It's been almost a year since we first binge-watched Orange Is the New Black. (As for how many times we've watched it in its entirety since then, we prefer to remain mum). On Friday, the Netflix series finally returns for its anticipated second season. So what better time to look back on where we left off and what's next for our favorite convicts!
Piper (Taylor Schilling)
Where we left off: Dumped by Larry and Alex, Piper brutally beat the crap out of Pennsatucky.
What's next: After a few weeks in solitary, Piper finds herself whisked off to Chicago as a witness in Alex's former drug boss' trial. But don't worry: While the premiere focuses entirely on Piper's trip to Chicago, by the second episode she's back in Litchfield along with a few new faces, including her frustratingly chatty new lackey, Brook. Piper's reintegration into Litchfield is the polar opposite to her arrival there, with the former WASP fully transformed into a "lone wolf" — especially now that she doesn't have Larry (Jason Biggs) and Alex to lean on. But this lack of romantic distractions opens Piper up to exploring new projects, including one that Fig would be none too pleased to learn about.
Alex (Laura Prepon):
Where we left off: Alex was fed up with Piper's games enough to break up with her and get with Nicky.
What's next: After the will-she-or-won't-she return debate last year, we know Prepon will appear in four episodes this season. But out of the first six, she's only seen in the premiere (though her actions in it will have some hoping she never returns). However, a special delivery for Piper in Episode 4 lets us know that Alex hasn't completely forgotten about her former flame.
Taystee and Poussey (Danielle Brooks and Samira Wiley)
Where we left off: Taystee returned to Litchfield after purposefully violating her parole, much to Poussey's bittersweet joy.
What's next: The admittance of new inmate Vee (Lorraine Toussaint) has ripple effects throughout the prison, but holds particularly strong ramifications for Taystee. "[Vee's] definitely had a big part in Taystee's past life and is really having a huge impact in her life in prison now," Brooks says. Vee's ambitious politics soon rub off on Taystee and all her friends except Poussey, whose refusal to play by Vee's rules slowly isolates her from the rest of the group. So, watch out, Taystee and Poussey shippers! It does not look good for the BFF's.
Red (Kate Mulgrew)
Where we left off: Red was left powerless and alone after her attempt to win back the kitchen literally backfired, burning Gina and isolating Red from her girls.
What's next: Red learns that with the loss of the kitchen comes the loss of many perks, including not having a roommate. But the newest member of the Golden Girls is never one to go down without a fight. Thanks to a little help from her family, Red figures out a new way to smuggle goods into Litchfield — and hopefully buy her friends back in the process. But Vee's appearance resurrects a past rivalry which soon escalates, roping many inmates into the two women's battle.
Crazy Eyes (Uzo Aduba)
Where we left off: Despite still being pretty crazy, Cray Eyes was once again on good terms with Piper.
What's next: No matter what she does, Crazy Eyes can't get no respect in prison — even from the rest of her "tribe." And as Episode 3 reveals, this is a problem she's had all her life. But on the outside, we see that Suzanne always had the loving support of her adopted parents and sister. It's this role that Vee steps into when she meets Suzie and takes the troubled inmate under her wing. But Vee doesn't let Suzie have her pie and eat it too, instructing her to cut certain (white, dandelion-type) people out of her life.
Daya and Bennett (Dascha Polanco and Matt McGorry)
Where we left off: Daya slept with Pornstache (Pablo Schreiber) to explain her pregnancy. But instead of getting fired, Pornstache was merely suspended.
What's next: Complicated doesn't even begin to describe Daya and Bennett's relationship in Season 2. "Hormones, pregnancy — come on. And in jail," Polanco says. "Something's going to happen. Something's gonna blow." Things only get worse when Daya's crew realizes there are certain perks to having a guard on their side, though Bennett isn't the only one willing to risk everything for Daya. It turns out distance does make the heart grow fonder and Mendez's feelings for Daya haven't wavered. Grossest. Love triangle. Ever.
Pennsatucky (Taryn Manning)
Where we left off: She was getting her ass kicked by Piper.
What's next: Pennsatucky's new teeth aren't the only change when she returns to Litchfield following her recovery. The former Queen Jesus Freak finds that she might have more foes than friends. Plus, 'Tucky hasn't forgotten that Healy (Michael Harney) is the one who let the fight happen in the first place. "I think you'll see Piper, Pennsatucky and myself will be dealing with the aftermath of that event in different ways throughout the season," Harney teases.
Nicky and Morello (Natasha Lyonne and Yael Stone)
Where we left off: Morello decided to be faithful to her fiancé Christopher (even though he never visits) and Nicky began hooking up with Alex.
What's next: We all knew Morello's devotion to Christopher was a little misguided, but we learn just how delusional she is in Episode 4. And while their relationship has changed, Nicky proves just how much she still cares for Morello when things get rough for the wannabe blushing bride. "I think what happens in Season 2 is a beautiful exploration of two women who care about each other," Stone says. That being said, Nicky still needs to get her kicks somewhere. She even turns her sexual escapades into a competition with Big Boo (Lea Delaria), though this doesn't turn out to be as fun as they had imagined.
Gloria (Selenis Leyva)
Where we left off: She took over as the new head of the kitchen and starved out Red.
What's next: Expect Gloria's back story (revealed in Episode 5) to feel like a swift kick in the gut. The matriarch of Spanish Harlem's maternal instincts go way back, and now that her prison chicas are all she has, Gloria will do whatever it takes to help them. Her resolve is put to the test when the bathroom in the ghetto breaks down and Gloria and Vee are forced to negotiate a way for both groups to live (and shower) in peace. But it turns out the bathroom battle is only one piece in a much larger game.
The Litchfield Staff
Where we left off: Fig's (Alysia Reiner) corruption was threatened to be exposed when a reporter took interest in the prison. Caputo (Nick Sandow) continued to develop feelings for Fischer (Lauren Lapkus) only to learn she has a boyfriend.
What's next: Following his "see something, say nothing" attitude towards Pennsatucky and Piper, Healy decides to turn over a new leaf and join Caputo in actually trying to help the girls. Meanwhile, Caputo continues to pursue the much-desired Fischer and even gets the nerve to ask her on a date to see his band, Sideboob, perform (though it doesn't exactly go as planned). And with her husband running for senate, Fig is more determined than ever to keep her embezzlement and cover-ups underground, though Reiner says her intentions aren't all bad. "I think the cool thing you'll learn about Fig is why she does what she does," the actress says. "I hope that by the end of the season you'll have a lot of compassion for her."
Orange Is the New Black Season 2 will be available in its entirety on Netflix Friday.