(This recap was originally published on July 28, 2016, and if the restoration of these recaps has added something to your life, please consider a small donation to yours truly. I’m @Elaine-Atwell on Venmo!)
I’ve been searching everywhere for words. I ran after them in the park, where people wondered what I was doing to myself, sweating buckets in the 100-degree heat. I mounted an expedition for them under the beds in my mom’s house, with a rag and broom in hand (it’s astonishing how much cleaning I get done when queer characters die). I checked the bottoms of several bottles, but found only more tears there. And then I returned (and I hope you’ll forgive me for this) to my own words. The ones I have been saying all along in an attempt to prepare myself for the heavy blow I have always known was coming.
From the pilot: “If you’re looking for a show to fill the OITNB-shaped hole in your heart, this one is actually likely to wound you much deeper.”
From episode 3.7: “WE ARE NOT HERE FOR HAPPINESS. WE ARE HERE TO IMMOLATE OURSELVES ON THE PIRE OF DRAMA AND OCCASIONAL LESBIAN HAND-HOLDING.”
From episode 3.11: “I guess, given that it’s a show that I personally am recapping, we must assume that the lesbian will die. It’s safer on our hearts.”
From 4.1: “If you choose to stay, you need to accept in your heart that…you are consciously making the choice to jump back into the crevasse.”
From last week: “I am prepared to be hurt, because that’s the bargain I made with this show in the beginning.”
I’m not reminding you of all these warnings to say “I told you so.” If anything, I told myself so; I’ve done nothing but prepare myself for tragedy ever since Debbie’s death. And yet, when it came this time, those stabbing blows went right through all my armor as if it wasn’t even there.
The actual recap portion of this recap is going to be very brief, because only one thing matters (or possibly nothing matters, I have yet to decide).
When Bea wakes up, it is with that delicious sense of satiation that follows your first time with a woman. It’s composed of one-half “So that’s how my back is supposed to be aligned,” and one-half “It didn’t taste like chicken or fish, thank Jesus.”
That’s the last free moment we get, and it’s not even really free because you and I already know what Bea finds when she goes to the bathroom. Allie Novak, slumped against the wall, with a Freak-load of heroin coursing through her veins. Bea pushes the panic button (ah the irony) and Allie is rushed to the hospital, clinging to life.