3 Reasons the Next Season of Orange Is the New Black Might Be Piper's Last
Though Piper Chapman — portrayed by Taylor Schilling — serves as our initial access point to Orange Is the New Black's Litchfield Penitentiary and the many inmates who inhabit it, her personal storyline has taken a back seat to some of the other, more compelling characters. After three seasons that have gradually shifted the focus away from Piper and onto other inmates — like Suzanne, Nicky, Daya, and Cindy — we've begun to wonder about Piper's role as our Litchfield liaison and the declining utility of that.
When POPSUGAR Beauty spoke with Schilling, she seemed to confirm some of our suspicions that Piper might slowly be phased out . . . or killed off. Below is a telling excerpt from that interview.
POPSUGAR: You can stop me if I'm looking too deeply into this, but I've been thinking a lot about the evolution of Piper's hair. In flashbacks preprison, she's shown with really long locks, then when she arrives at the prison she wears her shoulder-length hair down usually, and then in the previews for this season it's frequently pulled back. I wonder if there's some sort of symbolic meaning behind that gradual change.
Taylor Schilling: Oh, yeah. I don't think that's reading into anything. That's so spot on. Piper's outsides are becoming less and less important. She's kind of moving further and further away from the idea of what she thought she was. She's becoming more practical. She's becoming a creature of the prison, and there's no space for excess. Her only need is for survival, and brushing her hair doesn't really factor into the equation.
PS: In the last season we do see her spiral into becoming a total gangster with her whole underwear operation. For this next season, I'm honestly a little concerned for Piper. It doesn't look too good for her from what I've seen.
TS: Yeah, this is a tough year for Piper.
PS: In one of the photos for the upcoming season, it seems as though she's about to get her hand smashed?
TS: No — you'll see.
PS: Does she make it out OK?
TS: I don't know . . . I don't know.
Though we fully realize that she could just be Jon Snow-ing us, we have some details to back up this theory.