One of the main problems with Netflix shows is that often a full year goes by between watching the finale of one season and the premiere of the next. And with an ensemble as sprawling as Orange Is the New Black's, it becomes even more difficult to remember where all of our favorite characters left off.
Orange Is the New Black's polarizing fifth season took place over the course of only three days during which time the inmates took control of Litchfield. The season ended with the conclusion of the riot, with the prisoners being shipped off on busses to different penitentiaries. However, Piper, Alex, Nicky, Gloria, Blanca, Frieda, Red, Cindy, Taystee and Suzanne were left inside Litchfield, arms locked while waiting for the officers in riot gear to storm their hideout in the abandoned pool.
Based on the trailer for Season 6, we know Piper, Nicky, Gloria, Blanca, Frieda, Suzanne, Red, Taystee and Cindy made it out of the riot alive, but Alex is noticeably absent from the footage — could she have perished in the chaos? Or has she simply been sent somewhere other than Litchfield Max?
With the characters dispersed throughout different prisons, don't expect all of the familiar faces you got to know and love (or in some cases, love to hate) to appear this season. But you should be prepared for the events of the riot to play a major role in what happens going forward as the women of Litchfield Max are forced to face the consequences of their actions while simultaneously navigating a treacherous new turf war.
To help you keep track of what comes next, we broke down everything you need to remember about where everyone — or at least everyone who matters the most — left off last season.
Piper (Taylor Schilling) and Alex (Laura Prepon): With only a few months left in Piper's prison sentence, Piper finally agreed to stop power-tripping and lay low with Alex. After a heart-to-heart with her mother and a few flashbacks to her and Alex's rocky relationship (including the origins of their terrible tattoos), Piper proposed to Alex inside the dirty, drained pool. And you know what? She said yes!
Nicky (Natasha Lyonne) and Lorna (Yael Stone): Nicky and Lorna holed up during the riot in the medical center, with Nicky handing out drugs to all the inmates like they were candy. Despite Lorna's marriage to Vinnie, Lorna and Nicky hooked up once more before Lorna realized she was pregnant. When she shared the news to Vinnie, he ran away. But after a talk with Nicky, Vinnie decided to stand by Lorna. Nicky then helped get Lorna safely out of the riot before joining Red and her family in the pool.
Taystee (Danielle Brooks), Cindy (Adrienne C. Moore) and Suzanne (Uzo Aduba): Taystee used the riot to demand justice for Poussey's death — along with requests for better healthcare, Hot Cheetos and more. But when the governor's office agreed to meet all of the inmates' demands except for prosecuting C.O. Bayley for Poussey's death, Taystee refused the terms — and any chance to end the riot peacefully and improve the living conditions of the inmates. Afterwards, in a moment of grief, Taystee briefly held Piscatella at gunpoint for his role in everything, but she ultimately decided that wasn't the justice she wanted. Cindy comforted Taystee, despite the fact she disagreed with her friend for refusing the governor's terms. Meanwhile, Maureen had confessed to Suzanne that she was the one who blew oxygen bubbles into Humps' IV, causing him to have a stroke. When Suzanne later discovered he wasn't breathing, they hid his dead body in a broom closet.
Red (Kate Mulgrew), Blanca (Lauren Gomez), Frieda (Dale Soules) and Piscatella (Brad William Henke): During a speed-fueled search of the files, Red and Blanca discovered that Piscatella was responsible for the death of an inmate at the previous prison he worked at. They planned to force him into confessing, but when Piscatella went rogue and secretly stormed the prison on his own, he wound up taking Red, Blanca and a few of the other women hostage. He proceeded to torture them, breaking Alex's arm and shaving Red's head until Frieda helped rescue them. Frieda then led the hostages to her secret bunker in the abandoned pool where they took Piscatella as their hostage. But as tensions rose between the inmates and guard, Red decided to free Piscatella. However, Piscatella was accidentally killed by the riot officers who shot him before they could identify who he was or whether he was a threat.
Sophia (Laverne Cox): After briefly helping out in Medical, Sophia decided to find out what happened to Sister Ingalls, who was last seen in Season 4 after getting herself sent to SHU to help get Sophia out. Sophia surrendered herself and was taken to Max where she learned that Sister Ingalls had been granted compassionate release after catching pneumonia in SHU. Sophia was mildly amused by the irony of the situation.
Pennsatucky (Taryn Manning) and Coates (James McMenamin): After she was punished by the other inmates for protecting her rapist Coates, Pennsatucky slipped through the fence and went to Coates' house where the two were last seen snuggled up together watching TV.
Daya (Dascha Polanco) and Aleida (Elizabeth Rodriguez): Daya shot Humphrey, kicking off the riot. But Daya agreed to turn herself into Figueroa after asking Pornstache's mom to adopt her daughter. After getting released, Aleida struggled to find a job. She also made a few news appearances discussing the riot, unaware at the time that it was her daughter who started it.
Maria (Jessica Pimentel) and Gloria (Selenis Leyva): After Daya shot Humps, Maria took control of the riot and began torturing the guards. However, after speaking with Caputo, Maria decided to sit out the riot so that she could get back to her young daughter as soon as possible. Gloria learned her son Benny was in the hospital and is told by MCC that she could see her son if she freed the hostages. Gloria freed the hostages, but Maria took the credit. Not cool!
Leeanne (Emma Myles) and Angie (Julie Lake): Leeanne and Angie briefly took charge of the riot thanks to the gun they stole from Gloria, but after Doggett got the gun from them, she accidentally shot Leanne's finger off. Leeanne and Angie also set fire to the inmates' files during the chaos of the riot.
Caputo (Nick Sandow), Figueroa (Alysia Reiner) and Linda (Beth Dover): Caputo tried to help Taystee negotiate with Fig. Linda tried to save herself during the riot by going undercover as an inmate, during which time she hooked up with Big Boo. When she eventually went to Caputo for help, he told the inmates she was a recent transfer from psych. Linda was being transported away with the other inmates after the riot ended.
Chang (Lori Tan Chinn): Chang successfully escaped the prison during the riot. Who knows where the enigmatic inmate went or what her plan was, but we fear for anyone who finds her and tries to take her back.
Soso (Kimiko Glenn), Big Boo (Lea DeLaria) and all the other inmates: Everyone was left lined up to get on the various busses to different prisons. Who will be sent to Litchfield Max to star in Season 6 and who said goodbye to Orange without us even knowing it? You'll have to watch Season 6 to find out!
Orange Is the New Black returns Friday, July 27 on Netflix.