When Orange Is The New Black first arrived on Netflix five years ago, the budding, scandalous relationship between convict Dayanara Diaz (Dascha Polanco) and Corrections Officer John Bennett (Matthew McGorry) made for seriously riveting television. But Bennett bounced suddenly in Season 3, leaving Daya completely on her own to figure out who would raise their daughter Armaria while she finishes out her time at Litchfield. As of the end of Season 4, the stakes have been raised even higher, which begs the question: now will Bennett finally return to Orange Is The New Black?
Last season, you might remember, ended with Daya holding two COs at gunpoint during a prison-wide riot following the death of Poussey. Based on the trailer for Season 5, things haven’t gotten less intense: the prisoners of Litchfield are continuing to rebel against their circumstances, which has even attracted news organizations. Based on this, some theorized that Bennett would finally come out of hiding, either to help out the inmates in some way or just to react to what’s going on. It doesn’t help matters, of course, that McGorry keeps taking Instagram pictures with former co-stars, leaving many onlookers to assume that they're working together once again.
But now that OITNB is finally back, it’s official: Bennett isn’t going to be appearing at all this season. Which is probably for the best, because odds are Daya’s going to have enough drama in her life without her not-legally-her-baby-daddy returning to mess things up even more. Remember, only Daya and her family know the truth about who Armaria’s father is; everybody else thinks it’s “Pornstache” George Mendez (Pablo Schrieber), who’s currently in jail for taking advantage of Daya. If Bennett couldn’t take responsibility back then for his child, why would he step into an even hairier situation to do it now?
In the meantime, actor Matt McGorry has plenty of other projects going on. He’ll be playing a role in the upcoming movie Step Sisters, which according to The Hollywood Reporter stars Megalyn Echikunwoke as a member of a black sorority who teaches white sorority girls how to step. He’s still playing Asher Millstone on the fourth season of How To Get Away With Murder, which will air in the fall. And, of course, he’s still considers himself an activist for social justice and intersectional feminism, which he discusses often on his Twitter and his Instagram.
And you never know! McGorry didn’t rule out appearing on Season 5, so he could always be back for 6 — although it would be pretty jerky of him to stay in hiding while all of Litchfield is under siege, if you ask me (not that it wasn’t jerky of him to leave in the first place, of course). Either way, at least the show certainly won’t be boring without him.