Emmy Episode Analysis: Kate Mulgrew (‘Orange is the New Black’) makes enemies in ‘Tit Punch’

Critics’ Choice Award winner Kate Mulgrew looks to lock up a Comedy Supporting Actress Emmy for her portrayal of Galina ‘Red’ Reznikov on the Netflix series “Orange is the New Black.”

It’s Emmy WAR: ‘Modern Family’ vs. ‘Veep’ vs. ‘Orange Is the New Black

SYNOPSIS: In Mulgrew’s submitted episode, “Tit Punch,” we open on a flashback of Red in the comforts of her family’s delicatessen with her husband about to proudly introduce her to his Russian mafia friends. In present day, we’re taken back to the Litchfield prison kitchen where Red is head chef, ordering her helpers around, and taking revenge on Piper (Taylor Schilling), who called Red’s food “disgusting.”

Piper finds Red in the bathroom having her legs shaved by one of her helpers. Piper apologizes to Red, who warns Piper that being sweet won’t get her anywhere in prison and is an immediate sign of weakness. Red instructs Piper to be smart and give her something she can use because an apology is of no real use.

Red is awoken to the news that her freezer broke and heads straight to the kitchen to take out all the prison food and begin cooking it so it does not spoil. Piper finds her there and asks Red to just hit her and get it over with, but Red tells her she will not use any violence on Piper, but rather starve her.

Emmy nominee Uzo Aduba (‘OITNB’): ‘I was going to quit acting’ (Exclusive Video)

We then flashback to Red speed-walking with the dolled-up mafia wives. Red is clearly out of place with her blue-collar tracksuit and red hair, so she tries engaging the wives with a joke, but gets no reaction.

Back at the prison, Red tracks down corrections officer Sam Healy (Michael Harney) in the bathroom and demands a new freezer, or else she’ll quit as chef, reminding him of the turmoil that ensued the last time she walked out.

We flash back again to Red discovering the wives on a power-walk they deliberately left her out of, leaving her visibly hurt. She confronts the wives, prompting one of them to insult Red’s dyed hair. Red then punches the woman’s right breast, damaging her implant. At the restaurant, Red’s husband is furious with her, but she breaks down over her rejection by the women and their inability to fit in. Her husband sympathizes with her, but then tells her the matter is worse because they now owe $60,000 in restitution.

Back at the prison, Piper presents Red with a lotion she made to help with a back problem Red has been having. It seems to work; Red allows Piper to eat again, and the same day she gets her new freezer. In a final flashback, Red discovers that to repay their debt, her husband allows the mafia to store dead bodies in their freezer.

Will Mulgrew win Comedy Supporting Actress? Let’s analyze the pros and cons:

PROS

Mulgrew displays an impressive amount of range as Red gets to laugh, cry, be frightened, vulnerable, and show power and strength all throughout the episode, which revolves around her character.

Red’s breakdown scene is played brilliantly by Mulgrew, showing Emmy voters that even though Red may be cold in prison, she’s just in need of a hug – something Emmy voters love giving.

Mulgrew is a TV icon thanks to her role as Captain Kathryn Janeway in “Star Trek: Voyager” and her nearly four decades as an actress. Seems like the perfect time for the TV Academy to recognize her.

CONS

Her stiffest competition is Emmy-darling Allison Janney (“Mom“). It doesn’t help that Janney’s role is far more laugh-out-loud than Mulgrew’s.

There’s still controversy as to whether “Orange is the New Black” is truly a comedy, and it’s quite evident in this category that Mulgrew skews more dramatic than the rest of her competition.

Follow Gold Derby on FacebookTwitterInstagram, Tumblr, iTunes and YouTube

Mulgrew currently sits second in our predictions with 14/5 odds. Do you think she’ll win? Make your predictions below.

2 thoughts on “Emmy Episode Analysis: Kate Mulgrew (‘Orange is the New Black’) makes enemies in ‘Tit Punch’

  1. I didn’t really laugh once during this episode! Anna Chlumsky’s episode of VEEP was much funnier with her one liners, I would reward that before I give an award to a dramatic actress in the comedy category

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *