History Piper got sent to Litchfield for a crime she committed 10 years ago for her ex-girlfriend Alex. She leaves behind her fiance, Larry, supportive parents and a business she started with her best friend, Polly. At Litchfield, she alienates herself from Red and finds Alex is one of her fellow inmates. They reignite their old relationship and in the process loses Larry and Polly to each other. She slowly begins to make friends, but not with Pennsatucky who tries to stab her, but Piper ends up winning that battle. Season 2 sees Alex betray her to get an early release after she doesn’t corroborate Piper’s testimony about Kubra and later rats on Alex who violates her parole and is returned to Litchfield.
Status Piper and Alex are basically in couples therapy in the beginning of Season 3 as they hash out their past and realize there’s no future so they split. Piper begins a panty business where she and her fellow inmates sell their worn panties to pervs on the internet. Piper’s new love interest Stella is part of the operation until she betrays Piper by stealing her money. This leaves Piper to plant contraband in her bunk when she was about to be released. Piper has made a lot of enemies and will have to answer for that in Season 4.
History Suzanne ‘Crazy Eyes’ Warren is one of the best and most prominent characters in the entire series. Her backstory reveals Suzanne suffers from emotional and mental instability, which could be caused from her adoptive mother pushing her too hard to fit in as a “normal kid,” instead of accepting Suzanne for who she is and was.
Suzanne is introduced in the first episode of the series and becomes Piper’s prison girlfriend, although Piper doesn’t understand how it happened and has no interest in Suzanne.
Suzanne is very trusting and loyal, which makes her easily manipulated, like the way Vee manipulates Suzanne into doing her bidding during the second season. Later in the series, Suzanne becomes increasingly popular with the inmates for her stories known as “The Time Hump Chronicles.”
Status At the end of the third season, Suzanne seems to be in a much better place than when she started the third season denying and mourning the death of Vee. After the success of The Time Hump Chronicles, Suzanne seemingly begins a romantic relationship with Maureen Kukudio (Emily Althaus).
History Red is one of the unofficial bosses at Litchfield. She’s a mother figure to Nicky and Norma and Gina are never too far from her side. She runs the kitchen and for a time was smuggling in goods through the kitchen, but never drugs. When Mendez drug operation forces Caputo to remove her from the kitchen, she loses a bit of herself. She is Piper’s roommate in Season 2 and it’s Piper who lies to Red about her family business being closed. Red begins to find herself in the greenhouse where she discovers she can start her smuggling operation again. She feuds with Vee who beats her half to death.
Status Season 3 saw Red split from her husband and begin a flirtation with Healy who was in a strained marriage. But it was just a way for Red to manipulate her way back into the kitchen. But the budget cuts left her to boil food in a bad that upsets her. She cooks vegetables she grows in the greenhouse for special guests at special dinners.
History Sophia Burset is a transgender inmate and hairdresser at the prison. She is also the ex-husband of Crystal and father of Michael. Sophia was arrested and sent to prison for stealing credit cards and credit card numbers that she used to pay for her transition.
Over the course of the first two seasons, Sophia doesn’t have a big role in the series. In the third season, though, she begins to get more screen time.
Status During the third season, Sophia and Gloria get into several altercations over Benny, Gloria’s son, and Michael, Sophia’s son. The altercations lead to a boycott of Sophia’s “business” in the prison and others to beat up Sophia. The last time we saw Sophia she was locked up in SHU.
History Lorna was totally fixated on her “fiance” Christopher in Season 1 and was busy planning her wedding. Turns out, Christopher was just the man she was stalking and why she’s in Litchfield. She’s the prison van driver and takes Miss Rosa to her chemotherapy appointments. During one of those trips she drove to Christopher’s house and broke in and stole a teddy bear. He comes to Litchfield and threatens her and reveals she’s been lying to everyone. She did use her driving privileges for good in letting Miss Rosa escape so she can die on her own terms, and kill Vee in the process.
Status Lorna was depressed after Nicky got send to max so she started writing to a bunch of men in the hopes of meeting someone. She meets Vince Muccio and they got so close that Lorna sends him to beat up Christopher and the two later get married in Litchfield and consummate the marriage against a vending machine.
History Taystee was sent to prison for her involvement in Vee’s drug trafficking ring. At the end of the first season, she is released from prison and later violates her parole to be sent back to prison, which has become like the family she’s never had.
Old wounds are re-opened when Vee is sent back to Litchfield where she, again, tries to use Taystee to re-take control of the prison. Later, she comes to her senses and seems to take a step back in the third season.
Over the course of the series, Taystee has become a fan favorite and has one of the most interesting character stories among all the characters in the show.
Status After Vee’s death, Taystee has become a leader in the prison, especially among younger African-American females in Litchfield. She and Poussey are also responsible for saving and nursing Soso back to health after she overdoses on Benadryl.
History Poussey just wants to love and be loved in return. It’s a universal feeling. She is best friends with Taystee and develops feelings for her, but the feelings aren’t mutual. After their friendship was strained as a result, Poussey started drinking more heavily and her fun-loving nature and sense of humor was gone. Vee tried intimidating her but she destroyed her cigarette racket and later reunited with Taystee.
Status Poussey finds Soso in the library after overdosing on antihistamines in Season 3 and nurses her back to health. Later, at the beach we see the two holding hands suggesting the two will be the newest couple at Litchfield. Poussey is one of the more emotional characters on the show so hopefully, this will be something that lasts and makes the two happy into Season 4.
History Alex Vause is Piper’s ex-girlfriend and main reason Piper is in prison. Alex was part of Kubra’s drug ring that was busted. Alex later named Piper as an accomplice to the ring. Initially, Alex is sent to Litchfield where Piper and her begin a romantic relationship. Their relationship continues through first season until Piper finds out Alex ratted her out, which resulted in her being sent to prison in the first place.
After Alex cuts a deal with the DA and testifies against Kubra, she is released from prison, but she struggles with the real world and is too scared or Kubra’s revenge. Fearing for Alex’s safety, Piper calls Alex’s parole officer, which leads to Alex being sent back to Litchfield. She continues to fear for her life while in prison, thinking Kubra sent someone into the prison to kill her.
Status We don’t know what exactly happened to Alex at the end of the third season. In the final episode, Aydin, one of Kubra’s men, visits Alex in the prison, but we don’t know exactly what happened.
History Big Boo brings some comedic relief to the series. She has a big sexual appetite and was in a sex competition with Nicky. She’s the confident and sarcastic Butch lesbian and has the tattoos to prove it. She’s tough and has a history of trust and anger issues. She betrayed Red after Vee threatened her and was going to sell the leftover stash with Nicky before she got popped. Boo showed some softer moments in Season 3 with Pennsatucky after noticing she’s been raped by CO Coates.
Status We learned a lot about her childhood and pre-Litchfield life last season. Her mother didn’t accept her lifestyle and her dad who was initially tolerant tells her to take off her “costume” while visiting her mom on her deathbed. Carrie didn’t want to change who she was and didn’t say goodbye. Last we see her, she returns to the missing screwdriver to Piper who uses it to set up Stella.
History Pennsatucky is a “born again” Christian after having five abortions before her stay in Litchfield. Pennsatucky was arrested for shooting up an abortion clinic.
In the first season, Pennsatucky is one of the main antagonists of Piper Chapman. The season ends with a brutal fight between Piper and Pennsatucky, which Pennsatucky loses. Throughout the rest of the series, Pennsatucky is often viewed as a sympathetic figure.
Status After making friends with Big Boo in Season 2, their friendship develops further in the third season. After Pennsatucky is raped by Coates while out driving the prison van, Big Boo helps her with a revenge plot against Coates, but they can’t go through with the plan. Pennsatucky is dismissed from driving duty after she fakes a medical emergency at the end of the season.
History Daya was always neglected by her mom Aleida and that continued when she was in the same prison as her. Her mom slapped her and excluded her from the group until Days did her mom’s eyebrows to get in her good graces. Daya’s main storyline is her relationship with CO Bennett who gets her pregnant. She gets manipulated into saying she was raped by CO Mendez to get him fired before Bennett later admits to Caputo that the kid is his. But Bennett abandons her and the baby before she gives birth leaving her to consider adoption before ultimately deciding to keep it.
Status Daya’s baby was left in the care of Cesar, her mom’s boyfriend, but he was arrested after a drug raid and we’re left to assume the baby is in the care of the state. But Daya doesn’t know about that but at least she’s at peace with her mom.
History At the beginning of the series, Joe Caputo was the Assistant to the Warden at Litchfield Penitentiary under Natalie Figueroa. He’s a sleazy guy who seems to have good intentions, but he often covers his own back before looking out for the inmates or guards.
The second season dives into the backstory of Caputo who always tried to be a nice guy and do the right thing, but he’s often spurned by his decisions. By the third season, Caputo has taken over Fig’s position at Litchfield.
Status In the third season, Caputo is seen sleeping with Fig multiple times. He also deals with the prison taking on new ownership and slashing employee’s hours. In the end, Caputo starts to feel like being a bad guy for a change.
History Cindy was in the background for much of Season 1, hanging with Taystee, Poussey and Crazy Eyes. She got a bigger role in Season 2 when Vee came to Litchfield and worked with her crew making cigarettes. She was always looking for the easy way out of things and was very negligent and didn’t take accountability for her actions. That changed in Season 3 when she converted to Judaism.
Status She pretended to be Jewish so she could get Kosher meals after the budget cuts left the meal choices unappealing but with the help of Ginsberg and Boyle, she began to feel a part of something and was with “her people’.” She completed her conversion when Ginsberg immersed her in the lake behind Litchfield when the inmates had a temporary visit to the beach.
History Gloria Mendoza is in Litchfield Penitentiary for food stamp fraud at her small convenience store. Gloria takes over the kitchen at Litchfield after Red is ousted in the first season. Gloria maintains the leader of the kitchen role throughout the first and second season before she gives up the title to spend more time visiting her son, Benny. Gloria also has a leadership role in the Spanish Harlem group within Litchfield.
Status After giving up control of the kitchen in the third season, Gloria still works in the kitchen under Red’s control and struggles with her role in the way was treated and later sent to the SHU.
History Definitely not going to win any Mother of the Year Awards. Aleida has five kids from five guys and her eldest daughter Daya is the object of much of her scorn. Aleida shunned her during her early days in Litchfield before welcoming her into their Latina group. She manipulates her relationship with Bennett after finding out she’s pregnant. Then, she goes back and forth on whether to urge Daya to give it up for adoption or not.
Status Daya lied to Delia Powell, Mendez’s mother, who is of the belief the son is the offspring of her son. After initially agreeing to let the baby go to her in exchange for money, Aleida lies and says the baby died in childbirth. Aleida and Daya hug at the end of Season 3 but that could be short-lived peace.
History Flaca was sent to Litchfield after she sold fake drugs to kids and one her customers had a bad reaction and jumped off the school. She is a member of the Spanish Harlem group in the prison and is best friends with Maritza Ramos.
Status Flaca begins working for Piper’s panty smuggling business, but she begins protesting the wages and tries to get other people to stop working for Piper because the compensation isn’t good enough. After enough people start to call out Piper’s payment plan, Piper fires Flaca and gives everyone “raises.” Later, Piper rehires Flaca but at a lower wage than everyone because of her betrayal.
History Stella was introduced to us in Season 3 as the new romantic interest for Piper. Her blue eyes, short hair and personality were enough for Piper to move on from Alex and start something new with her. Piper brings her into the panty business and Stella gives her a tattoo that says “Trust No Bitch.” Stella couldn’t be trusted and steals Piper’s money from the panty business when she finds out she’ll be released. Piper responds by planting contraband in her bunk and getting her sent to max.
Status Last we saw from Stella, she was in tears as she was hauled away to max after betraying Piper who she clearly shouldn’t have trusted. She’s been coy about her involvement in Season 4, so while it’s not certain if she’s in the new season, there is more left to tell about her character and think she’ll be back.
History John was a Corrections Officer at Litchfield after serving in the United States Army. Jonis introduced a new guard in the first season. Shortly after starting at Litchfield, he and Daya (Dascha Polanco) begins a romantic relationship, although it’s illegal and could cost John his job. Later, Daya gets pregnant with John’s baby. To ensure John doesn’t get sent to prison, Daya sleeps with Mendez, aka Pornstache, another guard, and accuses him of raping her.
Status As the pressure surrounding the baby’s birth and increased responsibilities, John bails. He leaves the prison without quitting. By the end of the third season, John still has not returned.
History Nicky is our favorite sarcastic, loud-mouthed, self-destructive addict on the show. She got locked up for her addiction to heroin but got clean thanks to Red who is a mother figure to her. She’s friends with Morello, Big Boo, Piper, Alex and most of the inmates and even engages in a sex competition with Boo to see who can get the most girls. Her addiction got the best of her in Season 3 when she was turned on by CO Luschek who was in business with her.
Status It’s not entirely clear if Nicky will be a part of Season 4 or not. She didn’t appear in any episodes in Season 3 after she was hauled away to maximum security and she hasn’t been seen in any of the teasers or trailers released for this season. Her comments have been cryptic about returning to the show, but if we had to bet on it, we’d bank on Nicki returning in some capacity for Season 4.
History Sam Healy is a counselor and officer at Litchfield. Routinely, Healy struggles with his personal problems with his Ukrainian wife Katya. He also is known to hold grudges against inmates and other COs, and he tries to advance his own personal interests inside the prison. In the first season, he stood by while Pennsatucky tried to kill Piper. Later, Healy forms a close bond with Red, as she tries to help things with Katya. In return, Healy helps Red get what she wants in the prison.
Status Sam is stuck in his relationship with Katya, but he also has feelings for Red.