Nicky's Luschek Grudge Has Precedent On 'OITNB'

Season 4 of Orange Is the New Black got a lot darker than preceding seasons, but there was at least one bright spot: the return of Natasha Lyonne as Nicky Nichols, who was sent to maximum security prison in Season 3 episode 3, "Empathy Is a Boner Killer." But, when she returned, why was Nicky mad at Luschek on Orange Is the New Black? Just the sight of him at visitation was enough to make her furiously storm out. In case you've forgotten why Nicky was so upset to see or hear from Luschek, the answer dates back to previous episodes from earlier seasons, and circles around when Nicky was sent to max — the short answer is, she blames him for getting her sent away to finish out her sentence. And, I think based on what happens in Season 4, the show both agrees and disagrees with Nicky's blame.

But first, some background. At the end of Season 2, Vee, who'd forced her way into Red's smuggling pipeline, brought a large amount of heroin into the prison with the intent to sell it. However, she had to make a hurried escape through the tunnel and wound up getting beaned by Miss Rosa's escape before she was able to distribute it all, and Nicky stole it and hid it in a small vent in the laundry room. She and Boo conspired to smuggle the drugs back out of the prison, and use Luschek as their drug mule. And while initially the plan seemed to work out, it eventually fell apart, and a big part of why was Nicky's fault.

Struggling to maintain her sobriety, she moved the hidden drugs to a different hiding place, which led to complications, including a tip from Leanne to the guards about the heroin's real location. And, of course, it's Nicky's issue with addiction that led to her to hide a tiny portion of the heroin below Luschek's desk (the preceding scene even established that she was chewing on the wad of gum that she uses to secure the packet). As Season 4 has shown, when it comes to Nicky and heroin, there will never be complete ending to her struggle.

While Luschek wasn't the one who hid the drugs in his desk, he did point directly to Nicky when he was suspected for hoarding the drugs. He could have waited it out, blamed the "meth heads," or tried to talk his way out of the situation. But, even when Caputo wasn't originally buying it, Luschek insisted it was Nicky who had brought the drugs, and that he "suspected her for a while." While that may have been right, he certainly knew that it was going to make Nicky's life a lot harder. It was a huge betrayal for a co-conspirator and friend, so it makes a lot of sense why Nicky struggled to forgive him when she returned in Season 4.

Image: JoJo Whilden/Netflix; Giphy