Orange is the New Black is returning for its final season, and one of the biggest mysteries Season 7 needs to solve is what happened to the supporting characters who were herded onto buses after the prison riots. In particular, many fans were heartbroken over the separation of BFFs Flaca and Maritza, who were pushed onto different buses by guards as Maritza yelled "I love you" to Flaca. Maritza never appeared in Season 6, and all we hear from Flaca is that she was sent to some prison in Ohio. Fans wondering if Maritza will be in OITNB Season 7 can breathe a sigh of relief though: Maritza will be back, and it looks like she and Flaca are going to reunite in some way or another.
Diane Guerrero, who plays Maritza, tweeted back in May that she will indeed be a part of the final season. She also shared a video of the teaser trailer, which features Maritza and Flaca singing a cappella to the the show's theme song, Regina Spektor's "You've Got Time." It's a behind-the-scenes look at the actors and doesn't provide any insight into Season 7's plot, but regardless, it's nice to see Guerrero and Jackie Cruz (who portrays Flaca) back together again.
Showrunner Jenji Kohan always meant for the sixth season to have a narrower focus on Piper, which meant many of the peripheral characters faded even more into the background, but that won't be the case in Season 7. "The first season is Piper being a fish-out-of-water in the prison," writer Brian Chamberlayne told The Hollywood Reporter. "We get to know all these characters around her, so it's only fitting that when we're coming to the end of her story in prison that we see those same characters that we met in season one in this new location where they're all fish-out-of-water."
While Maritza was never as central as characters like Daya, Red, Taystee, or Suzanne, the absence of the comedic "Flaritza" duo was felt throughout a season that was much bleaker and harsher than its predecessors. Flaca eventually became used to life in a maximum security prison and even befriended Cindy while hosting a radio show, but it's clear losing Maritza affected her deeply.
But while "Flaritza" would've probably added levity to an otherwise grim Season 6, Martiza's absence likely had more to do with Guerrero's schedule than with any particular writing decision. Since her time on OITNB, Guerrero has been quite busy. She was in a CBS show called Superior Donuts (which was canceled in 2018), and played a recurring role in Jane the Virgin as Lina, Jane's best friend. Guerrero is also a main character in DC's Doom Patrol, in which she plays Jane, a superhero with 64 different personalities and powers. She voices Vestia on the animated series Elena of Avalor, and is working on films such as Killerman (with Liam Hemsworth) and The Godmother (with John Leguizamo).
With Guerrero juggling such a busy schedule, it's not clear yet how much Maritza will be in Season 7. The teaser trailer hints Maritza and Flaca will reunite in prison, and with Piper now on the outside, the show may return its focus to the many women of color still trapped inside the unjust system. We never learned how much time Maritza had in her sentence, nor do we know how much Flaca has left. With the series coming to a close, the best fans can hope for is that Maritza and Flaca don't end OITNB behind bars. Hopefully the women can figure out how to actually leverage their "Flaritza" YouTube beauty channel into a profitable business and, like Piper, experience life outside those walls.