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Orange Is The New Black S04.E04: When Lolly's Paranoia Goes From Annoying To Endearing
With her new, fresh perspective on life, it's quite possible that she only helped dismember a hologram.
Lolly Whitehill did a bad, bad thing this season on Orange Is The New Black. After helping Alex and Frieda bury a body under a vegetable garden, she's starting to lose it. Now, let's just gab about Lolly for a second -- she's played by Lori Petty, otherwise known as Tank Girl, and was kind of unbearable during the last season of the show. Her whole story was pretty much "Alex thinks she was sent by Kubra to kill her, but Lolly thinks Alex was sent by the NSA to spy on her." Petty's acting was pretty phenomenal based on what she was given, but this murder plot, at least, adds a little bit more meat to her role.
That said, Lolly's screen time in "Doctor Psycho," the season's fourth episode, is somewhat sparse -- the main focus is on Healy, and a flashback to his earlier life -- and yes, this all ties together, I promise. See, I know you all hate Healy after all of the gross stuff he's said about women and lesbians. In this episode's first flashback, a young Healy asks his father what a lesbian is, and his father retorts that it's a disease. "Like what Mom has?" child-Healy asks, wide-eyed. "Mom has a highly active imagination that makes her see and hear things that aren't there, like angels and little people in the walls, and sometimes Roy Orbison," his father replies.
Healy's next flashback scene shows his Mom in the kitchen, making breakfast. Of course she makes eggs, the one food that Healy's allergic to.
Mrs. Healy serves the allergens while bringing up the topic of stopping treatment. "Don't you want Mommy to hear the angels again, to be happy?" she asks him. Healy says no: he can't handle crazy, unmedicated Mom time. And with that, his Mom just disappears, leaving Healy to clean all the yolk-filled dishes deviled egg prep requires. And tell his Dad that Mom left. It's a lot of pressure for a corrections officer-to-be.
When Healy is much older, he runs into his Mom on the street. He's happy as a clam, as he invites her to eat dinner with him. The two hit up a diner, and try to catch up, until Healy pulls a Scooby Doo and realizes that hey, this isn't Mom -- it's been some strange homeless woman named Ellen Murphy all along! While uncovering the awkward truth, Healy begs Ellen to spend some time with him anyway. Ellen, who is a bit on the crazy side, freaks out and leaves Healy, presumably to eat two dinners alone.
Now let's get back to Lolly, who is definitely under the impression that she's being watched (which, kudos on the continuity, Jenji Kohan). Her outbursts are so numerous that Frieda seriously thinks that the only way to keep her silent is through murder. And, uh, Frieda is just the kind of lady who'd totally be able to pull it off. She's not like Piper, trying so hard to convince others that she's tough -- Frieda's naturally tough, with a tiny bit of crazy mixed in. In fact, she's so set on Lolly's untimely demise that Alex lets Red in on the secret of the hitman's murder, since she doesn't know how to handle the crisis in front of her. "I love secrets," Red says, before lamenting that the dead dude might be under her thriving tomatoes.
Before Frieda can get her murdering hands on Lolly, Healy takes Lolly aside, after overhearing her screaming in the hallway about being electrocuted while two guards are dragging her to Psych. Remember, Healy is also a counselor, and trying to handle crazy ladies is right up his alley based on his upbringing. "This woman needs a certified counselor!" he says, his eyes glistening with opportunity.
Once Lolly hits Healy's office, she admits it all. She claims that numerous organizations are trying to kill her -- the NSA, the military, and whoever is operating the drone. (Thankfully she's in the dark about Frieda.) After that, she explains that they're interested in her because she killed a guy, chopped him up, and buried him in the garden. "Oooh, it could have been FEMA. They've been targeting me for a long time," Lolly adds with enthusiasm.
Healy seems so pleased with the situation. Obviously he doesn't believe her, but now he has a mission! A purpose! A way to kinda-sorta reach out to his mother, and feel better about his own situation!
Healy asks Lolly if she sometimes sees or hears things that aren't there, and Lolly is all, "Sure, I hear voices!" Healy diagnoses her with "delusions," which she's not too fond of hearing. People have called Lolly crazy forever, but she knows her situation is real this time. But, Healy's calm tone finally convinces her that her voices are just telling her she did a bad thing. In "reality," she didn't do anything! Lolly is happy with this conclusion, and finally feels understood.
Alex is right outside Healy's office this entire time, fearing Lolly spilled the beans and probably planning a life sentence in the SHU -- just like Sophia Bursett, (who, as a sidenote, finally shows up during this episode to have her own psychotic adventure).
Instead, Lolly just tells Alex that she was under the false impression that they killed someone, and then realized that she was mistaken this whole time. It could have been a hologram, or something. "Great counseling here," Lolly says. "I am continually impressed!"
Then the best thing ever happens. Lolly and Healy, both in the hallway, give each other a thumbs up, as uplifting music starts to play.
And during that moment, I realize that all of the annoyances I had with Lolly have vanished. Lolly is love, and Lolly is life.
So, uh. More Lolly in future episodes, please. And I'm totally on board with a Lolly and Healy friendship. It'd be way more convincing than whatever he had going on with Red in Season 3.