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"Appropriately Sized Pots" is the eighth episode of the second season of Orange Is the New Black. It is the twenty-first episode of the series overall. It premiered on June 6, 2014. It was written by Alex Regnery and Hartley Voss, and directed by Daisy von Scherler Mayer.
We see Rosa in Mr. Healy’s office, as he attempts to counsel her. She is in need of an operation to increase her chances at surviving her cancer, but the DOC isn’t willing to pay for it. Rosa knows that this is a death sentence. As Healy tries unsuccessfully to comfort her, she calls him out on the truth of his particular circumstances.
Red walks into her greenhouse to find Caputo inspecting her plants. He’s impressed by her green thumb and announces that he will be taking a little section of the garden for his own plants. Red tries to convince him to let her do the planting but Caputo insists on joining the garden club.
In the laundry room, leave it to Soso to find gratifying work in washing prison panties. Angie and Leanne take this opportunity to casually mention the new deodorant available at the commissary because Soso hasn't been using any and smells. Soso doesn’t catch their drift, informing them how toxic antiperspirant is. Pennsatucky takes the opportunity to tell Soso the what-what. “You smell like a fucking turtle tank, go take a fucking shower.” Friends tell each other the truth, according to Tucky.
Piper sits down with Frieda and Taslitz as they tend to their crocheting and talk about poor Jimmy. Turns out they had been hiding the extent of Jimmie’s dementia for years and they don’t have much hope for her survival on the outside. Piper tells them about her dying grandmother and how she taught Piper to knit. Also how her mother sold her knitted blanket at a garage sale for a quarter. “Your mom sounds like a twat,” Taslitz replies in her deadpan way. Piper reminisces about her Nana, who is quite the amazing lady. “Go out and eat the world, Piper,” her grandmother used to tell her. Healy interrupts them and pulls Piper out into the hall. Turns out, he may not be completely useless after all. Healy pulled a few strings and got Piper furlough. She’s shocked beyond belief, but thankful.
In the hall, CO Fischer and Luschek are having a bit of a lovers quarrel while Caputo listens in. They are all distracted by a very angry Fig, hobbling down the hall, chewing gum stuck to the bottom of her Louboutins. Fig throws down the gauntlet, naming various infractions that she sees among the inmates, and chastises Caputo and Fischer for not doing anything about it. Fischer runs off to hand out some SHOTS while Fig shames Caputo for his crush on the young CO. As Fig leaves, she crosses paths with Soso and instructs Caputo to make sure she takes a shower.
At the hospital, Rosa and her young fellow patient Yusef sit in chemo together. Rosa impresses him with her casing abilities. He wants in and they plan a heist to steal the mean, drunk nurse’s wallet. Rosa figures, why the hell not. Having the adrenaline of a heist coursing through her veins beats the chemo pumping through them any day.
Piper tries calling home to let her mother know about her furlough, but gets her voicemail. A frantic Caputo stops dead in his tracks, thinking Piper has on lip gloss. Nope, just naturally rosy lips and long luscious eyelashes, thank you very much.
Luschek and Nicky are hanging out in the yard, while Nicky tries to work the gum wrapper lighter. Luschek gives her the scoop on CO Fischer (he got to second base) while Nicky gets a few cigarette puffs in. Caputo shows up looking for infractions, but can’t get one over on Nicky because her cigarette is out and hidden and her mascara is from commissary.
Piper and the newsletter staff are hard at work putting the next issue together. Daya’s interpreted Fig as a pig in heels for her comic, and Flaca’s advice column suggests socking a gal if she touches your shit. Piper says that won’t fly and they need to hurry up and finish before she heads off to her furlough. Daya and Flaca can’t believe what they are hearing, because furlough is as rare as a unicorn dancing on a pot of gold. Even Sister Ingalls thinks it’s a real miracle. Daya warns Piper that people are going to be pissed at her and to watch her back.
Bennett sits in the control room drinking a kale and date smoothie when Caputo barges in to talk about contraband. Caputo can’t figure out where it’s coming from and it’s driving him bonkers. He warns Bennett not to befriend the inmates or allow himself to trust anyone. Then a light bulb clicks and Caputo runs off to deal with his own trust issues.
CO Ford takes a break from watching Rosa to check on Morello in the van. She causally mentions that CO Fischer used to bring her cold Dr. Pepper when she was in charge, but Ford brushes her off. He even suggests Morello cop a squat outside of the van when she has to pee. Back inside, the heist is on and Rosa sets up a diversion so Yusef can yank the nurse’s pocketbook. It works and their spoils work out to be sixty three bucks. Rosa gives Yusef his small cut but keeps the rest since she’s the brains of the operation. Yusef gets called out of the room to speak with his mother and doctor. He’s not done with her though and wants a bigger cut. Rosa replies with that is always the case.
In the salon, Sophia and Anita are razzing Piper about getting furlough. Piper talks about how going home isn’t really like going home anymore now that she and Larry aren’t together. The place she calls home is now his, and it’s all very complicated. Anita asks if Piper gave Healy a hand job to get furlough, but Piper vehemently denies that. Piper thinks that perhaps the prison has a heart after all but Anita calls shenanigans. Anita applied twice for major life events, and was denied. Sophia applied to be at her father’s deathbed but never got to make peace with him in the end.
In the greenhouse, Caputo is going full on bat shit crazy, emptying all of Red’s flowerpots, searching for contraband. She arrives during his tirade and even tosses some pots herself to show him that her hands are clean, or at least give that impression.
CO Fischer is fired up. Well, as fired up as it’s possible for her to get. She discusses her displeasure with her fellow COs and when Caputo comes in, she tells him her frustrations with the SHOT quota. She also doesn’t appreciate that fact that Caputo yelled at her earlier. Caputo, still fired up and covered with a thin layer of pot soil, fires her on the spot.
As Blanca heads to the walk in cooler with a ton of pudding, Gloria cuts her off at the pass, sending her to take care of other business. Gloria is startled to see Vee standing in the kitchen, holding a freshly rolled cigarette for her. Vee even made it menthol for her. Vee really wants the scoop on Red, but she’s barking up the wrong tree with her theory that Red’s connection is through the kitchen. As far as Gloria is concerned, she doesn’t trust Red or Vee as far as she can throw them.
CO Fischer, her eyes red from crying, takes some refuge in the chapel. Also there is Nicky, smoking a cig and listening to her radio. When Fischer comes up to her, Nicky is freaked that she’s in trouble, but she no longer works at Litchfield. Nicky does what Nicky does best: give stellar advice. She tells Fischer that there is a world of opportunity out there for her. Go back to school, learn a trade, she advises. Fischer was too good for this place, anyway. Fischer asks Nicky if she’d been hitting on her a few weeks back, and Nicky admits to it. Fischer wasn’t interested but is flattered nonetheless. She takes her leave of Nicky, who goes back to her music.
As Rosa is wheeled out of chemo, she sees Yusef and his mother crying in the hallway. She asks CO Ford to wheel her over to him. Yusef approaches Rosa, who thinks the worst and blames herself. Every man she did a job with dies and she declares herself cursed. He’s confused, and she tearfully shouts that he’s too young to die. He’s not dying though. He’s in remission! She wishes him well. “Enjoy your life, shit pot!” laughing with joy the whole way.
In line at the cafeteria, Taystee is openly bitching about Piper’s furlough, while Piper is within earshot. Poussey chimes in, noting that she missed her mother’s funeral while in lock up, and didn’t get furlough. Even Aleida is angry as she aggressively hands Piper her tray. Piper sits down at to eat and Nicky points out that everyone hates Piper, a fact that had not escaped Piper’s attention. Poussey continues her angry remarks, claiming that it’s Piper’s race that got her special treatment. Cindy suggests that perhaps Piper blew Healy to get furlough. Piper has had enough so she stands up and addresses the entire cafeteria. “Yes, I am white. We have established that! And I got furlough too. I guess white privilege wins again. And as a speaker, for the ENTIRE white race, I would like to say I am sorry that you guys got the raw deal. But I love my fucking grandmother. And yeah, she may be a whitey too, but she’s a fucking person and she’s sick, and she needs me. So shut the fuck up.” The cafeteria is silent for a moment until a pie flies through the air, making contact with Piper’s head. Suzanne has thrown her pie at Piper instead of for her.
Gloria and Red are having it out behind the scenes. It appears Red is storing her contraband in the kitchen until the heat is off, but Gloria is done with dealing with Red and Vee’s nonsense. She gives Red three days to get her stuff out of there.
Piper marches into Healy’s office to tell him that she no longer wants her furlough because other people need it more. Furthermore, she and everyone else are baffled as to why Healy would work to get her furlough in the first place. “You hate me,” Piper declares. Healy explains that normally he is nothing but a paper pusher but once and while he gets a chance to make a difference. He took that chance with Piper’s furlough and there is no taking it back. He reminds her that she gets a precious chance to say goodbye to someone she loves. Let the other inmates talk. Some opportunities don’t come by again. She takes his words to heart and as she leaves, tells him that he did a good job at counseling just then.
Caputo comes to the greenhouse with a peace offering while Red’s crew is busy cleaning up the mess he made. He lets them know that he won’t be tending to any plants now, and to make sure that Red sees his gift.
In Red and Piper’s bunk, Piper asks what Red would do if she had a day on the outside. Red would visit her market to check up on the place and her famous piroshki's. She asks Piper to stop by and check on it if she has time. Piper doesn’t think she will, but says she will try. Red seems to be pleased enough with that.
CO Bell leads a reluctant Soso to the showers where she drops to the floor as part of her passive resistance tactic. Bell and another CO drag Soso to the C Block showers. When they get there, Soso is genuinely distressed. She disrobes and steps into the showers.
Anita comes to check on Rosa, who is back in her bunk. Rosa lets her friend know that she is officially dying. “I always pictured myself going out in a blaze of glory. Hail of gunfire, screech of tires. But this kind of death, this slow, invisible disappearing into nothing, it’s terrifying.” Rosa turns over to get some rest, and Anita tucks her in and leaves. When she’s alone, Rosa pulls out the sixty-three dollars, and inhales its scent, deeply. It’s practically euphoric.
Piper finally reaches her mother to give her the details about her furlough, but it’s too late. Piper’s grandmother had passed the night before. Piper breaks down crying, bracing herself against the wall.
In her office, Fig is Googling how to get gum off of your ridiculously expensive shoes when Caputo drops in. He hands in Fischer’s termination paperwork, and Fig inquires if they will be getting slapped with a sexual harassment suit. Caputo’s face tells her no. Caputo expresses his concerns about being understaffed, but Fig’s got some tricks up her sleeve.
Note: Flashbacks are arranged in chronological order, not the order in which they occur on the show.
Flashback to the late seventies where we find out the Miss Rosa is part of a merry band of bank robbers. One of the robbers is her boyfriend Marco who gifts her a pistol before her first job. Before they head into the bank, she and Marco kiss. “We kiss before, we kiss again after,” he tells her before planting one on her. The robbery goes smoothly enough until on the way out, Rosa comes face to face with a security guard. She fires her gun, but it’s not loaded. Marco pushes her out of harm’s way but is hit himself by the guard’s bullet. In the car, Marco shows Rosa the money and has her smell all of its inky glory. Marco also starts to fade away from his injuries, kissing Rosa before dying in her arms.
Young Rosa who is now the leader of the bank robbers. She’s moved on to dating Andy, the getaway driver. She’s also masterful at casing the locations they plan to rob. After putting her fellow robber in check for doubting her abilities, she kisses Andy before the heist. “We kiss before, and we kiss again after,” she said, echoing Marco’s words. It’s good luck, she believes. While the robbery is a success, Andy suddenly has a heart attack during the getaway. Rosa weeps for him but leaves his body as they flee from the police.
Rosa is in the getaway care with her last remaining bank robbing cohort, Donnie. They’ve bagged fifty grand and she smells the money with a huge grin on her face. She’s kissing all over him until she sees another bank and makes him pull in front. She grabs his gun, hot from the first heist and plans to make it a two-fer. Her boyfriend protests since they’ve never cased this bank before, and refuses to participate. Rosa goes in alone, and it will prove to be the last bank heist she will make.
Rosa is behind the glass prison partition. Donnie has come to see her and she laments her greediness. At least he didn’t fall victim to the curse; there was no after kiss. She tells him how she misses the smell of money and the thrill of the heist.
Special Guest Star
- First appearance of CO Kowalski.
- Last appearance of Susan Fischer until Season 7.
- Daya incorrectly uses the term necrophiliac to describe her sleepiness.
Miss Rosa's Flashbacks