By Jonathon Dornbush
June 22, 2015 at 06:01 PM EDT
  • TV Show

Season 3 of Orange Is the New Black ​offered, in comparison to season 2, a relatively lighthearted year for Litchfield Penitentiary. Well, as lighthearted as time in prison can be.

But by the end of the new season, there’s enough setup for a truly dark and complex season 4, and there’s plenty of room left for the show to incorporate its incredible ability to find humor in the most difficult moments. Whether you’ve finished watching season 3 of Orange Is the New Black, already begun (and finished) your rewatch, or are just getting around to starting it, it’s never too early to start thinking about what’s coming next.

And since we’ll be discussing what could happen next year, there will be spoilers for season 3 below.

  1. The arrival of new inmates causes cliques to solidify more than ever. Choosing alliances becomes like picking a team in gym class, as the established groups bring in a few newbies while the rest are left to fend for themselves. Factions attempt to take control of whatever they can in the prison.

  2. Piper will go completely maniacal running her business in season 3, trying to rebuild after Stella’s theft of all her money. She’ll develop a group of young, impressionable inmates to work for her when most of the more established Litchfieldians abandon the moneymaking scheme.

  3. … But Piper will have a struggle for control of Litchfield with Judy King. King, popular already, will come in and try to make a name for herself. Think Vee but even better at subterfuge and amassing followers. She’ll gather up prisoners in an attempt to take over Litchfield, going up against Piper and other groups. There will almost definitely be a Red/Judy King inter-redhead showdown.

  4. Among her soldiers in the battle for Litchfield will be Stella, who, after some time away, is more furious than ever with Piper. 

  5. Poussey and Soso strike up a relationship. Taystee is happy for her friend to actually have found someone to be with, but she becomes jealous because it means the two of them have less time to hang out together.

  6. Healy will continue to chase after Red, putting his job at risk, and his situation becomes even more precarious when Rogers returns and starts sniffing around the situation. Also, he will never quite live up to this scene.

  7. Alex is not dead, but instead will be used by Kubra to try to extort and/or kill Judy King, who is in for some serious debt to Kubra. She will probably have to choose between love and work at some point, and it could cost her her life.

  8. Nicky returns from Max, trying to regain her footing. Everyone’s happy to see her back, but she becomes incensed when she discovers Morello has married Vince Muccio. She’ll spend at least a few episodes trying to break them up.

  9. Sophia will also return, with an eye on revenge against both Gloria and Caputo. She and Gloria will eventually reconcile and team up to take on Caputo and MCC.

  10. Caputo’s newfound power will go to his head, especially as his responsibilities become more difficult. New inmates, new-ish guards, and a bizarre ongoing relationship with Fig will make life hell for Caputo, who will eventually see the error of his ways and work to restore normalcy to Litchfield.

  11. Lolly and Chang, after bonding in the finale over conspiracy theories, will fast become best friends and follow all of the political machinations of the inmates. The two will turn into a much weirder version of Statler and Waldorf.


    And if you’re looking for a place to discuss everything that happened in season 3, head over to our hub to find all the season 3 recaps and discussion about what did and didn’t work this season at Litchfield.

    Related Stories

    Orange Is the New Black Season 3 finale recap

    Orange Is the New Black: Let’s talk about season 3

    Correction: This article originally said Nicky was sent to solitary, when it was in fact Max.

    Episode Recaps

    Jenji Kohan’s absorbing ensemble dramedy, based on Piper Kerman’s memoir of the same name, takes viewers inside the walls of Litchfield, a minimum security women’s prison where nothing’s as simple as it seems—especially the inmates.
    • TV Show
    • 6
    • TV-MA
    • 07/11/13
    Complete Coverage
  12. Advertisement