Orange is the New Black has been groundbreaking in its ability to tell a wide range of stories from diverse perspectives, thanks to its large ensemble cast. But there's one character who's been at the core of the series from the very beginning, and that's Piper Chapman (Taylor Schilling). The entire series began with Piper's first day in prison, and audiences have followed her journey ever since. The seventh and final season of the Netflix series, premiering July 26, will present the conclusion of Piper's story, and this refresher on what happened to Piper in Orange is the New Black Season 6 will remind you of everything you need to know before watching it.
At the start of Season 6, Piper arrived at maximum security prison after the Season 5 riot led to the closing down of the minimum security prison. All of the prisoners were relocated, with some people even moving to facilities across the country. At the end of Season 5, Piper had just proposed to her longtime love Alex (Laura Prepon), so she began her time in maximum security prison desperately trying to find her new fiancée. She was so desperate, she even asked another prisoner, Badison (Amanda Fuller), to help her get into the medical unit to search for Alex there. Badison, a higher-up in one of the prison gangs with a penchant for stirring up trouble, tripped Piper, which allowed her a couple days in a hospital bed. Unfortunately, Piper didn't find Alex there. She did end up with damaged teeth for a little while, though.
Eventually, Piper did find Alex and they got to spend the rest of the season being a cute couple. That is, as cute as they could be amidst the prison's ongoing gang war. Piper ended up rooming with Badison, who, it turned out, had a vendetta against Piper simply because she didn't like her. Alex attempted to get in with Badison in order to protect her fiancée, but that still couldn't save Piper from a big ol' wad of Badison's gum landing in her hair and resulting in a very choppy haircut.
Piper has always loved a good project to keep herself busy, so she decided to focus on leaving behind something positive once she was able to get out of prison. She considered writing about her experience, which is a very self-aware nod to the memoir by the real-life Piper Kerman that provides the basis for the TV series. But instead of writing, Piper decided to revive Litchfield's tradition of kickball by getting an active league up and running. A lot of the other prisoners were on board for Piper's new extracurricular activity, mostly because it gave them the opportunity to fight their opposing gang members. But regardless of why it happened, Piper succeeded in her goal.
In the penultimate episode of Season 6, both Piper and the audience got a big surprise: Piper was being released early. The news sent Piper for a loop, since she wasn't fully prepared for it. Before she left Litchfield for good, she was able to have one last quintessential prison experience. Alex set up a prison wedding for the two of them, and Piper made Alex promise she'll get out so they could be together in the real world.
In the last scene of Season 6, Piper sat in the passenger seat while her brother drove her home. He asked her what she's going to do now that she's out, and the answer to that question is likely where Season 7 will pick up.
The final season of Orange is the New Black premieres on Netflix on July 26.