Orange Is the New Black: Hugs Can Be Deceiving
June 7, 2014 7:17 AM - Season 2, Episode 3 - Subscribe

Piper is challenged by her Soso experience; Morello gets her heart broken; a figure from Taystee’s past arrives to disturb the status quo.
posted by schnee (44 comments total)
 
I really hope we get the Vee/Red backstory soon! Those looks at Vee serving cake were very mysterious.
posted by leesh at 8:03 AM on June 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


Every flashback about Suzanne/Crazy Eyes was heart breaking.
posted by mathowie at 8:28 AM on June 7, 2014 [26 favorites]


Agreed, she's easily one of the most compelling characters. I really hope we see more with her mom and sister.
posted by leesh at 8:39 AM on June 7, 2014


Oh man, Suzanne's backstory just made my heart ache. The more I learn about her, the more I like her.

Vee is going to be interesting to watch, too.

Is anyone else craving funfetti cake now?
posted by chatongriffes at 8:40 AM on June 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


This is the point when the 13 episodes start blurring together in my head enough that I'm wary of commenting at all lest I spoilerize by inadvertently referring to an Episode 4 or 5 event in the Ep 3 thread. I should have taken episode-by-episode notes!
posted by FelliniBlank at 8:49 AM on June 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


I'm having this problem too--downside of bingewatching! I guess I'll post again in the last ep thread when it's up so I dont have to worry about spoilers.
posted by leesh at 10:34 AM on June 7, 2014


I just admire the people who can discipline themselves enough not to bingewatch! Or maybe it's that they have lives and human dependents and scheduled things they can't rearrange. I finally crashed in utter exhaustion at about 4 am just after the Ep 13 opening credits, then finished it when I got up at 9:00ish.
posted by FelliniBlank at 11:12 AM on June 7, 2014 [3 favorites]


Bingewatching starting to blur the lines here, too. But any scene with Suzanne, current day or flashback, is a good scene for me. So we really liked this episode at my house.
posted by Stacey at 11:15 AM on June 7, 2014


Some takeaways: I really liked that it seemed as if Suzanne's parents didn't play favorites with their biological child versus Suzanne nor did Grace seem to have any superiority issues. (btw, have we established what Suzanne is in prison for? I really want to know now). Vee knows how to use the power of Funfetti.

The Morello scene was heartbreaking - she was so sad.

Who was Nicky having sex with in the shower and in the toilet stall? My boyfriend and I couldn't figure out who they were. Was one Morello?
posted by kerning at 12:48 PM on June 7, 2014 [2 favorites]


As much as I love Suzanne, I realized I was hoping to see MORE of her backstory. From their interactions last season, it seemed like she and her family were on good terms, and that her mental illness had more to do with her being incarcerated.

And then her flashbacks seem to emphasize that her "outsider status"had made her vulnerable, unpredictable, and "seem crazy". I guess I wanted some mention/reference to mental illness being biological and a treatable condition. And a connection to how many people with mental illness are incarcerated in lieu of treatment. (Of all the soapboxes for this show to ignore...)

I COULD see how these flashbacks in particular frame Suzanne's need for acceptance is making her vulnerable to influential people. But then it seemed like all the flashbacks were also about her struggle to be herself and not fit in?
posted by warm_planet at 1:00 PM on June 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


Who was Nicky having sex with

I think the anonymity of the hook-ups is to emphasize that Nicky "sowing-her-wild-oats" with ladies at random
posted by warm_planet at 1:02 PM on June 7, 2014 [3 favorites]


I was curious about Suzanne's mental illness as well, found this article which has a guess about it.
posted by SarahElizaP at 7:11 PM on June 7, 2014 [2 favorites]


I have one or two more episodes left for season 2 and I have to say, I love how the characters are becoming more fully fleshed out this season. Taystee's changing storyline is really interesting. Poussey is quickly becoming my new favorite. Suzanne is fantastic and Vee is brilliant. I think my favorite aspect so so far has been the new focus on the "golden girls", which has been such an excellent storyline that I have loved completely. I don't want to say too much here because I don't want to get ahead of the third episode, but I think the backstory of Vee's son was one of the most heartbreaking things I've seen in the series so far. That they take a series that could stand on its own storyline and be great; but still manage to pack so much important and relevant social commentary into it in a way that humanizes it without it being in-your-face is genius.
posted by triggerfinger at 7:56 PM on June 7, 2014


Maybe we should just jump the gun and post a thread for the finale/ whole season. Because I just finished it all and . . . Wow.
posted by GastrocNemesis at 9:01 PM on June 7, 2014 [3 favorites]


I am also biting at the champ for this, honestly, I think a season roundup thread could go parallel with the ep-threads, which would also have a final ep-thread so the people with a modicum of restraint didn't have to arrive to a 700 comment thread and everyone's done and dusted. Means binge-watchers get two finale threads a couple weeks apart. Fine by me!

I thought I was going to start crying for Morello, her scene was amazing. That bloodshot eye!
posted by Iteki at 11:48 PM on June 7, 2014


Champing at the bit, Jesus, what's wrong with me.
posted by Iteki at 2:27 AM on June 8, 2014 [3 favorites]


Vee's character is incredible. Such an awesome addition to the cast and I cannot wait to see where they're going with her!
posted by joeyjoejoejr at 7:48 AM on June 8, 2014


Correction to my previous comment - RJ: not Vee's son.
posted by triggerfinger at 10:52 AM on June 8, 2014


Suzanne helped Dandelion!

...that was not what Suzanne needed or wanted to hear.

Vee is bad-ass and I love her.
posted by RainyJay at 5:24 PM on June 8, 2014


Suzanne is so damned tragic. I sort of get the vibe that she was adopted by well-meaning suburbanite folks who'd steeled themselves for the challenges of being white people raising an African-American daughter, but then they were dealt the additional wrinkle of her being mentally ill, and despite trying their best, they could never fully get a handle on her. It's sad because they obviously love her, but couldn't give her what she needed.

And yeah, Morello's scene on the phone was devastating. One of the most searing performances in the show's history. The way she sort of involuntary barked out an "I'm fine!" to the guard after was stunning.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:04 AM on June 9, 2014 [5 favorites]


The impression I am getting with Suzanne's family is that they were so determined to give her a normal life that they might have ignored her obvious mental issues. They love her, but perhaps were willfully blind to some of her needs. Also I love the scene where the nurse helped to calm her and gave her her iconic bantu knot hairstyle. They clearly loved her and wanted to include her in the birth of her sister, but ignored the fact that her hair was a mess and her tantrum was abnormal.

Vee is taking away her hairstyle (personality? autonomy?), or moving her beyond? It could be taken either way.
posted by Julnyes at 10:33 AM on June 9, 2014 [5 favorites]


Yeah, the "is it because she's black?!" / "it's because she's ten" exchange was kinda telling.
Also, the Kind Black Lady helping white-parented little girls with their hair is practically a trope at this point to point out that they are missing part of the picture or being neglectfully colourblind.
posted by Iteki at 12:22 PM on June 9, 2014 [5 favorites]


Are all you people saying how awesome Vee is watching another show? What makes her so great? The fact that she's incredibly manipulative? The fact that she can find the weakest point of the most vulnerable people and exploit it? The fact that she's a drug dealer? The fact that she cons her "gang" (and maybe herself?) into thinking of itself as a family, but still really only looks out for number one, while letting the others take the heat and the bullets for her? Because to me she just seems horrible and scary. Or do you just mean a great character?
posted by rikschell at 12:47 PM on June 10, 2014


Vee is like a Jedi of manipulation. Every time she's validating Suzanne or Taystee or any other of her girls, it's pure manipulation. First sign of manipulation? You're being told exactly what you want to hear.

Or maybe I'm paranoid. Either way... Vee is bad news on a stick.
posted by grubi at 1:16 PM on June 10, 2014 [5 favorites]


She's a weed and you're a wild rose.
posted by pwally at 5:49 PM on June 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


I love the idea that Piper is now instilling fear into people. Now I also look forward to the day when you see Brook sporting face tattoos and hooking up with Natasha Lyonne.

Also, the first child who played Suzanne was perfect. She nailed the eyes and head tilting. It was beautiful.
posted by tofu_crouton at 7:14 PM on June 10, 2014 [4 favorites]


Vee is awesome as a character, not some kind of good person. Though I'm not sure, as of this episode (which is all I've seen -- please try to be careful about spoilers for character growth), how interesting she is actually going to be.
posted by jeather at 7:56 PM on June 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


Vee is awesome as the fairy tale evil stepmother that she is.

She is not nice. She is not good. She doesn't have anyone's best interests in mind but her own, and she will grind down all those around her into the raw materials she needs to rebuild her life, her status, her role in the world.
posted by RainyJay at 1:05 AM on June 11, 2014 [1 favorite]


I was at a talk by Laverne Cox a few months ago and the only hint she dropped about this season was that Vee was going to stir everybody's shit up big-time.
posted by Beardman at 10:32 AM on June 12, 2014


Vee is fucking terrifying. I'm loving her so far precisely because she is so manipulative and backstabby. It's great- and it was clear even in the previous episode, when she essentially groomed Tastee from childhood to join her drug operation.

I also enjoyed Mini Piper getting schooled by Broken-By-The-System Actual Piper.
posted by showbiz_liz at 9:11 PM on June 12, 2014 [3 favorites]


Oh, hey... so, we still don't know what Suzanne is in for. But judging by what happened earlier, who wants to bet it was violent?
posted by showbiz_liz at 10:33 PM on June 12, 2014


Vee is fucking terrifying. I'm loving her so far precisely because she is so manipulative and backstabby. It's great- and it was clear even in the previous episode, when she essentially groomed Tastee from childhood to join her drug operation.

It's really seductive, at least for me as a viewer. When she was offering cake to Taystee, I felt myself wanting Taystee to take it. There's something about Vee that's incredibly appealing, even though I know she's only self-interested. I love that she and Red have some kind of back story.
posted by gladly at 6:16 AM on June 13, 2014 [1 favorite]


Vee pushes this terrible button I have whereby I want the approval of people I don't like. There ought to be a name for it.
posted by Iteki at 3:21 PM on June 13, 2014 [8 favorites]


I did not see the Suzanne-punching-Piper twist coming, but it makes a lot of sense.

Suzanne's entire story is so gut-wrenchingly tragic. I hope there's some good for her somewhere in the series.

Daya's pregnancy storyline is getting really old, really fast. I was hoping for her to have the baby by now, or to have a miscarriage or something.
posted by Fig at 7:22 AM on June 15, 2014 [2 favorites]


Why does Jason Biggs still exist?
posted by latkes at 4:25 PM on June 15, 2014 [7 favorites]


Meanwhile, Lorraine Toussaint is a fucking force. She plays Vee so powerful and charismatic. The way she has Vee manipulating everyone she touches is incredible. I was scared of her like everyone else but could also feel the pull of her power, why someone would want to be mothered by her, really amazing performance.
posted by latkes at 4:29 PM on June 15, 2014 [2 favorites]


I feel like I'm the only one who had the takeaway that a major component of Suzanne's backstory is that her adoptive parents never really loved her -- or maybe never loved her once they realized she was a challenging kid, and then they had this new baby who was really theirs -- and mostly only had adopted her out of liking the idea of taking a stand/"helping" in a certain very political way. Like her parents loved the idea of Suzanne, and never really saw who Suzanne actually was.

It seemed like the people who give Suzanne what she needs are the people who see her, or at least are good at acting like they do. (In the case of Vee, who very clearly is playing Suzanne like a fiddle.)

I mean, yes, untreated mental illness comes into it, but I wonder how much of that is because of her parents sort of benign neglect. Their equivalent of Piper's mother's reaction to her father having an affair. "You're just so special and unique, Suzanne! You can do it! Just believe in yourself!"

(I also love that Suzanne's graduation refrain is NO I CANT. The anti-Obama.)
posted by Sara C. at 6:29 PM on June 21, 2014 [3 favorites]


I feel like I'm the only one who had the takeaway that a major component of Suzanne's backstory is that her adoptive parents never really loved her -- or maybe never loved her once they realized she was a challenging kid, and then they had this new baby who was really theirs -- and mostly only had adopted her out of liking the idea of taking a stand/"helping" in a certain very political way.

Wow, I didn't get that vibe at all. I think the show gave us some hints with the hair scene and birthday party that the parents were awkward in how they handled race and possible missing her mental health problems, but I didn't see any hint they don't love her.

I come from a loving family in which various siblings, uncles, and cousins are adopted, so I suppose I'm not too inclined to think adoptive parents don't actually love their kids and could just be missing hints placed by the show's writers.
posted by Area Man at 2:59 PM on June 24, 2014 [1 favorite]


Well, the adoptive parents want Suzanne to be just like their other little girl and they're willfully blind to the obvious differences. We see them set her up, obliviously, to wreck a princess party with her dragon sensibilities, and then they essentially force her up onto that podium at graduation to perform despite her obvious discomfort. Maybe it's not a lack of love, but it's thoughtless parenting at best. Oh, the scene where Mom and Dad seem viscerally uncomfortable with the idea of Suzanne holding their biological offspring was even more cringemaking. The vibe I got from the writing/direction was that they're more into the idea of their adopted daughter as a symbol of their coolness and engagement with the wider world than as a, you know, daughter. The portrayal was almost cartoonish -- a broad stroke to get the point across, rather than nuance. I mean, you could do a whole season of a Netflix show just about the adoption of Suzanne and you probably wouldn't run out of serious issues to wrestle with. Doing it as one storyline in a multithreaded episode is going to be the Cliff's Notes version.
posted by Mothlight at 11:01 AM on June 25, 2014 [3 favorites]


I was nervous each time one of my older kids first held a baby sibling. We hadn't slept, the newborn is so vulnerable, and we so wanted that sibling relationship to start off well. I assumed that's what the parents were dealing with, but I may just be missing a bit of heavy-handed criticism by the show's writers. Having grown up in and around inter-racial adopted families, my take is that there are tons of real issues, but a lack of love isn't usually the source of problems. You can love a kid a great deal and still make major mistakes in parenting.
posted by Area Man at 11:42 AM on June 26, 2014 [3 favorites]


Suzanne is ten years old when her sister's peer turns six--that makes her about four in the hospital scene. It seems strange to read familial alienation in her parents' reluctance to let her hold the newborn baby when the more obvious reason is just that she's a lively, impulsive preschooler.
posted by milk white peacock at 10:29 AM on July 1, 2014 [1 favorite]


I have a younger sibling who is four years younger than I am. I was allowed to hold him when he was a newborn.

The thing that stuck out to me in that scene -- and I'm not sure if it was deliberate, or just a weird blocking choice -- is that her parents aren't really helping her to hold the baby at all. They just sort of chuck the kid at her and then get worried when she doesn't immediately know how to hold a newborn. Which is... not how this usually works. The way I've seen every other set of parents do the "holding your new baby sibling" thing is that there's usually a parent very close at hand physically showing the kid how to properly support the baby, and kind of "spotting" the whole situation. Positioning the parents basically across the room from Suzanne and then creating all this negative/anxious energy around her holding the baby completely unsupported by them in any way is highly unusual.

Again, I'm not sure whether this was a deliberate choice, to show that there is a problem with their parenting style, or just a director who has never been around newborns and didn't know how to block the scene.
posted by Sara C. at 10:49 AM on July 1, 2014 [1 favorite]


I come from a loving family in which various siblings, uncles, and cousins are adopted, so I suppose I'm not too inclined to think adoptive parents don't actually love their kids and could just be missing hints placed by the show's writers.

My pointing out the tensions in every scene between Suzanne and her parents does not come from a place of assuming that adoptive parents don't love their children. It came from a place of noticing that Suzanne's parents don't love her.
posted by Sara C. at 10:53 AM on July 1, 2014


My pointing out the tensions in every scene between Suzanne and her parents does not come from a place of assuming that adoptive parents don't love their children. It came from a place of noticing that Suzanne's parents don't love her.

My point was about me, not you. I disagree with you, based on what I've seen so far, but I wasn't saying you have a problem with adoptive families. I was saying that if the writers are trying to show us that Suzanne's parents don't love her (which in my opinion would be a much dumber and less interesting plot than one in which they love her and still screw her up), I'm probably not going to pick up on that until they make it much more blatant.
posted by Area Man at 11:16 AM on July 1, 2014 [1 favorite]


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