The inmates take hostages, as Frieda goes into survival mode
As the Litchfield riot continues, episode 2 brings us our first flashback of the new season, focusing on the no-nonsense Frieda Berlin. Until now, we haven’t known much about the mysterious Frieda, and the things we do know indicate that she is not someone to mess with: She’s said before that she’s in prison because she cut off her husband’s penis, and she’s the one who discovered the guard’s body last season and encouraged Alex and Lolly to chop him up and bury him in the vegetable garden. So yeah, she’s hardcore.
We learn exactly how she got so hardcore in a series of flashbacks to her childhood, which introduce her as a devoted Nature Scout. (The scenes are set somewhere in the mid to late ‘50s, based on the Debbie Reynolds/Eddie Fisher references.) Some of the other girls try to pick on her for being different, but she pays them no mind.
She feels more at home with her father, who takes her camping and quizzes her on her survival skills. But when she wakes up, she finds that he’s left her stranded in the woods, with only a knife, a needle, a cup, and some water. Fortunately for her, she knows exactly how to find her way home, fashioning a makeshift compass and even catching and cooking a fish. But when she stops for a swim, she gets covered in leeches.
By the time she makes it back home, it’s nightfall, and we finally learn why her father would leave her out on the woods. Turns out that he’s a Cold War conspiracy theorist, and he’s built himself a bunker in preparation for the coming war. He clearly loves her, but he’s also obsessed with putting her through tests to help her survive the future.
Back in the present, Frieda has been locked in the kitchen pantry with a couple of the white supremacists, and they’re being held by CO Stratman and CO Blake. While the white supremacists engage the guards in a good ol’ fashioned game of FMK, Frieda gets down to business, fashioning a blow dart out of drinking straws and various kitchen supplies. She cheerfully informs them that the darts have been laced with poison, and if they want her to whip up an antidote, they’d better let her out of the pantry. They fall for it, the prisoners overtake them, and she heads on her merry way…
…To her very own hidden bunker, right in the middle of Litchfield. Hidden behind a series of forgotten cabinets and unassuming doors, Frieda has built a refuge from the horrors of Litchfield, complete with canned goods and tools and a place to put her feet up. If there’s one thing that’s hard to come by in prison, it’s a space to be alone, and Frieda has set up her very own little underground kingdom.
As for the other inmates…
—Ruiz is organizing in the chapel, trying to unite all the inmates in a common cause. “Welcome to Litchfield 2.0,” she declares. “Still busted ass, but getting better by the minute.” She and her cronies have rounded up most of the guards, leading them onstage and forcing them to strip.
Eventually, Gloria encourages them to stop messing around and actually formulate something of a plan, especially if they’re at all interested in effecting change at Litchfield. So, the inmates gather all of the guards up as hostages (including Caputo and Josh) and force them to pose for a picture. MCC probably won’t be too happy when that photo hits the web.
—Taystee and Co. are still holding court in Caputo’s office, and they’re disappointed by how long it’s taking for their video to spread. “We were supposed to be hamster with a burrito,” Taystee muses. “Instead, we’re nothing but sideboob.” Eventually, they do get a little pickup online, but it’s just a meme of Cindy drinking a latte in the background of the video.
Taystee eventually breaks down, frustrated and heartsick and tired of people not caring about her friend’s death. “The whole point was to tell the world about Poussey, tell ‘em what happened to our girl,” she says. “People don’t care.”
—Judy convinces Soso to go check out Ruiz’s meeting in the chapel, even though Soso is reluctant to leave the library (and the place that Poussey loved best). Judy promises to protect it, but when Soso gets back, Judy is nowhere to be seen — and various inmates have raided the library.
—With all of the doctors and medical staff gone, Sophia is still helping Adarsh out in the clinic. Suzanne and Maureen are still hospitalized after the events of last season, when Maureen taunted Suzanne into beating her up and Suzanne tried to injure herself after Poussey’s death, and Humphrey is placed in the hospital bed between them. (Remember, he’s the guard who tried to force Suzanne to fight for his own amusement.) When Humphrey suddenly has a stroke, Maureen calmly reveals to Suzanne that she blew oxygen bubbles into his IV. Yikes.
Odds & ends
—Red: “We Russians have no proverbs. We have vodka and misery. Wait… that was a proverb.”
—Maritza and Flaca have officially dubbed themselves “Flaritza.”
— Judy: “When there’s a revolution, who do you think it is that gets guillotined first?”
Soso: “Marie Antoinette?
Judy: “The 1 percent. And I intend to keep this 1-percent neck. I had it contoured last January after Carluccio told me that it had more rings than a Swiss roll. But I told him he looked like a manscaped scrotum, which is less poetic, but extremely apt.”
—Maritza, after taping Humphrey’s face to make him look more lively: “It’s not Demi Moore good, but at least it’s like Meg Ryan good.”