So it’s been a year! But in case you’e forgotten, Orange is the New Black, basking in all its glory as TV’s funniest drama, has become an expert at subverting our expectations. Picking up right where season three left off, Caputo is now officially the warden and scrambling to make up for his lack of staff with the entire prison population booking it to a nearby lake (except Chang, who’s busy replenishing her hair’s luster and shine), all while a new horde of inmates enters Litchfield. It’s chaotic, sure, but all the moments that could have become desperate or dangerous floated just above the surface of where drama and comedy mix, and so the season four premiere maintained its levity. Here are some things you didn’t realize were a thing, until OITNB surprised you:
1. Dismemberment Works Best in a Montage
I bet you didn’t wake up today thinking you’d enjoy hearing a Papa Roach song. But guess what! You did. Lolly walked in on Alex mid-strangle by the “guard” that Kubra Balik sent to kill her for testifying against him. Fortunately for Alex, Lolly doesn’t trust anyone in a uniform, lest they work for the NSA, and stomped on the neck of the guy until he died… almost. Lesson learned: always check for a pulse or you may have to silently suffocate a paralyzed hitman.
At least it was Freida who found the body and not someone who hasn’t committed murder and doesn’t know how to dispose of a body. Cue Papa Roach. Six one-foot holes, indeed. It is a pretty smart method of concealing the murder of a guard, and amongst the chaos it’s unlikely administration will miss him.
2. Piper’s Delusion Becomes Reality
After becoming the kingpin of her own panty crime ring and framing Stella for stealing her money, Piper is enjoying her newfound badassness. Of course, we can’t have a haughty Piper without someone knocking her down a peg. Thank you, Gina, for reminding her that she’s full of shit: “A little magic happens around here and you make it all about you, like you made it happen.”
So sure, this is all a huge misunderstanding. Flacca tells the new girls that Piper’s the prison “jefa,” still presumably sore from losing her place in the panty ring. Piper throws her dick around a little to get some toast, and suddenly she’s to be feared. Five bucks Piper doesn’t know how to wield her new power and pisses the wrong person off.
3. Someone is Crazier than Crazy Eyes
Season three ended on such a beautiful and positive note that I thought Suzanne and her new love, Inmate Kukudio, were prepping to share in a time of mutual weirdness and affection. Not so! Kukudio assumes Suzanne’s a free spirit like herself, but Crazy Eyes needs structure to keep on the right track. So it doesn’t take long after Kukudio persuades her to run away and live in a gingerbread house in the forest for Suzanne to regret it completely. She only sprints in the direction of the prison screaming, “I don’t want to do this anymore!”
I’m a little worried that as the biggest fan of “The Time Hump Chronicles,” Kukudio is going to go all Misery on Suzanne. Once Caputo had her in his office, he looked at her file and just said, “Whoa.” I don’t imagine it’s easy for the warden of a prison to be surprised by a crime an inmate has committed. Kukudio’s reaction: “Who likes to be predictable, right?”
A jilted, behaviorally unpredictable prison inmate obsessed with you is nothing to worry about. NBD.
Best line of the episode: “Think of it as a mandala!” – Boo. This is the third time Yoga Jones’ prison advice has been said on this show, each time with decreasing significance.
Thank you!: For confirming Flacca’s eyeliner to be just that.
Questions: When are we going to get to see Sophia? Are O’Neill and Bell gone for good? Will new scary guard Piscatella become a good guy? What band sings the closing credits song? I will have “Motherfucker got fucked up ’cause he got in the way!” in my head for days.