A&E

Was 60 Days In's Elevator Guy A Plant?

As even more fauxmates settle in at Clark County, some things just seem to good to be true.

My god, we're four episodes in and and we're still watching the so-called participants wend their way into what was clearly an ineffective program, while (as previously noted) the jail seems even worse than it was during the previous "investigation" into its malfunction.

Given what a horror show this jail continues to be, you'd think there'd be ample footage to entertain viewers eager to enjoy watching a bunch of bozos squirm in the grasp of our correctional system/learn more about the conditions those without bail face in this country. But apparently not, as three of our squad of plants aren't even in a cell block yet! But that doesn't mean there aren't any questions to ask.

How adorable is Dion?

A kid who says he's been studying criminal justice for the last six years, Dion's wide-eyed enthusiasm (on his cuffed ride to jail, he burbles that this is "kind of exciting research") belies his self-described hardscrabble background in Detroit.

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A&E

Once inside, you see Dion start to fold in a bit, as he says that on intake that jail is "real creepy" and acknowledges that he shouldn't smile at risk of seeming "sweet."

What's the deal with the F-Pod cell bank shoe ad?

As Ashleigh repeatedly attempted to reach Zac, my attention was drawn from the former "model" and toward what appears to be a wall-mounted advertisement for shoes -- available, perhaps, via their fabulous touch-screen commissary?

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A&E

To paraphrase Henry T. Ford, it appears that you can get any shoes you want in Clark County Jail, as long as they're white. On the plus side, they all seem to offer abundant cushioning, something that should appeal to Monalisa.

Which, speaking of...

Was CO Langford trying to set Monalisa up?

Monalisa's endless retelling of "The Princess and the Pea" continues this week, with her complaints to a correctional officer referred to by other inmates as "Langford" that her sleeping mat was little more than "green fabric." Langford helpfully tells her that she should just trade her mat with another inmate.

This is met with understandable derision by her roommates, because that idea is stupid. Who would trade their smooshy mat away to someone (even if that someone is deserving of sympathy for being "over 180 [lbs] and 40 [yrs]," per Monalisa) for a cushionless one?

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A&E

And now, a twist, as Langford appears to propose that Monalisa misbehave!

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The likeliest reason for this dumb remark is that standards for a CO at Clark County Jail are not high, and Langford is a moron. After all, who would make his job harder by formenting dispute? Then again, perhaps Langford is actually evil, and is attempting to start fights between inmates for reasons of malice or profit. Hey, that shit happens.

But then, a second twist! Langford returns with a bunch of mats, and gives one to Monalisa. As for her pain-causing piece of fabric?

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A&E

Monalisa seems unbothered by this. Lovely.

Was the elevator guy a plant?

Holding tank fauxmates Brian (attorney), Chris (brother in jail), and Dion are unaware of the others' participation in the program, but it JUST SO HAPPENS that they all end up in the same elevator up to Classification, joined by a cinematically weird actual inmate who just might be the real-life version of most of the characters Michael Rooker has played in his golden years. As our boys clutch their mats, Poor Man's Merle makes increasingly bizarre and loud pronouncements indicating his familiarity with the prison system, culminating in an ominous "get your game face on" as the doors to Classification open.

You could not have written this scene any better, which suggests to me that someone perhaps did -- or at least helped it along. It did not feel, shall we say...organic? Did we just watch this show plant a plant on the plants?

Garza, will you make Ryan the happiest man in the world?

Following a lengthy, multi-locational fistfight with fellow inmate Treshawn, Ryan's roommate/role model Garza's hand is hella fucked up. Garza is loath to seek medical attention, which sure is considerate -- after all, the COs' days didn't appear to have been interrupted to end the altercation, so why bother them over a little old broken hand? Fortunately, Ryan has an emergency medical background, and is there to help.

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In the position most people think of first when they worry about jail, Ryan appears to treat Garza's broken finger successfully, earning the respect of all his bunkmates. But before we can enjoy Ryan's approval-desperate glow, Maples is there to kill our buzz, saying that by earning his fellow inmates' respect via a favor, "it is only a matter of time before they are after another." Yeah, while you're down there, Ryan...

Will this season talk about race?

In an effort to illustrate what a difficult place Classification is, we linger on this bit of graffiti:

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A&E

As is frequently the case with this show, they don't comment on the racial implications of the image: according to the Anti-Defamation League,

1488 is a combination of two popular white supremacist numeric symbols. The first symbol is 14, which is shorthand for the "14 Words" slogan: "We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children." The second is 88, which stands for "Heil Hitler" (H being the 8th letter of the alphabet). Together, the numbers form a general endorsement of white supremacy and its beliefs.

The clover and the "666" are also reported white-supremacy signifiers. Does the lengthy shot of this image (which I first misread as "kill email," a sentiment I can actually get behind!) mean that this show will address racial conflict within the prison system, an issue that anyone who watched Season 1 of Orange Is The New Black knows is a thing?

After all, not only are we in jail, where divisions along racial lines abound, we're in Indiana! My native Hoosier state is still regularly home to shocking displays of bigotry on its streets, so it's no surprise to see that behind its bars. This year, will 60 Days In have the fortitude to go there?

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