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Orange Is the New Black 1×04 “Imaginary Enemies” Recap

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As Chapman adjusts to being Miss Claudette’s new roommate, we learn a little about Miss Claudette’s past. Also, Chapman finds herself in the middle of a screwdriver fiasco.

Chapman

So after that mildly horrifying ending to the last episode of Orange Is the New Black, Chapman (Taylor Schilling) mops up the puddle of piss “Crazy Eyes” (Uzo Aduba) left outside her cubicle with some sanitary napkins. Her new roommate, Miss Claudette (Michelle Hurst), whisper-shouts at her as she does it.

The next day, Chapman goes to her new work assignment at the electric shop. Janae (Vicky Jeudy) is there for the electric shop orientation as well, but unlike Chapman who totally failed at trying to worm her way into a different work placement, Janae is able to talk her way into letting the manager give her the easier job of signing the tools in and out.

Chapman, naturally, is completely incapable of the simplest tasks like not misplacing a screwdriver/deadly weapon in a freaking prison, so when that screwdriver goes missing, Angry Manager Man has to call in the alarm.

All the guards convene in the room, where they are searched (read: groped) by the pervert asshole male guards. Chapman later realizes she was the one who took the screwdriver when she sticks her hand in her hoodie pocket, and then like a dumbass brings it back with her to her cubicle.

Miss Claudette helps her out by tossing the screwdriver into her pot of boiling noodles, and they end up passing the guard’s inspection of their room. She tells Chapman that she has to get the screwdriver back on the wall.

Instead, Chapman freaks out when she sees people getting patted down near the electric shop, and skedaddles back to her cubicle to shove the screwdriver under her bed. Ugh, girl.

There’s another guard search of the bunks, but their bunk comes up empty, to Chapman’s great relief.

Miss Claudette’s Flashbacks

Miss Claudette remembers the first time she came to the United States when she was a young girl. To pay off her parents’ debt in bringing her there, she had to work in an illegal child labor cleaning service for some years.

We find out in the second flashback that Miss Claudette grew up to manage that illegal child labor ring herself, where she learned to be the stern, orderly person that we now know. She warms up a little when her oldest friend, Jean Baptiste (James McDaniel), comes to visit her – but that doesn’t last long, because Jean Baptiste has brought along his young, beautiful, and sort-of catty new wife.

Flashback number three shows Miss Claudette taking care of one of her young charges, who was abused by the man whose home she cleaned. Miss Claudette goes on a vengeful rampage, where she stabs the man to death – which is most likely how she ended up in prison.

Miss Claudette Present Day

Miss Claudette continues to broadcast her cold demeanor with her other prison-mates, refusing to bake a “bomb ass” cake for one of the inmates soon to be released.

Later, Healy (Michael Harney) calls her to his office to let her know that there’s been some interest in reopening her case, and that there’s potential for her to be released early. Miss Claudette reacts less enthusiastically than he expected, telling him that she doesn’t care to dredge up the past and that she’d rather just do her time in peace.

During the whole Chapman + screwdriver fiasco, Miss Claudette is increasingly annoyed with all the bullshit she’s got to deal with now, and lets Chapman know she’s on strike two. Chapman goes on a whiny rant about how much she’s had to deal with over the past two weeks. I’m not here for that, but surprisingly enough Miss Claudette is.

Near the end of the episode, Miss Claudette gets a letter in the mail. The letter ends up being from her buddy Jean Baptiste, who tells her that he’s coming back to America and that he wants to see her. She returns to Healy’s office, and asks him to reopen her case.

Bennett and Daya

During a false alarm at the prison, Bennett (Matt McGorry) and Daya (Dascha Polanco) once again conveniently bump into each other. Bennett explains that he’s trying to quit smoking by chewing tobacco, and Daya asks to try some. Bennett decides that he needs to stick the tobacco behind her lip himself while giving her goo goo eyes, because why the fuck not.

Daya finds it disgusting, but that doesn’t appear to ruin the mood much; Bennett and Daya are still smitten with one another.

Vause and Nicky

Vause (Laura Prepon) and Nicky have a heart to heart at the library, where we learn that Nicky is in for drug-related reasons and has two years left of time to do, while Vause has a metric fuckton of time left.

Mercy’s Farewell Party

Mercy seems to be pretty well-loved by most of the other women; her girlfriend Tricia (Madeline Brewer) is scrounging around for a delicious goodbye-cake for her, Red gives her gifts and advice before she leaves, etc. There is one person who’s not too pleased about Mercy leaving, though: Mercy’s ex, Big Boo (Lea DeLaria), who warns the woman to watch her back.

Red expositions about how Big Boo had manipulated a fight between another inmate and one of Big Boo’s past exes, Shelley, and how that fight had cost Shelley her release date from prison.

Elsewhere, Tricia is trying to appeal for an earlier release date so she can be with her girlfriend, Mercy. She then begins to set up for the farewell party, which Big Boo crashes to let Tricia know that the instant Mercy gets out of prison she’s going to drop Tricia like a hot potato.

Big Boo ends up being the one who stole the screwdriver out from under Chapman’s bed, but doesn’t end up using it for anything other than a dildo – and the whole screwdriver drama ends up being resolved quietly, after the guard in charge of the electric shop buys a new one to replace it so he won’t get fired.

Rating: A