Orange Is the New Black's Suzanne Warren has a tragic backstory with mental health disorders and deserves none of the stigma she faces
Suzanne "Crazy Eyes" Warren will be playing a very crucial role in season seven of 'Orange Is the New Black'. Here's everything about Suzanne and the tragic backstory that led her to prison
Litchfield Penitentiary, a fictional prison where the inmates of 'Orange Is the New Black' are locked up is a melting pot for several stories. The story of Suzanne "Crazy Eyes" Warren is unarguably one of the most tragic and gut-wrenching of all — right from her reason for landing behind bars to her treatment or rather mistreatment by her fellow inmates.
When we are first introduced to Suzanne, we see a violent and downright scary person with mental health issues. She pursues Piper (the protagonist of the show) relentlessly to become her prison wife. When Piper turns her down, Suzanne pees near Piper's bed. Eventually, we see a mellow side of Suzanne, when she gets comfortable with people, she lets them in and freely exposes her vulnerability. This trait of hers often leads to people taking advantage of her trusting nature to their own benefit, in turn hurting Suzanne.
For instance, in season one, we can clearly see that all Suzanne wants is to be loved and accepted. When she finds that in fellow inmate Vee, she takes to Vee very strongly and Vee manipulates Suzanne into becoming her muscle. So when Vee attacks Red, she convinces Suzanne that she did it. A rather confused Suzanne readily accepts Vee’s allegations and takes the hit for Vee and gets sent to the psych ward.
Suzanne's tragic back story highlights the plight of people with mental health issues in the outside world, where little to no support system is available. She is shown as working in a large supermarket as a greeter and is very good at her job. She bonds with customers extremely well, to the extent of winning the employee of the month.
Suzanne goes home to share the good news with her sister, who is about to leave the town for the weekend with her boyfriend. This scares Suzanne, as she has never lived by herself, but agrees to it for her sister's sake. Later Suzanne goes to the park to pass time. There she meets a little boy who she knows from work. She brings him back home (with no bad intents whatsoever), and they both play video games, share snacks, and all seemed to be going well until Suzanne announces that the boy must stay over the weekend with her.
This scares him and he immediately calls the police when Suzanne steps aside to find some more play toys. When she returns to find the boy on phone with police, she shouts at him saying the police is to be contacted only in case of emergencies. The little boy runs away from her and tries to escape through the fire escape and when Suzanne tries to pull him back, he slips and falls to his death.
We see the broken public health system in prisons when Suzanne doesn't get access to her medication due to a delay in supply. This leads to her having severe delusions and hallucinations. The role of Suzanne highlights the tragedy of a person suffering from mental health disorders and the stigma and ostracization that comes with it. Uzo Aduba who plays Suzanne has won two Emmy awards for her role.
We can’t wait to watch the upcoming season to see what is in store for Suzanne. Suzanne will be playing a pivotal role this season. Taystee (her fellow inmate and close friend) is falsely accused of killing officer Piscatella and her time is extended. Taystee's friend Cindy and Suzanne are the only ones who witnessed what really happened to Piscatella, but Cindy testifies against Taystee to get an early release, so this puts the onus on Suzanne to save Taystee. Will Suzanne be able to save Taystee? Will her statements be considered in view of her mental health issues? Make sure you watch the new season of 'Orange Is the New Black', premiering on July 26 on Netflix, to know the fate of Suzanne and Taystee.