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.
When Will Season 5 Be Released?
The release date for Orange is the New Black has officially been set by Netflix, with the series continuing with past traditions. Season 5's release date is June 9th 2017, which should come as no big surprise to hardcore fans. Season 1-4 have consistently been released toward the middle of June, so season 5 is consistent with the pas. 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.
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.
When The Season Will Take Place
Breaking away from the past traditions of the series, Orange is the New Black's new season will take place across the span of just three days. All 13 episodes will be contained in this timeline, so it should be quite the juxtaposition from the past seasons. It would stand to reason that these three days will likely follow the events of last season's cliffhanger ending, with Litchfield in the midst of a full on riot.