Your ‘Orange Is The New Black’ Season 1 Refresher Course

The breakout Netflix original series Orange Is the New Black returns for Season 2 this Friday. It’s been about 11 months since Season 1 appeared on the Internet like a beautiful summer gift, tailor-made for binge-watching on a lazy weekend afternoon. If you watched it all at once, as I did (twice in a row!), and haven’t revisited it since then, you may be a little hazy on certain details. There is still time to marathon the season again before Friday, but just in case you’re busy with life, here’s a recap of all the important moments from each episode.


Episode 101 — “I Wasn’t Ready”
Featured Inmate: Piper

The pilot quickly sets up the series: Piper, our main character, begins serving a 15-month sentence in a women’s federal prison. The episode sets up the outside characters (her brother, her best friend, and her fiancé Larry, who is more often known among fans as “The Worst”) and introduces a few of the inmates (Morello, the adorably accented inmate obsessed with planning her wedding, and Daya, who soon finds out she’s in the same prison as her mother — when her mother waltzes up and smacks her). There is Sam Healy, Piper’s absolutely terrible counselor with an unnatural vendetta against lesbians, a vendetta that is so comically upsetting that it’s as if lesbians murdered his childhood dog.

By the end, Piper has accidentally insulted Red (the prison cook) by bad-mouthing the food — “an epic fuck-up,” someone points out — and is punished with a used tampon hidden in her breakfast sandwich. It’s too much for Piper to deal with and she rushes outside, struggling to regain her bearings as the world spins around her, and then the big twist of the series happens: she finds out that Alex, the ex-girlfriend who landed Piper in jail, is in the same prison.