Note: Orange is the New Black discussion posts are intended to give a full season perspective, and may contain minor spoilers.
“Low Self Esteem City” was without question the most plodding episode so far this season — carefully arranging the chess pieces and drawing lines in the sand for what is obviously going to be all out war between the Latina and black inmates. In doing so they delved into Mendoza’s backstory, a former bodega owner running a food stamp scam and some kind of spiritual candle hoodoo operation with her sister out of a back room. In the previous episodes we’ve seen so far, it seems like the character backstories have all tied into the current plot in some way, but this one felt more tacked on. While present day Gloria is a hard ass trying to assert herself and keep her people at the top of the prison food chain, flashback Gloria was just a single mom with an abusive boyfriend. Were they trying to convey that the experience left her a tougher person? Or that she got played yet again? I don’t know, but it fell a little flat to me.
Other pieces being put into motion this episode were setting Piper up for a possible furlough to visit her ailing grandmother, Healy is becoming something close to likeable again, (albeit in the sad-sackiest way possible) Boo and Nicki’s contest upped the stakes and Red continues to make her moves at the greenhouse. I have a feeling that Vee and Gloria’s crews aren’t going to be the only ones at odds with each other if she’s successful at whatever it is she’s doing.
- The big HOLY SH*T moment of the episode of course was Mendoza’s boyfriend getting trapped in the back room and getting burned alive. Still, was I the one more concerned about the money? All of that money!
- In the kitchen scene towards the end of the episode, Mendoza mentions that her kids are currently living in Florida with their “tia,” so either way it looks like they were able to escape even without the money.
- We still don’t know what angle Vee’s working — who traded bathrooms with the Latinas to bump two of “her” girls into custodial, requiring Mendoza to take on extra girls for the kitchen.
- LOL @ Red’s response to Healy on whether or not he should take his Russian bride to see the Litchfield High School’s production of Our Town: “I don’t know. I’m not familiar with the actors at that particular high school.”
- The scene where Nicky comes on to Fischer was so hilariously skeevy. At the same time, I really love Fischer’s character so I felt kind of sad to see her niave personality get taken advantage of.
- Bennett damn near blew his cover as secret lover/baby daddy after he brutally took down Janae after she tripped Daya. Keep it together, son.
- Two words: Side. Boob. Which is a real band, apparently!
- I can’t believe an A) Piper scene about her B) grandmother dying made me laugh out loud, but here we are. More Cal, please!
(Gif via OrangeSkins)