Orange Is the New Black
The Chickening

Episode Report Card
Angel Cohn: A | 48 USERS: A
Tastes Like Chicken

For the record, the Regina Spektor "You've Got Time" song that serves as the theme is just so damned catchy that I listen to it every single time I start a new episode instead of skipping the credits and going right to the episode as I do with most shows (particularly when I'm binge watching). Anyway, trying to be positive, since this is the episode where Bennett broke my heart and I need something good to hold on to.

I suppose since it is a Dayanara Diaz-centric flashback we can should with her budding relationship with Bennett and her screwed up relationship with Mommy Dearest. Pre-mom in lockup, we see that Mommy Dearest had a bunch of kids and pawned their care off on to her eldest daughter Dayanara so that she could go out with her drug dealing boyfriend. Eventually drug dealing boyfriend came to take over the family kitchen in order to have his people (including Mommy Dearest) sit and measure out drugs with some industrial looking scales. Once the elder Diaz winds up in jail (drug charges, we're guessing though not told specifically), Dayanara drags the host of kids for a visit where the mom is a total bitch to all of her children and accuses Dayanara of sleeping with the drug dealing boyfriend. She is. Or maybe she wasn't, but after the three hour bus ride each way, she decides to fuck him in the kitchen where drugs get measured. This probably explains the slap that Mommy Dearest gave Diaz upon arrival.

In present day, Diaz is still seeking her mom's approval and trying to get in on her backgammon game, but mom wants Diaz to thread her eyebrows for her. Of course, Mommy Dearest may be a bitch, but she's quick to notice the flirtation and note passing that is happening between Diaz and the adorable guard Bennett. The fledgling couple has a system of tucking notes where he hides his chew, and usually hers include little pictures. And after Mom tells Diaz to fuck a fat guard (easier to please) and not to believe in love, she sneaks over and leaves a note pretending to be Diaz arranging a supply closet meeting. So when Bennett shows up, he sees that the elder Diaz is naked… and he doesn't seem to protest or run out of the room. Bennett! How could you? Guess I'll have to go back to shipping Nichols and Alex instead.

In addition to being crushed that the most weirdly adorable couple on the show is being summarily destroyed by the worst mother on the show, Piper's gone totally off the deep end. As Larry's dad refers to it, Piper's in a fishbowl now, where her entire life seems to revolve around the events in the prison and her priorities in the outside world are becoming less and less significant. So while the micro-manager in Piper lectures Polly about not growing their business, she then gives up an opportunity to have a creatively arranged conference call about the bath products in Barney's (goddamn Barney's!) Piper abandons the call to go chase the chicken. No, that's not a euphemism. She actually spends most of the episode chasing after a real-live chicken.

Now that she's got her spending credits, she eats her stash of granola bars and goes to sit outside in the yard with a cup of coffee like she's having a friggin' picnic in the park instead of serving time. While sitting out there with her book and relaxing, a chicken appears. She thinks she's going crazy but when she mentions it to Morello and some others, they advise her to tell Red. Red flips at the news as this particular chicken is the stuff that prison legends are made of. Red says that this one chicken allegedly escaped a massive slaughter and though everyone believes that chickens can't fly, this one seems to be able to get over the cyclone fences and into the yard. Red offers a reward (Biore strips) for the capture of the chicken. "All I wanted was to eat the chicken that was smarter than all the other chickens to absorb its power. And to make a nice Kiev." But soon the chicken hunt turns into a full scale prison wide obsession, with the lore being that it's stuffed with drugs and any number or other delicious treats. Taystee goes after it like she thinks it's a piñata stuffed with candy. People are pissed at Piper for starting the chicken rumor, as the guards start taking away privileges and inmates think Piper made the story up to be more popular. And she does leave her business partner hanging on the line (literally) as she chases the clever chicken only to see that it has mysteriously found its way through/over the fence. Magic chicken or poorly kept fencing and possible escape route? Not sure why I keep expecting this show to turn into Prison Break, it's not like Nichols has a giant maze back tattoo.

The chicken and her failing business aren't Piper's only problems. After the chapel is destroyed (more on that in a bit), the quiet room where her yoga class takes place is suddenly being shared with the AA meeting. And Alex gives a quite loud and personal speech about how she started a heroin habit once Piper dumped her. This doesn't jive well with Piper's meditation, at all. Piper's still upset because she thinks that Alex turned her in. She did. But she doesn't have proof and Larry's dad strongly advises him against telling her while she's still in jail. He explains that since she's in this microcosm she might be inclined to do something rash towards Alex and end up with a longer sentence. So Larry instead lies that it was someone else, and now it looks like maybe he's going to have to deal with Piper perhaps being nicer towards Alex, which wasn't really what he wanted. He also may have to find a job, since with Piper freaking out about a chicken during her meeting; they don't really have a discernable sort of income. Unless his big article on edging (which he described to his mom in weird detail) gets turned into something major.

Piper's also part of the chapel cleanup crew after Taryn Manning (aka Tucky) destroys the place with her ill-advised crucifix hanging. Even Burset tried to warn her that she was using a non-load-bearing pipe. And Burset was only there because she found out that Sister Ingalls may have some estrogen meds to help with menopause. The good Sister is on to Burset from the get-go, but offers her counseling and friendship. Anyway, Tucky seems to think that God was punishing them for allowing Burset in the chapel, but honestly, if God can overlook Nichols going down on Morello behind the pulpit (they were a couple, but Morello breaks it off because she's feeling like she's cheating on her future husband), he's probably cool with the kind-hearted Burset.

To aid with cleaning, Piper asks for masks after she learns about the toxic mold and the rat shit, but naturally gross Mendez gets them for the guards but not the prisoners. Still, Mendez's worst sin of the episode was in the former of this appalling quote: "I want to fuck Jesus in his hand hole". Tucky, maybe you should be less worried about decent humans like Burset and worry more about actual abominations like Mendez instead. He's an actual monster.

Orange Is the New Black




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