With Orange Is the New Black poised to end later this year after Season 7, we'll soon have to close the book on the stories of the multifaceted women of Litchfield Maximum Security. That includes Taystee (Danielle Brooks), who was dealt the dirtiest hand of the series' run following her wrongful murder conviction. Whether or not she'll find justice or pay a high price for a crime she didn't commit remains to be seen. Meanwhile, the question of what will become of our beloved Red (Kate Mulgrew) lingers as the former kitchen leader continues down a dark, depressing path with no end in sight.
When we last saw Red, her husband had started seeing someone else and her family had decided to stop their periodic visits as a means of coping with the fact that she probably wouldn't ever walk free again. Even worse, Red squandered what might have been the last time she'd get to see her grandchildren for a brief moment of revenge against Frieda (Dale Soules), and it ultimately landed her in SCHU.
But for those of you still hoping she'll turn her life around and find some semblance of happiness by series end, well, we've got bad news for you. Kate Mulgrew says that Red faces a grim future ahead of her.
"I know how [my character's arc is] going to end and it's sad," Mulgrew told TV Guide during the premiere of the Netflix dark comedy Russian Doll. "But of course, given [series creator] Jenji Kohan's proclivity for the truth and for what she considers to be a considerate reflection of what happens in prison, it's authentic. It's hard. It's what happens to women of my type, age and disposition under these circumstances."
Things also don't look well for Daya, who Dascha Polanco says she wished "had better opportunities." Any hope of her carving out a better life for herself vanished when she murdered the abusive guard Humphrey (Michael Torpey) and found herself in maximum security. Since Kohan's world is rooted in bittersweet reality, it shouldn't come as a surprise that Daya's ending probably won't be a happy one.
"Unfortunately, that's not the realistic view of what really goes on in the current incarcerated system," Polanco said.
Season 7 has yet to premiere — we don't even have a premiere date — but producers are already in talks about a potential sequel to the seminal Netflix series. Whether or not something comes of that remains to be seen. In the meantime, the show's stars have their own ideas for a follow-up to the prison dramedy.
Mulgrew revealed she's down for a Nicky (Natasha Lyonne) spin-off, while Polanco pitched a new series centering on [Daya] and Bennett (Matt McGorry). Their unlikely love story — he was a guard, after all — reached a frustrating conclusion in Season 3 when Bennett uncharacteristically walked out on Daya and their unborn child, never to be seen or heard from again. A spin-off would offer up some much-needed closure, but after several seasons of radio silence, it's highly unlikely that Daya and Bennett will ever get the proper ending they deserve.
In addition, Adrienne Moore says Cindy would be a great candidate for a potential spin-off series. "I think she has a lot to offer. You'll see this season why you would want to see a spin-off for Cindy," she teased.
Orange Is the New Black returns for its seventh and final season later this year on Netflix. Meanwhile, you can catch Polanco in Russian Doll, which premieres Friday, Feb. 1.