Credit: JoJo Whilden/Netflix

Orange Is the New Black‘s third season launched with one of the most shocking moments as one of Litchfield’s own was shipped down the hill.

Deciding to sell Vee’s (Lorraine Toussaint) heroin, Nicky (Natasha Lyonne) enlisted the help of baboonish guard Luschek (Matt Peters), who was unfortunately quick to throw her under the bus when Caputo (Nick Sandow) found a bag of the drug in his office. The recovering drug addict—and arguably the heart of Litchfield—was then shipped off to Maximum Security, never to be seen again in season 3.

“I was excited to read it,” Lyonne told reporters at the Television Critics Associations summer press tour on Tuesday. “I would actually argue that there were huge stakes for Nicky Nichols this season much more than any previous season. It makes sense that a self destructive person would end up where she did.”

So, is there hope for Nicky to return next season and get redemption? “I can’t speak to [that],” Lyonne said coyly. But considering the actress was in attendance during the panel, it seems quite clear that Nicky Nichols should resurface in season 4.

Either way, Lyonne is excited at the prospect of seeing how a stint in Max will impact someone as mouthy as Nichols.

“It could really go both ways,” she told EW after the panel. “People respond all kinds of ways to intense [situations] beyond rules. That kind of discipline sometimes brings out the best in people and sometimes brings out that much more anger and rebellion. Certainly, at a certain point, I think Nicky would have to come to terms with her childhood and do some reconciling with her past if she’s going to make peace with being an adult.”

Orange Is the New Black is slated to return for a fourth season in summer 2016.

Episode Recaps

Orange Is the New Black

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.

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