(Warning: This post contains spoilers from Season 4, Episode 13 of Orange Is the New Black.) There is a lot to take in after watching the finale of Orange Is the New Black Season 4. The inmate revolt against the guards led to severe violence that resulted in the death of a fan-favorite inmate. Tie that loss in with just about every big character's backstory, revealed, and you've got emotions galore. But, if you didn't watch until the final moments of Episode 13, you might have missed a huge scene that could leave you wondering: did Poussey break the fourth wall on the Orange Is the New Black finale?
I know Orange Is the New Black isn't known for breaking the fourth wall between narrative and audience — unlike its Netflix sibling, House of Cards — but, it felt as if Poussey was potentially scratching at the fourth wall, if not breaking it all together. In the final scene of the season, Poussey, whose death has just caused a huge riot in the prison, is seen in Brooklyn, New York, way before her Litchfield sentence. She's looking over the river, and then looks directly into the camera, and smiles.
Now, maybe I'm still thinking about the crazy House of Cards Claire Underwood fourth wall finale break, but Poussey's look felt very personal. She wasn't looking at a rock next to the camera, she was looking at the camera. But, as I mentioned before, Orange Is the New Black isn't known for breaking the fourth wall. The show doesn't instill that tactic, which is fine, but that would mean that they randomly decided to play with a technique they've never used before — which isn't very settling as a viewer.
Why is that unsettling? Because I like to know what's going on during my TV shows, and with this, I have no idea what's going on. But, I do have a few theories and none of them actually include the show switching over to addressing the audience.
The first theory is that this is acting as a tribute to Poussey. This is her final moment to shine, and shine she did. Maybe the show wants us to remember her in a beautiful memorial-like way, rather than the way the guards were treating her in the cafeteria.
The other option? Coincidence. Perhaps the straight-on eye contact wasn't intentional and all of this is by chance. Maybe that grin she does at the end isn't intentional, either. Yeah, maybe that's how you could explain the fact that she's literally smiling right at the viewers. Does she know something we don't know?