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Orange Is the New Black Season 2 Review: The Drama Keeps Going

Mike Hoffman | 11 Jun 2014 12:00
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oitnb s2 piper and larry

Vee tells Red she wants to use the sewer as well and threatens to have Red beaten again if she doesn't comply. Both the Golden Girls - who are surprisingly scary - and Red make failed attempts to kill Vee. Finally realizing how ridiculous this all is, Red and Vee call a truce that last less than a day. Vee viciously beats Red in the greenhouse with a lock in a sock. In a final display of just how horrible Vee is, she gaslights Suzanne, who loves Vee as a mother, into believing she attacked Red, she just doesn't remember. All the women from Vee's gang realize how dangerous Vee is and, along with administrator Healy's false paperwork, turn the investigation towards Vee, who escapes through Red's tunnel.

While this storyline is the dominant one of the second season, Piper is still around. After waking up in solitary at the start of the first episode, she is flown to Chicago for unknown reasons. At a facility there, she finds her ex-partner Alex and learns that they are in Chicago to testify against Alex's old boss, but more importantly that Piper did not kill Pennsatucky in the first season's shocking end. The guilt of potentially killing Pennsatucky and the fear of the "dark" inside of her did a number of Piper, who breaks down explaining it to another inmate. Alex tells Piper to lie about knowing Kubra, Alex's former employer and drug boss, and while Piper says she can't lie on the stand, she does so. Alex, however, tells the truth and is immediately released while Piper may have to face a longer sentence for perjury.

Oddly, this fact is not actually revisited in the rest of the season, even though a big deal is made about Piper lying. Alex writes to Piper, but it isn't until the end of the season that she shows up again, scared because Kubra wasn't convicted and she is certain an attempt will be made to kill her. When she tells Piper she's considering fleeing the city, Piper warns Alex's parole officer and Alex is found with a gun. Laura Prepon had scheduling conflicts that prevented her from doing more episodes this season, but has said that her schedule is clear for season three, so it looks like Vauss is coming back to Litchfield.

Piper's ex-fiancée, Larry, is feeling a bit at a loss after splitting with Piper - but after sleeping with her best friend, Polly, Larry and Piper split up for good. Piper is okay with it, but once she learns that is was her best friend Larry slept with, she has a flaming bag of poop put on Polly's porch - something Alex's ex did to Piper.

oitnb s2 suzanne and morello

Early in the season, Suzanne, who was once infatuated with Piper, runs away scared when they run into each other. It turns out that the night of the throw down between Piper and Pennsatucky, Suzanne came across Piper beating an unconscious Pennsatucky. Stressed from the humiliation of stage fright at the Christmas pageant and confusing Piper for her own mother, Suzanne knocked out Piper. Now, convinced that Piper must hate her, Suzanne is scared. However, because Piper was wounded, the administration thought it was a fair fight with both parties at fault, which is why Piper is not in a higher security facility. She is grateful, but Vee's manipulation causes Suzanne to brush off Piper's attempts at friendly interaction.

Because Piper's grandmother is dying, she requests a furlough to visit her. Unfortunately, Piper is released just in time for her grandmother's funeral. While interacting with her extended family, Piper starts to realize her interest is returning to her old life is diminishing. She also visits Red's old restaurant to discover it has been shut down, but she lies about this to Red. Throughout the season, Piper implies that she is happy not being the same person she was before, but in one of her last scenes in the season, she admits to herself that while she can't be the same, she's not okay with that.

Through Larry, Piper is put in contact with a journalist investigating potential embezzlement in Litchfield. Piper starts up a prison newsletter to cover up her investigation, but is discovered by administrator Caputo when she decides to go Veronica Mars on the office of assistant warden Figueroa. After issues with Pornstache, a returning antagonist from last season (he rolls up like a movie villain when he returns), a senile patient that escaped, and now the potential embezzlement charges, Figueroa resigns. She was easy to dislike for her treatment of the inmates and administration. Her solution to damaged drainages is to restrict showers to thirty seconds rather than fix the facility and she forces the guards reach a weekly quota for writing up inmates. Still, in her conversations with her husband, who is running for Congress, they are both revealed to be people who believe the penal system itself is broken and they are working to get into a position to create real change. Sadly, Figueroa discovers her husband is romantically involved with his campaign manager the day before Caputo reveals that he has obtained proof of her embezzlement.

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