Things picked up almost immediately on Orange is the New Black Season 1 Episode 2 and I'm left wondering if the whole season will be at that pace or if there will longer lapses in time. Either way, I'm fully on board.
Although Piper's first instinct in dealing with Red was to ask for a prison transfer (how cute, after her first day), she finally realized that nothing was going to get her fed other than proving herself worthy in Red's eyes.
It's quite a system they have going in prison. Everybody knows who is on the outs with the important people - those who feed you, clothe you and ensure your general well-being while on the inside. Nobody wants to be on the bad side of those privileged inmates and while they won't turn their backs on you, they won't go the extra mile to help, either.
Since Piper still has no money to use actual goods with which to barter, she was left using other things, like sections of her hair, to get supplies she needed to create a concoction she thought might be up Red's alley.
Piper is, at least, perceptive. When she first went in to see Red and plead her case with a profuse amount of thank yous that went unheeded, she noticed that her back was in terrible pain. Standing up all day in a kitchen will do that to you.
Through flashbacks, we saw how Piper got through her empty stomach (by envisioning the time she and Larry went on a master cleanse) and she came up with the idea to make things right with Red - by creating a homeopathic muscle rub lotion to ease her pain.
When Piper approached Red asking her to just hit her and get it over with, I thought that's were the name of the episode, "Tit Punch" would arise. Instead it seemed to be the basis for whatever eventually brought Red to prison. She was once a hard working cook who served the wives of the local thugs. At her husband's urging, she tried to become friends with them. It didn't go over well.
The mob wives were mean girls, and as Red tried to fit in, she was pushed out and her feelings were deeply hurt. Emotions got the best of her and she pushed the ring leader in the chest and punctured one of her fake breasts - and her husband decided they were on the hook for $60k in restitution. It looked like he was willing to take services instead of money, and started using their restaurant freezer to store bodies. How she went down for that will be interesting to learn.
I really like that what we've seen so far of the crimes that got women incarcerated seem so innocuous and, really, infractions that many of us could easily fall into without much forethought. It's pretty frightening to think about how easily an innocent mistake can trap you without malicious intent.
Red's pull went beyond the kitchen. Even the guards were adeptly keeping Larry from seeing Piper on visiting day. All told, it was like they had five minutes together, three of which were spent angrily in front of the vending machine that was out of order.
As I suspected, Larry is already giving up on his dreams and promises to Piper, and it's only been a few days of her behind bars. No wonder people cheat on each other so easily. Never take separate vacations! She asked him not to watch Mad Men without her so they could binge watch together. That lasted as long as it took him to find it while channel surfing.
Alex braved the wrath of Red to give Piper a chunk of cornbread, which Piper tossed in the trash - earning her the respect of inmates around her. Another inmate, Crazy Eyes (real name, Sue), supplied Piper with some jalapenos to make the lotion and Piper thought she might have found a friend - until Crazy Eyes felt her up on movie night.
The lotion worked and Piper could eat again. Food she once declared crap tasted like the best she had ever eaten. Going without will do that for you.
It's definitely not going to be easy for Piper, but she's learning quickly how to stand her ground, what it means to make her own way and earn the respect of her fellow inmates. As weird as it sounds, it seems like she's going to make some good friends and she might even reconnect with a lost love.
All the inmates all dealt with their share of mean girls, and at times have to wear the disguise themselves, but deep down they all want the same things - acceptance and to make it through so they can get out and have a normal life again.
Keep an eye out for the next review of Orange is the New Black Season 1 Episode 3 on Saturday, November 16, 2013!
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.