Whilst on the surface she comes off as mature and rigid, Sister Ingalls is a very kind, well-spoken, and accepting individual. She has an upbeat personality and a good sense of humor whilst in prison; however, Ingalls's flashbacks reveal a self-centered narcissist, who is always chasing the limelight, often abusing her position in a crusade of self-promotion.
Season Two presents a complex background for Ingalls, who is revealed to be severely flawed. The self-interested nature that is revealed in flashbacks grounds the former nun and adds additional dimensions to a somewhat flat character. Ingalls's motives are questionable and she becomes a far more dynamic character through these revelations, in line with her fellow inmates.
Sister Ingalls is still religious, often using scripture and religious ideology when giving advice to other inmates. However, her interpretations of faith and dedication are not always in harmony with strict church dogma. As such, she is quoted as considering herself more of the Pope's "homie" than his "bitch". Yet she does not reveal her excommunication to other prisoners.
She is also willing to compromise her religious beliefs when it is of benefit to her, such as pretending to be jewish in order to receive Kosher meals.
She has a very open attitude, and tends to get along with people of all beliefs and backgrounds, as evidenced by her supportive friendship with fellow inmate Sophia Burset. Because of their religious differences, however, she is not well-liked by Pennsatucky, who became very religious after her incarceration.
Sister Ingalls has short, red hair and no obvious makeup, obeying Litchfield's regulations. She is seen more often with a religious medal than a cross, congruent with her Catholic faith.
For a list of episodes featuring Sister Ingalls' flashbacks, see here.
Sister Ingalls joined a convent as a young woman in the 1960s. Though dedicated to her service to the church, she is shown even then as having an open interpretation of her faith; going so far as to ask an older Sister when God would speak to her, as she had never felt his presence before.
She was first introduced to the pacifist movement when overhearing two fellow young nuns speaking about a rally in Washington DC to protest the Vietnam War. The three attend the rally, but are chastised for leaving the convent without permission. Sister Ingalls claims she "fell in with the bad nuns" and it helped to shape her personal views.
Continuing her work, Sister Ingalls became a very prolific activist. At some point, she published a ghost-written book called Nun Shall Pass, that detailed her work and her views on faith and religion. It was at this point she lost support of the church and faced excommunication.
She was eventually arrested and incarcerated for handcuffing herself to a flagpole at a nuclear testing facility as a form of protest ("Take a Break From Your Values").
Sister Ingalls is one of the inmates Piper meets on her first day at Litchfield. She is often seen associating with Red, Yoga Jones, Morello, and the other members of Red's "family" ("I Wasn't Ready").
Sister Ingalls starts a friendship with Sophia Burset, who first comes to her for her estrogen, but later begins to confide in her during a wake of marital and parenting problems.
After being forced to take a shower, Soso decides to start up a hunger strike. Sister Ingalls is one of the inmates who join the endeavor (along with Leanne Taylor, Angie Rice, and Yoga Jones). In the end, Soso and Ingalls are the ones left participating in the hunger strike.
Sister Ingalls goes on strike for so long that it begins to affect her health. She is sent to the medical wing and stays in a room with Red (who was put there after getting attacked by Vee). Her strike attracts the attention of several nuns from around the area, who are in turn also on strike against Litchfield in support of Sister Ingalls. In order to send the nuns away and avoid more trouble, Caputo talks Sister Ingalls into eating. He then walks her up the road to tell the nuns herself that the fast is over and they can go home. About halfway to the gate, Miss Rosa drives past them during her prison escape ("We Have Manners. We're Polite.").
Sister Ingalls returns from the medical wing around the same time as Red. The pair briefly bunk in the transfer cells (along with Anita DeMarco and Alex Vause) before going back to their permanent dorms ("Mother's Day").
She is the only non-jewish inmate to pass the rabbi's "jewish test" in order to continue to be allowed Kosher meals, due to her knowledge of the Old Testament ("Where My Dreidel At").
When Caputo calls all the inmates to meet in the chapel to dicuss the changes due to being bought by MCC, Sister Ingalls yells out asking about Sophia Burset's where abouts. She and Gloria Mendoza are concerned with getting Sophia out of the SHU, especially after Nicky Nichols tells them Sophia has been sent to medical. Crystal Burset tells them she can't win a lawsuit against MCC without a photo proving that Sophia is in the SHU, so Ingalls tries to get sent there herself. She is eventually sent there for hitting Gloria in the cafeteria, and hids a cell phone in a "very uncomfortable place." However she sneezes while getting ready to shower and the phone is discovered by a gaurd. Caputo takes the phone and Sister Ingalls is still in SHU as of the end of season four.
- "She married a man with a penis, I assume because she wanted to use it occasionally."
- — Sister Ingalls
- "Inside, you already have the PlayBoy body."
- — Sister Ingalls
- "I've masturbated."
- — Sister Ingalls
- "*Marisol flips her off* Jesus saw that."
- — Sister Ingalls
|Season One Appearances|
|"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"|
|Season Two Appearances|
|"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 Moustachioed Shit"|
|"Take a Break From Your Values"||"It Was The Change"||""|