Warning: this post contains spoilers for how Orange Is the New Black's seventh season ends.
Alex Vause (Laura Prepon) is one of Orange Is the New Black's most notorious inmates. She always seems to find herself at the centre of the drama. The show's seventh and final season has no shortage of excitement for Alex as she struggles to make her marriage to Piper (Taylor Schilling) work from afar, scuffles in a few more prison dealings, and finally finds her way out of Litchfield.
The season kicks off with some beef with Badison (Amanda Fuller), Alex's former foe from season six. Badison makes it her mission to ruin Alex's life, per usual. When Badison ends up in the SHU, CO Greg Hellman (Greg Vrostos) finds himself in need of a new dealer on the inside. He enlists a reluctant Alex to push his heroin sales.
By the grace of the prison gods, officer Artesian McCullough (Emily Tarver) steps in to save Alex from working for Hellman. But not without a price. McCullough makes Alex work for her, instead. However, drugs aren't the contraband; portable phone chargers are. Together, they begin selling the mobile banks to help the inmates juice their illegal phones (originally smuggled in and sold by Badison). But things start heating up between McCullough and Alex, as Alex struggles to make her long-distance marriage work after Piper's release last season.
She may be out of the closet, but she surely has no trouble keeping things steamy in the janitor's closet. When she and Piper agree to have an open relationship, Alex takes full advantage of McCullough's advances — but not without a guilty conscience. Eventually, Alex breaks things off with McCullough and discontinues sales from their phone charger side hustle.
After McCullough confronts Piper and demands she break up with Alex, Alex squashes any hope for she and McCullough. Upset and hurt by her former business partner, McCullough takes it upon herself to confess to the warden that she has a romantic interest in Alex. She demands Alex be transferred to avoid yet another PR crisis for PolyCon.
Both conflicted and with other romantic interests swirling around them, Alex and Piper struggle to make their relationship work. Alex's transfer to Max in Columbus, OH, seems to be the final nail in the coffin for their marriage.
"We're prison married. You're not in prison anymore," Alex tells Piper, practically annulling their marriage altogether.
After ending things with Piper, Alex says goodbye to her fellow ladies of Litchfield Max. A tender moment is shared with pal Nicky (Natasha Lyonne), as they joke about a future reunion tour, bringing all their old inmates together again one day.
Ohio, however, appears to be working out for Alex. In one of the series' final scenes, we see a glimpse into Piper's new life. One that apparently seems to still include Alex. We see the two together during yet another prison visitation with a bright hope for the future. Maybe a non-prison wedding might be in the works for these lovebirds? I guess they've still got time . . .