Orange Is The New Black is Back! Here’s What You Need To Know

by Hanna Lustig

We all know how it felt when Beyoncé dropped an album straight from heaven into our laps without advance notice in 2013. The shock and unbridled joy of that moment can never be replicated, but when Netflix released the third season of Orange Is The New Black six hours early during primetime last night, our reaction was just as joyful.

The news first broke via an announcement by Netflix bigwig Reed Hastings during last night’s invitation-only Orange Con event, held in New York City. I’m a mere mortal, so I found out through a tweet from Uzo Aduba (Crazy Eyes) followed by a formal tweet of confirmation from the Netflix gods themselves.

(Side note: apparently, half the crowd left the convention once the new season rolled out. True fans KNOW the right way to enjoy this show—in the comfort of their home, swaddled in pajamas and positioned strategically beside a trough of snacks.)

As with the two previous seasons, season three is now available in its entirety for streaming on demand. By on demand, I really mean: for binge-watching all weekend long.

With a slew of new episodes, though, comes the threat of POTENTIAL SPOILERS. We recommend avoiding the Internet all together (well, except for But before you unplug for the next few days, why not refresh your knowledge of the latest season? (Spoiler alert: it was great. But also, REAL SPOILERS TO FOLLOW…you’ve been warned).  

Here’s what you need to know: 

1. Pensatucky survived her brawl with Piper in the season 1 finale, but only because Crazy Eyes knocked her out before things escalated beyond repair. 

2. Shortly thereafter, Piper is mysteriously transported to a Chicago jail, but not because of the brawl. Piper was only there to testify against Kubra, the drug dealer she kinda-sorta worked for that one time she smuggled paraphernalia through an airport. Piper lies under oath to protect Alex, but Alex tells the truth about her involvement with the drug trade and earns herself freedom (more on that later). Piper is understandably PISSED.

3. We learn more about Crazy Eyes’ trouble childhood, in addition to why Gloria and Black Cindy are in prison: Stealing.   

4. Despite her insistence, Lorna isn’t actually engaged…but she is a stalker. (?!)

5. Other revelations include the existence of Poussey’s former secret German girlfriend and the fact that Sister Ingalls use to be an semi-egotistical activist in a former life. Who knew?

6. Everyone believes Daya’s lie about Pornstache being the father of her child. He’s arrested and fired.

7. Healy is still a volatile guy riding a rollercoaster of feelings. He has a few redeeming moments, and a few more sadistic moments. The jury’s still out.

8. We meet Vee, the new villain. It was deeply frustrating to watch her manipulate all your favorite characters (but none more so than Taystee and Poussey). But she gets what she deserves in the end (keep reading, BUSTies!). 

9. Red is still an outsider after getting dethroned in season 1. She and Vee have an epic feud running throughout season 2, which boils over in a pretty terrifying altercation that ends with Red on the greenhouse floor. 

10. Polly and Larry hook up, then Piper finds out (eventually). No comment.

11. Piper starts to investigate fraud and corruption within the prison’s administration (we’re looking at you, Figueroa and your closeted gay Senate candidate husband). With Caputo’s help, Fig is ousted and Caputo takes over the prison.

12. Miss Rosa, the most lovable, cancer-stricken former bank robber ever, learns that despite ongoing chemo treatment she only has weeks to live. She decides to escape prison and live out her last days as a free woman once again. On her way out, she runs over Vee, who also decides to escape when her minions realize how evil she is. We’re hoping Vee is DEFINITELY, FOR SURE dead. Not TV dead where it’s really a fake-out and the character ends up living to see the next season. *knock on wood*

13. Remember how I told you Alex was released from prison? She was living in normal society for a while, but not without fear. Sure, she was free, but what if Kubra wants revenge? She keeps a gun inside her apartment just in case, but then, tragedy strikes: her parole officer finds out she’s in possession of an armed weapon, a violation that will send her straight back to Litchfield.

Phew. We made it, BUSTies. You are now ready to enter the wormhole that season 3 surely is. See you on the other side!

Image courtesy of Netflix


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