SEASON 4 REVIEW: (Minor) Spoilers Ahead!

Entertainment Weekly, iDigitalTimes, and the UK’s The Telegraph were able to pre-screen the much-anticipated season four of Orange Is the New Black this week, and their reviews offer a few spoilers (nothing major). Here’s a recap of what we can expect from season four.

Season four picks up immediately where season three leaves off–with Alex Vause‘s life (portrayed by Laura Prepon) being threatened in the greenhouse and with the inmates still enjoying the brief freedom of the nearby lake. Since one hundred new prisoners are being processed into Litchfield at this very moment, it’s safe to say that the shit is going to hit the fan immediately because with new inmates come new prison guards to make sure that they are not stepping out of line.

Danielle Brooks (Tasha “Taystee” Jefferson), Laverne Cox (Sophia Burset), and Natasha Lyonne (Nicky Nichols) all have had a busy year, which means less screen time for the three of them. While it is difficult to see these three favorites recede into the background, some Litchfield alumni step into the spotlight, including Maria Ruiz (portrayed by Jessica Pimentel) and Maritza Ramos (Diane Guerrero). EW reports that Maria takes on a particularly prominent role in this season, as she steps up to fight Piper Chapman (Taylor Schilling) for the role of Litchfield kingpin (or should we say queenpin), although Piper occupies less screen time this season, iDigitalTimes reports. Maritza, on the other hand, will finally get a back story this season–and a comical one at that.

The Telegraph noticed that the administration also take on more prominent roles this season, with Joel Luschek (Matt Peters), Sam Healy (Michael Harney), and Joe Caputo (Nick Sandow) accruing more screen time.

Counselor Sam Healy will continue to string along Red (Kate Mulgrew), but apparently he also has eyes for celebrity lifestyle expert Judy King (Blair Brown), which apparently stirs the pot (which Red didn’t cook, remember). Blair Brown revealed this week that Poussey Washington (Samira Wiley) will be Judy’s biggest ally as she transitions into prison life.

The Telegraph also hinted that Lolly Whitehill (Lori Petty) and Alex Vause will be further involved with each other this season in the harboring of a shared dark secret. Could it be that Lolly was after her all along? They found the intensity of this season to be positively thrilling.

The EW reviewers were not particularly enthralled with season four because it takes care of the issues that, they feel, should have been dealt with last season, including Piper’s panty business and Pennsatucky’s rape. In fact, the sexual assault is dealt with head-on and resolved this season in-depth.

Additionally, EW noted that there are so many newbies this season that it is hard to distinguish them from another; however, our favorite inmates are still in play to keep us moving forward.

The Telegraph reported that this season holds murder, drugs, rape, and further race wars in store for us, and iDigitalTimes stated that current political issues (such as the Black Lives Matter movement) will take on an importance in this season.

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