With 95% of season 1’s cast nowhere to be seen, we are stuck with Piper, Alex, and the type of characters which bring 0 interest.
Review (with Spoilers)
To me, if you never saw the first season and wanted to see what the hype was all about, this episode would make you think this show is vastly overrated. For, as creator Jenji Kohan said, Piper is nothing more than a Trojan Horse. Which is highly visible for without Red, Taystee, Crazy Eyes, Sophia, Poussey and etc, this seems like something which would get cancelled in one season if it was on an actual network.
Topic 1: Where Am I Going? – Piper
After what happened with Pennsatucky (Taryn Manning), Piper (Taylor Schilling) has been in solitary confinement. That is until she ends up getting taken in the middle of the night, put on a bus, a plane, and another bus, and then finds herself in Chicago. Why? Well, for the trial against Alex’s (Laura Prepon) former boss Cooper who ran the drug cartel which allowed Piper and Alex to travel the world. But before the trial can happen, Piper has to get adjusted to her new roommates.
One is a single mom who lost damn near everything but her home once being put in prison; then there is her sidekick, the muscle; a girl who seems to be a simple stooge of the single mom; and then this really creepy woman who is highly into astrology, as well as Piper. Things don’t start off well with the majority of her new roommates since Piper kills a cockroach which was a quite prized one since the prisoners use cockroaches to transport cigarettes to each other. This is also the method the single mom uses to make cash so you know she is quite upset Piper is messing with her money.
Problems don’t end there though, the prison itself is inter-gender and with one Black guy seemingly into Piper she automatically fears he may rape her. But she ends up needing his help to communicate with Alex who is in a different unit. So for her panties, he delivers the message, leading to Alex trying to prep Piper for trial.
Topic 2: When to lie – Piper
A good portion of the episode has flashbacks to Piper’s childhood to establish she has always been a bit of a goody two shoes trying to be honest and respectable even at the cost of friends, or even her mom’s feelings when she discovers her dad is cheating on her. With a talk with her grandmother though, she realizes that you can’t tell the truth every single time and expect right to triumph. The truth hurts in ways that make lying sometimes a better option. Something which comes to mind during the trial.
Topic 3: F*** You – Piper & Alex
When it comes to talking about the trial, Larry’s (Jason Biggs) dad is Piper’s lawyer and tells her to tell the truth despite her fears. Alex tells her to lie because, frankly, who knows what her former employer could do. After all, the Black guy who Piper gave her panties to was a hit man. So there are ways Piper could get messed up in her current prison arrangement. Which perhaps is what she was considering when she got on the stand. For while she seemed very committed to telling the truth, as she practically refused eye contact with the prosecutor, she made it seem as if she knows nothing of Cooper and strictly was only focused on Alex. Something which Alex seemingly didn’t say as well for we end the episode with Alex apologizing for telling the truth and her being transferred perhaps. Leaving Piper utterly alone, likely to have perjury added to her rap sheet, and still stuck with her new, weird, and uninteresting, roommates.