We've been hearing rumors of Laura Prepon's departure from Netflix's Orange is the New Black for about a month now, and it's still looking like it's going to happen at this point. Now, it looks like we may even be seeing less of her than previously thought.
The whole rumor cycle began when BuzzFeed reported on August 14th that Prepon was leaving the show, but would return for a limited number of episodes to resolve her character's story, and would have the option of returning.
Prepon and her representation have been silent on the matter since then, but in July (before the rumors came out), Prepon was asked in an interview if her character stays in jail. Her response was, "I don't know. I'm not allowed to say."
Netflix responded to the rumors, saying they were inaccurate, but that the season was still development, and none of the other cast members have seemed to know much about the situation.
On Wednesday, BuzzFeed's Kate Aurthur (the same reporter who first reported on Prepon's departure), wrote that she will only return for one episode:
Prepon is scheduled to appear in only one episode of Season 2 to wrap up Alex’s storyline, according to a source close to the show. The beloved Netflix series, developed by Jenji Kohan from Piper Kerman’s prison memoir of the same name, began filming in New York in late July. Prepon has not yet returned to complete Alex’s story. (That doesn’t mean Alex’s denouement will be later in the season; the show is not filming in order.)
Alex’s relationship with Piper (Taylor Schilling) was a central focus of the Netflix show’s first season. But Prepon had signed up for only a one-year contract, and, in the end, didn’t commit to more.
Prepon tweeted last month about returning to New York for shooting. It's unclear when she'll actually film her scenes.
Fans are certainly not happy to see her go. She is one of the most popular actresses on the show, and according to Bing, has been the most searched for. There has even been a petition started to get her to remain on the cast.
Just remember that original report about the option to return. Fans may still get more Alex in the future. Of course, there's also the possibility that they'll kill her off in Season 2. We'll just have to wait and see.
Either way, there are plenty of other characters who can benefit from more screen time that isn't being used for scenes with Prepon. Some of them have already been promoted to series regulars.
Image: Netflix (YouTube)