“Thirsty Bird” and “Looks Blue, Tastes Red” are sort of companion pieces, both giving us a bit more insight into the show’s two female leads and how they came to be(yes, I feel Taystee is kind of our second female lead, even though it is sort of a huge ensemble cast). “Thirsty Bird” is a bold episode, focusing entirely on Piper(with a bit of the one and only Alex Vause). On the other hand we have “Looks Blue, Tastes Red”, which while it does an excellent job showcasing the rest of the cast, really answers a lot of questions about the girl we’ve come to know as Taystee.
Oh, I thought he was a rapist. I’m so relieved
I have some mixed feelings on “Thirsty Bird”, but for the most part I think it was 100% necessary as an episode. The episode was really brave in that it was sort of a bottle episode, I mean there were a good amount of guest stars(including Lori Petty as Lolly, which was a really standout guest character I wish we could have gotten more of), but outside of Piper and Alex, none of the main cast were there. Taylor Schilling took the task, and just ran with it, she is really a fantastic actress. I loved her in Season One, but in Season Two my feelings are even stronger than love, I’m loving bitchy, brave, and broken Piper. She’s fucking fantastic.
The directorial skills of Jodie Foster were excellent, the episode had a totally different feel from the show’s usual one which worked really well with the “What the hell is going on? Where are they taking me?” feel of the episode. It all felt so real, Piper getting rushed out in the middle of the night, the ride on the bus, the plane ride, it all worked really well. Even I had no clue, what to make of it, till they got to Chicago and I realized they were adapting the trial from the book(loosely, as in real life it happened at the very end of her stay and was right before she got sent home, but I do enjoy it when they acknowledge the book, even though I very much like the show going in it’s own direction).
I don’t recall
When Alex showed up, I started screaming. Laura Prepon isn’t in the episode a whole lot, but just seeing her is sort of a comfort. I thought Alex’s heel-face-turn was maybe a bit out of nowhere, but I think it perfectly fits with her character. Same with her deciding to testify against the guy and leaving Piper for the sharks, Piper is admittedly selfish, but so is Alex, she saw a way out and she took it, even if in the long run this probably won’t work out. I feel like Alex often get’s away with a whole lot, so I was happy to see a reminder that Alex is every bit as selfish as Piper(and as Red says in a later episode “in prison you have to be”). I was a bit disappointed by the lack of humor in the episode, but it had it’s moments. The horoscope girl was bit too much though, the cockroach thing was pretty funny and felt very “Weeds”-ish(Like the Dirt Shrew, I also enjoyed that one of the roaches was named Fred Savage).
The comedy that was lacking a bit in “Thirsty Bird”, was all on display in “Looks Blue, Tastes Red”. It also introduces us to Vee, Taystee’s “mother” who is a major character this season. I don’t know about you guys, but I was getting some major “Weeds” flashbacks with the dinner table drug talk with Vee, Taystee, and Taystee’s “brother”, Vee sort of reminds me of an evil Heylia from “Weeds”. Danielle Brooks shines here, she really knows how to break your heart.
The career day fair was hilarious, and I’m really excited that there’s more Black Cindy this year. The whole interview sequence was pure gold. Larry’s back too and hanging with Polly, and god I hope they don’t fuck. I loved the whole “He looks so happy and new” “oh don’t worry, me and [whatever her husband’s name is] will fuck that up too”. The episode ends with Vee arriving in Litchfield, and she’s about to tear shit apart.
Overall, these two episodes were a great way to open up the season. Talking about it now, I think I’m less mixed on “Thirsty Bird” and more positive on it.
GRADE(THIRSTY BIRD): B 86&
GRADE(LOOKS BLUE, TASTES RED): A- 92