Who did Taystee kill in Orange Is the New Black? Her season 7 storyline explained

28 July 2019, 23:10

Sam  Prance

By Sam Prance

What happens to Taystee in Orange Is the New Black season 7? Is her life sentence revoked?

Viewers are crying over the emotional Taystee (Danielle Brooks) storyline in Orange Is the New Black season 7 on Netflix.

Taystee is the heart and soul of Orange Is the The New Black. Not only is she one of the series' funniest characters but she's also one of the kindest people in the entire show. On top of that, Danielle Brooks plays her beautifully. However, the last few seasons of OITNB have treated Taystee horribly. In season 4, her best friend Poussey was accidentally killed by CO Bailey and in season 6 Taystee was framed for murdering Piscatella after an officer shot him by mistake in the Litchfield riot.

READ MORE: Orange Is The New Black season 7 soundtrack: Every song featured on the show

Despite killing no one, Taystee is sentenced to life in prison in season 6 and season 7 shows what happens to her next.


Who did Taystee kill in Orange is the New Black? Her season 7 storyline explained
Who did Taystee kill in Orange is the New Black? Her season 7 storyline explained. Picture: Netflix

The start of season 7 is incredibly bleak for Taystee. Her life sentence has made her incredibly depressed. On top of that, her friend Cindy testified that Taystee was guilty to get an early release (Cindy was coerced into lying but it does nothing to ease the reality of Taystee's situation). Taystee goes to Daya to get enough drugs to commit suicide but Daya says she will only give them to Taystee if she can pay for them. Does Taystee die in Orange Is the New Black?

In one of the most gut-wrenching scenes of the entire season, Taystee tries to hang herself in her cell. Discussing the scene with TVLine, Danielle Brooks said: "There are some moments that are really not about you, and you have to surrender all of yourself to the character. That’s what I tried to do and then after you snap out of it, that’s when you’re, like, ‘I need to take care of me.’ I actually do need to take care of myself and make sure that I’m mentally OK.”

Following her failed suicide attempt, Taystee asks Tamika Ward if she can work as her assistant to make money like she did with Joe Caputo. Tamika was Taystee's old fast food co-worker from outside of prison and, in season 7, she becomes the warden of Litchfield Max. Tamika says yes. Taystee also works to teach other inmates, including Pennsatucky, to help them get their GEDs as part of Tamika's new programmes to help rehabilitate inmates.

At the end of the season, Taystee uses the money she's earned to buy the drugs to kill herself. We see her contemplating if she should take them but, at that moment, she finds Pennsatucky dead after overdosing. In the final episode, Taystee is still considering suicide but she decides not to after leaning that Pennsatucky and her other students all got their high school diplomas thanks to her help.

Inspired Taystee then comes up with an idea to set up micro-loans to help ex-felons support themselves as soon as they're released from prison. Taystee contacts former Litchfield inmate and celebrity Judy King to start it and Judy agrees to set it up. Taystee names it the Poussey Washington Fund.

Taystee's final OITNB scene shows her running a financial literary class for recipients of the new Poussey Washington Fund. She tells them: "This is gonna help you get off the poverty bus. Or at least get you enough money so that you ain’t gotta do illegal shit no more."


It's a bittersweet ending because, as great as it is to see Taystee find purpose in prison and make positive change, it doesn't take away from the fact that she is still incarcerated for a crime she didn't commit. Like so many real inmates, the justice system has failed her.

In conjunction with season 7, the creators of OITNB have launched a real version of the Poussey Washington Fund. You can donate to it and find out more about it here.