Ari Perilstein / Stringer

Black Cindy (Adrienne C. Moore) and Taystee (Danielle Brooks) are finding ways to evolve on season 4 of “Orange is the New Black.”

Jun, 02, 2016

Last season of Orange is the New Black ended with the outspoken ladies of Litchfield frolicking in Freedom Lake and giggling like schoolgirls—after two contractors cut a hole in the wire fence and left it unattended. That carefree vibe is short lived in season 4 and tensions run high in the minimum-security prison with new inmates, new guards and new beef. 

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But that’s to be expected now that the big house is overly crowded. There’s a line just to take a shower and everyone’s fighting for her own little nook in an already cramped situation. Still, two of our faves, Black Cindy (Adrienne C. Moore) and Taystee (Danielle Brooks) are finding ways to evolve, one spiritual, the other, maternal. Ever since Black Cindy (now known as Tova) rejected pork on her fork and converted to Judaism, she’s constantly tested. “[Black Cindy] goes through that do I slap her? Or do I pray for her? moment,” says Moore whose character was baptized in the lake. 

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As Black Cindy adjusts to the challenges of her new faith, Taystee lands a gig in the warden’s office and becomes the unofficial leader of her oddball quintet. “She’s taking on the role of the mother hen, not really wanting the title,” says Brooks who earned a Tony nod for work as Sophia in the Color Purple. “I think this is her way of honoring Vee [Taystee’s deceased mother figure] whether she knows it or not. In season 4, there’s a lot of trying to make sure the girls stay in line and it gets really, really deep.” 

OITNB returns to Netflix June 17. 

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