Here’s the lowdown on what happened in the second episode of Orange is the New Black, Season 2. Spoiler alert: Piper Chapman is surprisingly absent.
1. The Litchfield Ladies Do a Job Fair
A group of Litchfield inmates are allowed to participate in a “Dress for Success” job fair. However, the woman leading the program seems more interested in dissing everyone’s hand-me-down outfits than in providing helpful advice for acing an interview. The event is more of a fashion show than a confidence-building exercise. Only a handful of the inmates who participate get to actually progress further in the program, which strikes many of the inmates as unfair.
Some of the ladies take career aptitude tests, with some inmates getting really weird career suggestions. The former nun is told she should work in fashion, while Nicky is told she should consider a careers as a corrections officer.
Taystee makes it to the “finals” of the job fair process, where she does a mock interview with a guy from Philip Morris. She absolutely kills it: she’s poised, articulate, and persuasive. Her mock interview in front of the rest of the prison population gets a round of applause. It was rumored that her performance in the job fair could score her a real job, but it doesn’t. All she gets is $10 in her commissary account.
2. Taystee Gets Some Backstory (She’s a Secret Math Genius)
In a flashback, a young Taystee has a sno-cone that looks like “blue” but tastes like “red.” She is sitting on a bench alone, sad that nobody will adopt her.
She is approached by a smartly dressed woman, Yvonne “Vee” Parker. The woman is a criminal who pushes drugs. She is impressed with Taystee’s smarts, but Taystee says if she gets mixed up with crime, she’ll never find a “forever family.” The woman says that Taystee should start making her own family, or she’ll “die waiting” for someone to fold her into their existing family.
A later flashback shows a grown-up Taystee who is working in fast food, and is still being courted by the drug-dealing lady. Eventually, she does go to work for the lady who sells smack, if only because its a job that lets her use her exemplary math skills. Over time, Taystee comes to view Vee as a mother figure.
3. Red Is Broke, No Longer the Queen of the Prison
Red has money problems. Her card gets denied at the commissary, so she can’t get her favorite Cup O Soup. Her normal red locks are looking faded, and she’s got some pretty bad roots. She’s even started eating in the cafeteria again, showing how desperate her money situation has become.
The mob is upset with Red’s family since the prison contract fell through. Red’s family is very low on cash because nobody will go into their store. Her son visits, and promises to send her some money soon.
4. Pennsatucky’s Teeth Are Worse Than Ever
In the Season 1 finale, a whole table of inmates joked that the one thing Pennsatucky really needed was new teeth. That’s more true than ever in Season 2, because her mouth looks pretty messed up, post-beating from Piper.
Healy has a sit-down meeting with Pennsatucky to discuss what happened with Piper. Healy basically tells Pennsa to keep mum about how Healy saw the fight between her and Piper start, and walked away instead of stopping things from escalating.
Healy tells her that no one will believe her side of the story, but asks what he could do that would ensure her silence. Long story short, Pennsatucky gets shipped off to town to get her messed up mouth fixed.
5. Larry Misses Piper, Seeks Comfort From Polly
In a sauna meeting with Piper’s lawyer (who is also Larry’s dad), Larry asks about how Piper’s trial appearance went in Chicago. Larry’s dad says that Piper is a cheater, and Larry can do better. He tells Larry to get on with his life and find somebody new. Larry can’t stop thinking about Piper, and he is confused by what he perceives as a sudden change in Piper’s sexuality.
The meeting takes a weird turn when Larry realizes the sauna they are in is actually part of a gay bath house. Larry’s dad didn’t know that when they arrived. Apparently he just saw a Groupon deal for a sauna visit and snagged it. Life lesson, kids: always research your Groupons before purchase.
Later, Larry goes to visit Polly, Piper’s friend. Polly’s husband is off on a vision quest, leaving her alone with their three-month-old baby. When Polly gets ready to take a shower, Larry catches a couple of glimpses of Polly’s bare breasts.