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Orange Is The New Black recap: People Persons

Suzanne’s past and present take tragic turns as the prison goes on lockdown

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Orange Is the New Black

TV Show
Drama, Comedy
run date:
58 minutes
Taylor Schilling, Natasha Lyonne, Kate Mulgrew, Laura Prepon
Current Status:
In Season

The discovery of the body under the prison garden takes an already crowded, tense situation at Litchfield and pushes it to full-on Lord of the Flies hysteria — Piscatella, no longer even pretending to take orders from Caputo, puts the prison on lockdown and goes rogue, enlisting the other guards in his quest to track down the culprit.

We also got a new, heartbreaking look at Suzanne’s backstory that connects to the chaos now brewing at Litchfield. Pre-prison, she was a friendly, though somewhat manic and emotionally immature, greeter at a big-box type of store — one unabashedly thrilled to be named Employee of the Month. When she sees a young boy she recognizes from work playing in the park, it seems totally normal to her to invite him over to play video games. But her enthusiasm turns frightening when he asks to go home — her sister and boyfriend were out of town for the weekend, and she wanted a playmate and company — leading to a shocking moment when he ventures out onto the fire escape and accidentally falls over.

That revelation comes alongside another horrifying moment in Suzanne’s present when, during the lockdown, CO Humphrey continues his run as an evil, garbage fire of a person and goads Kukudio into fighting her as inmates and some of the other guards look on. She resists and resists, unwilling to fight, until she finally snaps and beats her former love interest to a bloody pulp.

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The lockdown does give Blanca and Piper a reprieve from standing on the cafeteria table, but that’s about the only silver lining in this whole mess. In Caputo’s absence (and against his orders), Piscatella tells the COs to keep all the lights on and begins making a list of inmates he wants to personally interrogate. The list includes Red, who gets pulled in for questioning while Piper and Alex are left to wait and worry in their bunk (Frieda, hilariously, is offended her history wasn’t considered violent enough to make her a potential suspect).

NEXT: Someone takes the fall for Aydin’s murder