Orange Is the New Black: Low Self Esteem City
June 10, 2014 5:20 PM - Season 2, Episode 5 - Subscribe

Episode's focus is on Gloria Mendoza, Latina den mother and current captain of the kitchen. A bathroom turf war sees deeper lines drawn in the sand as she and Vee go head to head. Piper receives devastating news.
posted by zarq (20 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Candles are dangerous.

So awesomely dangerous.
posted by RainyJay at 12:54 AM on June 11, 2014 [1 favorite]

I kind of loved that divine punishment (good cursing, Gloria's Friend!)--except that all Gloria's money burned up!
posted by leesh at 5:48 AM on June 11, 2014 [3 favorites]

They did a pretty good job illustrating domestic violence in this episode. The scene where he apologizes in the playground was pretty true-to-life I thought.

And it is great that the thing that gave Gloria her purpose and freedom - her candles - is what killed her abuser. That's a nice touch.

Yes, I could also do without the dying grandma thing. Piper has such a strange flat affect and the stuff about her grandmother doesn't ring true to me. It's also a pretty trivial problem as far as problems go, and it's one that is hard to be sympathetic about for long. I think this is intentional - Piper seems to be less important this season, so making her struggles a bit pedestrian is probably a part of the general downplaying of her character.
posted by sockermom at 6:10 AM on June 11, 2014 [3 favorites]

I think they should show the bathroom scenes in Scared Straight programs. I know that it's an effective deterrent for me, more so than the relatively low risk of prison violence. I don't even like showering at campgrounds. I had a friend whose toilet backed up into her shower and it never felt clean to me again.

This article was posted in the previous episode's thread but it's more relevant to this one: The Disgusting Jail on "Orange is the New Black"
posted by desjardins at 6:24 AM on June 11, 2014 [1 favorite]

I thought that Arturo was nicely done. It showed that abusers often come off as "nice guys".

I don't really understand the significance of adding two cooks to the staff, but I guess that will be revealed in a later episode?
posted by tofu_crouton at 6:50 AM on June 11, 2014 [2 favorites]

With the Latinas reassigned to the kitchen, Vee can take over the entire custodial staff so there is no longer a division of power. I'm assuming Vee has some plans to leverage that into a smuggling operation (or something).
posted by desjardins at 7:00 AM on June 11, 2014 [1 favorite]

(I am purely speculating, I have not watched beyond this episode.)
posted by desjardins at 7:00 AM on June 11, 2014

That makes sense, but it seems like she's giving the kitchen the same advantage. I guess the kitchen is already being watched very closely for smuggling though.
posted by tofu_crouton at 7:56 AM on June 11, 2014


I really like the way Lorrainne Toussaint played the bathroom scene. The look at the end was perfectly underplayed, I thought. Also I feel like ever since she's been back Taystee has her hair in hard-ass cornrows instead of her awesome afro and it makes me sad.

Also, it was interesting to see Gloria so vulnerable in her backstory, her take-no-shit hardassness was what I liked so much about the character --- I felt like she stole every scene she was in last season.
posted by Diablevert at 10:07 PM on June 11, 2014 [2 favorites]

The cornrows came back when Vee had established herself, just like in the flashback.

I love that Piper's mom is also Amy Schumer's mom. She was playing the same character.
posted by bleep at 11:36 PM on June 11, 2014 [1 favorite]

Hahaha, I love when they go totally MST3K for a moment.
posted by limeonaire at 4:09 PM on June 12, 2014

That last second of the bathroom scene freaked me the hell out. Not a muscle of her face moves but something just changes and her eyes fucking gleam with malevolance.
posted by Iteki at 2:54 PM on June 13, 2014 [6 favorites]

Re: the dying grandma thing

I thought it's a way to bring Larry back. Seeing him and Polly spend to much time together was kind of pointless for the show, and has to be some kind of lead-up to a greater moment. Piper and Larry even might rekindle their love when Piper get's out to visit her grandma.
posted by travelwithcats at 5:51 AM on June 14, 2014

Am I the only one having ridiculous issues with the subtitles now? My Roku is throwing Spanish subtitles on every scene that features text (book covers, posters, etc.) or other languages (Russian, and German in later episodes) - but not Spanish, never when Spanish is spoken. As a result I am sitting there watching this episode and my wife has no frickin' clue what the hell is going on for half of it. We have to guess based on body language and my piss-poor rusty-ass Spanish language skills, which are enough to kinda catch some of it but damn I last took Spanish in high school so it's been decades.

I cannot figure out wtf is going on with the subtitles. It's damn annoying. Didn't start happening until this season of OitNB.
posted by caution live frogs at 11:04 AM on June 16, 2014 [2 favorites]

That's weird. I didn't have that issue with Roku (2, I think) although the subtitles showed up in tiny serif font at the very bottom. You should check with Roku.
posted by bleep at 11:12 AM on June 16, 2014

And I had a different subtitle problem- none at all on the Roku 2, regardless of whether the spoken language was Spanish, Russian or German. After reading summaries of this episode, I realized I wasn't paying sufficient attention to body language and completely misinterpreted Gloria's storyline.
posted by casualinference at 6:16 AM on June 17, 2014

I'm also having that problem with subtitles on my Roku - so annoying.

Also, did anyone call Figueroa 'Fig' last season, or did I miss that somehow? Hearing 'Fig' and 'Mr. Fig' throws me off...
posted by Fig at 7:03 PM on June 17, 2014 [1 favorite]

Yeah what's the deal Fig? What do you have to say for yourself?

JK. It does seem new.
posted by bleep at 10:51 PM on June 17, 2014

So is the botanica not in New York City, or is it just the biggest botanica known to the five boroughs? I also feel like it's missing some bulletproof glass.

Is it in like Westchester or something?
posted by Sara C. at 6:41 PM on June 21, 2014

Am I the only one having ridiculous issues with the subtitles now? My Roku is throwing Spanish subtitles on every scene that features text (book covers, posters, etc.) or other languages (Russian, and German in later episodes) - but not Spanish, never when Spanish is spoken.

I'm a month behind in watching, but I just wanted to chime in to say that I'm glad to know we're not the only ones who've been having this problem. We've found that if we pause the Spanish-language scenes (or Russian, when Healy's with his wife, etc.), we can backtrack to the settings and turn on the English subtitles, then resume the scene with subtitles functioning. (This means, annoyingly, that we have to turn them off again, and then back on again as necessary, but at least we're missing less now.)
posted by scody at 10:22 AM on July 26, 2014

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