Dumb things Piper does in this episode:
1. Shows off her privileged lifestyle by telling Claudette she's never had to clean up someone else's pee before.
2. Obliviously takes a screwdriver out of the electrical repair room and then loses it.
3. Electrocutes herself.
4. Hides the missing screwdriver in all kinds of stupid places.
5. Unknowingly volunteers herself to write impassioned appeals for a whole host of people.
6. Admits to Nichols that she has been a "squirter" in the bedroom.
7. Humble brags about the amount of books she's been sent by her friends.
We pick up with Claudette staring at a puddle of urine left by Suzanne "Crazy Eyes" at the end of the last episode, and watch Piper desperately try and clean it up with limited supplies. She gripes about the fact that she has to sleep with stranger pee on her, because bathroom privileges don't begin for hours, and gets absolutely zero pity from Claudette when she helplessly admits she's never had to clean up urine before.
This flashes us back to the "how X got thrown in jail story of the week", featuring Claudette as a young woman being forced into indentured servitude to pay off the debts for her parents. She's brought to this ring of young housekeepers by a gentleman named Baptiste, who tries to introduce her to a life of hard work in the kindest way possible. A number of years later, we discover that Claudette herself is now running this organization and bringing in new girls. She still thrills to see Baptiste, but is less excited when she discovers that he's married a gorgeous woman. Shortly after that she finds out that one of her employees has been brutally beaten by a client, and judging by the disappointed look on said client's face when Claudette arrives to do his next cleaning, there was possibly assault of a sexual variety as well. While Claudette may run what is basically a slavery ring, she does care for these girls, and immediately decides to stab this man repeatedly in his kitchen, before doing a very thorough cleaning.
In prison, we see a more diminished Claudette. Instead of the confident business woman who could kill a man without wrinkling her uniform, we see a cranky woman who likes her cell to be orderly , wants to make her rice-a-roni on her makeshift hot plate and be left in peace. So much so that when Healy informs her that there may be a loophole and a chance for her to file an appeal and get out of jail, she promptly turns him down. Until she gets a letter from Baptiste saying that his wife passed away, he's returning to the States and would very much like to see her. At that point, she agrees to do whatever it takes to leave. All she needed was some motivation, and Baptiste was quite the looker last time we saw him.
Piper really is only privy to cranky Claudette, the one who is pissed that someone pissed in their cell, annoyed that Piper has a library of books left askew on her bed, unhappy about the fact that Piper could get them both in trouble with her screwdriver and generally irritated that Piper has a row of visitors of women who want her educated help.... but Piper brought most of this on herself.
Piper gets a job in the electric shop fixing lamps, which is not the job working with people on their GEDs that she'd requested. So she tries reading a how-to book tossed at her by the guard Luschek who barely cares about his job, and promptly zaps herself with a jolt of electricity. When Watson complains about their meager wages and the slavery conditions they are in (which nicely matches Claudette's situation) she gets assigned to hand out tools. And there are some horrifying bits where Luschek calls Watson a monkey that made me want to die a little.
Of course when it is lunch time, Piper takes the screwdriver off the table and puts it in the pocket of her sweatshirt. At the end of the day when it is time to account for the tools, it is missing, Watson gets in trouble and sent to the SHU and the whole building goes on lockdown. Complete with lots of bunk checks and groping on the part of the guards (you can probably figure out which guard just loves feeling Piper's boobs). Piper didn't realize that she took the screwdriver until after it was a problem, and instead of just leaving it in the yard and weaponizing someone like Crazy Eyes, she brings it to her cell and Claudette hides it in the rice-a-roni. She carries it around the place with her trying to return it, but is under the watchful eye of the guards (you'd think there'd be more cameras in this place).
In the meantime, Tricia has asked for help in writing up her appeal after hearing Piper brag about the fact that she was a TA in college. Tricia's girlfriend Mercy is getting out of jail (Red has even hooked her up with a job) and Tricia doesn't like that she'll be stuck alone while Mercy could meet a new girl on the outside. Of course, once Piper agrees to help one person, others climb on the bandwagon. Boo and a whole posse of angry women barge into Piper's cell and demand her help. While there, Boo also feels the screwdriver and swipes it. This alleviates one of Piper's problems but creates about 30 more.
For a while it seems like Boo is going to use the screwdriver to stab Mercy (who is her ex-girlfriend) or cause trouble at the get-out-of-jail free party that's being thrown, as there is a lot of talk about "stealing people's dates" and adding to their sentence just when they are about to be let out. However, all goes pretty smoothly (Taystee delivers a lovely rhyming speech that she cribbed from Rocky 6) as Mercy leaves jail and tearily tells Tricia she'll wait for her. Seems that instead of being murderous, Boo has opted to use the screwdriver and what looks like a corn cob in order to pleasure herself. One more thing Red has to worry about getting stolen from the kitchen, I guess.
As for the curious case of the missing screwdriver, since no one thought to look in an ear of corn, Luschek buys a new one to save his job (presumably so he can try out the glory hole that Nichols is thoughtfully drilling for him). Elsewhere, Claudette cautions Piper about getting too hopeful about anything while in jail. There's a great lecture about a special cake that Claudette makes for Jesus, as well as Taystee explaining the proper treatment of books by the great J.K. Rowling. Diaz and Bennett share a bit of his chew, and it is sweet and totally disgusting all at the same time. Seriously, kind of hot though. Nichols and Alex have the best conversation about college and Piper and I just desperately want the two of them to hook up. Anyone with me on Nichols/Alex 'shipping?