PARKER, Yvonne “Vee”

Yvonne “Vee” Parker (portrayed by Lorraine Toussaint) was merely alluded to in season one in conversation between Taystee and Poussey about Taystee’s childhood; however, once she steps onto the scene in season two, we know immediately that Red (and Gloria Mendoza) have a new opposing “businesswoman” on their hands.

We begin with how Vee came into Taystee’s life; she shows up to an adoption fair and witnesses Taystee’s painstaking efforts to be noticed, which could lead to her adoption. She finds the young, sulking Taystee sitting on a park bench and eating an ice pop, which “looks blue, tastes red.” Since she likes “me somethin’ tasty,” Vee affectionately calls her “taystee girl,” and thus her nickname was born. Just when Taystee starts warming up to Vee, she reveals her true intentions; she could use a smart girl like Taystee to help her run her business. Although Taystee rejects her offer, not wanting to get into trouble, Vee claims:

“I’m an adult. It gives me the right to make bad choices.”

Vee is the den mother of all of her drug-peddling children, one being RJ, Taystee’s love interest, who she raised from “snaggle tooth to lady-killer.” RJ uses this status to try to persuade and win Vee over. Despite the fact that she claims to “protect my babies,” we discover that once RJ starts up his own business, which effectively takes some of Vee’s customers away from him, Vee spins her own set of charms onto RJ, which not only ends up in them in bed together, but RJ’s dead body on the pavement, a fate which Vee carefully planned herself to teach him, as well as all of her “children,” a lesson. We later learn that she had been paying off this very cop to keep quiet about her peddling. Not only did she fuck RJ, but she fucked him over, too.

Taystee spent her entire week out of jail looking for Vee, and for this, she resents Vee once she appears in jail with her. Vee claims that she had to go into hiding to prevent being caught by the cops, and that T should not take it “personally.” Regardless of the harm Vee has brought upon Taystee, including her current sentence, Taystee remains loyal to her, for she gave her stability and a home, despite their illegal activities.

“You’d be ten years dead now. You’d be just another anonymous black child buried six deep in a county field.”

While in prison, she attempts to create alliances with Gloria Mendoza, offering her the cigarettes that Suzanne fetched from the warehouse for her (of course, in exchange for a Funfetti cake with chocolate frosting as a “peace-offering” to Taystee). Like the wolf in sheep’s clothing she is, she begs for forgiveness, reminding Taystee that she cared for her, and that “I will do the same here.” It is at this moment when she invites the rest of Taystee’s crew over for a slice of cake that we see that Vee is building herself an army. Although Taystee is cautious in reengaging with Vee, Suzanne is far more naive and becomes her faithful “muscle” to her “brainy” operation.

Vee approaches Poussey with a similar business proposition: to turn her Hooch making into a business that could make them money while in prison. When Poussey turns down the proposition, she begins to see the young girl as a threat to her operation; if Taystee’s best friend is not completely on board, she knows that Taystee won’t be either. She happens to see the two spooning in the dorms and begins to manipulate Taystee’s perception of Poussey, for there is the threat of being talked about as being “gay for the stay.”

Once Queen Vee has established her spot as the den mother, the women start getting tired of her stories from “back in the good ol’ days” when the black women ran Litchfield. Whenever she is met with any opposition, she reminds them that “I’m on your side;” however, Poussey sees her as “just a bully who uses lost kids for her own shit” and a “fucking vampire” (as well as Erykah Badu), or “a pedophile without the sex.”

“That woman can weasel her way out of anything.” – Red on Vee

Vee gets Mendoza to put in a transfer for her girls from the warehouse into the kitchen so that the warehouse would be freed up for her and her girls to start running their tobacco operation, and later heroin. Despite Taystee’s wavering loyalty and the war she wages on Poussey, she manages to keep Watson and Black Cindy (and of course Suzanne) on her good graces for a while until the slocking.

Vee is placed in commissary, which places her in control of the goods that the women can voluntarily purchase, but this is not enough. She then turns around and schmoozes with Red (behind Mendoza’s back) in bashing Mendoza’s food. Although she claims that “this time I’m gonna keep my head down,” Red knows better, for the two of them have a past. We learn that Red only went into business in the kitchen due to Vee’s suggestion; Vee later took out the “head” of the black women (at this time, the black women ran Litchfield) and rose to power. She then intimidated Red into giving up her business so she could be not only the head of the black women, formerly Rhonda, but the queen of the prison. This happens again when Big Boo rats out Red, trying to become one of Vee’s gang, on her greenhouse operation, allowing Vee to intimidate Red once again. When Red will simply not give up her operation, Vee slocks her. Once Watson and Cindy realize that she threw Suzanne under the bus, they recant their confessions, which makes things more difficult for Vee.

Vee uses the known manhole in the greenhouse to escape the prison, which brings her into the middle of the forest. When she finally finds the road, hoping to hitchhike, she is struck down by Miss Rosa.

“Always so rude that one.” – Miss Rosa on Vee

Despite how strong-willed, manipulative, and in-control she seems, in a flashback, we learn that Vee has hit menopause, and she is wondering what she did with her life: “I should’ve got me a man.” While this is likely the end to Vee’s story, we do know that what she has done with her life was ruin those of the younger generation.

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