Can you believe it’s been a year? We were all shook by Poussey’s death — a heartbreaking performance by Samira Wiley — on the last season of “Orange is the New Black,” and the real world sure hasn’t provided much relief in the months since. Can we handle another ride?
The good news is that “OITNB” has always excelled at infusing its mostly dark world with humor. That’s because the characters who inhabit Litchfield are fully developed — they laugh and cry, and have good days and bad, like real humans do. Sometimes, they’re really funny. Mostly, they just struggle to get by.
We know that season five, which drops on Netflix on June 9, takes place over the course of three days. We know that last we saw her, Daya (Dascha Polanco) was holding a gun to a CO’s head, surrounded by screaming inmates. And we know that tensions are high, and there’s no way we’re getting out of this one emotionally intact.
So what is there to look forward to? So much. Here are the characters we can’t wait to see again.
Three episodes into the show’s third season, we lost Nicky (Natasha Lyonne) to Max — and she didn’t reappear until the sixth episode of season four. It was a long, lonely road. Nicky’s particular brand of dry, always right-on-time humor feels very needed in Litchfield, especially as conditions get worse and there’s less and less to laugh about. We’re hoping for a lot more of Nicky, and maybe even another glimpse into her past. We want to see Nicky as a little Nicky, please.
We’ve spent a lot of time with Red (Kate Mulgrew) — but what about her matriarchal counterpoint? Gloria (Selenis Leyva) is in charge of the kitchen now, and is trying to be mom to a whole group of ladies while she misses her own kids. Let’s see Gloria step into her leadership role fully, and get comfortable owning some real power.
Frieda (Dale Soules) seems like a nice old lady at first, but she can be scary as hell. Also, we can assume that she has a life sentence. Sorry how did she get here? Please, tell us everything.
Remember her? Stephanie (Jolene Purdy) had a brief but memorable moment in the sun when she sold Piper (Taylor Schilling) out to the Latina girls in season 4, leading to Piper’s pretty horrific branding. We haven’t seen much of her since, but that move she pulled shows she can play the prison game with the best of em, and we bet her backstory is one for the books.
OK, so we’ve actually seen plenty of Taystee (Danielle Brooks) — but can we keep it coming? Her stint as Caputo’s assistant last season was so much fun (and fun plotlines on OINTB are to be treasured). She’s consistently been a bright spot on the show, and with Poussey gone, she’s the closest thing we have to familiar comfort and joy. Which, let’s be honest, is much needed.