Sammy Nickalls
June 08, 2016 12:33 pm

The fourth season of Orange Is The New Black is back on June 17 and it’s time to get up to date on where we left off. At the end of last season, there seemed to be big things happening for one character we used think of as meek and gentle — Norma. Of course, the actress Annie Golden, is anything *but* meek and gentle IRL — she was the frontwoman for a ’70s rock band — and we soon discovered that Norma had some of those same qualities when she became the front-runner of her own cult within Litchfield. Now, in an interview with Gothamist, Annie is talking about the mysticism surrounding Norma, both as the quiet sidekick and the powerful cult-leader.

The fact that Norma became a “pivotal character” last season was “really flattering” to Annie. “There are so many interesting women of all ages [on this show],” Annie told Gothamist. “They all make up different demographics and physicality and body type and body image and age group and wealth of experience with the way these characters are written and who they are. It’s kind of interesting to be the one who seems the most mysterious, only because she doesn’t chime in, she’s just there.”

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Annie added that people often come up to her and tell her that Norma is their favorite character. “I go, ‘Really?'” she said. “Because what’s so special about Norma? That’s what’s special about her. She’s kind of on the surface, she seems to be mousy, and she seems to be invisible, but actually that’s what these women don’t want to be, is invisible. So she has this profound effect on people.”

Norma also is the only character on Orange Is The New Black who is able to “slip from tribe to tribe” due to the fact that she’s not seen as a threat, Annie continued: “Like a butterfly in every tribe, in every group. She fits right in. Nobody sees her as a threat, although she is very profound and powerful.”

To those who claim that Norma “abused her power” in the last season, Annie says that it was Norma who was previously abused, used, and bullied — and when the fourth season came around, the followers were themselves looking for someone to follow:

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Praise Norma.