OITNB: “We’ll Always Have Baltimore”

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Source: www.theatlantic.com

Episode Synopsis:

Company policies lead to a shortage of critical supplies and an eventful trip to a prison convention. Piscatella starts a new anti-gang initiative.

The Inmates:

Tampons for $10

In the beginning of the episode, we see that there has been a shortage of maxi pads for the inmates, so all they can buy are tampons for $10, which is too expensive for most of the girls to purchase. First of all, I can’t even imagine having to go through such a thing in prison. You’re trying to live day to day, and you can’t even maintain your personal hygiene when it comes to that time of the month. It really sucks that women can’t be provided with the essentials they need in order to live in such a toxic environment. Anyway, Cindy is one of the rare few who purchases tampons, and is very unwilling to share, like when Alison asks if she could have one. I mean, it does kind of make sense. With low funds, I wouldn’t want to give up tampons either. Later in the day, Cindy gets asked again by more girls, if they can pay her for a tampon. Cindy says she’ll sell them for $5, but of course that’s too high a price for anyone to want to pay for. Also, on a side note, we see during this scene, that Alison has been hiding a cellphone in her hijab. When she goes to use it in a bathroom stall, we see that she’s been texting her son or daughter.

The conference

Linda and Caputo are on their way to a work conference. While driving, Taystee calls Caputo and he gives her specific instructions to just organize files and stay put. To pass the time, Taystee picks up a gossip magazine and sees that there is a picture of Judy King in the magazine. It looks like it was taken with one of the drones that has been circling around the grounds. Back at the conference, Linda and Caputo take a look at the different booths showcases new products for prison life, and run into Kip Carnigan, who is apparently “the face of corrections in the US.” In Caputo’s office, Taystee has a brilliant idea to try to log in to Caputo’s computer and access the internet. She miraculously figures out his username and password and logs in. She goes on to search some of the inmates names in the search engine. She also finds out how much money you can get for selling celebrity photographs, and you can tell she’s happy with the amount you get paid. I can sense a plan forming. The only thing is, where is Taystee going to get a camera? At the conference, Caputo and Linda listen to Kip’s lecture. Afterwards, they discuss some things and Linda reveals that she’s nervous about being part of a panel discussion later on. Caputo tries to boost her self-esteem and you can sense the sexual tension between the two. When the panel finally begins, things are going well, until Danny Pearson shows up. He goes on a rant about how prisoners aren’t being treated correctly and him and eventually Caputo get escorted out. After Linda talks to security, she goes over to Caputo and the sexual tension explodes into full on passion. I’m kind of nervous about Caputo being together with Linda, because Danny had warned him previously about her. Things might go badly if Linda starts taking things into her own hands.

Maritza, the con

We finally get to see what has been happening in the van with Maritza and all the guards, and it’s not very pleasant. The guards are verbally harassing her, but she seems to have a handle on the situation. In our first flashback, we see that Maritza used to work at a club. We also see that she used to con people. In this instance, she filled a vodka bottle with water, spilled it in front of a bunch of guys and had them pay her for it because she didn’t want to have to pay for it herself. As a result, she ended up keeping the money. She ends up talking to one of the guys from the group and he lets her know that he could teach her the ways to get more money. In the second flashback, Martiza is with the guy from the club and is being told directions about how to con a rich man at a car dealership. While she is almost done with her con, things turn for the worst when a salesman gets in the car with her and the man she’s conning. Thinking on her toes, Maritza figures out a way to get the guys out of the car, and ends up speeding off with the new car. I was excited to see more of Maritza’s backstory because we don’t get to see her that much during the show. It doesn’t seem like her life was that bad, except for the fact that she was conning people, but I want to see more of her home life. Maybe she was going through some troubling times at home.

The shower pooper  

During Lorna and Crazy Eyes’ shift in the bathroom, they do some real bonding. Lorna tells Crazy Eyes about Vincent and poor Crazy Eyes expresses that she wishes she knew a person really well. She also revealed that her parents used to talk to her about sex. But as they’re cleaning, they discover that someone has been pooping while they’re in the shower. This leads to Lorna and Crazy Eyes teaming up and trying to catch the girl whose been messing up the showers. Off the bat, I loved that the writers teamed up Lorna and Crazy Eyes in this episode, because this is such an unlikely pairing. They work well together and it was like a little Sherlock and Watson storyline. Later, while still trying to catch the girl, they run into Crazy Eyes’ ex, and think maybe she’s the culprit because she’s getting back at Crazy Eyes.

Things get serious

The panty business is going ok for Maria and her girls, except for the fact that she doesn’t have a way to get her panties outside of the grounds. Fortunately, Martiza reveals that she has the van, and could transport them to their source that way. On Piper’s end, she has a great idea about how to end Maria’s business. She goes into Piscatella’s office and tells him that she doesn’t feel safe around the Latinas. She describes them as having gang tendencies, and Piscatella assures her that he’ll fix it. Also, random note, Piscatella is gay. Later on in the day, we see that things start getting serious when guards start randomly grabbing Latinas and frisking them against the wall. And to top it all off, the guards are also verbally assaulting the women while they touch them. This was actually quite uncomfortable to watch because again, I can’t imagine having to go through something like that. Something like that can really change a person and mess with their mental stability. If things like this happen often in real life prisons, I feel for those girls, even if they did commit crimes. Piscatella goes to see Piper outside on the grounds, and tells her that she did a good job telling him about the gang activity. He asks her to assemble a task force in order to take down the other gangs that are walking around. Back with Maria’s panty business, Martiza and Flaca walk over to the van, to hide the panties. Maritza ends up getting in the car with the guards, including a woman guard this time, and drops the men off at one of the guard houses. The two women wait in the car and in order for Maria’s source to be able to pick up the panties, Maritza gets the woman guard to give her a tampon from her house. When they walk back, they discover that the other guards have seen Maria’s guy, and thankfully Maritza gets him out of trouble by saying that he is the gardener for the grounds. Back with Piper, she starts posting fliers around the prison about joining the task force, and gets a decent number of girls to join. Unfortunately, during Piper’s speech about protecting everyone at Litchfield, the recruits start getting rowdy and end up getting out of control. They declare that white lives matter and here in lies yet another mistake that Piper has made. This just sets more fire to the situation about who should have power in the prison and now that the guards are more involved, everyone’s probably going to get violated.

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