"Sing It, White Effie" is the fifth episode of the fifth season of Orange Is the New Black. It is the fifty-seventh episode of the series overall. It premiered on June 9, 2017. It was written by Molly Smith Metzler and directed by Phil Abraham.
As the morning of the second day of the riot dawns over the prison, the power comes back on and wakes everyone. An ecstatic Gina Murphy is the one responsible, having taught herself how to repair the main power line from a YouTube video. When the power comes back on, so does the rec room TV, showing the sensational footage of a hostage Judy King caught by the news copter on the roof the night before. Because her captors, Brandy Epps and Skinhead Helen, are wearing black cloths over their heads, conservative media outlets claim Judy has been taken prisoner by Muslims because of her Christian faith. Also watching the news in their respective offices are the governor and MCC's president. The governor informs MCC's president that he will be sending in a crisis response team, at MCC's expense.
Noticing the large crowd of reporters gathered outside, Maritza Ramos and Flaca Gonzales stand in the window wearing homemade schoolgirl outfits fashioned from prison uniforms. They pose for the cameras, intending to get their fifteen minutes of fame. Cabrera tries to join, but when the photographers motion for her to get out of the picture, she moons them instead. Flaca and Maritza next turn to making YouTube videos, starting with a "day in the life" starring Maritza and her DIY contour/highlight kit made of kitchen spices. Later, the video has received thousands of views, but most of the comments are about how attractive Maritza is, disappointing Flaca.
Gloria Mendoza, still trying to play a motherly role toward Dayanara Diaz, tries to convince her to help clean up the kitchen. However, Daya is still angry at Gloria for stealing the gun from her, and tells Gloria she wants nothing to do with her. Suzanne Warren, who needs a routine in order to function, is agitated that no one has prepared breakfast, so Gloria offers her a yogurt cup out of pity.
Aleida Diaz, having been released in season 4, walks into a nail salon looking for a job. She touts her own nail art as experience, but is taken off guard when the owner informs her she will need to pay $20 per day for two weeks in order to train to work there. Aleida loudly curses the woman out and leaves the salon. That same afternoon, Aleida receives a call from Gloria. Aleida lies and tells Gloria that she's entertaining multiple job offers, while Gloria tries to tell Aleida about the riot and Daya's role in it but falters. This backfires, however, as Aleida sees the news while at the laundromat and realizes Gloria was lying to her about everything being fine. Aleida calls the news station to complain about how they portrayed the inmates at Litchfield. The producer is initially disinterested in the conversation, but offers Aleida an interview when she realizes Aleida was in prison with Judy King.
The white supremacist girls - Brandy, Helen, and Kasey Sankey - have taken Judy as a personal slave and force her to cook them breakfast. Taystee, Black Cindy, Janae Watson, and Alison Abdullah scold them for causing the misrepresentation of the situation at Litchfield to the media, and insist they turn Judy over so they can prove she isn't being tortured. Sankey informs Taystee and company that they will have to buy Judy from them, and the two groups begin haggling. When they reach an impasse, Sankey decides to auction Judy off to the highest bidder. Brandy hands the auction to Cindy after she puts up a 2007 Anne Geddes baby calendar and Lisa Frank rainbow unicorn stickers, much to Sankey's annoyance. Cindy enjoys using Judy as slave labor, forcing her to give her a pedicure, until Taystee shows up - with Josh the PR rep/hostage in tow - insisting Judy needs to give a press conference to mitigate the damage done to the riot by the media. Josh, doing Taystee's bidding, instructs Judy to stick to the talking points: that she herself is not a hostage, that the rioters want justice for Poussey Washington, and that the inmates' demands need to be met. When Josh suggests Judy share a personal experience from her time in the prison, she comes up short, having been given special treatment for the duration of her stay. Janae expresses dismay that Judy will be speaking for them despite this, but Taystee insists it's better for publicity if the inmates' stories come from Judy's mouth due to her celebrity status.
Tiffany Doggett sneaks off to the laundry room with CO Coates to be alone, and the two are talking and kissing when they are discovered by Carrie Black ("Boo"). Tiffany hurriedly hides Coates in a dryer so he isn't seen, then rushes off after Boo, who is appalled that Tiffany is sneaking around with Coates after he raped her in Season 3 and warns her that if she is caught they will both likely be thrown into the bubble with the hostages. While Tiffany is gone, Coates is discovered by Leanne Taylor and Angie Rice, who are searching for the gun (which they hid prior to going to sleep and woke up unable to remember where it was.) Leanne and Angie want to parade Coates around before forcing him into the bubble with the other hostages, so Tiffany tags along to try and get Coates away from them. Seeing that the gun has been hanging in its holster on Angie's belt the entire time, Tiffany seizes it and throws it to Coates so he can get away, but the gun discharges and shoots off the tip of Leanne's finger.
Out in the yard, the population of inmates slowly grows as more and more women quit the riot. Alex Vause and Piper Chapman bicker over how to arrange their shared space as though they were a newly cohabiting couple. Piper is also upset over Alex's nonchalance over whether or not she is reported for murdering Aydin Bayat, noting that Alex's lack of concern over what happens to herself reflects a lack of concern for she and Piper's future together. Red, amped up on energy vitamins, furiously berates Caputo (still sealed in "the Poo", the Porta-Potty being used as a punishment cell) for hiring CO Piscatella at Litchfield despite his having killed an inmate at his prior prison. Caputo tells her there is nothing either of them can do as Piscatella never had charges brought against him, but his comment about the unlikelihood of Piscatella confessing gives Red an idea.
CO Stratman annoys his captors Maria Ruiz, Pidge, and Ouija by repeatedly asking to be taken to the bathroom. Maria tells him to use the bucket the hostages have been given, but Stratman suffers from shy bladder and cannot go in front of others. He starts to distract himself from his discomfort by singing, but this only agitates his fellow hostages. Maria, finally fed up, takes him out and seals him in another Porta-Potty in the yard. While she works, Caputo attempts to talk her into letting him out by promising her he will make sure her sentence is not extended once the riot ends. Maria replies that Piscatella already extended her sentence by five years, but Caputo informs her that if she never had a hearing, it's unlikely the extension ever went through, and it's possible that Piscatella's recommendation never even made it into her inmate file. Despite the good news, Maria does not let Caputo out - she is too busy running back to the prison to see her file for herself, which does not, in fact, contain an additional five years.
Taystee and company lead Judy King and Josh outside the prison to give a statement to the press. However, her mind changed by Janae, Taystee does not have Judy finish the statement. She states that Judy cannot speak for the other inmates due to the special treatment she received while at Litchfield, and urges onlookers to actually read the inmates' demands instead of believing everything they see online. She then releases Judy. Just then, Coates runs up with the gun and demands to be let outside. The police outside demand he drop his weapon, and Coates faints.
An adolescent Janae is shown as an exceptionally bright student attending a conspicuously underfunded urban public school. Janae's teacher, seeing special potential in her, takes care to make sure Janae attends a field trip to an expensive prep school, telling Janae that she wants her to see what the future holds if she continues to work hard.
At the prep school, Janae and her classmates on the field trip are uncomfortably aware that they are the only black children on campus. Janae is introduced to a student named Courtney, who is her "buddy" for the day. Chattering away, Courtney walks a quiet Janae through the school, which boasts upscale features such as a botany garden, reading room, and laptop computers issued for personal use. The centerpiece of the tour is the theater, where Janae is brought to witness part of a rehearsal of Dreamgirls. The actresses, like all the other students at the school, are white. As the student playing Effie sings "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going" - a song rooted in gospel tradition and first recorded by a black singer - Janae allows angry tears to fall down her face.
Back in her regular English class after the field trip, Janae is visibly disengaged from the lesson and far more aware of the shabbiness of her classroom compared to what she saw at the prep school. She has also earned a D on a recent paper, which her teacher tells her will need to be signed by a parent. It is then that Janae explodes, expressing frustration that she is not learning the same things or given the same resources as the more privileged children at the prep school. This appears to be a turning point for Janae, as she no longer sees a reason to keep working hard in school.
Memorable Quotes Edit
- "Alex Vause, may I put my prison-issue mattress next to your bulldozer scoopie thingy, and ride out a nightmare with you?"
- — Piper Chapman
- "But why even bother playin' a game that's rigged?"
- — Janae Watson
- "How long does it take to fry, poach and scramble some damn eggs?"
- — Brandy to Judy King
- "I'm going to the guest room!"
- — Piper Chapman about their 'dirt home' to Alex after a fight
- "What? Do you not want me to feel comfortable in our dirt home"
- — Alex Vause, on Piper's criticism of her clutter
- "Over-medium is considered the gold standard"
- — Judy King to Cindy, on the best way to cook eggs
Main Cast Edit
- Taylor Schilling as Piper Chapman
- Natasha Lyonne as Nicky Nichols
- Uzo Aduba as Suzanne "Crazy Eyes" Warren
- Danielle Brooks as Tasha "Taystee" Jefferson
- Adrienne C. Moore as Cindy "Black Cindy" Hayes
- Jackie Cruz as Marisol "Flaca" Gonzales
- Lea DeLaria as Carrie "Big Boo" Black
- Michael Harney as Sam Healy (credit only)
- Selenis Leyva as Gloria Mendoza
- Taryn Manning as Tiffany Doggett
- Jessica Pimentel as Maria Ruiz
- Dascha Polanco as Dayanara Diaz
- Elizabeth Rodriguez as Aleida Diaz
- Nick Sandow as Joe Caputo
- Yael Stone as Lorna Morello
- Vicky Jeudy as Janae Watson
- with Kate Mulgrew as Galina "Red" Reznikov
- and Laura Prepon as Alex Vause
Guest Starring Edit
- The episode was leaked on April 28, 2017.
- The receiver playing when the power comes on again is a Pioneer SX 535 from the mid-70's.