Yesterday we learned that Laura Prepon would only be returning for one episode of Orange is the New Black. One! Not only is that nowhere near enough time to wrap up Alex Vause’s storyline, but whaaattt!? It makes absolutely no sense that an actress starring on a critically-acclaimed show would walk away from that role. Opportunities like this don’t come around very often. Which is something Laura should know since her last show, Are You There, Chelsea, got canceled after its first season on air.
While people have guessed that she might have scheduling conflicts, a quick look at her IMDB page shows that there’s nothing on her docket that would interrupt with filming the second season. Other people have guessed that this is just part of the story line and that it’s time for Vause, the character, to leave the show..But I reject that because she’s a fan favorite and I think that even if her departure was a part of the original story line, the writers would’ve switched a few things up to make it possible for her to hang around a little bit longer. Like the writers of Parks and Rec did with Rob Lowe after they realized that fans loved him as Chris Traeger. Also the OITNB season ended her with hooking-up (fingering-up?) with Nicky — which doesn’t seem like the sort of thing that writers would introduce if they wanted to start wrapping up her story line.
However if neither of these options are plausible reasons for her to leave, there has to be something else at play here. I’d now like to enter into evidence a Scientology conspiracy theory that I stumbled upon yesterday. As you may or may not know, Laura Prepon is a Scientologist. And as you may or may not know, Scientology isn’t really LGBT-friendly. All the way back in August, NewNowNext.com hypothesized that Scientology was making her leave the show because she played a lesbian on it. And while I’m clearly late to this party, I’m totally into it. We’re all well aware of the allegations that Scientology loves to control its celebrity clients. And that they’re constantly accused of being an all-around horrible organization that operates like they’re doing a neverending audition to play the villain in an Austin Powers movie. So it’s not totally out of left field that they pressured her to leave the show for their own reasons.
And if it’s true they did — which we’ll never find out for sure unless she pulls a Katie Holmes and goes rogue — they’re crossed the line for me. They can mess with the lives of John Travolta and Tom Cruise all they want, but they cannot mess with one of my favorite shows. Not in the same year that we lost 30 Rock, Matthew Crawley and Happy Endings.