"I Wasn't Ready" is the first episode of the first season of Orange Is the New Black. It is the first episode of the series overall. It premiered on July 11, 2013. It was written by Liz Friedman and Jenji Kohan, and directed by Michael Trim.
Piper Chapman loves to get clean. She is shown in various baths/showers throughout her life, from childhood to adulthood, where she is seen showering with Alex Vause and taking a bath with Larry Bloom. "It was my happy place... until now". Piper uncomfortably showers inside a women’s prison. Another inmate, Taystee, waits outside, asking her to hurry up. Piper exits the shower and Taystee notices Piper has nice breasts and a creative solution for flip-flops; sanitary pads. Piper is extremely uncomfortable but doesn't know what to say. Eventually, Taystee gets bored and pushes past her to take the shower.
Days earlier, Piper and her fiancé Larry, along with their best friends, married couple Polly and Pete, are commemorating Piper’s last day of freedom with a BBQ. Larry and Pete prepare a whole dead pig while Polly and Piper lament her leaving and missing Polly’s baby shower. Later that night, Piper and Larry decide to have sex one last time before Piper leaves. As they start, Piper excuses herself to go to the bathroom, where she starts crying. When she returns, Larry notices she's still sobbing, but she brushes it off.
The next morning, Larry and Piper drive to Litchfield Penitentiary. As they arrive, a guard notifies them that there is no visitation today, to which Piper replies, “I’m here to surrender”. The guard drives off and Piper worries that he looked surprised, and that the other prisoners will notice she has been crying. She removes her engagement ring and gives it to Larry, who, after a small disagreement, tells her that he will put it in his wallet, and then in her jewelry box when he gets home.
Inside the prison waiting area, a female C.O. tells them to take a seat while she does Piper’s paperwork. Larry gives Piper a homemade lunch. She mentions her mother has told her friends that Piper is doing volunteer work in Africa. Larry remarks they're probably appalled she is going somewhere so filthy and dangerous. Two hours later, the C.O. tells Piper she cannot use her phone in the building and that Larry has to take it out. While Larry is outside, another guard shows up to take Piper into the prison. She asks the guard to wait for Larry til he gets back. As the guard, Wanda Bell, goes through Piper’s personal items, Larry returns and Bell informs them that Larry must send her commissary money to Iowa to be processed first, meaning Piper will not have any money for the first few weeks of prison life. Bell announces it's time for them to say their goodbyes. The two embrace and say they love each other.
Piper is given prison sneakers, an orange jumpsuit and bedding. She's then asked to strip. Bell makes her open her mouth and stick out her tongue, lift up her arms, and to squat, spread her cheeks, and cough. Piper reluctantly obliges. Piper is brought to a transport vehicle, where she meets the driver, Lorna Morello, and Janae Watson, another new inmate. Piper is shocked to find out Morello is also an inmate. Morello tells her that everyone goes by last names here, so Piper will be known to most as Chapman. They also discuss how much time they're doing and Morello asks Piper to help her pick a dress for her upcoming wedding. Watson questions whether Morello’s fiancé will still be there for her after she gets out. The final inmate, Dayanara Diaz, arrives, and they drive to the prison.
As they walk to the door, numerous women glare at Piper, Watson and Daya. Morello opens the door, and an elderly inmate, Miss Claudette, steps outside. Morello warns the three new women to stay on Claudette’s good side. She sends them off to get processed. While Piper is getting her ID made, the guards have trouble with the camera. The younger of the two, Bennett, attempts to fix it. Piper notices an unplugged cord and asks if it needs to be plugged in. The other guard, Mendez, rudely tells her to shut up and stand still, despite the fact that she was correct. He takes her picture without warning, resulting in an awful picture for her ID. Next, she gets a health screening. The nurse compliments her veins, and asks if she has any tattoos. Piper shows him a tattoo of a fish on her neck.
Piper meets her counselor, Sam Healy. He asks her about PoPi, Piper and Polly’s soap company. They discuss her crime, criminal conspiracy, and how the prison system works. He explains to her that no one is going to mess with her unless she lets them, and advises her to stay away from the lesbians that reside in Litchfield. She tells him about Larry and he informs her that he will be able to visit this weekend. Healy assures Piper that she will be fine.
Some time later, Morello continues to show the new trio around. She introduces them to Yoga Jones, the inmate who teaches yoga, and asks about Piper’s counselor. Daya asks when they will get beige outfits like everyone else. As Morello answers, another inmate walks up to Daya, slaps her across the face, and walks away. Piper and Watson are shocked. Daya reveals it was her mother.
Morello shows Daya and Piper to the room they'll stay in while they wait to be assigned to dorms. She asks inmate Anita DeMarco to help Piper, and Gloria Mendoza to help Daya. Gloria scolds Daya for not knowing how to speak Spanish. Before she leaves, Morello gives Piper some tissues and a toothbrush. When Piper thanks her, she tells her that they have to look out for their own. She assures her that it’s tribal, not racist. DeMarco introduces Piper to the other women staying in the room. There’s Miss Rosa, an older woman with cancer and Nicky, a woman around Piper’s age who just got out of solitary confinement the week before. DeMarco tells Piper that when she first got to Litchfield she had a massive heart attack, and now needs a machine to sleep at night. She tells Piper how to make a phone call, and offers to make her bed, as she knows how to get it to pass inspection. A guard announces that it is count time. The guards mess up the first time, and have to redo it. Nicky questions Piper about her crime but Piper refuses to answer.
At dinner, Piper doesn’t know where to sit. A woman on kitchen staff, Gina Murphy, instructs her to sit with Yoga Jones. At the table, Jones comforts Piper by telling her to remember that her time at Litchfield is all temporary. Another inmate, Sister Ingalls, comes to sit at the table. Jones explains that Ingalls chained herself to a flagpole at a nuclear test site, and Piper tells them she chained herself to a drug dealer. Nicky arrives and asks Piper about her sexuality, telling her that she has been sensing sapphic vibes from her. Red, the head of the kitchen, comes to the table and gives Nicky, Jones and Ingalls free yogurt. An inmate from another table, Big Boo, comes over and asks if she can have one. Red tells her she can’t have any treats until she gets her a wooden board for her bed. She leaves, and Red asks who Piper is. Nicky introduces her, and Red gives her a yogurt as a gift. She thanks her and says the food here is disgusting. Red immediately stiffens and Nicky explains that Red runs the kitchen. A mortified Piper quickly apologizes and Red says that if she doesn't like the food, it’s no problem, but the other inmates are visibly scared for Piper now.
Piper, as advised to by DeMarco, goes to Joe Caputo’s office to score a free phone call by crying. She tells him that she doesn’t have a PAC number, and then starts to cry. She asks if he will let her call Larry. He allows her two minutes on the phone. When she calls Larry’s phone, his mother Amy picks up. Larry and his father tell her to let Larry speak, but she continuously asks Piper questions about prison. After a few seconds, he manages to get the phone away from her. Piper and Larry talk about a multitude of things that happened on her first day, such as Yoga Jones, DeMarco’s heart attack, and how they are supposed to sleep only on the top of their beds. She tells him that he can visit on Friday, and he says he will be there. They say their goodbyes and Caputo hangs up the phone. He tells her to try to get some rest and that orientation is the next morning at nine. He gives her shampoo and asks her to close the door on the way out. When she leaves, he immediately starts to masturbate.
The next morning, DeMarco wakes up Piper so she can shower before breakfast. Not having any flip-flops, she makes her own out of maxi pads. The previously seen event with Taystee takes place. She hears a woman speaking Spanish in the bathroom stall, and is startled when she opens the door, looking completely disheveled, and exclaims, “Boo!”. Piper jumps and walks away, only to see Nicky and Morello having oral sex in one of the showers.
While in line for food, Piper is approached by Sophia Burset, one of the hairdresser inmates at Litchfield. She compliments her hair, and tells her to come see her if she ever needs it done. Gina gives Piper a meal Red made specially for her, and Piper is naively thrilled. She sits down with Nicky, DeMarco, and Morello and opens up her meal. She discovers a bloody tampon in a sandwich and is horrified. The inmates laugh at her and tell her she has to make it right with Red or this will keep happening. Overwhelmed, Piper runs from the cafeteria and goes outside. As she panics, Alex Vause, her ex-girlfriend and the woman she carried drug money for, walks up to her. Alex says, “Maybe this is a bad time to say hi” and Piper screams.
Note: Flashbacks are arranged in chronological order, not the order in which they occur on the show.
Piper dances seductively, while Alex sits on her bed and reads. Alex calls her over, and she starts to strip. Piper asks her if she's going to miss her while she's away on her next business trip. She tells her yes, and suddenly invites her to come with her, offering to buy her plane ticket. Alex informs her that she will have to quit her job as a waitress, and she complies. Piper asks her if she will get in trouble, and Alex tells her all she will have to do is keep her company. As the two kiss, she accepts Alex's offer.
Sometime later, the two prepare for the trip. Alex covers Piper's neck tattoo of a fish with make up, a part of her disguise. Piper worries that she might get in trouble, but Alex reassures her that she is just a nice blonde lady, picking up her luggage in the baggage claim before heading off to her hotel. She tells her that is everything is fine, and that she will meet her in Brussels.
At the Brussels airport, Piper tells a baggage handler that she can't find her bag. He tells her that they are sometimes put on the wrong flight, and that she should wait for the next one to arrive. After waiting for some time, her bag shows up and she finds Alex. Alex explains that she was starting to worry, and is amazed to find out that Piper accidentally skipped going through customs. Piper tells her she was so worried when the bag didn't show up that she almost bailed. Alex says it is a good thing she didn't, as the bag has over $50,000 in it. The ring would have had Piper killed.
Approximately ten years later, Larry holds Piper's arrest paperwork, and yells at her for not telling him of her past. She explains that it was a phase, and that she was embarrassed of it. He says that he can't believe she did this, and questions if he really knows who she is. Piper starts to sob. He tries to comfort her, but she tells him that he should break up with her, as he didn't sign up for this. He tells her that it's okay. She looks at her papers and reads, "Witness states, Piper Chapman carried drug money. Piper Chapman was part of the ring". Larry asks her if she was, and she replies that she was 22 and was in love. She continues, saying that it eventually got scary and she ran away. Larry says that they'll figure it out, and that he will call his father, a lawyer.
Piper explains the crime she committed to her family. Her mother brings up the topic of her being a lesbian, and she tells them that she was one at the time. Her brother Cal asks her if she still is, and their grandmother, Celeste, tells him of a gay experience she once had, although it wasn't for her. Piper's father asks Larry if he knew about Piper's past. He explains that she failed to mention her lesbian lover who ran an international drug smuggling ring. Celeste asks Piper what she did with the money, and scolds her when she learns that it wasn't about the money at all.
Piper and Larry spend time at the beach. He records her while she shows him her "Lance Armstrong rock", a rock shaped like a penis with one ball. He jokingly tells her to lick it tenderly, and she asks him to shut off the camera. She sits on a nearby towel and tells Larry that while in prison she is going to get ripped, read everything on her Amazon wishlist, and maybe even learn a craft. Larry rummages through his bag and pulls out a plastic bag with an engagement ring in it. She asks him why he would want to marry her, and he tells her that he loves her, knows he will never be bored with her, and can't believe how lucky he was to have met her in the first place. He says that he has to seal their relationship before she leaves for prison, and tells her that they can get married whenever they want, before or after she serves her sentence. She replies that she will be "so ripped", implying she wants to get married after she goes to prison. She tries on the ring, and he tells her it belonged to his great-aunt Marcia. He asks her if it is a yes, and she says it is. Larry asks her to say it one more time, but this time into the camera, revealing he had recorded the whole proposal on his phone.
- "Will I get in trouble?" "God, I hope so!""
- — Piper and Alex
- "Oh, my god, Larry. By the time I get out, there'll have been, like, three new generations of iPhone."
- — Piper to Larry
- "Why wouldn't I want a felonious former lesbian WASP-Shiksa about to go to prison to marry me?"
- — Larry to Piper
- "I was in love. And it was... all crazy. And then it got... scary, and I ran away and became the nice blonde lady that I was supposed to be."
- — Piper to Larry
- "Women fight with gossip and rumors. They might peg you for rich and try to hit you up for commissary."
- — Healy to Piper
- "And there are lesbians. They not gonna bother you. They'll try to be your friends. Just try to stay away from them. I want you to understand... you don't have to have lesbian sex."
- — Healy to Piper
- "Work hard to make something as beautiful and meaningful as you can, and when you're done, pack it in and know it was all temporary."
- — Yoga Jones to Piper
- "This is all just a big adventure with liver and Yoga Jones, and... and... and racism"
- — Larry to Piper
- I'll Take You There - The Staple Singers (1972) (opening scene)
- Benny Latimore - Move And Groove Together (Piper's stripping scene)
- Katie Cruel - This Is Not A Love Song (tampon sandwich scene)
- Jill Barber - Chances (closing credits)