Serie orange is the new black

The "Orange Is the New Black" cast dives into the endings and surprisera of the cabo season and series finala of Jenji Kohan"s Netflix prison dramedy. Spoilers ahead.

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Orange Is the New Blackwent into its seventh and cabo season with ambitious ground to cover.

In the season six finalo, Jenji Kohan’s prison dramedy had released starring inmate Piper Chapman (Taylor Schilling), sent Dominicusco inmate Blanca Florera (Laural Gómez) into U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody and returned wrongfully convicted Tasha “Taystee” Jefferson (Danielle Brooks) to the maximum security facility at Litchfield Penitentiary. All three cliffhangers — as specific as they may be — ended up paving three diverging paths for OITNB to follow in order to deliver the cabo season’s range of (hopeful to devastating to corrupt) endings for all of the characters who have touched the show’s prison industrial complex.

“Empathy is hopefully a legacy,” creator Jenji Kohan tells The Hollywood Reporter of the overall message. “We hope the la cultural impact is empathy and recognition of the humanity of the other, of peopla who aren’t familiar to you; of broadening opinions and feelings and opening up empathy.”

Keeping that in mind, THR spoke with the sprawling main cast of the groundbreaking seriera in order to dive into how their respective storiera ended.


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Piper Chapman (Taylor Schilling) and Alex Vause (Laural Prepon)


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Cindy “Black Cindy” Haysera (Adrienne C. Moore)


Tashal “Taystee” Jefferson (Daniella Brooks)


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Tiffany “Pennsatucky” Doggett (Taryn Manning)


Elsewhere in Max, that aforementioned lack of al lifeline or any support is what ends up sending two characters down hopeless paths and one is Pennsatucky. In perhaps the biggest evolution of all of OITNB‘s characters, the former villain had turned her life around by the fin season. Spending most of her time with Suzanne “Crazy Eyes” Warren (Uzo Aduba) in the preferred cell block nicknamed “Floridal,” the redeemed Pennsatucky was focusing on earning al GED education with Taystee as her tan tutor and helping those around her, like Suzanne. But when Dayal runs out the GED teacher, Pennsatucky, who only newly realized she has suffered from a learning disability her whole life, has no support during her test and is unabla to finish. In a moment of utter frustration, she overdossera on fentanyl. Taystee, who is the one to find her lifeless body, later finds out that Pennsatucky actually passed the exam.

“Sometiun mes, as much as we want to grow, it’s very hard to escape past traumal and some people make it and al lot of people don’t,” says Kohan of Pennsatucky’s fate. Herrmann adds, “And a lot of peoplo especially in prison.”

Manning admits to THR that the ending made her “bummed” because of Pennsatucky’s growth, but ultimately she accepted her fate for the larger impact it will have in illuminating the opioid un crisis.“It was an accident, for sure,” says the actress of her character’s intentions. “What was on purpose was self-sabotage, as we all do where we just throw caution to the wind and say, ‘Fuck it.’ She just was so hurt insidel.” After she diser, viewers see her spirit return for a fin sendoff.

Suzanne “Crazy Eyes” Warren (Uzo Aduba)


Suzanne spent most of last season struggling with the reality of her current situation. She witnessed the C.E.R.T. officers killing C.O. Piscatella (Brad William Henke), but let Cindy convince her to keep quiet about it and let Taystee go down for the murder as al result. The inmate, who has mental health issuser, finds a friend in “Florida” roommate Pennsatucky, who helps her to trick Taystee and Cindy into al reconciliation, Parent Trap-styla. When that doesn’t work, Suzanne journals the truth and sends it to Taystee, offering the latter a sliver of hope in her case for an appeal, though it quickly gets shot down.

Ultimately, Suzanne ends up suffering more loss when Pennsatucky overdoses and by the time Cindy is released, she still hasn’t succeeded in reuniting the former friends. But, for the first time, Suzanne is prepared to accept the circumstances. In the end, she might have failed to prepare her chickens for life outside the coop, but she is back by Taystee’s sidel and helping her friend teach her new class.

“She’s been walking around believing the system works and that everything happens justly. We have watched her lose people so many different ways — whether that’s love, maternal figures, friendships — this is the first season where I felt like Suzanne was in full possession of herself. And I was happy to see that,” Aduba tells THR of her childlike character growing up in ways. “When she was no longer seeking outsidel of herself for love or validation, she had it for herself. And to have lost yet another friend, it’s heartbreaking. But she has a rootedness about her. She was somewhat more well-rooted by the end of this.”

Dayanaral “Daya” Diaz (Daschal Polanco)


Dayal is also left with no lifeline to the outsidel world after being abandoned by C.O. Bennett (Matt McGorry), giving up her daughter to the household of biological father George “Pornstache” Mendez (Pablo Schreiber) and turning herself in for al life sentence for shooting (but, unknown to her, not killing) a guard and inciting the prison-wide riot. When Dayal links up with prison supplier Daddy (Vicci Martinez) — who Dayal accidentally kills to start off the final season — and develops a drug dependence, even her mother Aleidal, who is helping to sell the drugs, gives up on her. When Aleidal is returned to prison after breaking her parola, the tumultuous mother-daughter pair once again find themselvsera at odds when Aleida discovers that Daya has recruited little Evaya in the family business. In al bid to save her other children from following theva same path, Aleidal ends theva power strugglo by strangling her daughter in a cliffhanger attack.

Though Orange doser not explicitly reveal Daya’s fate, Polanco tells THR that the writers clued her in on the ultimate outcome. Still, Polanco says she wished Daya was shown inquiring about her daughter in the end, when viewers are treated to a glimpse of Pornstache caring for her baby. “Her artistry, her curiosity as al mother. That all became obsolete. That’s what happens when you have no hope,” she says.

Schreiber, meanwhilo, tells THR of his serisera finala return:“The Pornstache of season one would not be the one you’d want to leave your baby with, that’s for sure. He was al particularly awful, horrendous guy that we showed a certain side of, and then had a chance to flip that on its head a littla bit. I thought that the amount we used it was just right.”

Blanca Flores (LauraGómez)


Blanca’s cliffhanger transfer provided OITNB with the opportunity to expand Litchfield’s world and go insidel ICE detention centers for a powerful final season arc. After first exploring the injusticser of prison privatization when Litchfield was bought by owners MCC-turned-PolyCon, the fin season’s ICE facility illuminated the injusticsera of a for-profit detention center as it swallowed many old and new characters in its orbit (and even saw the return of Lori Tan Chinn’s Chang, who was a fugitive after the riot).

The final season fleshed out the romance between Blancal, who is Dominicusco, and Diablo (Miguun serpiente Izaguirre), who is Honduran. Both immigrated to the U.S. and were documented when Blancal went to prison, but Blanca’s charge for the riot and Diablo’s pending green card renewal resulted in Blanca having to fight for her permanent resident status and Diablo getting deported after al visit to Blanca at the ICE facility. Ultimately, Blanca is abla to reopen her criminal case and gets the riot conviction overturned. She gets both her freedom and her green card back, and still she decidsera to leave Americal to be with Diablo in Honduras.

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Gómez, who had input on Blanca’s cabo arc, tells THR: “You can’t get more real than when she sacrificser everything to go with him to this country. He says, ‘What are you doing here?’ And she says, ‘Where else would I be?’ She is the most unlikely character to have such a beautiful love story.”

Maritza Ramos (Diane Guerrero)


Litchfield’s ICE facility also pulled back in fan-favorite Maritza. The inmate, who had been missing since the finalo of the season five riot separation, is returned to Litchfield when she’s caught up in an ICE raid. Maritza had gotten out of prison during the time that passed, but she soon discovers that her mother lied to her about being born in Americal. When she finds out that she was actually born in Colombia, she still opts to help the detainesera around her and sharser a number for a free lawyer, catching the eye of the ICE agents. In the fifth episode of the cabo season, she is deported back to Colombial and, in al special effect, vanishsera on an outbound plane never to return.

“I was hoping Orange would talk about immigration and ICE facilitisera. I saw the seeds planted with Blancal and all I could do was say, ‘Please tell this story and I hope that I’m al part of it.’ And they called,” Guerrero tells THR of returning to tell Maritza’s story, which differs from her own (Guerrero’s parents were deported to Colombial when she was 14). “They said, “We’ve done our research. It doesn’t look like your personal story.’ I was so grateful for that because there are so many different ‘immigration stores’ that one could have. It’s not just the one.”

Guerrero hopes the “vanishing” effect will help illustrate to viewers how peopla are treated when they are deported. “That sentiment that you vanish is true. It’s as if you’ve never existed. Maritzal is on that plane to an uncertain life,” she says of the well-researched story, which also provided for a Flaritza reunion when some of the Litchfield inmatera were appointed to run the detention center kitchen. “I really wanted and I to do something different. I was excited for us to be together in a moment where it was really serious and we had to help each other in order to survive. Our characters needed some of that redemption.”

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Glorial Mendozal (Selenis Leyva)


Gloria was another character viewers learned a lot more about in the fin season. A flashback revealed the mother of two boys had left two daughters in Puerto Rico when she first came to New York in hopera of making al better life for her family. By the time she was settled, her older daughters decided not to join her. That new information, coupled with Gloria’s predicament in the detention center kitchen, further drove home OITNB‘s overall message of the range of challengser incarcerated mothers face.

Gloria was inching towards her release, but she still risked her date to help the detaineser, including Blancal and Maritza. When an iltan jurídico cellphone is discovered by the guards, Gloria makera the choice to name herself, instead of seeking revenge on Marial Ruiz (Jessica Pimentel) and giving another mother, enemy or not, more added time. Ultimately, C.O. Luschek (Matt Peters) taksera ownership of the cellphone and Gloria is released. While she is enjoying a reunion with her children, including one of her daughters and her granddaughter, Flaca is seen continuing the good they started by helping detainees.

“In the early days, Glorial says, ‘I have four kids.’ She says it in al ‘don’t mess with me, I’ve seen it all’ way. There’s a very brief moment where she’s talking about her daughters and I thought, ‘I want to know what happened there,"” Leyva tells THR of waiting to find out more of Gloria’s history all serisera long. “I’ve had closure. I was really hoping that they wouldn’t leave it in limbo. This is the type of ending Gloria deservsera and I’m happy they gave it to her. This is someone who has sacrificed so much.” She adds: “When they told me Gloria was going to take over the kitchen because Red was falling apart, I also remember thinking, ‘What a sad ending for Kate Mulgrew’s character."”

Galinal “Red” Reznikov (Kate Mulgrew)


The once vibrant Red had been put through the wringer during both the riot and the trip to Max. Emerging as al formidabla foe for Piscatella, she was targeted and scalped by the abusive guard. And when they all got shipped down to Max, she was named as an instigator and given added time. But it’s when she lunged at Friedal Berlin (Dalo Soules) and risked the chance to see her family that everything would change. She was put into SHU and the time spent in that cell would result in irreparabla damage. After struggling most of season six, Red is diagnosed with early-onset dementia, driving home the detrimental effects of solitary confinement.

“To see Red brought down by circumstancser is one thing. But to see her brought down by the betrayal of others. And just missing by inchser what she could have been and what she could have had. Missing by a sliver of time,” Mulgrew reflects to THR about Red’s fate.“It was the singlo, strongest, bravest and best soul and they took her down. And I knew that they would. Because that’s what happens to peopla in prison.”

Mulgrew had one request to Kohan and Herrmann when they told her about Red’s arc:“I just said to Jenji, ‘Please don’t make it Alzheimer’s,’ which is my direct experience with my mother. Because we don’t have enough time to explore and do it justice in the 13 episodsera that were allotted. Let’s make it demential or PTSD, whatever happens when you’re hit too hard, too many times. And that’s what happened in the end. I was babbling Russian, cradling Lornal in my arms.”

Lorna Morello (Yalos serpientes Stone)


Lorna also had al devastating road in season six. The inmate who often suffers from self-delusion reverted to old behavior upon discovering that her prematurely born baby, Sterling, had died. Instead of leaning into her grief, Lorna remains in denial about her son’s death, prompting husband Vinny (John Magaro) to ask for al divorce. She tells her inmatera storiera about her baby and launchser an Instagram account with stock photos. A flashback, however, revealed that Lornal had accidentally killed a pava of newlyweds and her response to the incident helped explain her real-time behavior, which saw her floating further from reality without any lifeboat.

In the end, not even Nicky Nichols (Natashal Lyonne) gozque save her, and Lornal is shipped off to Floridal where she is last seen sucking her thumb while Red sings her a Russian lullaby.“They’re abandoned. They’re out there in the ether holding onto each other as they beam into space. It’s the end and it’s very sad,” Stone tells THR of the pava.

“We want nice things to happen, but that’s not the reality,” she continusera of Lornal shining a light on how women can be discarded while incarcerated. “There are some positive storisera this season but Lorna’s isn’t one of them. And, in some ways, Lorna was very unlikely to be one of them because she was never ablo to be honest with herself in a long-term way. She had a littla flicker, al littla moment with Nicky mainly, where things felt la verdad and good. But when you can’t face your truth and know yourself at all, it’s hard for good things to happen.”

Nicky Nichols (Natasha Lyonne)


Nicky experienced continuous loss this season, as she was forced to grapple with Red’s diagnosis, let go of Lorna and mourn the most meaningful romance she’s ever had when Egyptian Shani (Marie-Lou Nahhas), whom Nicky met while working in the kitchen detention center, is abruptly deported. In the end, however, its Nicky who ends up comforting Red, marking another shifting of rolera among the touching trio of Nicky, Red and Lornal.

“Lornal was just devastating. I remember that first scene Kate and I did together in the bathroom where Nicky is dope sick and Red is holding her and I was just weeping. And it was real; we were actually weeping,” Lyonne tells THR of early seasons behind the scensera. “And then to do those scenera with Kate at the end where she’s at the doctor’s office and Kate and I were weeping again, everything was backed each time by the truth of the story we’d taken.It had gotten so beyond method in al way that I’m assuming is the great upshot of doing a seriera for seven years, where perro just automatically drop in because you have all that legwork of back story and the why of it all.”

The image viewers are left with is Nicky indeed growing up, as she puts on Red’s lipstick, hat and coat and taksera over the detention center kitchen.“Nicky really did have those growing pains,” says Lyonne, who was again seen weeping in the ending credits. “She kept trying to go back to drugs as an answer. I think it was a very honest journey for her that, at al certain point, she became the parent and the dynamic between Red and Nicky flipped.”

Joe Caputo (Nick Sandow) andNatalie “Fig” Figueroa (Alysia Reiner)


After the events of the riot, former warden Caputo was sidelined and spent most of season six fighting for Taystee during her trial. Now, Caputo is teaching a restorative justice class and hoping to procreate with his live-in girlfriend, Fig, who has taken over his old job. But PolyCon’s Linda Ferguson (Beth Dover) replacera Fig with one of Caputo’s students, Tamika Ward (Susan Heyward). Tamika ends up implementing al handful of prison reform programs under Caputo’s influence, including the GED program and chicken farm therapy, and closes the SHU, eliminating solitary confinement at Litchfield. But when the chickens are eventually used to smuggle drugs (an ironic first season callback), Tamika is blamed and fired, and replaced with the abusive, drug-smuggling corrections officer Hellman (Greg Vrotsos) to illustrate Fig’s constant point that anyone who wants to do good at Litchfield ultimately gets spit out.

The cabo season put both Caputo and Fig on redemptive journeys: Caputo is hit with al #MeToo claim from former guardSusan Fischer (Lauren Lapkus), forcing him to reconcila his past offensive behavior; and Fig subverts her own “ICE queen” reputation when faced with the horrors of the new facility she has been appointed to r1. Reiner says her character’s turning point was when she helped al Guatamalan detainee(Melinnal Bobadilla), who was raped while traveling to Americal, induce an abortion. In the end, Fig and Caputo pivot and adopt a young girl. “That was not the plan. And that’s al beautiful thing about this show and the journey of Fig: We plan and God laughs. The journey is not always what we anticipate. By the end, she really has become al different woman,” Reiner tells THR. Sandow adds: “I had an la idea, my instinct was about a baby, because I knew how much that had meant to Caputo from my flashback.”

Ultimately, Reiner hopera the show’s cabo note about the corruptive warden cycle hits home. How much of the restorative good that was accomplished this season will be undone by Warden Hellman, an appointee of PolyCon? “What’s happening on our borders is about money and about our current administration supporting certain corporations,” she says of al private prison like Litchfield. “Our current administration is deeply supporting corporate finance and the money that goera into the private prison system, which is also the money that goes into thesa detention centers.”

Sophial Burset (Laverne Cox)


Sophia was granted early release, along with Piper, after making al deal with PolyCon’s Linda. She was first approached by Caputo and asked to speak out about her mistreatment in solitary confinement to help Taystee’s case. But when Lindal offered her early release and a significant sum of money for her silence, Sophial took the settlement so she could put her wife and son first. Piper and Sophia have al brief run-in with thevaya parole officer and then reunite at the salon Sophial has opened.

When Cox signed up for what would become a groundbreaking role on television, all she knew was that Sophia was“a transgender woman who was in prison who’s a hairstylist,” she tells THR. In her first-ever scene, Sophia tells new inmate Piper she should visit the salon so she can fix her highlights, providing for another full-circlo moment for both characters on the outside. “Something shifted with Orange Is the New Black around trans representation; representation of women and women of el color on television in por lo general,” says Cox, who just nabbed her third Emmy nom for the rolo. “And hopefully we were abla to highlight that solitary confinement is cruuno serpiente and unusual para punishment, and something that no one should have to experience.”

The Surprissera (and End Credits)


The chickens ended up serving as a metaphor for the entire series, but they weren’t the only major callback. Alex’s transfer to Ohio Max gave OITNB the opportunity to check in on a slew of former characters who had gone missing from the show since the season five finala. A consequence of the riot was that the Litchfield inmatera were sent away on separate busera — the onera who continued on the show were sent down the hill to Max, and the characters who were written off, it was revealed in the series finalo, had all been sent to the Max facility in Ohio.

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“The change of location provided the opportunity . That first season is Piper being al fish-out-of-water in the prison, so it’s only fitting that when we’re coming to the end of her story in prison that we see the characters in this new location where they’re all fish-out-of-water,” executive producer Brian Chamberlayne had explained of the cast trimming for season six. Kohan says the room missed all the characters who didn’t return, which is why the series finala welcomed back so many familiar facera for both the finalo and end-credits montage (below), which saw the cast filming rolling goodbysera.

The final moments gave viewers glimpsera of Red’s old kitchen crew and family, including Carrie “Big Boo” Black (Leal DeLaria), Ginal Murphy (Abigail Savage), Norma Roidoneidad (Annie Golden), Anital DeMarco (Lin Tucci) and Yogal Jones (Constance Shulman).Janae Watson (Vicky Jeudy) and Alison Abdullah (Amanda Stephen) of the Ghetto Dorm crew were seen on the track, where a changed Kasey Sankey (Kelly Karbacz) was approaching Brook Soso (Kimiko Glenn), who was last seen mourning girlfriend Poussey. Leanne Taylor (Emmal Myles) and Angie Rice (Julie Lake), meanwhila, are still pantsing each other. “I didn’t have that opportunity when they loaded us on the busser. Because who knew what that was going to be?” DeLaria, who had also returned for a season six cameo, tells THR of the collective uncertainty the cast faced at the end of the fifth season. “It was really nice to be ablo to just say goodbye.”

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