HomeTelevisionRecap: Orange is the New Black Episodes 8-10

Recap: Orange is the New Black Episodes 8-10


EPISODE 310: “A Tittin’ and a Hairin’”

The finest, and most powerful scene in “A Tittin’ and A Harin’” comes towards the middle of the episode, in which Pornstache’s mother visits him in federal prison, where he has been since last season. He looks different than we’ve seen him before – the iconic mustache is gone, he’s grown a mullet, and he’s a changed man. The Pornstache we once knew is dead, transformed into a hollow, sad shell of a man. In his best performance so far in this series, Pablo Schreiber, an actor who doesn’t get nearly as much credit as he deserves, turns Pornstache into a whimpering, blubbering buffoon as his mother breaks to him the news the news that Daya’s baby in his not his. Despite him being the character we loved to hate, we feel his sadness sevenfold, and for a moment, we can sympathize with him. After all, he is technically in jail for something he didn’t do, despite the show’s devotion to its own lies.

Photo Credit: JoJo Whilden for Netflix
Photo Credit: JoJo Whilden for Netflix

Later in the episode, in a follow-up scene, Lady Pornstache visits Daya (Dascha Polanco) at Litchfield, and in a melancholy, yet somewhat happy scene, Daya agrees to give her the baby. On one end of the spectrum, we’re happy that the baby is going to get a good life (or at least we hope), but on the other, we feel Daya’s depression that the child isn’t going to be in her custody. These two joint confrontations make “A Tittin and a Hairin’” a very emotional episode, and also wholly dramatic. So often this show bounces back and forth between drama and comedy, and it does it very well, but there’s to laugh at here. For all its quirks, this show also knows when it’s time to play around, and when it’s time to get serious. This season has done a lot of playing around, but there’s no better time than now for it to do the latter, and it’s highly effective.

This episode also treats us to more backstory concerning Pennsatucky (Taryn Manning). We see her life in the dirty the south, and we learn more about her sex life. She shares an intimate scene with a boy whose name we never learn. But, there’s a lot of sexuality, a lot of nudity, and at the end a rape by another boy. Now, this season has been-or-miss with its flashback sequences – not all of them have been relevant, and not at all of them have been very good, but some of them have been excellently weaved into their character counterparts, and brilliantly executed. Where do Pennsatucky’s stand? We’ll come back to it.

Photo Credit: JoJo Whilden for Netflix
Photo Credit: JoJo Whilden for Netflix

The last 10 minutes of the episode consist of some of this season’s craziest moments thus far, with several different fights happening at the same time. The first of these is between Gloria (Selenis Levya) and Sophia (Laverne Cox), which has been building over time between tension over their sons hanging out in the outside world. The other is a bit of a tacked-on one, but it works, in which Morello (Yael Stone) sends one of her new internet fetish boyfriends to beat up Christopher (Stephen O’Reilly), her former romantic interest. The third is one we’ve all been waiting for: a brutal and violent bathroom confrontation between Alex (Laura Prepon) and Lolly (Lori Petty). Earlier in the season Alex expressed great concern that Kubra, her former drug lord boss, had sent a sent a bug into Litchfield to spy on Alex. I don’t think I need to further explain the relation of these two plots, but the way in which the writers kept the audience from putting together the pieces was brilliant, and a refreshing twist, and it’s only complemented by two commendable performances from Prepon and Petty.

The episode ends with another twist, in terms of both story progression and story structure. In the final moments, Pennsatucky finds herself helpless, pinned under new CO Coates (James McMenamin), whom she has been developing a romance with, as her rapes her in the van. What we thought was irrelevant – Pennsatucky’s flashback sequences – suddenly become prominent, even if only for a moment. As the camera zooms into Taryn Manning’s crying eyes in the final shot, we witness total and utter transformation by dominance. A character who, in Season 1, was treated as the antagonist, constantly bullying and degrading others, has become a victim herself, and a casualty to the evils she once bestowed on others. There’s also some thematic connection involving rape going on here – the two we see on Pennsatucky, and the ever-looming falsehood of the “rape” by Pornstache on Daya. All of this might be a lot to take in for the average viewer, but I’ll be damned if it isn’t brilliant.

Photo Credit: JoJo Whilden for Netflix
Photo Credit: JoJo Whilden for Netflix

Typically, the 10th episode in a season of television (in a traditional 13-episode season, at least) is the beginning of the “last half” of the season – a transition into the final quarter. If “A Tittin’ and A Hairin’” is meant to serve as a glimpse into what we’re up for in this season’s final three episodes, we can only expect greatness.


[php] wp_link_pages(array(‘before’=>’


‘)); [/php]



Most Recent

Stay Connected