Poussey's Backstory On 'Orange Is The New Black' Illuminates A Different Type Of Inmate
(Warning: This post contains spoilers from Season 4, Episode 13 of Orange Is the New Black.) It was an emotional season for a lot of characters on Orange Is the New Black, but none greater that Poussey Washington. The season started with Poussey and Soso leading the stable-relationship-parade after getting together post-Season 3. The season ended with Poussey's death, marked boldly by Caputo as a mistake. Somewhere in between, the audience finally learned more about Poussey and her backstory on Orange Is the New Black, and let's just say, it was worth the wait.
We learned in the final episode of the season just how Poussey came into her own. We didn't learn about her crimes, but that wasn't even what was important, since we were learning her backstory post-mortem. Instead, the show focused on a beautiful and vivacious Poussey, the Poussey that was excited to get out of prison and start a new life with the woman she loved (Soso).
But, way before Soso, Poussey was just a young girl, visiting New York City, learning about and accepting all different walks of life. While in New York to see The Roots (who were actually The Rootz, with a "z"), Poussey's cell phone was stolen. After chasing the thief, she found herself lost, and wandered into a club per the invitation of two drag queens.
There, she seemed to have the time of her life. Taking in all of the different types of people the world has to offer. When she needed to get to a friends apartment in Brooklyn, she jumped on a bike with a group of non-Monks, who took her to the water to just take in the view. There, she let go of herself. That's the Poussey the show wants us to remember.
More often than not, we see the ugly side of people's lives before entering Litchfield. This season alone we saw Suzanne participate in a child abduction, Lolly suffer from homelessness and paranoia, Maria stand up to her terrible father, and Maritza con people for thousands of dollars. With Poussey, we just saw her be happy. Maybe that's because Litchfield lost her this season, or maybe that's because there is more to come — regardless, it was nice to see the season end on a note of Poussey smiling, especially because her death felt so abrupt and unexpected.