Spoilers for Orange is the New Black season two...

In "It was the Change" (episode 12), the conflict between Red and Vee intensifies:

Red tries to strangle Vee but can't bring herself to finish. The next day, in retaliation, Vee viciously beats Red in the greenhouse.

Soon into the next episode, we learn more:

Red is recovering in the infirmary, sore but with no permanent damage. Suzanne is framed for the beating and likely to be found responsible.

This outcome seems out of character for one of them. What I wonder is:

Why would Vee allow Red to live? Red interpreted the beating as a warning to silence her, as well as a punishment, but killing her would have served both ends with no risk of exposure or retaliation. Vee had the capacity and the means to kill, no witnesses, and a scapegoat to take the fall for the murder. As evil as she was, and as tactically calculating as she was in her criminal schemes, why would she allow an enemy like Red to live when she could simply eliminate her?

The real-world explanation is that Kate Mulgrew is one of the stars of the show and they don't want to lose her. But I'm hopeful for an in-universe answer that makes sense given Vee's nature and the situation.

1 Answer 1


Because Red is a valuable asset. She has proven again and again to be a talented smuggler. Sure, Vee could eventually be able to smuggle her merchandise by herself, but it would be easier (and thus more profitable) to employ Red's talents. Leaving her alive means that Red is in Vee's thrall. Killing Red however, means the loss of potential smuggling channels and it would draw too much attention from the law. The prison where the show is set is a low security one, and murders are definitely not the norm. Too much attention would be bad for Vee's business.

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