When Orange is the New Black‘s fifth season premiered last summer, everyone quickly realized that the popular Netflix series was trying something new. During the previous four seasons, the show about the inmates and workers at the all-female Litchfield Penitentiary balanced its comedic and dramatic elements fairly equally. Then season five turned everything on its head by radically altering the show’s format. All 13 episodes covered a prison-wide riot in the course of a single day, and not everybody made it out alive. Or at least that’s the way it seemed, because the final episode ended on a rather nasty cliffhanger.
On Tuesday, Netflix announced that Orange is the New Black‘s sixth season will debut July 27th. Like many of the questions that season five left unanswered, however, the announcement offers little to appease anyone who still fears for the fate of Frieda Berlin (Dale Soules) and the nine other inmates who stayed behind in the former’s hidden bunker. The final shot of episode 13, “Storm-y Weather,” consists of the women linking their arms just before the correctional emergency response team blows the door. Did any of them die? Did they all surrender and survive? When did Orange is the New Black turn into Netflix’s Oz?
These questions notwithstanding, one thing that the season six premiere date news does make clear is that Litchfield is no more. According to a short teaser, the survivors are saying “bye bye” to the penitentiary they’ve called home for five seasons and heading “to the max,” which is likely a maximum security prison. In other words, last year’s fairly dark prison riot may be trumped by this summer’s change of location.