BWW Catch-Up: Love Is a Battle Field in OITNB Episodes 5 & 6

We know that Season 2 of Netflix's "Orange is the New Black" started streaming two months ago, but not everyone has time to binge-watch 13 episodes. So we are catching up with one or two a week for the rest of the summer.

If you haven't been following along, here is Colleen's recap of Episodes 1 and 2 and 3 and 4. Now she's back to take a look at Episodes 5 and 6 of the new season. So, take it away Colleen...

And we're back to catch-up on the second season of "Orange Is the New Black." Episode 5 "Low Self Esteem City" centers around Mendoza, the leader of Spanish Harlem and Head Cook of Litchfield. While her girls are dealing with plumbing problems in their designated bathroom, Mendoza directs them to another, using her position as Head Cook to get her way: "You want breakfast? That's how it is." I love Mendoza in charge. She's cool and collected and doesn't allow herself to be pushed around. Predictably, Vee isn't pleased to be sharing a bathroom and while a fight almost breaks it, it's quelled by a guard. However, the short lived face-off between two head honchos doesn't seem quite over. I bet (and hope) we'll see more of Mendoza and Vee interacting.

Switching to the backstory of Mendoza, we learn that as a manager of a convenience store, she is also stuck in an abusive relationship. Unfortunately, Mendoza repeatedly forgives her abuser throughout the flashbacks, up until he hurts her son. As she gathers the money she made from trading food stamps with her customers, she flees only to be caught by the police after a disgruntled customer ratted her out. I really felt for Mendoza in this episode. Just as she's finally worked up enough courage to leave, she's thwarted by the police and thrown into jail. Yes, yes, fraud is bad, but so is domestic abuse. At least she's respected in Litchfield. For now.

Big Boo and Nicky continue their game and as Big Boo sacks little points all over Litchfield, Nicky tries to woo Fischer, the female prison guard. Their light hearted game is definitely one of the more comedic aspects of the show, though I worry for Nicky if she gets caught hitting on a prison guard. Is there any punishable rule against that? I guess we'll have to find out.

Fig declines fixing the Latina showers due to budget problems so Vee and Mendoza are forced to coexist with 30 second showers. Vee used to scare me, but after Mendoza nearly brings her to tears with threats, it's not Vee I'm afraid of anymore. Looks like Mendoza isn't letting herself get pushed around this time. The two strike a deal to switch some of their girls from custodial to the kitchen and vice versa. For now, the two seem on the same side. I wonder what Red will think once she catches word of this new alliance...

Speaking of, Red and her gang of old ladies begin work on the Greenhouse. Jimmy, one of the older ladies, seems to be dealing with dementia as she talks about her husband picking her up for the movies. I love these oldies. They seem frail and innocent, but I know they have spunk still in them. Healy stops by but isn't interested in gardening as he starts asking Red for advice with his Russian wife. Weird, right? Red denying Healy advice was awesome. Seeing Healy in a lower position than Red was totally awesome. I wonder how he'll climb his way back up...

Meanwhile, Piper's mother and Cal visit but they don't bring good news. Piper's grandmother is dying. A devastated Piper then asks Healy for furlough who replies: "Furlough is like the Loch Ness Monster. Much discussed and rarely seen." Poor Piper, but I didn't really expect Healy to say yes.

Janea trips Daya in the cafeteria and Bennett is a little too eager to react. Hopefully no one finds this out of the ordinary and doesn't press the situation. Caputo puts on a concert with his garage band and seems to be trying to attract attention from Fischer. Piper calls Larry for the first time since their breakup. While awkward, the two seem to have patched things up. Which sort of sucks because as you all know, I hate Larry. Red confronts Mendoza about hiring extra help, claiming she knows Vee put her up to it. "She played you," Red mutters. "You have no idea what you've done." Ooh, things are definitely heating up!

The closing scene shows Mendoza's abuser returning to the store to find her money. However, before he can escape, he's burned alive in a room surrounded by candles and religious figurines. Justice? I think so.

"And You Also Have Pizza" is my favorite episode of Season 2. Love is in the air at Litchfield as Valentine's Day approaches. Portions of the episode are filmed interview style with the inmates answering questions on their views of what love is. Their answers are candid and really manage to reflect their personalities perfectly.

Daya and Bennett pretend they have plans later, a bittersweet game that reminds Daya the two will never be a perfect family. Their situation still makes me nervous and sometimes I worry that Daya is going to make Bennett move on (something I hope he never does).

Larry (booo) visits Piper and somehow convinces her to help him expose the prison for fraud. With this, Piper begins asking guards and inmates about where they think the budget goes. I don't know why but I don't like this arrangement. Larry hates the Piper that Litchfield has cultivated yet he always wants her to do his dirty work for her. Nope, I wouldn't do it. Things get worse for Larry as my second least favorite character Polly comes into play. The two share a kiss just as Polly's husband rounds the corner but nothing is detected. These two are the worst! I feel like the rest of the season is going to have many more Polly/Larry (Lolly? Parry?) scenes and I don't know how to feel about that.

Pennsatucky gets a taste of her own medicine as her best friend and posse outs her. I really enjoy the drama between this fizzling group but I'm still not sold on Pennsatucky's "reformed" attitude. It's only a matter of time before she finds a new target to bully. But, I've gotta say her line of: "It's a metaphor, you potato with eyes!" killed me. So so funny.

Caputo invites Fischer to another one of his gigs and seems a little pissed when the female guard brings along a few male friends. I don't know what's going on here either. Caputo's infatuation with Fischer is a little...creepy. On top of it all, guess who shows? Jimmy from Litchfield! Yep, the dementia ridden inmate has escaped and found herself in the very bar where Caputo and several Litchfield guards are hanging.

But, how did she escape so easily? Coincidentally, this episode also shows Red finding a new way to smuggle goods into Litchfield. Thanks to a secret passageway in the Greenhouse, Red's son has started helping his mother return to power in Litchfield. But, we know Jimmy walked out the front door. So, what will happen to her? Will Litchfield up their security? Hopefully these questions are answered soon!

Poussey is the focus on this episode's flashback. An army brat, Poussey is shown living at an army base in Germany with her father. She soon finds love in a higher ranking soldier's daughter, but it's short lived as her conservative father finds out and forbids them to see each other. As Poussey goes to confront the man, her own father stops her just as she grabs a gun. While Poussey's ex-girlfriend's father doesn't know of the gun's involvement, he still sends them back to America. While this scene was completely heartbreaking, I have to mention something Poussey's father says. When the lieutenant offers some advice on how to treat Poussey's "confused predlicitions", Poussey's father responds with: "Thanks, but she's fine." Understated and simple, the moment speaks volumes. Poussey's father accepts his daughter the way she is and to me, that made the scene all the more heartwrenching.

Healy finds Piper's nosing around annoying and unnecessary yet when she talks about designing a newsletter, he's all onboard. Something tells me Piper isn't going to use the newsletter to critique the cafeteria food...I bet there's something up her sleeve. Vee's hooks are sinking into the girls and Taystee and Poussey begin to bicker. Hopefully this doesn't last long because I absolutely adore that sassy duo. Flaca and Maritza share a hilarious intimate moment in the kitchen as they talk about their complex love lives. The two kiss and immediately erupt into laughter.

The episode closes with Piper's idea of love: "It's like coming home after a long trip. That's what love is like. It's like coming home. Thanks for asking." And that, right here folks, is why this was my favorite episode. On top of all the great opinions of love, Chapman explains it with perfect simplicity. I feel like there's going to be a strong sense of missing home this season. Whether it be Piper missing her grandmother, Red battling to get her girls back, Morello struggling with Christopher or even Taystee keeping herself away from the only home figure she's known, the ladies of Litchfield are struggling this season. Who will find their true home?

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From This Author Colleen Maus

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