‘Orange Is The New Black’ Season 5 Predictions: Healy Will Return, But Can He Save Lolly?

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Orange Is The New Black
Orange Is The New Black Netflix

In an interview with Yahoo TV, actor Michael Harney discussed his role as Sam Healy on the Netflix hit Orange Is The New Black and dropped a few hints about the future of his character. Even though Healy’s fate was left unclear at the end of Season 4, Harney firmly stated his character would return for Season 5.

Warning: spoilers ahead for Season 4 of Orange Is The New Black. If you haven’t watched all of the latest episodes on Netflix, turn back now!

Season 4 offered a poignant look into Healy’s past, revealing the tremendous impact of his mother’s debilitating mental illness upon his personality and career choices. While past seasons depicted the character as awkward, even a bit creepy at times, Healy came across as someone who cared very sincerely about Litchfield’s inmates. The revelation that Healy’s ambitions at Litchfield are deeply connected to his sense of helplessness in the face of his mother’s illness made him a more sympathetic, nuanced and relatable character.

Healy in Litchfield
Healy in Litchfield Netflix

Harney told Yahoo he embraced the opportunity to tackle issues surrounding mental illness and depression through his character:

“Our society is really still in the dark ages when it comes to acknowledging and including people, and accepting without judging, people that are struggling with mental illness,” said Harney. “Just on an artistic level, on a humane level, it really impassioned me to do this in a way that I did it.”

In Season 4, Healy takes Lolly Whitehill (Lori Petty) under his wing, an inmate prone to paranoid fantasies and hearing voices. When Lolly confesses her role in murdering the hitman sent to kill Alex Vause (Laura Prepon) and burying him in the garden, Healy incorrectly assumes it is her illness talking. In episode 11, the body is discovered and Healy realizes his error and discreetly leaves Litchfield, calling his estranged wife before wading into a lake to end it all, Virginia Woolf-style. The phone rings and he wades back to the shore, to life, only to find it’s work calling. Once back at Litchfield, Healy is tasked with delivering Lolly to the psych ward and he watches tearfully as she cries and calls for him, as an unseen inmate screams and howls unrelentingly in the background.

The next we see of Healy is in the season finale; he watches Caputo’s televised speech about Poussey’s death from what appears to be a mental treatment facility. He seems abnormally subdued at the news an inmate has died; presumably, he has been heavily sedated.

Healy at the end of Season 4
Healy at the end of Season 4 Netflix

From the way Season 4 ended, it wasn’t clear if this was the last we would see of Harney’s character. When asked if Healy would appear in Season 5 of Orange Is The New Black, Harney said, “Yeah. I can confirm that.”

We can assume, then, that Healy will make it back to Litchfield at some point. In that vein, Harney offered his perspective on where he’d like his character to go in future episodes.

“For Sam [...] I think that I’d like to see there be a resurgence of the reason why he became a counselor. I think that that’s possible with the way things have gone down. That would just really turn me on,” Harney said. “I think when I get an opportunity [...] to play a wonderful character like this for so long, and to go through so many peaks and valleys, I think the resurrection and lessons that come along with the resurrection is such a rich thing to play, it’s a very valuable thing to do.”

While Petty told Variety in June she wasn’t sure about the fate of her character, we predicted her character could return after a period of rehabilitation in psych. Harney’s words seem to support this theory; if there’s any inmate who could remind Healy of the reasons he became a counselor, it’s Lolly. If the higher-ups at Litchfield discover the dead man wasn’t a guard, but a hitman, Healy could potentially make the case for Lolly’s return to general population, perhaps as her counsellor. Given what Season 4 revealed about Healy’s relationship with his mother, it’s extremely unlikely he’ll leave Lolly to rot in psych. We predict Lolly will return for Season 5, and her storyline will be closely intermingled with that of Healy. However, it may take several episodes for this unlikely pair to find their way back to one another, given their precarious states at the end of Season 4.

Orange Is The New Black is slated to release in its entirety on Netflix in summer 2017. The show has been renewed through its seventh season.

What do you think will happen in Orange Is The New Black Season 5? Which characters do you hope to see more of in future episodes? Let us know in the comments!

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