C.O. Baxter Bayley (portrayed by Alan Aisenberg)–also referred to as “baby face,” “Gerber,” and “Michael Cera-looking sack of squid bits”–is one of the youngest guards hired by the MCC for Litchfield Penitentiary. Piper Chapman approaches him to help her smuggle the prison panties out to her brother to be shipped out in exchange for some unidentified sexual favor.
We learn that as a graduating senior, Bayley had trouble asserting himself and breaking any kinds of rules. When his friends coax him to climb the Litchfield water tower just outside of the prison, he questions the legality of their actions, and only through peer pressure does he smoke what is offered. When they’re caught on private property, Bayley begins freaking out about getting a record and being able to secure a job; however, he and his friends are let off with a warning, which reinstates his desire to be a good, law-abiding citizen.
But this doesn’t last long. The next time we see Bayley, he’s giving out free ice cream to pretty girls at his job (from which he is fired), to which he responds by egging his boss’ house in retaliation.
Bayley helps out for a few shipments until he backs out of the arrangement because of his conscience. He doesn’t want to risk his job and is uncomfortable with the anxiety it causes him every day. While Bayley is telling the truth, Stella Carlin convinces Piper that he is playing her to force her to hold up her end of the bargain.
To rectify the situation, Piper marches into the guard booth in the middle of the night to allow him to cash in the favor that Alex Vause promised when recruiting him; however, Stella steps in and threatens him into continuing to help them out, claiming that this will be the most interesting that will ever happen to him in his life.
Though Bayley does tend to try to walk on the “wild side,” season 4 proves that he struggles with being a good person and doing what is right versus what others expect of him. He is the first to run to Joe Caputo‘s office when it is discovered that the women of Litchfield are escaping through the hole in the fence. When Bayley advises Joel Luschek to clear out his mailbox to avoid annoying their new Captain of the Guards, Desi Piscatella, Luschek just laughs at him for his good-two-shoes attitude. Committed to his job and the mission of keeping the women of Litchfield safe, he voluntarily stays on prison grounds during the lockdown following the discovery of Aydin’s body parts in the garden because he “feel[s] like it’s an important night in the prison’s history,” seemingly wanting to be part of all the action.
While his job provides Bayley with a sense of pride and purpose, he increasingly finds that his colleagues take their orders and their job to the extreme to the point where the women’s humanity is overlook. Outraged when the women are prevented from using the bathroom during Piscatella‘s interrogations, the fact that women are often forced to soil themselves (as is Blanca Flores during her punishment in the cafeteria), as well as the inhumane conditions that the women are forced to weather, he begins to question the ramifications of holding his position as a Correctional Officer in Litchfield. Although he alerts Caputo to the fact that C.O. Thomas Humphrey goaded Maureen Kukudio and Suzanne “Crazy Eyes” Warren into fighting, he finds that he is not entirely exempt to the evil he reports.
His commitment to justice and human rights troubles Caputo, who warns him that “working here [in Litchfield] changes who you are.” When asked why he works at Litchfield (because he’s a good person), Bayley says that this is just a stepping stone to the next chapter in his life, but we understand that he does want to help people out.
Unfortunately his good intentions go sour in the cafeteria during the silent protest. When Warren is triggered by the sight of C.O. Humphrey and starts losing control, he tries to subdue her; however, Poussey Washington tries to intervene to help calm Warren down. Interpreting Washington’s intervention as a malicious assault from behind, he pins her to the ground, but is distracted by a flailing Warren and C.O. Artesian McCullough. Unfortunately, he doesn’t realize the impact of his weight and accidentally crushes Washington to death.
Following the incident, Bayley locks himself in a supply closet and has a hard time leaving the prison, still ignorant to the fact that he has in fact killed Washington. When he learns of her fate, however, he stumbles through the hallways, wanting to apologize to her friends and to explain himself. When Piper prevents him from doing so, however, he begs her to apologize for him and to tell them that it was an accident. It becomes clear that it will be very difficult for him to live with himself following these events.
Another C.O. drives Bayley back home, and on the way he tries to comfort the young guard, but he is inconsolable, despite the guard’s urges: “You just gotta get over it. You have to get over it.” The only thing on his mind is forgiveness from Washington’s friends.
The MCC aim to make Bayley look like a “loose canon” when it’s clear that they cannot make Washington into a deserving inmate, but when Caputo goes off script, it becomes clear that Caputo has forgiven Bayley and that he will not fire him, to the outrage and dismay of the prisoners.
It is unclear what season 5 and beyond hold for Bayley, but we can assume that Bayley will not return to Litchfield.