Pennsatucky gets a crazy CO boyfriend
In season 3, Tiffany Doggett gets van duty after Lorna Morello’s privileges are revoked, because of the Miss Rosa situation. Doggett is starting to shape up into a decent human being after the events of the previous seasons, and her fellow inmates even acknowledge this by not calling her “Pennsatucky” anymore. In the midst of Doggett’s work, a new CO comes into the picture and becomes her friend.
His name is Charlie Coates (James McMenamin) and the two quickly become friends. In fact, their friendship blooms into a romance quickly thereafter. Doggett has a tepid reaction to his affections, and we learn in flashbacks that she is a victim of rape. There was one relationship in her past that was actually healthy, and that was the only time a man treated her with respect sexually and otherwise.
Surprisingly, CO Coates does not take kindly to Doggett’s reluctance and starts forcing himself on her when they are alone. When Big Boo confronts Doggett about it, Doggett blames herself for the whole affair, for giving off the wrong signals, and insisting that he is not at fault.
This is one of those moments in OITNB or any show that well illuminates and educates viewers of sensitive subjects like rape. While other shows can be ham-handed about this sort of thing, this show handles such an intensely violating experience with grace and dignity. Taryn Manning also nails her performance as Doggett in these moments. This is a huge turning point for her character.