Sophia Is Still Trapped On 'OITNB'

Warning: there are spoilers for Orange is the New Black Season 4, Episode 6 ahead. This year, OITNB has checked in with several employees and inmates from the past, but it hasn't all been a relief. Is Sophia dead on Orange is the New Black ? Her time in the SHU became violent, and she's missing.

In Season 3, after getting in a fight with Gloria, Sophia was persecuted at Litchfield and the MCC ordered that she be sent to solitary confinement for her own protection. As absurd as it is to punish a victim, that's what happened. Even Caputo doesn't have the power to get her out of there.

After some time in SHU, Sophia was desperately trying to contact someone in the outside world. The only way she could do that was by setting fires or floods in her cell. Even though that technically weakens her case for release — she was put in solitary for no discernible reason in the first place. How can you weaken a case that isn't there? The last time Nicky saw her cell, before being transferred back to Litchfield as well, Sophia was gone and the walls were bloody. Nicky assumes that she was sent to medical but there's no knowing what happened for sure.

Sophia does have allies on the outside, for what it's worth. Gloria had her son alert Sophia's family, Michael and Crystal, to her situation. Crystal has been taking action and Michael started a Kickstarter. The former director of human relations, Danny Pearson, is apparently also trying to raise awareness of various human rights violations at Litchfield that include Sophia being sent to solitary for her own "protection" and nothing else. All of that is well and good, but Sophia is still alone and friendless on the inside. Even Nicky Nichols, who was nearby (Litchfield's SHU is at the maximum security prison), was only able to give her a magazine to pass the time — which was, incidentally, torn up on the bloody floor.

I hope that Sophia isn't dead. Not only would it be a disappointing continuation of/variation on the problematic "bury your gays" trope, but I feel like there's so much more to her story. Especially with so many "bathroom bills" being introduced or passed across the country in the past few months, Orange is the New Black is well-placed to comment on current events. It would also just be disheartening to see one of television's leading transgender characters come to such a tragic end.

Image: Netflix