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Linda Ferguson is the new senior VP for MCC and the overall main antagonist of the series. She serves as a supporting antagonist in Season 4, an anti-villain in Season 5, a major antagonist in Season 6 and the main antagonist of Season 7. She is portrayed by Beth Dover.
Linda is manipulative and shown to be competent in her job at saving MCC money and is eager to climb the corporate ladder. She is shown to be cold and uncaring about the Litchfield prisoners' well-being, repeatedly putting the finances of Litchfield above all else. In season four, she stuns Caputo by forcing Crystal Burset off Caputo's property at gunpoint, after Crystal attempts to get information on her wife Sophia's status in the SHU. Linda also changes the classes for the prisoners that Caputo advocated for, from core skills classes like English and Math to vocational 'classes', which are later revealed to net free labor for MCC, under the guise of providing education. It is eventually revealed that she has never actually set foot in a real prison, despite the nature of her job because she didn't think it was necessary. When she is trapped in the Litchfield in Season 5, she is shocked at the prison's low standards of living and fits right in with the other inmates as Amelia Von Barlow. Her lighter side is seen when she begins a genuine relationship with Big Boo. This is cut short when Boo finds out that "Von Barlow" is actually Linda, and is then attacked and belittled by the angry inmates as revenge for playing a part in Litchfield's poor conditions. After a traumatic 3-day stay at FDC Cleveland in which her hair was shaved in a lice check, her personality drastically shifts, making a complete degradation from the prior season. In Season 6 and Season 7, Linda expresses high levels of apathy for the MCC's prisons, is greedy and corrupt to the core and a genuine sociopath. She only ever cares about the bottom line and shows no remorse when terminating Ward, allowing an extremely abusive and corrupt incompetent guard like Hellman to take the position of Warden.
Linda has dark hair cut into a bob and dark eyes with a slim figure. Usually wearing business clothes and high heels, although later seen in inmate scrubs in Season Five.
In "Look Out for Number One", Linda has her head shaved bald as a result of a lice outbreak in the Ohio correctional facility she was sent to after the riot. Later in the season, Linda is seen wearing a wig, while a close match to her original hair, it is still obvious it is a wig and not her hair. Season Six.
For a list of episodes featuring Linda's flashbacks, see here.
In college, Linda was desperate to fit into her sorority. She vows to do whatever it takes to uphold their name. At a party, the leader of her sorority, Meggan, is extremely drunk, and asks Linda to stand outside in the snow with her while she tries to pee. Linda becomes annoyed at waiting so long, as she is eager to get back to the man she was flirting with, and asks Meggan if she'll be fine alone. Linda leaves her and Meggan freezes to death in the snow. When giving her statement to police, Linda lies and does not reveal she was the last person to see Meggan alive. She later assumes leadership of the sorority, seemingly saddened by Meggan's death yet arguably not genuinely so ("Pissters!").
In "Tongue-Tied" she is mentioned briefly as 'Linda in Purchasing' by Caputo when he shows the kitchen staff the new pre-prepared food they have to serve the inmates.
Linda meets Caputo in an MCC meeting about what to do after the COs walked out. She proposes they hire returned veterans, as they are cheaper. Caputo becomes enamored with what he believes is efficiency and dedication to her job, but as time goes on, he realises Linda lacks empathy and personality. Linda eventually visits Litchfield for the first time in "Toast Can't Never Be Bread Again", to support Caputo as he makes his speech to news stations about the inmate death that occurred. She expresses mild annoyance when she spots bite marks on his ear, indicating possible unfaithfulness on his part. She is last seen using the bathroom in the prison. She hears the rioting inmates outside but shrugs it off.
After becoming trapped in a staff bathroom during the start of the riot, Piper and Alex find her after using the bathroom themselves. She follows them incessantly, scared to be left alone. She also reveals she overheard them talking about Alex's murder of Aydin Bayat, so they tell her to fabricate a backstory and put on inmate's clothing. Linda drifts from several different protectors, initially ditching Piper and Alex for Maria before eventually settling for Big Boo, with whom she develops a sexual relationship. ("Riot FOMO")
When the captured COs plan to rush the inmates, Caputo stops them at the last second when he sees Linda is with them. He appears to lose his affection for her when she does not score him highly in the prison talent show, and after speaking with Fig about how his education classes were turned into a chain gang. Boo and Linda are briefly separated when Piscatella kidnaps Boo. ("Pissters!")
Upon return, Boo and Linda shut down the bathroom so they can relax alone. Boo finds Linda's phone among her clothes and sees a photo of Linda and Caputo together. This leads to Boo realising that she is being used, whereupon she breaks up with her. Boo threatens to reveal her true identity to the inmates unless Linda transfers her $5000. Linda initially agrees but fails to follow through on the deal, so Boo outs her which results in abuse from other inmates. ("The Tightening")
Linda makes her way to the front of the prison where Taystee and Caputo are negotiating with Fig. She attempts to tell Fig that she works for MCC, but Caputo pretends she is a mentally ill patient who thinks she's in charge. Upon the arrival of the riot police, Linda is captured by them, along with the other inmates, despite her outcries to the SWAT officers. She again tries to reason with them outside, insisting she works for MCC, but Boo chimes in saying she works for MCC too, with Brandy, Helen, Pidge and Sankey joining in. The SWAT officer ignores them all, much to the amusement of the inmates. She asks Boo, "Are you fucking kidding me?" to which Boo replies "Oh, I'm sorry sweetheart. Wait a minute, did I say 'I'm sorry'? I meant go fuck yourself. Yeah, I get those confused sometimes", making Brandy and Sankey laugh. She is last seen being escorted onto a prison transport bus with the other prisoners at the end of Season Five. Once the inmates arrive at their new destination, Linda will most likely be released, as it will be revealed that she has no paperwork or criminal record. ("Storm-y Weather")
It is shown in the Season 6 trailer that Linda was transferred to the Maximum Security prison with the other Litchfield inmates and a guard is shaving her hair, much to Boo and Ouija’s amusement. She states that she was bullied by inmates here, and spent many weeks at the bad quality prison.
In “Look Out for Number One”, Linda is having her head shaved, after pleading to the nearby CO’s that she works for MCC, one CO saying he wouldn’t care if she was Princess Diana. Two more CO’s enter the area where the inmates are getting shaved and tell Linda that the warden is letting her go. She then tells the carefree CO that he is fired. Linda is later seen talking with Jack Pearson after putting her wig on. He apologizes and attempts to relate to her, but Linda shuts him down, saying that she gave him a middle-class basket and not a first-class basket because it’s missing the dragon fruit. She gives Jack the option of letting her sue MCC for $10 million plus pain and suffering charges and tell the press of her experience in prison or she could help him and get a promotion with triple the pay. When Jack says that the deal sounds unreasonable, Linda says that it’s sounds reasonable with the PR nightmare MCC is going through. The Linda that wanted change for the prisoners was gone.
In “Mischief Mischief”, Linda meets Fig so they can get off on the right foot. After Fig says that she had sex with Joe Caputo many times, Linda becomes jealous because she briefly dated Caputo before she was held hostage back at Litchfield Penitentiary. Linda then admits she wants to be a better senior VP but Fig becomes defensive, saying that they were missing another inmate from Litchfield, Tiffany Doggett, when the count was messed up because they were missing Mei Chang, who was hiding in a deer carcass, and Linda herself. Fig then leaves, welcoming Linda to her new job and that Joe has a specific taste in women.
Later on, Linda meets with Caputo to talk about Tasha Jefferson. Linda then admits that she doesn’t care and wants Caputo to suffer the way he made her suffer, and since he wanted to become the warden of the Maximum Security prison, Linda suggested that he go to Missouri State Penitentiary, but Caputo says that’s where all wardens are killed off. Linda then says that he can either take the job or he can go to court for neglecting her and letting her stay in prison even though she is a civilian.
She and Fig meet and discuss how to fix MCC's PR. Fig suggests that MCC uses PR students to do their work and call it an internship. Linda claims they did that as a team. She later orders Fig to send Taystee to Gen. Pop. to stop the Black Lives Matter's criticism. ("Changing Winds")
She arrives at AdSeg with Hopper and asks how much inmates could be put into a cell. She plans to use it to house four inmates per cell. She then sees Pennsatucky who blackmails her about Boo and her affair and moves her to Florida in exchange for her silence. ("Gordons")
Towards the end of Season 6, Caputo makes a deal with Sophia Burset for an early release if she sued MCC, but Linda arrives at the prison and asks Stefanovic why he has been visiting so many inmates. He sarcastically responds and she gets him to get Sophia Burset. She also offers her an early release if she doesn’t sue MCC and Linda even throws in $300,000 dollars for her, and Sophia accepts. ("Well This Took a Dark Turn")
Linda meets with Fig to discuss MCC's rebranding to PolyCon Corrections. She tells Fig to make sure there is a diverse variety of inmates and to make the CO's featured wear PolyCon baseball caps. She selects Jarod Young to be the main CO featured. When the video is completed, she shows Fig who is uninterested and states that the State of Conneticut will 'eat this up' because they 'love helping black people' but also because it 'makes them feel safe' according to her ("Double Trouble")
In “Be Free”, Linda reveals to an audience a detention center for illegal immigrants, which is coming soon, just after Blanca Flores was caught by ICE the day she was released. Caputo arrives at the convention and she gets mad at him before he runs to Fig.
- Joe Caputo (ex-boyfriend) - Joe and Linda start dating in Season Four. They don't get a chance to break up but drift apart when Caputo goes back to Fig, and Linda reveals her impersonal approach to the prison.
- Big Boo (ex-lover) - Linda becomes sexually involved with Boo, who acts as her protector from other inmates. Boo confides in Pennsatucky that she might even be falling in love. It even seems as if Linda genuinely likes Boo. However they break up when Linda's true identity as an MCC employee is revealed.
- Maria Ruiz (friend) - When being taken around Litchfield by Alex and Piper, Linda walks in to Maria. Maria states that she likes Linda's personality.
- Leanne Taylor
- Angie Rice
- Greg Hellman - She made him warden.
- Danny Pearson - Danny and Linda do not like each other; Danny often refers to Linda as the devil for unknown reasons. Their past is unknown.
- Piper Chapman - Piper becomes violent towards Linda when she tries to blackmail Alex with her knowledge of the dead body in the prison yard.
- Alex Vause
- Big Boo - After their breakup, Boo tells everyone Linda is an MCC employee.
- Stephanie Hapakuka
- Alana Dwight
- Rhea Boyle
- Pennsatucky (enemy) - Doggett becomes jealous of Linda because she feels that Linda is taking away her best friend, Boo.
- Jack Pearson
- Joe Caputo
- Natalie Figueroa
- Tamika Ward - She fires Tamika from being warden.
- "I'm Linda, I'm here to eat pasta and spend the night..."
- — Linda Ferguson
- "No, that's not even my department!"
- — Linda after getting assaulted by Stephanie Hapakuka on the weight of boots.
- "Hey, I purchased that baton!"
- — Linda to Janae after almost being hit with a baton.
- "I had to hide in the Poo to escape a Mexican mongoloid!"
- — Linda to Boo about locking herself in the Poo after being chased.
- "Your friend, the feral one? She’s mad at me. She thinks I stole you or something."
- — Linda to Boo explaining her bloodied nose from being hit by Pennsatucky.
|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 Four|
|"Work That Body for Me":||"Power Suit":||"(Don't) Say Anything":||"Doctor Psycho":||"We'll Always Have Baltimore":||"Piece of Shit":||"It Sounded Nicer in My Head":|
|"Friends in Low Places":||"Turn Table Turn":||"Bunny, Skull, Bunny, Skull":||"People Persons":||"The Animals":||"Toast Can't Never Be Bread Again":|
|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":|
|Orange Is the New Black: Season Six|
|"Who Knows Better Than I":||"Shitstorm Coming":||"Look Out for Number One":||"I'm the Talking Ass":||"Mischief Mischief":||"State of the Uterus":||"Changing Winds":|
|"Gordons":||"Break the String":||"Chocolate Chip Nookie":||"Well This Took a Dark Turn":||"Double Trouble":||"Be Free":|
|Orange Is the New Black: Season Seven|
|"Beginning of the End":||"Just Desserts":||"And Brown Is the New Orange":||"How to Do Life":||"Minority Deport":||"Trapped in an Elevator":||"Me as Well":|
|"Baker's Dozen":||"The Hidey Hole":||"The Thirteenth":||"God Bless America":||"The Big House":||"Here's Where We Get Off":|