[SPOILERS for those not caught up on Orange is the New Black ahead.]
Orange is the New Black season 4 ended on a real cliffhanger, after the inmates of Litchfield Penitentiary rioted following the death of Poussey (Samira Wiley). Owing to the fact that Poussey's body was left on the floor for a day, and that Caputo for defending Bayley (the officer who killed her) rather than honoring Poussey in a televised statement, several inmates started marching through the prison, inciting other inmates to join them. The COs tried to calm the inmates, but Officer Humphrey, who had been abusing his power all season, had smuggled a gun into the prison. As he tried to reach for it, he dropped it and Daya (Dascha Polanco) picked it up. The season ended with two officers kneeling to the cheers of inmates as Daya stood resolute, with the gun trained on them.
That's quite the ending for a show that is already renowned for its explosive mix of drama and comedy. Orange is the New Black is incredibly popular and a huge hit for Netflix, which renewed the show for three more seasons before season four had even aired, bringing the minimum season count to seven. The show has a huge list of accolades to its name, and the cast was out in force at the SAG Awards last night, where Orange is the New Black won in the category of Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series.
A worthy win, but a somewhat confusing one, since the dramatic aspect of the show was largely what kept viewers gripped through season four. Speaking to E News on the red carpet, Danielle Brooks, who plays Taystee, confirmed that there will be much more drama to come for season five, which unusually, will take place over the course of just three days:
"Season five is done over the course of three days. You will watch 13 episodes, and find out what happens in the course of three days. So, it will be very detailed, very intense, and you better get ready. Get your popcorn, your tissues, everything. I don't know when it's coming out because they never tell us, but sometime in the summer."
Given the way season four ended, intense would be right, since any resolution to the stand-off situation will be dramatic and upsetting to one party or another. For Daya, who has a small baby waiting on the outside, her holding two officers at gunpoint will no doubt mean she's not going to get out as soon as she would have liked. Will Caputo try and support his officers, who have repeatedly degraded, debased and abused these women, or will he come out and side with them? So far for Caputo, the prospect of career advancement has always won out in the end, but it does seem as though he has a heart in there somewhere.
Brooks was also asked why she thinks the show resonates so well with its audience, and she praised the strong female roles, adding: "People see themselves, regardless if you're a male or female, gay, straight, whatever religion you are, whatever color you are, you can relate to someone in that story. And it's so truthful, and I think that's why people relate."
Indeed, a large part of Brooks' reasoning is why the death of Poussey hit so hard; a hugely popular and endearing character, the audience could connect not only to the happiness she had so recently found, but also to the grief her friends and fellow inmates felt over her loss, as well as the anger at the way her accidental death was handled. It'll be interesting to see how both the inmates and officers of Litchfield now deal with the fallout.
Orange is the New Black season 5 airs on Netflix this summer.
Source: E News