Netflix released all 13 episodes of the third season of Orange Is the New Black last week, so you’re all caught up now, right? Season 3 played with our emotions. There was intense drama—including a suicide attempt, a hate crime and heartbreaking visits to the SHU—but OITNB also delivered inspired comedy. You can thank a bedbug infestation, Crazy Eyes’ erotica and a scheme to pass as Jewish for some of season 3’s biggest laughs.
1. Reading is fundamental.
In the wake of a bedbug infestation, the library books are burned and book lover Taystee delivers a fiery (no pun intended) eulogy: “We are gathered here today to remember those that were martyred in the conflagration of three days ago. It is a sad day when any book is not returned, or when it is returned but with pages missing ’cause some fool needed to write a note or they needed to wipe their nasty ass, but anyway. … To have our entire flock taken from us is almost beyond reckoning. So we take this time to honor those titles that we lost.”
2. Don't let the bedbugs bite.
To ward off bedbugs, Black Cindy enthusiastically performs a song-and-dance routine as she spritzes her skin with an aerosol disinfectant: “Little spray here, little spray there. Ooh, a little spray in my underwear. Makes the buggies back off. Ooh, makes the buggies piss off. Makes the buggies back way the f—k off, way the f—k off.” It’s possible that the bedbugs could die laughing.
3. Common sense is the better answer.
A dubious Taystee watches Black Cindy’s absurd musical number: “This is like the Titanic of bad ideas. Like we’re steering out of the way of bedbugs and crashing into an iceberg of chemical burns and s—t.”
4. Squirrels are thieving winos.
Poussey thinks a squirrel has been stealing her hooch. Crazy Eyes notes that Poussey’s laundry bag looks alive, but Poussey has an explanation: “Nah, It’s that furry alkie that’s been stealing my jail juice! Yeah, I caught it this morning. I’ll turn that punk into a hat.” Crazy Eyes seems to be the sanest inmate right now.
5. Aliens need love, too.
Crazy Eyes defends the erotica she’s written: “It’s not just sex. It’s love. It’s two people connecting … with four other people and aliens.”
6. Is that kosher?
The newly privatized prison saves money by replacing the food with unappetizing, prepackaged slop, but some of the inmates find out that there are tasty kosher meals for Jewish inmates. Black Cindy is determined to make sure she passes for Jewish so that she can keep eating the meals, so she searches for certain TV shows and movies. “I got to get ahead of this thing. Come and try to bust me for not being the real Jew deal. I got to throw some knowledge back at ’em. … I’m going for the Jewish experience, you feel me? Get all cultural on them should be mad convincing. Man, I need some, like, Seinfeld episodes. Oh, ka-ching, check it out. Woody f—king Allen!”
7. Quality writing is overrated.
Poussey ends up reading Crazy Eyes’ story and begs for more. She tells Crazy Eyes, “You know it’s weird as f—k, right? But it just, it sucked me in. I just want to kick back with some bootleg and just escape from this place. I even lost track of time reading it. Or I blacked out. Look, either way, the s—t is hot.”
8. Locked up without lox.
Taystee is annoyed when she is no longer served kosher meals: “Let me guess. Not on the list. Man, I told that rabbi I was Drake’s cousin. Worked that whole black-Jewish-mafia thing. But I guess he ain’t never heard of Drake.”
Elaine G. Flores is a New York writer, editor and bon vivant. She’s a hard-core shipper and excommunicated soap opera reviewer. Her fictional dinner-party guests include Omar Little, Buffy Summers, Abigail Mills and Ichabod Crane. You can visit her site, TV Recappers Delight.