Netflix UK review: Orange Is the New Black Season 2 Episode 3 (Hugs Can Be Deceiving)
Chris Bryant | On 10, Jun 2014
Photo: Jessica Miglio for Netflix.
Episode 3. Piper’s triumphant return. Sort of. Taylor Schilling comes back from outbursts of fear and cockroach training in Chicago to resume Piper’s usual antics. Uncertain about Alex and still in Pennsatucky-induced limbo, Schilling has perfected Chapman’s worried face. This season could give her a little more room to show it off.
Dascha Polanco’s performance as Dayanara Diaz is one of the quietly standout examples of why ‘Orange’ is so beloved. Avoiding every possible cliché of the forbidden love story, Diaz begins to question the secrecy of her relationship with Officer Bennett (a soft and adorable Matt McGorry). Complicated and endearing, both McGorry and Polanco form part of the structure that holds up The Litch’s misfit community.
In spite of Piper’s return and Diaz’s love story, Episode 3 is dominated by one character – who is dominated by another.
Suzanne ‘Crazy Eyes’ Warren’s backstory is finally explored here. Masterfully written, it’s a contrasting story of quirky dialogue and a tragic tale of mental illness. Wide-eyed and erratic, Warren is outstandingly portrayed by Uzo Aduba, who manages to control her oddities, wrestling them from an abstract, comedic whim into a display of saddening, expressive longing. Her unpredictability proves the perfect distraction for Kohan to subtly craft the biggest twist of the show so far.
The episode may revolve around the choices and experiences of Crazy Eyes, but as distressing as they may be, it belongs to the newest addition to The Litch: Vee Parker. Lorraine Toussaint’s O.G. inmate, who once controlled Taystee, arrives in a firework display of contraband, manipulation and cake. Firm and confident, Vee is written and acted in a manner expected of the show. A Western-style sequence with Red suggests bad blood between the two and the pace of her power-grabbing, and her swift adoption of a new pupil, hints that she is about to shake up Litchfield in a major way.
This chaotic display of leading performances and a power-struggle that has the potential to garner Vince Gilligan comparisons is driven by Phil Abraham in the director’s chair. His previous includes The Sopranos and Mad Men and his style is projected expertly onto Orange’s offbeat darkness. Truly a demonstration of what Orange is capable of, Hugs Can Be Deceiving looks like it could catalyse the entire series. But into what?