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Orange Is the New Black Stars Sound Off on Season 4's Tragic Death

But why the story needed to be told

Liz Raftery

[Warning: This article contains spoilers about Season 4 of Orange Is the New Black. Read at your own risk!]

Viewers weren't the only ones who had their hearts shattered in Episode 12 of Orange Is the New Black's fourth season.

TVGuide.com spoke with several cast members to find out how they reacted when they found out Poussey (Samira Wiley) was going to be killed off. Here's what they had to say:

Alan Aisenberg (C.O. Bayley): "That was a 22-hour day, and I couldn't sleep the night before, for obvious reasons. So I was up from about midnight to 6 a.m. the next day. I had bruises all over me. I was exhausted. Those two weeks of shooting that episode broke me - and I'm young. I was 22 when I shot it, and there's no reason for me to be that broken. But mentally, physically and emotionally, that episode ripped me to pieces. In a great way.

Samira had a brace on her. We kind of talked about it and she was like, 'Look, you're not going to hurt me. I have this thing. Go at it.' And then I said the same thing to Uzo [Aduba]. Like, 'You're not going to hurt me. Swing away.' Because I knew a week of bruises would be worth it looking the way that it does. So I was just ready to put myself through it. ... We were all mourning Poussey, but I was mourning Bayley too. He kind of dies in that moment. He's not who he was. He'll never be that way again."

21 reasons Poussey is irreplaceable on Orange Is the New Black

Michael Harney (Sam Healy): "For me personally, it's a loss to me. I love [Samira]. I'll miss her."

Jessica Pimentel (Maria Ruiz): "It's a reflection of what's happening, is it not? And it came at such a point in time that [Poussey] was finally finding some sweetness. It is very true to life, and it's always the sweetest. Why are all these innocents being hurt? That seems to be a recurring theme of life in general, these innocent people that are constantly being mowed down, who are just looking for love and acceptance."

Laura Gomez (Blanca Flores): "I could not believe it. ... It was shocking and it was very sad, and I remember one of my castmates telling me, 'Don't read [the script] at night because it's going to overwhelm you. And I'm like, 'You can't tell me that. Now I have to read it.' And then I was overwhelmed. Such an important character. Such a lovable character. It makes sense that it was her. It's a heartbreaking moment."

JoJo Whilden/Netflix

Blair Brown (Judy King): "You could see who had read [the script]. People just looked shattered. And coming to work that day was horrible. It was like truly a person was dying. Absolutely awful."

Brad William Henke (C.O. Piscatella): "It was surprising that it happened, but it should happen [on the show], because that's what happens in prison."

Kelly Karbacz (Kasey Sankey): "It was heartbreaking, and as someone who has loved the show from Day 1, it's heartbreaking. I had to sit with it for a long time, because it really, really touched me and moved me and changed me to see that. ... When I read the script, [I] went from a gasp to a silent moment to weeping. I felt every emotion in the gamut. I think the episode is so beautifully done."

Were you shocked by the events in the second to last episode?

Season 4 of Orange Is the New Black is available to stream on Netflix.