"Break the String" is the ninth episode of the sixth season of Orange Is the New Black. It is the seventy-fourth episode of the series overall. It premiered on July 27, 2018. It was written by Kirsa Rein and directed by Nick Sandow.
Piper is talking to Alex about approaching Carol about kickball. Copeland and another CO watch as Piper walks towards Carol. Piper asks Carol if she's interested in joining kickball but Carol says that she's retired her kickball shoes. Piper asks if it'd be okay if she asked the other girls and Carol tells her that it's a free country. Copeland gets upset because there was no altercation between Carol and Piper. After Piper walks away, Carol asks Madison how much she hates Piper.
Daddy gives Barbara a baggy of powdered drugs. She tells Barbara that she found a new CO, Enders, to sneak in the drugs. Barbara asks what she's not saying and Daddy tells her that Enders wants 55%. Barbara tells her that the extra 20% is coming out of Daddy's cut. Barbara asks Daddy if they can rewind because she hates being the bad guy but Daddy doesn't reply fast enough so Barbara slaps her. Barbara then starts to have hallucinations from what she took and falls to the floor. Daddy quickly grabs the baggy and leaves the cell.
Blanca and Nicky are in the hospital ward having survived being jumped by C-block. Blanca is being evicted from the ward because Barbara is being brought in and they need the bed. Nicky says that they can't put Barbara next to her because she has a migraine and needs sleep but the nurses aren't sympathetic.
Fig is showering at Caputo's house. Caputo can't find the towels so Fig just uses one of his shirts. Caputo says that Fig is comfortable around here because she binge-watched Younger and takes off her bra once she walks in the door. He suggests that they do something special before he leaves like having a quickie in the garden at the FDR presidential library. She says he's been saving that up and he says it's on his list of things to do.
Taystee asks Cindy how her hair looks and Cindy says she looks fine. Cindy asks why she has another interview, does she want to have all the guards be mad at her. Taystee tells her that she has a trying deposition tomorrow because Caputo is moving and they wanted to get his testimony now. That Caputo agreed to be a character witness and say nice things about her like how she's not a murderer. Cindy cringes and Taystee asks if she's okay. Cindy tells her that her backs been hurting. Taystee suggests she lay on her back with books under her head, that it aligns the spine. Cindy says that she could try that.
Daddy is seen hiding the drugs behind a shower tile. Daya asks if she can have some but Daddy tells her that she doesn't want this. That it's bath salts that they had to take off the market. Daya asks if she was trying to kill Barbara and Daddy says no that Barbara can handle it. That she was just trying to buy them some time. Daddy knows that she can get Barbara's habit covered by what Ender's smuggles in but she doesn't have enough for the whole block. Daddy says she's out of ideas and Daya says that she might have an idea.
Joel Luschek watches as Gloria Mendoza leads the exercise class. Gloria is trying to get them to loosen up and take control of their personal space. She grabs Luschek and uses him as an example. But while their dancing, Luschek gets turned on and Gloria notices. They separate and Gloria continues to lead the class but Irene watches the two of them suspiciously.
Red is visited by her son, Vasily. He tells her about his brothers and how they have trucking jobs. She asks about their father and Vasily says that he's good but that he doesn't have a job right now. She asks why he didn't come with her and Vasily says that he isn't ready to see her. He tells her that his dad is seeing someone else. This upsets Red. Vasily tells her that they don't come to visit her because she lectures them with old country maxims. He leaves and Red sits crying.
Aleida visits Daya. Daya tells her that she has an idea of how she can get her kids back faster. She asks Aleida if she has any contact with Ceaser's old contacts. She goes on to explain her plan of how Aleida could sneak the drugs into the prison. Aleida asks her if she wants her to be back in prison with her and Daya points out that she said she needed money. Aleida says that she learned from her mistakes and that she isn't going to let lying ruin her second chance. She hangs up the phone and leaves.
Flaca and Cindy are giving dating advice over the radio while Luschek supervises. Cindy is laying on the floor in pain. Flaca tells her to go get it checked by Cindy doesn't want to go anywhere near the doctors here. Cindy says that this segment was a dud anyway but Flaca tells her that letters are cathartic. This gives Cindy an idea.
Barbara is hallucinating in the hospital ward. Nicky tries to calm her down. Gloria tells Blanca about what happened with Luschek at the exercise class. Blanca tells her that Luschek is into her. Blanca winces as she climbs up onto her bed. Gloria asks if it was C-block girls that beat her up and she says yes. Gloria says they have to tell a guard but Blanca asks which one: the one that beats up Daya or the one that beats up Taystee. Gloria says that there must be someone in here that they could tell and Blanca says to ask Luschek.
Piper says that she needs 16 signatures for Luschek to be able to open the yard for kickball practice. She only has 3 so far. She asks the table she's sitting at why they won't join. Irene shows her cast, Alana Dwight points to her nose, and Gloria says she's swamped with salsa fitness. Piper says that everyone's complaining about not having anything to do and she's trying to help. Alex asks why this means so much to her. Piper says because she can't change their situation but she can reinstate kickball. Piper says that Madison probably is behind the reason why nobody is signing up. Gloria tells Piper if she wants to make kickball happen then to make kickball happen.
Cindy and Flaca are going through the letters. Cindy secretly sneaks in her letter she wrote about her situation with Taystee and reads it aloud. Flaca says she's got this and says that this person is a traitor and a hater and that she needs to take blame for what she did. Cindy tries to defend the letter but Flaca says goes overboard and pisses off Cindy who shoves the table at her and leaves.
Caputo is being interviewed by Taystee's lawyer. He says a lot of great things about Taystee and how she was a good secretarial worker. He tells them that they had a good working relationship. Aleida is in the car with Rick Hopper. Rick is trying to pick a restaurant but Aleida isn't helping. He asks her what she does on the weekends and she says she doesn't have any weekends because those are peak selling days. He agrees to buy five cases off her if they can go eat and she finally agrees. They arrive to her apartment where her friend is being evicted. Aleida gets out of the car and asks what happened. Her friend tells her that the landlord sent his wife this time. That now she has to go live with her mom but Aleida isn't invited. Aleida tells Hopper to go get boxes and donuts so that they can pack up her things.
Piper goes with Beth to church to recruit people for kickball. When she walks in when Maria is reciting a verse from the bible. Maria sits down and Piper talks to her and manages to convince her to join the kickball league. Caputo is asked by Taystee's lawyer if he was present during the riot negotiation. He says not at first but tells them that Taystee took her role as lead negotiator very seriously. The other lawyer asks Caputo if there was ever a point where he feared for his life during the riot. He says no but then the lawyer brings up when Taystee punched him in the face, when she threatened him with weapons, etc. He changes his answer to yes.
Daddy is approached by Hellman who tells her that Ender's got busted trying to smuggle in drugs. Irene tells Madison that they should start a club because they were injury buddies. In reality, Irene is trying to convince Madison that Gloria wants to take her down and that that's why she's getting close to Luschek. Madison asks her what she thinks she knows and Irene tells Madison that she knows about Luschek bringing in phones for her. Madison tells her that if her intel is good she'll start calling Irene Diamond.
Carol is playing cards with Red and her gang complaining about how it's her fault that Barbara ODed. Red says that family always blames the family. Carol says the problem with family is expectations. Carol says forget unconditional love that hate keeps her warm at night. Red says that in Russia they have a saying, "Those who love you will make you weep, those who you hate will make you laugh." Carol says she doesn't even have to translate because she hears her loud and clear. Carol makes Silka Webb move so that Red can sit across from her declaring that Red is her partner now.
Nicky and Barbara are eating pudding while they talk about the last time they were sober. Barbara says that she used to be the good girl and only sold her product but that changed after Frieda did what she did. That she got added years and could've been out by now not dodging assassination attempts from Carol. Nicky says that this place brings out your dark side and she learned that the last time she was here. Barbara says that maybe it is time for her to get sober but wants to know what's the point of being sober in prison. Nobody wants to feel this. The nurse comes by and offers Barbara her meds but Barbara says no. Nicky tells her she could've sold that.
Daya brings Daddy some Lay's chips, her favorite. She tells Daddy that her mom said no. Daya tells her that there has to be some other way and Daddy says is she that desperate for drugs. Daya says it's not about the drugs. That Daddy has been nice to her and that she doesn't want to be alone. They kiss and end up having sex. Aleida is living with Hopper. They have sex in the kitchen before he goes to work. She makes him a shake and suggests that he take a container to work. He tells her that she can stay here as long as she wants but Aleida says this place isn't big enough for her kids. Hopper tells her that he'll be back around seven and that maybe she can cook dinner.
Irene and Madison share a look while Gloria dances in front of the class. Class ends and Gloria approaches Luschek about the gang situation. He tells her that he will look into it and talk to the interim warden. Gloria leaves but is approached by Madison. Madison tells her that if she enters that class again she'll have someone cut out her thyroid. Madison asks if they understand each other and Gloria shakes her head yes.
Cindy and Taystee are in the library. Taystee is getting law books to read because she didn't understand half the things they were talking about in the interrogation. She tells Cindy about how Caputo stood up for her and that he's a good egg. Cindy tells Taystee that she has to tell her something and that it's real bad. Cindy is about to tell her but then chickens out and says instead that she has a daughter. Taystee asks how old she is and Cindy says thirteen. Cindy says that she lied to protect herself and never told the father. That she's in here pretending like it never happened. Cindy apologizes for lying to Taystee and Taystee says that she had her reasons. They hug and Taystee says that she's a good egg too.
Linda Ferguson goes to Caputo's house and yells at him for what he said during Taystee's interview. Caputo tells her that he's trying to do the right thing for Taystee. Linda tells him that MCC's dirt is his dirt and that he's MCC. Caputo says not anymore and he quits his job.
Piper is playing checkers with Alex when she's handed a book. She opens it and a piece of paper falls out. On the paper is sixteen signatures so that they can reinstate kickball. Piper is so excited but Madison snatches the paper from her and shows it to Carol. Carol says that she got D-block kickball and Piper says that she told her she could ask the girls. Carol decides that they need to have their own team and puts Madison in charge much to Piper's dismay.
Aleida goes to visit Daya. She tells her that if they're going to do this they are going to have to be smarter this time.
Memorable Quotes Edit
- "Break the string!"
- — Alana Dwight, encouraging Piper to make kickball happen
- "Classic Junkie, it's always someone else's fault"
- — Silka Webb to Carol and Red about Barb
- "We are locked in a box, which is locked in a cage, which is locked in a windowless compound"
- — Piper Chapman, to Alex talking about MAX.
- "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. But fool me seven times, then you deserve what is coming to you"
- — Maria Ruiz
Continuity Error: When Piper passes Maria the kickball clipboard with her right arm, she exposes her branding scar. The original scar was on her left arm.
Flava references Bauhaus.
Robbie Dupree: Steal Away
The Tokens: The Lion Sleeps Tonight
- Last appearance of Margarita.