Orange Is the New Black Season 7 Episode 12 Recap – ‘The Big House’

By Daniel Hart
Published: July 27, 2019 (Last updated: 2 weeks ago)
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Netflix series Orange Is the New Black Season 7, Episode 12 - The Big House


Orange Is the New Black Season 7, Episode 12, “The Big House” gives the characters a reality-check, which ends in tragic circumstances for some.

This recap of Netflix series Orange Is the New Black Season 7, Episode 12, “The Big House” contains spoilers. You can read the recap of the previous episode by clicking these words.

“The Big House” feels like a finale, and usually it probably would have been, but as its the last season, they have to wrap it up. It had a significant ending and emotional moments.

Let’s start with the Alex/Piper situation – Artesian tells Alex that Piper is seeing someone. Alex gets angry, wondering why she ever felt guilty in the first place. Back in the outside world, Piper wakes up with Zelda, but knowing that Alex is angry, she has no choice but to visit her.

During the visit, the couple ponders on whether they can continue your relationship – there are no answered questions as they are split up. Piper screams, “I could never stop loving you” as Alex is marched away, making me wonder if that is a saving grace in the situation. For Piper she can go back to Zelda whom she’s developed a life with, for Alex, it’s not sensible for her to have a relationship with Artesian.

It gets worse for Alex, as Artesian decides to remove the situation entirely – going to Warden Tamika confessing her feelings. She recommends that Alex is transferred, but the prison is further away from Piper than the current one. A new obstacle in their way.

There’s a bittersweet moment between Red and Nicky in episode 12, “The Big House”. Red, who is diagnosed with onset dementia, sits down with her, discussing her trials and tribulations of being the prison mother. Nicky sits next to her, not wanting this moment to end. These two characters have been brilliant. Nicky tries to take care of Lorna in episode 12, but she mentally fragile, and lashes out on another inmate who was attempting to wind her up. Lorna will likely be transferred as well.

The landmark moments in the penultimate episode come from Tasha and Tiffany. Tasha is taken to see her attorney, and they are convinced the book she submitted is not enough to grant an appeal. Tasha’s hopes are dashed again, and she is on edge once more, and wanting to commit suicide with the drugs Daya gave her. At the awards ceremony planned at the prison, she acts as if it is her last meal, speaking to Joe Caputo and Tamika with emotional hesitancy – her one issue is that she wants to see Suzanne before she finishes and takes the drugs. She eventually sees Suzanne from a distance and walks off. As she looks down the corridors one last time, she has a flashback to a conversation with her dead best friend Poussey Washington – it was only fitting at this moment.

As for Tiffany, she is not granted extra time during her exam, and she is frustrated and upset that the prison system has let her down. She cries during the exam. Once the exam is over, she eats her food and goes to chill with Daya’s group, and asks one of the girls for a bump of her drugs.

Orange Is the New Black season 7, episode 12, “The Big House” ends in unexpected and tragic circumstances; as Tasha turns the corner, another inmate runs down the corridor and asks her to get away from here. Tasha finds Tiffany on the floor – she has overdosed on the drugs given to her. Orange Is the New Black focused primarily on Tasha’s mental wellbeing that it didn’t even allow the audience to consider Tiffany’s feelings when it came to these exams she worked hard for.

Warden’s Notes

  • Joe Caputo cannot get jobs anymore, but many of the women in the awards ceremony did highlight that he deserves a second chance.
  • Hopper and Aleida are caught having sex, and he’s fired. They were set up by Daya.
  • Gloria is interrogated and during the interview is asked who is smuggling in the phones – she says it was her.
  • Cindy is homeless while holding down a job.

You can read the recap of the finale by clicking these words. 

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