OITNB: Backstory Catch-up


After what feels like a lifetime of waiting, Orange Is The New Black season three has been released on Netflix.

Catch up with the backstories of all of the returning inmates at Litchfield Penitentiary, just in time to binge-watch all of the new episodes in one night.

Piper Chapman
“Bitches got to pay”

Piper handed herself in on the grounds of international drug trafficking, after being named by her former girlfriend, Alex. She met Alex after college where she was travelling and ‘finding herself’. She came across as having a pretty normal life, and seemed to have put her wild-child drug-mule past behind her before it came to light. Well guess what, blondie? Crime doesn’t pay.

Alex Vause
“Come be my little spoon”

Alex was sent down on the same charges as Piper, but had been involved in the drug smuggling biz’ for a long time before that. Piper’s kind of the cute, innocent moth to Alex’s unnecessarily gorgeous and smoldering flame. She was addicted to heroin prior to being arrested, which gives an excuse as to why she grassed Pipes up, but she’s clean now. She and Piper have a rocky relationship, where it’s clear that they both have feelings for each other but also hold hostility.

Nicole ‘Nicky’ Nichols
“It’s like The Hamptons, only fuckin’ horrible”

We’re still not completely sure what Nicky did to deserve her stretch, but we do know that at the time she was a drug addict and sleeping rough on the streets. The rumor-mill has it that all will be revealed in this season, though. She comes from a wealthy background which she appears to have shunned, and has a strange romance with her fellow inmate, Morello.

Galina Reznikov (Red)
“Are you finished? You’re starting to sound finished”

Again, we haven’t been filled in on the hard deetz’ as to why Red’s in prison, but we do know that the restaurant she owns with her husband got tangled up with the Russian Mafia.
Red’s the prison mum to a lot of inmates, and has trustee status at Litchfield.
Her authority is questioned when Vee comes to the prison, but as of now she’s back on top.

Poussey Washington
“We all in here because we took a wrong turn going to church”

When it comes to Poussey’s backstory, all we know so far is that she used to live in Germany, where her dad was stationed with the US army. After starting up a relationship with the base commanders daughter, she finds herself and her dad resigned to the US.
It’s implied that she’s madly in love with her best friend Taystee, who is straight.

Lorna Morello
“Maybe I’ll Pinterest. I hear that’s a thing”

We were initially lead to believe that Morella was in the process of planning her wedding with boyfriend Christopher while serving her sentence, but found out that she’s really just a bit of a bunny boiler.
She only went on one date with Christopher, and became obsessed. She got sent down because of this obsessive behavior, the attempted murder of Christopher and his partner and possibly mail-order fraud.
She has a sort of ‘friends with benefits’ relationship with Nicky, but makes sure she knows that Christopher comes first. In season two, she flees prison to see him which leads to him visiting her in prison and threatening her if she doesn’t leave him and his fiance alone.

Suzanne ‘Crazy-Eyes’ Warren
“I threw my pie for you”

Crazy-eyes takes an instant liking to Chapman when she’s incarcerated, and begins harassing her and dubbing her ‘Dandelion’ – It’s okay though, because everything she does is hilarious. We don’t know why she’s in prison, but do know that she’s slightly unhinged and has a ‘violent history’. Throughout the show, a softer side to her is revealed. She’s very gifted, and expresses this by writing her own poetry.

Tiffany ‘Pennsatucky’ Doggett
I’m just a simple woman, doing the work of the lord

Pennsatucky was sent to jail for shooting and killing a nurse who made a snide comment about her many abortions. Before prison, she was a sexually-irresponsible drug addict, but has since ‘changed her ways’ and dedicated her life to God. She spends most of her time spreading the word of the lord and judging the other inmates for their sinful ways.
She’s the main antagonist against Piper in season one, and is eventually physically beaten by her. In season two she gets a new set of teeth (prior to this they were extremely damaged, probably due to her drug use), as Piper knocked most of them out in the attack.

Sophia Burset
“I don’t do sausage on my breakfast sandwich”

Before transitioning into a woman, she went by Marcus (fun fact: Marcus was played by actress Laverne Cox’s identical twin brother). In a bid to pay for her sex-reassignment operations, she committed credit-card fraud. During all of this, Sophia’s unknowing wife stood by her and continues to do so, visiting her in prison. Her son, Michael, had trouble dealing with the transition and told the police of her exploits. He has visited her in Litchfield once.

Tasha ‘Taystee’ Jefferson
“This ain’t The fucking Help, bitch. But you will eat my shit!”

Taystee was sent down for drug dealing, which was linked to former inmate Vee (presumably deceased), who used her younger self as part of her business. In her own words, she’s been imprisoned most of her life, and was released for a few days, only to return because she didn’t know how to deal with life on the outside. She puts a lot of trust in Vee, but when it’s revealed that she had her ‘brother’ killed to stave off the competition, she hints that she knows and becomes distant.

Carrie ‘Big Boo’ Black
“I have unclean thoughts. Lesbian content”

Not much is known about Big Boo’s life before Litchfield, but we do know that she’s a lesbian with anger issues. She’s in the process of training a service dog, who she’s formed a strong bond with and named ‘Little Boo’.

Dayanara ‘Daya’ Diaz
“Fuck diamonds, I got spinach”

Daya was sent to prison for drug-related charges, after her mother, Aleida. The two have a rocky relationship as Daya slept with Aleida’s boyfriend in retaliation to accusations before she went to jail. In prison, she started a romance with prison guard Bennett and ended up pregnant.
Bad-guy Mendez (Pornstache) also takes a liking to Daya, and she and her family manage to get him suspended from Litchfield by getting them caught having sex (having an excuse to pin the pregnancy on him). Upon suspension, Mendez’s feelings grow for Daya, which he expresses through letters that make Bennett uncomfortable. Mendez believes that Daya’s baby is his.

Gloria Mendoza
“I don’t trust any of you crazy bitches. You both fuckin’ scorpions.”

Serving time for SNAP fraud, Mendoza is the ‘other mother’ of the prison, favoring the Spanish inmates. Her backstory shows that she suffered through domestic abuse, and likes to assert her dominance, especially when she replaces Red as head-cook.

Aleida Diaz
Can’t trust a bitch who don’t smile with her teeth

Mother of Daya and four others, she appears to be a gold-digger who cares more for the company of men than her children. Although it’s not confirmed, she’s probably serving time for selling drugs, as she let her current boyfriend set up a drug-lab in her kitchen.

Flaca Gonzales
“There’s warm lighting all over and there’re like five dudes massaging you

Coming across as rather dim at times, Flaca appears to be a goth and is often shown wearing dark, heavy makeup. She has a boyfriend on the outside who she says is ‘The King Of Molly’.

Cindy ‘Black Cindy’ Hayes
Bitch! If grateful paid the bills we’d all be Bill Gates

A former airport security officer, Cindy’s backstory suggests that she was sent down for some kind of felony theft. She grew up around the church and still carries a lot of knowledge from that. She’s shown as irresponsible and selfish on the outside, but less so after being sent to prison.

Gina Murphy
But then she gave me that look that makes my ass leak.

One of Red’s trusted lackeys, Gina was sent to prison for embezzlement, though she claims that she only ‘stole money’. She tends to do what she’s told by the higher-ups, but puts her foot down at certain things.

Maritza Ramos
If you want more pizza, vote for Maritza

Portrayed as Aleida’s prison-daughter, Martiza initially has a lot of hostility towards Daya. She has a young daughter who lives with her female relatives.

Erica ‘Yoga’ Jones
Okay, you want to project your issues onto me… That’s cool

Working as the prison yoga instructor to calm the stress of the inmates, Yoga is a peacemaker and quite timid. She was incarcerated on account of manslaughter of a minor, which caused inmates to taunt her, suggesting that she molested the child. Before prison, she grew her own marijuana and was a drunk. One day, she mistook an eight-year-old for a deer and shot him dead.

Janae Watson
“You ain’t got shit”

Once a gifted track star, Watson got romantically involved with a gang member. He was the first person to show interest in her, as she was shunned by other boys because of her running talents. During a robbery she was committing with him, she was running away when he told her to ‘stop showing off’. This brought back flashbacks of what the boys at school used to say to her, which distracted her long enough to allow a policeman to catch her.

Norma Romano

For unknown reasons, Norma appears to be a mute. She’s one of Red’s most loyal friends in prison, people seem to enjoy her quiet companionship.

Maria Ruiz 

In season one, Maria is shown as Daya’s heavily pregnant bunk-mate. She gives birth in prison, and the child is immediately given to her boyfriend. After this, she’s shown as very depressed and desperate to get out and raise her child. She has approximately six years left on her sentence, and worries that her daughter won’t know her when she’s out.

Angie Rice

Not much is known about Rice, except that she spends a lot of time with Doggett.

Whose backstory do you hope is covered in season three? Let me know in the comments below, or on Twitter at @dimmickhead


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