Pennsatucky Being Raped In 'Orange Is The New Black' Season 3 Remains One Of Its Darkest Moments
Orange Is The New Black is full of interesting characters, but I always felt sort of “meh” about Tiffany Doggett, aka Pennsatucky. In the first two seasons, she was kind of like a cartoon — hopped up on her religious views, trying to stop any and all sins from coming into Litchfield. In Season 3, though, Orange Is The New Black and its writers opened the door for a peek inside Pennsatucky’s Appalachian upbringing, and it went into some pretty dark places for her. On the eve of Season 4, what happened to Pennsatucky on Season 3 of Orange Is The New Black?
Season 3 started with Pennsatucky as the new driver of the prison van — if you remember from Season 2, Morello lost those privileges when she “accidentally” let Miss Rosa steal the thing (oops). Pennsatucky is happy enough, especially when she strikes up a friendship with new CO Charlie Coates. One day, after he asks her to stop at a local donut shop to pick up his paycheck (I guess being a corrections officer doesn’t pay well if he has two jobs), Pennsatucky and Coates share some donuts, feed some ducks, and otherwise have a nice time that they probably shouldn’t be having. When Coates gets in trouble for returning to the prison late, he is put on probation, and he rapes Pennsatucky out of anger and frustration. The abuse keeps happening, and Pennsatucky is pretty much powerless to stop it. I mean, what is she going to do? He’s a CO.
When Big Boo notices the bruises on Pennsatucky’s wrists, she knows something is up, and she encourages Pennsatucky to get revenge. They concoct a plan to knock Coates out with sleeping pills and then violate him in revenge, but when the time comes, Pennsatucky can’t do it. Of the rape she says, "I don’t have rage. I’m just sad.” Pennsatucky then fakes a seizure to get out of van duty and away from Coates. Maritza Ramos is named the new van driver.
Orange Is The New Black does a wonderful job of humanizing these women. While technically they are in prison, Pennsatucky and Big Boo still have a moral compass and human emotion — something the show strives to point out. At the end of the day, they are still people with feelings and repercussions, and Pennsatucky realizes that hurting Coates won’t heal her. Actress Taryn Manning, who plays Pennsatucky, told Buzzfeed, “I think that was a moment of two people that are super radical in their ways of thinking and operating, who would typically probably do something really ugly, in fact. And I think that was a moment of, ‘Is this worth it?’”
So, what happens next for Pennsatucky? In Season 4, I see her dealing with her rape, but on a much larger scale. Maritza is the new driver, and there’s definitely a hint in there that Coates could use her as his next victim. What I’m hoping for? Pennsatucky warns Maritza and the two of them take him down, just not in the original vigilante style that Big Boo was hoping for. While we’ll have to stay tuned to see the next chapter in her saga, I hope that Pennsatucky can continue to grow and move past the horrible traumas she faced in Season 3.
Images: JoJo Whilden/Netflix; Giphy (2)