A month before Orange is the New Black season 2 debuted on the streaming service, the series was picked up for a 13-episode season 3. Since the renewal announcement, Orange is the New Black has added some new cast members as well as promoted returning cast to series regulars. Yael Stone (Morello), Samira Wiley (Poussey), Dascha Polenko (Daya), Selenis Leyva (Gloria), Nick Sandow (Joe Caputo) and Adrienne C. Moore (Black Cindy) were formally announced as series regulars in season 3.
Laura Prepon, a season 1 regular who only appeared in three episodes of season 2, will return to her role of Alex Vause for all 13 episodes of season 3. However, a more surprising character will also be returning for the third season of Orange is the New Black.
EW reported that Lori Petty will return for Orange is the New Black’s third season. The actress made her first - and so far only - appearance on the series in the season 2 premiere, ‘Thirsty Bird,’ as an inmate who befriends Piper (Taylor Schilling) on a transport plane. However, their friendship doesn’t last long as other inmates and Piper’s transfer back to Litchfield quickly separate the pair.
Petty will reprise her role as Lolly, though in what capacity is as yet unclear. The actress joins previously announced guest stars Mary Steenburgen (Justified) - who will play George Mendez’s (Pablo Schreiber) mother - as well as Blair Brown (Fringe) and Mike Birbiglia (Sleepwalk with Me).
Since Netflix has not revealed how Petty will be worked back into Orange is the New Black for the next season, there are endless options to speculate. In an episode similar to ‘Thirsty Bird,’ Piper could reunite with Lolly outside of Litchfield after another transfer. Or, Lolly could be transferred to Litchfield. Though the latter seems more likely, Orange is the New Black rarely follows the most obvious path.
It’s also worth wondering whether Orange is the New Black will delve into Lolly’s backstory. A recurring theme of the series has been exploring the histories of those within Litchfield and those stories range from the obvious (Piper) to the surprising (Morello) to the heartbreaking (Uzo Aduba’s Suzanne).
Although the series hasn’t exhausted the backstories of the characters already established within Litchfield, Lolly’s history may offer a new and interesting plotline.
At this point, though, Netflix is keeping all details about season 3 tightly guarded and likely won’t reveal anything until closer to the premiere date - which has yet to be announced.
Orange is the New Black will return in 2015.