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When Orange Is the New Black returns with its sixth season, the Netflix prison dramedy is headed to Litchfield Max.
The stakes were raised in the fifth season of the Jenji Kohan-created prison dramedy when the death of Poussey Washington (Samira Wiley) incited a prison-wide riot at the longtime home of Orange‘s inmates, the minimum security prison of Litchfield. In a condensed timeline of 72 hours, Orange showed what its female prisoners were capable of when the power was flipped. Now, the organizers and violent offenders during the riot are likely to pay the consequences.
The finale saw the riot police retaking the prison, separating the inmates, bussing them to unknown destinations and exploding a bunker holding 10 of Litchfield’s most high-profile inmates. With Orange already renewed for a seventh season, the game-changing cliffhanger gives the long-running series an opportunity to shift course: Who will go to max? While the trailer reveals that many characters — including nearly all of the 10 inmates in question — indeed make it down the hill, there are many absent faces. As has been theorized, Kohan could use the opportunity to follow only some of the inmates from here, shedding fringe characters and refocusing the show onto the core group.
With an ensemble this size, The Hollywood Reporter rounds up where all of Orange‘s inmates and friends were last seen going into season six.
The Bunker 10
Frieda (Dale Soules), Suzanne (Uzo Aduba), Cindy (Adrienne C. Moore), Taystee (Danielle Brooks), Red (Kate Mulgrew), Piper (Taylor Schilling), Alex (Laura Prepon), Nicky (Natasha Lyonne), Gloria (Selenis Leyva) and Blanca (Laura Gomez).
Where they left off: Holding hands in the prison’s empty pool, the 10 fan-favorites transcended racial tribes after trying — and failing — to fight for what their groups believed to be right under dire circumstances. Frieda became a resourceful ally for Nicky, Alex, Piper, Gloria, Blanca, Red, Cindy, Suzanne and Taystee by bringing them all to her secret bunker. After failing at negotiations on behalf of the inmates, Taystee points a gun at Piscatella’s head for his role in Poussey’s death; she doesn’t shoot. Red, who was scalped by the guard-in-command, is the one who frees Piscatella, effectively ending their war. When he leaves the bunker, however, the abusive guard is killed by the riot police — unbeknownst to the women. Moments after an emotional proposal that saw Alex and Piper get engaged, the women were left standing together in protest as the screen went up in smoke from explosives. The only one of the 10 not seen in the season six trailer is Alex. Though the first footage implies that Alex is missing in max, Prepon was having her baby around the time season six went into production.
Burning question: Assuming all of the women survive, who will get added time for her role in the riot?
Daya Diaz (Dascha Polanco)
Where she left off: After playing a major role in the riot, Gloria convinces Daya to turn herself in for shooting Humphrey, which sends Daya off to max. Before she goes, she uses one of the smuggled cellphones to call Pornstache’s mother (Mary Steenburgen) and reveal that their baby is alive after all, and that she wants her to be the guardian. Though Daya made an early exit, prompting questions about whether or not she would return, she is heavily featured in the trailer and season six marketing.
Burning question: What will the threat of a sentence for murder do to Daya’s psyche?
Flaca Gonzales (Jackie Cruz) and Maritza Ramos (Danielle Guerrero)
Where they left off: The best friends and budding YouTube stars gave each other a tearful goodbye as they were split into separate bus lines after the riot. One of the armed guards tells the formerly joined-at-the-hip pair, dubbed Flaritza, that they won’t be heading back to Litchfield anytime soon.
Burning question: How will Flaca and Maritza handle prison when apart?
Janae Watson (Vicky Jeudy) and Alison Abdullah (Amanda Stephen)
Where they left off: With Taystee, Suzanne and Cindy’s lives hanging in the balance inside, Alison and Janae are left outside, anxious with no information about their family.
Burning question: Will the Ghetto Dorm girls be reunited and if not, how will they fare without each other?
Pennsatucky (Taryn Manning) and C.O. Coates (James McMenamin)
Where they left off: The riot provided Pennsatucky and Coates with the opportunity to rekindle their controversial relationship; during the riot, Pennsatucky escapes Litchfield and wanders to the guard house. When Coates finds her there, the two decide to sit together and watch TV.
Burning question: Will Pennsatucky turn herself in?
Lorna Morello (Yael Stone)
Where she left off: After finding out that she is pregnant with husband Vinny’s (John Magaro) baby, Nicky convinces Lorna to surrender instead of joining the bunker protest, where Nicky now stands. Vinny shows up to Litchfield to apologize and tell Lorna that he wants to be a family. Lorna is seen without any of her family when she takes her seat on one of the busses.
What to watch for: How will she handle her pregnancy in a new environment?
Aleida Diaz (Elizabeth Rodriguez)
Where she left off: Aledia, Daya’s mother, has been out on release since before the riot and is struggling to earn a legitimate living so she can pull her kids out of foster care. When she finds out that Daya shot one of the guards, she fails at convincing her daughter to say she acted in self-defense and watches as Daya is taken down the hill.
Burning question: Will the news about Daya impact her progress on the outside?
Big Boo (Lea DeLaria) and Linda Ferguson (Beth Dover)
Where they left off: After discovering the truth about her new girlfriend Linda, Boo sabotages the MCC employee’s attempt to identify herself to the police and Linda is once again on her way — along with Boo — to serving out more prison time.
Burning question: How long will Caputo let Linda stay incarcerated and will her time in prison impact her role with the MCC?
Joe Caputo (Nick Sandow)
Where he left off: After having an inmate die and a prison uprise on his watch, Caputo was forced to work with the SWAT team to help MCC take the prison back. Despite being held hostage, he tried to help Taystee with her negotiations and once he was released, he refused to direct the SWAT team to the pool where the missing 10 inmates are after finding out that the governor OK’d potential casualties in the raid.
Burning question: Will he continue to fight for justice for Poussey and the inmates?
Natalie Figueroa, aka Fig (Alysia Reiner)
Where she left off: Fig made her return when she was called in to negotiate with the prisoners, led by Taystee, who were holding Caputo hostage along with the guards inside. Despite trying to meet Taystee in the middle, negotiations fail when Taystee refuses to budge about punishment for C.O. Bayley over Poussey’s murder. Fig ends up directing the officers to the pool when Caputo refuses.
Burning question: Will she make a play for Caputo’s job?
Maria Ruiz (Jessica Pimentel)
Where she left off: Ruiz finds out about Gloria’s proposed deal with MCC — in exchange for releasing the guards who were being held hostage, Gloria would get furlough to go see her son Benny, who is in emergency care in the hospital. Seizing an opportunity to see her own daughter who was taken away from her after giving birth in prison, Ruiz frees the guards herself and makes inmate enemies in the process. The move ruins Gloria’s hopes of seeing her kid and Ruiz is briefly reunited with her daughter while waiting outside at the end of the riot.
Burning question: Will she and Gloria seek revenge on each other if reunited in max?
Sophia Burset (Laverne Cox)
Where she left off: In a bid to go find her friend Sister Jane Ingalls during the riot, Sophia gets herself sent back to SHU. The nun spearheaded Sophia’s release from SHU and had remained there ever since. Once there, however, Sophia finds out that Sister Ingalls has received a compassionate release after coming down with pneumonia. The last Sophia is seen, she is laughing inside her cell in solitary confinement upon hearing the good news.
Burning question: Does Sophia’s early exit from season five mean she will have less of a role in season six?
Ouija (Rosal Colon), Zirconia (Daniella De Jesus) and Pidge (Miriam Morales)
Where they left off: The trio led the torturing of the guards during the riot and when police stormed, they teamed up with the white supremacists to fight back. Ouija and Pidge are taken away and lined up for the busses along with the neo-Nazis, but Zirconia is escorted out by her crush, C.O. Luschek, after he inadvertently breaks her ankle.
Burning question: Will they be punished for torturing the guards?
Maureen Kukudio (Emily Althaus)
Where she left off: Still recovering from the wounds she endured during her fight with Suzanne in season four, Kukudio spends the season in the medical ward. Both Suzanne and C.O. Humphrey end up joining her; she hints at a reconciliation with Suzanne and ends up killing Humps by inducing a stroke. In the finale, she’s carried out by riot police.
Burning question: Will Suzanne let Daya go down solo for Humps’ death?
The Litchfield C.O.s
Joel Luschek (Matt Peters), Lee Dixon (Mike Houston), Artesian McCullough (Emily Tarver), Rick Hopper (Hunter Emery), Blake (Nick Dillenburg), Stratman (Evan Hall)
Where they left off: After being taken hostage by the uprising inmates and tortured during sequences like “Litchfield’s Got Talent,” the C.O.s were kept in bleak conditions in one of the dorm offices. Once they were moved to the portable toilets outside — aka The Poo — Ruiz facilitates their escape through the hole in the fence, created by Gloria, in hopes that she will be able to see her daughter. Luschek was left behind during the transfer and, after helping Gloria to call MCC to find out about her son, ends up escorting Zirconia out of the prison at the end of the riot.
Burning question: Who will lose their jobs and for those who don’t, how will they treat the inmates once they have their power back?
C.O. Desi Piscatella (Brad William Henke)
Where they left off: After Taystee decides not to pull the trigger and Red makes the choice to let the sociopath Captain of the Guards walk out of the bunker, Piscatella is ultimately put down — shot in the head by one of his own trigger-happy riot men. Under his regime, Poussey was killed by a guard and the prison collapsed under his watchful eye, only to see an uprising in his absence.
Burning question: Who will go down for his murder?
C.O. Thomas Humphrey (Michael Torpey)
Where he left off: After being shot by Daya to kick off the riot, the sadistic C.O. does not receive proper care as he is dragged around the prison. He ends up dying, however, at the hands of Kukudio when she gives him a stroke by creating air bubbles in his IV bag in the medical ward. Suzanne is the only one who knows what Kukudio did. The police eventually find his dead body in the broom closet.
Burning question: Will the death of a guard wreak more havoc on the inmates in max?
Brook Soso (Kimiko Glenn)
Where she left off: Soso attempts a sit-in amid the library memorial she made for her girlfriend, Poussey, as the officers storm the prison. The SWAT team carries her out and she boards the same bus as Maritza.
Burning question: How will Soso move on from here?
Stephanie Hapakuka (Jolene Purdy)
Where she left off: Piper’s bunkmate surrendered in the chapel during the riot with the rest of the peaceful inmates.
Burning question: Will she return?
Sister Jane Ingalls (Beth Fowler)
Where she left off: After spending only days in solitary confinement for helping to get Sophia released from SHU, the nun is let out on compassionate release after coming down with pneumonia.
Burning question: Are her days on Orange over?
Gina Murphy (Abigail Savage), Norma Romano (Annie Golden), Anita DeMarco (Lin Tucci) and Yoga Jones (Constance Shulman)
Where they left off: Gina, Anita, Yoga Jones and Norma bailed from Frieda’s bunker once the riot men entered the prison. Despite their allegiance to Red, they wanted to claim their innocence. They were all see boarding one of the busses together.
Burning question: Will Red be separated from her family?
Leanne Taylor (Emma Myles) and Angie Rice (Julie Lake)
Where they left off: The addicts have their final riot-high next to Humps’ dead body in the broom closet as the SWAT team is rounding up their fellow inmates. Vowing to change things around and do some good, they burn all of the prison records, effectively burying the goings-on leading up to the riot. Leanne sees that her mother has come when they are lined up outside.
Burning question: Will their vow to do good hold any weight?
Kasey Sankey (Kelly Karbacz), Brandy Epps (Asia Kate Dillon) and Helen Van Maele (Francesca Curran)
Where they left off: The white supremacists of Litchfield teamed up with the rebels of the Spanish Harlem dorm — Ouija, Zirconia and Pidge — to fight off the SWAT team when they entered the prison. After staging a coup and trying to trap them in one of the dorms, they each get tied up and taken out of the prison. They board the same bus.
Burning question: Will they be punished more severely for their resistance?
Chang (Lori Tan Chinn)
Where she left off: The riot men miscounted and said only 10 women were missing for the bus count before they stormed the bunker. They forgot two additional inmates: Pennsatucky (mentioned, above) and Chang, who casually escaped through the hole in the fence. With MCC’s Linda still inside, the count of missing inmates should have been 11.
Burning question: Will she slip through the system and escape for good?
Judy King (Blair Brown)
Where she left off: The riot interrupted Judy’s early release and the celebrity chef was used as a pawn by several sides throughout the uprising. She eventually walks out of prison thanks to Taystee after her televised speech during the burning of the Cheetos and Takis. Judy then gives a TV interview where she reveals some unknown details about the riot, including telling Aleida that Daya was the one who kicked it off by shooting a guard.
Burning question: Will she use her celebrity for any good for her friends at Litchfield?
Lolly Whitehall (Lori Petty) and Sam Healy (Michael Harney)
Where they left off: One big question after season four was whether Lolly and Healy would ever return. Healy was last seen in a psychiatric hospital and Lolly was sent to the psychiatric wing in max after the garden murder of a guard, which she helped to cover up with Alex.
Burning question: Will the season-six trip down the hill include an update from the psych ward?
Baxter Bayley (Alan Aisenberg)
Where he left off: Bayley, the white guard who accidentally killed Poussey, returned in the fifth season as a broken man attempting to live with what he had done. When no one punishes him for the crime, he punishes himself to no avail. He quits his job at Litchfield and was last seen boarding a bus to the unknown, in a bid to leave things behind. A return to Poussey’s flashback revealed that she and Bayley had crossed paths before Litchfield, when he walked past Poussey during her night out with friends.
Burning question: Has Bayley’s story come to an end?
Wanda Bell (Catherine Curtin) and Scott O’Neill (Joel Marsh Garland)
Where they left off: Former Litchfield C.O.s Bell and O’Neill are married and expecting a baby when Bayley pays them a visit during his hiatus from Litchfield. During their brief cameos, they offer a distraught and suicidal Bayley little help.
Burning question: Was that their Orange sendoff?
Larry Bloom (Jason Biggs) and Polly Harper (Maria Dizzia); Carol Chapman (Deborah Rush) and Cal Chapman (Michael Chernus)
Where they left off: The fifth season provided an opportunity for Larry to return, during the Piper-focused flashback of Piper and Alex’s proposal episode. Last Piper heard of her ex, Larry is happily seeing her best friend, Polly. Aside from Cal keeping in touch with Piper regularly, Carol was another family member who showed up for her daughter during the riot. Joined by other concerned family members of the inmates, including Suzanne’s mother, Carol spoke to Piper from outside Litchfield about her future and relationship with Alex, and her somewhat estranged mother stuck around to see how the riot would end from the sidelines.
Burning question: What relationships will Piper maintain on the outside?
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