Have you binged your way through all of Orange Is the New Black Season 6 yet? Netflix dropped all 13 episodes of the hourlong prison drama on Friday morning, and as per usual, the superfans of the series had gobbled the new run of episodes up by Saturday. If you have finished the new season already, then you probably have one big question about the future of the show: Will Piper be in Orange Is the New Black Season 7? Let's break down that cliffhanger ending.
Spoiler alert: This post will discuss plot points from throughout all of Orange Is the New Black Season 6. At the very beginning of Orange Is the New Black, Piper Chapman was the clear protagonist of the show. After all, we were seeing Litchfield Penitentiary from her eyes as she got convicted of surprising drug charges, and the character is based on Piper Kerman, whose memoir the series shares its name with. But as the series has progressed, Piper has faded to become only one of the several main characters in the show, which is known for having one of the most sprawling ensemble casts on television. Now, the series has reached a point where it could feasibly be possible to continue the show without Piper, if need be. But will it?
The Season 6 finale raises that question. Throughout the new season, Piper struggles to find some sort of balance between the peaceful woman she used to be and the hardened, quick-to-anger inmate that her time in prison has turned her into. Towards the end of the season, Piper focuses her full attention on reinstating a kickball game to bring the block-divided prison together, and also gets "prison-married" to Alex.
But most importantly, Piper takes the high road in dealing with her new enemy Badison, who becomes hell-bent on framing Piper for crimes in order to lengthen her sentence. Rather than form a plan to get back at Badison, as she has done with other adversaries in the past, Piper trusts CO Hopper with the truth, and he winds up pulling through by moving her up to the top of the early release list. Of course, it also helped that Hopper was the one smuggling the drugs that Badison was planting on Piper into jail, so getting her out early also helped him cover his misdeeds.
In the end, things actually work out for Piper for once. Her brother Cal picks her up from prison and drives her home. But now that Piper is free, what does that mean for Season 7? Even though there is no shortage of dynamic and interesting characters, it is still kind of strange to imagine Orange Is the New Black without Piper, plus, Alex is still in jail, and Piper is now unofficially married to her. I am thinking that the new season will definitely still include Piper in some way, possibly documenting the difficulties in her re-acclimating to life outside of prison. Hopefully, Piper can stay out of trouble, and we may get to see Alex released to join her. That's the happy ending that the OITNB fans deserve!