Do you ever think about what your life would be like in a parallel universe? Maybe there’s a trip you wished you’d gone on, or a school you decided not to attend, or even a significant other you said goodbye to. If you had decided something different, could it have changed everything?
At times, there’s no more a frustrating proposition than, “What if?” In “We Can Be Heroes” this question follows Joe Caputo around like a bad smell.
We watch him as a young teen volunteer to for an exhibition wrestling match with a boy with Down Syndrome to help the young man feel “special.” In the fight, Joe suffers injuries preventing him from ever wrestling again. “Nice guy” Joey moves on to throw away his shot at being a rock star when his girlfriend Lisa tells him she’s pregnant with another man’s child. He opts to stay with her and raise the little “avocado” as his own. This leads him to work at the prison in order to support his new family — a family that ultimately doesn’t pan out when Lisa decides to go back to the child’s biological father, a former band mate now living the life of a successful musician that Caputo gave up.
Fucking former boss Natalie Figueroa in his depressing apartment provides some deflation of his resentment “balloon” but despite being called “the man” before achieving orgasm, he’s still one with some deeply rooted anger issues.
Power To The People
The senior staff members at Litchfield realize their new contract with MCC has left them with limited hours and zero benefits. Ford suggests they unionize and Wanda “Norma Rae” Bell hands out pamphlets to the newer staff, who could give a shit.
Flaca digs out the rabble-rousing literature from the trash and organizes Piper’s panty girls to exercise their collective bargaining rights. They want fair pay for “skanky pants” instead of the meager ramen flavour packets. Trying to figure out a way to placate the panty brigade, Piper asks Red for some advice.
“You know what, you really need to go fuck yourself.” Galina “Red” Reznikov
In exchange for eight per cent off the top, Red tells Piper to find a cell phone and then set up a system involving Green Dot MoneyPak cards. Piper scours the prison in search of a phone, and finds a plethora of contraband including a shank made out of Jolly Ranchers. When she finds the phone she needs she tells Alex about her plans. Alex isn’t impressed. For her, the whole thing was just a bit of fun, but now she sees Piper turning the enterprise into something akin to what a prison gang might do.
Speaking of gangs, Soso confronts Norma about the bullying she’s experiencing from her group. Norma is especially quiet when Soso expresses her complaints, and it seems as though the candy bars she’s gifted by her brethren may taste sweeter than exercising kindness and acceptance. “You let a bunch of crazies speak for you” says Soso, and she’s punished by Leanne for this outburst when she awakens later to realize her “Pocahontas hair” has been cut off.
Working Out The Kinks
Suzanne’s “Time Hump Chronicles” has spurred a fan base for CO Donaldson who’s the inspiration for the virulent Space Admiral Rodcocker. Frustrated with the attention he’s receiving from the erotica, Donaldson brings Suzanne to Healy’s office, “I don’t know how she knew about my birth mark.” Suzanne tells Healy the steamy literature came from Berdie Roger’s drama class (this is technically true, but Berdie told her it was inappropriate). Healy gleefully revels in being able to land Berdie in hot water.
“This is fucking crazy.” Wade “Admiral Rockcocker” Donaldson
Alex asks Lolly if she’s going to rat her out for attempting to choke her to death, which Lolly interprets as an “enhanced interrogation technique” from this “NSA” agent. Alex decides to work with Lolly’s paranoid delusions and convinces her that she’s a double agent and the two plot to work together and devise a Vagisil cover story.
Pennstaucky covers for Coates after Boo sees the bruises on her wrists and realizes she’s been raped. Penn is in full-blown denial blaming her own actions like smiling and flirting too much as the reasons for her sexual abuse. Boo is horrified, but Penn won’t admit she’s a victim saying that, “It’s not his fault.”
“It’s a ‘uge fuck up.” Joe Caputo
There’s a glitch in MCC’s new computer system and Angie Rice is confused with one Sarah Rice, and is told she’s going to be released with no strings attached. She and Leanne take it as a miracle provided by Norma, and after the new ill-equipped guards let her go, Angie’s dropped off at the bus station.
After realizing her fears about her possible shanking may not be substantiated, Alex goes to Piper and explains through the lyrics of The Kinks how her mind has been her worst enemy. She apologizes for her paranoid behaviour; however, even though there may not be a yellow man under her bed, there is an Aussie in her girlfriend’s mouth. Piper comforts her saying she has “nothing to worry about”, but we all know she’s a big fat liar.
“Not being heard is no reason for silence.” Wanda Bell quoting Les Mis
Gloria’s got a shiner from when Sophia pushed her in the bathroom, and Aleida is letting everyone know that the “tranny” is not to be trusted. The gossip about her spreads like wildfire and Sophia rails against the “transphobic bitches” who sneer at her and stay away from her salon. Even Taystee, who now sports a hideous weave, is keeping her distance.
Piper re-enacts her bad assery for Alex, playing out the moment she shut Flaca out of the business for instigating the fair pay movement. Alex’s isn’t impressed with Piper’s new attitude and calls her gross. And it is gross, like Alex says these women are poor — unlike Piper — and why wouldn’t they want more money? But Piper’s on a power trip and accuses Alex of just being jealous because maybe she’ll be better at criminal activities than her. Alex wants out. Out the business and out of their relationship.
Boo brings Pennsatucky a pile of candy in exchange for sexual services—seeing as that’s what she’s doing with Coates. It’s a tough-love tactic that brings Penn to tears, “I want it to stop. I wanted him to stop.” Boo embraces her weeping friend, “We’re going to get that motherfucker.”
The Song Of Angry Men
While Caputo is away, Danny decides to “take care” of the situation with Berdie and puts her on leave, pending investigation. Healy smugly goes to her office, claiming her drama class was a “festering incubator of deviance.” He goes after her for walking in like she “owns the place” and is suspicious of the fact she has a new hairstyle every week.
“You’re a vengeful little man aren’t you?” Berdie Rogers
Berdie hits the nail on the head when she calls out Sam Healy for being a misogynist racist, but she’s not going to let Healy get the better of her. She’ll be back, because she’s good at her job.
Danny’s and Caputo’s “fuckey” plan to go after the escaped Angie themselves pays off when Caputo finds the escaped inmate sitting at the station unable to decide what to do next, “Freedom feels weird” she says. Despite offering him a blowjob in exchange for her freedom, she comes back to the prison willingly. After putting out that fire, Caputo insists that Danny get more hours and medical benefits for his team. Danny sees how “good” Caputo is, probably “too good” for his job. He asks Caputo if maybe instead of looking out for the underdog, he should look out for himself first like “everyone else in America.”
The guards meet at a bar to discuss their new union, which seems a little hopeless especially when O’Neill says he’ll be the rep, as long of someone explains everything to him. Caputo walks in, at first to convince them to stop, but once they realize that he’s got the smarts to help them out, they elect him as their leader.
For a man so down trodden by life, and a sucker for validation and admiration, he says “I could be your guy.” He basks in the glory as they give him a “hip-hip-horray” and burst into “Do You Hear the People Sing?”
He hears them alright.
Out In The Yard
In the flashback to when Caputo first starts working at Litchfield we see two things. Firstly, that Caputo inherited a position within a broken system when his boss tells him, “They don’t shit around here.” Secondly we get to see pre-cancer Rosa, and that she was a mother-fucking boss. Her authority is summed up when after explaining how the various races divide the TV time, she says, “I watch what I want when I want to.”
Caputo may call Fig a “See you next Tuesday” but it’ll be interesting to see if there’s more than meets the eye, and what Fig can rationalize, when it comes to their relationship.
What would you do if you were Dayanara Diaz? She’s currently in labour and Ruiz takes it personally (she can’t see her own baby) when she tells her she’s going to give the baby away to Powell. Ruiz sees it as her “selling” the baby, and at least her child is with family.