Alex and Piper's romance has been one of the constant threads throughout Orange Is The New Black's run — and is kind of the reason Piper ended up at Litchfield in the first place — but after the prison riot last season, it's unclear where Alex ended up amidst the chaos. So is Alex dead in Orange Is The New Black Season 6 or does she show up eventually? Spoilers ahead for Orange Is The New Black Season 6.
Alex, played by Laura Prepon, is pretty absent throughout the first few episodes of Season 6. The last viewers saw her was in Litchfield's bunker, waiting for riot police to come collect her and her group. When she doesn't turn up at Litchfield's Maximum Security unit, where the show's other main characters have been carted after the conflict, Piper becomes increasingly worried that she might've been killed in the bunker. Another possibility wracking around in her head is that she might've been put on a bus headed to another maximum security prison somewhere across the country. That's obviously favorable to her being dead, but still means that Piper can't see her. And fans all know how Piper isn't good at not getting what she wants.
Piper has an inkling that maybe she's been in the medical department, recovering from a riot-sustained injury, though she doesn't see her there when Piper herself ends up in medical herself for a broken tooth. The suspense!
Finally, though, about mid-way through Season 6, Alex returns. She swoops back in in the season's fourth episode after nursing a broken arm before heading Max. Piper is obviously ecstatic to see her, and they quickly pick right back up where they left off.
Thankfully for those who have been shipping this tumultuous relationship from the beginning, the majority of Season 6 is focused on other issues than squabbling between Alex and Piper. The two actually act as a unit that operates pretty smoothly after Alex's return. The main conflicts of the season tend to revolve around other main characters, with Alex and Piper occasionally receiving some love on the side. It's a refreshing change after everything they've been to together, seeing as another season of them fighting would have been overkill.
They're not betraying each other at every corner, which has definitely not always been the case. Instead, they're kind of adorable — looking out for one another, planning a potential prison wedding and a follow-up celebration for when they're free, and even checking out cake toppers on Pinterest when they get their hands on a contraband cell phone.
It's enough to give any viewer hope that these two might be set for life. Piper's sentence is much shorter than Alex's, but Alex is still going to get out before too many years pass. Perhaps this long-troubled duo is going to find a way to make it after all, and actually exist in the real world without trafficking drugs and getting each other thrown in jail. For now at least, fans can take a breath and rest easy knowing that she's still alive and well.