This Is What Natasha Lyonne Has to Say About Nicky Nichols’ Fate on ‘OITNB’

Every Orange Is the New Black fan wants to know: is Nicky Nichols going to be coming back to Litchfield in Season 4? Or is she going to be locked up in Maximum Security forever?

This is what Natasha Lyonne has to say about her fan-favorite character who was sent down the hill.

During OITNB’s 2015 Summer TCA press tour panel yesterday (July 28, 2015), Lyonne joked, “I feel a great deal of solidarity with the cast of Game of Thrones” (referring to Kit Harington’s maybe-departure as Jon Snow).

On Nicky’s storyline, she told reporters, “I was excited to read it. I would actually argue that there were huge stakes for Nicky Nichols this season much more than any previous season. It makes sense that a self destructive person would end up where she did.”

Afterwards, she also told E! news, “We have an incredible puppet master in [showrunner] Jenji [Kohan] and there’s a great deal of trust that I have in that. I’m pretty much a person who is up for adventure and I thought it was wise to have there be a big consequence for Nicky’s playing around with heroin. It can’t all be fingering and cookies all the time. There’s going to be hell to pay at a certain point for playing with her personal fire.”

Lyonne as Nichols was absent for much of the season, appearing in only three episodes which was a huge shock to fans since Nichols was undoubtedly one of the show’s most popular characters. That being said, Lyonne didn’t have any qualms about it.

“I think it makes sense and I think that the stakes of the show and the reason it resonates and continues to is ultimately because of this underlying intensity to the fact that these people have lost their freedom and are up against themselves behind these walls,” Lyonne added. “I think it’s a good thing to have major characters suffer major consequences. Otherwise, I think it might be a little bit too friendly and it loses some of its bite.”

When E! asked Lyonne “whether she’d prefer to see Nicky in max in the future, or to see how her time in max affected her as she’s brought back into gen. pop.,” with a laugh she answered, “that seems like a sneaky way to ask another spoiler question.”

Given the fact that Lyonne did attend the panel, it probably (hopefully) means that she is still an OITNB cast member and will be returning to Season 4.

Natasha Lyonne, Nicky Nichols, OITNB, Orange is the new black
CREDIT: JoJo Whilden/Netflix

As for how Max might have affected Nicky if she were to return to general population, Lyonne told EW after the panel, “It could really go both ways. People respond all kinds of ways to intense [situations] beyond rules. That kind of discipline sometimes brings out the best in people and sometimes brings out that much more anger and rebellion. Certainly, at a certain point, I think Nicky would have to come to terms with her childhood and do some reconciling with her past if she’s going to make peace with being an adult.”

Season 4 of Orange Is the New Black is slated to return summer 2016.