In Season 6 of Orange Is the New Black, it's clear right off the bat that the ladies of Litchfield viewers have come to know over the last five years are definitely not in "camp" anymore. The stakes are high, the gangs are serious, and there are unfamiliar inmates to figure out. Spoilers ahead if you have not watched Season 6 of Orange Is the New Black. Piper's even got a new bunkie to warm up to. Who is Beth on Orange Is the New Black Season 6? The show introduced a character with a dark and disturbing criminal past.
Beth extends somewhat of a warm welcome to "cookie" (that's code for newbie in Max) Piper when they meet in their shared cell digs. She comes off innocent and even borders on pleasant, with a hardened edge from obviously being incarcerated for a long time. She's visibly roughed up and in pain at Piper's initial glance in Episode 2, tired of the dangers of the system and doing whatever it takes to survive.
"I don't really blame her. I blame this place," Beth tells Piper of the attack. "You lock a dog in a cage all day and then you let it out and it bites you, do you blame the dog?
"Outside, I was a mother and a homemaker. You have any kids?" she asks Piper, launching into a story about how her first week in Max involved a nasty shiv incident for a reason she doesn't understand. Now she fights back, although she's aware that she'll "die in this place," whether she stands up for herself or not.
"My 10-year sentence would have been up four years ago but now I'm lucky if I get out of here before I'm 50," Beth laments. Then she harshly tells Piper what she sees when she looks at her: "The person I used to be."
But is Beth being honest about her sentence? As the show continues it's revealed that that punishment might not fit her crime. Later in the episode, Beth plays with Piper's hair as she talks about her children and the bonding moment immediately goes in a morbid direction.
"You know what she did?" a guard warns Piper. "She killed her kids. Three of 'em."
The look on Piper's face is basically a reaction to the running theme of OITNB, whether positive or negative: Things are not always as they seem.
Beth isn't the only new character on OITNB with a troubled history. Madison "Badison" Murphy, Piper's constant tormenter and C Block boss Carol's loyal soldier, gets her own flashback episode that reveals she's fought her own demons and picked up a few violent tricks from so-called rehabilitation along the way. Carol and Barb's murderous pre-prison life is even more of a frightening shock. Orange Is the New Block promised "this is not home" when promoting Season 6 and now it's truly delivering. Piper's seemingly sweet roommate is just the one of a handful of scary unknowns to contend with in Max.