Orange Is the New Black‘s fourth season ended (spoilers ahead) not only with a heart-pounding cliffhanger, but also a brutal penultimate episode. It was particularly heartbreaking not only because we lost a beloved character in Poussey (Samira Wiley), but she was killed in such a senseless way. It was the culmination of a season that explored the affects of the privatization of jails, and it echoed real-world events of black men who were being killed by police officers even when they weren’t resisting.
That, and more, sparked the events of the finale — a prison riot, led somewhat surprisingly by Daya (Dascha Polanco) when she got possession of a particularly vile guard’s gun. Now his life is in her hands, as is her own.
From the trailer for the new season, it looks like the women choose another route, but that there is still plenty of abuse and horrors to come as they fight back against the horrendous conditions. Check out the trailer below:
The power of Orange Is the New Black has always been in the resilience of its leads, and as the show has (smartly) moved away from focusing on Piper (Taylor Schilling) and instead become a true ensemble piece, it’s found a much more powerful voice. “People aren’t going to like you,” Piper is told in the prison yard after offering help. “Story of my life,” she says. Piper isn’t necessarily supposed to be likable, but she doesn’t have to be — Orange Is the New Black isn’t just about her anymore, it’s about women. And nevertheless, the ladies of Litchfield are persisting!
The fifth season premieres Friday, June 9th on Netflix. Check out the official synopsis below:
A riot sparked by Poussey’s death quickly escalates when the inmates gain control of the prison. Once they get a taste of power, chaos ensues through the halls of Litchfield. In real time and over the course of just three days, season five of Orange Is The New Black will leave the inmates’ lives forever changed as they are emboldened to fight for redemption, resolution and the respect they deserve.