If there is ever a time to fall in love with Piper’s character, it’s episode 5: The Chickening. This one on one chase to catch the chicken was not only humorous and exciting, but it also allowed me to root for Piper more than ever, all over a chicken. Although I am still thinking about the chicken (is there a hole under a fence, or does it have superpowers?), I am more focused on the main idea of this episode, which is hope. Not many of the character’s have it or want to have it because they’re afraid of losing it (similar to Claudette’s reluctance to put her case back on trial), but something seemingly insignificant as a chicken proved to be a powerful force of hope, desire, and dreaming that all class groups in the jail could be a part of. The fact that the episode ended with the chicken on the other side of the fence was disappointing but I believe it has a moral to it. Piper must keep thinking about getting out of jail, of having that hope that the grass is greener on the side outside of the jail grounds, but that since she is not there yet, she has to continue to survive with the other inmates. She can’t let thoughts of chickens or “hope” cloud her mind as a distraction because it will make her time there even more difficult. She has to learn to get along with everyone so that one day she will finally catch that chicken.
How could I not mention the ending to episode 6: WAC Pack. Just when you think Piper is finally settling in, she ends up being elected as the representative for the white inmates even though she did not run. I also liked how we got to see more of Nicky’s backstory, although it was very brief. I am noticing a recurring theme of irony which is that the women in this prison seem to get something they lacked in the outside world in jail. For example, Daya got into a bad relationship with her mom’s old boyfriend Cesar but starts to find love in the jail with the guard. Nicky apparently had a bad mother figure growing up but, as seen in the second flashback, receives Red’s love. It’s tough love, but it’s sure more than she got before. I am not sure what Piper is lacking in her life, but hopefully as the season progresses the show will reveal more about its main character’s flaws and dreams.