‘Orange is the New Black’ Stars Danielle Brooks and Adrienne Moore on Their Characters’ Season 4 Antics
Ari Perilstein / Stringer

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. 

The Ladies of Litchfield are Back in the New ‘Orange is the New Black’ Trailer

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. 

Danielle Brooks Wows in new Christian Siriano Collection for Lane Bryant

Loading the player...

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. 

WANT MORE FROM ESSENCE? Subscribe to our daily newsletter for the latest in hair, beauty, style and celebrity news.