‘Orange is the New Black’ season 4, episode 6 review: Luschek feels some things; Piper pushes Maria too far

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In episode 6 of “Orange is the New Black” this season, titled “Piece of Sh!t”, Luschek is in a constant state of numbness. Whatever helps him stop feeling, he is consuming. He is frustrated to receive a barrage of hate mail in his mailbox at the prison from Nicky, who is celebrating 3 years sober in Max. During her janitorial duties, she overhears Sophia in the SHU and speaks to her. Sophia recognizes her from Litchfield, and begs her for a warm blanket. Nicky wants to help, but knowing they would both end up punished, she instead gives her a magazine to read, to keep her mind sharp and focused. Back at Litchfield, Luschek is confiding to Judy the immense guilt he feels over Nicky being at Max. She tells him to stop whining and figure it out. Nicky is hanging out with Stella at Max, but when she sees a guard drop drugs to her, she breaks off all contact, leaving her totally isolated again. She’s surprised to have a visitor, who turns out to be Luschek there to apologize to her and clear his conscience. Nicky sees right through it and angrily explains the misery of her day to day existence before slamming the phone and storming out. When she’s cleaning the SHU later that evening, she notices Sophia is not in her room, which is covered in blood. The guard refuses to tell her what happened. At Litchfield, When Judy asks Luschek how his visit with Nicky went, he tells her it only made things worse. His guilt is eating him alive, and the only way out of it that he sees is to confess to Caputo and lose his job in order for Nicky to come back. Judy scoffs at his suggestion, and insists there is a better way. She makes good on her promise, managing to get Nicky transferred back to Litchfield with some good old fashioned bribe money. Luschek is relieved, until he realizes Judy is demanding sex-for-pay. Caputo signs the papers to get her back just as she is falling off the wagon at Max by making her own sex-for-pay deal with the female guard she saw Stella score from earlier.

Taystee has discovered selling photos of Judy King to tabloids is a huge moneymaker. Black Cindy says all they need is a cell phone, and Alison overhears. When she approaches Cindy later in private, Cindy can’t resist being sarcastic and selfish, causing Alison to rescind her offer to use the phone in trade for tampons. Taystee mediates the feud very effectively, as Cindy and Alison end up bonding over their mutual distaste for Scientology. They realize how much in common they truly have. We feel confident the rivalry has ended.

Soso and Poussey continue to grow closer emotionally, but Soso holds back physically, and it weighs heavily on her. Poussey is always so completely accepting, and this is no exception. She tells Soso you can’t live your life worrying about “maybes” and “what ifs”. They exchange “I love yous for the first time.

Caputo has been inspired by the convention he attended with Linda in Baltimore. He tells her his genius idea to make the women happier is to create an education program to teach them life skills, as taught by the guards. Linda thinks it’s a great idea, and offers to present it to MCC for him.

As the Latinas chat outside and congratulate Maritza for her successful panty caper, they wonder when payday is coming. Maria informs them it won’t be anytime too soon, and they express frustration over the small time-business and want to get into drugs. Maria refuses. Nothing illegal, she will not be a hypocrite like her father. The Anti-Violence group approaches and commands they break up their talk, as groups of 4 or more are not allowed to congregate anymore going forward. They aren’t interested in listening to them, so the Angie calls over the guard and explains they won’t break it up. He punishes them with shots. Later, the group tells the guard they have noticed the panties, and have heard they’re being sold for big profits. Piper panics and tries to distract from the topic, but it’s too late. The guards set up a panty check, but only the Latina and black women are subjected to it. White privilege at work. Piper thinks it’s hilarious that she’s manipulated all of the guards to do her dirty work against Maria and the other girls. Boo tells her to stop being a sitting duck and make a move. There are people who depend on her. She makes her move by planting panties under Maria’s bunk, and the guards find the contraband. Piscitella punishes her by making her an example of what gang life leads to, even though she is telling the truth. She tries to explain that Chapman is the one behind it, but he is resolute. He recommends a judge tack on 3-5 years to her sentence. When she protests, he says her actions look gang related, just like her family did. She is devastated. When she spots Piper outside, Piper braces herself for the angry confrontation. Maria is filled with rage and tells Piper it’s all over for her now, she intends to ruin her. Piper pushed her too far. Maria lets the other Latinas know the consequences Piper has created for her. Maria has lost all reason to follow the rules she set for herself. She is ready to move forward. Drugs will be next.

Things have come to a boiling point with Piper and Maria, and the water is spilling over. Piper has pushed the wrong buttons this time. Her bold move will likely cost her. Nicky got so far in sobriety, but losing hope is a tough pill to swallow sober, and she wasn’t strong enough. Will the transfer inspire her to get clean again? What happened to Sophia? It seemed like a lot of blood. We think there is a very good possibility that Linda will steal Caputo’s idea, resulting in a huge career win. He will not take that well. Lastly, did anyone notice the irony of the Scientology-is-a-scam scene that created the bond with Cindy and Alison because of Laura Prepon’s, who plays Alex, longtime membership?

We expect it to get really nasty for Piper now. Karma has come calling. Grade: A+

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This review was written by Michelle Wilmot and if you’re not already following her on Twitter, you can do so at the link here. (Photo: Netflix)

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