‘Orange is the New Black’ season 4, episode 11 review: Lockdown at Litchfield; who takes the fall for the hit man murder?

OITNB -Secrets. They’re all coming out in “Orange is the New Black” season 4. The body of the hitman has been unearthed, Nicky’s addiction is known to everyone, and the hair salon Maria is using as a front for drugs is known to be the place to score. The last three episodes will likely deal with the aftermath of the secrets. We wonder if Lolly will go down for the crime all alone, or will Alex and her co-conspirators go down with her? Piper and Alex are getting close again, but how close will it get? The guards are lurking about going freestyle however and whenever they feel inspired. It’s a creepy atmosphere, and finally feels like a truly dangerous place this season.

In “People Persons”, Blanca and Piper are still standing on the table serving out their freestyle punishments. Lockdown is called suddenly, which ends their plight and they are told to get down and go to their dorms with the other inmates. Piper and Alex are panicked, so Red tells them to shut up and meet her in Frieda’s room in an hour. The women feel pretty secure with one another sticking to the plan, but they’re worried about Lolly, who is still unraveling mentally.

Kukudio approaches Suzanne, and Taystee is disgusted that Suzanne gave her the time of day. Taystee’s reaction puzzles her, which takes us to an instant backstory reveal with Suzanne greeting customers at a Walmart type place, all the way down to the guns. She is so well suited for this job, full of joy and knows some of the customers by name, especially the children. Her manager approaches her to congratulate her for winning Employee of the Month. She is elated. When she rushes home to tell her sister, she realizes she is leaving town for the weekend. Suzanne is terrified to be alone, but her sister encourages her and says she can try to make new friends while she’s gone. She is so childlike, so her idea of making friends is taking her greeter routine to the local park. She runs into a young boy she knows from being a customer at her job. She invites him to her house for popsicles. We already know where this is going.

Healy learns about the body, so he immediately remembers what Lolly told him about the man she murdered and buried there. He seems to shut down and go into shock, and leaves the premises. The guards are freaking out about the discovery, mostly because they know the victim was a guard. Caputo tells them to hold tight for the night while he and MCC assess the situation. They’re angry and feel unsafe. How ironic, given what they’ve been doing to the inmates. Caputo tells them to be calm and professional. He has no sooner closed the door behind him when Piscitella throws everything he said out the window in favor of gathering up inmates he feels are potential suspects to question them. Coates tries to interject, but Piscitella shuts it down and orders him to guard the body outside…alone…at night. Luschek is ordered to guard Judy King. Neither man is pleased with their assignments. Coates terrifies himself reading It.

Judy is happy to see Luschek again, as he’s been actively avoiding her since they had sex. Yoga Jones has completely sold her soul to Judy for the luxury items and perks she has been able to share. Judy has some Molly, and she invites Luschek and Yoga to do it with her. All three of them trip out while the drama unfolds everywhere else. A threesome breaks out. We are spared most of the graphic images from being burned into our brains.

The guards round up some folks to interrogate, including Kukudio, Suzanne and Red. Frieda is almost insulted not to be called too. While Suzanne and Red wait to be called on, Kukudio approaches Suzanne. She thinks they’re even now, but Suzanne is confused by this and wants her space. In the interrogation room, Piscitella comes face to face to with Red, at last. This has been brewing all season. He orders her bunk searched. When Taystee questions Dixon about where Suzanne is, he takes her watch and breaks it. She worked hard for that, and it hurts. Piscitella is dead set on pinning the murder on Red, but she will never crack. He mentions that she’s clearly connected to the Russian mob, being in minimum when they found 5 bodies in her freezer. Whoa. Bayley finds the keys to the greenhouse in Red’s quarters, to the delight of Piscitella.

Nicky is detoxing, Pennsatucky shows up in time to comfort her as the withdrawals grip. It’s sweet how she is getting so much fulfillment out of helping others. Alex and Piper are hanging out anxiously awaiting Red’s return. Lolly pulls Alex aside and begs to know if she created the greenhouse murder in her mind or not. Having been made to feel crazy for the paranoia Alex experienced that her boss would send a hitman, she didn’t have the heart to let Lolly believe she imagined it. She feels she owes her for saving her life that night.

Caputo thinks he should be at Licthfield during this situation, but MCC has other plans in order. Outside, Danny confronts his father with Crystal Burset and the photographic evidence Caputo secretly provided him that prove Sophia is in SHU. Linda is annoyed that Caputo didn’t give her a heads up about the body. He realizes she’s never even been to Litchfield or any prison.

C.O.s Stratman and Humps are in charge of the inmates waiting to be interrogated, and they’re having tons of sadistic fun at the women’s expense. Bayley is not comfortable with this escalating cruelty, and tries to speak up and let it be known. Humps forces Suzanne to fight one of the white power girls, who refuses. Kukudio volunteers to fight Suzanne in her place. Back in time, Suzanne plays video games with the little boy from the park. He wants to go home to his family now, but she doesn’t want to be alone. With the mind of a child, pure and innocent, she doesn’t see the fear in his eyes or understand the gravity of the situation. As she leaves the room to get capes for more games, he calls 911 and tells them he was kidnapped, essentially. He tries to escape, confusing her and making her upset. When he runs out the window on the fire escape and she chases after him, he falls over the railing. All of Kukudio’s rage is coming at in present day, she’s berating Suzanne verbally and antagonizing her. The whole room is cheering it on. Kukudio goes too far, and Suzanne snaps and can’t stop hitting Kukudio, beating her face bloody. The Domincans eventually step in and break it up before she can kill her.

Healy calls Katya to apologize, as we see everyone else’s sleepless nights playing out, full of regret. He is at a beach, and he walks into the water, in full uniform. He wants it to end. The phone rings as he is chest deep, and he rushes back hoping it’s Katya. It’s just work. As Alex is about to confess to Piscitella, she finds out that Lolly has been named the suspect. Healy has turned her in. They find her in the time machine, of course. She confesses instantly, sparing Red any further scrutiny. Alex feels horrible, she wasn’t able to save Lolly and repay the favor. Healy escorts Lolly to psych, and it is a terrible place full of screaming. She screams to him all the way down the hall, as he watches in tears.

As always, we loved this episode. The performance of Lori Petty as Lolly has been one of many standouts for us this year, and it was heartbreaking hearing her tortured screams of terror. We hope we will see her again, under much better circumstances. The guards are continuing their march towards tragedy, dragging the woman alongside them as their perverted entertainment. Humps is a psychopath. We are certain. That it was Lolly dragged off to unspeakable horrors while he’s still co-running the show in gen pop is so disturbing. Alex’s conscience is eating her alive. Now she has a body count of two essentially. It will be interesting to see how she handles the guilt going forward. Maybe Red will convince her to let it go. Nicky is on her way towards sobriety again, even though it’s against her will. We think Pennsatucky will be a positive influence on her. Only two episodes left of an incredible season. Prepare yourselves. 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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