Unplanned pregnancies are never easy. Bringing a child into the world can redefine everything you thought you knew about the world, and for some people, that idea is just too much. Litchfield prison guard John Bennett from Orange is the New Black seemed to be ready to bring a child into the world, but things just didn't work out. After romantically courting, impregnating, and proposing to inmate Daya, Bennett seemed to have a sudden change of heart and left Litchfield Prison early in Season 3 and disappeared for the rest of the season. Bennett was one of the only likable employees in the entire prison and seemed to be a good guy, so why exactly did Bennett leave Daya and the baby?
From what it looks like, Bennett just got scared and left. After pledging to help raise Daya's child, Bennett visited Daya's mother's boyfriend Cesar to get an idea of what life would be like in the Diaz household for his baby. It turned out, Cesar was the last person who should be watching children, as he was fathering other children through affairs and threatening his step-children with gun violence. Although Cesar gifted Bennet a crib for his child, the kindness of the gift couldn't absolve Bennett of his fear. Bennett left the crib, which once served as Daya's crib, on the side of the road and drove off, never to be seen again (possibly).
While it's understandable why Bennett was so scared of bringing a child into that kind of world, it doesn't make it any less frustrating to see him run away from his problems instead of trying to face them head-on. Daya later gave birth to the child, who lived under Cesar's care until he was arrested at the end of Season 3. Now it's uncertain what happened to Bennett or his child with Daya, and Bennett may never know about how his only child's life turned out.
Prior to Bennett leaving, he and Daya seemed to have the healthiest relationship in Litchfield, which is admittedly a very low bar. However just because Daya and Bennett care about each other, doesn't mean that their relationship isn't complicated. Firstly, it's wildly inappropriate for a prisoner and a guard to enter a relationship, no matter how infatuated with each other they may be. Bennett could get in massive trouble for having sex with Daya, so she had sex with unstable prison guard George "Pornstache" Mendez to blame the pregnancy on him. In the same episode where Bennett left, there was a flashback to a moment during Bennett's time as a soldier where a grenade was thrown and he jumped away to save himself while another soldier jumped on the grenade to save everyone else.
Actor Matt McGorry commented on that side of Bennett to Vulture, saying, "[Bennett] wants to be the hero so bad, and he tries but falls short. It’s pretty tragic, but there is some part of me that thinks Bennett believes he was doing the better thing by leaving."
Hopefully, Bennett is able to find it in him to come back for Season 4 and make things right.
Images: JoJo Whilden/Netflix, Giphy