Danny Pearson (portrayed by Mike Birbiglia) is the director of human activity, Joe Caputo‘s new superior once Litchfield Penitentiary is privatized. While his title does not indicate any relationship to Natalie Figueroa‘s, Caputo discovers that Pearson is the new “fuckin’ warden,” although his position is technically parallel to his own.
We discover that Pearson works under his father for the MCC. Since he got this job as the result of nepotism, he feels out of place and especially jumpy when his father criticizes him at every turn. Pearson becomes more comfortable with his job once he begins to work more closely with Caputo, however.
When Pearson learns that Angie Rice was mistakenly released from prison due to an MCC computer system mix up, he tells Caputo that his job is at risk, to which Caputo threatens to go to the higher-ups of the MCC to threaten Pearson’s position. This threat compels Pearson to allow Caputo out to attempt to find Rice and bring her back to Litchfield. While Rice is being apprehended, Pearson steps into Caputo’s shoes and learns about the Time Hump Chronicles issue. He then makes the executive decision to suspend Berdie Rogers pending further investigation.
Caputo continues to appeal to Pearson, persuading him to talk to his father about protecting Sophia Burset following the hate crimes committed against her; however, Pearson’s father hauls her off to the SHU instead. When the two approach his father together, Pearson’s emotions get the best of him when he discovers that his father doesn’t give a damn about the prisons but about the company’s profit margin. Pearson quits on the spot, opening his position up to Caputo.
Although Pearson quit his job, he shows up at the Prison Conference to crash Linda Ferguson’s presentation and reveal the horrors that the MCC has inflicted upon Litchfield. However, he is quickly detained, but not until after he’s gotten Caputo’s attention. From their shared time in detainment, they arrange another private meeting where Caputo eventually gives him a photo of Sophia Burset in Maximum Security that he delivers to Crystal Burset, which helps to free Sophia.