Does anyone else have an "Orange Is the New Black" hangover after this weekend? We rushed home to binge on Season 2 of the long-awaited return of the Netflix series on Friday, and boy were the 13 episodes of prison drama (laughs, too!) a doozy.

If you're like us and got through the whole thing at once, let's talk about the highlights. If you're just curious and don't mind spoilers -- you can stick around too!

Here are our reactions to some of the season's standout situations. (Again, SPOILERS AHEAD):

Politics, Power, and Protection
The three Ps of Season 2? (Aside from prison, of course.) It's not as if jailhouse politics weren't a recurring idea last year, but this season the cliques got more serious and the struggles of the administration were more of a focal point. As racial divides became more prominent under Vee's reign (more on that later) and Red was no longer on top, things got more real and definitely more violent. And just like new inmate Soso said she never felt more alone in prison, we also saw the importance of having backup behind bars. We also got a closer look at Caputo's quest for respect and control, as well as Figueroa and Mendez's undoing.

The Rise and Fall of Queen Vee
The season's ultimate villain, Vee (Lorraine Toussaint), took Litchfield by storm. A drug dealer who already had rocky pasts with Red and Taystee, Vee came in looking for prison domination and was prepared to destroy anyone in her way. A master manipulator and pro at forging fake friendships and feelings, she tore apart meaningful relationships and built people up just to break them down when it was convenient. At first she seemed like a sympathetic surrogate mommy, but she was really just a killer out for blood and power. Do you think she was a good addition this season?

Spotlights on the Unexpected
Backstories abound! Although some of our favorite main characters got the flashback treatment this year (Taystee, Poussey, Crazy Eyes), so did some of the more minor roles that we hadn't spent as much time with. For example we got to see Sister Ingalls' infamous protesting past, Gloria's tragic pre-kitchen life, and Cancer-stricken Rosa's risky adventures in bank robbing. These are some of the characters I, personally, was not expecting to get insight into, so a look at their former lives was a welcome surprise. Plus, all of these ladies ended up being more integral to the plots than anticipated. What was your favorite backstory this season?

Piper Isn't a Newbie Anymore
Piper's vulnerability is no longer palpable. In fact, our little Dandelion flowered into somewhat of a weed. Her attitude this time around was much more prickly and "don't mess with me," teetering on blasé. Her scrappy enterprising was showcased through her continued effort to expose the prison's conditions, but when it came to personal issues, she was hardened and cooler. And when we were introduced to new inmate, hungry activist and rambler Soso, Chapman officially slid in as seasoned prisoner. Soso represented fresh meat naiveté throughout the 13 episodes, but revealed she was "changed" by the season's finale. Do you think this final conversation between Soso and Chapman means a-change-is-a-comin' in Season 3? Will Soso go full lockup badass?

Is Alex the Love of Piper's Life?
The messiest will they, won't they on TV continued. Vause and Chapman's relationship was strained once again when Alex went ahead and testified against her former boss, ultimately going free and leaving Piper to rot after lying on behalf of the two of them. To say things are complicated is an understatement. But through all this we could see the glimmer of unconditional devotion reflecting in Piper's eyes, especially as she dove into a pile of Alex's letters. During her lie-filled testimony she called Alex the love of her life and we don't think that particular remark constituted as perjury. And while she had her fiance stolen by her best friend, the problem with that was more the principle of the matter, not the actual finality of no longer having Larry. Piper's last move was the perfect blend of revenge / twisted rom-com grand gesture -- rat Alex out to her parole officer so she'll have her back in prison by her side. What do you think is in store for these two next season? Do you think they belong together forever?

And, Of Course, There Were Some Shocking Moments Along the Way...
Morello's stalker backstory was a heartbreaking jolt and her break-in at Christopher's was palpation inducing to a horror movie degree. Although it plays out like a cliche, the Larry / Polly love story was quite the romantic twist. Oh, and that last shot of young Rosa after she busted out in a blaze of glory nabbing "rude" Vee along the way. Wowza. What shocked you the most?

Our Hopes For Season 3
More Pennsatucky, please. A lone wolf with new fangs, Tucky became more endearing as she worked towards a friendship with Healy. Backstories for dynamic duo Maritza and Flaca. We would love to hear more of their musings on what love means to them. More Sophia! And a juicy arc for Nichols. What do you hope to see next season?

What did you think of "Orange is The New Black" Season 2 overall?

Orange Is the New Black TV Show Poster
Orange Is the New Black
NETFLIXTVMAJuly 11, 2013
Based on 31 critics

Piper Chapman spends time in a women's prison as a result of her dealings with a drug smuggler. Read More

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