Orange Is the New Black Season 5 Recap: Everything You Need to Remember Before Season 6 Debuts

Get reacquainted with what happened during the Litchfield riots

By Chris Harnick Jul 26, 2018 1:00 PMTags
Orange Is the New BlackNetflix

Orange Is the New Black season five ended with a bang—kind of literally. Don't remember what happened to your favorite inmates? We're here to help.

Season six of Orange Is the New Black premieres Friday, July 27, but before you dive back into the world of Piper, Red, Taystee and Suzanne, it's time to reacquaint yourself with what went down during the fifth season of the Emmy-winning Netflix series. The fifth season took place over the course of just a few days at Litchfield, but they were a wild couple of days after the prisoners rioted and took control of the facilities.

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Pressured into picking up the smuggled gun, Daya shot CO Humphrey. However, her actions started weighing on her almost immediately. She wielded the gun for some time, but it got passed around (well, stolen), and whoever had the weapon became the de facto leader. Her mother, Aleida, who was previously released, made the interview rounds talking about her time in Litchfield while the riots happened, and eventually learned it was her daughter who was the shooter while doing live TV. She called Pornstache's mother and asked her to adopt her baby. Eventually, Taystee, who started negotiating with MCC officials about ending the riot, agreed to turn Daya over to FCC…but things go awry. She ended the season turning herself in after the riot ended.


Following the death of Poussey, Taystee Black Cindy, Janae and Alison forced Caputo to read a statement about Poussey's death, which they recorded and put online. Taystee became the leader of the riot in many ways, she posted the photo of all the hostage COs, freed Judy King and made a statement to the press about how Judy was treated differently and what they want from the system. Never forget the burning of the Cheetos and Takis. Taystee was responsible for the negotiations with Fig and MCC, but things break down. Eventually, the guards are released (by Gloria) and Taystee lost her negotiation power and the prison was swarmed by CERT (correction emergency response team). Taystee ended the season in Frieda's bunker with a handful of other characters, standing together to face the CERT officers.

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Piper and Alex
One of the favorite OITNB couples started season five attempting to take Linda from MCC hostage. They eventually felt bad for her and helped her blend in as an inmate. They largely stayed out of the riot business, but eventually were taken by Piscatella, the rogue CO who returned to the prison intent on restoring order…torturing and/or killing some people. Piscatella broke Alex's arm, and after being freed from capture, the two make their way to Frieda's bunker where Piper proposes to Alex—she said yes. The season ended with Alex, Piper, Taystee, Nicky, Red, Black Cindy, Frieda, Suzanne, Blanca and Gloria linking arms as their hideout was taken by CERT officers.

Sophia spent much of her time this season helping in the infirmary. She was previously trained as a paramedic as part of her firefighter experience.


Maria & Gloria
Gloria received news that her son was severely beaten and in the ICU, and she tried to get furlough to go see him, but, you know, riot. Caputo told her to help free the hostages and it could help. She tried, and told Maria her plan…only for Maria to go behind her back and free the hostage guards and take credit for everything, despite Maria's role in the riot.

Viewers learned a whole lot more about Frieda in season five, she even got her own flashback episode. She revealed her secret bunker in the prison to a select few and helped free Piscatella's prisoners—she took him down with a poisoned dart.

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Red and Blanca embarked on a quest to get information on Piscatella, and along the way they found and started doing speed, thinking it was vitamins. They tried to get Piscatella back into the prison in order to take him down by texting him from Humphrey's phone (Red cut off the dying guard's fingertip to get into his phone). Red and Blanca tried to reverse course and getting him into the prison, but he made his way in anyway and started capturing and torturing prisoners. When he got his hands on Red, he scalped her. The ladies eventually turned the tables on Piscatella, but Red let him go…and then CERT officers shot and killed him.

Orange Is the New Black season six premieres Friday, July 27 on Netflix.