On July 26, Netflix released the seventh and final season of its prison drama series, Orange Is the New Black. During Season 7, the show managed to wrap up the stories of most of its beloved characters, but at the end of the finale, fans were still left with questions about the fate of Dascha Polanco’s Dayanara “Daya” Diaz. Fortunately, the actress is here to address the concerns of curious fans, according to a report from The Hollywood Reporter.
At the beginning of the season, viewers watched as Daya dominated the prison while running the most lucrative drug business around. After catching her girlfriend cheating, Daya decided to spike her hooch with drugs to teach her a lesson, but ended up killing her. Daya’s new attitude can be attributed to the fact that she was previously given a life sentence, and felt she no longer had anything to lose. Daya’s reign was quickly cut short when her mother, Aleida, played by Elizabeth Rodriguez, returned to the prison after yet another run-in with the law.
As the series finale came to an end, Daya informed her mother that she’d been using her little sister to help her sell drugs. Upon hearing this information, Aleida immediately saw red and attacked her daughter by striking her in the throat and attempting to strangle her. That was the last viewers saw of the mother-daughter duo, which led fans to believe that Daya was killed by her mother, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.
“They made it very clear to me that I don’t die,” Polanco said. “I thought that she did. But the writers told me, ‘She doesn’t die, but she gets knocked out really good.’ And I realized it was going to be left as that question.”
Polanco went on to reflect on her character’s journey throughout the show’s seven season.
“Oh, Daya. I’m going to miss her. I wanted her to have a moment of closure with Bennett. I wanted her to inquire about her daughter. I wanted more of Pornstache. Though we do see him [at the end] with Daya’s baby, I wanted to see Daya actually inquire about her daughter,” the actress said, before expressing love and respect for her character.
As fans may remember, Daya had a relationship with John Bennett, a former correctional officer at Litchfield Penitentiary, who is the biological father of her child. In order to keep their relationship a secret, Daya tricked another officer, George “Pornstache” Mendez, into believing he was the father of the unborn baby. The baby is eventually adopted by Pornstache’s mother, and viewers are treated to a short scene of the father and daughter playing together.
Orange Is the New Black is available for streaming on Netflix.