As we head into the later episodes of Orange is the New Black, Season 4 we get a little levity back in the series. Emphasis on “little.”
This episode is far from a laugh a minute, though. “Friends in Low Places” begins hot on the heels of Piper being branded with a swastika. She’s trying not to cry, and she’s feeling sorry for herself, but in the process realizes that she probably deserved this.
While, no one “deserves” to be branded, Piper was getting really full of herself, and she needed to be taken down a peg. Warnings from Red and other inmates haven’t been helping.
Something drastic had to happen in order for Piper’s behavior to shift. Being branded, and causing everyone to lose their job at Whisper’s does just that.
It brings her back to reality, which culminates in Red fixing the swastika with a spoon handle.
With the help of Red, Norma, and Alex, they’re able to turn the swastika into a window. Red’s remarks over her work are spooky and foreboding:
RED: When god gives you a swastika, he opens a window. Then you remember, there is no god.
Happy times are ahead for the Diaz girls, too. Aleida is going to be released in two days, and she has dreams of opening her own salon.
Of course, Daya is on the one who brings her back to reality as well, pointing out that she needs a license and money for a space. At the same time, she gives her mom a pep talk about how she could learn the business from someone else.
Things looked bleak for Aleida for a while, and for someone who thought she had no marketable skills, she’s found a pretty great career path if she can get her license and find a job.
At the same time, the look on Aleida’s face is shattering. It’s going to take work to make a life after she gets out, and although it isn’t easy, there’s a light in her horizon. All the time she spent doing nails has given her a skill that she can use.
In fact, Aleida’s newfound skill would be something that could be taught in Joe Caputo’s vocational school.
Wait, Linda turned the school idea into free labor for the prison, so that they could get a new dorm put up on the cheap! We know where her priorities lie.
Linda is a character who needs to get her head on straight. Joe has such good intentions for the inmates, but Linda keeps stomping on them.
Sure, Linda isn’t their corporation, but she took Joe’s idea and pitched it. Who’s to say what she altered when she pitched it?
Remember, this is a woman who saw dollar signs for hiring disabled veterans, and it wasn’t until Joe pointed out that it would make the guard less effective that the smile faded from her face.
Linda likes money. She’s in it for the money. She’s Fig with a smile forever plastered on her face and darker hair.
That’s all. Joe can make Litchfield a great place if she’s out of the picture.
- Alex’s unburdening of her secret is heartbreaking. The whole scene with Alex, Nicky, and Piper smoking crack in the cornfield is sad and morose, but still feels appropriate. It’s like a release of tension.
- Maritza’s fear over being caught was really relatable. Given the little bit of backstory we got about her so far, I don’t think she’s a hardened criminal. Plus, she agreed to export panties, not import drugs.
- It’s really hard to get behind Maria this season. Seeing her become the leader of this group has been interesting because she’s reclaiming her pride, but she’s also starting to become really inflated, like Piper. The difference is, instead of shying away from her business, she’s actually running towards it.
What did you think of this episode of Orange is the New Black? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
Orange is the New Black Season 4 is currently available for streaming on Netflix.