With season 7 wrapping up earlier this year, Netflix’s biggest export, Orange Is The New Black, drew its final curtain.
With season 7 wrapping up earlier this year, Netflix’s biggest export, Orange Is The New Black, drew its final curtain. With a collection of incredible characters at its center, the show was ground-breaking in a number of ways.
With so many at its heart, it was inevitable that not everyone was going to make it through. You’ll be forgiven for being brought to tears by some of these deaths, or, equally, jumping on the sofa with delight at others. Below, we’ll take a look at the five most heartbreaking deaths, as well as the five slightly less heartbreaking.
Of course, we had to start with the obvious choice. The delightful, wide-smiled Poussey Washington. Whether spending her time making sure to bring as much positivity to her fellow inmates lives as she possibly could, or struggling with alcoholism, her story was endearing and heart-wrenching.
When CO Bayley suffocated her to death during a peaceful protest in season 4, the effects of her personality and the remainder of her character were felt throughout every episode that followed. Whether it was through her heart-broken friends or the pollical outrage that followed, Poussey might have ended up as the most immortal character of the entire show.
Not-So Heart-Breaking: Vee
Yvonne ‘Vee’ Parker was a manipulative mother figure to the vulnerable Suzanne, betrayed the lovely Red (multiple times, and eventually tried to kill her) and by the end of her run, was pretty much universally despised by everyone in Lichfield.
After her attempt at escape, it seemed for a few moments like Vee was going to get away with it all. Luckily, Rosa was on hand to brutally clatter the prison van into her as she attempted her daring escape. The image of her corpse at the side of the road is a dark one, but it’s undeniably satisfying.
First appearing on the show halfway through her cancer treatment meant we could never really get accustomed to seeing Rosa’s face around Lichfield. We all knew what would one day happen. Maybe we didn’t know it was going to happen so soon though.
After spending season 2 befriending a teenage cancer sufferer called Yusuf, her ecstatic reaction to his remission is one of the highlights of the show. It’s soon met with the devastating news that she has three to six weeks to live. Reprising her carefree youth personality one last time, Rosa drives the prison van into a quarry, but not before taking out the terrible Vee on her way. It’s a hero’s death, but still very tragic.
Not-So Heart-Breaking: Desi Piscatella
The big and brutal frame of Desi Piscatella is hard to sympathize with even before he opens his mouth. He started out bad enough, using his size and power to abuse the inmates day in, day out, but things got even worse by season five. Piscatella tortured inmates and attempted to humiliate our beloved Red in front of her most loyal friends.
While we don’t get to see him killed by the women whose lives he had been ruining for years, a bloodthirsty SWAT officer called Natoli fatally shoots him as he tries to leave the swimming pool the riot-starting gang was hiding out in. It seems like an accident, but we’re not so sure.
Heart-Breaking: Tiffany Doggett
As season 7 drew to a close, everyone knew something big was on the horizon. Given the track record of the show, it would probably be death. Was it going to be the rapidly deteriorating Red? Perhaps the depressed Artesian McCullough?
The one we didn’t expect was the chirpy, recently recovered and almost main character Tiffany Doggett. Minutes after thinking she failed the GED exam she worked so hard on, she overdoses on drugs provided to her by Daya and her gang. As if things couldn’t get any worse, we find out just a couple of minutes later that she did pass her GED.
Not-So Heart-Breaking: Maureen
Maureen started out as a relatively inoffensive, rather cute love interest for the adorable Suzanne. Sure, she seemed a little too invested in the series of erotic sci-fi novella Suzanne was producing at the time, but each to their own.
Soon enough, her dark side was revealed through a few increasingly odd scenarios, including an infamous spiteful sex scene. Over the course of season 5, the injuries she sustained from a particularly brutal fight with Suzanne get infected, leading to an off-screen death in season 6. Disappointing? Yes. Satisfying? Absolutely.
Heart-Breaking: Tricia Miller
Our all-too-brief time with Tricia Miller was compacted into just one season. While her troubled past and effervescent battle with drug addiction make her a little volatile, her failure to fix things with Red after her detox makes her demise even more harrowing.
After a tearful encounter with her friend Nicky, she overdoses on Oxycontin and Mendez is left to find her body, covering his own corrupt tracks by making it look like she’d hung herself. It turns her death into an excuse the corrupt Mendez can use to save himself.
Not-So Heart-Breaking: Carol Denning
Known for her disturbingly relaxed sociopathic tendencies, the character of Carol Denning was built on a self-motivated desire to do anything necessary to benefit herself without any disregard for the feelings of others. I mean, she did kill both of her sisters.
Her long stint as the co-primary antagonist of season six was full of calculated manipulation and quiet control over her fellow inmates, all fuelled by a persistent hatred of her sister Barbara. Eventually, the two ended up joining forces to hate Frieda… and then ended up changing their minds again and killing each other.
Daddy wasn’t exactly the loveliest person locked up during the course of Orange Is The New Black, but there was something about her suave, confident dominance that made her strangely likable. She had an odd group of followers and liked to position herself above people, but you can’t deny she was pretty cool.
That’s why it was so much crueler when she was unexpectedly killed offscreen with absolutely no warning, poisoned by the increasingly evil Daya. It was a moment that proved no one on the show was safe.
Not-So Heart-Breaking: Barbara Denning
The slightly (seemingly) less twisted of the two surviving Denning sisters, Barbara, was a more sympathetic figure during her season at the center of the show. Her drug dependency had made her weaker than her sister, but her personality also seemed much more friendly than that of Carol.
Either way, many D-Block inmates were still terrified of her, and Carol herself made it known that Barbara had her own, more victim-like methods of manipulation. In the long run, it didn’t matter, and she ended up in exactly the same situation as her sister: with a knife in her back.
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