Yes, [spoiler] appears in "Orange Is the New Black" Season 5, and yes, these tears are real
Mild spoilers ahead for Orange Is the New Black Season 5, on the off chance you didn’t spend your entire weekend binge-watching it.
Season 5 of the series spans the course of three days, and specifically, the three days immediately following the death of Litchfield’s beloved Poussey Washington. The inmate (played perfectly by Samira Wiley) was tragically killed at the end of Season 4 after a guard suffocated her during a scuffle in the cafeteria. Season 4 ended with an image of Poussey hopeful about the future, but now we know how her story ends.
Those still at Litchfield are very much trying to come to terms with her death and their own grief. For starters, the inmates start a riot and take control of the prison. And even though OITNB is forging the future of its characters, the show loves flashbacks and yes, Poussey pops up.
Get some tissues.
Episode 6 of the season — titled, “Flaming Hot Cheetos, Literally” — is a Taystee-centric episode where we see her searching for her birth mother. It doesn’t go according to plan, as Taystee’s biological mother lies to her new family about their relationship as mother and daughter. Ouch. And then Taystee ends up in jail, so no, things really aren’t looking great for her…
…that is until she meets a friend in Litchfield’s library. On Taystee’s second day, she happens to wander into, as we all fondly remember, the library that used to be Poussey’s stomping grounds.
Poussay and Taystee quickly bond by making fun of two other inmates gossiping about Eat, Pray, Love, and we’ve just witnessed the birth of the best friendship ever to grace Litchfield.
The moment is short but sweet, and just makes us miss Poussey so much more. At least there’s always the possibility for her to appear again. Never say never when it comes to OITNB flashbacks.