"The Chickening"Season 1, episode 5July 11, 2013
Laundry (former), van driver (former), builder (present)
NathanCharlie Coates (Correctional Officer)
Debbie Doggett (mother)
Laundry worker, Van driver
Piper Chapman, Sam Healy, Leanne Taylor, Carrie Black
Alex Vause, Charlie Coates, Abe
Taryn Manning, Oona Laurence
Piper Chapman, Suzanne "Crazy Eyes" Wa, Tasha "Taystee" Jefferson, Alex Vause, Nicky Nichols
Tiffany "Pennsatucky" Doggett is a fictional character in the Netflix series Orange Is the New Black, portrayed by Taryn Manning. Manning was offered the role without needing to audition. The character of Doggett is based on a real life prisoner; a "young woman from western Pennsylvania who proudly called herself a redneck". She is originally from Waynesboro, Virginia. Prior to her imprisonment, she is shown to be exchanging sexual favors for soda or money. Doggett is also known to have had five abortions. She is charged with shooting an abortion doctor and decides to hire a Christian lawyer; this leads to Doggett becoming a born-again Christian.
- Creation and casting
- Fictional background
- Season 1
- Season 2
- Season 3
- Season 4
- Critical commentary
Doggett makes her first appearance in the fifth episode of the first season and is initially an antagonist. In her debut episode, she unsuccessfully attempts to hang up a cross in the prison chapel and expresses homophobic views. She has conflict with Alex Vause and Piper Chapman throughout the first season. In the second season, Doggett's storyline revolves around her friendships with Sam Healy and Carrie "Big Boo" Black. This friendship with Big Boo continues into the third season. Big Boo comforts Doggett when she is feeling remorse for her abortions and when she is raped by a correctional officer. The character of Doggett has received mixed reviews from critics, though Manning's performance has received positive feedback.
Creation and casting
Tiffany Doggett's nickname "Pennsatucky" is derived from Pennsyltucky; a pejorative term for the people from the rural western and central parts of Pennsylvania. The author, Piper Kerman, of the book, Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women's Prison, which inspired Orange is the New Black describes the real life version of Pennsatucky as "a young woman from western Pennsylvania who proudly called herself a redneck". Kerman further describes her as someone addicted to crack cocaine and dealing with the loss of custody of her child.
Taryn Manning, already an established actress, did not have to audition for the role of Doggett and was offered it. Manning, when speaking about this to Joshua Rotter of Download.com, said that she immediately accepted the offer "I loved it and didn't need to look any further. I was sold." To prepare for the role, Manning did some research on faith healing and evangelistic ceremonies. She also states that her inspiration for Doggett at least partly comes from the White family in the 2009 documentary film The Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia. The only make-up that Manning wears for her role as Doggett, in the first season, is on her teeth to create the effect of receding gums and missing teeth. From the second season onwards, however, Doggett has false teeth in place and so the teeth seen are Manning's own.
Doggett is from Waynesboro, Virginia. After Doggett has her first period, her mother gives her advice about sex: "go on and let them [referring to men] do their business." This leads to her, later in life, to have sex with men in exchange for soda or money. Her perspective of sex changes when she meets Nathan. Jonathon Dornbush, of Entertainment Weekly writes "[Nathan] wants them both to enjoy the experience [of sex], and it opens Tiffany's perception of relationships." Nathan and his family move away, causing their relationship to end, and, almost immediately afterwards, Doggett is raped by an ex-boyfriend.
Doggett has had five abortions. After having her fifth abortion, which takes place at an abortion clinic in Fishersville, Virginia, the nurse remarks "we should give you a punch card, get the sixth one free." Doggett is so offended by this joke that she shoots the nurse with a shotgun. She agrees to have a Christian lawyer as it was likely to lead to a lighter sentence and her legal bills being paid for. Since she shot an abortion nurse, she became a 'hero' of the pro-life movement. Although her Christian faith was initially fake, at some point Doggett did become a Christian; this was confirmed by Manning in an interview. Manning describes Doggett's faith as "a hybrid of Christianity, Baptism, Presbyterian".
Doggett first appears in the fifth episode. She wishes to hang up a cross in Litchfield Penitentiary's chapel but is refused permission. She ignores this and hangs her cross up on a light fixture; this causes the entire fixture to fall down and hence damages the chapel's ceiling. She also displays transphobia; calling the transgender woman Sophia Burset (played by Laverne Cox) an 'abomination' and 'it' and blaming her for the damage to the chapel. Doggett has numerous clashes with Alex Vause (played by Laura Prepon); firstly Vause threatens to rape Doggett after growing tired of her complaining about Piper Chapman (played by Taylor Schilling); Doggett locks Vause in a dryer while she is helping Chapman to fix it and, lastly, Doggett snitches on Chapman and Vause for dancing provocatively with each other; resulting in Chapman being placed in solitary confinement.
Chapman and Vause get revenge on Doggett and trick her into believing that she has faith healing powers, eventually culminating in her being sent to the psychiatric ward. Although Chapman aids in Doggett's release from the psychiatric ward, Doggett still bears a grudge against her. Doggett's lawyer encourages her to evangelize to Chapman instead and this leads to Chapman 'converting' but then refusing to be baptized. Doggett sees this as disrespectful and expresses a wish to kill Chapman. The two have a confrontation at the end of the season's final episode. Doggett attacks Chapman with a shiv made from a wooden cross; Chapman throws Doggett to the ground and hits her repeatedly.
It is revealed in the third episode that Suzanne Warren (played by Uzo Aduba) is also involved in the fight at the end of season one. She punches Chapman in the face twice and knocks her unconscious (Doggett is already unconscious at this stage). This gives the impression that Doggett and Chapman were evenly matched and therefore equally responsible. Following Doggett's return to full health, she finds that her previous best friends, Leanne Taylor (played by Emma Myles) and Angie Rice (played by Julie Lake), no longer want to be associated with her. This leaves Doggett seeking prison counsellor Sam Healy (played by Michael J. Harney) for comfort.
Following her friendships with Taylor and Rice continuing to deteriorate, Doggett forms friendships with Healy and Carrie "Big Boo" Black (played by Lea DeLaria). Healy and Doggett unite to form "Safe Place", a therapy group where prisoners can share their feelings in a confidential and supportive environment. "Safe Place" is short-lived, however, and Healy decides to cancel the group indefinitely after Doggett fails to attend one of the sessions; when he investigates her reason for non-attendance, he finds her getting a hair cut from Burset. Doggett initially talks to Big Boo, an openly lesbian inmate, during a blackout in the prison as she believes that there is a secret 'gay agenda' and she believes that Big Boo will give her the answers that she is seeking. Doggett's physical appearance also changes in this season; she has white false teeth, neater hair and her skin looks smoother.
In the first episode, Big Boo and Doggett's friendship continues to develop. Seeing that Doggett bears strong feelings of guilt relating to the six abortions that she has had, Big Boo makes reference to the book Freakonomics, which suggests that crime rates in the 1990s fell because of Roe v. Wade. Following Lorna Morello (played by Yael Stone) being relieved of her duty of driving the prison van, the role is given to Doggett. She comes into contact with one of the new correctional officers called Charlie Coates (played by James McMenamin). Coates is initially friendly towards Doggett. Despite relationships between prison staff and prisoners being forbidden, Coates kisses Doggett, against her will, after feeding some ducks. Following another outing, Coates gets in trouble with his boss Joe Caputo (played by Nick Sandow) for being late for count and is placed on probation. Doggett apologises for having caused him trouble, and he rapes her in the back of the prison van.
When Big Boo learns of the rape, she encourages Doggett to take revenge on Coates by making him unconscious and then raping him with a broomstick. Whilst they successfully drug Coates, neither of them are willing to violate him with the broomstick. In order to end contact with Coates, Doggett fakes a seizure on her next outing with him and is declared unfit for driving a van. She is replaced as prison van driver by another inmate, Maritza Ramos (played by Diane Guerrero).
Not much is seen of Doggett in the beginning of season 4, but one episode shows that CO Coates tries to converse with Pennsatucky but she refuses to make contact with him, clearly showing that she is still affected by the rape.
Towards the middle of the season, it is shown that Coates finally apologizes to Doggett. Pennsatucky, clearly surprised and relieved, unwittingly forgives him and went on to tell Big Boo about what happened. Big Boo, still furious about the rape, tells Pennsatucky that he is a rapist no matter what, and tells her that she is stupid to forgive him, straining their friendship. Doggett then offers Big Boo candy as peace offering and told her she forgave Coates for her own sake, rekindling hers and Boo's friendship.
In "Toast Can Never Be Bread Again", as Doggett and Boo are assigned to cover the cafeteria for Poussey's body, Coates is also there to watch over the body. Pennsatucky asks Coates if he is alright after what happened in the protest and Poussey's death, but he is clearly shaken and disturbed. She tells Boo that she and Coates need to talk privately in the kitchen in order for her to comfort him, and Boo agreed reluctantly but threatens Coates if he did anything to Doggett while she is outside. Coates then tells Doggett that he needs to quit because he hates how awful the prison is becoming. She tells him she does not want him to go, since they are on good terms and likes talking to him despite about what happened. She kisses him, and Coates' abusive side begins to resurface again. He stops himself before he does and says that he really should be quitting. This time, Doggett silently agrees.
Doggett was widely perceived to have been the series' main antagonist in its first season. She was seen to be homophobic and racist; one Cosmopolitan critic described her as 'vile'. A critic for TV Insider described the first season Doggett as "terrifying, manipulative and so entirely unlikable" but also "hypnotic to watch". Horatia Harrod's review in the Daily Telegraph described Manning's portrayal of Doggett as "brilliantly unhinged". Other critics have praised the character, especially in the final episode of season one; calling her "fantastic", a "solid character" and "one of the best characters on the show". Some also felt that Manning's performance was worthy of an Emmy nomination.
Following the release of the first season of Orange is the New Black, Doggett received some criticism from different media. Writing for The American Conservative, B. D. McClay claimed that Doggett was a poor and inaccurate representation of American Christians; "Pennsatucky is such an aggressively terrible character" and "her faith is neither well-understood nor well-drawn". Laura Leonard of Christianity Today, supports Clay's view and goes further to say "it was frustrating to see this one painful narrative represent Christian faith on OITNB, a show that masters other aspects of the melting pot so well", speaking about Doggett's background story and conflict with Chapman. Two critics for The A.V. Club also gave negative reviews of Doggett; Todd VanDerWerff says that "Pennsatucky never really comes together as a character in the same way as some of the others on the show" and Myles McNutt opted to criticize the storyline of the final episode of the first season specifically, saying that it "[treats] her like a cartoon villain instead of a real character". Betsy Leondar-Wright accused the series' creators of classism and said that Doggett was an "outrageous Redneck stereotype".
Doggett's rape storyline in the third season garnered much reaction, both positive and negative. Jada Yuan of Vulture described the rape scenes (both the one in the flashback and the one involving correctional officer Coates) as "heartbreaking" and praised episode director Jesse Peretz's decision to keep the camera focused on Manning during the scenes. Megan Vick praised the 'transformation' of the character of Doggett, calling it "the season’s breakout storyline and performance". McNutt, who had been critical of Doggett in the first season, spoke positively about the rape storyline.
Marissa Higgins, writing for xoJane, contended that the show "didn't accomplish anything with their portrayal of sexual assault" and said that she disliked the way that the story ended with Doggett effectively quitting her job as van driver in order to avoid further contact with Coates. Emma Eisenberg, of Salon, criticized the scenes depicting Doggett growing up in Waynesboro as being "riddled with excessive Appalachian clichés". She went further by calling Doggett's mother unrealistic in her attitude towards sex: "the mothers I met [near Waynesboro] wanted their daughters to understand sex and to make informed choices". Eisenberg claimed that, therefore, Doggett's mother's speech about sex − "it’s like a bee sting, in and out, over before you knew it was happening" − was not representative of people in Waynesboro at that time. Chloe Stillwell completely disagreed with Eisenberg and insisted that the character of Doggett was realistic: "Eisenberg's argument completely misses the point that perhaps the show is trying to be as real as possible, and acknowledging that there are real life Pennsatuckies in this world isn't to disenfranchise Appalachia."