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"The Animals" is the twelfth episode of the fourth season of Orange Is the New Black. It is the fifty-first episode of the series overall. It premiered on June 17, 2016. It was written by Lauren Morelli and directed by Matthew Weiner.
Baxter Bayley runs outside as Joe Caputo arrives at the prison to tell him about the guards forcing the inmates to fight. He also reveals Desi Piscatella ran interrogations on the prisoners against his wishes. He thanks Bayley for telling him.
Taystee and Poussey Washington comfort Suzanne Warren telling her the fight between her and Maureen was not her fault. She has zoned out and is unresponsive. Poussey wonders whether they should call Suzanne's mother but Taystee is afraid that will get Suzanne taken away. The white supremacist inmates enter their dorm and Taystee assumes they want to fight - but they actually want to band together with the black inmates to take the guards down.
Piscatella is still disallowing Galina 'Red' Reznikov to sleep, even after over 24 hours of minimal rest. Poussey and Brook Soso sneak into the makeshift time machine and start planning their future together. Taystee and Sankey recruit the Hispanics to help with targeting Piscatella and taking him down, making everyone agree to stop in-fighting. Alex wakes Piper and tells her work is cancelled for the day. They also reconnect and talk about their future together, as do Poussey and Soso.
Caputo aggressively approaches Thomas Humphrey about the inmate fight, suspending him for a month without pay. Piscatella overrides this, however, and starts making his own rules despite Caputo being his superior. He proposes another walkout if Caputo doesn't let him do what he wants.
Red, Taystee, Maria and their girls all discuss what to do about the guards but most of them are out of options, aside from poisoning. Stephanie Hapakuka suggests a peaceful protest, because it worked for another prison she knew of. Racial tension spills over again and the inmates assume there's no chance they can all unite for a protest. Nursing nasty hangovers, Yoga Jones and Judy King clash over their privilege within the prison. Poussey stops by and asks Judy if she can work with her after they both get out of prison. Judy graciously accepts and gives Poussey her phone number. Judy later reveals via a phone call that she is supposed to have been released from prison already. She is furious that she has to remain in longer than she expected.
Sophia Burset is back in minimum and runs into Gloria Mendoza in the bathroom, who tries to make her feel welcome. Sophia isn't interested. At lunch, Nicky Nichols brings Tiffany Doggett to her table to mixed reaction. Piscatella taunts an exhausted Red, and Doggett spreads the word about the movement going on to get him fired. Carrie 'Big Boo' Black taunts Doggett about Charlie Coates. Blanca Flores implores Maria to keep going with the protest, highlighting what's happened to both of them recently.
Caputo tells Bayley to get out of the job and the system before it destroys him. Doggett approaches Big Boo about their strained friendship ever since Doggett forgave Coates. She says "the difference between pain and suffering is pain is always there. But suffering is a choice, and you, my friend, you're suffering". She says she's been reading about forgiveness in the Bible and tells Boo she needs to do the same. She says "I forgave him for me, I think you're capable of doing something like that considering nothing happened to you, you big turd". They repair their friendship. Later, Boo threatens Coates by slapping him in the face and says he has one chance left to act right, and tells him his "ass looks good naked" referring to the time they stripped and left him in the laundry room.
Poussey and Soso argue about the effectiveness of a peaceful protest. Poussey cannot be convinced it will work, which offends Soso. Lorna "Morello" Muccio's paranoia kicks into overdrive as she explodes on the phone to her husband, accusing him of cheating with her sister. Later in the cafeteria, she claims she and her husband are going to start trying for a baby.
Red tries to talk some sense into Sam Healy, telling him "you don't get to have a crisis right now" because the inmates need him. She tells him to go home but he just moves from one seat in his office to the other. She catches on and says "Okay, we'll just sit here then". He later leaves and checks himself into a local psychiatric hospital. Piper and Alex hook up in the makeshift time machine whilst Angie and Leanne keep guard in exchange for payment. Gloria helps Sophia reclaim the beauty salon from the Hispanic girls, and helps her put her wig back on. Bayley and Coates talk in the chapel about whether the prison changes a person or not. Bayley confesses that he was offered sexual favors and about his panty smuggling.
Caputo visits Natalie Figueroa and apologizes for misjudging how difficult her job was. She asks "They broke you too, huh?". She also mentions that more new inmates are on their way and the construction work the current inmates are being made to do is for a new dorm, to which Caputo is shocked. She invites him in but he explains he's dating Linda now, calling her a "weird, lying, gun-toting, manipulative, corporate" girlfriend. Fig promises they'll just talk and have a glass of wine, so he accepts.
In the cafeteria, Red has fallen asleep on the job. Piscatella grabs her, delivers a degrading speech about how the inmates deserve nothing and throws her onto the cafeteria floor. Blanca takes her place atop the cafeteria table again and Piper immediately joins her. Soon, every single inmate stands atop the tables. Poussey catches Soso's eye and mouths "I'm sorry, baby" and Soso smiles. Stephanie tells Piscatella they will not move till he resigns. The guards begin to take each inmate down. Bayley, on Piscatella's orders, grabs Suzanne who immediately becomes violent due to the chaos and attacks him. Poussey grabs Bayley to try to pull him away from Suzanne, but he tackles Poussey to the ground so she's lying on her stomach. He leans his knee on her back and his hand on the back of her neck. As Suzanne beats on him, he fails to notice Poussey is dying from compression asphyxia, her last words being "I can't breathe" and "Get off me". As she dies, Taystee is being dragged away by a guard, and she sees Poussey's lifeless body through the tables. She escapes the guard and runs to Poussey, collapsing beside her. The cafeteria goes silent and everyone crowds around as a devastated Taystee weeps on the floor next to her dead best friend.
Note: Flashbacks are arranged in chronological order, not the order in which they occur on the show.
Bayley reluctantly climbs up a large water tower with his friends. He ponders what it'd be like if someone fell from the height they're at, and his friends aren't impressed with his gloomy attitude. Once they're all up, they share beers and smoke weed. They talk about graduating and how strange it feels to be an adult now. Bayley remarks that Litchfield Penitentiary almost looks pretty at night, all lit up. One of the other boys notes it looks like their school. Another shares the local tale that one of the inmates cut her husband's penis off and the boys laugh. Suddenly, police appear to arrest the boys for trespassing.
Teenage Baxter Bayley is working at a small independent ice cream shop, where he serves a girl a cone for free. The girl walks past his friends, who catcall her, and she leaves disgusted. Bayley tells them to stop being creepy. Bayley's manager calls him over and fires him, explaining that he's given away $30 worth of free ice cream every day to girls and he's been caught on the security cameras. The store owner has been struggling to keep the place open and that he can barely make ends meet as is. His boss refuses to pay him for the week as well. He returns to his friends dejected, but celebrates having more free time.
Later that day, Bayley's friends take him to his former boss' house and encourage him to throw eggs at it. They all proceed to do so, then drive off when they hear a car coming. They continue throwing eggs at various signs or houses as they drive through the streets. They end up driving past Litchfield where inmates are sweeping leaves outside. Bayley throws an egg directly at Frieda Berlin, who yells "You can't do that! I'm a human being!" in response. Former CO Donaldson orders her to get back to work. Whilst his friends laugh and celebrate, Bayley sits down in the back of the truck and looks remorseful.
Later in a police station holding cell, Bayley and Dillon start panicking about being imprisoned. The on-duty officers explain they should expect a hefty prison sentence for hiring hookers and taking drugs. The boys are stunned and deny this, but the officers go to leave, telling them to explain it to a judge leaving Bayley panicking even more. The officers immediately return, explain they were just playing a prank on the boys to scare them and they're free to go. Bayley argues this, as they were smoking weed. The officer asks Dillion if Bayley is serious about wanting to be charged and Dillion brushes it off and hustles Bayley out of the cell.
- Last appearance of Poussey Washington (Alive).
- The episode is written by Samira Wiley's real life wife, Lauren Morelli.
- In his flashback, we see Bayley is let go despite his possession of weed, whereas Poussey was sentenced to six years jail for the same thing.
- The episode title may refer to the series theme song, which opens with "The animals, the animals...".
- Unlike other episodes which fade to orange at the conclusion, this one fades to black instead.
- In "(Don't) Say Anything" when Poussey is confused by Judy King smiling and signalling her to come over in the cafeteria, Suzanne says "Maybe she can see ghosts and there's a dead person standing right in front of you". Poussey then remarks "I feel like I'm the dead person".
- According to a post by Dascha Polance on October 30, 2015 of a cake that includes the episode titles of Season 4, this episode was originally supposed to be called "The Fidgabuster".
- This episode marks the last interaction between Red and Healy, effectively the end of their relationship as Healy resigns from Litchfield and checks himself into the Eastern Psychiatric Institute.
- " Prison wasn't built on humanity, inmate."
- — Desi Piscatella
- " I can't breathe."
- — Poussey Washington
- Taylor Schilling as Piper Chapman
- Natasha Lyonne as Nicky Nichols
- Uzo Aduba as Suzanne "Crazy Eyes" Warren
- Danielle Brooks as Tasha "Taystee" Jefferson
- Jackie Cruz as Marisol "Flaca" Gonzales
- Lea DeLaria as Carrie "Big Boo" Black
- Michael Harney as Sam Healy
- Selenis Leyva as Gloria Mendoza
- Taryn Manning as Tiffany Doggett
- Adrienne C. Moore as Cindy "Black Cindy" Hayes
- Dascha Polanco as Dayanara Diaz
- Elizabeth Rodriguez as Aleida Diaz (credit only)
- Nick Sandow as Joe Caputo
- Yael Stone as Lorna Morello
- Samira Wiley as Poussey Washington
- with Kate Mulgrew as Galina "Red" Reznikov
- and Laura Prepon as Alex Vause
- Alan Alansberg as Baxter Bayley
- Blair Brown as Judy King
- Laverne Cox as Sophia Burset
- Asia Kate Dillon as Brandy Epps
- Kimiko Glenn as Brook Soso
- Annie Golden as Norma Romano
- Laura Gómez as Blanca Flores
- Diane Guerrero as Maritza Ramos
- Brad William Henke as Desi Piscatella
- Mike Houston as CO Lee Dixon
- Vicky Jeudy as Janae Watson
- Julie Lake as Angie Rice
- John Magaro as Vince Muccio
- James McMenamin as CO Charlie Coates
- Emma Myles as Leanne Taylor
- Jessica Pimentel as Maria Ruiz
- Jolene Purdy as Stephanie Hapakuka
- Alysia Reiner as Natalie Figueroa
- Abigail Savage as Gina Murphy
- Constance Shulman as Erica Jones
- Dale Soules as Frieda Berlin
- Amanda Stephen as Alison Abdullah
- Brendan Burke as Wade Donaldson
- Rosal Colón as Carmen Aziza
- Francesca Curran as Helen Van Maele
- Olivia Luccardi as Jennifer Digori
- Daniella De Jesus as Cabrera
- Evan Hall as CO B. Stratman
- Kelly Karbacz as Kasey Sankey
- Miriam Morales as Ramona Contreras
- Emily Tarver as CO Artesian McCullough
- Michael Torpey as CO Thomas Humphrey
- Last appearance of Wade Donaldson
- Highest rated non-finale episode overall of Orange is the New Black according to IMDb
- This is the only episode in which the screeen does not turn orange before the end credits.
- Release Me - Corrina Repp (credits)