When season 7 of Orange Is the New Black picks up, tensions are as high as ever at Litchfield. While the riots are over, and many of the “bad guys” are completely gone, everyone is still dealing with the fallout from what’s happened inside the prison, and this means that Cindy (Adrienne C. Moore) and Taystee (Danielle Brooks) are still at odds with one another over telling the truth, and what it means when you don’t tell the truth. So yeah, you kind of need to recall what Cindy did to Taystee in OITNB season 6.
Well, it's a little less than direct. The death of Piscatella (Brad William Henke) is being pinned on Taystee, and Cindy has information that would free her friend from a life in prison. However, that information hasn't yet made its way into the right hands.
To really understand why these two are in the middle of a huge falling out, we've got to go back two seasons. Season 5 of the show took place over a few days inside the prison as a major riot broke out. During the riot, the Captain of the Guards, Piscatella, was killed. We (the viewers) know that it was a complete accident and he was killed by a rogue bullet by his own men; however, Cindy and Suzanne (Uzo Aduba) witness the guards carrying Piscatella's body and cover up his death to make it look like one of the inmates killed him in the riot.
Suzanne wants to come clean about this secret (mostly because she can’t keep a secret) and Cindy pleads with her to keep quiet. Cindy is later questioned about the riot, and the FBI tells her that her DNA was found on the gun used to kill Piscatella. In order to protect herself, Cindy explains that she took the gun from Taystee, and in the process of explaining this incriminates her friend. This leads Cindy to make a difficult choice, as she can either save herself or her friend, and Cindy is desperate to get released from prison so she can be a part of her daughter’s life. At the time, Cindy believes that Taystee will just take a plea deal, but Taystee knows she’s innocent and instead goes to trial — one that will force Cindy to testify against her friend.
This causes Cindy to have intense back pain for the rest of the season, brought on because she’s so stressed and anxious about testifying. At one point, it almost seems like Cindy will come clean about what she told the FBI about Taystee and Piscatella, but instead, she tells Taystee about her daughter, Monica (this tiny little tidbit is important for season 7, just trust me!).
Before Cindy takes the stand, she tells her lawyer the truth about Taystee to change her testimony. However, her lawyer tells her that it’s too late, and the position Cindy has put herself in now could wind up only hurting Taystee more and adding 10 years to her own sentence. In court, Cindy tells the jury that Taystee was the last one she saw holding the gun, implicating her friend in the murder. Cindy bursts into tears and their friendship is ruined as Taystee is found guilty.
It's unlikely that these women will ever be able to mend their broken friendship, but this final moment will be felt throughout the final season.