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"The Reverse Midas Touch" is the tenth episode of the fifth season of Orange Is the New Black. It is the sixty-second episode of the series overall. It premiered on June 9, 2017. It was written by Rebecca Angelo and Lauren Schuker Blum, and directed by Laura Prepon.
CO Piscatella duct tapes Red's hands and feet, taunting her about her half-baked plan to capture him. When Red assures Piscatella he will never rescue the hostages on his own, Piscatella reveals that it was never about the hostages - he wants to torment Red in front of her "family". Noticing a pair of scissors lying on the floor, Alex Vause signals to Nicky Nichols that she should try to distract Piscatella. Nicky does this by taunting him, but he slaps her and puts a knife to Red's throat. The captives' muffled screams are heard in the bunker below, but Frieda Berlin and company shrug it off as noise from the riot. Piscatella proceeds to hack off lengths of Red's hair, taking pieces of scalp as he goes, then wipes the makeup off her face - intent on showing Red as the "frail old jailbird" she is.
Leanne Taylor and Angie Rice are walking through the hallway when they find the piece of Leanne's finger that was shot off by CO Coates in "Sing It, White Effie". They rush to medical, but are told by nurse Adarsh that it will be impossible to reattach the fingertip. From this exchange, they come up with the completely unrealistic idea of a finger transplant - and decide that only a male donor will do. Angie steals a scalpel and forces Adarsh to accompany them to the Poo, where they release CO Stratman. Fearing that Angie and Leanne actually plan to cut off one of his fingers, Stratman stalls by convincing Leanne to take his finger for a "test run", which she does by forcing Stratman to finger her until she experiences her first orgasm.
As negotiations to end the riot drag on, Natalie Figueroa ("Fig") and Joe Caputo trade blame for the poorly trained guards, lack of effective work and recreation programs, subpar food and medical care, and other problems facing the prison. As they continue the conversation, it becomes less clear whether they are still discussing the riot or their former sexual relationship. An impatient Taystee ends their back-and-forth and forces them back to the task at hand. Refocused, Fig insists on seeing CO Humphrey to verify that he is alive, and Caputo vouches for his being in stable condition.
An unhinged Suzanne Warren washes the makeup off her face that Leanne and Angie put on her while she was tied to her bunk, jabbering nonsensically about the color and health of her skin. While in the bathroom, she finds Maureen Kukudio suffering from a severe infection of the wounds on her face and insists they go to medical. Finding the medical ward unstaffed, Suzanne tucks Maureen into a bed - and notices that Humphrey has stopped breathing. In a panic, she stuffs Humphrey's body into a wheelchair and goes to find Taystee for help. Knowing that it would be disastrous if Fig saw Humphrey's body, Black Cindy and Janae Watson rush to quiet Suzanne and steer her back to medical.
Still seeking an opening to steal the hostages so she can get furlough from MCC and visit her severely injured son, Gloria Mendoza attempts to talk hostage guards Pidge and Ouija into taking a break. After convincing them that their bodies will start to shut down from lack of sleep, Gloria is left alone with the hostages. Pidge and Ouija try to nap in the rec room, but are distracted by the news coverage of the riot. Stories of casualties from past prison riots scare them into returning to their post, thwarting Gloria's plans just as she is about to spirit the hostages away.
After nearly having her cover blown, Linda Ferguson hides in a Porta-Potty until the coast is clear. As she waits it out, she hears Tiffany Doggett singing from inside a different Porta-Potty and the two strike up a conversation. Touched by Tiffany's bleak outlook on prison and human decency, Linda decides to help her by releasing her from the Poo. Recognizing Linda as the reason Carrie Black has pushed her aside, Tiffany punches Linda in the face.
Meanwhile, Piper Chapman manages to unstick the duct tape from her face and cries for help, prompting the women in the bunker to finally go investigate. However, because Piscatella and his captives are blocking the bunker's secret entrance, they are powerless to do anything but watch as Piscatella continues to torture Red. Alex finally cuts her arms free and attacks Piscatella, but he subdues her and breaks her arm as punishment. Afterwards, Piscatella tells the women that men in prison understand violence and can be controlled like dogs, but women "need to be broken in other ways." Suddenly, Gina Murphy appears in the locker hiding the entrance to the bunker, and Piscatella gives up on his captives to go after her. As he enters the bunker, Freida shoots a dart into his neck, while Yoga strips him with an extension cord, leaving him unconscious.
Piscatella is working as a guard in a men's maximum security prison. While conducting one of his first nightly inspections, he meets inmate Wes Driscoll and briefly bonds with him over a crossword puzzle.
Some undetermined amount of time later, Piscatella is supervising work detail in the kitchen. Rumors about his sexuality have caught the attention of some of the prison's more dangerous inmates, particularly that of a man called Rosado. Piscatella orders all of the inmates out of the kitchen to unload boxes of produce - all except for Driscoll, whom he loudly harangues about the appearance of that evening's dinner until all of the other inmates are out of earshot. When the coast is clear, Driscoll admonishes Piscatella to drop the act and it is revealed that the two of them are having a relationship. Piscatella gifts Driscoll a chocolate bar and the two of them share a passionate kiss. When Piscatella expresses despair that they have to keep their relationship secret, Driscoll shows him that he has had his initials - DP - tattooed on his wrist. Rosado unexpectedly comes back into the kitchen during this moment of intimacy, and though Piscatella tries to cover up by shouting at Driscoll to clean up his workstation, it is clear that Rosado knows exactly what is going on.
As Christmas approaches, Piscatella is taking his lover a pair of cigarettes when he walks in on Driscoll's brutal assault at the hands of Rosado and his gang. Though Driscoll is curled up and bleeding on the floor, Piscatella is unable to comfort him in the presence of other COs. Later, Piscatella handcuffs Rosado to the inside of a shower and turns on the water. Rosado initially talks tough, but his taunts turn to shrieks as the water becomes painfully hot. As a flailing Rosado screams for his life, a concerned fellow CO suggests to Piscatella that "we take them out when they start screaming". Piscatella pretends not to hear.
Memorable Quotes Edit
- "Men understand violence. They respect it. They're dogs. If you beat them, they obey you. Not women. Women don't fear pain the way men do."
- — Desi Piscatella
Main Cast Edit
- Taylor Schilling as Piper Chapman
- Natasha Lyonne as Nicky Nichols
- Uzo Aduba as Suzanne "Crazy Eyes" Warren
- Danielle Brooks as Tasha "Taystee" Jefferson
- Jackie Cruz as Marisol "Flaca" Gonzales (credit only)
- Lea DeLaria as Carrie "Big Boo" Black
- Michael Harney as Sam Healy (credit only)
- Selenis Leyva as Gloria Mendoza
- Taryn Manning as Tiffany Doggett
- Adrienne C. Moore as Cindy "Black Cindy" Hayes
- Jessica Pimentel as Maria Ruiz (credit only)
- Dascha Polanco as Dayanara Diaz (credit only)
- Elizabeth Rodriguez as Aleida Diaz (credit only)
- Nick Sandow as Joe Caputo
- Yael Stone as Lorna Morello (credit only)
- with Kate Mulgrew as Galina "Red" Reznikov
- and Laura Prepon as Alex Vause
Guest Starring Edit
- Emily Althaus as Maureen Kukudio
- Charlie Barnett as Wes Driscoll
- Rosal Colón as Carmen Aziza
- Francesca Curran as Helen Van Maele
- Daniella de Jesús as Cabrera
- Nick Dillenburg as Ryder Blake
- Asia Kate Dillon as Brandy Epps
- Beth Dover as Linda Ferguson
- Annie Golden as Norma Romano
- Laura Gómez as Blanca Flores
- Evan Hall as B. Stratman
- Brad William Henke as Desi Piscatella
- Mike Houston as Lee Dixon
- Vicky Jeudy as Janae Watson
- Kelly Karbacz as Kasey Sankey
- Julie Lake as Angie Rice
- Miriam Morales as Ramona Contreras
- Emma Myles as Leanne Taylor
- John Palladino as Josh
- Matt Peters as Joel Luschek
- Alysia Reiner as Natalie Figueroa
- Abigail Savage as Gina Murphy
- Constance Shulman as Erica Jones
- Dale Soules as Frieda Berlin
- Emily Tarver as Artesian McCullough
- Michael Torpey as Thomas Humphrey
- Lin Tucci as Anita DeMarco
- The episode was leaked on April 28, 2017.