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On Orange Is The New Black, Poussey Only Sees Soso Through The Eyes Of Love
So what if Soso thinks her new girlfriend is a crack baby? It's love! Liane Bonin Starr plots their relationship arc in S04.E03.
Prison romance is one of those oxymorons that work so well with this show, as relationships tend to start with coquettish glances and shared eyeliner before blowing up in a fireball of betrayal, supermax, and/or stabbing -- just like real life, in a way, but with weapons you make yourself. Still, the budding relationship between Soso and Poussey is kind of sweet. Probably doomed, but sweet.
Despite all the glowy romcom moments for these two lovebirds (they're holding hands! they're playing basketball horribly while flirting shamelessly! Soso is flipping her hair again!), the problem is that, until fairly recently, Soso was so annoying she made you want to claw your eyes out and stick hot kebab skewers in your ears to make her stop already. I get the impression not that Soso is a mere fabulist, but possibly a pathological liar, and that's the least of her problems. She hasn't killed anyone (that we know of), and she's nice to sex offenders, so she should have more friends in the joint than she does -- and that just speaks to how truly, fundamentally irritating she is.
While this episode is a Big Lesson About Racism, it's a little hard to believe Soso had never asked a basic question that would probably get spat out in the first ten minutes at a speed dating event ("So, where you from?"). You're not supposed to ask what got a fellow con in the joint, sure, but people don't seem so private about other background info. And what else do you have to do in prison but talk? Wait in line, talk. Go to your prison job, talk. Wait in line for the bathroom, talk. Give Piper your smelly underwear, talk. Get bullied off the basketball court, talk. If Soso had been babbling all that time, I'm pretty sure Poussey would get over her prison crush. Poussey doesn't even seem to be drinking her prison wine to take the edge off. If ever there was a relationship that would require a prison wine intervention to make it happen, it's this one.
More than that, Poussey pretty much nailed Soso as a nattering, do-gooder hippie (an impression confirmed by the Soso flashback in which she kisses up to a sex offender to fight Walmart and win a bet...but then sells the guy out to her fellow petition pushers to aggrandize herself), so at least someone was paying attention to all that blather. Poussey takes the measure of the person she sees in front of her rather than assuming she's a half-Japanese, half-Scottish stereotype. (What that would be, I have no idea.)
Even though Soso's markedly less grating now than she was last season, she clearly has charms only a confirmed romantic like Poussey can see. And at least she was paying attention enough to know acting out a Say Anything... moment for Poussey would land. Soso may have brokered a lunch date between Poussey and her idol, Judy King, by sharing the completely fabricated story of Poussey's crack-addicted mother, but movie romance erases all fuck-ups!
And Poussey loves love, doesn't she? Maybe she's a little too stalkery about it, but it's not like she's having phone sex without the phone in the visiting room. She deserves a steady romance with someone or something more substantial than a baggie of prison wine. Up until now, it was all about pining for Taystee, a straight girl who has Poussey's back but can never love her back. Before that, there was the doomed relationship in Germany, but, as far as we know, there's not much more. Poussey has always seemed an uneasy fit for prison life, too empathetic (see Soso) and insightful to really fit in. She had Vee's number almost from the jump, and paid for it. Granted, no one's had it easy in Litchfield, but girlfriend deserves a break.
Soso's nuts, but maybe she and Poussey are the right kind of nuts for one another. Every pot has a lid. I may think Poussey's getting the raw end of the deal, but if she's happy, so be it. Just someone make sure that hippie showers.