Orange Is the New Black season three was almost perfect...except for the fact that Nicky Nichols (Natasha Lyonne) was sent down the road to maximum security after getting blamed for heroin getting into Litchfield. After the first three episodes, fans didn't see her at all (sob!), leaving us all to wonder if she'd ever return to the show.
During Orange Is the New Black's 2015 Summer TCA press tour panel, Lyonne fielded questions about her fate in season four like a pro, refusing to give any spoilers away to the room of reporters who wouldn't stop trying to get any hints about her future. "I feel a great deal of solidarity with the cast of Game of Thrones," she joked.
When E! News caught up with Lyonne after the panel ended, she opened up a little more about Nicky's shocking storyline.
"I was excited [about Nicky's season three story]," Lyonne tells E! News. "We have an incredible puppet master in [showrunner] Jenji [Kohan] and there's a great deal of trust that I have in that. I'm pretty much a person who is up for adventure and I thought it was wise to have there be a big consequence for Nicky's playing around with heroin. It can't all be fingering and cookies all the time. There's going to be hell to pay at a certain point for playing with her personal fire."
While fans were devastated by Nicky's absence for the majority of the season, Lyonne was glad the writers decided to take her storyline in that direction, even though it meant less screen time for her.
"I think it makes sense and I think that the stakes of the show and the reason it resonates and continues to is ultimately because of this underlying intensity to the fact that these people have lost their freedom and are up against themselves behind these walls," Lyonne says. "I think it's a good thing to have major characters suffer major consequences. Otherwise, I think it might be a little bit too friendly and it loses some of its bite."
And when asked whether she'd prefer to see Nicky in max in the future, or to see how her time in max affected her as she's brought back into gen. pop., she laughed.
"That seems like a sneaky way to ask another spoiler question," Lyonne says.
Can't blame us for trying!