Season 2, Episode 9: The Leaving
Recap by Coops

Synopsis

In the servery, Shell welcomes lumpy Dawn back for another 3-month stretch, before giving Babs a hard time, calling her a "smug bitch" who needs "taking down a peg or two".

Zan sits with Babs, saying everyone is treating her like her illness is catching, and they won't talk about it. Babs comforts her, and then disappears when Dominic comes over. She's a quick learner!

At exercise, the Julies tell Josh not to worry, and explain that Crystal wanted to stay with Zandra. He is hurt and angry. Zan talks to Dom. He's glad she chose to stay at Larkhall, and when pain overcomes her, he helps her back inside. Shell is moved back up to Enhanced by Fenner [notice Britney Spears' Hit Me Baby One More Time was playing in the background *lol*]. Many of the girls enjoy Shell's "Babes" call - as Olga the Russian screw. Denny tells Zan she should give it a go, but when they are thinking of a name for her, she is unable to recall a word and her vision blurs.

Crystal returns from the block; she sees Josh, who is still angry. He leaves the engagement ring with her, saying it's no good to him and he's leaving Larkhall. She is still looking at it back in her bunk that night when Zan asks to come in with her, saying she doesn't want to die. Crystal tells her that it will be like leaving prison forever, and that God will take care of her. Zan recites a childhood prayer. *sob*

Next day as Dom is arriving, he looks up at Zan's window and they wave to each other. He comes to her room and she tells him how much he's helped her. Sometimes she daydreams about how things could have been, when she got out, maybe... She kisses him and he briefly returns the kiss, before saying sorry. Zan says "at least one of my dreams came true".

While the others go to breakfast, Shell ransacks Babs & Nikki's cell and finds Babs' diary. Babs catches her reading it but Shell refuses to return it.

At exercise Dom tells Nikki maybe Zan should have a different personal officer. She says it's more important for Zan to have a little love at the end, and that he shouldn't beat himself up about it. Babs tells Nikki that Shell has her diary, and she can't report her because it contains stuff about the screws. Nikki says Babs must take her on or she will make Babs' life hell.

Just before lockup the girls gather in the dorm and enjoy miniature bottles of alcohol supplied by Yvonne. Dominic comes in and spots one of the bottles, but ignores it and tells them they've got an hour. Shell starts stirring it again, saying Babs thinks Nikki just needs a nice young man. Nikki says her information is out of date; and makes Shell say where she got her info. Babs says that she was ignorant and didn't know them all then. The only person she hasn't changed her mind about is Shell, who is "a psychopath...cruel and spiteful". When Shell threatens Babs, Zan tells Shell to piss off. The party gets more raucous when Julie S gets a "Babes" caller who wants her to make sheep noises *lol*. In the midst of the jollity, Zan suffers a fatal fit.

Denny and Crystal clear Zan's things, which include a letter addressed to Crystal. At the memorial service, Babs is to play the organ, but when she lifts the lid "Your funeral next" is written on the keys in lipstick. Dominic brings baby Robbie and the whole wing attend.

Crystal reads Zan's letter:

"The good thing about knowing you're gonna die is that you get to say stuff that you wouldn't get away with if you were still alive. I can just picture you all sitting there - my mates, and all the screws. Old Bodybag, and Mr Fenner eyeing up all the women when he thinks the Gov's not looking. I want to say thanks to all my special mates for sticking by me. Denny, who ain't the brightest person in the world, but who always made me laugh. The 2 Julies, for being like a mum to me. Mr McAllister, I'm sure he won't mind me calling him Dominic, who stuck by me and got me off the smack. But most of all, Crystal, my best friend. She helped me not to be afraid of dying. Love you Crystal. I done a lot of bad things in my life that I ain't proud of, the best thing I ever did was have my baby, Robbie, but I even messed that up in the end. I'd like to hold him one last time, tell him how sorry I am and how much I love him, but I can't. I hope one day one of my mates can tell him instead. PS I want you to sing Kumbayah when you finish this. Not because I like it, but I remember how it used to drive old Bodybag mad when you sang it all the time."

So they do, even the screws join in.

New inmate Shaz arrives and is taken to the dorm by Di. She looks very young and weedy. She asks Di what the others are like. Di says "Crystal's got religion; and Denny - Denny's got charm." When Denny returns, Shell wants to stripsearch Shaz but Denny stands up to her. Next day Shell is gobsmacked to learn that Shaz is in for triple murder.

Julie J is depressed, saying that she missed her kids' growing up and that she has lost them. Julie S tells her to start from scratch, and have a baby.

Dr NoNo comes onto the wing and Crystal lays into him about Zandra and the others join in. She grabs him but Di holds her back. She spits in his face, saying he'll burn in hell. She is sent back down the block and left in tears.

Nikki again tells Babs to stand up to Shell, so she goes to her room and asks for her diary. Nikki waits outside. When Shell attacks Babs she cries out, but Nikki walks away. Shell makes the mistake of mentioning Babs' late husband, and she freaks, throwing Shell against the wall. Shell clutches her arm in pain while Babs takes her diary and leaves.

When Dominic leaves the building, he again looks up at the dorm window.

Awards

Top Dog of the Week
Babs. She showed her caring sharing side with Zandra, comforting her several times. And who wasn't cheering when she fronted up Shell and threw her against the wall?!

Crystal. For condemning Dr NoNo to hell and for spitting at him for good measure.

Twatting Twat of the week
Nikki - controversial to make her the TT but what the hell was she doing bailing on Babs like that? She may have had to face Shell alone for her own good - but psycho Dockley could have killed her!

Weedy Pigeon of the week
The late lamented Zan, who expired without uttering a single "twat" this series, and then brought a tear to everyone's eye with her posthumous letter to Crystal. At least she died laughing, bless her. Resurrecting the Larkhall Tabernacle Gospel Choir for one last rendition of Kumbaya was a masterstroke.

Spin Doctor of the week
Babs convinces the girls that she's not a strait-laced bigot and they turn on Shell.

Worst Girl of the week
Shell was trying her hardest to upset everyone but ended up isolated and on the floor again.

Best Line of the week
Julie S: Maybe we could have put that a bit better.

Julie S: It's vibrating!
Nikki: I've got to get me one of those!

[See what Helen's long absences are doing to her?]

Shell: Don't be a stranger now!
Nikki: Place won't be the same without ya!
[such sincerity *lol*]

Worst line of the week
They were all good!

Warring faction of the week
Babs and Shell - who gets more than she bargained for.

Sight of the week
The Julies in their face packs and rollers.

Shell doing Olga the bitch screw - quality accent *lol*

Fenner and Bodybag joining in with the rendition of 'Kumbayah' at the memorial service. Notice Nikki manages to retain her street cred by keeping her mouth firmly closed.

Larkhall Miracles and Mysteries
Why wasn't Helen at the memorial service? She always did her best for Zan, and was warmly welcomed back by her and Crystal in Ep6. The only possible reason is that we would have been so captivated by her reappearance that Zan's letter would have lost its impact.

How the hell did Shell get back on Enhanced and get her job in the kitchen back? It's only five minutes since she was threatening to get a knife and kill Fenner. But how apt that Britney Spears' Hit Me Baby One More Time was playing as Jim moved her up onto the 3s.

Not a single one liner from the old Bodybag - is this a record?

Nikki advises Babs that grassing on Shell would give her more problems - but she was happy to drop Shell in it about the graffiti in ep 6.

Shell is clearly suffering a sudden calcium deficiency... Fenner slapped her around good and proper and all she got was cuts and bruises... one little push from Barbara "don't know my own strength" Hunt and she's in plaster *lol*.

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