If you're anything like us, then you probably forewent extraneous activity, human interaction, sunshine and personal hygiene this weekend to binge the entirety of "Orange Is The New Black" season three. And what a delightfully heartbreaking joyride it was. "OITNB" is like a warm hug -- familiar, comforting and oh-so-brief.
That is, until it breaks your heart into a million pieces and flushes it, like confetti, down a Litchfield toilet. If you haven't seen past episode three of "OITNB" this season, consider this a SPOILER warning. Because after binging 13 hours of glorious television, we have a major bone to pick with you, show.
Nicky Nichols (Natasha Lyonne) is gone. And we're not so sure she's coming back.
In episode three, "Empathy Is a Boner Killer," our beloved smart mouth gets busted with a bag of heroin. Originally, she and Big Boo planned to sell Vee's remaining stash, but it quickly became apparent that no amount of money or white privilege can save Nicky from her own self-fulfilling prophecy. Not only did she steal the heroine and lie to Big Boo about it, but she later made a deal with Joel only to, once again, steal a bag for herself. As we learned in her flashback, Nicky would do anything -- even sell out her friends -- for a fix. Unfortunately, this time, she got caught by Caputo, who promptly sent her to Max.
She didn't even have time to say goodbye, which was actually realistic given the fact that they're all in prison and prison doesn't seem like the kind of warm and fuzzy place where you'd get a few minutes to say your farewells. But that didn't stop it from being any less gut-wrenching.
Remember when Miss Claudette was sent to the ominous maximum-security prison down the hill and we NEVER SAW HER AGAIN? Yeah, this was kinda like that, only more heartbreaking. Over the past three seasons, we've gotten to know Nicky. Plus, we know how important she was to other characters. She was Lorna's best friend, Red's prison daughter and Piper's first Litchfield confidante. Of course, that doesn't make her exempt from the wrath of creator Jenji Kohan.
That being said, is Nicky ever coming back? Natasha Lyonne has been pretty quiet on social media these days, which is a bit suspicious. Also, Lyonne's name was noticeably absent from the rest of the episodes' opening credits. (Not cool, show. Do you think we listened to "You've Got Time" 13 times for our own health?)
When MTV News caught up with Lyonne at last week's Orange Con event in New York City, she told us she had no idea what was next for her character. "Nicky has always been pretty self-destructive," she said. "It's definitely her demon to battle. It's going to be fascinating to see how, and if, she pulls out of it -- and who she is in the aftermath of what she goes through." Okay, so that sounds somewhat hopeful...
"Nicky has a lot to think about," Lyonne said when we asked her what her character would be up to in Max. "The reality is that they're most definitely in prison. The show is fun and everything, but it's important that it's really grounded by how high the stakes are. Making a mistake when there's no one around to catch you is very different than making a mistake inside prison walls."
Ambiguous much? If Nicky's story really is dunzo, this wouldn't be the first time a show has written off a popular character (hello, every character on "Game of Thrones") -- and it's certainly not going to be the last.
"Orange Is The New Black" had some tremendous triumphs this season, but it also had more than a few emotionally paralyzing moments. At the end of the day, this is a prison drama, and in real-life situations, there are consequences for your actions. Nicky knew what that consequence was, yet she took the risk anyway. Her final episode helped shed some much-needed light on her inner demons. Now, it's time for Nicky to face those demons... in Max. (SOB.)
Then again, if the final seconds of season three are any indication of what's to come at Litchfield, we sense there are many ch-ch-changes on the horizon.
MTV News reached out to Netflix for comment but has not heard back as of press time.