An explanation on why Suzanne (Crazy Eyes) has such a thing for Piper, as well as us seeing Vee become the mother to all the Black girls.
Review (with Spoilers)
Seemingly with Lorraine Touissant joining the show, she isn’t going to be treated as just a guest star. As of this episode she pretty much establishes herself with everyone but Sophia. Who has heard of her, but never interacted with her in person. And while the focus maybe Suzanne, again I feel Touissant/Vee finds a way to wiggle herself into another episode focused on a season 1 original and and carve out a big piece of the story for herself.
Topic 1: The Boring Ones – Piper, Lorna, Larry
Piper finds herself back with the rest of the cast and people seem pretty frightened by her, or at least they are staring like they are. If just because, from what we have seen, she messed Pennsatucky up. Though she really doesn’t own this persona until dealing with this new girl named Brook. This newbie Piper tries to be nice to, but when Brook tries to take advantage of this she uses her newly gained reputation to keep Brook from getting any ideas that she can be a push over.
But while Piper reacquaints herself with everyone, and even gets an “I missed you” from Nicky (Natasha Lyonne), Lorna (Yael Stone) is dealing with her former fiancé Christopher prepping to marry another woman. This leaves her so distraught that it may be an opening for Nicky to get back in there. Which may explain all the sex she has been having everywhere in the prison. For either she is turning out all the fresh meat, just been really horny lately, or is prepping for when another rejected girl to run onto her fingers.
Leaving us with Larry who meets with Andrew, who is the reporter spoken about in the last episode. Andrew wants a connection with Piper in order to write an expose on the prison committing fraud and embezzlement, but not necessarily with Larry. This doesn’t sit right with him so he decides to try to make himself seem useful, be a middleman. Then to make his life feel worse, when on a date with this pediatric neurologist she talks to him like the best he can be is a stay at home dad for he has no ambition what so ever. Something she oddly finds likeable in a man.
Topic 2: The Ostracized One – Suzanne
In both her present life and her past, Suzanne (Uzo Aduba) has always been left out of things because of her way of acting and thinking. As a child raised by white parents, she found herself being the odd Black girl who no one really got. Then, on top of her mental issues, it didn’t help that her parents wanted her to be included and seen to the point they would create situations in which Suzanne would get anxiety attacks.
Things aren’t that much better as an adult though. All the rest of the Black girls seemingly only let Suzanna hang with them when she can be useful to them like being timekeeper for their games of charades. Otherwise, her oddness annoys most of them and leads them to never really trying to understand Suzanne. But, while spending time with Suzanne we learn where these rumors about Pennsatucky getting some licks in came from. You see, after the Christmas play both Flaca and Maritza (Diane Guerrero) make fun of Suzanne for choking up and then Norma (Annie Golden) saving her. This triggers her remembering her mother forcing her to sing during her high school graduation, and as she pounds her head she sees Piper and Pennsatucky fighting and decks Piper a few times seeing her as her mother pushing her way past her comfort zone.
This is why we see Suzanne avoiding Piper for she feels bad and, after a talk with Vee, she apologizes and surprisingly Piper is thankful she decked her. If just because it made the fight seem even so she was allowed to comeback. In fact, she is so grateful she invites Suzanne to sit next to her on movie night, but Suzanne seemingly has moved on thanks to Vee taking over as her mother figure.
Topic 3: Big Momma Vee – Vee
From what we are told, perhaps 20+ years ago Vee ran that prison with all the Black girls as her minions. Red was around during that time and witnessed this, and the two have a sort of frenemy relationship going. But something is different about Vee now. Vee seems to want to keep the peace, maybe make some connections, and that’s it. She first wins over Gloria, temporarily, with cigarettes that turn out to be stale. But the real connections she makes are with the Black girls. First with Suzanne who she treats in such a way that I doubt Suzanne’s mom ever did. She doesn’t baby her, doesn’t give into her madness, but does seek to understand her perhaps. She forces her to have some pride in herself, and sort of is like the Shug Avery to Suzanne’s Miss Celie, minus the sex.
And as the episode goes on, even Taystee comes around, especially after Gloria sends a cake Vee’s way to thank her for the cigarettes. This leads to also Black Cindy coming around, after being utterly rude to Vee when she asked her to get the hidden cigarettes that Suzanne end up getting, and of course Poussey and Janae (Vicky Jeudy) find themselves joining Vee too. Making it seem Vee is trying to be every Black girl’s surrogate momma, sans Sophia. But with Gloria not appreciating those old ass cigarettes, she may have to work a bit harder to keep in the kitchen’s good graces.