We All Think We’re Good Guys: ‘Orange is the New Black’ Recap for ‘Empathy is a Boner Killer’

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Ever wonder why Nicky’s never had a relationship on this show? And a real one, not the kind that only involves going down on someone in the chapel now and then. Morello may have been the closest thing back in season one, but their “break up” wasn’t emotional more than it was about Morello prepping her lady parts for Christopher. Nicky liked her, but she moved on quickly. “Empathy is a Boner Killer” made me realize the reason Nicky’s never been able to love somebody: she’s already deeply in love with heroin.

“You use people and you throw them away,” Soso says to Nicky, after Nicky purposefully hurts her feelings as she’s trying to be cordial. What Soso doesn’t know is that in the moments before she snuck up on her, Nicky was having a moment with her heroin. It’s not that Soso talks constantly (which she does, of course), but it’s that she got in the way of Nicky’s true love. Nicky is deflecting Soso’s friendship like she’s done with any other person because heroin comes above everyone and everything else.

We’ve known Nicky’s mother was emotionally absent since the first season, and the foundation for Nicky’s abandonment issues was laid in the first episode of this season. But it’s in this episode where we get a broader picture of their relationship, including the sense that Nicky’s mom does love her, even if she did everything wrong in the upbringing of her child. As Nicky is taking the cash out of her mother’s wallet and refusing the credit card, you have to wonder how many times they have been in this situation before. Nicky’s apologies about the accident, her empty promises to get clean, and the “let’s get a coffee soon and catch up a little” speech seemed scripted. Perhaps the first several times she delivered that monologue she almost believed it herself, but this time she was hardly trying to be sincere. Rather than take the card to bail her friends out of jail for her mistake, Nicky walks in the opposite direction with her cash to reunite with her heroin.

Alex’s speech to new counselor Rodgers about everyone’s justification of their lives and how everyone thinks they’re the good guys can be true of almost anyone, but it’s particularly true of Nicky in this episode. She lies to Boo and Luschek about the heroin going missing, and only told the truth because Leanne and Angie took it. She says to Soso, “I look out for my friends you just don’t happen to be one of them.” That may be the case when Nicky’s not under the spell of heroin, but when it has her in its grasp, she’s only out for herself. But isn’t that the consequence of addiction?

The real shame is that Nicky had to get involved with the drug in the first place, but the ripples of Vee’s stay at Litchfield are affecting more than just Crazy Eyes. Was Luschek a dick for ratting her out? Yes, and he was also a dumb ass for letting Nicky anywhere near the heroin after he found it. But I can’t say that he was wrong for pinning it on her. It was, in fact, Nicky’s fault for getting caught with the heroin. If she hadn’t stuck that one little bag under Luschek’s desk, they both would’ve gotten away with their plan. Instead, Nicky’s headed down the hill to Max. She did want to get out of Litchfield, didn’t she?

RANDOM NOTES:
– Bennett hasn’t been around for a few days, and Daya is beginning to get worried. I’m not sure it’s looking good, since when he drove off last episode, he left Daya’s old crib behind. That’s some symbolism.
– Hate sex in the library is pretty hot but not when it’s doused with actual communication. The drama class was fun until it turned Piper and Alex’s relationship down seven notches.
– The return of Fig! At least she and Caputo have this fun nickname repartee going.
– Red said some really nice things about Healy in the heat of the moment, but don’t think this will be good for Red. Healy seems like he’d be a Stage 5 Clinger to me.
– Best line of the episode: “The ultimate book return.” – Taystee
– Also, that was the best scene of the episode, even if it had little importance. “The Jonathans!”

SEASON THREE RECAPS
EP. 1  /  EP. 2  /  EP. 4  /  EP. 5  /  EP. 6  /  EP. 7  / EP. 8  / EP. 9  /  EP. 10  / EP. 11  /  EP. 12  / EP. 13

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5 responses to “We All Think We’re Good Guys: ‘Orange is the New Black’ Recap for ‘Empathy is a Boner Killer’

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