The ladies of Litchfield have faced their fair share of scary prison bosses throughout the years, but the new season of Orange Is the New Black is doubling the trouble. Now that the inmates have moved out of their minimum security home into a dangerous new maximum security prison, they are also facing maximum-level threats in the form of Carol and Barbara Denning. So, who are Carol and Barbara on Orange Is the New Black Season 6, and how did these feuding sisters end up in prison in the first place? Here is what you need to know.
Spoiler alert: This post will discuss minor plot points throughout the first half of Orange Is the New Black Season 6. We do not actually meet Carol and Barbara until a few episodes into the new season, but their presence is felt right from the beginning in how Frieda reacts to her move to max. The first few episodes of the season focus solely on the 10 Litchfield inmates who were hiding out in the secret bunker at the end of the prison riot, as they are sequestered away from the maximum security prison's general population while investigators decide who will take the fall for the riot. Nobody is having a good time — Suzanne's psychoses return, Piper is a wreck over thoughts that Alex may have died, and both Taystee and Daya receive regular beatings from the guards — but the most shocking reaction is Frieda's, as she attempts to kill herself right away.
Soon, we learn why Frieda is so dead-set on killing herself rather than join the general population at max: She made two very powerful enemies here back in the day. In a flashback to the '80s, we see that a young Frieda was the right hand woman to Carol Denning, a quick-to-anger prisoner who turned a nook in the library into a drug business. But Carol had to compete with her sister Barbara Denning, who ran a competing drug business and hated her sister's guts. Ever the survivalist, Frieda recognized the dangerous feud and found a way out just as tensions were reaching a head: She reported the drug businesses to the warden and was transferred to Litchfield as a reward.
But now that Frieda is back, she knows that Carol and Barbara will try to kill her for her betrayal. We finally meet Carol and Barbara once the bunker inmates are introduced to the prison's general population. Barbara runs the D Block, although she is usually too high on drugs to really do too much, and Carol runs the rival C Block with a sharp tongue and sinister glare. The hatred between the two sisters has grown so powerful over the years that it has now turned the entire prison into a massive gang war, with C Block and D Block members finding any opportunity to attack one another.
Later in the season, we get to see Carol and Barbara killed their younger sister, which got them life in maximum security prison and really underlines just how ruthless both of the sisters are. Expect Carol and Barbara to be pulling the strings of all the major happenings this season.