The antagonists on Orange is the New Black this season were mainly the new correctional officers who continuously use their authority to take advantage of and abuse the inmates of Litchfield Penitentiary, a minimum security prison. There’s also a new group of Nazi sympathizers which Piper inadvertently starts through her “task force.”
The second to the last episode of the fourth season, “The Animals,” features a scene in the cafeteria that is arguably the most dramatic moment throughout the entire season. During the last 8 minutes of Season 4: Episode 12, we see Piscatella (correctional officer) abruptly opening a closet door where Red, (who is exhausted because of Piscatella) is trying to sleep. He pulls her out of the chair and takes her to the cafeteria where the rest of the inmates are eating. He then makes an announcement to the prisoners reminding them that they are criminals and that they deserve nothing. He proceeds to say “If I have to make an example of each and every one of you, to get this place back in order, well that will be my pleasure.” After his short speech, he shoves Red to the ground which results in a peaceful protest from the inmates who all stand on top of their lunch tables demanding the resignation of Piscatella.
Piscatella smirks, calls for backup, and orders the correctional officers there to round up all the inmates. Suzanne, who has mental health issues starts freaking out and banging on a table and Piscatella orders Bayley, one of the rookie correctional officers to take her to the psychiatric ward. Poussey grabs Bayley’s shoulder and tells him “just let me talk to her” but Bayley who is stressed out at the moment, pins Poussey face down to the ground as she struggles to breathe. He has his knee pressed against her back and his arm over her neck. Suzanne then tries to pull Bayley off of Poussey and at this point we see Poussey gasping for air. On the other side of the cafeteria, Jefferson becomes aware of this and screams out to Poussey. Piscatella pulls Suzanne away and Bayley continues to press his weight down on a now lifeless Poussey. But Bayley is not aware of the situation at all. One of the other correctional officers sees this and immediately pulls Bayley off of her. The entire cafeteria becomes aware of what just occurred and everyone grows silent as Jefferson falls to her knees next to Poussey’s body and begins to sob.
Earlier in the episode, there was a backstory on Bayley who is portrayed as a young and amiable guy who’s just trying to live his life. The episode was crafted in a way so that viewers would sympathize with both Poussey and Bayley. This scene was clearly a representation of the video recording showing Eric Garner’s death, which sparked national outrage.
What’s also important to note is that after Poussey’s death, the administration didn’t call the police until the following day. This is because the prison administration wanted to do a little digging to see if they can make Poussey appear like a vicious thug by finding a picture on her old social media accounts that makes her look like a gang banger. Which is also what many people said happened with Trayvon Martin. After not being able to find anything that would make her appear violent online, the administration then decided to somehow make Bayley look like a corrupt lone-wolf correctional officer.
What are your thoughts on Orange is the New Black mirroring several incidents of the Black Lives Matter Movement? Let us know below.