Orange Is the New Black: People Persons – Suzanne and Lolly (Review)


Uzo Aduba as Suzanne "Crazy Eyes" Warren

The torturous punishment of Flores, and more recently Piper, ends with the discovery of the body in the garden.  All of Litchfield is placed in lockdown.  Orange Is the New Black “People Persons” takes us that step closer to a meltdown at the minimum security facility. This episode also looks at  Suzanne’s backstory and there is a heart wrenching end to Healy and Lolly’s sessions.

“People Persons” was a tissue box bonanza as everything starts falling  apart at Litchfield. Finding the body has begun  a domino tumbling exercise that will end in tears for more than one inmate in the prison.

When the body is found Caputo leaves Piscatella in charge and most of the Corrections Officers go off the rails. Only Donuts and Bayley question what is going on. As the alarm sounds for lockdown, Healy asks what is going on.

He finds out that a guard’s chopped up body was discovered in the gardening area.  Sam realizes that Lolly was actually telling the truth.

Warren speaks with Maureen (Emily Althaus) and Taystee suggests that she give Kukudio some room.  “She gave you blue labes,” Taystee says and she indicates she thinks Maureen is crazy. 

Suzanne’s Flashback:

Suzanne  Warren is a “greeter” or welcome lady, for a store. She is popular with the staff and the customers, especially the children. She really likes Dylan and his family. After she greets the group, Suzanne learns she has won “Employee of the Month.”

She rushes home to relay the good news and discovers that she will be alone for the weekend. Suzanne does not like being by herself. Her sister tells her that there is food in the fridge and that they are only a phone call away.

In the park Warren bumps into Dylan playing with his new truck.  She invites him to have ice cream and she brings him home to play video games.  Dylan gets scared and calls 9-1-1. Suzanne tells him off for calling the number for a non-emergency.  The boy tries to get out of the front door but cannot.

Dylan  then climbs out the window to the fire escape. Suzanne tries to pull him back in and he topples over the edge of the railing to his death.

The Staff:

The Corrections Officers are upset that the dead man has not been identified.  They believe him to be a fellow officer which he was not. He was a hitman hired to kill Alex.  This annoyance starts the ball rolling as they decide to ignore everything Caputo tells them.

Piscatella takes the lead and starts questioning inmates, even though Caputo said not to. Donuts questions the captain and gets sent out to stand guard over the body parts. Luschek makes fun of Donuts and gets sent to protect Judy King. Everyone else watches the inmates during the lockdown or rounds-up inmates for questioning.

The Comedy:

Donuts while watching the body parts keeps hearing noises in the tiny cornfield. Bayley brings him a book; Stephen King’s It, and twice the new officer scares Donuts when he visits.

Luschek ends up in a molly-taking  sex session with Judy King and Yoga Jones (Constance Schulman). The morning after sees both Jones and Luschek disturbed by what they have done while Judy carries on as if nothing happened. 

Sam Healy: 

Healy realizes he misdiagnosed Lolly and it has destroyed him.  Sam leaves Litchfield, he passes Luschek on the way to work. He tells the other officer he needs something from his car.  Healy heads down to have ice cream and later heads to a lake.

He calls Katya and leaves a message saying she does not have to call him back. He then walks into the water; he is committing suicide. Just as the water reaches shoulder height, his cell phone on the bank rings.

He wades back to the shore and finds it is work.

Suzanne in the Present:

Maureen approaches Suzanne who takes Taystee’s advice and gives the other woman some space. Humphrey tries to instigate a fight between one of the supremacists and Suzanne.  She refuses.

Kukudio volunteers to fight the “retard” and all the officers urge the two to fight. Maureen is the aggressor but never lands a punch. Suzanne flips out and beats the other woman bloody. Humphrey declares he has won $20.

Red:

Piscatella zeroes in on Red for questioning. As she and the captain engage in a battle of wits, her bunk, living area and work place are all searched. The dead guard’s keys are found behind the oven.

When the keys are brought into the interrogation room, it seems that Red will give up Lolly.

Lolly:

Despite appearances, it is not Red who snitches on Lolly, but Sam. The staff cannot find her and Piscatella starts to sound the alarm. Healy knows where she is though. He takes the officers down to Lolly’s time machine.

She is there, clutching a potato and trying to travel through time. Healy takes Lolly to the psychiatric wing. At the gate, she is escorted by two guards as Sam watches through the bars.

Lolly begins to panic and calls out to Healy. He remains silent,  tears in his eyes as they take her down the hallway. Finally, with Lolly’s cries echoing down the hall, Sam turns and leaves.

Thoughts:

This episode of Orange Is the New Black did so much. It was a poke in the eye for private prisons for a start. The scene with Caputo and Linda, where it is revealed that she has never visited  a prison yet works at purchasing for the system is infuriating.

The staff are not trained properly and therefore begin bullying in earnest when they are put in charge of the inmates while Caputo is gone.

Suzanne’s backstory was heartbreaking. She clearly was not ready to be left on her own so Dylan’s death was really down to her sister.  When Dylan falls over the railing it is shocking to the extreme.

Sam’s suicide attempt is also horrible and it serves as a precursor to what happens to Lolly.

This episode was hard to get through without going through an entire box of tissues. it was full of heartache. Sam, Suzanne and Lolly all brought tears to our eyes in “People Persons.”

Orange Is the New Black falls right smack in dramedy territory. This episode, except for Donuts and Luschek, was all tragedy.  There are two episodes left in this season, if you have not watched the entire thing already, start watching the series now.

CAST:

Author: Mike's Film Talk

Former Actor, Former Writer, Former Journalist, USAF Veteran, http://MikesFilmTalk.com Former Member Nevada Film Critics Society

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