Orange Is The New Black Season 5 has just been released. All 13 episodes are now available for streaming on Netflix. The show’s creator, Jenji Kohan, talks about the Season 5 plot and reveals that the show could end in Season 7.
OITNB creator already has an end in mind
Orange Is The New Black has been guaranteed to run until Season 7. But is it possible for the show to be extended beyond what is so far promised? Speaking in an interview with The New York Times, Kohan said that she is leaning towards ending the OITNB series after its seventh season. Although, she has not made a final decision yet. She added that the show could actually go on and on as they can bring in new people. When asked about the ending she has in mind, she said she has some thoughts about it, but she is unwilling to share.
Talk about Season 5 first
The new season of Orange Is The New Black picks up exactly where Season 4 left, which progressed to a riot. All 13 episodes focused on the riot that spanned three days. Kohan told the New York Times:
“We wanted to slow down to really get into the riot, and also to slow down in general and get into some of the detail work that’s hard to do if you’re skipping through time.”
“We wanted to follow what we thought would be a natural progression of the riot, and we had done research into other ones,” she added. Compared to men’s riot in prisons, the riot in Orange Is The New Black came up with a less violent one. “Not to say that women can’t be violent, because they certainly can,” but “[t]here’s a different tone to it, and I think it was surprising for the other characters, from the guards to the administration. Women aren’t supposed to riot,” Kohan explained.
Poussey still the center of this season
Orange Is The New Black Season 4 had a heartbreaking end when Poussey (played by Samira Wiley) was accidentally killed by a prison guard. She may not be in Litchfield anymore, but her presence was still at the heart of this season. OITNB Season 5’s riot seeks justice for Poussey’s death, along with a protest against what the privatization of the facility brought to them. A lot of fans miss the character, and Kohan said “that’s part of why she was a sacrificial lamb.” She added:
“We felt her death would be the most affecting for the audience… we built this character who had hope and promise, and extinguishing that light would be the most devastating.”
Wiley shared with USA TODAY that she is honored that her character, Poussey, was a huge influence on Orange Is The New Black and how she resonates to the viewers. “I think it will probably be a little weird, but I think it will also feel good to see that she doesn’t just go away, that hopefully, people will be talking about her for a long time in the show. And in the world, too.”
Orange Is The New Black is said to be one of the most-watched series on Netflix, although the streaming giant does not release figures of viewers to producers. The show has also been popular given the diversity of its cast members in terms of race, age, religion, gender, class, body type, and sexuality, per Los Angeles Times. It has also been a means to foster cross-cultural empathy and to raise awareness about the criminal justice system in the country.
Orange Is The New Black Season 5 comes out on Netflix beginning Friday, June 9.