Just as fans are beginning to recover from Samira Wiley’s heartbreaking Orange Is the New Black exit, Danielle Brooks has ripped the wound right back open. The actress, who plays Taystee, the on-screen best friend to Wiley’s Poussey, tweeted a photo Tuesday of the pair’s last moment on set.
“Our last moment together from season 4! Love this one to the moon and back!” Brooks wrote alongside a photo of Wiley giving her a wistful kiss on the cheek goodbye.
Wiley’s departure from the series remains one of the most buzzed about moments from season 4, which debuted on Netflix on June 17. In the explosive penultimate episode, her character was accidentally killed by a guard following a peaceful protest amongst Litchfield’s inmates. The scene has been largely likened to the 2014 death of Eric Garner, who died after being put in a police chokehold during his arrest.
“[A]t the end of the day I feel so honored to be able to be the one who is trusted to tell this story,” Wiley told EW in June. “[The producers] talked about how beloved my character is and — the way I think about Poussey – is that she, out of anyone, has so much potential for a life outside of prison. So to see something like this happen to her? They wanted it to hurt.”
The moment was especially poignant for Wiley and Brooks, who have been real-life friends for many years. OITNB served as a breakout gig for both actresses, and Wiley has said that working with Brooks was one of the role’s big draws.
“The hardest part, honestly, was that moment where Taystee’s being dragged out and sees her. It was in the script, and it was very important to me to get that just right,” Matthew Weiner, who directed the episode, told EW. “They could really see each other, which helped. But her being dragged out, Taystee, and knowing that Poussey was in trouble, and them making eye contact in that moment, that was the thing that broke my heart.”
Wiley has since been announced as a recurring character in the upcoming third season of FXX dramedy You’re the Worst, while Brooks will continue on OITNB for season 5.