Taylor Schilling leaving OITNB: Why Season 7 might be the last season


Taylor Schilling of Orange Is The New Black discusses the future of the series and her character and what it means for the next official season.

Could Orange Is The New Black end after season 7? Considering the season 6 finale, this very well may be the case. While nothing has been officially announced, one can speculate that the end is nigh, especially with Schilling’s Piper out of prison on early release.

We’ve only ever known Piper within the halls of Litchfield, but now that she is out, what will happen?

And while Piper left on a good note from Litchfield, the same can’t be said for Taystee who has been sentenced to life in prison (she didn’t even kill Piscatella), and Blanca who may be deported and/or heading into MCC er Polycon’s new for-profit immigration detention center.

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And while Piper’s future is uncertain, it is far more optimistic than the other two. The series will continue to follow Piper in her life outside of prison, and we will be interested to see if it will mimic Piper Kerman’s (whose life memoir the show is loosely based off of) post-prison life.

But this could mean the end of the series altogether because Piper has always been at the heart of the show, and with her out in the real world, there may be no more story to tell.

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Schilling talked about how she knew that Piper would get out on early release for quite some time. The story sort of came together although she had a feeling it was coming and it is very bittersweet as this character looks ahead.

"“It certainly is an end of an era. Orange has been such a huge chapter in my life, personally and professionally. I’m so grateful to have been able to play this part of Piper. I’m excited to let Piper go and put her to rest beautifully, as I’m sure Jenji will do, and let her kind of live on in her own world, when that time comes. As her time at Litchfield is coming to an end, it’s just about reflecting upon how grateful I am to have participated in something that has brought so much visibility to the prison system in our country. “"

When asked about what Piper’s post-prison life and what it could look like, Schilling replied that while she will have her own struggles, they will be extremely less daunting than the struggles of Aleida, Taystee, and Blanca.

Privilege will have a lot to do with it and is something the show consistently points out.

So, what will Piper do now? Schilling has spoken to other women who have returned to the real world and each one had their own versions of shock, and Piper will surely have her own when Orange Is The New Black returns.

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As of now season 7 is the last officially renewed season, but that’s not to say the story couldn’t continue. However, given the point at which season 6 ended, and where Piper’s story is heading, it’s safe to predict that we may be saying bye fairly soon. And Schilling is prepared for it.

"“We’ve had a lucky run, but there’s always this part that’s sort of ready for the end. You go in and you begin it ready for the end. It’s a very bittersweet and also beautiful way to exist in the world. So the answer is, yeah. I think I’m ready. I have all the feelings. I’m very excited for what comes next.”"

Do you think season 7 will be the last for Orange Is The New Black? Share your comments with us below!