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'Orange Is the New Black' recap: 'Don't Make Me Come Back There'

Posted on

Netflix

Orange Is the New Black

type:
TV Show
Current Status:
In Season
tvpgr:
TV-MA
seasons:
4
run date:
07/11/13
performer:
Taylor Schilling, Natasha Lyonne, Kate Mulgrew, Laura Prepon
broadcaster:
Netflix
genre:
Drama, Comedy

The birth of Dayanara Diaz’s baby has been more than two seasons in the making, fraught with as many ups and downs as her relationship with her mother and fellow inmate Aleida. Aleida has been callous toward Daya since her first day in prison, and the way she handled practically selling off Daya’s baby has left their relationship tense in the last few days of her pregnancy.

But it’s not Daya who is at the center of “Don’t Make Me Come Back There.” She appears, but Aleida receives the spotlight, helping us to better understand, even if it doesn’t completely excuse, the way she’s treated her daughter.

“There” travels back to when Aleida was still raising a young Daya and trying to decide how best to take of her daughter. Aleida wants a better life for Daya, but as her own mother points out, is she willing to give her that even if it doesn’t include Aleida?

Not exactly sure of her answer, she decides to bring Daya to a camp for an extended stay. Aleida says she needs the time away as her daughter breaks down in tears, screaming to be taken home. Aleida leaves her there, but tears well up in her own eyes when the shock of the separation first hits her.

She returns weeks later, expecting to find a daughter just as attached to her mother as when she left her there, only to discover that Daya has gotten by just fine on her own. She barely acknowledges her mother’s presence, and the surprises keep coming as Aleida sees the first sign of Daya’s budding artistic talents (but doesn’t expect that to carry her daughter far in life).

When they return home, Aleida begins throwing out some of Daya’s art projects, telling her she can make new ones. But really, she’s less interest in the physical clutter and more interested in the mental clutter. Daya’s head has been filled with new ideas, new faces, and new bonds that have nothing to do with Aleida. And that concerns the mother, because as she wants the best for her daughter, she does not want that best to not include her.

It gives some context to her behavior toward Daya ever since she arrived in Litchfield. In many ways, Aleida resents Daya for having a life on her own, devoid of her influence, but in many ways she also holds guilt over whether or not she gave Daya the life she deserved. And that’s because in the end, as mean as she may act, she loves her daughter, and she loves the ways in which her life was filled with love because of Daya. She recognizes her mistakes though, and while, yes, she did use Daya’s baby as a means to make money, she also believed the baby would truly have a better life with financial support.

She tries to tell her daughter this, convince her that Aleida actually cares about giving this baby a good future, but Daya thinks of it as nothing more than B.S. So when Daya is taken to the hospital as she’s begun to bleed, Aleida decides to make one final decision to prove that the money wasn’t the most important factor. She calls Pornstache’s mother, and tells her that the baby died.

Now, in the moment, it’s a horrifically sad scene. This is the only information we’re initially given about the birth once Daya is whisked away, leaving us to believe one of the longest ongoing plot threads on the show ends in utter tragedy.

But it’s a bait-and-switch, as Aleida simply lied to Pornstache’s mother. Daya’s baby is happy and healthy as the new mother takes the child in her arms for the few short moments she’s allowed to spend with her child. And Aleida’s conscience is cleared, believing that she’s given Daya the chance to have some relationship as a mother to her new child (Cesar is set to take care of the baby). Now that she’s a grandmother, she’s hoping she can do something right for the child this time out, or, as Gloria puts it, “a little less s****y.”

And while Aleida’s maternal problems extend to her actual progeny, a sort of adoptive mother is also having to do right by her family. At the tailend of “Back There,” Taystee realizes that she has become the mom of her group, Poussey, Watson, Cindy, and Suzanne being her children. It’s a hilarious moment and one that rings absolutely true when not just considering Taystee’s actions in the episode but throughout the season.

NEXT: Fights, drugs, and a broomstick. [pagebreak]

Here, it’s brought on by an inmate complaining to her about something Watson did, as if she’s supervising her. And in a way, she is. Much of the episode is spent with Taystee and the rest of her group dealing with Red, who has been holding exclusive by-lottery dinners for the inmates with real, prepared food as opposed to the slop being passed off in the cafeteria.

But when Red discovers Cindy, Watson, and the rest of their clique chowing down on some of the vegetable garden’s corn, she demands something in return from them. They end up serving as the wait staff to her next dinner, which almost didn’t happen, but thanks to the good grace of Healy (aka his massive crush), she has a surprise supply of corn to cook with, and the dinner goes off without a hitch.

A few other problems plaguing Litchfield are handled with a much messier guiding hand, however. After the rumors Aleida spread about Sophia, a group of women attack Sophia in her salon, throwing transphobic barbs at her while physically attacking her. One of the new guards spots the brawl, but rather than immediately stepping in, she runs off to get more help, leaving Sophia to be pummeled by her inmates.

A battered Sophia confronts Caputo about the problem, as she rightly is indignant about the botched handling of the situation. Caputo tells her there’s not much to be done because of the might of MCC, but Sophia doesn’t accept that. With the threats of lawsuits and press getting wind of the attack, she leaves Caputo’s office with a defiant “f–k you,” and it’s enough to make Caputo realize he needs to do something to support Sophia.

He takes up the issue with Danny, who initially consults his father/boss on the matter. And while Danny thinks his father might actually take Sophia’s threats to heart, his idea is to simply sweep it under the rug. That ideology wins out, his plan to squash the problem by isolating Sophia going through, and in the end she’s sent to the SHU, the company line being she’ll be locked away for her own protection.

The day proves to be a traumatic one for more than just Sophia. Boo and Pennsatucky plan to exact revenge on Coates. Killing is too messy, Boo reasons, so they’ll just Girl with the Dragon Tattoo the guy and “rape him back” as Boo so eloquently puts it.

So on movie night, they decide to drug Coates, carry him down to the laundry room, and plan to shove a broomstick where the sun don’t shine. Neither can bring themselves to do it—Boo can’t because it’s gross and she’d rather Pennsatucky have the pleasure of exacting revenge. But in another beautiful moment from Taryn Manning, Pennsatucky explains that what’s happened hasn’t left her with rage so much as it’s left her sad.

One final dark moment hits Litchfield during movie night. Soso, who’s only left with Healy as a counselor, is given a prescription for medication to aid her depression. When she arrives at the new doctor’s office, she instead steals some pills lying around. And we discover she took them a whole batch of them at once, as Poussey finds her body, unmoving, on the floor of the library. Dead or unconscious, this is turning the evening into one of the darkest movie night’s Litchfield has ever seen.

Extras

  • Caputo and CO O’Neill discuss their unionizing plans while walking around the prison’s perimeter.Their walk does reveal the mythical chicken lives, and there happens to be a hole in the prison fence that could be problematic down the line.
  • Sophia comes up with pretty much the perfect New York Post headline for her proposed story: “Shemale jail fail: Balls to the wall in tranny prison brawl.“
  • Suzanne’s Time Hump Chronicles has finally gone full circle in its Twilight/50 Shades of Grey parodying, as she discovers a piece of fan fiction about her writing that’s introduced vampires into the time traveling erotica. And in Cindy’s continued steps toward Judaism, she decides to call the New Testament fan fiction. Good thing Jane isn’t around to hear her.
  • Piper and Stella continue to grow closer as business partners, but the real revelation in Piper’s business plan is the name of her product’s website: feloniousspunk.com.

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