For the fourth season of Orange Is the New Black, Spencer Kornhaber and Sophie Gilbert are discussing the series via recaps, taking turns to analyze one episode at a time. Spoilers abound; don’t read further than you’ve watched.
Episode four, “Doctor Psycho”
Read the review of the previous episode here.
Ugh, Sam Healy. His comic book equivalent, Luschek and Judy agree, is Wonder Woman’s Dr. Psycho: “Oh! Oh! Oh! The one who hates women.” But his defining trait, I’d argue, even more than misogyny, is pettiness. It’s what prompted him to tell Caputo that Judy had been “hanging out with some unsavory types.” (“Hard to avoid in prison,” Caputo sagely countered.) And it’s what compelled him to force Judy into staging a cooking class for the inmates even when she told him she’d really rather not, all things being equal. The idea that someone like him—with such virulent mistrust of women, and who takes such vast pleasure in tiny acts of totalitarianism—could be a counselor to some of the most vulnerable women in society beggars belief; it’s also (as history attests) completely plausible.
There was more backstory on Healy’s mommy issues in this episode. In season three, it was revealed that his mother suffered from mental illness, was occasionally abusive, and underwent electroshock therapy. In “Doctor Psycho,” we learned that she suffered from delusions, saw angels, and “people in the wall, and sometimes Roy Orbison,” that she hated the way her treatments made her feel, and that she ran away from her family in the middle of the night after making little Sam deviled eggs and orange juice. Later, grown-up Healy thought he saw her sitting in a doorway after a bad date at the movies, but it was another woman, whom he begged to stay with him all the same.