'Orange Is the New Black' Season 2 Bombshells: A Furlough, A Firing, and a Homecoming

Midway through season two and there are some big shakeups at Litchfield Prison. The new season's eighth episode, "Appropriately Sized Pots," marked two big exits and one big return. Valentine's Day brought everyone together, but we all knew that couldn't last long.

Piper Gets Furlough

Now that Healy's had some kind of change of heart about the inmates – and Piper in particular – he's agreed to help Piper get a furlough to see her dying grandmother before she passes. Furloughs are a mythic thing in the prison system. Most of the women serving time with Piper seem to have requested them (many under truly devastating circumstances), but Piper – white, privileged Piper – is the one that gets an approval, thanks to some wheel greasing from Healy. The furlough means that Piper will have 48 hours outside of Litchfield and it means that everyone else in prison hates her, at least just a little bit, for getting something they wanted and couldn't have.

At least Piper's exit is only temporary...

Fischer Gets Fired

Now, I've been a Lauren Lapkus fan since her days stealing scenes on Are You There Chelsea, but I don't think I'm alone in loving Susan Fischer, the sometimes-meek, always-tenacious rookie prison guard with a heart of gold. Fischer spent most of last season mumbling in the background and winning us over with her affably awkward charm, but this season saw her starting to take charge, stick up for herself and find her voice. And it was those qualities that sent her packing. Even though Nicky gives her a nice going away pep talk (with the oh-so-true advice that she's too good to be working there and this is a blessing), it's still kind of a bummer. Fischer was one of the few C.O.'s that seemed to care at all about the inmates.

Pornstache Comes "Home"

If losing Fischer was a blow to the inmates, the followup is practically a knockout punch. Prison Administrator Figueroa doesn't trust Caputo to hire someone to be the "muscle" the prison needs and so, she takes it upon herself to hire Fischer's replacement. And so, like a horrifying phoenix rising from the ashes, Pornstache makes his long-awaited (by literally no one but him) return to Litchfield. Don't like it? Well...

And just like that, the dynamic of life at Litchfield has totally changed. When Piper returns from her furlough, we can only imagine Pornstache's reign of terror will have begun. Let's just hope the women can avoid his rapier tendencies this time around (and that he finally gets some real comeuppance this season).

Images: Netflix; Wifflegif (2)