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"Breaking the Fiberboard Ceiling" is the eleventh episode of the fifth season of Orange Is the New Black. It is the sixty-third episode of the series overall. It premiered on June 9, 2017. It was written by Lauren Morelli and directed by Wendey Stanzler.


Red and the others weigh their options. Gloria wrestles with her conscience as she moves forward with a plan. Lorna takes over the pharmacy.



Standing over Piscatella's unconcious body, Frieda, Red, and the rest of the pool dwellers worry over what to do now. Questions arise from Nicky and Piper. Red decides to torture Piscatella when he regains his conciousness so he may give a confession on the way he treated the inmates. Piper rebukes Red, and tells her her plans have injured others, and it is best not to.Piper and Gina tell Alex and Red to rest. After the women talk about Alex and Red looking rough, Norma wraps Red's bare scalp in a white cloth, Red then asks if Frieda has anything to restrain him. Frieda reassures Red, and tells everyone to get him into the pool, but most of the girls flake out on Red for this. Red then turns to Nicky hopefully, who then tells the others to work together or not at all. Piper commands Alex to get medication for her arm, she then leaves while the rest of the group lift Piscatella.

Meanwhile, mid-negotioan, Taystee explains to Fig the poor medical health service the inmates recieved under MCC, and before MCC under her rule. Ignoring all of this, Fig questions Taystee's use of the name "Duchess" in her story of not recieving a Pap smear for three years. Taystee reveals it is the name she uses to refer to her genitals. Fig sneers at this, and requests coffee. Taystee decides to ignore this, and decides to tease Fig and asks Caputo what Fig calls her genitals. Happily, Caputo tells Taystee Fig calls it "Tracy", causing Fig to burst out at Caputo. Taystee laughs at this, and asks where the story comes from in exchange for coffee. Fig reveals that it is named after her childhood best friend Tracy Loomis who began puberty before her therefore became more popular, therefore causing Fig to name her genitals "Tracy" because her "vagina's a bitch". Taystee starts laughing again, an angry Fig tells Taystee that 12 hours have passed and no progress has been made. Taystee tells a story of a girl who had an infected tooth, and had a CO take too long for a decision to be made for her to go to medical that she went blind in one eye. Fig cracks and says that she will agree to make healthcare better.

In Spanish Harlem, a tired Ouija and Pidge attempt to stay awake by slapping each other underGloria's eye. During this discussion, Gloria stands and enters the bubble the guards reside in and wakes them up. She begins to be vague with them over some sort of "occurance" in order to gain a CO to hand over, and brings Blake out of the bubble and out of Spanish Harlem. The two high five, then suddenly Ouija slaps Pidge. An exhilarated Pidge screams. In the hallway, Gloria looks pleased with herself as she drags Blake.

A hospitalised Benito is watched over byLourdes and Julio. Julio reveals to Lourdes that he broke a vase as a child but blamed it on Benito. Lourdes recalls a story in which Julio took Benito up to a diving board at a pool, and gave him courage into jumping, proving that Julio is a good brother. Lourdes reassures Julio that Benito will not die. The two say they wish Gloria was around.

While travelling through Poussey's memorial, Suzanne, Janae and Black Cindy wheel the body of Humps through the prison. They stop outside the broom closet Maureen Kukudio waited for Suzanne to have sex with her. Alison passes, and works out Humps died, exlaiming this. A shocked Suzanne becomes angry with Black Cindy as Cindy told Suzanne that Humps wasn't dead and pushes her against a wall. 

At the pharmacy, Lorna tells her patients that the drugs they need are not true, and are just used to label the inmates. She tells them they are all perfect, and tells them to leave. Sankey remains as the others leave, and asks for a headache tablet. Lorna happily hands it over to Sankey's delight, who accidentally lets slip that Spanish Harlem calls Lorna "La Loca". Offended, Lorna tells Sankey they are out of headache medicine, and slams the door in her face. Angry, Sankey flips Lorna off, calling her crazy and leaves.

Back in the pool, Red and the rest shift Piscatella's body into the pool rather violently. Frieda doubts that rope will keep Piscatella restrained, her and Blanca search around. Piper tells Red she wants very little involvement in the restraining of Piscatella. Frieda and Blanca find a frame with holes in to keep him in.

During an onslaught of rainfall, all the inmates rush inside, Maria attempts to stop them. Randolita explains to Maria Beyoncé may be coming to Litchfield, which Maria points out the stupidity of it. Offended, Randolita goes inside. During this, Gloria and Blake emerge from the prison. Gloria puts Blake inside the porta potty, and fails to tape him in due to the tape being wet. She uses something else. She reveals to him she has a plan and remains vague. Maria watches this as Gloria runs back inside.

Outside the broom closet, the black girls have put Humps' body inside. Janae attempts to calm an upset Suzanne down, and Cindy tells Suzanne he's in Heaven. Alison tells Cindy that as a Jew she cannot believe in Heaven. Cindy gives an educated response back. Janae questions whether or not inmates deserve to go to Heaven or not, but Cindy tells her to stop as it is not appropriate. Suzanne asks if Poussey is in Heaven, Alison reasurres her that she is for certain. Suzanne then calls out Janae and Cindy's words, and begins to panic that Poussey and Humps are together. Suzanne begins to confuse herself and becomes overwhelmed with all the death in her life. She then begins having an episode as inmates watch on.

Back in Spanish Harlem, Ouija, Zirconia and Pidge teach Gloria what to do with the hostages. Ouija and Pidge then demonstrate their new way of remaining awake which is snorting coffee powder. The two become ecstatic and have bleeding nostrils. Zirconia tells the two she finds their methods ridiculous, and offers aspirin as a better choice. Zirconia then demonstrates her way of keeping the guards tormented: forcing them to watch graphic pornography. CO Dixon begins to shout, Gloria walks into the bubble and threatens Dixon. Dixon tells Gloria that no one is going to be sided with the inmates after the riot as they have hostages, and also notes how that they are inmates and not people which angers the inmates. In anger, Gloria takes Dixon and McCullough out of the bubble, saying that if one has an opinion, everybody suffers and takes them toward the porta-pottys. Gloria expresses her independece in the situation after Zirconia offers her help. She locks both McCullough and Dixon into different porta-potties. She then takes a bin liner from the cafeteria, throws Josh out and locks him in the same potty as Dixon, puts CO Davis in his own potty while Ouija and Pidge snort more coffee. In this time, Zirconia licks the window outside the bubble as Luschek watches in horror.

Back in negotiations, Taystee begins to poke holes in the US prison concept to the silence of Fig and Caputo. Black Cindy turns up to the window and gets her attention. Cindy tells Taystee that Suzanne is having an episode over Humps' body. Taystee tells Cindy to handle her priorities better and to look after Suzanne while Taystee sorts out the negotiations.

At Cindy's former home, Monica Hayes watches the report about Litchfield with full attention, as she eats her cereal. Lillian turns the television off as Monica watches. Lillian tells Monica she needs to get to school. Monica tells Lillian she acts as if she does not care about Cindy anymore. It is evident that Monica still believes Cindy is her sister. Lillian tells Monica she cares about Cindy, of course, and then lies to Monica, revealing Cindy got transferred. Monica shows Lillian the gif of the "Black Lattes Matter" meme with Cindy in it, showing Lillian was lying. Monica gets her stuff and swears at Lillian. Monica tells Lillian she wishes she wasn't her mother, Lillian says she wishes that too.

In the pool, the group (save Red and Frieda) show their upset towards the torture of Piscatella. An uncomfortable Boo walks out. Red explains that it is not fair that he gets to leave free when he is just as bad as the women inside. Piper tells Red that she finds it to be insane and has to check on Alex. Nicky asks Piper to remain and look after Red. Red says she is strong enough to be alone. Red attempts to stand, but Norma pulls back a rope causing her to fall back in her seat. Nicky and Norma tie Red up. Red calls Norma a bitch, sarcastically. Frieda picks up on Norma's ability as a girl scout, much like her past. The girls pick Red up in the chair and lift her through the pool, with Red saying she hates them all (likely not meaning it).

In the suburbs, Boo returns to find a worried Linda in her bunk and embraces her, Linda doesn't believe Boo was held captive. Boo attempts to show affection to her but is revolted by Linda's smell after she hid in the porta potty to hide from Zirconia. Boo offers Linda a shower.

Back at the pharmacy, Black Cindy knocks to request Suzanne's medication. Lorna tells Cindy she does not need medication anymore cheerfully to Cindy's confusion. Lorna tells Cindy that Suzanne just thinks differently and is not "sick." Cindy enters the pharmacy while Lorna attempts to protect the medicine. Cindy lifts Lorna out of her way and takes a bottle of Lithium Carbonate, as Lorna refused to give over Suzanne's prescription list. As Lorna attempts to block Cindy's exit, Cindy angrily shouts at Lorna, who is much smaller than her which intimidates her into moving and walks out.

In the showers, Boo pays inmates in candy to leave so she can hire the showers for at least an hour (for Linda). She begins to play mellow music. Linda accidentally contradicts herself and talks about Utica, despite her disguise being from Connecticut. Linda lies her way out, however, claiming there is a Utica in Connecticut. The two flirt for a bit, discuss human psychology of love and exchange a kiss. When getting a new towel, Boo finds Linda's phone, which immediately opens onto a photo of Linda and Caputo together. Upset, Boo puts the phone into her towel.

Back in Spanish Harlem, Ouija and Pidge are still snorting coffee as Maria returns. Maria asks what has happened to all of the guards, which Ouija and Pidge explain that she has been sending them out to the porta potties. Maria asks why Ouija and Pidge care so much about the riot, stumped, Pidge asks why Maria does not. Maria explains that because of the riot, all the inmates will most likely recieve life imprisonment. Ouija explains that negotiations are being made, and changes are happening. Ouija tells Maria to be a role model to her children.

At Ouija's house, her son, Miguel, watches one of Flaca and Maritza 's youtube videos, this one detailing beauty tips. In the background, he spies his mother in the background, who jumps up and threatens the hostages violently. He zooms into the video and plays it again, upset. He recognises it to be his mother.

In the bunker, Red requests to be untied, but everyone tells her no. Yoga Jones tells Red that most of the situation is because of Red and Blanca. Blanca explains that all she wanted was to help. The group begins arguing over what happened, such as Judy King's "panic room" (Anita and Yoga), bringing Piscatella into the prison (Red and Blanca), taking back the negotiations (Piper), not being involved enough (Alex and Nicky), cutting the electricity (Gina). A large argument breaks out.

Back at the pharmacy, Lorna returns and takes a pregnancy test of the shelf and shrugs.

In Spanish Harlem, Gloria explains her tale of locking Josh and Dixon in a porta potty together. Gloria feels her phone vibrate and leaves the room to answer it, Maria watches. Gloria answers the phone to Lourdes who explains Benito is being taken into surgery. Lourdes asks if she wants to speak to Benito before he goes. Gloria agrees and tells Benito to remain strong no matter what and to fight it. Lourdes takes the phone back, and tells Gloria she will keep her updated. Maria walks up behind Gloria, and checks up on her. Gloria explains to Maria that Benito is in hospital. Maria tells Gloria that after she had Pepa, she knew that she would do all she could for her, even kill. Gloria reveals her plan to Maria, which is releasing the hostages so she could see Benito, which she asks if it is worse than murder. Maria tells Gloria to do what she needs to, and won't stand in her way.

In a supermarket, Yadriel and his mother,Reba , go shopping with Pepa. Yadriel shows his care for his daughter by choosing the healthiest cereal options. A young woman, Carolina, notices Pepa and coos over her. She flirts with Yadriel through Pepa, to Reba's delight, and tells Carolina Yadriel is single. Yadriel walks on, however. Reba smacks Yadriel and tells him to stop ignoring women for Maria, Reba insults Maria's name, angry, Yadriel tells Reba not to refere to her as a "jailbait criminal" again, in respect of Maria.

In Boo's bunk, Linda hands Boo a hairbrush and asks to be combed. As Boo does so, Linda explains how she wishes the riot would end. Boo tries to frighten her saying that they will kill everyone if the riot doesn't end in 24 hours. Linda replies, almost slipping up, that there is innocent people in here. Boo purposely pulls her hair. Linda asks what is wrong with Boo as she is acting weird. Boo stands, and shows Linda the photo of her and Caputo and confronts her. Boo assumes Linda is telling information from the prison to MCC. Linda tries to defend herself and says she will tell everything.

In the bunker, the argument remains between Red's family, with Yoga even pulling her hair. Frieda silences it. Everyone questions how they got into the mess, and why everyone is breaking stuff and they decide to untie Red while doing so. Frieda tells everyone that they will not torture Piscatella, and instead will keep him restrained until the riot ends. Gina retrieves her phone which reveals a video of Piscatella breaking Alex's arm. In a toilet cubicle, in shock, Lorna looks at a pregnancy test which reveals she is pregnant. She starts laughing and crying with joy.

In the ghetto, Janae and Abdullah roar as Suzanne breaks the fiberboard ceiling above in order to find Heaven. Suzanne begins proclaiming that she is good to the Heavens. Cindy then shows Suzanne her medicine, and tells Suzanne it is time for her medicine. Suzanne comes off the bunk and onto the floor. Alison pulls her aside and questions Cindy's thought process for giving Suzanne lithium without reading up about it. Suzanne looks at the medication and asks if they will make her "good", Cindy says they will, and gives them to her. Suzanne takes the tablet as she cries and shakes. Cindy asks if Suzanne wants a nap, and Suzanne agrees. Cindy prepares a bed for her and sets Suzanne down. Cindy starts to sing a childhood song of Suzanne's to Suzanne.

In the hallway, Gloria takes Luschek with a hyped up Ouija and Pidge. As they exit the prison, the group notice all the porta potties have been emptied, including Adarsh Khanna's Stratman escapes electrical with Leanne and Angie chasing him. Stratman dives through a hole in the fence. Gloria runs toward the hole, but Ouija chases after her and dives onto her back. Luschek also makes an attempt at running away, but is stopped by Pidge. Gloria accidentally lets slip that she needs to see Benito to Ouija. Furious, Ouija and Pidge lift Gloria up, calling her a dissapointment to her son and the prison

Memorable Quotes[]

"You both look great in those curtains."
Nicky to Alex and Piper





Main Cast[]

 Guest Starring[]






  • This is the first episode Lourdes is heard speaking in English.


Episode Navigation
Season 1 I Wasn't Ready  •  Tit Punch  •  Lesbian Request Denied  •  Imaginary Enemies  •  The Chickening  •  WAC Pack  •  Blood Donut  •  Moscow Mule  •  Fucksgiving  •  Bora Bora Bora  •  Tall Men with Feelings  •  Fool Me Once  •  Can't Fix Crazy
Season 2 Thirsty Bird  •  Looks Blue, Tastes Red  •  Hugs Can Be Deceiving  •  A Whole Other Hole  •  Low Self Esteem City  •  You Also Have a Pizza  •  Comic Sans  •  Appropriately Sized Pots  •  40 Oz. of Furlough  •  Little Mustachioed Shit  •  Take a Break From Your Values  •  It Was the Change  •  We Have Manners. We're Polite.
Season 3 Mother's Day  •  Bed Bugs and Beyond  •  Empathy Is a Boner Killer  •  Finger in the Dyke  •  Fake It Till You Fake It Some More  •  Ching Chong Chang  •  Tongue-Tied  •  Fear, and Other Smells  •  Where My Dreidel At  •  A Tittin' and a Hairin'  •  We Can Be Heroes  •  Don't Make Me Come Back There  •  Trust No Bitch
Season 4 Work That Body For Me  •  Power Suit  •  (Don't) Say Anything  •  Doctor Psycho  •  We'll Always Have Baltimore  •  Piece of Shit  •  It Sounded Nicer in My Head  •  Friends in Low Places  •  Turn Table Turn  •  Bunny, Skull, Bunny, Skull  •  People Persons  •  The Animals  •  Toast Can't Never Be Bread Again
Season 5 Riot FOMO  •  Fuck, Marry, Frieda  •  Pissters!  •  Litchfield's Got Talent  •  Sing It, White Effie  •  Flaming Hot Cheetos, Literally  •  Full Bush, Half Snickers  •  Tied to the Tracks  •  The Tightening  •  The Reverse Midas Touch  •  Breaking the Fiberboard Ceiling  •  Tattoo You  •  Storm-y Weather
Season 6 Who Knows Better Than I   •  Shitstorm Coming   •  Look Out for Number One   •  I'm the Talking Ass   •  Mischief Mischief   •  State of the Uterus   •  Changing Winds   •  Gordons   •  Break the String   •  Chocolate Chip Nookie   •  Well This Took a Dark Turn   •  Double Trouble   •  Be Free
Season 7 Beginning of the End   •  Just Desserts   •  And Brown Is the New Orange   •  How to Do Life   •  Minority Deport   •  Trapped in an Elevator   •  Me as Well   •  Baker's Dozen   •  The Hidey Hole   •  The Thirteenth   •  God Bless America   •  The Big House   •  Here's Where We Get Off