Love Orange Is the New Black as much as we do? In lieu of the recent Season 2 premiere, we thought we would provide a visual recap of Season 1, just in case you weren’t up to date.
The season premieres with Piper Chapman being sentenced to fifteen months in prison for a crime committed ten years earlier with her then-girlfriend, Alex Vause. Piper, now engaged to Larry Bloom, must leave her home and life to serve her time.
As Piper attempts to learn her way around, she inadvertently offends Red, the head of the prison kitchen system. Red retaliates by serving Piper a sandwich with a special treat in the middle—a used tampon.
Piper is shocked to find out that Alex Vause, her ex-girlfriend, with whom she committed the crime, is also incarcerated at the same prison.
After offensively insulting Red’s food, Piper is refused food and is told she’s being “starved out.” With the help (and introduction) of another character, Crazy Eyes, she uses chili peppers to make a medicinal lotion for Red’s aching back.
In flashbacks, we learn more about Red’s life before prison. Years earlier, she attempted to befriend the wives of well-connected Russian businessmen, and later, in a confrontation, Red accidentally pops one of the wives’ breast implants. Red and her husband are told they owe $60,000 for the implant and, when they cannot pay, Red’s husband agrees to hold secret packages for the businessmen.
Crazy Eyes gives Piper this nickname because her hair is blonde. Dandelion deals with romantic advances from Crazy Eyes, but firmly rejects her after she puts in a request to bunk with Piper. Piper is then assigned to bunk with Miss Claudette, a mysterious prisoner who’s been there longer than anyone and rarely speaks.
In flashbacks, we learn of Sophia’s journey, from her gender reassignment surgery to the credit card fraud she committed to fund the surgery. When the prison is hit with budget cuts, Sophia’s dose of exogenous estrogen needed to maintain her physique is also cut.
Piper is assigned to work in the electrical shop. When she accidentally leaves the electrical shop with a screwdriver, everyone in the prison is searched. The screwdriver remains missing, and disappears from Piper’s belongings.
Miss Claudette receives a letter from her long-lost friend Baptiste, potentially rekindling a past life. Officer Bennett and an inmate named Daya begin passing secret notes to each other, hidden in small places around the prison grounds.
After a renewed faith brought on by Baptiste’s visit, Piper helps Miss Claudette with her appeal letter and, in turn, is bombarded with requests to help other inmates with their appeal letters as well.
While in the exercise yard, Piper sees a chicken. When she tells the others what she saw, Red offers a reward to the inmate who finds the chicken so that she can cook it. The prison goes awry with inmates searching for chickens and rumors of chickens. In the end, the chicken is regarded as a mythical sighting, and is forgotten.
Daya attacks her mother, Aleida, for attempting to have sex with Bennett. After Bennett tells her that he turned Aleida down, they become intimate in a broom closet, during which she discovers he has a prosthetic leg.
The guards get wind of lewd pictures being sent from inside the prison. When they search for the missing cell phone, Piper finds it behind a brick in the wall of the bathroom.
Piper and Alex flirt and reminisce while fixing a dryer together. Pennsatucky locks Alex into the dryer and Piper and Alex work together to get it unlocked.
Piper’s best friend Polly gives birth. Daya realizes that she is pregnant—with Officer Bennett’s baby.
Red has been using her role as kitchen head to sneak contraband into the prison for the inmates. Officer Mendez uses Red’s smuggling connections with Neptune’s Produce to move drugs into the prison, against Red’s will.
Tricked by Watson and exacerbated by the other inmates, Pennsatucky begins to believe that she has divine healing powers. When the Scared Straight program arrives at the prison, Pennsatucky attempts to heal one of the juvenile delinquents by forcibly removing her from her wheelchair – a move that lands Pennsatucky in the psychiatric ward.
Officer Mendez manipulates an inmate named Miller into selling drugs that he smuggled into the prison. Later, he notices she’s in a bad state, obviously from taking the drugs, so he locks her in a utility closet to keep her quiet. When he returns, he finds that Miller has taken the drugs, overdosed, and died. To keep from being found out, Mendez makes it look she hung herself in the closet.
After Larry writes an article surrounding Piper’s situation, he is interviewed on public radio, an interview that Piper tells all of the inmates about in advance. During the interview, Larry’s comments are hurtful and his information is misconstrued.
Alex gives Piper the choice to either “nest” with Larry, or be prepared for the unexpected with her. Piper thinks on it, and tells Alex that she is choosing Larry. Alex cuts Piper out of her life, refusing to speak to her. After visiting Alex in prison, and being told that it was Piper who initiated their relationship, Larry decides to break up with Piper. When Piper attempts to go back to Alex, she refuses, telling Piper that she will no longer be her “security blanket”.
After Piper refuses Pennsatucky’s offer to baptize her, she becomes a target for Pennsatucky, and is repeatedly harassed. The night of the Prison Nativity Play, the last song moves Piper and she goes outside to cry, followed by Pennsatucky. When Pennsatucky confronts her and Piper realizes that a fight is about to ensue, she calls out to Mr. Healy for help, but he abandons her, leaving the two outside alone. Pennsatucky charges at Piper with a shiv made out of a wooden Christian cross. The episode and season end with Piper on top of Pennsatucky, repeatedly hitting her in the face.