OITNB S01E11 – Recap ‘Tall Men With Feelings’
***Spoilers ahead -Don’t Cry; you’ve been warned.***
Episode 11 opens with Mendez cleaning out Tricia’s cubicle, but the inmates are staring him down. Before he can touch one more thing, Red pipes up. They’ll take it from here.
Bennett, Dayanara and Aleida meet in secret to try and figure out how the hell they’re going to explain Daya’s pregnancy. Bennett suggests she requests a furlough, citing a made-up relative’s death. Aleida is skeptical, but Bennett points out they don’t really have any other options.
Larry still isn’t returning Piper’s calls, and she has to find out through Nicky that he’s even going on the radio. Feeling legitimately sad about Tricia’s death, Piper decides to organize a memorial service.
Pennsatucky is locked up in the psych ward, and it’s clear her psychologist thinks she’s really insane–especially considering she keeps ranting about being “chosen.”
The prison guards are called upon to respond to Tricia’s death, but no one cares (what a shock!). After the staff meeting, Mendez invites Bennett out for a drink, and after some hesitation, he agrees.
Alex is the only one to show up to help organize the memorial service, and Piper thinks she’s the only one who cares. Crazy Eyes shows up to clean the chapel, singing “vanilla and vanilla, swirl swirl,” then imparts some advice to Piper about complimenting a girl’s titties, and naturally, this leads us to a flashback…
We see Alex and Piper at the end of their relationship, living it up in a luxurious condo in Europe. When Alex tries to coax Piper into being a mule again, Piper snaps and breaks up with her.
Red, having figured out the pregnancy, tries to convince Daya to fuck Mendez in order to claim rape and save face (otherwise, they would never grant her furlough in time). She lays out what will happen to her and Bennett if this doesn’t get solved. Daya considers it, but doesn’t say yes.
Piper falls while Crazy Eyes is waxing the floor in the hallway and injures her knee. After some trepidation, Piper accepts some help from her in getting up and getting back to her cubicle, and for once, Crazy Eyes actually respects her boundaries. They talk, and Crazy Eyes reveals how psych is worse than the SHU, and that she’s pretty much the only one who can be in and out (on account of having some lucid periods). However, everyone else in psych (like… oh… Pennsatucky?) is pretty much stuck there forever. Then, in one of the most heartbreaking moments in the whole season, she asks why everyone calls her Crazy Eyes.
A huge group, including Big Boo, Nicky, Morello, Sister Ingalls, and Alex, have gathered in Tricia’s cubicle for an impromptu party after receiving lots of comfort food. Piper finds them celebrating Tricia’s life and–her faith in humanity restored–joins in the drinking, laughing, and grieving.
At the bar, Mendez and Bennett bond. Mendez is quite drunk, and after getting rude with a couple of girls, exposes a more vulnerable side to himself. He wonders if the inmates ever consider that he actually has feelings. After receiving a drunken hug, Bennett gets him home.
A hungover Piper is gearing up for Larry’s interview, but she feels guilty about Pennsatucky. Despite Alex’s protests, she decides to right her wrong.
In another flashback, Piper is getting ready to leave for the States, and Alex tells her that she just found out that her mom died. Even though she is sorry for Alex’s grief, she does not change her mind, and leaves Alex alone.
Daya and Bennett stress out together over the pregnancy, but after the subject is changed, Bennett reveals to Daya how emotional Mendez was the night before. At this point, we have to wonder if she’ll be able to go through with it.
But, we don’t have to wonder long. She chats up Mendez as Piper goes to fill out an official report to get Pennsatucky out of psych. Piper gets a light punishment of two weeks janitorial duty for her prank. Daya goes to Red to tell her a definite “yes,” and then Red and Nicky coach her on exactly how it has to go (a la Monica Lewinsky).
Alex and Piper cuddle, and have a super heartfelt moment… and then it’s time for Larry’s interview. Just about everyone in the prison is listening, except for Mendez and Daya, who have ducked into the janitor’s closet to do the deed.
Larry reveals things Piper has said about Crazy Eyes, Ms. Claudette, Morello, Nicky, and Red, most of which is not sunshine and rainbows. This is inter-cut with Daya and Mendez, but surprise! He brought a condom, and Daya has no choice but to comply. Then Larry reveals–without outright saying it (although it’s super obvious)–how he feels about Piper and Alex. The “oh crap” expression is plastered across Piper’s face as she merely says, “He knows.”
Piper tries to get on the phone, but it’s not yet phone hours. Meanwhile, nearly everyone is pissed (including Ms. Claudette) for the shit she said. And, oh yeah, Pennsatucky is back, and we all know she’s not going to be in a forgiving mood.
Piper and Larry finally talk. They are both angry and hurt, but the kicker is when Piper is forced to admit that she loves Alex. In retaliation, Larry tells Piper that Alex really had named her (in her trial). He then says he needs some time, and doesn’t know if Piper can outright fix such a sticky situation.
He hangs up, and she is alone.