OITNB: The One Thing You Didn’t Notice About Poussey’s Death


We cried enough tears to flood Litchfield prison as we watched Poussey breathe her last breath at the end of Orange is the New Black season 4. Poussey’s death hit us like a ton of bricks and things haven’t been the same since.

There was one thing we noticed through our tear-filled eyes, however. Something that may have gone unnoticed by many because they were too busy crying to clock it.

orange is the new black cry

Why didn’t anybody try to save P? Why did everyone immediately assume she was dead? When you re-watch that tragic scene, you’ll notice that not a single person, not even the guards tried to save her. Nobody checked her pulse, nobody tried CPR and nobody even considered that she may have been unconscious.

As her Wiki page explains, Poussey died from suffocation. Officer Bayley’s knees weighed heavily into her back, restricting her from breathing and possibly causing it to crack under pressure. Though many thought she may have died from a snapped neck, it’s made very clear that Poussey in fact died from asphyxiation.

If that was the case, it’s common knowledge that she would simply have been unconscious once Bayley got off her. It would have taken a few extra minutes for Poussey to actually die.


There was so much chaos in the cafeteria at the time that there was no way anyone could have really noticed that P was already dead. How Taystee immediately assumed she was inconclusively dead is beyond us. From the moment she broke free from the guards, P’s best friend simply kneeled next to her and wailed.

Once Taystee saw Poussey lying motionless on the ground, she instantly presumed she was gone and did absolutely nothing to help her.

taystee crying

Unless the victim was fatally shot or had her head decapitated, wouldn’t it be second nature to try and resuscitate that person? Especially your best friend?!

What’s worse? Let’s take it back to season 3 when Soso overdosed in the library. Remember when Taystee said, “she’s not dead, I’ve seen enough dead bodies to know when someone is dead”? Well, couldn’t she have seen that Poussey most probably wasn’t dead at the time, but simply unconscious?


Bear in mind that with the exception of Bayley, all the guards at the prison were veterans. If for some bizarre reason none of the prisoners knew how to perform CPR, we’re pretty sure the vets would have at least had some basic knowledge. Somebody – anybody in that room would have had the common sense to check a pulse. Simply shrugging your shoulders and declaring Poussey dead without taking action is NOT what normal people do.

We just feel that in the real world, Poussey’s death could have been prevented. Of course, these are all mistakes on the writer’s part. Perhaps it was all intended to amplify the emotional impact of the moment.

Either way, we’re super distraught over Poussey’s death. We’re going to miss her wit, love and goofy smile. Litchfield Prison certainly won’t be the same without her.

poussey death

Do you agree with us? Let us know in the comments below…

Check out what the Orange is the New Black cast look like in real life! The actors look SO different!



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Angela Stephanou

Angela Stephanou

As an avid blogger and someone who eats, sleeps and breathes entertainment, I decided to take matters into my own hands and establish a pop culture website. Ever since I can remember, I've been interested in the world of celebrities, have listened to the latest music, and watched the newest movies. My guilty pleasure is watching cheesy reality shows like Keeping Up with the Kardashians, but I’m also a sucker for all things Marvel and DC - two entirely different worlds, I know.

4 Responses

  1. The fact that no one checked her pulse or tried to resuscitate her is exactly what I was thinking while I watched the scene. I was just like, what the? Do something, hello!

    I’m so annoyed that so many shows kill main characters now! I personally don’t watch tv to be sad. Please, someone tell me a good show where no one dies?

  2. Just think of how much more interesting it would have been if someone was desperately trying to revive Poussey as the camera faded to black. That would have been a great cliff hanger.

    The finish they chose, however was just lame.

  3. Pousey’ death was total crap! Extremely disappointed in Jeni Kohan’s writing that not one person would try CPR. I understand moving a story in a certain direction but, you are ignoring the intelligence of the audience when you completely disregard a normal procedure in any other situation. Plus you want us to buy into a world no one but prisoners understand yet ignore basic human instinct? I get you are a big time writer so I can go eff myself in your eyes. However, I write as well and if you want your audience to believe in what your story has to say you don’t overlook such an egregious detail.

    1. Totally agree. The writing and story-lines in OITNB are usually so spot on. Poussey’s death scene was so wrong in many ways :(

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