Berdie Rogers (portrayed by Marsha Stephanie Blake), a former foster care system social worker, is one of the new counselors that was hired when the MCC privatized Litchfield Penitentiary, which makes her virtually the only beneficial result of the prison’s transformation. She is the counselor assigned to Alex Vause, and she later takes on Brook Soso upon her request. She has her Master’s in Psychology and is making waves behind bars.
In attempt to provide services to a wider range of inmates than those assigned to her care, Berdie decides to begin drama class. When Officer Sam Healy catches wind of this, he tries to discourage her from having high hopes, seeing as his “Safe Place” group was a flop even when a free shot off of one’s record was offered. Much to his dismay, the inmates are incredibly enthusiastic to work with the new female counselor.
What makes Berdie special is the fact that she relates to the inmates as people. She encourages them to express their feelings through writing and acting, and this earns her profound respect and renown from all but Officer Healy. However, when he hears about Suzanne “Crazy Eyes” Warren‘s pornographic play that was supposedly written for Berdie’s drama class, she is “in violation” of the sexual harassment seminar, and she is accused of fostering “inappropriate relationships” with inmates, acting like she “owns” the place, and comes in every week “with a different hairstyle.” Furthermore, Healy believes that her class is a “festering incubator of deviance.” The Time Hump Chronicles issue forces her to go on temporary leave pending an MCC investigation.
Despite her short stint in power, she calls out Healy on his misogynistic racist bullshit and declares, “I’ll be back because I am good at what I do.”
We can only hope for the fulfillment of these words. Berdie Rogers is the only beam of sunshine that has been allowed to shine upon Litchfield for a long time. In season four, if she does not return, we can expect the majority of inmates to lose faith in the prison system (if they have not already) and perhaps act out, for nobody but Berdie actually listens to them.