The overcrowding problems at Litchfield just keep getting worse. As if porta-potties and bunk beds weren’t bad enough, the ladies of Litchfield now have a new issue to face: a shortage of pads and tampons. The medical office is completely out of these “inessentials,” so the prisoners’ only option is to buy a $10 box of tampons at commissary — which is easier said than done, especially when you only make 10 cents an hour — or to get creative.
As Angie puts it: “One time I ran out of tampons, so I used one of those dinosaur just-add-water sponges for kids. It was really fun because it was like, ‘Ooh, I wonder what this will be? Ah, a brontosaurus rex!’” At least Angie knows how to keep things light.
This episode juggles two main storylines: For one, we finally learn Maritza’s backstory, a.k.a. how a ditzy night club waitress landed a job as a con-woman tricking rich, midlife-crisis-suffering men into helping her steal Ferraris. Maritza’s ambitions started small, dating back to when she was working as a waitress in a Miami club. It was there she’d pull off tricks like filling an empty bottle of vodka with water, which she would then proceed to “accidentally” drop on the floor. After bursting into tears and telling the wealthy club patrons her boss was going to take the bottle out of her paycheck, they’d all pitch in a few bucks to help her cover it, netting her a cool $300.
“Be careful,” a fellow waitress tells her. “Karma’s a bitch.”
“Who’s Karma? That new girl?” Maritza replies.
One of Maritza’s easy marks, however, is an ACTUAL con-man, and he’s impressed by her skills. So, he comes to her with a business opportunity. (“Um, I’m not a prostitute,” Maritza tells him. “Not even if the guy’s kind of hot in a mean dad way.”) But he doesn’t want to ensnare her into prostitution: He wants to teach her how to take her scamming skills to the next level.
That means hanging out around luxury car dealerships and tricking wealthy men into thinking she works there, so they can take Ferraris and Lamborghinis out for a test drive — and, once they leave, Maritza can drive away with a brand-new sports car. It seems like an easy enough job, but things quickly go wrong when one of the dealership employees joins her and her mark on their test drive. The customer thinks she’s an employee. The employee thinks she’s a customer’s wife. The result is Maritza doing a nice bit of high-wire conversation balancing, giving just vague enough answers to keep from blowing her cover — at least until she can fake a vomit attack and ditch both guys, taking the car with her.
Maritza may be a bit ditzy, but she’s quick on her feet, and it’s her ability to smooth-talk her way out of just about any situation that benefits her back in the present. While a few of the other prisoners have successfully figured out how to replicate Piper’s panty-selling empire, the only thing they can’t solve is how to get the aforementioned panties out of the prison. It’s Maritza who volunteers to stash them in her truck, and, while she’s out shuttling guards back and forth from the prison to their houses, a third party can sneak by and complete the pickup. Easy peasy — at least until the guards catch him. It looks like trouble, until Maritza invents a story about this being the new gardener who mixed up his dates. Attagirl, Maritza.
Our second main storyline of the episode takes us outside the walls of Litchfield. Specifically, Caputo heads to a prison conference in Baltimore named — I kid you not — CorrectiCon. He leaves Taystee in charge as his assistant, and after she cracks his password (“sideboobrulez”), she spends most of her time doing what the rest of us do on the Internet: Googling our friends, laughing at our boss’s lame cover band, and watching videos of hamsters eating tiny burritos. Taystee continues to be the most relatable character on the entire show.
NEXT: Suzanne, Lorna, and the Case of the Serial Shower Pooper