Netflix just debuted a full trailer for the fourth season of its wildly popular dramedy series Orange is the New Black. It appears the prisoners at Litchfield have been forced back inside following their spiritual escape in the lake behind the prison, and tensions are mounting all over the place.
We begin with a painful and funny conversation between the young black prisoners, each of whom have inspired an adoring fan base. Cindy tries to make a point about President Obama and “sharing the love” to Poussey, saying, “Look at Obama! He got to be President, so now the rest of us get to be—“ Suzanne interrupts with, “in prison…”, and just like that, season 4 has its tone.
Some of the show’s sillier and more frivolous distractions — remember Piper’s weird underwear ring, and all that discussion about female vaginal secretions? remember the chicken? — have detracted from the show’s conceit, which is that each of these women, beloved or not, are currently incarcerated. We also learn from the trailer that Litchfield has become a “for profit” prison, and several of the more seasoned prisoners understand this development will mean additional inmates, crammed, wall to wall, like “sardines.”
The trailer makes it intentionally difficult to parse out who exactly is angry with whom this year. But it appears Piper, whose popularity continued to plummet last season, has decided that quite a few prisoners are out to get her. It also looks like Sophia is still in the SHU.
On the positive side, we get one romantic shot of Poussey and previous pariah Soso; and Maritza shares an intense look with a prison guard. Could that mean starcrossed lovers 2.0, or are we going to get another searing look at the rampant issue of rape in the prison system? The trailer’s tone is so oppressively dire that it’s difficult to be optimistic.
Orange Is the New Black premieres, in full, on Netflix June 17.