Season 4 of Netflix's Orange Is the New Black ended with a climactic death, but why did it have to happen to that character?
***Spoilers through the season 4 finale of Orange Is the New Black ahead***
In the penultimate episode of the most recent season of Orange Is the New Black, a huge fight between the inmates and prison guards broke out, resulting in accidental tragedy. Poussey (Samira Wiley) was crushed to death by Bayley (Alan Aisenberg), and much of the prison population was left devastated.
Now, for a show that often deals with life and death situations, there have been very few major character deaths so far. As such, the impact of Poussey dying was even greater than usual, especially considering she's one of the more positive characters on the series.
Wiley spoke with Mic.com recently about learning her character was going to die this season and how she ultimately came to accept it.
"In the beginning I was shocked, confused," Wiley admitted. "There was a lot of people who assumed I asked to leave the show, which is the furthest thing from the truth. It was news to me and I think it really took having to have conversations about the story that they were trying to tell, [the] Black Lives Matter story and realizing that this character that I created could be the vessel for that story. I went from being shocked and confused to really being honored and challenged by the task put in front of me."
The episode also featured Poussey lining up a job with Judy King (Blair Brown), suggesting that she had a bright future ahead of her. This was another part of what gave the death such impact.
"I've had conversations with [series creator Jenji Kohan] about why Poussey. One thing she says is that she's one character that you can really see her future," Wiley noted. "You want to do this to someone who you feel like has a future so it can hurt that much more. 'Cause it really hurts."
Orange Is the New Black season 5 will drop next summer on Netflix, while the first four seasons are available to stream now.