Everyone is super excited for the Christmas pageant, which centers around a telling of the Nativity story. Sister Ingalls and Burset are in charge of casting (along with the prison chaplain) and to say the auditions are unique would be quite the understatement. There's moonwalking, dirty jokes, beatboxing, juggling, animal impressions and even Suzanne pretending to ice skate. Taystee has a big belty voice and does quite a lovely rendition of "Go Tell It On the Mountain." Tucky shows up and spouts off about how she's tired of being cast as the ox and the donkey (insert your own she's-an-ass joke here) and would like to be the angel, because her current life mission is spreading the good word.
There's also some interesting gift-giving going on among the white gals, as they come up with their own Secret Santa. Red's usually super excited for this, but since she's been ousted from the kitchen and Gloria is the new head chef, she's miserably eating cup of soups that she sneaks in and microwaves when no one is looking. Morello unsurprisingly can't keep a secret, and makes Boo some lovely socks, Nichols makes Morello a dream honeymoon collage (with herself in cartoon form as the groom), Alex tries to make Nichols earrings but ends up just fingering her instead and Boo gives Piper back the screwdriver.
Why would Piper want the screwdriver back? And can we at least hope that it was sanitized after being in close proximity to Boo's ladybits? It seems that Tucky is genuinely trying to kill her. Like all dead, not just mostly dead. She leaves a dead rat in her cell with a poorly written threat. Black Cindy advises a course of action that involves kicking Tucky in the cooch if provoked. Of course Healy isn't going to help Piper out at all; he won't even give her the marriage request form that she wants since she defied him.
So about the whole marriage thing. Turns out that Piper told Alex that she was picking Larry. "We both know I don't have the balls to free fall through life with you." True, but Alex is still pissed and tells Piper that she wants nothing to ever do with her again, and she doesn't want to hear her bitching when it all falls apart. But even though she broke up with her hot girlfriend, Piper still can't marry Larry without the request form. Thankfully, Natalie calls Piper in to tell her that the GED program has been reinstated and would love it if Piper told her "husband" all about the improvements at the jail so that nosy reporters wouldn't come sniffing around. Piper counters that she only wishes that Larry could actually be her husband, but Healy snitched about her lesbian encounter and also won't give her the request form. Natalie quickly agrees to cut a deal, and she's pissed at Healy and later tells him to put an end to his lesbian witch hunts and calling inmates significant others.
But while Piper is trying to negotiate all of this, Larry is getting horrified looks from his parents when he explains that he wants to marry Piper ASAP. They encourage him to wait in the hopes that he'll meet someone else, because Piper might not be the same person when she gets out. Larry sends a note to Alex (and the guards have a field day reading it and imagining the threesome planning he's got in mind) and asks to meet with her. So they meet without Piper's knowledge and he demands she stop seeing Piper, but since that's already done, they talk about how the gals had sex in the chapel -- limited location options -- and about his insistence that he's in it for the long haul. Alex politely tells him "she's hot, she's read everything, we both know what she's like in bed… but she is fucked up. I know it and you do, too, or you wouldn't be here warning me to stay away. I'm not your problem." Is Alex the smartest person on this show? Seems like.
Once Piper gets the form filled out, she happily tells Larry, but also explains that she's worried about the Christian methhead trying to kill her. He thinks she's losing it, tells her that he met Alex and says that he doesn't think they share the same values anymore and then dumps her. She tries to go to Alex, but she's very cozy (hands down each other's pants kind of cozy) with Nichols and doesn't have time for Piper's shit anymore. So to recap: Piper has been dumped by her boyfriend, has pissed off Healy, dumped her girlfriend and has someone who wants to kill her. Happy holidays!
Things are particularly bad for Piper when Tucky and Leann corner her in the shower with a nice razor blade. Instead of cutting Piper's skin, Tucky cuts her palm and smears it all over Piper's boobs. Finally, guard Donaldson comes in and breaks it up, thanks to Taystee giving him a tip. Piper says she's not equipped to deal with this particular scenario… really, is anyone? And Taystee says, "Girl, stop being a bitch ass bitch." How I wish someone had said that to her weeks ago. So Piper simmers with rage trying to figure out what to do with her suddenly crappy life and doesn't sleep at all. And just sits at the pageant stewing, but more on that in a minute.
First, we've got to deal with Red being also the worst human in the prison. We felt bad for her getting totally framed by Mendez last week, but there's a reason she's in jail and it likely has something to do with her uncontrollable temper. She's still off kitchen duty, even though Natalie called Bennett in and told him not to file the report because otherwise he'll totally be framed for the drugs, since technically he found them on the truck OUTSIDE of the jail and brought them into the prison himself. Oh, sweet dumb Bennett, but at least he gets a pay raise out of the deal. (And Bennett's also dealing with Mendez visiting to reconfirm his love for Daya and try to get another message to her about how she could be The One and about his dream of taking trips to Mount Rushmore with her. Mendez, man. He's always a gross surprise.) And Caputo is just out of control and pissed about everything, so he puts Gloria in charge of the kitchen and she brings in her girls, though Norma and Murphy get to keep their positions.
Red would very much like her loyal duo to either sabotage the food or serve very slowly, but Gloria is on to all the possible tricks. And Red is extra upset when people start complimenting Gloria's spicy egg breakfast. So since Red can't get anyone else to do her dirty work, she sneaks in at night and oversalts the rice and seasons the fryer. Harmless stuff. Then she puts oil in the bottom of the stove…. Which naturally explodes in poor Murphy's face once it is heated. Luschek confirms it wasn't electrical, Caputo gives Gloria shit about not cleaning, Norma rips up Red's Secret Santa name in her face and Gloria refuses to serve her at all. It seems that Murphy is alive, but maybe just seriously injured.
The only upside to the explosion, sorta, is the Bennett/Daya situation. He read her the riot act about how maybe she was in love with Mendez, and how Mendez will think the baby is his, how her plan is stupid because a paternity test could still get them in trouble and mostly how he's really beyond pissed that she had sex with someone else. Someone else with a giant pornstache. He tries to break it off with her, but the second the oven explodes, he grabs Daya and pulls her out of harm's want and keeps her totally protected. And Caputo may notice the tender looks between them, but he's honestly more concerned about Murphy getting injured and Natalie not letting Bennett file the drug report.
Then it's time for the Christmas pageant, where poor Caputo gets kicked down again as he sees adorable and recuperated Susan wearing a peppy Christmas sweater… and smiling at her cute boyfriend. The whole audience is filled with festive hats, except for Piper who is sulking. Tucky is the angel, Boo is a donkey, Morello is the Virgin Mary -- strange, but guess someone's got to be. Suzanne has a solo, but when she steps up, she gets stage fright and freezes. Then all of a sudden, silent Norma just busts out the most beautiful voice. Guess Red really made her so angry that she found her voice. I've been waiting all season to hear Norma sing, as she's played by Annie Golden who has done so much amazing work on Broadway over the years. And the whole scene is made so much better by the fact that Norma's dressed as a sheep and her head is covered in tampons. Tampax or Kotex should really be fighting for product placement next season.
After Norma's touching performance, Piper storms outside to get some air and Tucky follows with a pointy crucifix to take down the she-devil. Healy sees the two of them about to brawl, and walks off. So Tucky starts to attack her, saying, "I'm not scared of you because I've got God on my side. He wants me to smite you. You're the devil and I'm the angel of God. Look at my dress. God loves me. He doesn't love you." Thankfully Piper brought the screwdriver and tries to use it to scare Tucky, but instead of stabbing her, opts for the kick-her-in-the-cooch option. When Tucky falls to the ground, Piper just starts pummeling her. In Piper's defense, she's had a shitty week and she did warn Tucky not to fuck with her.
And so ends the first season, with the tainted screwdriver back in play, a lot of bloodshed and a truly screwed up Christmas pageant. Will Season 2 just be Piper in SHU?