[Warning: The following contains spoilers for Orange Is the New Black Season 7. Read at your own risk!]
Orange Is the New Black's seventh season premiered Friday on Netflix, and while the Netflix dramedy's final 13 episodes didn't exactly hit the celebrated highs of its earlier seasons, the show did take this opportunity to pay tribute to its past. Season 7 included the surprise returns of several former cast members, including Litchfield inmates, guards, and even a supposedly mythical bird. Some of these were merely brief cameos, but other familiar faces were granted entire storylines that played huge parts in the final season's overarching narrative.
Check out everyone who returned for Orange Is the New Black Season 7 below.
Fans haven't checked in on Piper's (Taylor Schilling) ex-fiancé and ex-BFF since Season 2, when Piper found out the two had begun a romantic relationship. (Although Larry did appear in a Season 5 flashback during which he got a tattoo of the Kool-Aid man on his butt.) As this season revealed, Larry and Polly are still together and even expecting their first child together.
One of the more well-liked guards from the show's first two seasons, Fischer was fired by Caputo (Nick Sandow) in Season 2 after she pushed back on the newly instated shot quota, which she pointed out caused Litchfield inmates to be punished unfairly. Fischer reappeared in the final season when she went public about the sexual harassment she endured from Caputo, which played a part in his decision to fire her.
The former inmate counselor was a main character through Season 4, when he checked himself into the Eastern Psychiatric Institute after nearly taking his own life. We briefly checked in with Healy again in Season 6, when Healy gave Caputo some bad advice over smoothies. Healy's cameo in Season 7 revealed that he's actually working at a smoothie place, not just drinking them, and that his advice has marginally improved.
Bell and O'Neill quit their jobs as Litchfield COs in Season 4 and were revealed to be married and expecting a baby in Season 5. The pair hadn't been seen since, until they appeared in Season 7 as employees at the ICE detention center.
Poussey was a fan-favorite character up until her devastating death in Season 4. She made one previous cameo in Season 5, which revealed how her friendship with Taystee (Danielle Brooks) began. In what is easily the most emotional appearance on this list, Poussey was brought back in Season 7 for a Taystee flashback, where we saw her give Taystee a pep talk during her previous release. Season 7 also saw Taystee honor Poussey's memory by starting a fund in her name, which she and Suzanne run from Litchfield. (Netflix launched a similar fund in real life.)
An urban myth at Litchfield, the story behind The Chicken is that the bird is the sole survivor of a past chicken slaughter, and it now has magical abilities. Piper is one of the few people to have spotted The Chicken, back in Season 1, and Caputo also saw it in Season 3. After the chicken coop got up and running in Season 7, Suzanne (Uzo Aduba) discovered that there was an extra chicken running amok, and she believed The Chicken to be a murderer, leading her to implement bird Security Housing Unit inside the coop.
The former firefighter found her place at Litchfield running one of the prison's hair salons, a role which allowed her to befriend several inmates from different factions. Sophia was granted early release and $300,000 in Season 6 after she agreed not to sue MCC for the horrible treatment she endured at Litchfield, including a long stint in solitary. The final season revealed that Sophia is now running her own hair salon, which Piper visits.
This Martha Stewart-Paula Deen hybrid appeared in Season 4 when Judy was sent to Litchfield for tax evasion. Judy was granted early release and left Litchfield amidst the Season 5 riot. Judy later wrote a memoir about her time in Litchfield, copies of which she donated to the inmates. Knowing that Judy developed a bond with Poussey during her time inside, Taystee called her up in Season 7 in order to get the funding to start The Poussey Washington Fund.
Maritza's friendship with Flaca (Jackie Cruz) was a highlight of the series' first five seasons until she and Flaca were split up and taken to different prisons. Season 7 showed that Maritza had since been released, but she was then taken into custody by ICE. During her time at the detention center, Maritza learned that she wasn't an American citizen, as she had always believed, and she wound up being deported to Colombia in one of the season's many heartbreaking twists.
We weren't sure if we'd ever see Blanca again after she was taken by ICE immediately upon her release from Litchfield last season. But when Maritza arrived at the detention center, she was reunited with her old friend. And after getting some help from another woman in the center, Blanca was able to fight her case and get a Green Card. However, since her boyfriend had already been deported, she chose to follow him to Honduras.
This quiet, anti-social inmate was imprisoned at Litchfield throughout the first five seasons. She eventually escaped in Season 5 but was revealed to have later been caught by authorities while she was sleeping inside a deer carcass. Chang made a brief return in Season 7 when we learned that she is now imprisoned at the ICE detention center.
One of the main antagonists in the show's first two seasons, Pornstache was incarcerated in Season 2 for having sex with Daya. He previously made brief cameos in Season 3 and 5 when his mother, Delia (Mary Steenburgen), was adopting Daya's baby. Pornstache's final appearance in the series revealed that he is happily raising the baby.
After the Season 5 riot, several of the Litchfield inmates were sent to FDC Cleveland, including Big Boo, Yoga Jones, Anita (Lin Tucci), Gina (Abigail Savage), Norma (Annie Golden), Janae Watson (Vicky Jeudy), Alison (Amanda Stephen), Soso (Kimiko Glenn), Sankey (Kelly Karbacz), Leanne (Emma Myles), and Angie (Julie Lake). Season 7 checked in with the Ohio squad one final time after Alex (Laura Prepon) was transferred there, and it looked as though everyone was doing quite well.
Orange Is the New Black is available on Netflix now.