Michael J. Harney's character on Netflix's Orange Is the New Black had a big arc this past season, but will he return for season 5?
***Spoilers through the season 4 finale of Orange Is the New Black ahead***
Harney's character, Sam Healy, went through the psychological wringer this year, having dealt with Lolly (Lori Petty), who reminded him of his mentally ill mother. The season ended with Healy checking himself into a mental institution, where the last shot we see of him is knitting in the common room as he watches Caputo's (Nick Sandow) press conference.
Harney spoke with Yahoo about whether the clearly-dazed Healy recognized Caputo in that moment.
"When I was shooting that, I remember asking [series creator] Jenji [Kohan] before, 'What's going on?' She said, 'You know, you've been medicated.' I added that, too. I know what that feels like, having, we'll just say, I've had a lot of adventures in different, you know, mind altering experiences," Harney explained. "What I did was, Sam was watching, and yeah, he sensed that he recognized him, but he wasn't able to respond. It's almost like there was a blanket over him... a blanket over his sensibility in a way, if that makes sense. There was a numbness, it's like Pink Floyd, 'Comfortably Numb.' He'd become comfortably numb."
The actor also discussed why Healy chose to admit himself to the institution in the first place.
"Storyline-wise, it's obvious to Sam that he has a lot of failings, relationship failings, professional failings, mistakes, making major mistakes, not talking about this person who is gone. All those played into it," he said. "My job was to find parallel experiences that are personal, that are from my personal life, and then injecting them. They have to fit. They have to give me the same thread of truth as the experiences of the script deliver."
As for whether Harney will return as Healy in season 5, he confirmed that he will indeed be back. It's not entirely clear how that will be possible, but the series has certainly brought characters back from seemingly inescapable places before.
Orange Is the New Black season 5 will drop in 2017 on Netflix, though a specific release date has not yet been announced. You can stream seasons 1-4 of the prison series now.