Season 2, Episode 5: Mistaken Identity
Recap by Coops


Another top episode, which starts with a prison van arriving in the yard. An older woman is seen screaming and banging on the van sides.

Hollamby and Di Barker are sent down to Reception. Fenner warns them that one of the new arrivals is "Mad" Tessa Spall, a lifer who bit the ear off a prison officer at her last prison. He tells them she is also HIV+. Hollamby and the others presume that the hysterical woman is Tessa, and take her straight down the block to be sedated. In fact she is first time inmate Barbara Hunt; Spall gets processed and put on the wing. Uh-oh!

Dominic tells Shell to attend the group therapy sessions, as it will give her a chance of getting back on Enhanced. Fenner agrees a plan to get a private visit for Yvonne and her husband, in return for cash. He tells her to be nicer to Bodybag so as to get her off her back.

Zan is still mooning around with a permanent headache. Dom is concerned and speaks to the doctor, who is totally unsympathetic, telling him that Zan refused a blood test when she saw him. Zan tries to score some jellies from Shell.

Fenner prepares the ground for Yvonne's visit, by telling her that her husband is suffering from liver cancer. She breaks down in front of the others at work (top acting from Linda Henry). He later tells her that no third parties are to be involved in the handover of the money.

Bodybag tells Karen Betts that Spall is one of the new arrivals; she is clearly shocked as she has dealt with her before. Shell is showing a bit more spirit this week, and decides to welcome the new girl to the wing, in her own inimitable style. When "Barbara" refuses to tell her what she is in for, Shell tells her she needs to learn some manners. Spall pins her up against the cell door with the tray at her throat. Nikki hears the commotion and interrupts, thinking Shell is bullying the new arrival. But she finds Shell cleaning up Tessa's spilt dinner.

Dom gives Nikki a letter - saying he thought he recognised the handwriting. He asks after Helen and she brushes him off. As he walks away she calls after him (by first name - very informal) and tells him she's fine. In the envelope is another postcard of bloody George Eliot (nil points for originality Helen) and on the back it says "Have VO. Will CU soon."

Betts has worked before with the therapist, Meg. She forewarns her about "hard nut" Dockley, saying "She's a nympho. Men mostly." She mentions Tessa Spall and Meg reacts, saying that Karen mustn't be alone with her for a second.

Bodybag comes to get Yvonne for her visit, and Yvonne says she knows a good lawyer who could make a claim for her industrial injury. Bodybag is interested when Yvonne mentions damages of 50,000. Di Barker shows Charlie Atkins into the side room where his wife is waiting.

At the group therapy session, Shell sets out to take the piss, but something Meg says hits home, although Denny walks out.

Dominic tries to talk to "Tessa" who is still hysterical on the block. Yvonne tells Charlie she is worried that he'll go with other women, but he says he won't. She tells him that Fenner wants to call the shots and can't be trusted, and Charlie says he needs putting in his place.

During exercise period "Barbara" asks Di Barker about her appointment with the Wing Governor. She knows that she is entitled to see her within 24 hours, and Di agrees to put a word in. "Barbara" goes up to Nikki who is working in the flower beds, and starts hassling her. Nikki tells her she's not interested, but "Barbara" kicks her viciously. When Nikki retaliates, the screws rush over and "Barbara" claims innocence. Fenner tells Nikki she's back on Basic.

At a team meeting Fenner suggests Atkins should be moved up a level. Bodybag backs him up, saying she thinks she's had an influence on her. Betts agrees that Nikki and Yvonne should do a straight swap. When Nikki is moved down she says to Shell, "Just back from holiday"! Yvonne apologises to Nikki but she says "It's not your fault Fenner's a complete bastard." Dominic suggests Nikki speaks to Betts about what happened but she says they'd rather believe the headcase, and that she wishes she'd not saved Dockley from a pasting. Already worried, Dom rushes off to the block.

Di Barker comes to get "Barbara" for her interview with Karen. She goes to her cell first, on the pretext of collecting her notebook, but she gets a syringe out and draws some blood from her arm. When Di shows her into Karen's office, Karen doesn't look up until they are alone, and immediately recognises Tessa Spall. When Karen goes for the phone, Spall threatens her with the needle.

Meanwhile Dominic asks the hysterical woman her name, and finally discovers she is Barbara Hunt. He returns to the wing to discover Spall is already with Karen.

Back in Karen's office, it is revealed that Betts was Spall's personal officer, and that Spall blames her for splitting her from her inmate girlfriend, Debbie. Karen explains that Debbie asked her to split them up, because she was scared of Tessa. Tessa says she was only looking after her, that she needed protecting.

Fenner bursts in but Karen convinces him that Spall is not joking. Tessa tells Fenner to open the gates for them and then hand over his keys. They make their way to the perimeter gate, where Karen claims she needs to collect her car keys. The guard at the lodge stalls them before handing over his own keys. He unlocks the gate, but Karen stalls her again. Fenner and Dominic appear with a fire hose which they turn on Tessa. Karen breaks free and Tessa is carried off to the block. Such drama!

Nikki returns to her new cell to find another set of possessions. She tells Bodybag that she's a lifer and doesn't share, but Bodybag says she'll have to learn to be sociable. Barbara is her new cellmate, and tells Nikki that she is claustrophobic. Nikki is not impressed with the new arrangements.

Zan faints in a heap on the cell floor. Denny fetches Dom and tells him that she's getting worse every day.

Fenner is on the golf course again. Charlie Atkins leaves an envelope in his club bag. Fenner is photographed checking and pocketing it. 


Top Dog of the Week
Hate to say it, but Fenner was the hero of the hour, rescuing Betts from Tessa's clutches.

Nikki shows her mettle when she goes to intervene in Shell's bullying; and although she resists the initial provocation, isn't going to let Spall's kick go unpunished, even though she ends up back on Basic. She also feels secure enough to reassure Dominic that Helen is fine.

Twatting Twat of the week
Hollamby for assuming hysterical Barbara Hunt was psychopathic Tessa Spall. Did the scary staring eyes not give it away?!

Shell suddenly regains some of her old spirit but picks the wrong candidate for a spot of bullying. Big mistake, huge.

Dodgy Dr Nicholson (aka Dr NoNo) who refuses to see Zan and is dismissive of Barbara Hunt's problems.

Weedy Pigeon of the week
New arrival and claustrophobic Barbara Hunt, who arrives in the tiny cubicle of the prison van, is dragged down the block and then forcibly tranquillised. We don't yet know what she's serving 3 years for, but sharing a cell with a lifer was probably not what she expected.

Spin Doctor of the week
Therapist Meg, who turns the therapy session from a piss-take by Shell into something that she starts to take seriously.

Worst Girl of the week
The one and only "Mad" Tessa Spall, whose head goes pop again. Or perhaps HMP Newby for palming her off to Larkhall. (Great performance from Helen Schlesinger - although you have to wonder what other parts she ever gets to play, with those scary eyes. Children's TV a speciality, perhaps *lol*).

Best Line of the week
Hollamby: Am I the only one fond of my two ears in this place?

Shell: I didn't get no sympathy when my Charlie died.
Denny: 'E was a canary.
[and you did wring his neck, she might have added.]

Shell: Cos he was a dog.
Meg: What, you mean he was ugly?
Shell: No, Alsatian.

Nikki: Just back from holiday.

Worst line of the week
Bodybag: And watch out, she's infected. [the caring, compassionate face of HM Prisons showing a rare understanding of HIV.]

Warring faction of the week
Spall & Karen of course.

Sight of the week
Dockley on her hands and knees cleaning up Tessa's spilt dinner. Definitely a first!

Larkhall Miracles & Mysteries
At reception, the escorting officer says that Barbara Hunt has the least baggage, i.e. just a handbag. After the photo, Tessa carries 2 plastic bags of belongings, yet Bodybag tells her she'll get some charity clothes until her own are sent in. Likewise Nikki seems to have acquired some extra stuff - in Ep 2 she only had 1 bag when shipped out, but on swapping cells with Yvonne, Dom has to give her a hand.

Helen's postcard says that she has a Visiting Order. But the prisoner has to send the VOs so Helen must have taken one or more with her when she left - obviously she was thinking ahead.

Nikki addressing Dominic by his first name - very informal. It has been suggested that it was because they were relating to each other as people, and not as inmate and screw. Either that or she's just being smugly cheeky.

Certain eagle-eyed viewers spotted Nikki's hair - in the scene where Nikki goes into her new cell after having a go at Fenner, her hair is DEFINITELY shorter. It's down over her eyes when she's outside her cell, and a good deal higher above her eyes when she's in her cell. Nothing gets past us you know!

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