Brook Soso is a former inmate at Litchfield Penitentiary, portrayed by Kimiko Glenn. She is currently in FDC Cleveland following the riot in Season 5. She is first seen in "Hugs Can Be Deceiving" as a brand new inmate, being shown around and introduced by Lorna Morello on her intake day.
Soso is principled, passionate, and kind, but she is very talkative, which irritates many of the inmates. She is pansexual, and she stated that she is attracted to people, not genders. Generally, her principled protests are undermined by fellow inmates who don't want to make waves and risk trouble. Later, Soso becomes disgusted at the prison conditions and protests by staging a hunger strike, which none of the other inmates take seriously at first. Sister Ingalls, Taylor and Jones eventually join her in the protest. They write up a list of demands for Piper's prison newsletter, but the protest eventually fizzles out under pressure from the warden's office.
Soso has shown her more ignorant side, notably when she lies to Judy King about Poussey's background, painting her as a stereotypical victim of the cycle of poverty.
Soso is half-Japanese, half-Scottish, but she is taken in by the white women as soon as she arrives at Litchfield. Her Asian features make her the target of fetishization at the hands of Big Boo, as well as being assumed to be submissive and compliant by Boo and Piper.
She is seen with brown eyes and long black hair, eventually cut short after an incident with Leanne.
After she arrives she refuses to shower, citing that people should live with their natural odors, and does nothing even after Pennsatucky bluntly tells her that she smells. When one of the prison officers, Wanda Bell, tries to haul her into a shower room, she drops to the floor as a display of "passive resistance." However, Bell is victorious in their standoff and forces her to take a shower, which she does while crying.
For a list of episodes featuring Soso's flashbacks, see here.
Soso is of Scottish and Japanese heritage. She grew up in a strict household with a mother that pressured her to be the best at everything, including piano ("Trust No Bitch").
In "Don't Say Anything", flashbacks show a 19-year-old Soso as a door-to-door protester, preparing to campaign against a Walmart being built and instead building a case to convince the city council to build a park space there. Her bitter ex-boyfriend, Ethan, is also part of the protest and dares Soso to knock on a registered sex offender's door. Soso agrees to the dare on the condition that Ethan's friend that she has a crush on, Oren, agrees to take her on a date, plus Ethan gives her $50. Soso visits the sex offender, Joshua Nicholson, and finds out he was arrested for consensual public sex on a deserted beach, not a sex crime. She is shocked and sympathetic to the man's story. However, she later lies to her ex and says Nicholson is a child rapist who tried to seduce her, in order to impress both Ethan and Oren. She is shown to manipulate the truth or outright lie to get what she wants.
According to Sister Ingalls, she is a "dirty hippie who has no idea what peaceful protest really means". Progressive but naive Soso claims her parents named her after "Brooke Shields, except without the e", but said her parents later told her she was named after a "babbling brook", presumable due to her inability to stop talking. Soso volunteered at an organic farm in Xenia, Ohio, with her best friend Meadow. She was arrested for protesting logging by living in a tree so it couldn't be cut down. ("Hugs Can Be Deceiving").
On Soso's first day at Litchfield, she becomes acquainted with Piper, who she believes is very much like Meadow ("Hugs Can Be Deceiving"). After Piper tries to trick her into becoming Big Boo's prison wife so she can regain a lost blanket that Boo doesn't want to give back, Soso gets very offended, calls Piper "sick", and runs off crying ("A Whole Other Hole"). Nicky finds her and offers a listening ear (with the ulterior motive of trying to seduce her to score points in the game between her and Big Boo), which results in the two having sex in the chapel; it's revealed that it's not Soso's first time having sex with a woman.
Soso becomes very depressed because she isn't making friends with the other inmates due to her constant talking and her naive, yuppie attitudes. She regularly frequents the office of counselor Berdie Rogers who listens to her problems. However, her assigned counselor, Healy, instead has her go to the medical facility so she can be prescribed anti-depressants. Soso requests switching her allocated counselor to Berdie, but Healy, who is already jealous of Berdie's success with the inmates, takes offense to this and refuses.
She ends up using diphenhydramine (Benadryl) to attempt suicide through overdose, but Poussey discovers her passed out in the library. Poussey, Taystee, and Suzanne save her by making her throw up the pills in the bathroom. The group then help her get back on her feet and continuously wakes her up to avoid a trip to the psych ward. Soso then becomes tentative friends with their crew, and she is seen holding hands with Poussey, implying a budding relationship ("Trust No Bitch").
A romantic relationship between Poussey and Soso develops. The two fall in love over their mutual love of literature and grow extremely close. Initially, Soso is conflicted over being in a relationship with a woman, having previously seen a heterosexual future for herself, and is reluctant to perform sexual acts on Poussey. However, as time passes, she becomes a lot more comfortable and confident in their relationship and her sexuality.
When Judy King arrives at Litchfield, Poussey - a massive fan - is starstruck. Soso tries to initiate a meeting between the two, but states to Judy that Poussey is the child of a crack-whore; which supports that Soso has lived a sheltered life and makes assumptions about other races. When Poussey finds this out from Judy, she is deeply hurt and angry, and realises Soso knows nothing about her family and made very incorrect, racially-stereotyped assumptions, which Soso justifies by saying its what she learned about blacks while watching "The Wire". She calls off their relationship. Soso realises what she's done wrong (and that it's not the first time she has manipulated situations in this way), and stages an apology to Poussey with a transistor above her head (a la John Cusack in Say Anything (1989)). The two reconcile and start to share stories of their families and their lives before prison ("(Don't) Say Anything").
Soso is enraged about the racial profiling and unethical treatment of the inmates by the new veteran COs and is passionate about the idea of protesting as Blanca Flores and Piper are doing by standing on the tables in the cafeteria. Poussey thinks it's a terrible idea and the two quarrel. When Red is attacked by Piscatella in the cafeteria, the inmates all begin standing on the tables in protest. Poussey does the same, and looks over to Soso, mouthing "I'm sorry, baby", to which Soso smiles in acknowledgement.
The COs are ordered by Piscatella to drag the inmates off the tables and the situation turns volatile and violent. Soso is one of the inmates dragged out of the room. Suzanne begins panicking and freaking out, which causes CO Bayley (who has not been trained to react correctly due to cuts by MCC) to rougly restrain her. Poussey rushes to her friend's rescue, knowing Suzanne does not have the capacity to fully understand or deal with the situation. CO Bayley promptly tackles Poussey and restrains her on the floor with a knee on her back whilst he continues to fight off Suzanne. However, he inadvertently crushes Poussey with his weight so that she cannot breathe and is suffocated to death ("The Animals").
Soso is completely devastated by Poussey's death. Norma comforts a crying Soso by rocking her and singing, and Soso is later seen getting drunk off of the buried hooch that Poussey was making. She slips into grief and bereavement and is inconsolable from here on ("Toast Can't Never Be Bread Again").
Soso is discovered to be hiding out in the library during the riot by Judy King. She then agrees to leave to discover why Maria Ruiz has called a meeting in the chapel. She can be seen watching on as Ruiz reveals the hostages, and leaves in disgust as they start to abuse them.
She later joins Suzanne and Maureen Kukudio in holding a seance for Poussey in the spot where she died.
Upon returning to the library, she weeps as it has been left in disarray, and it was Poussey's sanctuary where she worked and loved. Her and Taystee clash several times over Poussey and how they think she should be honoured. When Taystee and Piper try to find people to use their talents to honor Poussey, Soso decides to create an elaborate book sanctuary down the hallway. Taystee realises how perfect it is for her friend and nods acceptingly and gratefully at Soso. She continues to mourn the death of her girlfriend during the rest of the season. During the raid, she sits in the book shrine and passively resists the officers, soon being carried out to the front lawn with the other inmates.
Soso does not appear in Season Six, having (presumably) been transferred to FDC Cleveland.
Sankey appears as Soso is walking the track. She calls her Asia girl, but apologises after Soso criticises her. Seemingly after reading a book, Sankey begins to try work past her racist tendencies in the past. She talks to Soso and reveals a haiku she wrote, hinting she may have feelings for her. ("Here's Where We Get Off")
- Nicky Nichols (one-night-stand) - In Season Two, Nicky and Big Boo have a competition to see who can have the most sex with other inmates; Boo sets her eyes on Soso but Nicky ends up having sex with her in the chapel. In Season Three, Nicky goes to hide her stolen heroin in the laundry light-fixture. Brook is working there and asks whether her and Nicky can at least be civil even if they're never going to be girlfriend-girlfriend, but Nicky, panicked that Soso nearly spotted the heroin, coldly asks how that was ever supposed to work as Soso never stops talking. An insulted Soso remarks that now she knows that using people and throwing them away is Nicky's "thing" ("Empathy Is a Boner Killer").
- Poussey Washington (girlfriend; deceased) - Initially civil, the two were on rocky ground after Soso offended Norma's group. But Poussey later found Soso unconscious in the library after she took an overdose of Benadryl. Poussey was desperate to help Soso, even to the extent to induce vomiting with her own fingers. When the inmates escape Litchfield, Soso is seen floating alone in the lake. Poussey swims up to her and holds her hand ("Trust No Bitch"). After this, the two become a couple, even planning for a future together outside of the prison, until Poussey's death in Season Four. (For more information see Poussey and Soso)
- Ethan (ex-boyfriend)
- Kasey Sankey (flirtation; S7
- Taystee (friend) - Soso and Taystee become friends when Poussey finds her unconscious in the library. Taystee points out she isn't dead. After Soso and Poussey start a relationship, Taystee becomes welcoming, although their relationship is strained after Poussey's death in Season Four, because Soso and Taystee have vastly different ways of grieving. When Soso makes a memorial for Poussey, they bury the hatchet and hug.
- Black Cindy (friend) - Soso and Black Cindy become friends after Poussey and Soso's relationship comes to light.
- Suzanne Warren (friend) - Suzanne and Soso become friends when Poussey points out Soso is unconscious in the library. Suzanne is eager to see a 'dead body'. Soso and Suzanne become friends when Poussey and Soso's relationship comes to light.
- Yoga Jones (protest partner) - When Soso goes on a hunger strike, Yoga Jones supports Soso and stops eating as well.
- Sister Ingalls (protest partner) - When Soso goes on a hunger strike, Sister Ingalls supports Soso and stops eating as well, however, after Soso and Yoga Jones start eating again, Sister Ingalls remains persistent in the strike, which causes her hospitalization.
- Janae Watson (friend) - Janae starts off as not wanting a 'non-black girl' sitting at the Black Girl table. Soon, Janae becomes acceptant of it. In Season Five, Janae helps Soso deal with her grief for Poussey by becoming her workout coach.
- Alison Abdullah (friend) - When Alison joins the Black Girl's group, she becomes friends with Soso.
- Norma Romano (friend) - When Poussey died, Norma finds Soso crying and comforted her by singing You Are The Light by Lone Justice.
- Berdie Rogers
- Judy King
- Piper Chapman
- Leanne Taylor (rival in the Norma-worshippers) - Soso offers her ideas to the worshippers, but Leanne shoots them down and starts to bully Soso, eventually cutting some of her hair off whilst she is sleeping.
- Sam Healy
- Baxter Bayley
- Soso is a vegetarian.
- She is pansexual, since she's "attracted to people, not genders", as confirmed in "Power Suit".
- She doesn't like Bubbletea or Hello Kitty as mentioned in "We'll Always Have Baltimore".
- Soso is left-handed, seen when she is taking the job test in "Fake It Till You Fake It Some More".
- During a session with Berdie, it's revealed that Soso has a sister ("A Tittin' and a Hairin'").
- She is one of the several characters who appeared in all episodes of a season they weren't credited in as a regular.
- "You seem so calm. Are you a murderer?"
- — Brook Soso to Piper
- "Everyone in here is in such a bad mood all the time... Some of these women just seem crazy."
- — Brook Soso
- "Were you trying to pimp me out?"
- — Brook Soso to Piper
- "You let a bunch of crazies speak for you!"
- — Soso, about Norma
- "You're all just some chicken-shit followers!"
- — Soso, about the Norma-worshippers
- "Like a D-List Burt Reynolds, but more rapey."
- — Brook Soso describing Pornstache
- "You taste like vagina."
- — Brook Soso to Poussey
- "I'm not surviving, I'm just existing."
- — Brook Soso to Meadow
|Orange Is the New Black: Season Two|
|"Thirsty Bird":||"Looks Blue, Tastes Red":||"Hugs Can Be Deceiving":||"A Whole Other Hole":||"Low Self Esteem City":||"You Also Have a Pizza":||"Comic Sans":|
|"Appropriately Sized Pots":||"40 Oz. of Furlough":||"Little Mustachioed Shit":||"Take a Break From Your Values":||"It Was the Change":||"We Have Manners. We're Polite.":|
|Orange Is the New Black: Season Three|
|"Mother's Day":||"Bed Bugs and Beyond":||"Empathy Is a Boner Killer":||"Finger in the Dyke":||"Fake It Till You Fake It Some More":||"Ching Chong Chang":||"Tongue-Tied":|
|"Fear, and Other Smells":||"Where My Dreidel At":||"A Tittin' and a Hairin'":||"We Can Be Heroes":||"Don't Make Me Come Back There":||"Trust No Bitch":|
|Orange Is the New Black: Season Four|
|"Work That Body for Me":||"Power Suit":||"(Don't) Say Anything":||"Doctor Psycho":||"We'll Always Have Baltimore":||"Piece of Shit":||"It Sounded Nicer in My Head":|
|"Friends in Low Places":||"Turn Table Turn":||"Bunny, Skull, Bunny, Skull":||"People Persons":||"The Animals":||"Toast Can't Never Be Bread Again":|
|Orange Is the New Black: Season Five|
|"Riot FOMO":||"Fuck, Marry, Frieda":||"Pissters!":||"Litchfield's Got Talent":||"Sing It, White Effie":||"Flaming Hot Cheetos, Literally":||"Full Bush, Half Snickers":|
|"Tied to the Tracks":||"The Tightening":||"The Reverse Midas Touch":||"Breaking the Fiberboard Ceiling":||"Tattoo You":||"Storm-y Weather":|
|Orange Is the New Black: Season Seven|
|"Beginning of the End":||"Just Desserts":||"And Brown Is the New Orange":||"How to Do Life":||"Minority Deport":||"Trapped in an Elevator":||"Me as Well":|
|"Baker's Dozen":||"The Hidey Hole":||"The Thirteenth":||"God Bless America":||"The Big House":||"Here's Where We Get Off":|