OITNB Star Reacts to Devastating Twist and a Very Special Flashback in Ep. 12

TVLine | 7/27/2019 | Ryan Schwartz
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Warning: The following contains spoilers from Season 7 of Orange Is the New Black. Do not keep reading until you have finished Episode 12.

The penultimate episode of Orange Is the New Black ends with one of the biggest tragedies in in the series’ seven-year history. In the very last scene, Taystee enters the laundry room to find that Taryn Manning’s Pennsatucky has suffered an (accidental?) overdose. She cries out for help, but it’s too late. Pennsatucky is dead.

Taystee - Portrayer - Danielle - Brooks - Character

For Taystee’s portrayer, Danielle Brooks, reacting to a character’s demise is nothing new. It’s hard to forget how Taystee wailed back in Season 4 when she first saw Poussey on the cafeteria floor.

“I’m not gonna lie to you. I was thinking, ‘Taystee, how many times do you have to go through this?'” Brooks tells TVLine with a laugh. “It’s been a lot.” And being the character called on to respond to some of the series’ most devastating moments has not gotten any easier over the years.

Levels - Brooks - Standpoint - People - Breakdown

“It gets harder on so many levels,” Brooks says. “From a technical standpoint, I’m trying to challenge myself. These aren’t the same people, so every breakdown I’m having as Taystee has a different weight to it. I don’t want to give the audience the same old crying and the same old whining. I want it to cater to whoever’s dying, or whatever the situation is.”

Taystee’s role as Pennsatucky’s GED tutor paved the way for a new and unlikely friendship this season. The “lifer” and the reformed meth addict are two characters you’d never expect to cross paths, and Brooks was excited to explore that odd-couple dynamic.

Taryn - Manning - Someone - Brilliant - Brooks

“Taryn Manning is someone that I’ve always wanted to get to work with. I think she’s so freaking brilliant,” Brooks...
(Excerpt) Read more at: TVLine
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