TV Review: Orange Is the New Black (3×01) “Mother’s Day”

One of the biggest problems with Netflix’s general approach is that it’s been a whole year since most of the audience has watched the series. With “Mother’s Day,” they do a solid job quickly recapping what’s been happening at Litchfield. However, there were still things that I personally completely forgot about. Despite this minor detail, I did enjoy how the episode centers around a particular theme and highlights several different characters and reveals their personal experiences.

Anyway, the episode officially begins with Pennsatucky driving the van and stopping at a store with two guards to get decorations for the Mother’s Day celebration. This is important because it shows that Morello was suspended for the whole Rosa incident.

We also learn that Rosa died of cancer. Back at the prison, Suzanne is still convinced that Vee is going to come back for her and doesn’t want to hear anything negative about the situation. It’s heartbreaking to see Crazy Eyes long for a mother figure who made her feel special.

Meanwhile, we also learn that Alex is back at the prison for breaking her parole. She has a reunion with Piper while also later revealing to her the fear that the drug dealer she ratted out is going to kill her.

There’s a lot that happens in this episode and it all can be a little overwhelming. Being able to flashback and see what the holiday means to inmates like Nicky, who thinks about her rich mother that ignored a card that little Nicky carefully made for her.


We also receive a tiny glimpse into Healy’s seemingly difficult childhood. His mom was mentally unstable and we see her drawing on walls and throwing ashtrays at her young son. Aledia thinks about when she gave birth to Daya, and Sophia looks back on the excitement of her wife’s pregnancy. All of these flashbacks are important because they provide a small but vital point of view on these inmates’ (and counselor’s) memories with their own mothers, or with being mothers themselves.

One of the present plots that occur is Sophia giving her son Michael some questionable girl advice. “Find a real insecure girl and practice on her. That way, when you meet a girl you really like, you’ll be good at it.” I think this is poor advice, because how do you think this insecure girl feels about being called insecure in the first place? It just seems like a really hurtful piece of advice to me, personally. What does everyone else think? Another plot happening in the present day is Nicky and Big Boo figuring out a plan to get heroin out of the prison.

At the Mother’s Day event, we see the inmates all having various roles. There’s the stellar mother who sneaks away and does heroin in the porta-potty while she leaves her baby out in the grass. Other inmates like Cindy, Taystee, and Poussey have differing views on the day, as they are in charge of the cups game. Black Cindy and Taystee give the children a hard time, while Poussey is more patient due to her fond memories experienced with her now-dead mother.

We get to see yet another interpretation of the day as Pennsatucky holds a memorial service for all the babies she aborted, using popsicle sticks with each name. Big Boo sees this go down and comforts Tiff by telling her that maybe her children were better off not being born due to her addiction to meth. It’s a tough love approach, but her point is clear and backed up with statistics, so that’s always somewhat comforting. It makes me happy that Big Boo drops a Freakonomics reference in an awesome fashion. This is my favorite scene from the episode because we get to see the friendship between two extremely different people. This is by far the most surprising friendship, and I can’t wait to see it hopefully develop further throughout the season.

What do you guys think about this friendship? Which one is your favorite (through Seasons 1 and 2, but no spoilers from later this season) friendship? Do you like this method of storytelling better than focusing on one character? Let me know what you think!

I’m going to be posting daily reviews, even though I’m off to a late start. If any of you serious binge watchers have already finished or are close to finishing the season and would prefer for me to review even more frequently, let me know! OITNB is one of my favorite shows, so I’m totally excited to talk about it with people who love it just as much.


Rachel is a 19-year-old college student who hopes to become a 7th grade English teacher while also publishing books on the side. She’s had a passion for books since she was barely old enough to walk. (okay, slight exaggeration but you get the idea) Some of her favorite books are Farewell To Arms, To Kill A Mockingbird, Divergent, Matilda, and The Great Gatsby. Aside from books, her other loves include: Bruce Springsteen, Gilmore Girls, Candy Crush, Prince, One Direction, and Tupac. You can contact her at