"Toast Can't Never Be Bread Again" is the thirteenth and final episode of the fourth season of Orange Is the New Black. It is the fifty-second episode of the series overall. It premiered on June 17, 2016. It was written by Tara Herrmann and Jenji Kohan, and directed by Adam Bernstein.
The entire prison is in shock after the death of Poussey Washington. The guards are in spin-mode trying to falsely claim it was Poussey's fault, and that she was violent. Joe Caputo does not believe any of them, especially Piscatella, and sends him home, blaming him for the escalation in what was originally a peaceful protest. Caputo regains control over Piscatella by threatening him about his past, specifically his transfer from a men's High Security Facility, alluding to some impropriety. The medics inform Caputo that Baxter Bayley, the CO who killed Poussey, is still at the prison. Caputo finds him and gives him some diazepam to calm him down. Caputo asks him to recount what happened but Bayley barely remembers. He then asks if Poussey is going to be okay, apparently not even realizing or comprehending she's dead, and Caputo is visibly shaken.
Taystee is furious and screams for answers at a male guard. Cindy Hayes calms her down, then kicks another inmate out of Taystee's top bunk, so she and Watson can sit Shiva. Suzanne keeps placing books on top of herself, to try to recreate how Poussey died. Suzanne has trouble understanding whether present or past tense is needed to address Poussey having a ton of books under her bunk: "Keeps" "Kept?" "Kept...". This, and her attempt to recreate Poussey's suffocation, upsets Taystee, who becomes angered and throws the books away then cries.
Galina 'Red' Reznikov is sound asleep now that Piscatella has gone home. Piper talks to Stephanie Hapakuka about how different dead people look to someone sleeping. Piper saw her grandparents in their caskets, Dwight saw her dad after he committed suicide, and then her mother a few days later. Piper isn't comfortable with the conversation and goes to brush her teeth. She sees Norma sitting on her bunk, singing as she cradles a distraught Soso in her arms. Piper stops to talk to Alex who is busy writing something. Piper realises she is preoccupied and not looking to talk, so she apologizes, then tells her to go back to what she was doing. On the way to the bathroom, Piper runs into Bayley, who is stood frozen in the hallway. He tells her he wants to apologize to the black inmates and say he is sorry, but he is scared to enter the room. Piper warns him not to because they are not ready for him yet and are grieving. She tells him the death was an accident. He begs Piper to let the women know he is sorry, and leaves. Dixon drives a traumatized Bayley home. In an effort to comfort him, Dixon talks about his horrific war crimes in Afghanistan, which includes killing a young boy he made juggle live grenades and strangling a girl he had sex with because her village would have done it if he hadn't. Dixon tells him the PTSD is going to be hard, but he will just have to get over it. He assures Bayley that because they are "good guys", they will get over it and be alright, despite the trauma.
The following morning, Artesian McCullough brings the kitchen crew in for breakfast. They are shocked to discover Poussey's body is still lying on the cafeteria floor, unmoved. Red warns that they have 24 hours before the entire cafeteria is permanently affected by the smell of decomposition. It is decided that breakfast will be moved outside while the crime scene is still active.
Taystee, Cindy and Watson mourn, while people bring offerings in a makeshift wake. Red tells Nicky that while she loves her, she can't allow her to give a gift to the black inmates, because she is too socially awkward in tough situations and keeps talking when she shouldn't. The women mourn in their own ways, Suzanne with her eccentric interpretation of death, Cindy trying to express her frustration and Watson unable to contain her rage. The women find it difficult to accept the offerings of the other inmates, considering the usual hostility they all treat each other with.
A crisis management team from MCC arrives at the cafeteria to spin the case. They refuse to allow Caputo to call the police, or the coroner, as their job is to spin the cause of death to protect MCC from any liability or bad publicity. To that end, they search for background information on Poussey that they could use to portray her as violent, so her killing can be justified as self-defense on Bayley's part. Caputo becomes enraged and tells them to stop stalling. They inform him Judy King is being released in order to protect her once the news is made public, and they intend to backdate her paperwork to make it seem like she was released earlier.
Dixon and Stratman are arguing about the spin story of Poussey being violent, making it seem worse. Thomas Humphrey arrives at the prison and sets off the metal detector. The guards find out he's carrying a gun and he convinces them to let him keep it for their own safety.
Taystee is at her desk in Caputo's office. He tries to send her back to the dorms but she refuses, offering to call the police or the coroner. She is angered when Caputo tells her MCC isn't ready to call them in yet. She asks if Bayley is in jail. She asks how Poussey's father reacted to the news and is upset to find out Caputo has not yet notified him. When she sees how stressed and nervous he is, she relents and offers to help find another method for calling Poussey's father, as her file with his details is currently with the crisis management team.
Tiffany Doggett and Carrie 'Big Boo' Black are putting screens up around Poussey's body while Charlie Coates sits nearby. Doggett shares some stories about the afterlife and ghosts but Boo is annoyed at Coates' presence. Coates is overwhelmed and starts crying so Doggett talks to him privately in the kitchen. Doggett and Coates clarify that they are okay with each other again. But when Doggett kisses him, he stops and says they can't. He admits he is still sexually attracted to her, but it's taking him everything he's got not to assault her again, and he doesn't want to ruin where they are now. He announces he'll probably quit this job to protect her from himself. A clearly disturbed Doggett agrees that is the best thing for both of them but lets Coates know she'll miss him. She also said she won't tell Boo that he put his boner against her knee.
Sitting in the yard with Piper, Alex, Morello, Nicky, Norma, Gina, Frieda and Anita, Red reads an excerpt about the life and death cycle of gardens from a book Poussey recommended to her once. She tells the girls they will start again and make a new garden in memory of Poussey. She assigns pairs of two to scope out a good location for the garden. Frieda asks her what she's really up to and Red says when she was raising her kids, she kept them busy to keep them out of trouble. She senses more trouble coming, so she's keeping her prison family busy. Nicky forcibly tries to initiate sex with Morello but Morello rejects her. She reminds Nicky again that she is married and mentions her baby plans. Nicky calls her out on this and eventually Morello reveals she has no such plans, but could feel her old paranoia starting to affect how she feels about Vince. Nicky also admits she's a junkie, despite now being clean again.
While Piper and Alex scope out the greenhouse, Alex slips something into the garden. Piper wrestles it from Alex. It's a handwritten memorial to Aydin Bayat, the hit man she killed. It reads "His Name Was Aydin Bayat". She is leaving them around the prison to memorialize him. Piper is horrified and convinces Alex that it's terrible idea that could be traced back to her, and the pair set out to find all the notes she left so the writing cannot be traced back to Alex.
Yoga Jones tries to convince a traumatized Judy King to make a statement and reveal what happened to Poussey. King argues that what happened is a blur to her and all she knows is her friend is dead and she needs to get out. Jones reasons that King could refuse to leave the prison but King is desperate to go, she cannot stand the prison. Jones is unimpressed by King's upset and King tells her to go fuck herself. Soso sits alone outside the library, crying and drunk on the homemade hooch Poussey kept hidden. She hears a loud crash and runs inside to see Suzanne has collapsed an entire bookshelf on top of herself to recreate Poussey's death, is bleeding, and is finding it hard to breathe. Soso runs to get help.
Caputo asks all the guards if they're sure Poussey was violent and they all agree she was, except McCullough who is hesitant and Joel Luschek who tries to change the subject to how bad the coffee is. Caputo is not convinced and asks Taystee for her recount of the death. An incredulous Taystee says "What are you asking me? If she deserved to die?". Caputo tells her about the claims Poussey had a weapon and Taystee comments on how ridiculous that is, as is killing her, considering how slight Poussey was. "Ain't nothing she did that could've called for that!". Caputo tries to comfort her, trying to offer a hug but Taystee bristles, thanks him and excuses herself.
Suzanne is wheeled to the medical ward on a stretcher and Soso drunkenly tells Leanne Taylor and Angie Rice about what happened. They retrace her steps to find the hooch and get drunk in the laundry room. They note that everyone who spent time in the makeshift time machine there had something bad that happened to them afterward, except, so far, Alex and Piper. They wonder what might happen to them.
Caputo goes to the crisis management team and demands to call the police. They tell him that since Poussey was convicted of a non-violent crime, was a model prisoner and comes from a military background that a smear campaign against her won't work. Instead they turn their attention to smearing Bayley, intending to paint him as a "villain" - a violent guard who went rogue. Caputo is horrified, reminding them that the death was an accident and Bayley will be sent to prison if they blame him. They offer no sympathy considering Bayley killed someone.
Sophia Burset and Gloria Mendoza are outside sunning themselves, Sophia having not gotten any proper sunlight for months. Gloria says Poussey's death will cause things to change for the better, as messed up as that is. Sophia doesn't believe anything will change. The white supremacists walk past and add "transphobic" to their considerable list of bigoted stances, making comments about wanting Sophia on their side if a riot goes down due to her masculine physique.
Whilst the black inmates remember Poussey, the Hispanic inmates worry about them from a distance, unsure what to do. Poussey's body is wheeled out in a body bag by the coroner and the Hispanic women cross themselves while the black inmates cry together. The white supremacists make repulsive racist comments and an enraged Watson punches Sankey in the face. Sankey refuses to let a fight break out and the whites walk away. To distract Watson and Cindy, Alison reveals her hair under her headscarf is bright red, which gives the girls ample joke material and sends them into fits of laughter. In the bathroom, the white supremacists agree to get ready for a riot and Maritza Ramos and Flaca Gonzales overhear them. They are using face masks, preparing to look sad on camera for when the news teams arrive, and appear unaffected by Poussey's death. Suzanne is put in the same hospital room as Maureen Kukudio.
The news teams arrive at Litchfield for Caputo's address. The crisis management team fusses around him, getting him camera ready. One of them tells him the news outlets have been sent a picture of Bayley dressed as Rambo for Halloween, to help illustrate how violent he was. Linda arrives with coffee but the crisis manager won't allow it because it makes people nervous. She seems completely unaffected by the death. The crisis manager demands a full lock-down on the dorms, causing Taystee to hide behind her desk. Linda came to the prison to see one for the first time and believe Caputo will be able to guide MCC through the tragedy without any trouble. The crisis manager gives Caputo his pre-written speech. Linda notices bite marks on Caputo's ear, likely from his recent night with Fig. Caputo sees Taystee has left General Washington's number on his desk and excuses himself to finally call and notify him of Poussey's death.
Caputo then makes his announcement but goes off-script, refusing to read what MCC has written for him. He explains that Litchfield is not taken seriously because it is a women's prison. At Margarita's house, Aleida Diaz is watching Caputo's speech and becomes visibly scared when Caputo speaks of a young woman's death. He never says Poussey's name, leaving Aleida wondering if Daya might be the victim. The speech also broadcasts to Sam Healy's psychiatric ward, where Healy looks up from his leisurely activity to watch. A CO comes to collect Judy King, who is packed and ready to exit the prison. Caputo argues that Bayley was set up to fail by a system that failed him, he was untrained and unprepared for a chaotic situation. Caputo announces Bayley will return to Litchfield after the investigation.
Taystee is enraged by the speech, furious that it implies Poussey was a violent threat and that her name was never announced. She crawls out from behind her desk and runs back to her dorm, screaming about what happened. Immediately the inmates jump up and make their way to Caputo's office. The noise carries and eventually the other dorms follow. Linda is using the inmates bathroom, scrolling through her phone when she hears the riot outside and thinks nothing of it. Piper and Alex find Alex's last memorial note and burn the collection in a metal bin. They are swarmed by the crowd of inmates who kick over the flaming bin, and both run in the opposite direction back to their dorm. Judy King is about to leave when she is completely surrounded by the rioting inmates. Humphrey pulls out his gun but Maritza notices and pushes him over. His gun slides across the floor and Daya picks it up. Maria asks her if she wants to give it to someone else, but Daya responds by getting the COs to lie on the floor with their hands behind their heads. She aims the gun at Humphrey and says "Fucking COs, y'all pieces of shit" which incites the rest of the women, who start cheering and yelling for Daya to shoot him. Red exclaims "Oh shit, here it is". The women of Litchfield are united in their encouragement of Daya as she decides what to do.
The scene fades into the final moments of Poussey's last night in New York City.
Note: Flashbacks are arranged in chronological order, not the order in which they occur on the show.
Poussey and two of her friends are boarding a bus to New York City. Poussey is perplexed by another passenger's pet duck and her friend, Aliyah, says it's a good luck sign. Poussey and her other friend ask how she knows that and Aliyah responds by saying she knows all about good luck charms which is why she got a shamrock tattoo. Poussey notes it's a four leaf clover that represents good luck and the three friends joke around.
They attend a club where they assume legendary neo-soul band The Roots are playing but find out it's actually a white acoustic cover band. Poussey takes a picture of her friends with her phone but someone snatches it and runs out of the club. Poussey takes chase but loses the thief and gets separated from her friends. She asks people for help, briefly crossing paths with Baxter Bayley as she does so. She does not ask him for help as he is mid-sentence talking to his friends about how "hard" Brooklyn women can be. Poussey instead approaches two drag queens smoking outside a club. Miss Crimson Tide assumes she'll steal the phone but takes pity on her when she explains her situation. They tell her she's cute and has a classic Whitney Houston vibe about her. They want her to meet their other queen "Whitney Circa '92" in exchange for her using their phone. She agrees. The nightclub is unique in that the patrons have to do whatever the large TV screens instruct. The first instruction is "perform" and a series of performers take to the stage. The next screen is "jump" and everyone does so. The next screen is "kiss" and a man kisses Poussey on the cheek, and she giggles shyly to herself. The next screen instructs everyone to "share". Someone gives Poussey her scarf and Poussey gives a woman one of her blunts. The next screen reads "Feed" and food is served to everyone. The last screen reads "Dance" and Poussey dances the night away with her drag queen posse. Later outside, Poussey uses her new friend's phone and figures out where she needs to go. She thanks Miss Crimson Tide for helping her and heads towards her destination. She takes the subway and observes all the people doing their own thing. A pregnant woman strokes her belly. A woman reads a novel. A busker plays a tune on a unique steel drum. A little boy steals money from his sleeping mom. A man also watches the "theft" and shares a laugh with Poussey. Small groups discuss their night. When the drummer finishes playing, everyone applauds him, then exits the train.
Poussey, now closer to her destination but still lost, asks for directions and a man tells her she is actually five blocks away. She tries to get her bearings as a group of men dressed in monks pull up to the red light on bikes. One can tell she's lost and offers to take her to her destination. She laughs, says ok and hops on the handlebars of his bike. Poussey enjoys the bike ride, holding both her arms out like she's flying. The monks take her to a place nearby looking out over the bay to the Brooklyn Bridge and she talks to the one who offered her the lift. His troupe is not actually a group of monks but performance artists, from all walks of life, portraying other religions. He mentions there are troupes of performance nuns and rabbis also out and about. They smoke a joint (from her stash, which Poussey is trying to get rid of) and Poussey reveals she was supposed to go to West Point, but attempting to pull a gun on Franziska's father got her blackballed. The monk encourages her to stay in New York, instead of leaving for Amsterdam.
The episode, and season, ends on Poussey alone in this same location. Having had a wonderful evening, she gazes out at the bay and smiles beautifully. Poussey then breaks the fourth wall by looking directly at the camera, and smiles again before the orange closing card signifies the end of the episode.
- "Is this the bus to the Underworld or something?"
- — Poussey Washington
- "We're going to start again. For our humanity, for this family and for that little girl on the floor in the cafeteria."
- — Red
- "We're cool right? Toast can't never be bread again... but I like talking to you"
- — Pennsatucky to Coates
- "I want to know what it feels like to not breathe"
- — Suzanne Warren
- "How am I feeling now? Better now that I've had sleep. My back hurts a lot, my soul hurts a little and if they're killing us now, I have to make sure it's not one of mine"
- — Red
- "'Cause black lives don't matter, that's why. She's still lying in there. They don't even have the respect to take her away."
- — Watson
- "I keep thinking she gonna come around that corner any minute now and be all "Hey party people!"
- — Cindy
- "All we got is time!"
- — Watson
- "You know I think that time machine is bad luck...That nutty lady went in there and she's in Psych now. Hoochie's dead. I think the tall lezzies are still around but their days could be numbered."
- — Leanne Taylor
- "Where there's drunk, there's drink."
- — Angie Rice
- Taylor Schilling as Piper Chapman
- Natasha Lyonne as Nicky Nichols
- Uzo Aduba as Suzanne "Crazy Eyes" Warren
- Danielle Brooks as Tasha "Taystee" Jefferson
- Jackie Cruz as Marisol "Flaca" Gonzales
- Lea DeLaria as Carrie "Big Boo" Black
- Michael Harney as Sam Healy
- Selenis Leyva as Gloria Mendoza
- Taryn Manning as Tiffany Doggett
- Adrienne C. Moore as Cindy "Black Cindy" Hayes
- Dascha Polanco as Dayanara Diaz
- Elizabeth Rodriguez as Aleida Diaz
- Nick Sandow as Joe Caputo
- Yael Stone as Lorna Morello
- Samira Wiley as Poussey Washington
- with Kate Mulgrew as Galina "Red" Reznikov
- and Laura Prepon as Alex Vause
- Alan Aisenberg as Baxter Bayley
- Blair Brown as Judy King
- Rosal Colón as Carmen Aziza
- Laverne Cox as Sophia Burset
- Daniella De Jesus as Cabrera
- Beth Dover as Linda Ferguson
- Kimiko Glenn as Brook Soso
- Annie Golden as Norma Romano
- Laura Gómez as Blanca Flores
- Diane Guerrero as Maritza Ramos
- Brad William Henke as Desi Piscatella
- Vicky Jeudy as Janae Watson
- Julie Lake as Angie Rice
- James McMenamin as CO Charlie Coates
- Miriam Morales as Ramona Contreras
- Emma Myles as Leanne Taylor
- Matt Peters as Joel Luschek
- Jessica Pimentel as Maria Ruiz
- Jolene Purdy as Stephanie Hapakuka
- Abigail Savage as Gina Murphy
- Constance Shulman as Erica Jones
- Dale Soules as Frieda Berlin
- Lin Tucci as Anita DeMarco
- Emily Althaus as Maureen Kukudio
- Francesca Curran as Helen Van Maele
- Nick Dillenburg as CO Ryder Blake
- Asia Kate Dillon as Brandy Epps
- Shannon Esper as Alana Dwight
- Jimmy Gary Jr. as CO Felix Rikerson
- Evan Hall as CO B. Stratman
- Mike Houston as CO Lee Dixon
- Kelly Karbacz as Kasey Sankey
- Olivia Luccardi as Jennifer Digori
- Emily Tarver as CO Artesian McCullough
- Michael Torpey as CO Thomas Humphrey
- Amanda Stephen as Alison Abdullah
- Muddy Waters by LP (Begins playing when Daya aims the gun at the correctional officers and plays through Poussey's final scene and the end credits)
- Last appearance of Igme Dimaguiba
- Piper Chapman, Alex Vause, Lorna Morello, Nicky Nichols, Brook Soso, Big Boo, Tiffany Doggett, Sophia Burset, Gloria Mendoza, Emily Germann, Gina Murphy, Norma Romano, Stephanie Hapakuka, Alana Dwight, Ginsberg, Anita DeMarco, Rhea Boyle and Mei Chang are remaining unknown during the rebellion. Sister Ingalls is in solitary. Suzanne Warren and Maureen Kukudio are in the infirmary,
- This is the highest rated finale and episode overall in Orange is the New Black according to IMDb.
- According to a post by Dascha Polance on October 30, 2015 of a cake that includes the episode titles of Season 4, this episode was originally supposed to be called "Break In Case Of An Emergency".