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Carol is rather uptight. She, like some of the rest of her family according to Piper, doesn't like to deal with serious issues when they are presented. This is shown when she comes to visit with Piper and does not like to discuss the fact that Piper is in prison at all.
She also seems to have the mindset that she and her family are better than most people, and is thus rather disappointed in the things her children do (e.g. the things for which Piper is incarcerated, her son's getting married at her mother-in-law's funeral). It is assumed that she is uncomfortable with the fact that Piper is bisexual; however, she is not unaccepting of it like her husband Bill is.
Carol is tall and blonde, similar to her daughter Piper and son Cal.
Before Piper's incarceration
Carol went to university where she fell in love with Bill Chapman. During a devastating hurricane, Carol found herself trapped in her dorm with several others. Bill paddled along the lawn to get to Carol's room just for Carol and volunteered to get them food. Out of all choice he brought her tinned corn.
Based on the photos of young Piper Chapman enjoying a bath in a sink and playing in her room, they lived like any other upper-middle class family.
When a young Piper presented evidence that Bill had been cheating on her after seeing him kissing a woman opposite the movie theater, Carol's reaction was to become angry with Piper for seeing an R-rated movie instead of acknowledging what her daughter saw during her theater trip and talking to her about it. When an upset Piper mentions this to her paternal grandmother, Celeste, Celeste asks if Piper had really expected any other reaction from her mother, to which Piper reluctactly agrees, "I guess not". This incident is shown to have shaped Piper's behavioral and moral patterns in the future.
When she realized her daughter was an ex-drug mule to an ex-lesbian lover she didn't outwardly display emotion, and instead asked questions to better understand the situation. However, this is likely more due to Carol's way of dealing with issues so as to appear respectable rather than a true acceptance of her daughter's behavior.
Carol visits Piper at prison and tells her to apologise to Polly Harper after the events of "The Chickening". Piper explains she has tried to but Polly won't hear it. Carol believes Piper is going mad. Carol again explains her disapproval of Alex Vause and her's relationship, and explains Piper is in prison because of Alex. Piper says she still committed a crime, which Carol responds with going on trial would have made Piper free. ("WAC Pack")
Carol and Cal are the only of Piper's family to visit her, causing Piper to question where her father may be, Cal and Carol explain that her grandmother, Celeste, has had an accident, and is injured. This shocks Piper. ("Low Self Esteem City")
After calling her several times, Carol finally answers her phone to Piper. Piper attempts to give Carol details about her furlough, but Carol stops her and says that Celeste has already died. ("Appropriately Sized Pots")
During Piper's release, Carol welcomes her back, and stands with her during the funeral for Celeste. She tells Piper to take on everyone's curiosity of her release with a smile, no matter how tedious. ("40 Oz. of Furlough")
Carol, Bill and Cal all visit Piper in prison. There is uncomfortable silence after Piper reveals Alex is her girlfriend. Carol remains silent. ("Finger in the Dyke")
Near the end of the season, Piper sees her outside and calls her. She tells her that while she never used to be afraid of dying, she is now that she has Alex. Carol shares with her a story from college of how she fell in love with Bill. Although she made a slightly homophobic comment, Piper said they were making progress. ("Tattoo You")
- "I'm glad you have someone like that."
- — Carol finally giving her blessing for Piper and Alex to be together. ("Tattoo You")
"I Wasn't Ready"
|Orange Is the New Black: Season One|
|"I Wasn't Ready":||"Tit Punch":||"Lesbian Request Denied":||"Imaginary Enemies":||"The Chickening":||"WAC Pack":||"Blood Donut":|
|"Moscow Mule":||"Fucksgiving":||"Bora Bora Bora":||"Tall Men with Feelings":||"Fool Me Once":||"Can't Fix Crazy":|
|Orange Is the New Black: Season Two|
|"Thirsty Bird":||"Looks Blue, Tastes Red":||"Hugs Can Be Deceiving":||"A Whole Other Hole":||"Low Self Esteem City":||"You Also Have a Pizza":||"Comic Sans":|
|"Appropriately Sized Pots":||"40 Oz. of Furlough":||"Little Mustachioed Shit":||"Take a Break From Your Values":||"It Was the Change":||"We Have Manners. We're Polite.":|
|Orange Is the New Black: Season Three|
|"Mother's Day":||"Bed Bugs and Beyond":||"Empathy Is a Boner Killer":||"Finger in the Dyke":||"Fake It Till You Fake It Some More":||"Ching Chong Chang":||"Tongue-Tied":|
|"Fear, and Other Smells":||"Where My Dreidel At":||"A Tittin' and a Hairin'":||"We Can Be Heroes":||"Don't Make Me Come Back There":||"Trust No Bitch":|
|Orange Is the New Black: Season Five|
|"Riot FOMO":||"Fuck, Marry, Frieda":||"Pissters!":||"Litchfield's Got Talent":||"Sing It, White Effie":||"Flaming Hot Cheetos, Literally":||"Full Bush, Half Snickers":|
|"Tied to the Tracks":||"The Tightening":||"The Reverse Midas Touch":||"Breaking the Fiberboard Ceiling":||"Tattoo You":||"Storm-y Weather":|