We are now officially past the point I pre-watched, and this episode title has me scared. Alex and Nichols are trying the saltine challenge in a stairwell when they see Watson, having just been released from SHU (solitary) after two weeks, trying to have a Shawkshank Redemption moment in the yard, but the skies just won’t open up for her. Or she’s just appreciating the open skies. The flashback is hers this week. As a kid, she was the fastest and toughest in the park, but she also saw how the other girls would run slow on purpose, letting the boys catch them. This is what girls were supposed to do. It’s confusing to her. In high school, she’s setting records on the track team, which means she’s on track to get a college scholarship. But still, the girls who only want to impress boys confuse her. Watson is exactly as confused and awkward at a party, in a dress and holding a beer. The host of the party tells her to leave to protect her future, because no one else there has one. His brother (I’m not sure that’s supposed to be literal), however, has no qualms about corrupting youth. His idea of fun turns out to be robbing laundromats and getting away from police after he slows Watson down enough that she gets caught.
Healy calls the first session of WAC. He promptly supplies donuts, then asks for suggestions. They need more pillows. Taystee asks for Fifty Shades of Grey in the library, but when she’s turned down everyone offers to lend her a copy. Piper goes full hog; she wants clinic hours every week, reopening the track, and legal counseling for inmates. She also thinks they should expand the GED program so she can teach it and get out of the electrical shop. Healy explains that their budget problems won’t allow for their solutions and also donuts, which means the inmates give in with “we tried.” Ah, so these are the blood donuts. Like blood diamonds, except that’s not why they’re called blood diamonds, but like the inmates, just go with it. Piper protests to Taystee, but she explains that she has a disciplinary board hearing and Healy’s offered to write a letter on her behalf as long as she doesn’t make waves. Meanwhile, Tucky’s working herself into a biblical lather over how unfair the election results were. Piper decides to push on the track issue, arguing that opening the track back up would save on healthcare costs. Healy offers her a deal: if she brings in the cell phone that someone’s been using to post shots online, he’ll get the track opened. Piper sees Flores (the inmate with the cell phone) exiting the stall. Flores chews up some toilet paper visibly to keep the insanity defense going, but as soon as she’s gone, Piper runs in and takes the phone. As she’s on her way to Healy’s office to give him the phone, Tucky corners her and basically demands a new set of teeth. Not in exchange for anything. Just because. But it makes Piper feel bad about turning in the cell phone, which is not that far from snitching. Not so bad, though, because she deletes almost everything off of the phone and turns it in. Healy insists on getting a name to go with the phone, but that’s way too far over the line and she walks out. Unfortunately for Healy, his turning in the phone makes him a suspect. Tucky starts going off about Piper again in the laundry, but Alex threatens her with rape to get her to shut up. I think we’re supposed to be cheering her on but… rape isn’t cute just because it’s between two women. When Flores discovers her phone is gone, she rips the last remaining door off a cell in her rage.
Miss Claudette joins Red in the kitchen to make a cake. Red reveals that she’s hiding all of the supplies that are “off the books.” Pornstache stops by and demands Red make him a sandwich, because that joke never gets old. He’s brokering a deal to smuggle stuff into the prison through her kitchen deliveries. She refuses to have anything to do with drugs and tells him he has nothing to hold over her head. He responds by dumping a container of… Rice Krispies? on the floor.
Piper and Watson are crawling through the ducts to fix a light that’s gone out (rats chewed through the wiring) but Piper cannot. Stop. Talking. Just the fact of that is enough for Watson to realize that Piper’s the one responsible for the screwdriver going missing. Fortunately, Watson isn’t a snitch. She is a runner, so now that she’s back, she’s training in her cell at night since they closed the track. Yoga Jones tries to talk her down, but Watson pushes back until Yoga Jones slaps her hard enough to knock her down and draw blood.
Piper tries to make up with Alex in a quiet moment in the laundry, but it doesn’t go as she’d hoped, both because her apology is “I forgive you” and because Alex is an asshole. The new guard is getting acquainted with the prisoners, playing with Dayonara and Boo’s prison puppy, and helping hold a ladder for Piper, who’s changing some light bulbs. They realize that the guard used to bag groceries at a store Piper shopped at, where she was a pain in the ass customer who never remembered her cloth bags, except she did remember them AFTER everything was bagged so they’d have to be re-bagged. Piper decides to take advantage of their new camaraderie to get someone else on her side about opening the track. It works, but the fact that it was the new guard who made a difference and not Healy is going to bite Healy in the ass. And when it does, he knows Piper’s ultimately responsible.
Ooh, this is new! Healy at home, eating with his wife and her mother, who refuse to speak English at the table because he can’t understand them so they can be frank about counting down to a green card and the burden of sleeping with him. Larry goes out for drinks with Polly and her husband, but he feels like a third wheel. Hey Larry, as someone who is single and legitimately the third wheel on a regular basis, fuck you. It’s really not a sad-sack existence. Larry’s article is now a “Modern Love” piece, which really says all you need to know. Larry tries going out again alone and ends up flirting with the bartender because that’s what happens on shows and confessing everything that he can think of. The bartender is not still flattered when he tries to impress her with his upcoming article.
Taystee is role-playing the board hearing, but it’s… not going well. She goes to Sophia to get her hair done, trying to figure out the least intimidating hairstyle she can have for the board. She decides on Rihanna, circa the beating heard ’round the world. Taystee finally goes in for her hearing looking nervous, with her hair in a slicked-back bun. Good luck, Taystee!