Orange is the New Black Season 5

Since its first season on Netflix, black comedy Orange is the New Black has continued to reinvent itself. What started as the story of Piper's introduction to prison has since become an ensemble piece that fleshes out the backstories of both the inmates and correctional officers. Each season has its own overarching plot, and Season 4 was all about Litchfield Correctional Facility going through major changes and becoming a much darker place than we saw years ago.

Season 4 really flipped the script on what to expect from Orange is the New Black. Due to the disarray of the prison, inmates were seen standing up to authority, and the ensemble all fractured into their own stories. Now we can look forward to Season 5, and what to expect from the season. Will more characters die? Will we see a return of long lost inmates? What's going on with that gun? Here's what we know about OITNB Season 5.

orange is the new black season 5

When Will Season 5 Be Released?

The release date for Orange is the New Black has not been set yet by Netflix, but the series has set a certain precedent for itself. Season 1-4 have consistently been released toward the middle of June, and we can probably expect the same for Season 5. Filming had already begun a few months ago, so there's no reason why OITNB wouldn't keep it consistent. Summer TV shows have the added advantage of less competition, and it's become a ritual for TV fans to expect shows like Orange and Game of Thrones once the weather gets warmer.

Orange is the New Black Season 5

Which Actors Will Return?

At this point in Orange is the New Black's tenure, they've amassed quite the extended cast of inmates and CO's. We can obviously expect to see series regulars like Piper (Taylor Schilling), Alex (Laura Prepon), Gloria Mendoza (Selenis Levya, who will make her MCU debut in Spider-Man: Homecoming), and Red (Kate Mulgrew). But there are quite a few casting questions that are up in the air. Despicable Correctional Officer Humphrey's (Michael Torpey) fate is certainly in the air, as we last saw him at the scary end of a gun. Considering how furious the inmates are, it's not out of the question that he might end up dead in the opening moments of the Season 5 premiere. There is also a question mark around Lori Petty's Lolly, who was a breakout character last season. While Petty seemed to not know if Lolly was appearing in Season 5, she seemed fairly confident she'd have some sort of role, as the character is currently in psych.

Then there's Laverne Cox, who was largely absent during Season 4. Now that Sophia is out of the SHU, hopefully Cox will finally get the promotion to series regular that she's been owed. Sophia was one of the first characters to get a backstory episode, and it was a groundbreaking moment in Hollywood. It's strange that Sophia has been kept mostly as a tertiary character, especially considering how much fans love her. Most of the cast has gotten raises since Season 1, so it's time for Laverne Cox and Sophia to get what they deserve.

Orange is the new back Season 5

Which Characters Are Currently In The SHU?

With all of the Litchfield ladies spread across different facilities, it can be a bit confusing to remember where everyone is. Sophia spent most of Season 4 in The SHU because of sheer negligence, as well as her own fighting spirit. Because there was no one to help her, Sister Ingalls (Beth Fowler) purposefully got herself sent to solitary in an attempt to find and help Sofia. This eventually worked, but Sister Ingalls is still stuck in the box for the foreseeable future.

Of course, its possible that The SHU will become very crowded after the events of the Season 4 finale. Inmates are usually sent to solitary for bad or aggressive behavior, and the finale ended with a riot starting within the prison. Basically anyone who was present in the final scene has the potential to be shipped off to The SHU or Max, so Sister Ingalls may be released to make room for more deviant inmates. Lucky her.

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