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10 Things You Need To Know Before Binge Watching Season 4 Of ‘Orange Is The New Black’

by Dan Tracer June 17, 2016

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What’s the difference between season four of Netflix’s Orange is the New Black and the characters who inhabit the show?

Well, the former has now officially been released.

As of today you can spend as much or as little time watching the new season as your heart desires. We’re sure many of you just realized what you’ll be doing all weekend.

But if you’re like us, one side effect of binge watching is it’s a bit tough to actually retain much of what you’ve already seen.

So to help you along your journey, we’ve put together this handy little guide to everything you need to remember from season three.

Let’s begin!

1. Piper and her dirty panties

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As you well know, the internet is full of weirdos. Piper (Taylor Schilling) capitalized on that fact when she embarked on a new business venture last season — selling the semi-soiled panties of female prison inmates on the web! God we wish we’d thought of that. With her brother facilitating the operation from the outside, what could possibly go wrong?

Well it’s Piper we’re talking about, so something will always go wrong. Besides some hiccups in the business, her love life last season was a bit of a disaster. Alex (Laura Prepon) was with her for a hot minute, but then Stella (Ruby Rose) came into the picture and things got crazy. Stella jacked all of Pipers hard-worn pantie cash; that’s cold.

Even colder was Piper’s retribution after she figured it out — some cleverly placed contraband in Stella’s bunk meant #ByeGirl.

2. Watch your back, Alex

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Just because you’re paranoid, it doesn’t mean they’re not trying to get you. Alex spent the whole season thinking Lolly (Lori Petty) was trying to kill her. It was pretty obvious she wasn’t, and Alex eventually figured that out. But wait! The season ended just as we discover that mister drug kingpin really did send someone to kill her. But who?! Dun dun dunnn…

3. Our hearts broke for Sophia

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Gloria’s (Selenis Levya) son was carpooling to visiting day with Sophia’s (Laverne Cox) son and wife and the two boys started hanging out. Sophia was convinced Nicky was corrupting her son Michael so she cut off the carpool arrangement. Well, turns out it was the other way around — Michael was a bad influence on Nicky. Either way, Gloria was pissed and spread nasty rumors about our girl Sophia. Some scuffles ensued, and Sophia pushed Gloria. Then Sophia got jumped in her salon and it was pretty painful to watch. Last we saw, Sophia was sent to SHU for “her own protection.”

4. Nicky, are you there?

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Nicky (Natasha Lyonne) was transferred to a higher security prison after she was caught hiding drugs in the electrical office. That being said, Lyonne has been involved in press events for the upcoming season, so we can either expect to see her return, or we’re getting a new location in season four.

5. The Time Hump Chronicles 

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There’s nothing like relaxing on a Sunday morning with your favorite erotic science fiction prison fantasy novel, and ours is, hands down, Suzanne aka Crazy Eyes’ (Uzo Aduba) The Time Hump Chronicles. The story made Suzanne something of a local celebrity at Linchfield, and even wound up getting her a girlfriend at the end of the season.

6. Church of Norma

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All praise Norma (Annie Golden), who basically became a cult leader in season three, with fervent followers like Brook (Kimiko Glenn) and Poussey (Samira Wiley). You know who didn’t drink the Kool-aid, though? Norma’s friend Red (Kate Mulgrew), and it caused a rift. But then they made up. Aww, friendship! Brook had a more troubled path ahead, although her suicide attempt ended up bringing her and Poussey closer together. Oh and speaking of Red, she finally reclaimed the kitchen — thank god.

7. Baby drama

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Adorable prison guard (thats a phrase we don’t use often) Bennett (Matt McGorry) vanished during the beginning of last season, probably because of his other job at How To Get Away With Murder. Daya (Dascha Polanco) finally gave birth to their child, though. She considered giving it to Pornstache’s well-intentioned mother (Mary Steenburgen), but wound up telling her she miscarried, deciding to give it to Cesar. But the Cesar got arrested, so jury’s still out as to who will be changing diapers.

8. Trigger warning

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Pennsatuky (Taryn Manning) took over driving duties and got chummy with the new CO (James McMenamin). It seemed too good to be true, because it was. A very troubling power dynamic was quickly established, and it didn’t take the CO long to rape Pennsatucky. Boo (Lea DeLaria) found out and helped Pennsatucky plot revenge. But then that took a turn for the worse when the two almost sodomized the CO with a tool.

9. New era

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The prison turned private, which is utterly terrifying. Like, why in the hell should the business of incarceration be for-profit?! But that’s for another post. Caputo (Nick Sandow) was made HBIC as some major changes began to be implemented. We’re sure this will be a major theme of season four.

10. Incidentals 

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Hmm, what else do you need to know…Black Cindy (Adrienne C. Moore) converted to Judaism — la’chaim! The Martha Stewart-inspired Judy King (Blair Brown) is a new member of the inmate family, and oh! The season ended with a breakout as all the inmates headed for the lake for a freedom-tasting dip in the water.

Okay, binge away!

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Dan Tracer
Dan Tracer

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