, as the holidays are coming up and I'll have time to marathon a bit! Eyes open! 

Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.9 / 5.0 (13 Votes)

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter and on Google+.

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Orange is the New Black Season 1 Episode 4 Quotes

If you ever want to go home, get that screwdriver back on that wall!

Claudette

I don't know. I've never cleaned up another person's pee before.

Piper
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