Where to begin! When we left the women of Litchfield Prison, almost everyone was in crisis. USA TODAY's Andrea Mandell talks to the cast to see how the Orange inmates fare in Season 2, which launching Friday on Netflix at 12:01 a.m.
Taylor Schilling "Piper Chapman"
Where we left her: The last scene of Season 1 was haunting: Piper, the yuppie designer soap-maker serving time for running drug money almost a decade prior, was dumped by Larry (Jason Biggs), shut out by her ex-girlfriend Alex (Laura Prepon) and attacked with a shiv outside of the Christmas Nativity play by the venomous inmate Pennsatucky (Taryn Manning). Piper fights back, violently. "She doesn't totally know who she is now," says Schilling. "I think she's left feeling like everything she had is now gone."
In Season 2: Piper is shipped off to a prison in Chicago with no warning, learning only upon arrival she must testify at Alex's boss' trial. "She doesn't know what's going on," says Schilling. And there's a hidden benefit to shooting all those flashbacks: Costume fittings! "It's so exciting there's a fitting for anything happening outside of jail. But in general, working in those prison uniforms is so liberating. It's like putting on pajamas. I basically get out of bed, put on sweatpants and get back into pajamas at work."
Uzo Aduba "Crazy Eyes"
Where we left her: Suzanne, aka 'Crazy Eyes' had fallen hard for Piper, but thanks to Larry's bombshell appearance on a radio show, the mentally-troubled inmate learned how Piper really felt about her. "It really crushes her," says Aduba.
In Season 2: "We get to flash back with Suzanne," says Aduba. "She is a woman trying to fill a void with love. She's attracted to feeling loved. And whoever fills that placeholder for her, that's who she moves like a magnet toward."
Kate Mulgrew "Red"
Where we left her: Red, long a boss among Litchfield's inmates, has been kicked out of her prized kitchen. And thanks to an act of sabotage gone wrong, she's seriously injured a friend in a grease fire. "In episode one I shun Piper and in the last episode of season (the inmates) shun me," says Mulgrew.
In Season 2: Red begins the season bereft, ostracized and friendless. But there is hope on the horizon. "I've been given the greenhouse, which opens up an entirely new scope of opportunities for Red," says Mulgrew. "They built a beautiful set for me. A new domain and a new raison d'etre. She is absolutely determined to survive and to survive well.
Danielle Brooks / "Taystee"
Where we left her: After being released from prison, Taystee attempted life on the outside and failed, committing a petty crime to return to her friends at Litchfield. "The end of season 1 she truly believes prison is the only way for her to go, her final destination," says Brooks.
In Season 2: We get to flashback to childhood with Taystee, learning why her path led to prison in the first place. "We're introduced with the great character Vee (a drug boss, played by Lorraine Toussaint) who has a big part in Taystee's life, and now Taystee is confused and doesn't know who to trust," says Brooks. Not to mention Taystee's front-row seat to a tug of war for power between Red and Vee. Adds Mulgrew, "There can only be one winner here and (Red and Vee) both think it's going to be us."
Dascha Polanco "Daya"
Where we left her: Daya began a romance with John Bennett, a prison guard, got pregnant, and then, in fear he would be prosecuted, seduced and frames 'Pornstache,' a repugnant guard who is promptly put on leave.
In Season 2: Life isn't easy for Daya. "She's having hormonal imbalances, she is in love with Bennett. There's a lot on Daya's mind," says Polanco, who donned a foam belly for cameras. "Growing up, trying to not be like her mother but making wrong decisions like her mother has brought her to this point. It's ironic how they've turned out."
Jason Biggs "Larry"
Where we left him: Cue the broken-hearted boy. "At the end of Season 1 Larry and Piper were not in a good place," says Biggs. After struggling with his fiancee's rekindled affair with her ex (and ex-accomplice), Alex, the writer "had essentially said he couldn't do it anymore, they were done."
In Season 2: "Larry is a little worse for wear," admits Biggs with a laugh. "He's certainly depressed." Pressed by his family to cut his losses and move on, "as the season goes on Larry continues to make some decisions that will affect the relationship," says Biggs. Unfortunately for all involved, Larry's father is also Piper's lawyer.