Warning: spoilers ahead
Following Orange is the New Black’s tense premiere episode, F***, Marry, Frieda kicks off with a welcome respite, flashing back to Frieda as a young Nature Scout, and setting up her role to come.
“Do you know the Nature Scout motto? Do you know what it means?” Frieda asks a scared compatriot.
“What if your mum ran away one day and there were no more finger sandwiches?
“What if the sky went dark and all the crops died? Would you know which plants were safe to eat and which ones would make you vomit until you’re dead?”
She continues: “Could you kill an animal and clean it without cutting the intestines?
“Could you take its skin and salt it and tan it to keep warm? Or would you sit in the corner with your doll and wait to die?”
Frieda’s backstory reveals she’s a survivalist – but her main role in the episode and the riot is surprisingly small.
As two prison guards play a game of f***, marry, kill with the white supremacist inmates they’ve captured, Frieda is busy creating a device to blow ‘poisoned’ darts at the COs.
Yeah, her “craft project” results in the group freeing themselves, and yeah, she has some very useful tricks in a riot situation, but her backstory suggested she’d be more vital.
Meanwhile, Caputo is still being held hostage by Taystee, Cindy, Janae and Alison – who are disappointed that their confessional Poussey video is “nothing but Sideboob” instead of replicating the success of “hamster with the burrito”.
Later on, when Cindy discovers she’s been made into a ‘Black Lattes Matter’ meme after their video hit YouTube, Taystee breaks down because Poussey’s death is becoming a joke.
As a whole, the episode rather meanderingly follows the riot – depicting the inmates running around, terrorising guards and generally, well, rioting.
That said, Maria’s hostage party in the chapel makes for tense viewing, as she gets her crew to march the blindfolded guards before a baying crowd, displaying them on stage and stripping them.
Dayanara – who comes round after being knocked out to find her gun has been stolen – takes more of a backseat in this instalment.
This is fortunate, considering her prior attempt to lead the riot was disastrous.
Elsewhere, Sophia’s still being compassionate as she cares for CO Humphrey in medical, despite his transphobic comment in episode one, and the horrors she suffered last season
Her attempts are thwarted, however, as Humphrey is sandwiched between Suzanne and Maureen – who are still in medical after being forced to fight by guards, including Humphrey, last season.
The injured trio has a disturbing conversation about how best to murder people, with Humphrey telling them it’s sometimes best to “use something on hand”.
Maureen does just that (by blowing bubbles into his IV), sparking perhaps the most shocking scene in the episode as the CO has a massive stroke.
Piper and Alex are seen still being boring taking a backseat in both the riot and prison life – although it’s a relief when Alex calls out Maria and her crew, refusing to be part of the events in the chapel – which constitute, even for us at home, pretty uncomfortable viewing.