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Orange Is the New Black 1×02 “Tit Punch” Recap

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Since Chapman (Taylor Schilling) is being refused the cafeteria food, she attempts to gain Red’s favor. It’s going to take a lot more than a simple “Sorry,” though – Red makes that abundantly clear by outright telling her so.

Episode 2 of Orange Is the New Black, Netflix’s new original series, delves into Red’s backstory. She’s a Russian immigrant who used to work in a little restaurant prior to working in the prison cafeteria. Kate Mulgrew, the American actress who plays Red, doesn’t speak in a Russian accent so that’s something she’s specifically donned for the character she’s playing. (You might also remember Mulgrew from Star Trek: Voyager.)

Anyways, while Chapman tries to make-do in her new digs, we get to learn more about her fellow inmates.

Daya Diaz

We were introduced to Daya Diaz (Dascha Polanco) in Episode 1. She enters the prison the same time as Chapman and gets slapped across the face by one of the inmates who also turns out to be her mother, Aleida Diaz (Elizabeth Rodriguez).

And episode 2 shows us that Daya’s (half?) sister is serving time in the same prison, as well. Daya’s mother and sister don’t exactly welcome her with open arms, and Aleida even makes an underhanded comment about Daya’s weight. It’s like Prison: Mean Girls Edition, but with your own mother as the bitchy queen bee.

The episode also hints at a burgeoning romance between Daya and one of the prison guards – Bennett (Matt McGorry). He’s one of the nicer, better-looking ones. On the stairwell, Daya asks him for gum but he tells her that he can’t because that would be showing favoritism.

Later, after trading a meaningful glance with Bennett during nighttime inspection, Daya finds a stick of gum under her pillowcase.

Red’s Flashback

Prior to her convict days, Red tried to befriend some rich Russian housewives with model-esque looks, but that didn’t work out so well.

During a powerwalk, Red makes some inappropriate jokes about mentally handicapped people. The Russian ladies tell her that they’re cutting their powerwalk short, but in actuality they’re trying to ditch Red since she’s made them feel uncomfortable with her jokes. However, Red thinks she’s making progress with the ladies, so she’s astonished to learn that they don’t really want to be her friend. Out of anger, Red punches one of them in the tit (“Tit Punch”! Get it?) – but it’s a fake tit so Red has basically deflated her boob.

When the Russian housewife’s husband learns of this, he and his buddies try to extort $60,000 from Red and her husband in return for the Tit Punch. Red’s husband is upset with her, at first. But the two seem to have a genuine love for each other and Red’s husband assures her that they’ll get through this ordeal.

Later, the Russians men deposit something in the restaurant freezer. It’s all very nefarious.

Present-Day

Chapman is starving. Like, seriously starving.

When Larry (Jason Biggs) comes for a visit, he compliments her on her cheekbones but that’s because she hasn’t eaten in days. She tries to get food from the vending machines with Larry’s change, but Red tampered with them. Poor Chapman.

Vause (Laura Prepon) – Chapman’s ex-girlfriend – tries to help her out by sneaking her some food, but Chapman would rather starve than accept help from the woman she blames for landing her in prison in the first place.

While Red and the kitchen staff try to deal with a broken freezer, nicknamed Betty, Chapman confronts Red. She’s willing to take a punch from Red if that’s what it’ll take for Red to forgive her. Instead, Red yells at Chapman, terrifying everyone – including me. She tells Chapman that her punishment is not temporary and that she’ll be leaving prison as a skeleton.

“Now march your Yuppie ass out of my kitchen!”
– Red

Chapman isn’t going to give up, however. As part of her plan to win Red over, she obtains cocoa butter from Burset (Laverne Cox) – the resident hairdresser, it seems – by giving Taystee (Danielle Brooks) – who’s getting worked on by Burset – a piece of her blonde hair. Chapman also obtains hot peppers from “Crazy Eyes” (Uzo Aduba), a particularly weird inmate.

Meanwhile, Red talks to Healy (Michael J. Harney) – the guy who helps run the prison and is especially nice to Chapman – in the men’s bathroom about the freezer situation.

Chapman’s Flashback

Chapman remembers when she and Larry went on a juice cleanse.

It’s her idea and Larry is reluctant to go on the cleanse, but after some prodding and semi-guilt-tripping by Chapman, he gives in. However, it turns out the juice cleanse is much easier on him than it is on her. Chapman wants to cut the 7-day juice cleanse short. She admits to Larry that she couldn’t endure it. He teases her about it, but – ultimately – he’s very understanding.

Back to Present-Day

Chapman has been crunching on the hot peppers. “Pornstache” (Pablo Schreiber) – the creepy prison guard – remarks on her tears, thinking she’s crying because she’s upset about something. In actuality, she’s using the hot peppers to make paste. She uses the paste, along with the cocoa butter, to make a lotion for Red’s back.

She delivers it to Red and waits for the outcome… It works! The next day Morello (Yael Stone) brings Chapman a tray of food. Looks like all is forgiven.

Later on, the women are all watching a movie. Susanna, aka “Crazy Eyes”, sits down next to Chapman and offers to share her earphones with Chapman. They listen to the movie together when, suddenly, “Crazy Eyes” caresses Chapman’s thigh…

Crap.

Verdict

Episode 2 was a huge improvement. Chapman is starting to grow on me, after seeing her try to overcome these obstacles and adapt to prison life. I didn’t like her so much in the flashbacks, though, and her relationship with Larry is still very dull to me.

Kate Mulgrew reminds everyone that she’s a fantastic actress in this episode, as well. I really like Red and her kitchen posse. The romance between Daya and Bennett is surprisingly cute, too. At the moment, it’s puppy love.

Rating: B+