The very last scene from season 4 of Orange Is the New Black was a risky one, but the actress at the center of the scene believes it paid off.
***Spoilers through the season 4 finale of Orange Is the New Black ahead***
The penultimate episode of Orange Is the New Black's fourth season features the tragic death of Poussey (Samira Wiley), one of the show's most popular characters. The show then offers a poignant tribute to her life in the finale with several flashback scenes of Poussey having an amazing day in New York City.
The finale ends with Poussey taking in this amazing day then looking straight at the camera and flashing a winning smilie. Such a sequence has never been done before on Orange Is the New Black and Wiley herself was skeptical at first.
"I remember being on set for that and we were almost finished filming the whole thing and I'm looking off and someone runs in and they're like, 'Hey, [showrunner] Jenji [Kohan] said look at the camera.' And I was like, 'She said what?'" Wiley recalled to Mic.com. "And they're like, 'Look straight into the camera!' I was like, 'There's no way she said that!' But lo and behold, of course she did say that and we get this amazing moment that has really been impacting people."
The moment also comes after an intensely dramatic scene in the present-day prison, with the entire inmate population revolting against the prison guards and Daya (Dascha Polanco) aiming a gun at Humphrey (Michael Torpey). Wiley spoke about how Poussey's flashback moment is a more hopeful note to end on.
"It was something - we've never done that on 'Orange' before - so it was weird to do it. But it also, in seeing some of the clips from it, it's powerful. I never knew that it would be powerful, I thought it was going to be so cheesy - me looking at the camera," she admitted. "But, like you said, to end on that rather than end on Daya's gun and Humphrey's face is leaving us with an ounce of hope."
Orange Is the New Black season 5 is set to drop on Netflix next summer, with the first four seasons available to stream now.