Though Orange Is the New Black doesn’t return until June (and will continue forever), Netflix has revealed the first images from the upcoming fourth season. When we last left the ladies of Litchfield, we got a beautiful episode of escape and swimming following what seemed like a victory, only for them to return and find bunk beds … meaning they’re about to double the prison population.
That’s good news, narratively, for the show, since it means there will be an influx of new characters to keep the story fresh. At the same time, there are still plenty of original cast members whose lives we still need to explore, and I don’t just mean those flashbacks. The friendships on the show are some of its greatest moments, from everything that Taystee (Danielle Brooks) and Poussey (Samira Wiley) have been through, to Crazy Eyes Suzanne (Uzo Aduba) finding a fawning audience for her fiction, and even the protection and support that Big Boo (Lea DeLaria) has become for Pennsatucky (Taryn Manning).
The new photos reveal a few potential plot strands though, including Red (Kate Mulgrew) and Gloria (Selenium Leyva) seemingly teaming up, Piper (Taylor Schilling) being tortured, and Alex (Laura Prepon) still living in fear. Those darker storylines are also apparent with that shot of Sophia (Laverne Cox) in solitary, unable to have her hormones, and struggling because of it. Will this show still be classified as a comedy at next year’s Emmys? (Especially, as the synopsis says, Litchfield is headed towards “an unprecedented culture war.”)
Check out the images below, and remember to mark your calendars for Friday, June 17th when the show returns. What are you most looking forward to in the new season?
Here’s the official Season 4 synopsis:
From Jenji Kohan, the creator of “Weeds”, Orange is the New Black is a thought-provoking, funny and evocative show about life in a women’s prison. Based on the best-selling memoir by Piper Kerman, the newest season ofOrange delves into the racial and economic tensions that run rampant in thehalls of Litchfield. Overrun with new inmates and overseen by inexperienced guards, the prison undergoes an unprecedented culture war.