Orange Is The New Black: Season 2, Episode 1

Welcome to our coverage of this weekend's Orange Is The New Black second season event. We'll get into the specifics down in the comments, but here are the basics:

Some unknown amount of time after Piper bashed in Pennsatucky's awful face, we return to her, going crazy again in solitary, painting on the walls with her breakfast and basically out of it. They hustle her onto a bus for a long ride, and then a plane for a long ride, and she doesn't figure out where they're going until they're actually there: For some reason she's been transferred to Chicago.

The new digs are pretty scary, even if you remember what Litchfield is like, and we finally figure out the point to all this: Both Alex and Piper have been brought in to testify against the drug lord that was running Alex the whole time they were being glamorous jet-setting lesbians together. Alex begs her to lie under oath so they can win the Prisoner's Dilemma, and I doubt highly that I need to tell you how that ends up.

So if you were hoping for some romance, or for the episode to be about literally anybody besides Piper, sorry! This was a good re-grounding, though, as far as reminding you how bewildering Piper's first few days in lockup were, that freezing-cold facelessness and powerlessness that can tend to wear off after you've watched several episodes. A lot of the drama here is pretty melo-, it's true, but there's a middleground that is a lot more relatable when you can at least try to get into the horrific headspace of being a person who doesn't register as a person anymore. Holding onto Piper as she negotiates an episode in Litchfield-Plus is the best possible place to start.

[Images via Netflix]

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