Ever since Orange Is the New Black’s first episode, fans have been rooting for Tasha "Taystee" Jefferson. The likable inmate, who’s played by actress Danielle Brooks, provided some much-needed comic relief early on in the show’s run, but Season 6 dealt her blow after blow.
Before you binge the series’ final 13 episodes on Netflix, here’s a quick recap of the Litchfield Penitentiary prisoner’s recent story arc and spoilers on how the character’s journey ends.
Who did Taystee kill on Orange Is the New Black?
Though she was convicted of murdering corrections officer Desi Piscatella during the Litchfield riot, Taystee never actually killed anyone. The police raid squad accidentally shot him in the head when storming the prison — which was witnessed by Cindy and Suzanne (aka "Crazy Eyes").
In an effort to find someone responsible, the government used Taystee as a scapegoat, blaming her for inciting the riot and for the death of Piscatella. Despite knowing the truth, Cindy testified that her friend is guilty in order to get immunity for herself. She also convinced Suzanne to stay quiet about what they saw.
Because of her supposed role in Piscatella’s murder, Taystee underwent daily beatings from the guards, but began to have hope after finding out that Black Lives Matter and the ACLU had taken an interest in her case. Unfortunately, it was not enough.
In Season 6’s final moments, Taystee is seen being driven back to Litchfield in handcuffs as Piper leaves the penitentiary for good. Her dejected expression says it all as she now faces a potential life sentence.
What happens to Taystee on OITNB? (SEASON 7 SPOILERS)
Warning: If you have not watched the last season of Orange Is the New Black, we suggest you stop reading.
The final episode starts off pretty bleak for Taystee, who’s sadly still in prison. She admits she’s suicidal after Pennsatucky’s death from a drug overdose. Though she comes close to ending her own life, she decides not to after learning that Pennsatucky, along with a handful of other inmates, earned their high school diplomas with her help.
We then see Taystee call former Litchfield inmate and TV personality Judy King to discuss the Poussey Washington Fund, an idea Taystee had to give microloans to ex-felons after they’ve been released. It's, of course, named after the late inmate, who tragically died in Season 4.
Taystee's final scene shows her teaching a financial literacy class in prison to the fund’s very first recipients. "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 s--t no more," Taystee tells the women.
Though we don’t get to see her released, watching Taystee help other inmates rebuild their lives feels like the perfect ending to her story. But what’s even cooler is that you, the viewer, can actually donate to the Poussey Washington Fund.
The fund, which was created by the OITNB creative team, "will support eight preexisting non-profits to benefit organizations focused on social issues surrounding criminal justice and policy reform, immigrants’ rights, and helping those affected by mass incarceration." You can donate at crowdrise.com/pwf.
Stream the final season of Orange Is the New Black on Netflix now.
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