After four seasons spent slowly introducing us to the inmates and employees of Litchfield Penitentiary, Orange is the New Black took a very different approach with Season 5, choosing instead to set the entire season over the course of just three days during a prison riot.
Warning: Spoilers for Orange is the New Black Season 5 below!
The decision to make such a different season was a risk for creator Jenji Kohan and her crew, but it was one that paid off by the conclusion of the season as we went into the craziest season finale yet. Not only was the finale full of tension, but the last scene of the episode left us on a heartbreaking cliffhanger, and with the sinking feeling that at least one of our favorite ladies is not long for this world.
With such a massive cliffhanger it seems impossible that Netflix will deny us #OrangeistheNewBlack Season 6, but unfortunately it probably won't be released until next June. So what's a fan to do until then? Ponder the possible storylines for the next season, of course! With so many loose ends at the conclusion of Season 5, there's already a ton of arcs that will need to be wrapped up in Season 6; here are just a few of the biggest unanswered questions from Orange is the New Black Season 5:
1. Who Will Die?
As the finale came to a close, Freida, Suzanne, Cindy, Taystee, Red, Piper, Alex, Nicky, Gloria and Flores all stood hand-in-hand as the door to the pool was blown in and they prepared for the riot police to enter. Given that the governor signed off on permission to take the prison by any means necessary, there's a huge possibility that one or more of the group will die. Working in their favor is the fact that one of the officers just accidentally killed Piscatella, meaning they may be more cautious with their weapons when they do see the inmates. Fingers crossed they all make it through.
2. What Is Happening With Pennsatucky?
Just when you thought Pennsatucky was seeing sense in regards to her abusive relationship CO Coates, she goes and escapes from the prison to live out some weird housewife fantasy at his staff quarters. While Coates was obviously startled to see her in his home, when we left them they looked perfectly content curled up on the couch. So is this just an afternoon out for Pennsatucky before she hands herself back to the authorities, or could the two possibly even go on the lam?
3. What Is On Maureen's File?
Way back in Season 4 we saw Caputo show some surprise at whatever charge landed Maureen in prison, but unfortunately her backstory wasn't expanded on in Season 5 so we're still left in the dark about her past. Maureen showed some resistance when the police took her out of the prison, and with her injuries still pretty severe after her fight with Suzanne there's no doubt her story will be a pretty big part of Season 6.
4. Where Is Chang?
We bid farewell to inmate Chang in Season 5 as she flipped the bird and took off through a hole in the fence. But unlike Pennsatucky, Chang's fate was left unknown as the season came to an end - did she manage to get away, or was she caught off screen? All we know is that she managed to make off with a pair of Dr. Scholl's gel inserts, calcium tabs, a radio, four pencils and some honey from commissary before she made a break for it.
5. Will Linda Ever Get Free?
MCC employee Linda got more than she bargained for when she used the inmates' bathroom before Caputo's statement! After learning the prison basics from Piper and Alex, she ended up in a relationship with Big Boo before it all went to shit and her secret was exposed. Now she faces being processed into a different prison and at least a few hours or days behind bars before she can convince anyone of her identity.
6. Will Litchfield Still Be A Prison?
As the season came to a close, Litchfield looked like a hot mess. Trashed and even set on fire by of out-of-control prisoners, the place wasn't fit to house anyone, and the prisoners were in the process of being split up and bussed to other facilities. But once the prison is all cleaned up, will any of our favorite inmates be housed there again, or are they destined to be split up forever?
7. What Will Happen To Daya?
She was sacrificed in the hopes of the prisoners' demands being met, but now that she's in police custody, what will happen to Daya? Unfortunately, her story looks set to get a lot more complicated, and it seemed very likely she'll be transferred to max.
8. What Happened With The Count?
It may have been a mistake, but in the final episode it seemed as though the prisoner count was off. The police claimed there were 10 prisoners unaccounted for, but in reality this number was actually 12 (the 10 in Freida's bunker, plus Chang and Pennsatucky)— minus the wrongly counted Linda and we still end up with 11. So, was this miscount a mistake from the police, or was there a deleted scene which explained either Chang or Pennsatucky returning to the prison?
What did you think of Orange is the New Black Season 5?