"Be Free" is the thirteenth and final episode of the sixth season of Orange Is the New Black. It is the seventy-eighth episode of the series overall. It premiered on July 27, 2018. It was written by Brian Chamberlayne and directed by Nick Sandow.
Piper gets surprising news and a boost from her friends. The jury returns with a verdict for Taystee's innocence, and the big kickball game is on.
Piper is informed that she is being granted early release (as she is in the 25 people of the new Prisoner Quotient Initiative in which Linda Ferguson of the newly-formed PolyCon created) and will be leaving Litchfield the next day. Blanca and Sophia Burset are also told they are to be freed the following day (Sophia being released as part of her agreement with PolyCon to stop her suing them for her prolonged solitary confinement).
The episode then displays the final verdict of Taystee’s trial on the murder of CO Desi Piscatella. Although it is not physically heard, from the gallery and Taystee’s reactions, it is to be assumed that Taystee was found guilty of his murder.
A furious Caputo confronts the head of the CERT team who stormed the prison, who punches Caputo, leaving him certain that the SWAT team were behind Piscatella's death.
As Taystee is transported back to Maximum Security, the episode then flashes to the announcement of the prison kickball game, which is taking place on the same day of Piper’s release. Although the inmates have been training to play kickball, both C-Block and D-Block are preparing to launch into a gang war during the game orchestrated by Carol and Barbara. The next morning, Piper is called to be taken to processing to be released. She and Alex share a heartfelt goobye, during which Piper makes Alex promise she'll make it out of prison just as she promises to wait for her. At the same time, the inmates from C-Block are being called to go outside for the kickball game by CO Hellman although it is noticed by some that neither Carol and Barb have attended. It is revealed that Carol and Barb are hiding in a storage closet and are intended to use the melee from the gang war to sneak on to B-Block and kill Frieda, their joint enemy.
Maria, deciding to be good person after recent events, begs McCullough to force the captains to mix up the teams although doesn't say why. Although wary of Maria after the riot, McCullough agrees and forces the teams to mix.
At the same time that Piper is being released, the prison kickball game begins and the gang war is expected to occur. As Crazy Eyes goes up to kick, Madison puts up to sign to begin the fighting, but everyone is so caught up in the game that they ignore her and the plan is abandoned.
In the storage closet, Carol and Barb get frustrated when the prison doesn't go into lockdown as they'd expected. The two quickly give in to their mutual hatred and turn on each other, getting into a brutal fight that leaves them both dead.
A drunken Caputo arrives at a publicity event being held in a tent outside the now-defunct camp, intending to confront Linda Ferguson and Natalie Figueroa over their refusal to lend any support to Taystee's case, but quickly realizes nothing he can say will make any difference. Instead, he has a quick chat with Figueroa about the future of their relationship, and as he leaves, Linda holds a press conference announcing that PolyCon Corrections will begin operating immigration detention centres, with the implication that the former camp will be converted into their first such centre.
As Piper, Burset, and Blanca are released, Blanca is handcuffed and led onto an Immigration and Customs Enforcement bus, and Burset and Piper are returned back to their loved ones.
As the episode ends, many events occur. Including Lorna's possibly premature birth as she is seen being escorted into Medical, with blood stains seen on her uniform and screaming. The episode ends with Piper’s brother Cal asking her “What are you going to do now?” as she stares off into the passing scenery.
Carol Denning and Barbara Denning
It is revealed in a flashback that the 'glass of ice' story that sparked their initial argument eventually inciting the block war actually happened to neither of them but instead one of their fellow waitresses who told them about it.
- Taylor Schilling as Piper Chapman
- Natasha Lyonne as Nicky Nichols
- Uzo Aduba as Suzanne Warren
- Danielle Brooks as Tasha Jefferson
- Jackie Cruz as Marisol Gonzales
- Laura Gómez as Blanca Flores
- Selenis Leyva as Gloria Mendoza
- Taryn Manning as Tiffany Doggett
- Adrienne C. Moore as Cindy Hayes
- Matt Peters as Joel Luschek
- Jessica Pimentel as Maria Ruiz
- Dascha Polanco as Dayanara Diaz
- Elizabeth Rodriguez as Aleida Diaz
- Nick Sandow as Joe Caputo
- Dale Soules as Frieda Berlin
- Yael Stone as Lorna Morello
- with Kate Mulgrew as Galina "Red" Reznikov
- and Laura Prepon as Alex Vause
"Be Free" - Weyes Blood
- This episodes title is named after a quote from the song "Be Free," as Piper leaves.