For the last seven seasons of Orange is the New Black, audiences have watched countless characters evolve while serving time in Litchfield Penitentiary. "Prison changes people" is a cliché that exists in the real world, and the Netflix series has done an excellent job of demonstrating how that's true. In a large ensemble, perhaps no character has changed more than Daya Diaz (Dascha Polanco). She began the series as a sweet and naive young woman who spent most of her days doodling and crushing on CO John Bennett (Matt McGorry). But after dealing with more than her fair share of tough situations, she really reached a turning point at the end of Season 4, when she pointed a gun at a guard's head and incited a prison riot that led to multiple deaths. The beginning of the seventh and final season shows Daya already down an even darker path than the one she'd been on before, and it all leads to a shockingly tragic final scene. For all the fans wondering whether Daya was killed on Orange is the New Black, its possible her last scene in the series really was her final goodbye. Warning: Spoilers for Season 7 of Orange is the New Black follow.
In Season 7, Daya became the drug lord running things in her resident D-Block and beyond. She'd teamed up with her mother Aleida (Elizabeth Rodriguez) and CO Rick Hopper (Hunter Emery) to smuggle pills into the prison, so their supply could to keep up with the high demand.
But as Daya was running a gang in prison, Aleida became worried about the example she'd set for her kids. Not only was Daya dealing drugs, but she became addicted to them as well, and Aleida grew upset about her daughter's downward spiral. She became determined to break the cycle and make sure her younger children wouldn't end up like Daya.
After an attempt to protect her teenage daughter from an older guy, Aleida ended up landing herself back in prison alongside Daya, only to discover Daya had roped her younger sister into dealing drugs with her. Not only that, but Daya had made plans to get her other siblings involved, too. That turned out to be the final straw for Aleida, and that's when she snapped.
In their final scene, Daya asked her mother if she knew what it's like to kill somebody. Aleida proceeded to punch Daya in the throat and strangled her on the floor as she said in Spanish, "Maybe I'll know what it's like now." And that's it. That's the last the audience saw of Daya and Aleida. Daya's fate was left open-ended, but if Aleida's violent actions really matched her words, then that scene showed Daya's last living moments.
Even though the show doesn't give fans a concrete answer to the question of Daya's fate, fans can look to Polanco for a little insight. The actress previously told Digital Spy that if there are any Orange is the New Black spinoff series in the future, she doesn't think Daya will be a part of them. "I know that season seven is the end for me," Polanco said.
Since more Orange is the New Black is apparently not in Polanco's future, it seems this final tragic scene truly is the last audiences will see of Daya. Orange is the New Black is filled with sad stories, and Daya being killed by her mother will definitely be remembered as one of the most tragic.
You can watch all of Season 7 of Orange is the New Black on Netflix now.