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- Maritza and Flaca teaching Daya a dance routine, and Flaca later saving Gina and putting out the fire on her arm caused by the oven grease fire in the finale.
- In "Tall Men With Feelings", Piper slips on Crazy Eyes' floor as she was buffing the floor, and begrudgingly asks her to carry her to her room (beforehand, Crazy Eyes immediately rushes to help Piper). As the two make it to Piper's bed, they bond and Crazy Eyes tells Piper about her time in the psych ward, and how she wouldn't even wish such an experience on the worst inmate. When Crazy Eyes describes it as "the three points in the ocean" before Piper confirms it as the Bermuda Triangle, she states that the two should be partners in charades...but only as partner, understanding that their relationship is to remain platonic.
- In "Fucksgiving", Healy sends Piper to solitary confinement for dancing with Alex out of pure jealousy. Of all people, Pornstache, one of the most slimy and immoral characters in the series, thought this was completely unjustified. Of course, he was just enjoying the show, but even he thought Piper's punishment was too much.
- The end of Blood Donut has the track being reopened and Watson running with a huge smile.
- Sophia getting a Christmas card from her son.
- In an earlier episode, we see her wife helped her transition.
- Poussey, distraught that she didn't get a chance to say goodbye to Taystee before the latter's release, sees Taystee through the window dancing as she gets into the van.
- The flashback of Watson being kicked out of the party. The reason? The house owner didn't want a promising kid like Janae hanging around gangsters and thugs.
- He then offers to help pay for her running and asks one of his friends to make sure she gets home safe.
- When Claudette decides to reopen her case because she receives a letter from Baptiste. He's coming back to America. They're Just Friends.
- Daya and John's tobacco shack meet-ups.
- When Daya discovers John has a prosthetic leg. She kisses it and, later on, makes him a drawing of her with a prosthetic arm.
- The flashback of Red comforting Nicky while she detoxed.You have to hit rock bottom to know which direction to go in. Welcome to the floor, kid.
- After the heartbreaking death of Tricia, representatives of each prison group, Blacks, Hispanics, and Golden Girls, offer goods in her memory. The best part was seeing all of the ladies get together regardless of their clique.
- The wake that the white inmates throw for Tricia and Boo pouring one out for her, despite their tension over Mercy's release.
- Really, any time the ladies get together without antagonizing each other is a heartwarming moment.
- Larry and Piper's first meeting. Almost immediately following Polly's remark that, in the end, we need someone there for us who knows when to order Chinese... And then Larry offers to order food for the two of them.
- Red telling Nicky she doesn't care that Nicky snitched her out to Pornstache and is therefore the reason the drugs are still coming into Litchfield. Nicky's her girl, and they're going to take out Pornstache.
- The Big Damn Kiss between Alex and Piper at the end of Fucksgiving. Also their reunion despite Piper cheating on Larry.
- Despite the topic they're discussing - Daya having to fuck Pornstache and then claim he raped her to get Bennett out of rape charges - Aleida, Gloria, and Red all banding together to help and advise Daya as much as they can is kind of sweet. Especially Aleida showing she actually does care what happens to her daughter.
- In Can't Fix Crazy, when Norma starts singing in the Christmas pageant after Suzanne gets too scared to sing in front of an audience. Also, when Boo silently thanks Morello for the slippers. Aaawww.
- After learning of Daya's plan, Bennett starts cooling towards her. Then, while they're in the kitchen, a grease fire breaks out and Bennett protectively embraces her.
- Taystee, Poussey, Black Cindy and Janae all coaching Piper on how to beat the shit out of someone. Piper uses all of the moves they suggest in her fight with Doggett. The black inmates pretty much saved her life.
- Taystee in particular shows surprising concern for Piper, making sure she was okay after the bathroom confrontation with Doggett.
- After Piper seems to be preparing some kind of nasty revenge on Red involving hot pepper juice, it turns out she was actually making a balm for Red's back problems. It doesn't work, but Red appreciates the gesture and drops her grudge.
- There's something very endearing about Pennsatucky flaunting her new teeth (which she needed badly) at every occasion.
- Suzanne, of all people, comforting Morello during the Valentine's Day party. They share a very sincere hug.
- In the finale:
- In Episode 8, Nicky comforting Fischer about getting fired for expressing her belief about enhancing the shot quota.
- When Rosa says goodbye to the teenage boy she bonded with and pulled a mini-heist with in chemo, she tears up thinking she had "cursed" him as she did with the other men in her life. It turns out he no longer has to go under chemo, and the two part off on good, but humorously abrasive terms.
- Kid: Enjoy prison.Rosa: Enjoy your life, shitpot! (laughs)
- Suzanne's adoptive mother giving an epic speech about Suzanne (age 10) being rejected from the birthday party for being four years older, and how other children are rejected for simply being different.
- "You know which children suffer in this world, Melanie? The one that are told they are different, the one that never give the chance to succeed alongside any other kid their age, and I'll be damned if I label my child less than so the rest of the world can put her in a box and dismiss her before she's had a chance to succeed in life."
- When Pennsatucky and Healy sit together during the Valentines Day dance. Both are feeling lonely , Pennsatucky has been kicked out of her little 'group', and Healy has come to the realisation that he has no-one that likes him. Healy offers Pennsatucky half of his valentines cookie, and Pennsatucky just leans over and hugs him, like a daughter looking for comfort from her father. Even sweeter is when Healy returns the embrace.
- Rosa's relationship with the boy she meets during her chemotherapy treatment. They become friends despite their initially awkward meeting, and they even pull off a small heist together by stealing from one of the nurses. Rosa even panics when she sees the boy crying with his mother, assuming that he's been told he's going to die. Which only makes it all the more heartwarming when she realises that he's gone into remission, even if it means they won't see one another again. "Enjoy your life, shitpot!"
- Taystee has apparently known about Poussey's unrequited crush on her for quite some time, and handles it with a lot of compassion and grace.
- Nicky comforting Morello after Christopher humiliates her in front of her everyone in the visiting ward, telling her that she loves her after Morello says that nobody does.
- And Gina figuring out that Nicky is hiding drugs and refusing to let her out of her sight until she turns them over to Red.
- During the flood, the now publicly pregnant Daya starts having breathing problems, and an older male CO orders her to do jumping jacks, much to Bennett's dismay. It turns out the CO understood what the problem was and was actually helping her out.
- After Maria finds out she's not being transferred, she gets a visit from her boyfriend and baby. The boyfriend actually talks to the baby after Maria begs him to start doing so even though he doesn't talk at all.
- A very twisted heartwarming moment is centered around Pornstache when Caputo fired him for supposedly impregnating Daya. He doesn't mind being fired, he doesn't even care about being arrested. He's just elated that he's having a baby with the woman he's head-over-heels for.Mendez: I want to name it Stan! Okay? Don't lift anything heavy, and no tuna fish or soft cheese! I'm coming back for you, baby, and I'm gonna take care of you! Both of you!
- Sophia's son finally coming to visit her and the two smiling and playing cards together.
- Gina and everyone finally forgiving Red.
- One of Soso's naive exploits finally pays off when she gets a bunch of other inmates to join her impromptu sing-along during the blackout.
- After Sister Ingalls faints during the hunger strike, Sophia can be seen stroking her back comfortingly.
- Doggett to Healey: after she misses one of his group sessions and he cancels it in frustration (she was the only consistent attender) and is upset because he sees her being friendly with Big Boo and getting a short haircut. She explains that it is because of him that she can open up enough to be around people she would never have talked to otherwise. She goes on to tell him she will forever be grateful to him because he was the first person in all her life to really listen to her and that he is good at what he does. And as a bonus, when he tells her "I thought we shared the same values" in regards to her hanging out with Big Boo and getting a short haircut she agrees and gives those values as "we like to express ourselves and we like to be kind to people." All this on the heel of Healey having yet another moment that makes him feel 'useless in face of the system.
- Amid the otherwise almost wall-to-wall Tear Jerker that is Poussey's flashback episode, her father's Papa Wolf reaction when his German commanding officer suggests he send her to a Cure Your Gays facility.
- Red and Piper's relationship over the course of the season, going from tense bunkmates to almost mother and daughter.
- Nicky turning in the heroin Taystee gave her to Red, then apologizing for screwing up. Red holding her in her arms while telling Nicky she did a good job really shows you the mother-daughter relationship they have.
- Morello and Rosa's conversation in the van in the middle of Episode 13:Rosa: You got one fucked-up perspective on the world, kid.Morello: Yeah, I hear that a lot. I guess that's why I gotta be locked up.Rosa: No... That's what makes you great.Morello: Thanks, Rosa.
Morello: (choking up) I'm going to remember that you said that... for my bad days.
- Another one that involves Morello is when Piper thinks she's being transferred. She tells Morello that she remembers that Lorna was the first nice person to Piper and helped her get through things at first.
- Daya pressures Bennett into telling Caputo that he's the father of her child, feeling guilty over Mendez's fate. Despite the fact that he has a boatload of misgivings and knows the repercussions, he eventually does own up to the pregnancy, and boldly. Not that it goes well.
- In a twisted way, Mendez giving Bennett a sort of Cooldown Hug after the latter goes berserk on the black women's dorms (even though Mendez inadvertently caused it in the first place)
- Leanne standing up for Brook when Pennsatucky calls her "Ching Chong China doll".Leanne: She's Japanese-Scottish, dumbass!
- Caputo cancelling all of the transfers, Piper's, Maria's, and Ingrall's included, encouraging Bennett to break the news and "be the hero", and then asking Daya if the tray was too heavy for her to carry.
- Gloria advising Norma that there are much better ways to avenge Red than attempting to poison Vee with a dose of arsenic made out of apple seeds. Norma's small smile is heartwarming when Gloria admits she's willing to help her.
- CO Ford is genuinely sad that Rosa is terminal, and laments her fate.Ford: Man, its real fucked up to die in prison, right? I mean, its fucked up to die period, but...
- Morello giving the keys to the prison van to Rosa during lockdown, allowing her to escape and die on her own terms.Morello: Fuck it. Don't die in here, Miss Rosa. Go do it your own way.Rosa: What do I do?Morello: Go fast.
- When asking Suzanne if she really slocked Red, Healy is very gentle and patient with her, and even briefly takes her hand to stop her from hurting herself. He really tries to make her understand that she couldn't have hurt Red.
- Bell and O'Neill do seem to have a genuine, loving relationship with one another that's upgraded even from how they were in prior seasons. They go out to eat donuts, watch Les Mis together, they've even moved in together!
- Red leaving a piece of corn and leek quiche for Healy.
- It's heavily implied that Healy was the one to leave the corn for Red in the first place, on seeing her unhappy when her original corn was stolen.
- Boo and Pennsatucky's friendship throughout the season, especially when Boo develops a sort of big sister instinct when she learns Pennsatucky was raped by Coates.
- After Boo's plan to scam religious groups by pretending to be an ex-gay falls through, Pennsatucky tells her she should embrace who she is because fighting it doesn't fit her at all. That's quite a step for her in comparison to the previous seasons.
- Poussey helping Brook become accepted amongst the other black inmates by the end of the finale.
- Mendez's mother is a genuinely well-meaning and caring woman, who even though she loves her son knows he has made mistakes, and is more than willing to adopt what she thinks is her grandchild from Daya to raise with a good upbringing. Even finding out the baby isn't Mendez's isn't enough to keep her away. It's a massive Tearjerker when she is lied to and told the baby died during childbirth.
- The scene between Caputo and Angie, after she's mistakenly released early and he finds her still at the bus station with nowhere to go. He really shows his gentler side as he convinces her to come back quietly without getting more years put on her sentence.Angie: Can I at least finish my soda?Angie: Come on man you're about to take me back to prison.Caputo silently sits down beside her in quite assent
- The end of Trust No Bitch has the inmates temporarily escaping the prison to frolic in the nearby lake, leading to multiple heartfelt moments between the prisoners.
Cindy: Can I be a Jew?
- Red and Norma reconcile.
- Suzanne is happier in this scene than she's been for the entire season. After seeing her suffer such emotional abuse at the hands of Vee, it's nice to see her so happy.
- Cindy converts to Judaism. The dialogue between herself and the rabbi is beautiful.
Cindy: Can I be a Jew?
Cindy: Can I... be a Jew?
Rabbi: You really want this? [Cindy nods.] Sincerely? Not because this one's trying to blackmail me for something stupid when I was 19 or for broccoli with your dinner? What is this for you?
Cindy: [She begins to tear up.] I think I found my people. I was raised in a church...where I was told to believe and pray. And if I was bad, I'd go to Hell. If I was good, I'd go to Heaven. And if I'd ask Jesus, he'd forgive me, and that was that. And here y'all saying ain't no Hell... ain't sure about Heaven. And if you do something wrong you got to figure it out yourself. And as far as God's concerned, it's your job to keep asking questions and to keep learning and to keep arguing. It's like a verb. It's like you do God. And that's a lot of work. But, I think I'm in, at least as far as I can see it. I mean maybe I'll learn more and say, "Fuck the whole thing." I mean, but I wanna learn more, and I think I gotta be in it to do that. You know, does that make sense? Shit, did I just talk myself out of it? Fuck...
Rabbi: ...Ask me again.
Cindy: Can I be a Jew?
- Taystee, Poussey and Suzanne helping Soso after she tries to commit suicide. They help her throw up the pills so she won't be sent to Psych, and keep an eye on her in the aftermath to protect her. The rest of the black inmates help too and chastise Watson when she predictably protests about letting an outsider into their group.
- Aleida and Daya finally trying to make amends and have a better relationship. Aleida is a self-centered bitch and an absolutely terrible mother, but the few times they actually bond are lovelier because they're so rare.
- Healy reaching out to Lolly when he realizes just how disturbed she is. It ends badly, but he's kind to her when no one else is.
- Red and Nickys reunion.
- Everyone being horrified at the guard's treatment of Red when he throws her to the floor. Regardless of clique, they are all outraged. Enough to start a protest for her by standing on the tables, the same punishment the guards had used on them earlier as a shaming tool.
- As screwed up and painfully sad as the situation is, seeing how much Poussey's death is affecting everyone in the prison really does hammer home that all the prisoners do see themselves as a community.
- Of particular mention is Norma holding a devastated, crying Brook and singing a Grief Song. We're reminded what a beautiful singing voice Norma has.
- While it ultimately ends in tragedy, Poussey and Brook's Relationship Upgrade for the course of this season is a particularly nice thing to see. After both characters were each driven to their own Despair Event Horizon last season, nearly every scene between them this season is just absolutely adorable.
- After Watson punches Sankey for her insensitive comment once Poussey's body is wheeled away in an ambulance, Watson starts crying again until Abdullah pulls down her hijab and reveals her dyed red hair, leading Watson and Cindy to have a laugh, which Abdullah is okay with.
- Poussey's journey in the Season 4 finale, lost in New York, is glorious and charming. While the rest of the episode is devastating, seeing Poussey happy is heartwarming. Particularly the final shot, in which she seems to be smiling directly at the audience as if to let us know she'll be ok.
- When Red tells Nicky to gather "the family", it turns out to include not only the core group of long-time friends that they already had at the beginning of season 1, but Alex and Piper as well.
- Especially heartwarming considering that Piper had became increasingly bitchy and callous over the seasons causing many girls to say to her face that they hate her and make every effort to avoid her and 'forget' to invite and tell her about fun events.u
- Piscatella, for all his faults, has standards gets furious when some guards stand back and laugh when Lolly starts freaking out. He's an asshole, but he is professional about it.
- When Piper is suffering physically (from almost undoubtedly extremely severe pain, possible infection and fatigue) and emotionally after being branded by the Spanish group several girls show genuine concern for her well-being, including Pennsatucky who hands Piper a cup of water with an expression of concern. Seeing this, considering their antagonistic relationship in season 1 where Pennsatucky tormented Piper by doing things like cutting her hand when confronting her in the shower and rubbing blood on her chest and attempting to stab her to death, can make one smile at the kind action.
- In the same episode, Piper listening to Alex tell her how she killed a guard and she hugs Alex with an expression of sympathy. Especially notable considering how horrible Piper was to her in season 3.
- Judy refers to Poussey as her friend in the aftermath of her death.
- In a weird, twisted way, the prison riot caused by the lack of justice in Poussey's death shows that the inmates, despite their difference, will stick up for each other.
- Watson being the first one to really get through to Soso and help her start processing her grief over Poussey. Especially considering how she previously Took a Level in Jerkass in season two.
- Piper proposing to Alex in the penultimate episode of the season, showing to Alex that this time, she is not leaving her.
- The cameo from Poussey in Taystee's flashback.
- Young Dmitri's attempts to get young Red to fall for him.
- The mothers of several inmate gather outside during the riot. Piper and Susanne's mothers share a flask, and Leanne's mother shows up as well. Not only is this notable because she is Amish and thus would have to make the trip without her own transportation, but Leanne is Shunned and effectively expelled from Amish society.
- The entire SWAT raid is as much of a crowing moment of heartwarming as it is a tearjerker. Flaca and Maritza get see their fans cheer for them as they are brought out of the prison, Yadriel shows up to see Maria with her daughter despite previously breaking things off, Vinnie breaching the guard barrier so that he can loudly profess his love and commitment for Lorna and their future child, Luschek actually manages to look pretty heroic carrying Zirconia out of the prison with him, and Leanne is actually brought to tears when she see her mother in the crowd.
- Alex, Piper, Taystee, Nicky, Red, Black Cindy, Frieda, Suzanne, Blanca, and Gloria holding hands in the bunker facing their potential end together with dignity as the SWAT team blast their way in.
- Black Cindy stroking Suzanne's hair and singing 'Take Me Out to the Ballgame' to calm her down after a manic episode.
- Red telling Madison to stay away from her friends after she trips Piper. Given how Piper had become The Friend No One Likes in recent seasons, it's nice to see someone is still loyal.
- The entire season, whenever the Camp inmates reunite, they welcome each other to their new block. Red's family might have been shattered, but friendships remain strong.
- Notably, when Gloria is transferred between blocks, Daya immediately stands up for her when some other inmate get in her face.
- In "Break the String" Piper explains why she wants to bring back kickball.Alex: Remind me why you give a shit, Pipes?Piper: Because this place sucks. At night we are locked in a box which is locked in a cage which is locked in a windowless compound. I cannot do anything to change that.But I can reinstate kickball. A small, tiny thing that will make this place suck less. Both while I am here and for those who come after.
- Piper and Alex getting married by Nicky, with Lorna, Cindy, and Flaca in attendance.
- Luschek tacitly backs them up, allowing them the room and leaving them to their wedding in peace.
- Caputo sticking his neck out for Taystee and doing everything in his power to see to it that she finds justice.
- The inmates go out to the kickball, and for possibly the first time in years, they are outdoors. No roof. Real grass. They might still in prison but for a brief time this is one of the only times anyone seems genuinely happy the entire season - possibly the first time since the lake.
- Maria shuffles up the kickball teams so they're all from different blocks as a measure of peace, but which also helps to keep them from fighting each other.
- Despite thirty years of buildup and Carol and Barb's best efforts to hype up their forces, nobody actually wants to fight, and despite Baddison's best attempt, C and D blocks abandon their rivalry in favor of kickball.Alex: Look around. No one wants this war. Not even Carol.
- Piper and Sophia get released early from prison in the season finale.
- The truth behind the glass of ice story is actually kind of cute. The customer looked like a sweet guy, and the waitress took it in good humour.
- The entire kitchen crew risks extra time to help the ICE detainees.
- Even if hes still not quite well-respected, Healy appears to be happier working at a smoothie shop than he ever was working at Litchfield.
- The flashback to Taystee having a phone conversation with Poussey. It offers a glimmer of hope for Taystee and also lets us spend one last moment with a beloved character.
- Luschek finally does the right thing by admitting he was the one bringing phones into the prison, which saves Gloria from getting extra time.
- Fig finally showing true heart by giving up her dream of having a child to help a raped and imprisoned detainee secure help in her horrible conditions.
- Suzanne's tribute to Pennsatucky. After some encouragement from Dixon, she overcomes her stage fright ("Can't Fight Crazy") and sings to honor her fallen friend; after she starts to choke up, Dixon joins in and she regains her composure, and soon the other attendees join in for the finish.
- The finale montage:
- Nicky has taken Red's place in the kitchen and is helping other inmates detox.
- The old Litchfield crew who wound up in Ohio have taken to looking after new inmates.
- Alex was reunited with aforementioned old Litchfield crew, which is great considering that she probably thought she'd be alone in Ohio.
- Fig and Caputo appear to be interested in adopting a little girl who shares their sense of humor. What's more is that the little girl sings for them, which is reminiscent of a young Taystee doing the same thing to try and get adopted (only she couldn't win over any of the parents at the adoption fair, and then met Vee later that day). Although Caputo wasn't able to prove Taystee's innocence, it seems he was able to help a child in the same situation Taystee had been in.
- Mendez is seen being a good father to Dayas daughter.
- Leanne seems to have found a girlfriend, and she and Angie are still pals.
- Watson is last seen running in the snow, with Alison keeping time for her.
- Sankey has gotten over her white supremacist views, is reading Rising out of Hatred, and has become friends with Brook. She even writes Brook a haiku:I think I like youIn fact, I know I like youI'm vulnerable
- Blanca wins the season (and arguably the entire series) by beating the legal system at its own game. She gets her riot conviction thrown out, keeps her green card, and avoid deportation. Then she leaves the country anyways to be with Diablo.
- Judy King helps Taystee set up the Poussey Washington Fund to provide financial support to recently released inmates. It's also a relief to see Taystee with a new lease on life, considering she was planning to take her own life for most of the season.
- Maria gets to see her daughter, and seems to be coexisting with Yadriel's new girlfriend. Gloria also sends Maria an old kid's book, indicating that all is pretty much forgiven.
- Flaca is still helping detainees at the ICE facility to find legal help.