Season 2, Episode 7: The Setup
Recap by Coops

Synopsis

Team meeting time again, and Karen explains Helen's new job, and tells the POs that she has been promoted to Grade 4. We discover that Shell is on the hospital wing.

Fenner tries to get more money out of Yvonne for Charlie's private visits, but next day Yvonne produces the photos of Fenner on the golf course. He goes to slap her but she blocks him, and tells him that she wants out of Larkhall.

Bodybag unlocks Nikki and Bab's cell. Classic line follows. Hollamby: Alright, let's have you! Nikki: In your dreams love! Even Babs has to smile at that one. The pair seem to have worked out their differences.

At breakfast, Nikki is looking out for Helen, who is greeted warmly by Zan and Crystal.

"Hello."
"Do you want to come back to my place?"
[smirk from Helen who follows N back to her room. Babs watches with a smile]
"So come on, how come you're still on Basic? Have you not worked out yet how to be a good girl?"
"Oh you know me Helen, as long as my gob's open, I'm getting into trouble."
"Fenner?"
[N nods]
"Nikki just keep out of his way."
"Yeah I'll try. Look Helen, don't think I don't appreciate what you're trying to do for me. I've got more reason to get out of here than I've ever had. But the reality is, it's going to be 9 years before they let me out."
"Look, this job gives me access to the files on all the lifers here. That means your files; trial details, directions by the judge, updates on parole, everything."
"So?"
"So maybe I can find something that will get you out of here."
"Like a magic key?"
"Come on Nikki I'm serious."
"Helen I know what I'm missing. And I am not prepared to spend the next 9 years living in false hope, expecting to get out early..."
"It won't be false hope if we make it happen."
"Maybe I think I'm lucky."
"Lucky?"
"I'm locked up in here and I can still touch you."
[reaches out to H]
"No Nikki."
[H stands]
"Look, I know that I'm not the governor anymore, but you're still a prisoner - we still have to be careful."
"Yeah I know, I understand that."
"Look if there's anything in those files; a witness that wasn't brought forward, evidence that was left out, I'll find it."
"Thank you."
"I've got to go. I'll see you."
"See you."


On leaving the wing, Helen runs into Fenner, who goads her about Nikki. She tells him that Stubberfield is aware of her visit and letters. Ex-civil servant Babs has a job as cleaner and starts in the officers' room. Bodybag is her usual charming self, when Babs asks about joining the church, she says "A Christian? Shame you had to murder your husband then."

Zan is still struggling with headaches and blurred vision, and has a go at Di Barker - "you can pick my arse!" At evening wash she collapses and has a fit in the toilet and Di has to climb over to rescue her. Bodybag thinks Zan's still on drugs, and Crystal says, "It's not drugs, she's off them." "That's right, and I'm off chocolate fingers." *lol* Di is more sympathetic but they still spin Zan's cell, finding nothing.

Babs is still writing in her journal, and tells Nikki she intends to write a book about her experience when released. She has no family waiting for her, and Nikki is visibly moved when Barbara describes her love for her husband, calling him her soulmate. She says the loneliness is much worse punishment than prison could ever be. Nikki jokes that there'd better be nothing about her in the diary, and warns Babs to keep it to
herself. Babs looks concerned.

Fenner is gutted by Yvonne's manipulation, and when she starts showing Nikki photos of Charlie playing golf, he takes her to one side, saying that he can't get her out. She tells him they'll think of something.

Helen is working late in the library, reading Nikki's file. Her statement to the police shocks Helen, including "I'm glad the bastard's dead". She also finds the judge's note stating that Nikki should serve 10 years before being considered for parole. Karen interrupts her, offering a drink. Over a red wine in her office, she tells Helen she will give her any help she needs, and Helen warns her to watch Fenner.

Next day Karen talks to Fenner, but when he looks like confiding in her, Bodybag comes in. He just apologises - and actually looks sincere for once!

Zan is back on the wing, piss-tested clean of course. The doctor reckons it's just withdrawal symptoms. Fenner tells Bodybag that Charlie is dying and that Yvonne will need an escort to the hospital soon. That evening Zan is still in pain, and shouts at the wing to shut up, before collapsing.

Next day Yvonne tells Fenner that she intends to go out this afternoon after Lauren visits. Charlie will stop the cab en route and Yvonne will escape.

Helen comes to the library to see Nikki.

"I need to talk to you."
"Any time."
"Do you know how long you're gonna be in here, before anyone even thinks about reviewing your case?"
"What you talking about?"
"Ten years - that's the judge's decision. That's 9 more years, not until they set you free, but before anyone even considers it."
"Can't be!"
"Believe me, I've seen your files. And with your attitude in here, they could keep you in here for another 15 to 20 years."
"What?!"
"That's not the worst of it. Letting you go is up to the Home Secretary. Now you killed a police officer - it means that they might never let you out of here."
"Jesus. I said I was a hopeless case."
"You're not a hopeless case Nikki. It's just going to be difficult forming an appeal. Saw the statement you made to the police; you didn't do yourself any favours. The judge said it was cold-blooded murder. Is he right, is that what you are, a cold-blooded killer?"
"No of course I'm not."

[Di Barker comes in the room]

Nikki and Helen meet in the art room; they are straight into a kiss.

"It's alright, we're safe here, don't worry"
"It's not that."
"What is it, you gone off me then?"
"Nikki, sit down, I need to talk to you."
"Talking's what you do afterwards!"
"Please!"
"OK."
[they sit]
"So what do you want to talk about?"
"Us. What we're doing."
"What we're not doing, you mean."
"Nikki, I need you to understand. You've turned my life inside out. I thought I knew which way I was going, I was doing the job I wanted to do, I was committed to the man I loved. There's no signposts anymore. I don't know what to expect, except that it won't be normal."
"So what's normal?! A husband, a job, 2.4 kids?!"
"I wanted kids one day."
"You can still have them. There are ways. Oh look Helen, you're not abnormal, you're not normal, you're just you. You do what you want to do, what you feel."
"I wanna do what's best for both of us."
"And this is. But Helen, relationships need both people involved in them. Sometimes I feel like I'm on my own. I need to know that you're not just going through the motions."
"Don't worry, I'm not. Nikki, if I didn't feel the way I feel... I wouldn't be talking like this."


At visiting, Lauren is in tears, and tells Yvonne that it's for real. Charlie has been arrested and this time he's in real trouble. Lauren tells her she can't get her hands on the money and breaks down.

H&N are still holding each other in the art room.

"I've gotta go."
"Yeah sure."
"What is it, what's the matter?"
"You trying to get me out of here."
"I will get you out of here."
"It's great Helen, but you can't make it your job description."
"Can't I? Watch me!"
"I don't want you ruining your career over me."
"So what you gonna do, tell the governor I'm helping you formulate an appeal?! That's a new one."
"Don't want you getting into trouble."
"Look I'll make a deal with you - I won't get into trouble if you don't."
"You don't give up do you?"


They kiss again.

Fenner & Hollamby leave in a taxi with Yvonne. Di tells Crystal that Zan's been moved to hospital for tests. In the taxi, Yvonne says she doesn't feel well, and needs the toilet urgently. They pull over and go into a pub. While Bodybag is in the ladies with Yvonne, Fenner sees a newspaper - Charlie's arrest is on the front page. He realises that he's been had, and dashes into the loo to find Yvonne halfway out the window. Back in her cell, Fenner taunts her, saying that Charlie won't want a corruption charge on top of everything else. She puts on a tough front, but later we see her in tears.

Karen discovers the results of Zandra's tests. She looks grim. She meets Zan on her return to Larkhall, she's feeling better. Crystal and Nikki welcome Zan back, but Karen's face tells us that all is not well.

After hours, Helen goes into Karen's secretary's office, takes a file and starts photocopying papers. 

Awards

Top Dog of the Week
Fenner - looked down and out to Atkins for a while, but luck's on his side again and he returns triumphant.

Di Barker for being an all-round good egg and climbing into the toilet to rescue Zan; despite getting abuse from her earlier.

Twatting Twat of the week
Bodybag - she just won't let it lie will she? Larkhall's very own Poison Dwarf wins for all-round cynicism plus the really nasty comment to Babs.

Weedy Pigeon of the week
Yvonne - manipulates Fenner beautifully but to no avail, although even when her plans come crashing round her ears, she maintains her dignity and hard front.

Spin Doctor of the week
Babs has overcome her initial homophobia and she and Nikki share a moment about soul mates. Jury is still out on her diary though could it prove H&N's undoing?

Worst Girl of the week
Bad boy Fenner yet again. His taunting of our beloved Helen was really low.

Best Line of the week
Hollamby: Alright, let's have you!
Nikki: In your dreams love!

Nikki: Do you want to come back to my place?

Hollamby: Do you think I was born yesterday?
Yvonne: Not by the look of you, no.

Crystal: It's not drugs, she's off them.
BB: That's right, and I'm off chocolate fingers.


Worst line of the week
Yvonne's whole "sex on the beach" phone call to Charlie. Cringetastic!

Nikki: Talking's what you do afterwards. [You may be desperate for a shag love, but please... as a seduction line that leaves a lot to be desired]

Warring faction of the week
Atkins and Fenner; followed by Helen and Fenner. Not making many friends is he?

Sight of the week
Di getting a bunkup from Crystal to climb into the toilet cubicle while Bodybag flaps her hands ineffectually like a member of Steps in the "Tragedy" video.

Lauren Atkins in floods of tears - we preferred you looking cool in your leather jacket love.

H&N - bless 'em. Still no tongues, but hey this is ITV not C4.

Larkhall Miracles and Mysteries
Nikki's sentence is probably *the* great Larkhall mystery. According to her file photo (S2Ep2), she's been inside since May 97. Possibly the photo was taken when/if she was remanded in custody, which could be a year or more before trial. Or it was taken when Nikki arrived at Larkhall from another prison. However in tonight's episode, Helen reviewed Nikki's file, which included a note from the trial judge which was dated 1996! In addition, when Nikki's ex-girlfriend Trisha dumped her in BG1, she mentioned that she'd been waiting for 2 years. Yet Helen says "10 years...that's 9 more years...before anyone considers it." BG2 is set in c. Nov 99 - we know this from Ep5 - at least, that was the date on the blackboard when Tessa Spall had her photo taken on entry to Larkhall. The obvious explanation is that Larkhall's just in a time warp - after all, the week drags by soooo slowly until 9pm on a Tuesday *lol*.

Yvonne's still got access to the photos of Fenner accepting the bribe. If Charlie's really going down for a long stretch surely he'll be willing to take Fenner down with him? And how's Fenner going to get out of this one...unless he persuades Bodybag to say nothing, the attempted escape will be reported, and surely it'll come back at him. He should have checked that Charlie really was at the hospital.

What was Helen photocopying - and why? Good to see her getting chummy with Karen though, it might need both of them to deal with Fenner.

At the start of the episode, we saw the clip of Helen visiting Nikki last week - but Nikki speaks first, saying "Long time". This line wasn't in ep 6!

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