[Warning: The following contains spoilers from the sixth episode of Orange Is the New Black's just released fifth season.]
The lovable bookworm and hopeless romantic had been a fan favorite from the Netflix series' very beginning, and her horrific death at the hands of a C.O. was both senseless and a startling reflection of our own reality.
Even though Orange brought back Wiley in the Season 4 finale for a deep look into the tragedy of how Poussey wound up in Litchfield, many fans were still not over her death by the time Season 5 premiered on Friday. That's why, when Orange surprised viewers with an emotional flashback to Taystee's (Danielle Brooks) first meeting with Poussey in the sixth episode of the new season, it felt like much-needed closure to this beloved character's journey.
The flashback begins in Taystee's early days at Litchfield, with her still decked out in her newbie orange duds, walking into the prison library. While she sits down and picks out a book, Taystee overhears two white inmates chatting about how prison is "like free Weight Watchers" before heading out to grab a snack.
As soon as the women leave, Taystee hears Poussey, who thinks she's now alone in the library, begin mocking the women in her now-iconic white woman persona. "Amanda, I will not stop until my a-- is so small it disappears entirely. You heard about this new diet where you eat cookies and ice cream and you still lose weight? It's called bulimia. And oh, I love it so much. It's a miracle," she jokes to herself.
Without missing a beat, Taystee responds — in character as Amanda, of course. "Oh McKenzie, I've always been jealous of your willpower. I'm like a house ever since Mark invested in that new, modern American bistro up the street. You would die for their artisanal sodas: peach, lavender, rose petal. Yes, please!"
Hearing her true equal when it comes to parodying white privilege, Poussey emerges from behind the bookshelf to compliment Tasytee on her excellent taste in books (Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Poussey's favorite) and introduce herself.
For Taystee and Poussey, this moment was love at first sight. The chemistry, the jokes, the ease with which Taystee and Poussey understand each other — all of that was apparent from the very second they met.
The entire scene is sweet and funny and wonderful. In short, it's everything Poussey was. And this is how we're going to always remember her: as the inmate who was always able to bring a little light into everyone's lives around her.