Characters: Orange Is The New Black Staff
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Natalie "Fig" Figueroa
Played By: Alysia Reiner
The corrupt prison assistant warden ranking just below the as-yet-unseen warden. Figueroa claims to be a women's advocate for the prisoners but is generally unconcerned with them and refuses to get involved in their problems. Arrogant and condescending, she puts on a tough facade to disguise her own insecurities and somewhat fragile personality.
- Affably Evil: Oh boy, does she know how to turn on the charm.
- The Beard: It is revealed near the end of Season 2 that her husband was having an affair with his male staffer.
- The Chessmaster
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: of the rarer government variety. Not only is she embezzling money from Litchfield's budget on herself to buy luxury cars, but she seems to be actively suppressing any information about the various scandals going on in the prison from leaking out and leading to a larger investigation, probably to avoid being audited.
- She has Tricia's body cremated immediately after being discovered even though her death was from drug overdose rather than hanging.
- Has Pornstache merely suspended with pay after being caught in the act having sex with an inmate.
- Strongly tries to dissuade Bennett from filing a report after discovering drugs being smuggled into the prison.
- Desk Jockey: Caputo accuses her of being this, and he's right. She turns up for one day to let the inmates know they can see her whenever they want, then promptly disappears. She doesn't give a damn about a single one of them and doesn't interact with them, as such she has some of the least amount of screen time of all the other staff members.
- Establishing Character Moment: Fig is introduced showing a video to the new inmates about all the "exciting activities" taking place at Litchfield, like classes and yoga. She also tells them that she's "a true advocate for women" and is free anytime for them. She then takes her very large and expensive-looking purse and leaves, brushing off Daya's question.
- Hidden Depths: Despite her corruption and the horrible way she treats the inmates, Fig is shown to have an unhappy life married to a husband who doesn't want to sleep with her, secretly hoping for a baby, struggling with bulimia, and tirelessly enduring fundraising parties where people disrespect her.
- Humiliation Conga: The Season 2 finale fully punishes Fig for her misdeeds from earlier in the series. After catching her husband cheating on her with a male staffer, Fig is found by Caputo crying in her office. After briefly comforting her, Caputo reveals (with a thickly stacked folder in hand) that he has knowledge of her previous embezzlements and plans to tell on her to the warden. In an effort to dissuade him, Fig gives him a blowjob. However, she then finds out that he had given the information to the warden already, and Caputo subsequently takes her job.
- I Did What I Had to Do: Her corrupt practices and embezzlement directly harm the inmates, which she doesn't seem to care one whit about. She rationalizes this behavior as a way to fund her husband's state senate campaign, telling herself that he will fix the various issues with due process that lead to people getting sent to prison in the first place. And if you can keep people out of the system in the future, who the hell cares about the people that are already being screwed? How much she actually believes this is up to debate, of course.
- Iron Lady: Fig is stone-cold, but she perceives herself as needing to be to handle the demands of her job.
- Magic Skirt: In one scene, she's sitting on a desk, talking to someone, in a rather short skirt. It's digitally drawn over, likely for the actresses's modesty.
- Surrounded by Idiots: The demands of her job include dealing with the guards being repulsive and Caputo being inept as much as anything.
George "Pornstache" Mendez
"It doesn't matter what you do. It's the doin' that makes you dirty."
Played By: Pablo Schreiber
A corrupt, perverted and seemingly psychopathic prison guard who frequently abuses his authority. He seems to be the most ruthless of all the C Os
, and is seen sexually assaulting and humiliating the inmates at every opportunity. His personality can be both laughably exaggerated as well as frightening.
- Accidental Pun: Upon being asked whether homosexuals have appropriated mustaches as a gay symbol, Pornstache denies this, insisting that they're "for fucking men!"
- The Aggressive Drug Dealer: He's not ready to just let his little side business dry up.
- As the Good Book Says: Quotes Proverbs when Trisha is further stuck in his drug running schemes. Unlike most examples of this trope, Pronstache is definitely not religious or saintly.
- Beauty Inversion: Without the spiky hair and creepy black moustache, clean-shaven Pablo Schreiber in reality looks like he could make the cover for GQ magazine; fans of Mendez are repeatedly amazed at how little Schreiber resembles his on-screen character in real life.
- Dirty Guard: Mendez has been smuggling drugs into the prison for a while.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Given how eagerly he abuses his power and authority, it says a lot when even he believes that Healy throwing Piper into the SHU for dancing with Alex in a somewhat provocative manner was uncalled for.
- Girl-on-Girl Is Hot: Why he's not bothered by Alex and Piper's raunchy dancing in "Fucksgiving."
- Jerkass: Pornstache is the most hated guard in the entire prison due to his sadistic tendencies, corruption and needless cruelty.
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: His dressing-down of the judgmental, God-bothering Pennsatucky.
- Large Ham: He tears apart Piper and Miss Claudette's cube while humming 'In the Hall of the Mountain King'.
- Mean Character, Nice Actor: Pablo is pretty much pals with all of his cast mates and they only ever have positive things to say about him, both as an actor and a person in general.
- Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: According to the Canadian-born Pablo Schreiber his character George Mendez is a Texas native; an idea he came up with himself to further distinguish him from the other characters. Mendez's Texan accent is heavy at certain points, lighter at other points and sometimes disappears altogether.
- Politically Incorrect Villain: Zig-zagged. Despite being sexist, some of his views are more progressive than Bennett's; when the latter is shocked that Mendez is interested in having sex with Burset, Mendez casually tells him that he's a man of the present, not of the past.
- Pornstache: His namesake.
- Put on a Bus: At the end of Season 1, he's suspended for having sex with Daya. Fig hires him back a little over midway through Season 2, but he's sent off again a few episodes later when the staff finds out she's pregnant.
- Villainous Crush: On Daya.
Played By: Matt McGorry
A prison guard and former soldier who is in a secret relationship with Daya.
- Artificial Limbs: Has a prosthetic leg below his left knee.
- Beware the Nice Ones: John is generally a nice guy, but he has a tendency to abuse his authority when he gets stressed or upset.
- Ignored Confession: At Daya's urging, he tells Caputo he's the father of Daya's child after it was assumed to be Pornstache. Caputo refuses to take action because he doesn't want a scandal immediately after he assumes Fig's job.
- I Want to Be a Real Man: His issues with feeling emasculated tend to have bad consequences for the black inmates, as he takes it out on them when he has a Freak Out.
- Jerkass Fašade: Like Susan below, Bennett acts rather abrasively towards inmates as part of his job. However, his interactions with Daya are genuinely sweet.
- Noble Bigot with a Badge: Downplayed, but he expressed incredulous horror at Pornstache even considering having sex with Sophia (and the issue was very pointedly not with any of the consent or losing his job issues Bennett later runs into in his own relationship with Daya, if you know what I mean).
- Phony Veteran: Zig-zagged. He did serve in Afghanistan, but his prosthetic leg is not a war wound. He lost it in a dirty hot tub in Orlando.
Played By: Lauren Lapkus
A rookie prison guard, hired onto the prison staff during Piper's time at Litchfield. Fischer used to bag groceries at the store where Piper and Larry shopped, and recalls how Piper used to be a difficult customer. However she is friendly toward Piper, informing her that she does not think any less of her for being in prison, since the only difference between them is that Fischer didn't get caught making mistakes. Piper appreciates her kind words and convinces her to reopen the prison track. She displays a perpetually na´ve and cheerful demeanor, which endears some (especially Caputo) and irritates others. She struggles to come across as authoritative and strict, and her attempts to appear tough do not appear to intimidate any of the inmates at the slightest, who on occasion, even admonish Susan in return.
- Jerkass Fašade: Pushed into dehumanizing the inmates by Caputo due to her kindness towards them. Unfortunately, she picked the wrong day to play rough with Miss Claudette.
- Minion with an F in Evil: Not that the guards are evil for the most part but she seems too nice to be an effective guard
- Na´ve Newcomer: In the prison; she hasn't had the opportunity to become strict or apathetic like the other guards.
- Nice Girl: She's a genuinely sweet and thoughtful young woman.
- Oblivious to Love: She never seems to pick up on Caputo's crush on her. In Season 2, when he offers to get her off of work to come watch his band play on Valentine's Day, she misinterprets it as a group invitation and brings along some of the prison staff with her.
- Put on a Bus: Midway through Season 2, she tries to stand up to Caputo, pointing out that the more stringent policies he'd been enforcing could have harmful effects on the inmates. Caputo, frustrated at the abuse he'd been taking from his superiors and possibly spurned by Fischer's ignorance to his feelings, ends up firing her.
- Shrinking Violet: Fischer is too nervous and uncertain to impose any kind of authority in the prison.
Played By: Catherine Curtin
A prison guard, Bell is gruff and displays a general apathy to others. Nonetheless, she tends to be the most professional of the guards and takes her work seriously, especially the occasional visits from the Scared Straight program. During these visits, she displays a much deeper insight into individual inmates' histories and personalities than the other guards.
- Deadpan Snarker: Bell has a very dry sense of humor.
- Hidden Depths: Wanda shares a very tender scene with Scott O'Neil in which they discuss their relationship.
- Jerkass: She's pretty jaded and grumpy, but isn't openly sadistic like Mendez.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Wanda isn't the nicest woman in the world, but she's basically a decent person.
Played By: Joel Marsh Garland
An overweight and generally good-natured prison guard in a relationship with Wanda Bell. He is frequently shown eating, despite claiming to be on different fad diets.
- Big Fun: He's a big guy, and he's pretty damn fun and the inmates prefer him to the likes of Mendez or even Bell.
- Hidden Depths: O'Neill shares a very tender scene with Wanda Bell in which they discuss their relationship. He also wrote 300 words on Civil War memorabilia and is a decent banjolele player.
- A line he says to the nuns during the second seasons finale heavily implies that he resents Catholicism not just because he was punished a fair amount of times during his Catholic schooling, but also that his family's Catholicism trapped his parents in an unhappy marriage which caused him to suffer.
- Noodle Incident: When ordered to distract the nuns in the Season 2 finale, O'Neill implies through conversation that he'd suffered a fair amount of punishment from his superiors in Catholic school.
- Running Gag: He's always on some kind of new diet plan.
- Token Good Teammate: Of the guards, he's the nicest and therefore one of the more popular guards among the inmates.
Played By: Matt Peters
The sarcastic, uncaring and barely competent young prison guard who runs the electrical shop. He displays blatant racism, and generally doesn't care what the women in the shop do as long as they leave him alone, though he develops a friendship with Nichols. His method of teaching repairs tends to consist of handing his inmates a printed manual for the broken appliance and giving them a few minutes to read before sending them off.
- The Alcoholic: It's strongly implied that him coming into work drunk is a frequent occurrence. It's confirmed to spike his drinks within Litchfield in "Appropriately Sized Pots".
- Fat Bastard / Fat Idiot: Not fat exactly, but certainly tubby. He's also a idiotic jerk.
- Jerkass: He's a lazy racist who treats other people like a genuine inconvenience.
- The Load: Not only does he contribute nothing, he actually causes problems.
- Mr. Fixit: Although at no point is he ever actually shown to successfully fix anything.
- Punch Clock Villain: Luschek's main goal is to sit at the back of his shop and do as little work as possible with as little interaction with inmates as possible.
- Politically Incorrect Villain: Makes no attempt to hide his prejudices and flaunts them in front of the inmates.
Played By: Lolita Foster
A female prison guard, she is most often assigned to watch the gate to the prison, allowing approved vendors to deliver goods. While at the gate, she often spends her time reading science fiction books.
- Berserk Button: She does not like it when black inmates call her "sister."
- Meta Guy: Is quite amused by the Piper/Larry/Alex Love Triangle, and derails Pornstache's search for contraband in the vegetable truck.
Sounds like a horror movie, doesn't it? The Vegetable People? Like a giant celery serial killer, carrying a machete, or broccoli lightin' shit up with a flame-thrower. "Who's a smoothie, now, bitches?" (Pornstache has already left) ... Asshole. Shit's funny.
Played By: Brendan Burje
One of the more blunt and assertive correctional officers.
- Ascended Extra: Became more prominent as season 2 progressed. His main role still seems to be to round up the numbers when the more prominent guards are just one guy short of completing a scene's needs.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He orders a pregnant Daya to do 20 jumping jacks. Originally seems like one of the most left-field and sadistic Kick the Dog moments in the series, but it turns out it was actually good advice. His blunt delivery was not helpful.
Played By: Germar Terrell Gardner
One of the guards, he often escorts Morello and Rosa to Rosa's chemo appointments.
- Genre Savvy: Checks up on Morello and the van every hour, unlike Susan. Unbeknownst to him, this makes sure Morello doesn't repeat her little road trip.
- Oh, Crap: At the end of the finale.
- Wrong Genre Savvy: His checks on Morello do allow Rosa and Yusuf to carry out a "job", though.
Played By: Alan R Rodriguez
A Hispanic correctional officer. Frequently seen, but has had the least development so far.
- Flat Character: Even when compared to Donaldson and Ford, Gallego has gotten very little characterisation so far, except for making constant jokes about Hurricane Wanda and his colleague Wanda.
- Pungeon Master: His only trait so far.
Played By: Alan R Rodriguez
The prison nurse.