Last week focussed more on Lolly, Judy King and Sophia Burset. Orange Is the New Black “We’ll Always Have Baltimore” zooms in on Maritza Ramos (Diane Guerrero), Caputo (Nick Sandow) and Chapman (Taylor Schilling). Flashbacks reveal what Ramos did before she entered the corrections system. Caputo attends the conference in Baltimore and Chapman starts her plan to put Maria out of business.
At the conference, Joe Caputo is captivated by Linda Ferguson (Beth Dover) and motivated by MCC legend Kip Carnigan (Chris Sarandon). There is a budding romance between Ferguson and Caputo that reaches fruition when he is arrested by a Baltimore “rent-a-cop.” She believes he stood up for her when Danny Pearson (Mike Birbiglia) began heckling Linda during her panel.
As the cops come in and start escorting Danny out of the room Joe intercedes for his boss’s son. One officer grabs Joe and he puts the man on the floor. It is an automatic reaction and he immediately begins apologizing. Caputo and Pearson are taken out of the panel room.
Linda vouches for both men and using the plastic promotional handcuffs makes Joe her prisoner. They kiss and things heat up considerably in a matter of seconds. Caputo switches to a different kind of oral action.
Back at the prison: Suzanne (Uzo Aduba) and Lorna (Lorna Morello) team up to catch the “shower pooper.” Taystee (Danielle Brooks) discovers the Judy King drone picture while looking for celebrity gossip Suzanne requested. Chapman goes to see Piscatella and complains that she does not feel safe and tells the new captain of the guards that there is gang activity in Litchfield.
She gets permission to start a group to help stamp out any gangs. Piper calls her new organization the Community Carers and at the first meeting she loses control. It quickly turns into a white supremacist meeting.
Maritza volunteers to help Maria’s panties get outside the fence by using her van. Ramos drives the guards to their homes and she arranges to drop the lingerie off to Maria’a cousin Alonso.
The plan works well, even after Alonzo gets spotted by Dixon. Thinking quickly Maritza tells the officers that Alonzo is the gardner. In Spanish she tells the pickup man to follow her lead. One of the other guards, who speaks Spanish tells the young inmate that she is more clever than he thought.
As this episode of Orange Is the New Black progresses, Maritza remembers her life before the prison. She was a small time con artist who broke bottles of Vodka (filled with water) and conned the customers into paying for the lost “booze.”
Ramos worked at a club and made pretty good money out of her small con. One of her victims tells her that instead of making $50K a year she could make that amount in a day. Maritza responds angrily. “Hey I ain’t no prostitute, even if the guy looks like a [sic] mean dad guy.”
Later we see her all dressed up and in the backseat of her victim’s car. He and a friend are teaching Maritza how to steal cars off the sales lot. She is to pose as a salesperson and take a rich “old guy” out for a test drive. Picking her mark (What if his name is Mark?) she sets up the test drive only to be joined by a real salesman.
On the drive, the intrusive sales rep plays 20 Questions asking more and more about the “couple’s” married life. As things begin to get increasing uncomfortable for her, Maritza asks Edward “Teddy” to stop the car.
She rushes out of the vehicle and feigns throwing up. The two men follow and as they ask if she is alright, she leaps to her feet and steals the car.
Orange Is the New Black does these flashbacks extremely well. We are allowed to see more of the inmates’ backstories and what motivated them to commit crime. (In Maritza’s case it appears to be pure greed.)
Chris Sarandon was brilliant as the sage Gandi-ish MCC legend and Dover is excellent as the barracuda that Caputo is falling for. Guerrero kills it as the cute criminal who got in over her head prior to prison and may be doing the same thing again with Maria’s panty business.
Once again the writers have given us a taste of working in a prison. Caputo’s reflexive move against the cop was spot on, if not a little “loose” but regardless it was a moment of truth. Perhaps the only complaint in this episode is the depiction of most of the correctional officers as being bullying douchebags.
As in any job there are a few that fit that bill but most, like Healy from last week, are just trying to do their job properly. (Speaking of properly, those searches were incorrectly done. In real life each of those inmates could have smuggled a bazooka around and not been found out.)
Orange Is the New Black is streaming on Netflix. Stick with the show and see how Chapman’s new group fares.