Another episode which may feature one character, Red in particular, but Vee finds some way to make sure she shares the spotlight.
Review (with Spoilers)
With Mendez’s return you probably expect him to cause a lot of BS, but in fact it is Bennett that causes issues. But, for the most part, the focus is on Red and Vee, as it has fairly consistently been. For as more product comes in, we begin to understand why Red wanted to look fierce, in a growl way, for when she and Vee met once more. For while they were once friends, greed ended any semblance of friendship.
Topic 1: Taking Advantage of a Situation – Piper
With Piper having freedom for 48 hours, she finds herself going to a funeral, which turns into a wedding, because her brother decides to be cheap and use all that was made for the funeral arrangements. Then, after leaving the reception, she learns Red’s old shop is closed and available to lease. Outside of that, she learns Larry is in the process of moving on as everyone around her, family and those who she grew up around, are holding onto this old image of Piper they have. Forcing her to realize that like Larry, she needs to move on from a lot of people who can’t accept she has changed. Maybe not for the better fully, but she has in fact changed.
Topic 2: Crack Down (Part 2) – Bennett, Mendez and Poussey
As Mendez storms through the door he quickly starts handing out citations left and right like he’ll get an extra dollar per hour for doing so. Making it seem like he is not only going to clean house, but embarrass his fellow correctional officers in the process. This makes Bennett really step his game up and almost emulate the butt hole tendencies of Mendez last season. And while Bennett picks on the pipsqueaks like Brook, who says she is going to hunger strike, Bennett goes for a big fish like Red, who remind him that he lives in a glass house and damn near all inmates have a nice big old rock to throw at him.
But, despite this, upon seeing a cigarette near where the majority of the Black ladies sleep, he really goes off. He starts knocking Taystee’s stuff over, after finding makeup when doing a search, and damn near finds out how their cigarette trade is working. Luckily for them though, Mendez, of all people, holds Bennett back from going too far and possibly getting fired. And how does Bennett repay someone who potentially saved his job? Well, he goes against Daya’s request and goes to kill Mendez’s career by telling Caputo that Mendez got Daya pregnant.
That may not be the only controversy though. After Leanne and Doggett get into a fight, Leanne goes to Poussey seemingly to buy tobacco, but in fact she is looking for drugs. Something which Poussey wasn’t aware they sold. So she goes to warn Taystee, who is apparently sipping the kool aid, and Taystee goes off on her. Which makes the moment in which Bennett goes through Taystee’s stuff the ever more scary for, you see, Vee is getting heroin in the building, as we learn when Taystee gives a small bag to Nicky after she just talked about being clean earlier in the episode.
Topic 3: The Start of an Empire/ Personal Judas – Red & Vee
As has been established, Vee and Red met before, when Vee was first incarcerated. Back then a woman named Rhonda ran the Black women, and Red was still that nice young woman who got pushed around too much. But, being that Vee always can spot someone to potentially exploit, we learn she is the one who got Red started in the business, and may have even gave her that nickname.
However, with Rhonda disappearing, and seemingly every faction just waiting for a leader, Vee finds herself rising just as Red does with her contraband trade. And being that Vee has muscle, and Red has product, Vee sends one of her girls to take over, of which Red doesn’t think much about because, what an insult for someone to send a stooge. But then Vee comes in and tells Red, straight up, you have no muscle, so I’m taking over. This leads to Red getting a thorough beat down with her friend Norma (Annie Golden) watching in horror.
Which leads us to understand why Red so badly wants to make sure she gets her girls back. For while the Golden Girls are some tough mofos, they aren’t enough and Red doesn’t want to get jumped again. Luckily for her, with an apology and meal, she seems to win over mostly everyone. All but her personal Judas: Big Boo. Because Boo isn’t treated to a personal apology like a few others, and she discovers how the product is coming in, she decides to go to Vee with it, since seemingly being lookout for her has led to them being friendly. Not to mention, with the guards getting close to discovering Vee’s operation, she is going to need alternative routes. So, a deal is made in which Big Boo gets 10% of the tobacco operation for the information on how Red is getting her product in, and considering what Vee has done in the past, expect her to encroach on Red’s territory all over again.