"Thirsty Bird" is the first episode of the second season of Orange Is the New Black. It is the fourteenth episode of the series overall. It premiered on June 6, 2014. It was written by Tara Herrmann and Jenji Kohan, and directed by Jodie Foster.
Piper's world is turned upside down when she's forced to confront the consequences of her actions and face new challenges.
Piper is awakened in solitary and, without being given any information, is forced to board a bus and a plane to whereabouts unknown. On board, she meets Lolly Whitehill, who is comforting another prisoner who is afraid of flying. After she lands, and finally realizing she is in the Metropolitan Detention Center, Chicago, Piper assumes she has been transferred for killing Doggett and attempts to adjust to her new surroundings. She is placed in a cell with inmates Joyce, Araceli, Hill and Mazall, and immediately makes enemies by accidentally stepping on their cockroach, Yoda, who they had trained to carry cigarettes to Solitary. Joyce and Araceli threaten Piper to find them a new roach capable of the job, or face the consequences. Mazall is friendly, albeit intense, and asks Piper all about her birth as she is heavily into astrology. Piper gives her the information, but refrains from giving her the time of her birth as signaled by a hasty cough and head shake from Hill.
Later, out in the yard, Piper is invited to join some other inmates in a huddle to keep warm. Lolly approaches her to say hi, but one of the inmates in the huddle immediately takes a dislike to her, resulting in Lolly getting beaten to the ground. As the guards break up the fight and force the inmates indoors, Piper spots Alex being herded into a different block. Piper shouts Alex, who sees her, but they are unable to approach each other. Piper later manages to bribe a male inmate doing cleaning to pass a message to Alex by giving him her used underwear. He tells Alex to meet Piper by a gate separating their areas which will allow them to speak.
After lights out, Piper is asleep when she awakes to find Mazall in her bunk staring her in the face intently. Mazall tells her she needs to know what time Piper was born, and when Piper says she doesn't know, Mazall licks her face. Piper gives in and tells Mazall, who thanks her and leaves her bunk. In the morning, Mazall tells her that she bit off her ex-girlfriend's tongue and swallowed it in a fit of manic rage.
As soon as the inmates are allowed to leave their cells, Alex and Piper meet by the gate. Piper discovers that Doggett is still alive and they are in Chicago to testify in the trial of Alex's drug boss, Kubra Balik, and the stay is temporary. Alex forcefully pushes Piper to lie about knowing Kubra, because Alex fears he will exact revenge. However, Piper wishes to tell the truth. We see several flashbacks from Piper's childhood noting her complicated past. Piper meets with her lawyer, Larry's father, who strongly advises her to tell the truth. In the van on the way to the trial, Alex pushes one last time for Piper to lie about knowing Kubra, saying she (Alex) will be screwed over if they don't tell the same story. Piper gives in and lies under oath at the trial. Afterwards, her lawyer washes his hands of her. Alex then informs Piper that although Alex planned to lie she decided to tell the truth, which completely screws over Piper; Piper now faces perjury charges and additional time. Piper shouts angrily at Alex, who is being led out of prison, ostensibly to be released. As Piper swears at Alex's retreating back, a cockroach crawls into her holding cell with a cigarette on its back.
Note: Flashbacks are arranged in chronological order, not the order in which they occur on the show.
As a child, Piper is pressured to take part in a end of semester tradition where schoolkids jump from the back of the school bus when it slows down. Piper's friend urges her to participate but ultimately she declines, telling the bus driver (who is aware of the tradition) that her dad wants her to have strength of character, not be a lemming.
At a later point, Piper and her friend get an older boy to buy R-rated movie tickets for them. As they're about to enter the cinema, Piper sees her father out and about with a woman who is not her mother. She is visibly upset as he drives away. When Piper tells her mother, she ignores it and changes the subject. Piper discusses the incident with her grandmother, who tells her sometimes it's better to keep certain information to yourself.
- "She was... relentless. I mean, just crazy. So... so... crazy. And I completely lost it. I just, uh... I just went there.
And I didn't... I didn't even really know that there was a there there. But, um... I don't know if it just grew there recently or if it's always been there, but that really... that dark place. That place that let me just keep on hitting her and hitting her... and... and, uh... hitting her."
- — Piper to Lolly
- "Sometimes when they ask if I wanna donate a dollar for heart disease, I'll say I already gave, but mostly, yes, I tell the truth."
- — Howard to Piper
- "I wanna be your prison wife."
- — Alex to Piper
Special Guest StarsEdit
- First appearance of Jennifer Digori
- First appearance of Lolly Whitehill
- First episode not to feature Galina "Red" Reznikov
- First episode not to feature Nicole "Nicky" Nichols
- First episode not to feature Poussey Washington
- First episode not to feature Dayanara Diaz
- First episode not to feature George Mendez
- First episode not to feature Sam Healy
- The only character to appear in both this episode and the next is Howard Bloom