Orange Is the New Black Wiki
Orange Is the New Black Wiki

Marka Nichols is the mother of Nicky Nichols. She is portrayed by Patricia Kalember.


Marka seems to love Nicky, but a long history of her neglecting her daughter socially has left Nicky jaded and likely contributed, in part, to her heroin addiction. Marka largely ignored Nicky when she was a child and left her with maid Paloma instead. In a flashback in "WAC Pack", Nicky confronts her mother about how she left Nicky to live with a nanny whilst she moved in with her boyfriend, Paolo. According to Nicky in season five, she also drank while she was pregnant with her. As an adult, Marka plays a much bigger role in Nicky's life, often having to bail her out of jail or attempting to send her to rehab ("Empathy Is a Boner Killer")  She is shown to be more empathethic of Nicky and genuinely caring for her daughter, but the scars of Nicky's childhood neglect seems to have left an impression on Nicky's view of her mother, and Marka's frequent interventions are rendered too late to make an effect on her daughter.

Nicky says in "WAC Pack" that it has been four months since she had a visitor. Later, in "Piece of Shit", she never gets any visitors, which means that Marka no longer visits her in prison, possibly due to Nicky's hatred of her. 

In "Who Knows Better Than I", Nicky describes her mother to be a "classic narcissist", this then appears to be evident in Nicky's flashback, "I'm the Talking Ass", where Marka cares more about the fact she was humiliated by her daughter instead of her daughter's motive. It was also evident that she was very focused on the way she looked so much so she made Nicky take out Marka being a "role model" from her bat mitzvah speech as it "made it obvious she wasn't a model model."

Physical Appearance[]

Marka dresses affluently. She has blonde hair which is shoulder length and she has her ears pierced.


Before Nicky's incarceration[]

As a young child, despite not being present much, Nicky still loved Marka and made her a mother's day card and cake, Marka ignored this and asked her maid why Nicky wasn't dressed and ready to go have brunch instead. ("Mother's Day")

When Nicky was 13, and having her bat mitzvah, Marka took her shopping for her dress, but instead spent most of the time caring about what she would wear instead of her daughter, constantly flipping between two dresses. Marka makes Nicky edit her speech to be less funny and more serious, against Les Nichols' edits.

As Nicky performs her speech, she goes off script and begins humiliating her family in a humorous way. Nicky explains that her parents hate her and never listen to her, all while rolling it off with jokes.

After this, Marka and Les rebuke her. Marka tells Nicky she humiliated her in front of everyone she knew, and tells her to go to Les' house. Les tells Marka he doesn't want her. ("I'm the Talking Ass")

In a flashback, Marka is seen inside a hospital where Nicky has had open heart surgery due to bacterial endocarditis; a condition mostly seen in intravenous drug users. Nicky denies that she has been using, saying she had pneumonia which must have spread, which Marka disbelieves, saying they found traces of cocaine in her system. Nicky poignantly says she always misses her mother until her mother is there, and realises the mother she misses is likely someone she invented as a kid. She explains that what she wants from her mother is motherly behavior, like holding her or giving her sips of water, or "...anything". Marka leaves the room soon after. ("WAC Pack")

Marka and Nicky discuss the taxi crash incident she caused in the back of a cab. Nicky asks for bail money so she can get her friends out, but Marka tells her no. After Nicky claims that the legal system is crooked opposing drugs, Marka tells Nicky she cannot take the moral high ground. Nicky begins talking about how it being a year after her divorce is the reason that Marka is being stingy and how Nicky is going to be a better person by bailing her friends out of jail and tries to steal money from her mother's purse. Nicky takes a large wad of cash out to which Marka doesn't seem to object to. Marka offers Nicky her credit card but Nicky declines and watches Nicky get out of the car and walk off. It is revealed that the money was used for drugs instead.

With her lawyer, Nicky and Marka find Nicky could be given 5 to 10 years in prison. After Nicky rants Marka tries to get Nicky to calm down and tell her it is the best outcome she could receive. Nicky tries to blame her behavior on her mother. Marka rallies this and says she only tried to look out for her daughter but cannot do so anymore. ("Empathy Is a Boner Killer")

Memorable Quotes[]

"You have this unquenchable thirst to self destruct."
— Marka to Nicky Nichols
"I am no match for you. Only you can save yourself a this point, Nicky. So you can decide to take yourself on, or you can let this thing play out until it kills you."
— Marka to Nicky Nichols
"A bacterial infection in your heart, usually introduced from a dirty needle. They also found traces of cocaine in your blood which is a fun new choice for you."
— Marka explaining Nicky's health in hospital.



Flashback Character Navigation
Piper Chapman Celeste Chapman  •  Baggage Handler  •  Sara  •  Jessica
Alex Vause Jessica Wedge  •  Diane Vause  •  Sylvia  •  Fahri  •  Lee Burley  •  Kubra Balik
Tasha Jefferson Mia Jefferson  •  Kristen Holmes  •  Ms. Tendler
Claudette Pelage Josephine Baptiste  •  Odette
Desi Piscatella Wes Driscoll  •  Miguel Rosado
Yvonne Parker Rhonda  •  RJ
Norma Romano Mack Romano  •  Kirsa Rain  •  Silver Tree
Tiffany Doggett Abe  •  Nathan  •  Debbie Doggett
Suzanne Warren Grace Warren  •  Dylan  •  Brad
Joe Caputo Lisa
Sam Healy Margaret Healy  •  Dennis Healy  •  Ellen Murphy
Linda Ferguson Meggan
Mei Chang Sun Zhang  •  Deng Shi  •  Lin Chang  •  Mrs. Hu  •  Ling Fu
Poussey Washington Mrs. Washington  •  Franziska Mertensacker  •  Jürgen Mertensacker  •  Aliyah Jones
Carrie Black Marcia Black  •  Tracy  •  Mr. Black
Nicky Nichols Marka Nichols  •  Paloma
Alison Abdullah Sahar Abdullah  •  Hassan Abdullah  •  Farah Abdullah
Dayanara Diaz Stacy  •  Paolo  •  Claire
Gloria Mendoza Francisco  •  Arturo
Tricia Miller Allie
Frieda Berlin Lloyd Berlin
Janae Watson Bartholomew Watson  •  Layla Watson  •  Donte  •  Three-D
Brook Soso Mrs. Soso  •  Joshua Nicholson  •  Ethan  •  Oren
Jane Ingalls Sister Sheila  •  Sister Constance  •  Sister Mary Eunice
Maria Ruiz Jorge Ruiz  •  Arlenis  •  Sirena
Blanca Flores Millie
Galina Reznikov Ganya  •  Marina  •  Nadezhda  •  Sonya
Lolly Whitehill Ann-Marie
Maritza Ramos Edward Spencer  •  Tavi
Marisol Gonzales Theresa Gonzales  •  Willy  •  Arturo  •  Ian  •  Jason Anders  •  Cat
Leanne Taylor Mr. Taylor  •  Samuel  •  Zeke
Lorna Morello Stansie Morello  •  Giuseppe Morello  •  Tony  •  Jack
Cindy Hayes Lucas Hayes  •  Joy Hayes
Carol and Barbara Denning Debbie Denning
Madison Murphy Grace Campbell  •  Jessie Duray  •  Laura Patterson
Karla Córdova Benji Córdova  •  Abel Córdova
Shani Abboud Youssef Abboud  •  Alma Abboud