The future of Litchfield hangs in the balance
*This article contains lots of spoilers*
Every season of Orange is the New Black ends with a bang, but season four’s stand-off climax posed so many questions: Is Litchfield Penitentiary on the brink of an all-out, violent riot? Are the tyrannical prison officers about to get their dues? Will half the cast be killed off when tensions in a race war boil over?
Thanks to season five’s new official trailer – landing ahead of a big launch on Netflix on June 9 – some of these questions have already been answered, but it throws up several more theories. Here’s what OITNB obsessives will be asking after watching this latest sneak peak.
- Read more: Orange is the New Black Season 5: Release Date, Trailers, Photos, Plot and Everything You Need To Know
Are the inmates in control of Litchfield?
Season four saw Litchfield’s inmates treated like animals, subjected to humiliation, threats and sexual harassment, not least by Humphrey, whose life flashes before his eyes in the final scene. But season five’s trailer hints at a Litchfield controlled entirely by the inmates.
In one scene snippet, Alison declares: “We are protesting the abusive conditions of which we are being held.” She appears to be addressing the press, and other quick glimpses show inmates discussing their own prison rules and initiatives, as if they’re starting life behind bars with a clean slate. Whether this democracy has been handed to them by officers or higher-up executives remains to be seen.
Is everyone finally getting on?
Season four saw factions of Litchfield – The Ghetto, the Spanish Harlem and a small huddle of white supremacists – practically starting a legitimate race war. Throw in Piper’s dodgy business and the favourable conditions granted to celeb inmate Judy King, and pretty much everybody thought they were getting a raw deal – and they were taking it out on each other.
But season five looks like seeing inmates letting bygones be bygones, instead realising they can achieve more by coming together. “There’s more strength in a single, unified message,” runs one sound snippet. Finally, instead of hierarchical squabbles and petty crime, Litchfield looks set to be defined by togetherness.
How are the media involved?
We catch brief hints of a media circus surrounding Litchfield. Maritza and Marisol pose for a bunch of paparazzi behind prison windows, Taystee gives a FaceTime interview with a potential journalist, declaring: “We wanna be motherfuckin’ taken seriously!” Season four ended with Caputo being forced to twist Poussey’s death in the media. The MCC (Management & Correction Corporation) tried to dig up dirt on Poussey to make it sound like she had it coming, and that she had a weapon in her possession. By this point, national media is interested in the catastrophe, and a news team surrounds Litchfield. Despite Caputo refusing to blame Poussey for her own death in a televised speech, he still implies that she was a violent threat, and this causes all hell to break loose in the prison. Chances are the result of this rebellion will make national news.
Sign up for the newsletter
Does Daya pull the trigger?
Daya is a notable absence on the latest trailer. She only appears three times. First, she’s in the same scene we’ve already seen before, gun held towards Humphrey, all inmates egging her on to shoot. And just after that, she can be seen holding the same gun while staring down at the floor, Maria asking “Who’s in?” By the looks of it, something’s gone down. Finally, 1 minute 48 seconds in, she gives Alex a respect gesture. Maybe she becomes a de-facto leader in Litchfield after killing Humphrey?
What happens to Suzanne / Crazy Eyes?
Deep down, Suzanne has a soft and humane side – explored over the show’s previous seasons. But she ends season four with the guiltiest conscience, responsible for accidentally strangling Poussey to death in Litchfield’s cafeteria. She ends the season trying to put enough weight on her own body – using bookcases and heavy objects – so she too can suffocate. Season five’s trailer shows her bawling, helping the bruised and battered Maureen through a hallway and entering a phase of self-redemption.
Why is Gloria so distraught?
One big dramatic question mark posed by the trailer involves, who can be seen racing through Litchfield’s backyard, seemingly screaming in distress. Why might that be? She spends season four distancing herself from Maria’s drug-smuggling faction, and helping Sophia return to normality after being sent to the SHU. But it looks like her tale takes a sudden twist.