At long last, the fifth season of Orange Is The New Black is finally out (June 9) on Netflix. Here are some of the things we’re looking forward to in the show’s new season:
1. Throughout S1 to S4, the dominant group had ebbed and flowed between Red, Gloria, Vee, Maria and so on, (Kate Mulgrew, Selenis Leyva, Lorraine Toussaint and Jessica Pimentel respectively). But this is the first time the inmates form a united front against the authorities. There’s no knowing how that will go (chaotic, for sure. But beyond that, goodness knows) so it’s going to be exciting to see the tables turned.
2. With 100 new inmates introduced to Litchfield, the power dynamics must change. We don’t know any of the newbies well enough yet to want to root for any of them, but everyone has their favourites from among the older factions. Will your favourite rule the prison now that there’s new blood?
3. Speaking of change in dynamics, S4 so effectively turned the audience against the guards led by Desi Piscatella (Brad William Henke), the sadistic monster in all of us is just itching to see him and his new guards get their comeuppance. (Seriously, they make cowardly Bennett and perverted Mendez seem like they have a conscience.)
4. Joe Caputo (Nick Sandow) is stuck in an awkward spot. He knows the inmates best by virtue of being the one who’s spent the most time working at the prison, but it was also his statement to the press after the death of Poussey Washington (Samira Wiley) which sparked the riot at the end of S4.
Will Caputo be target number one, or will he remain the middleman between the inmates and Litchfield’s management? He’ll need to play his cards right if he values all his vital organs.
5. In S4, inmate Sophia Burset (Laverne Cox) was undeservedly stuck in solitary confinement for so long, only being reintroduced to the general prison population towards the end of the season. It will be a delight to, hopefully, see this strong, dignified, and fabulous character slay that smoky-eye look and get back on her feet.
6. Riddled with guilt, Nicky Nichols (Natasha Lyonne) had turned back to drugs when we finally see her again at the end of last season. There’s something so enigmatic and endearing about this messed up bad girl with the heart of gold, we just want her to be happy again. Please?
7. Out of all the characters, Tiffany ‘Pennsatucky’ Doggett (Taryn Manning) has had one of the most interesting character arches in the series. From psychotic zealot with a violent streak to, now, a decent human you’d want to be friends with, she may be the glue that brings every one together.
8. Last we saw her, Aleida Diaz was watching Caputo on TV saying a “young woman lost her life”. She has no idea who that might be, and with her daughter Daya still in the prison, there’s a chance she might go to extreme lengths to get back in to check on her. Hey, why not? Taystee deliberately went back to prison, why not a mother who doesn’t know whether her child is dead or alive?
9. No one really cares about Piper (Taylor Schilling), right? Oh. Oh, you do? Okay, my bad. It might be interesting to see whether she becomes less irritating in S5, maybe. How her relationship with Alex develops, and whether Stella might come back from maximum security.
10. Every single major character has been pushed to breaking point – by heartbreak, by injustice, by internal turmoil – and that’s when people typically do the craziest things. *grabs popcorn* – South China Morning Post/Heidi Yeung