Let’s be honest, we’re going to be spending the next few days binge-watching our favorite inmates in their newest season. It’s been a whole year since we last entered Litchfield and a lot has changed in that humble prison. So, before you log into Netflix, I’ll fill you in on everything you need to enjoy our favorite ladies in Orange is the New Black. (Spoiler Alert!)
Bennett backed out
In perhaps the juiciest twist of Season 3, Bennett backs out of marrying Daya after visiting her family. Overcome with second thoughts, Bennett speeds off leaving an abandoned crib and Daya’s broken heart behind. This came as quite a shock to fans as Bennett was one of the few charming male characters on the show. His departure was so abrupt that is has left many fans wondering if he really is gone for good. There are several fan theories regarding his whereabouts, which can be seen here.
Nicky is no more
Towards the end of Season 3, Nicky got her hands on Vee’s heroin stash and hid it herself. As a recovering heroin addict, Nicky spent a lot of last season starring longingly at the stolen drugs. Despite the temptation to give into her vices, she works with Big Boo and Luschek to move the drugs out of the prison and sell them on the street. It seemed like their plan would work, until a single bag of heroin was found in Luschek’s desk. In a panic Luschek blamed Nicky for the drugs and she was dragged down the hill to the max-security prison. This is the last time we see Nicky and it has left many fans mourning her witty comments and snarky attitude. And with one burning question: will this lovable troublemaker return for Season 4?
Pennsatucky gave us all the feels
The character we loved to hate in previous seasons and then made us cry in Season 3. Pennsatucky began an unlikely friendship with Big Boo, after she consoled Penn during the Mother’s Day celebration. And, in one of the most painful flashbacks of the show, Pennsatucky reveals that she was raped after her boyfriend moved away. In the prison, she befriended a male prison guard who took advantage of his position and also raped her. She, with the help of Big Boo, managed to take a little revenge on her attacker but justice was still out of Penn’s reach at the end of Season 3. The plot was never fully resolved and many viewers hope that the rapist will get it in Season 4.
Black Cindy found her people
After the prison food was replaced with mush, inmates realized they could get delicious Kosher meals if they pretend they’re Jewish. And this worked for a while until a Rent-a-Rabbi was brought in by the administration to determine who was really Jewish. Undeterred, Black Cindy decided to fully convert to Judaism to keep getting her Kosher meals. But during the process of converting, she realized that she felt a genuine calling to the Jewish community. She realized that she had found her people and a place where she belonged. Black Cindy admitted all this to the Rabbi in a tearful speech at the end of the season, and he confirmed that she can convert to Judaism.
Alex is paranoid (for good reason!)
Alex wound up back in prison after violating her parole in Season 2.Once she arrived back at Litchfield, she broke down and blamed herself for ruining her shot at a normal life outside of prison. Eventually, Piper tells her that she was the one who told Davey Crocket that she had violated her parole. And, after a lot of hate-sex, they become a couple again. But Alex is increasingly paranoid that one of her fellow inmates is really a killer, sent by Cobra to dispose of her. She let her guard down at the wrong moment and is corned by a member of the drug cartel in one of the final scenes of the season. The audience was left on a terrible cliff hanger, wondering if Alex would get out of this alive.
After her magic seemingly got rid of Vee, many of the inmates began to suspect Norma of being a prophet. They soon form a religion around Norma and worship her so-called “miracles.” We see how Norma’s past is tied up with cults and the reason why she doesn’t speak. Norma’s followers are repeatedly ignored by the staff who refuse to recognize them as a legitimate religion. Leanna soon gains control and turns the religion into a cult, which targets and bullies Soso throughout the rest of the Season.
Poussey and Soso
These two unlikely inmates interact throughout the entire season. They both have been suffering from the loneliness and isolation of prison life. Poussey throws herself into hooch, the Time Hump Chronicles, and even Norma’s cult to find hope and a place of belonging. Soso has been struggling to make connections and voices the pain of being someone of mixed race. According to Soso, being mixed race means being rejected and never fully understood by either group. It is not until the final scenes that they finally seem at peace, as the both found someone to love and a family inside the prison.
Daya and her baby mama drama
Daya finally gives birth to her baby! But the big question this season is who will raise it? Pornstache’s mother, Delia, contacted Daya early in the season and offered to adopt the child. As Daya was confronted with tough decisions, Aledia was the one who decided what would happen with the child. Aledia lied and told Delia that the baby died during childbirth. Meanwhile, Daya only was able to stay with her newborn for two hours before it was taken away and she was carted back to Litchfield. Cesar was set to raise the baby, but was suddenly busted by the DEA. As Cesar was arrested, an officer called for social services to pick up the children, leaving us to wonder what would happen to Daya’s baby and who would raise it.
Piper’s underwear antics
The main storyline followed Piper as she descended from a fragile WASP to the newest crime boss of Litchfield. It’s revealed that the new job (that pays a whole $1 per hour) is sewing lingerie for a Victoria’s Secret knockoff. Piper quickly finds a way to steal extra pairs of panties and then sells them online to people with prison panty fetishes. With the help of a new guard, her brother Cal, and several familiar inmates, Piper creates a crime network inside the prison. During this venture, she also meets a new love interest, Stella, who is played by the beautiful Ruby Rose. While Alex and Piper were a solid couple in early episodes, they fracture as Piper becomes a crime boss and Alex gives into her paranoia. Stella steps in and captures the hearts of both Piper and the audience. In a shocking twist, Stella steals all of Piper’s panty money in a fit of desperation. Piper responds by hiding contraband in Stella’s bunk which sends her down to max security prison just two days before she was set to be released.
With all the cliffhangers and amazing story lines, fans can’t wait for the next season to bring answers to burning questions! While there are plenty of fan theories online, the coming season will hopefully bring some solid answers to the fates of our beloved characters.