‘Orange Is The New Black’: Did Daya Die?

Netflix’s top-rated show Orange Is the New Black is officially over. The seventh and final season of the Netflix original began streaming on July 26. If you managed to binge the entire season in a few short days, you likely know how neatly the series was wrapped up. While the writers made quick work of tying up each inmate’s storyline, there were a couple of questions left unanswered. Daya’s fate in the final installment of the series is the most significant question mark left by writers. Is she dead, is she alive? If you haven’t watched the last season completely through just yet, this is where you should stop reading.

What was Daya’s storyline in Season 7 of Orange Is the New Black?

Orange Is the New Black writers focused heavily on tying up everyone’s storylines in the final season of the Netflix hit show, and they managed to do just that. It was no easy task, though. With dozens of characters to explore, the writers focused heavily on letting fans know exactly what happened to each character. There were several deaths, several transferred and a couple of feel-good moments, too. Daya’s storyline differed from everyone else’s though. Fans are not let in on what her ultimate fate is.

The once aspiring artist becomes ruthless over the run of the series. Fans hardly recognized the character from her initial introduction as a shy and timid girl, to her final form, a drug kingpin. Her mother, Aleida, the woman who seemingly started Daya on her troubled path, was having none of it.

In the final moments of the show, Aleida attacks Daya and strangles here after she suggests she’s going to rope her siblings into the drug slinging game. That’s how Daya’s storyline ends, but fans don’t know if Aleida successfully kills her or not. Thankfully, Dascha Polanco, the actress who transformed into Daya for the series, has the skinny on what went down.

Did Daya Die in the final season of the hit Netflix show?

Dascha Polanco sat down with The Hollywood Reporter to discuss the end of the show’s groundbreaking run. Polanco noted that while the cast never knew how big the show would get, she and her castmates were honored to be a part of the series.

To pay homage to her character and fans, she let the media outlet in on a little secret; Daya doesn’t die. Polanco alleges the writers let her know that Daya pulls through. With the cat out of the bag, fans are left wondering exactly why the writers decided to leave Daya’s storyline open-ended.

Why did the OITNB writers leave such a cliffhanger?

Polanco’s portrayal of Daya seemed like a side story in earlier seasons. As the series progressed, it became evident that her incarceration and relationship with her mother, Aleida, played by Elizabeth Rodriquez, was shining a light on an essential theme in the show.

During Daya’s early days in Litchfield, she meets back up with her mother, Aleida. Their reunion isn’t a sweet one, though. Aleida walks up and slaps Daya in the face, likely because she managed to find herself behind bars. The final scene between the pair, with Aleida’s hands wrapped around Daya’s neck, serve as a reminder that there is a cyclic nature to prison life and the family’s it effects.

According to The Washington Post, more than half of all people arrested before the age of 25 will go on to be arrested again. Children who have a parent incarcerated also suffer from what is considered an adverse childhood experience. Adverse childhood experiences, like the one Daya suffered, could place a child at risk for negative adult experiences, according to Rutgers.