With the seventh and final season of Orange Is the New Black fast approaching, many fans are wondering what will happen to Taystee following the major life-altering blow delivered to her in the Season 6 finale.
Warning! Spoilers for Orange Is the New Black Seasons 5 and 6 lie ahead!
Fans of the series will recall that Taystee had become the leader and face of the riots that broke out at Litchfield Penitentiary in Season 5 following Poussey’s death, and while she had attempted to take a peaceful approach to obtain justice, she had found herself wrongfully charged with the death of C.O. Desi Piscatella.
A large portion of Season 7 had centered around the subsequent trial, and while fans were aware that Piscatella’s death was the result of an accidental shooting by rookie officer Natoli, which was then staged by the CERT team to place blame on Taystee, she was ultimately found guilty of second-degree murder.
Although the charge doesn’t carry the death penalty, it does mean that Taystee is facing life in prison, and actress Danielle Brooks said that Season 7 will be about “survival” for her onscreen counterpart.
“It’s about survival…Now that she’s been convicted of this crime that she didn’t commit,” she told Elite Daily. “So, for her, she’s trying to figure out, 'Is life worth living?’ And I think the audience, as much as she’s toiling with that, I think they will be as frustrated at where it’s taking them emotionally. But at the end of the day, I think the whole thing is to continue to find ways to find your hope."
Brooks added that the final batch of episodes, which are set to premiere “in the second half of the year,” will see Taystee and Black Cindy (Adrienne C. Moore) “hash it out” following a sixth season that saw their relationship strained after Cindy was forced to name her best friend in the murder.
“I think Taystee — as street smart as she is, as wise as she is — I think she’s naive when it comes to love. And I think she wants that so bad, she wants love so much that she forgets that people are human and people don’t always have the best intention and won’t always have your back as many times as they might say it in front of your face," she said. “So, I think she kind of is naive to that and unfortunately had to learn the hard way with her [Black Cindy]. But yeah, they’ll definitely have to hash it out."
As for how exactly Taystee’s storyline plays out, fans will ultimately have to wait until Orange Is the New Black premieres later this year. They can catch up with the series and prep for the final season with a re-watch of Seasons 1-6, which are available for streaming on Netflix.