Every summer a binge-watch worthy season of Orange Is the New Black arrives, and the upcoming third season of the Netflix dramedy promises to be no exception to the must-marathon-watch rule. The trailer the streaming service dropped last week offered hints at all kinds of goodies ahead — is that Vee, looking not dead, in the Litchfield cafeteria?! — and we’ve collected them, plus a few other hints about Season 3, for a look at what’s almost certainly going to be on every OITNB fan’s agenda for the second weekend in June.
1. She’s baaaack. Laura Prepon’s Alex Vause was recurring for Season 2, but she’s back as a regular cast member for Season 3, and she’s back inside Litchfield, which, as the trailer teases, means she’s back in some drama with Piper (Taylor Schilling).
2. Oscar and Golden Globe winner Mary Steenburgen, who just finished a great stint on Justified and started one on The Last Man on Earth, will be a guest star in Season 3, and while she told us earlier this month she couldn’t confirm her role, Pornstache portrayer Pablo Schreiber told Vulture last summer she had been cast as his mom… yes, the woman who spawned Pornstache.
3. Several cast members were promoted from recurring to regular cast status for Season 3, which likely means more storyline — and, with any luck, more of those trademark backstories — for their characters, including Selenis Leyva (who plays Gloria Mendoza), Adrienne C. Moore (“Black Cindy”), Dascha Polanco (Daya), Nick Sandow (Caputo), Yael Stone (Morello), and Samira Wiley as Poussey. In fact, buzz is that we get more Poussey flashbacks in the season premiere. Lori Petty, who was on Piper’s plane to Chicago in the Season 2 premiere, also returns as Lolly.
4. Speaking of the premiere… it’s titled, “It’s the Great Blumpkin, Charlie Brown,” and for those who may not know what “blumpkin” refers to, we will only point you to the (so NSFW) Urban Dictionary definition.
5. Other new faces in Season 3 include Australian model and actress Ruby Rose, who will play new inmate Stella Carlin, the third member of a love triangle that will include Alex and Piper, Marsha Stephanie Blake as a new corrections officer, and Fringe alum Blair Brown and comedian Mike Birbiglia in mystery roles.
6. MIA for Season 3: Jason Biggs as Piper’s ex, Larry, and Schreiber as Pornstache, though, if his mom is showing up, wouldn’t it stand to reason that he might make a pop-in, as well? And we’re betting Mama ‘Stache will be making an appearance that is tied to the fact that Daya should be ready to give birth to the alleged Baby ‘Stache by now. As for Biggs, he confirmed Larry will sit out Season 3, but may return later on in the series.
7. Also, Vee: Lorraine Toussaint’s character stirred up plenty o’ poo poo in Season 2, and appeared to pay the ultimate price for it when Miss Rosa ran her down in a van. Toussaint has, in the last year, given interviews in which she said Vee is dead, said Vee might not be dead, and said she wasn’t returning to the show. TMZ has reported she was seen on the OITNB set, and there is the fan debate about whether or not Vee appears in the Litchfield cafeteria in the new Season 3 trailer. Bottom line: There’s definitely a chance Vee pops up again, perhaps in flashback mode.
8. We see in the Season 3 trailer that Big Boo (Lea DeLaria) gets a fancy makeover, courtesy of Sophia (Laverne Cox). She also gets a backstory in “Sometimes Bad Things Happen to Bad People” — the third episode of Season 3 — and we meet Papa Big Boo.
9. Backstories aren’t just for the inmates. Michael J. Harney’s prison counselor Sam Healey gets some flashback treatment this season, too.
10. OITNB creator Jenji Kohan said the theme of Season 3 is “faith.”
11. But from the trailer we also know a theme, at least for the OITNB treasure that is Emmy winner Uzo Aduba’s Suzanne “Crazy Eyes” Warren, is writing erotica, apparently featuring group sex with aliens. That’s so Crazy Eyes!
Orange Is the New Black Season 3 premieres June 12 on Netflix.