Orange Is the New Black: Orange Black or Bleak: S2 E6 “You Also Have A Pizza” (Netflix)

Orange, Black, or Bleak S2 E6 “You Also Have A Pizza”

As a formerly incarcerated person, I have decided to do a deep-dive into the Netflix show Orange Is The New Black to help explain some of the things that folks watching the show without a felony background might not catch.

Also, a reminder, I am not covering Season 5 (or watching it) until it is officially released by Netflix. When Season 5 starts, I will start writing contemporary recaps (and I will return to the retro pieces after I finish S5). In other words, I am not rewarding the OITNB hackers.

Some things that I believe:

* Every human being should always be treated with dignity.

*  Prison (or jail) should always be a last resort (not a first, second, or only option).

* Formerly incarcerated people pay their debt to society by serving their sentence.

If you have not watched OITNB before *Spoiler Alert*

5 Things About Season 2 Episode 6 "You Also Have A Pizza"

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rS2 E6 "You Also Have Pie" is about:

* How Jimmy Cavanaugh (Patricia Squire) leaves Litchfield

* The first part of Poussey's backstory (about her falling in love while her father was stationed in German). In short, her girlfriend's father catches her with his daughter and insists on shipping Poussey and her father back stateside.

* Larry (Jason Biggs) visits Piper (in hopes she will be his mole) only to find out that he has become a "moon" which he then uses as fuel to make the moves on Polly (Maria Dizzia). 

* Vee (Lorraine Toussaint) continues her consolidation of power and unveils her strategy to take over Litchfield

* Healy's continued effort to grow as a human being intersects with Tiffany Doggett's exile and  Piper's attempt to investigate the corruption preventing repairs throughout the prison

* More insanity between Officer Bennett (Matt McGorry) and Daya (Dascha Polanco) and the rest of the Latinas

* Red (Kate Mulgrew) reestablishes her supply chain and tries to get her girls back

Oh, and it is also Valentine's day. "You Also Have a Pizza" is a line Flaca (Jackie Cruz) and Maritza (Diane Guerrero) 

5. Valentine's Day

Not much to say here except that I am jealous of the perks that inmates get in the Federal system (if this is accurate). In Michigan, we did not get specialty cookies or a party (I don't remember it even being considered a prison holiday (we did get special meals for Christmas, Thanksgiving, and the 4th of July).

4. "Hearing About All These Lives, It's Like Reading Dickens"

Officer Fischer (Lauren Lapkus) talked Caputo (Nick Sandow) into letting her listen to the prisoner's phone calls in real-time and she tells him that hearing about the women's lives is like "reading Dickens."

The first piece I wrote about OITNB was mostly about the dangers of approaching prisoners as vessels for entertainment (I call many shows who traffic in this "criminal justice porn"). Obviously, how people outside of prison interact with prisoners as entertainment is often replicated inside prisons by the folks who are in charge of prisoners.

The truth is we are human beings, not books to be read or adventures to be embarked upon from a distance, we are not games to be played.

Anyway, I am pretty sure we are heading rapidly towards a time when most phone listening will be done by algorithms and humans will only be involved when certain red flags are raised (kind of like what the NSA does now - couldn't resist - only half-kidding).

3. "Remember When We Sold Smokes:"

So, we finally know how Vee is planning to take over Litchfield. Correctional, by selling cigarettes.

Bizarrely, smoking can get you in trouble in prison. In fact, in Michigan, smoking as a prisoner is considered both using a controlled substance (not kidding) and being in possession of contraband.

But that is not all. When an inmate gets caught with cigarettes they also have to go to substance abuse classes as well.

Despite this, people smoke all the time and there is never a shortage of tobacco. I even saw CO's smoking with prisoners all the time. Basically, if a guard is mad at you, or you get caught by the wrong guard, you are in trouble if you get caught smoking.

Anyway, I don't really know how Vee could run the prison using tobacco, despite it being outlawed, it was pretty available (not scarce).  To be honest, you could get drugs or alcohol easily too  (even though jail house hooch tastes god-awful). 

Oh, and by the way, most of the contraband comes in through the guards (nobody could transfer enough stuff in through visits considering how much contraband exists).

2. "Women Are Really Bad At Math"

Bennett admits to Healy (Michael Harney) that he doesn't understand women at all. Healy responds that all you have to do is say that you will meet them halfway but really only meet them 12 or 13 percent of the way because "women are really bad at math."

Has there every been a guy less suited to be in charge of a prison full of women? 

Anyway, this is the beginning of Healy moving, at least temporarily, towards being a better counselor, but he will always have a misplaced rage problem as long as he looks at women as the source of his problems and reason for all of his misery.

Oh, also, is it just me or are there some parallels between Healy and Caputo? Caputo with Officer Fischer reminds me a lot of Healy with virtually everyone (awkward at best).

Also, did you know that Sideboob (Caputo's band) actually has an album?  The actual band, aside from Caputo, is made-up of some real musicians in bands you might actually know.

1. Piper's Newsletter

Few things about the newsletter:

* Pretty sure we saw this idea before (remember the union? Yes, I know, she is doing it as cover for her "real" investigation this time...but, did Healy forget what happened just a few months ago?)

* I have already mentioned several times that there is NO WAY all of the embezzlement by Fig (Alysia Reiner) could happen 

Also, I know Larry isn't very smart, but why in the world (given that he knows Fig and Healy both know about his previous article and NPR interview about Litchfield) would he ask Piper (Taylor Schilling) to give him information about the embezzlement for his new article? 

Is he really so stupid that he would get Piper in trouble with the entire prison administration just so he could get an article published?

This is one of those times I wish that OITNB was a bit more like Mr. Robot, it would be cool if there were Easter Eggs we could find of things like Piper's newsletter (almost every Mr. Robot Easter Egg can be found, and often interacted with, online.

Unlocking The Gates

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I am a member of a Criminal Justice Reform organization called Nation Outside (The Voice of the Formerly Incarcerated) but I am not speaking for Nation Outside in any official capacity.

If you are interested in criminal justice reform or are formerly incarcerated yourself, please consider joining the fight (if you are a Michigan resident - you can sign up by clicking on the hyperlink above). 

Today's Comment Question is:

"Which OITNB Character Do You Despise the Most (and Why)?" 

Leave a comment, let people know.  Or, if you have questions, I respond to 100% of my comments! 

Today's book is Detroit author Heather Ann Thompson's 2017 Pulitzer Prize Winning book "Blood In The Water."