With Season 5 of OITNB dropping on Friday, we’re all dying to see how our favorite ladies of Litchfield fare. Considering that last we saw, them they were in the middle of a riot and Dayanara had a gun to a guard’s head, well, we could have guessed things were about to get (even more) intense.
Of course, it’s next to impossible to dig up any juicy morsels about the upcoming episodes, given that the cast is under strict instructions to shroud their storylines in secrecy. So, when we got the chance to chat with Beth Dover (Linda) and Francesca Curran (Skinhead Helen), we knew the stars would be tight-lipped about the turmoil at their characters’ penitentiary.
And while we certainly didn’t want to get anyone in trouble — especially these two, who are incredibly lovely IRL and wholly unlike their abrasive screen personas — we couldn’t resist prying just a bit. Here are the scoops we managed to eke out of ’em.
1. The clock is ticking
Unlike any season we’ve seen so far, Season 5 occurs in a super-dense time span. “This season takes place over the course of three days… we sort of pick up where we left off, actually,” Dover revealed.
2. There may be a reckoning
Although Linda wasn’t necessarily directly responsible for the riot at Litchfield, she certainly played a big part in the current chaotic atmosphere — and it looks like karma may just catch up to her. “She’s definitely gonna have some things happen to her this season,” said Dover. “I guess you’ll see whether or not she is held accountable, but yeah, things will happen. For sure.”
3. Even the most unsavory characters aren’t hopeless
Everyone loves when good prevails over evil, but some of the ladies at Litchfield seem like a lost cause — Linda and Skinhead Helen included. However, both Dover and Curran clued us into the fact that their characters will see some sort of metamorphosis in Season 5. “You will definitely see her evolve this season,” Dover said of Linda. “I can say that for sure.”
Curran echoed the idea of character growth. “I do think that is an ongoing back-and-forth. It’s actually something I’ve been playing with. They’ve given me a lot of liberty in making some of those choices, because I personally think it’s unrealistic — no matter how bad a person is — to be so angry and hateful 24/7,” she said. “I think definitely there are scenes where you’re going to see typical Helen. ‘OK, Helen’s fighting again. Helen’s being aggressive.’ But I do think that although you’re not going to see it come full circle, we do get to see new colors from Helen. Definitely.”
4. Caputo still needs a win
Poor Caputo. We finally thought the guy was going to win one, and it looks like he just kicked another hornet’s nest. And as much as it kind of tugs on your heartstrings to watch him squirm, Season 5 will likely be another awkward/uncomfortable one for Caputo. “The thing about Caputo is he tries to do well; he really tries. He tries and fails miserably, and he has terrible taste in women. I will say that,” Dover shared.
As far as Linda and Caputo’s relationship goes, it sounds like there’s something interesting in store. “They had a romantic relationship — it’s certainly more than just a fling they were having. But, once again, this season takes place over the course of three days, so we’ll just have to see what happens. It’s hard to talk about Caputo without saying too much,” Dover said, laughing.
5. We get to know Linda
One of the best parts of watching OITNB has to be the backstories, right? It’s always fascinating to see where the characters came from and who they were beyond the walls of Litchfield. Well, we won’t have to wait much longer to crack the curious case of who Linda really is. “Well, you might actually get that this season,” Dover said. “Or you will get that this season. I get a backstory.”
6. The on-point social commentary continues
Jenji Kohan and the OITNB writers have a true knack for calling attention to the issues plaguing our society, and this season will apparently be no exception to the rule. Using current events as a springboard, the show will delve into controversial topics.
“They’re packing prisoners into this prison just to make more money, and they’re not giving them tampons and basic things,” explained Dover. “Linda’s heartless about it. She doesn’t really think there’s a problem with it. I think they’re going to touch on that a lot in this season — the issues inherent with for-profit prisons and all of that!”