Brook Soso (Kimiko Glenn) and Poussey Washington (Samira Wiley) were an unlikely pairing on Orange Is The New Black. They came from incredibly different backgrounds and didn't always see eye to eye. But they cared deeply about each other, right up until (spoiler!) Poussey's dying breath.
The show's fourth season dove into Brook and Poussey's relationship, which touched on a myriad of issues. There was the heartbreaking moment when Brook told Judy King (Blair Brown) that Poussey suffered a rough life of poverty, with a mom addicted to crack. Of course, Poussey's life was quite the opposite — her family frequently moved, as her father was in the military. And if she hadn't been arrested for drug possession, Poussey would likely have graduated from West Point.
Making such a racially-charged claim, even in an attempt to help Poussey meet her idol, might have been the end of the road. But Brook and Poussey's bond was stronger than that of most inmates, and the moment became a learning opportunity in their relationship. It forced the two of them to learn a lot more about each others' backgrounds — and it led to Brook creating a Say Anything-inspired gesture to win Poussey back. It's impossible to hate Brook while she's holding an Eminem-playing radio so earnestly.
When Brook was first introduced on OITNB, we weren't sure exactly where her character would go. We saw her fight with former friend Leanne (Emma Myles) after mocking her Amish past. We saw flashbacks of Brook's desperate attempts to make a change through activism efforts, even when no one seemed to be listening. But her relationship with Poussey grounded Brook's character in the present. And when Poussey died, we all cried along with Brook.
The other reason the couple's relationship was so noteworthy is the fact that Brook didn't want to identify as gay — and Poussey was completely supportive of her decisions. Poussey didn't ever pressure Brook to label herself, or their relationship, instead encouraging her to focus on their happiness. She taught Brook to be less self-involved, and their relationship humanized Brook's character.
We'll miss Poussey next season, but it's safe to say Brook is definitely a different person than she was when she arrived at Litchfield. Check out some of Brook and Poussey's best moments in the video above.