Mariel Loveland
June 16, 2017 1:42 pm

The inmates at Litchfield Penitentiary in Orange Is the New Black have repeatedly been tormented by Desi Piscatella, who only grows more and more evil in the show’s fifth season — as if that were even possible.

Played by Brad William Henke, Piscatella is a modern-day boogie man — an unstoppable beast against whom the prisoners are seemingly powerless. You’d be hard-pressed to find a single OITNB fan who has sympathy for Piscatella after watching the current season, but that almost wasn’t the case.

In an interview with Vulture, Henke revealed that there’s a deleted scene that may have actually made us somewhat sympathetic toward Piscatella.

Warning: Spoilers below, for those who haven’t already binge-watched Season 5!

We already know Piscatella, a gay character, developed some of his rage because his mother sent him to conversion camp when he was a child, which obviously didn’t work. And in Season 5, we see his sexuality further explored. When Piscatella was a young guard working his first job at a maximum-security prison, he fell in love with one of the male inmates. His lover was brutally assaulted when an inmate found out about their relationship of sorts, and Piscatella burned the inmate who attacked him to death.

There’s one key scene with Piscatella’s former lover that explains how betrayal is a common theme in his life, and turned him into a cold-hearted killer. Piscatella and his lover each had their initials tattooed on each other’s wrists. When Piscatella’s lover gets beat up, he reaches down and his lover’s tattoo smears.

The inmate had only pretended to have his initials permanently on his skin.

“And I swore that I would never let my guard down again. That’s why I have to be a hard-ass, keep structure, and can’t be friendly with one person and not with another. I feel responsible.”

We’re still mulling over whether this would have changed our feelings about Piscatella, but the reveal certainly does add an interesting perspective.

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