Netflix is giving fans their first look at Orange Is the New Black Season 7 with the first batch of photos for the final season.
The streaming giant released the photos on Wednesday, May 22, alongside the announcement of the Season 7 premiere date of Friday, July 26, and the official synopsis teasing what fans can expect in the final season.
“Piper (Taylor Schilling) struggles with life on the outside, while life in Max, as corrupt and unjust as ever, goes on without her,” an official synopsis for the season reads. “Taystee’s (Danielle Brooks) friendship with Cindy (Adrienne C. Moore) still hangs in the balance as her life sentence looms, Gloria (Selenis Leyva) and her kitchen staff are confronted by the hard truth of Polycon’s newest profit stream, while others chase drugs or dreams and grapple with the reality of their place in this world.”
Keep scrolling to see the first photos from OITNB’s seventh and final season.
As the official synopsis for the seventh season teased, Piper will struggle to adjust to life outside of the walls of Litchfield Penitentiary after she was accidentally granted early release in Season.
Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter in August, writer Brian Chamberlayne stated that this next step in Piper’s storyline was pivotal, as showrunner Jenji Kohan “wanted to be able to tell stories about post-prison.”
“It wasn't just a season-six end, it was partially about getting into the arc of where Piper goes,” he said. “It's about what is significant about the criminal justice system and what is significant about Piper's story and journey, so there's plenty to be told."
Although it is not known what awaits Piper once she is back in the real world, she has stated her desire multiple times throughout the final season to write a memoir, something that would bring the series full circle considering the series is based on her real-life counterpart Piper Kerman’s memoir, Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women's Prison.
Could some characters be headed back to Litchfield Women’s Prison and out of max? According to this photo released by Netflix, Morello, Red Nicky, Flaca, and Gloria are preparing to take a trip somewhere, though their specific destination remains to be see.
As fans will recall, Daya is facing life in prison in connection to the death of CO Humphrey in Season 5. Meanwhile, Taystee was found guilty in Season 6 in the shooting death of CO Piscatella.
But facing life sentences isn’t the only thing they have in common, as fans know that they have both been wrongfully convicted. Humphrey died after Maureen Kukudio blew bubbles into his IV. Piscatella was killed after rookie officer Natoli shot him during the prison riots of Season 5.
As fans will recall, Alex and Piper had a final special moment in the season when Nicky Nichols, acting as officiant, and Lorna Morello, acting as witness, helped them get married within the prison’s walls.
“It was a sense of normalcy for Alex and Piper," Laura Prepon told The Hollywood Reporter of the scene. "With these women in prison, anything that gets you to forget where you are, even for a few minutes, is pretty magical. That scene in that moment was about their union and their love and they did what they could with it, considering they are in a Max prison."
In Season 7, it even appeared that she is attempting to pave a path for herself once she is released from prison by joining other inmates in taking a practice test for a yet unknown topic.
Fans were unsatisfied with the amount of Red and Nicky interaction in Season 6 as they both dealt with their own issues, but this photo from the upcoming season is proving that the characters won’t be sent off without a few touching moments.
Red and Nicky have been close ever since Piper Chapman walked into Litchfield back in Season 1, with Red having taken Nicky under her wing when she first arrived in prison. Throughout the seasons, fans have watched as their bond underwent its share of ups and downs.
What remains to be seen, however, is whether or not the season will end with them keeping their secret. As fans know, both Cindy and Suzanne were present when C.O. Desi Piscatella’s death was staged, and they remain the only two people capable of helping Taystee’s second-degree murder charge get overturned.