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Recap / Orange Is the New Black S01E04 "Imaginary Enemies"

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"Imaginary Enemies" is the fourth episode of Season One of Orange Is the New Black. Chapman is assigned a cube with Claudette as her roommate, and work detail in the electrical department. She forgets a screwdriver, resulting in lockdown and a detailed search. Tricia tries to prevent Mercy from being released. We see Claudette's story via flashbacks. Alex and Nicky bond, and Tricia and several other inmates try to enlist Piper's help in writing their appeal letters.

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This episode provides examples of the following tropes:

  • A Day in the Limelight: Miss Claudette arrived in the U.S. as a young girl and went to work as a maid. Later, she took over the business.
  • A Date with Rosie Palms: Boo masturbates in her bunk with the use of a screwdriver.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Piper to Miss Claudette: "I've been starved out, felt up, teased, stalked, threatened...and called Taylor Swift."
  • Chekhov's Gun: The screwdriver seems unimportant but will come back later in the season.
  • Dissonant Laughter: While Caputo is chewing out the staff, Pornstache laughs at the statement "Fucking unions were not created to protect the drunk and retarded." He laughs again when Caputo tells him the screwdriver can be used to puncture a lung and otherwise injure a CO.
  • Hope Spot: Healy tells Claudette the immigration laws are under review, and she may be eligible for release earlier than anticipated. She declines, saying it will be a lot of aggravation for nothing. "I know how these things go."
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  • Love Makes You Dumb: Miss Claudette chastises Tricia when she catches her snooping in Piper's bunk hoping to frame Mercy just to extend her prison sentence and keep her from leaving. "Love is not an excuse!"
  • Love Triangle: Boo/Mercy/Tricia.
  • Neat Freak: We see why Claudette is so obsessive about cleanliness in her cubicle.
  • Noodle Incident: Alex and Nicky mention having 'pork chop stories'.
  • Title Drop: Piper says to Nicky "I think I might have gotten Miss Claudette mad at me." Nicky says "You know how some people have imaginary friends? I think you have imaginary enemies."
  • Violence Is the Only Option: When one of Claudette's young employees has been abused by the client, Claudette kills him. She can't go to the police, nor are there any other legal options, and he would likely abuse any other girl she sent.
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  • White Glove Test: Hinted at, when Claudette takes off her rubber gloves, looks around the kitchen, then pats a pile of clean, neatly folded dish towels.
  • Work Off the Debt: Claudette goes to work to pay for her passage to the US.
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