Season 3, Episode 11: Battle Lines
Recap by Filbertfox


Questions for this week...

1. Will Helen ever get the peanut butter and raspberry jam marks out of her underwear??
2. Now that Nikki is Larkhall's answer to Deidre Barlow, will she go the whole hog and invest in a dodgy perm and huge specs??
3. Will Dawn be offered a contract with the 'Roly-Polys'??

Well, one thing's for sure...this week sees the return of Bodybag, will she be humbled after her trauma at the hands of Shell, Denny and their 'Barbecue a Bobby' routine? Or will she be at her 'face like a busted arsehole' type best??

The trailers have looked brilliant this week...inmates rioting, Nikki stropping, Bodybag flapping, Helen losing her temper and Yvonne letting fly with her fists. Could we be in for a good 'un???

Oh, forgot...just before I start, I've got a new theme for this week...every time you see this symbol...

You should do the following...

1. Hold your arms out in front of you.
2. Make circular motions, a la 'Ricki Lake'.
3. Repeat the phrase I give you out loud.

Don't'll get into the flow...just a little something just in case I start getting bored!!!

Right, I suppose I'd better get started...

Yeeee Haaaa!!! Bodybag's back in town!! She and Gina are shown arriving for their shift...Gina is surprised that ye olde rotund didn't take another week off, but Bodybag does her martyr routine...

Bodybag : Doctor's orders and a half finished Danielle Steele says I should...Bobby thinks I'm a fool, but...(Martyred sigh) call it a sense of duty.

Gina then drops the bombshell that Helen's been made the new number one and BB is more than a little dismissive...

Bodybag : It's amazing what a few right words whispered in the right ear get you!

By the way, Helen Fonzarelli (coz of the ever present leather jacket, innit?? Hold on actually, if she brought the 'Stewart quiff' back too she'd be able to really get into character!!) is approaching in the background...she immediately wins Bodybag over by making her acting Principal Officer whilst Dick Dastardly is off on holiday...Christ!! Brilliant choice there Helen, rather like putting a rabid wolf in charge of a flock of sheep isn't it??? Anyway, turns out that Bodybag's gonna have her work cut out for her because not only are Dastardly and Muttley on holiday, Di Barking is off on compassionate leave - turns out that her mother is in hospital after taking a Fenner didn't turn her in then??

It's breakfast time on the wing, and we've got another new inmate, a Nigerian by the name of Femi who's in for drug smuggling...poor sod can't speak any English either (despite English being the national language of Nigeria) and is further hampered by her religion (Muslim??) which means that she can't eat much of the prison Dawn another chance for a line though…

Dawn : Egg?? Yeah??...Just egg??

Femi moves down the queue and the Julies serve her with some seems that they're concerned about her dietary requirements too...

Julie S : We're gonna cook you some grub you can eat tonight love.
Julie J : Yeah...only we've got no yams...
Julie S : So they're gonna use 'Smash' instead.

LMAO!!! Don't you just love 'em???

Anyway, turns out that the Julies aren't the only ones concerned about Femi...our very own lesbian avenger has decided that she's going to fight for Femi's rights...turns out that the poor woman also has six kids back home in Nigeria...Yet another personality switch for Nikki...I'm beginning to think she has different heads like Worzel Gummidge - last series she had her 'Keep your head down' head on, and this series we've already had the 'Kevin the Teenager', 'Flirt with Yvonne', 'Valerie Singleton', 'Velma from Scooby Doo', 'Deidre Barlow', 'Vulnerable optimism'...phew!! And now, the 'St Nikki of Arc'!! No wonder the poor woman hasn't even got enough time to get rid of that ghastly footballer's mullet!!

During this encounter, the Peckham Boot Gang (Maxine Purvis, Tina Purvis and Al Mackenzie) arrive on the wing and start causing a rumpus...Yvonne turns the evil eye onto them...hmmm, looks like the water ahead might be a bit choppy...let's hope they've bought their sick-bags with them!!

But, Gina's first in to slap the feckers down...

Gina : Oi Purvis! Wanna word with you! There's a watch gone missing from the dormitory...
Al : Why you picking on us eh? We haven't even been in this shite hole five minutes! (Pronounced - Why yer pecking on us eh?...coz she's Jimmy Krankie, innit?)
Gina : I'm asking everyone who was in there.
Al : There was loads of them in there!
Tina : Yeah! Right theiving little slags too!
Al : One of 'em nicked my cherry when I wasnae looking! (Yeah right!! Have you seen yourself??)
Gina : (Turns to Purvis) You're very quiet.
Maxine : In my nature innit?
Gina : Know anything about this watch then?
Maxine : You 'eard the girls.
Gina : Wipe your arse as well do they?
Maxine : I ain't no thief!
Gina : I thought stealing was one of your offences.
Maxine : Yeah, well...mistaken identity Miss...happens all the time.
Gina : Yeah? And I'm Britney bloody Spears! I'll be keeping an eye on you!

Go Gina! Go Gina! Go Gina! turns out that Maxine, who is the better looking of the three, is the leader of the Boot Gang...her and Tina (The Podger Pam looky-likey) are herded into one cell by Bodybag while Mackenzie (Jimmy Krankie) is made to wait while a bed is found for her. Bodybag, as acting Principal Officer, decides to throw her weight around and spots that Tina has a gob-full of chewing-gum...

Bodybag : (Holds her hand out) Spit!

Duh!!! Didn't you just know that Bodybag was going to receive a healthy gob-full of phlegm in her hand as well as the chewing-gum??? But, big up to the rotund one for not allowing this show of rebellion to get the better of her...

Bodybag : And if I see you chewing like a prize Friesian again I'll have you down the block!

Bodybag then starts laying down the law, telling the two new inmates that they have to be up and out of bed before 7.45am...

Bodybag : I hope one of you has a watch...(Sees Maxine smile)...Have you got something you want to share with me Purvis?
Maxine : Yeah, I'm on the rag Miss...can you get me summink?

Bodybag leaves then, chuntering to herself as usual...when the coast is clear, Maxine rolls up her sleeve and shows Tina a hideous lime-green and fluorescent orange watch which she then takes off and throws out of the big loss though, she then rolls up the other sleeve to reveal half the contents of the 'Swatch' factory on her other wrist.

Helen arrives on the wing to tell Charlotte that she's being shipped out to an open prison, it's obvious that the Fonz isn't impressed by this because the open prison is very near to where Posh's parents live and she's convinced that someone's been pulling strings...Shaz ain't that impressed either...

Shaz : That ain't fair! Why can't I be moved to an open prison?
Buki : Coz you're a mass murderer stupid!

The Fonz tells Charlotte that she'll be leaving that day and that she should get her stuff together...when she leaves, Crystal tells Charlotte that she'll miss her and thanks her again for what she did during the piss test scandal.

Meanwhile, Nikki takes the opportunity to talk to Helen about Femi...

Helen : Hiya Nikki! No more news I'm afraid.
Nikki : No, it's not about's the new Nigerian woman...Femi...I'm really worried about her.
Helen : Why? What's the problem?
Nikki : The problem is, she doesn't understand a bloody word anyone says to her! Look...erm...some of us are trying but we're just not getting through.
Helen : If she's got specific problems she has got access to the language line.
Nikki : How does she know that? She needs a translator on hand, at least until she gets her routine sorted...come on Helen, I thought you were meant to be all powerful these days.
Helen : (In a voice that suggests that she couldn't give a shit) I'll look into it. (Walks away)
Nikki : (Pissed off) Is it right that she got eight years?
Helen : (Turns around) The judge said he wanted to set an example.
Nikki : So some bastard drugs trafficker pays her a pittance to swallow smack and she gets hung out to dry?
Helen : (Losing her patience) I don't make the bloody law Nikki! (Storms off)

Huh??? One minute she's prepared to put her career on the line to get Podger Pam sorted and use emotional blackmail to get Nikki to look after her...then she has a good old moan with Dr Yes Yes about the state of the prison hospital...and then, when Nikki makes a valid point and shows that she's concerned about the well-being of another inmate, she basically acts like she doesn't give two shits...aha!! So obviously Helen's the only one allowed to have a social conscience these days...also, Helen gets very irritated with Nikki in World Record time and why??? Obviously it's the peanut butter and jam in her knickers that's causing her aggro...definitely a candidate for TT of the Week already and we're only five minutes into the episode!!!

Down in the Peckam Boot Gang's HQ...Tina is showing that she's taken Bodybag's threats to heart and is lying back on her bunk and blowing bubbles with her chewing-gum when Al storms in...

Al : They're pissing me about again! (Pronounced - They're pessing me aboot agin, coz she's Jimmy Krankie, innit?)

Maxine calls a gang meeting and decides that they should start as they mean to go on...

Maxine : First we gotta suss things out, see who calls the shots in this dump.
Al : Aye, find the top lag...and then we smack her...right?
Maxine : We watch her first...see how she operates and who's close to her and we work our way in, wait until she least expects it.
Al : Then we smack her?


God!! Would you believe that he's wearing that same dodgy corduroy blazer again?? And the same 'Saturday Night Fever' shirt from last week...he's also obviously complete strangers with his comb because his hair doesn't look like it's seen one in months by the way it's sticking up...well, just goes to show...the quickest way into Helen Stewart's knickers is to totally lose your dress sense!!

Anyway, he catches up with Helen outside and tries to persuade her to come to a conference that he's speaking at...and guess what?? It's only being held at a hotel...blimey!! Just invite her to a seminar in Bangkok why don't you??? He goes on about giving the talk because 'it's going to shake things up a bit' and practically does everything but beg her to go...Helen refuses (phew!) but again, she's very impressed by his 'right-on' stance...hmmm, so it's okay for him and not for Nikki then obviously! She then goes on to tell him about Femi and talks about how concerned she is about her well-being and...dammit...I'm really beginning to dislike this woman now!!...Dr Yes Yes does his shite in whining armour routine and offers to have a talk with Femi...well, as long as Helen agrees to come to the conference...and guess what?? She agrees!!

Down on the wing, it's time for Posh to depart and Yvonne arrives to say goodbye...she notices that Charlotte is missing her ring again and rightly deduces that she's swapped it for gear again...she then has a root under Buki's mattress and comes up with the ring before handing it back to Charlotte...

Yvonne : Have this hit on me.

And then shows her maternal side again as the two say their goodbyes.

As Posh departs the bunk of doom, it is allocated to Al by a passing Bodybag...

Bodybag : You can have Lady Muck's bed...might rub some rough edges off... (Looks her up and down critically)...although I'll not expect miracles!

Al walks into the dorm just as Yvonne is walking out and makes a point of bumping into her...

Yvonne : Oi!
Al : Aye? (Faces Yvonne up) What's your problem?
Yvonne : Well, when you barge into someone like that it's usual to apologise!
Al : (Significant look over at a lurking Purvis) Must have been my mistake...hen!
Yvonne : (Cold, intimidating stare) Oh...very nearly was...cock!

Go Yvonne! Go Yvonne! Go Yvonne!

Al disappears into the dorm at this point but Yvonne continues to concentrate that incredibly hard stare on her retreating back...let's hope that she's going to put the Boot Gang in their place!!

Meanwhile, Dr Yes Yes is trying to make progress with Femi...he shows her a photograph of him and his brothers and sisters and makes her understand that they are his family...he then hands Femi a sheet of paper and asks her to draw her family...which she does.

Shaz and Crystal arrive back in the dorm to discover that they have a new inmate, they introduce themselves, but Al is dismissive...

Al : Yeah, like I give a shit!

Oh dear, this gives Shaz an opportunity to take the piss...

Shaz : (Putting on crappy Scottish accent) Och Aye! Where have they shipped you in from then?

Big mistake!! Mackenzie obviously doesn't find anything fandabedozee about people who take the piss out of her accent and flies across the cell, pinning a terrifies Shaz up against the wall...

Al : (Hand around Shaz's throat) You tekkin' the piss eh?
Shaz : No.
Al : Think the way I talk's funny do you?
Shaz : I was just having a laugh.
Al : Do you know what happened to the last wee shite who had a laugh at you? (Shaz shakes her head) And she cannae tell you neither 'cause I sliced her tongue in two wi' a razor blade!

Crystal and Shaz are left more than a little shell-shocked when Al storms out of the cell.

Out on the wing, Femi unfolds her picture which shows her family standing outside a house...while the other members of the Scooby Gang applaud her efforts, Buki shows why she's easily the most irritating inmate in Larkhall...

Buki : Oooh! Give her a 'Blue Peter' badge!

But Yvonne, as always, is quick to slap her down...

Yvonne : Shut it Buki!

Go Yvonne! Go Yvonne! Go Yvonne!

Femi reels off the names of her children to a very sympathetic looking Yvonne, Barbara and Nikki before bursting into tears...Barbara mimes the actions for using a telephone and suggests that Femi should call them. Yvonne points out that Femi hasn't got any phonecards, prompting Nikki to hand Femi hers before guilt-tripping the other two into handing theirs over too. Nikki then takes Femi off to the telephone.

While Nikki talks to the operator to get them to place a call to Nigeria (Sixty phonecard units must go a long way in Larkhall...I remember calling my Dad for 5 minutes once when he lived in Nigeria, I very nearly had a heart-attack when I got the bill!!)...Crystal and a very shaken Shaz emerge from the dorm, only to be cross-examined by an extremely pissed off Buki...

Buki : What thieving little tit's been helping themselves then?
Crystal : What you on about?
Buki : No ring...some bastard's nicked it!
Yvonne : This bastard! That a problem?

Buki backs down when Yvonne tells her in her hardest voice that she's given the ring back to Charlotte, so she decides to turn the blame onto Shaz...

Buki : (To Shaz) Yeah, well some tit must've told 'er where to look.
Yvonne : They didn't have to...I thought - now, where would an half-wit like Buki stash her gear? And bingo...there it was.
Buki : (To Shaz and Crystal) Anymore of my gear goes missing and someone's gonna pay...big time!
Yvonne : Piss off Buki! We're busy!

Go Yvonne! Go Yvonne! Go Yvonne!

Buki realises that she's lost the argument and strops off back to her cell at this point...but across the wing, this exchange has come to the attention of Maxine who has now realised who the 'top lag' is...Jimmy Krankie's only got eyes for Shaz though and asks for Maxine's permission to give her a kicking, which she gets...ooh err!! Looks like trouble ahead!!

But, there's also trouble for Femi who is obviously receiving bad news over the phone...her wailing and moaning catches the attention of the Scooby Gang before she slams the phone down and runs back upstairs to her cell while Nikki calls after her.

End of Part One...

Off to the loo, back in a mo!!

Part Two...

Nikki tries to find out what's wrong from Femi who is wittering away in her own language...Nikki is trying to understand when Bodybag comes across the two of them and demands to know what is going on...Nikki tells her that she's not sure but that she thinks Femi has had some bad news from home...

Bodybag : Jungle telegraph was it? I didn't hear any drumming!
Nikki : Oh piss off Hollamby!

Go Nikki! Go Nikki! Go Nikki!

Bodybag : Watch your mouth Wade! (Turns to Femi) And as for her...she understands far more than she's letting on! Now get to work before I put you both on report!

Well, looks like Beezlebag's back at her understanding and sympathetic best!! Didn't she learn a thing from Shell and Denny's visit??? Makes you wish that she'd been frazzled before the boys in blue arrived to save her!!

Down in the dorm, Shaz is coaxing her hair into her usual pissed off porcupine style...she's taking ages too which prompts Crystal into leaving the cell without her...Shaz bends down to wet her fingers with some water from the sink and when she returns her attention to the mirror, Al has appeared behind her like the Candyman only about ten times more pant-fillingly scarier!!! She punches Shaz, but she obviously has something sharp in her hand because when Shaz falls to the floor, her face is bleeding...

Al : That's for tekkin' the piss! (Pushes Shaz onto the ground and kicks her in the stomach) And that's because you're a wee gob-shite! (Shaz sits up and Mackenzie kicks her in the stomach again) And that? Well...that's just because I felt like it! (Pulls Shaz to her feet and brandishes a fork) Think yerself lucky! Last girl I attacked wi' one of these found out she couldn't have babies! Make myself clear do I? (No response from Shaz who is crying and obviously terrified) I can't hear yer Shaz!
Shaz : (Whispers) Yes.

Al drops Shaz and leaves the cell.

Up on G3, Yvonne and Nikki watch Femi struggling with the payphone...

Yvonne : She's not your problem Nikki.
Nikki : She's a human being isn't she?
Yvonne : No...a mum who's missing her most of the women in here.
Nikki : I'm just sick of sitting back and watching all of the shit that goes on in here.
Yvonne : Survival...that's what goes on in here Nikki.

Meanwhile, Femi's having bad problems with the seems that her cards have run out halfway through her phone call and she's desperately trying to change them over before her call is cut off...Buki, who's waiting in line to use the phone, loses her patience and tells Femi that the cards are all used up before throwing them onto the floor and claiming the phone for herself.

Yvonne (who is looking rather marvellous in an open-necked black shirt and leather trousers) returns to her cell and picks up a magazine, she then hears a noise coming from underneath her bunk and picks up a plastic knife before investigating further...she whips the sheet of the bed and crouches down to find Shaz, cowering and terrified...Yvonne examines the bruises on Shaz's stomach and then tells her that she'll have to 'give some back' but Shaz confesses that she's 'shit-scared' and doesn't even want to go back to her cell...Josh interrupts at this point and takes Shaz back to her cell...leaving Yvonne with a rather strange look on her face...she's obviously not keen about the prospect of facing up to the Boot Gang.

Downstairs, Bodybag's in the officers' room making a telephone call when Femi starts banging on the window...Bodybag isn't happy about the interruption and tries to tell Femi to get lost before being manhandled off the phone...she's obviously experiencing a Fenner type 'wibbly wobbly world of her own' moment here because she crumples to the floor and starts calling for help...two male officers appear from nowhere and wrestle Femi off the phone, as they pull her out of the officers' room, one of them punches her in the stomach.

Nikki and the other inmates are watching this from the landing and shouting furiously as the officers get stuck in...and in a scene that made me feel sick, they continue to punch Femi as they drag her across the landing...the poor woman is obviously scared and confused because she can't understand what's going on, but they don't give two shits and instead, bang her head against the bars...hard! Nikki sums this up perfectly...

Nikki : Bastards!

And the officer's continue to punch Femi as they drag her screaming down to the block.

Blimey! So much for the new regime eh???

End of Part Two...

Time for some coffee I think...

Part Three...

The following day Gina unlocks the door to Nikki's cell...

Gina : Morning!
Nikki : What have you done with her? Femi...where is she?
Gina : Down the block where she bloody belongs!
Nikki : She should be in the hospital wing the battering she got last night!
Gina : Yeah, well that's what happens when you manhandling officers.
Nikki : She's not some troublemaker doing it for attention you know...she's frightened! The poor woman's going through hell in here and all you lot do is kick the shit out of her!
Gina : You gonna shut it Wade or what?
Nikki : I want to see her!
Gina : Yeah? Well I want Ricky Martin in my shower every morning but life's a bitch like that...isn't it?

Femi's down the block and sitting on the bunk in the strips and obviously wondering what the Murtala Mohammed's going on when Helen arrives in a yet another leather she moonlighting as a dominatrix or something??? Anyway, she notices the bruises on Femi's face and turns to Gina for an explanation...

Gina : She was out of control, they had to restrain her.
Helen : What with? Size nines?

She sits down on the bunk and tries to reassure Femi in a language she can't understand and promises that no one will hurt her again...hmmm, maybe you should've listened to Nikki in the first place eh?

Meanwhile, the Boot Gang are trying to recruit Shaz, she's terrified and just on the verge of giving in when she sees Yvonne leaning against the pool-table, looking mean, moody and magnificent as she lights a cigarette...this gives her courage and she refuses the offer politely before excusing herself and going off to join Yvonne...this doesn't exactly meet with approval from the Boot Gang...

Tina : She's for it now.
Al : What do you want me to do?
Maxine : Take her out!

Oh shit...looks like Shaz is in for it now!!

Up in Helen's office, she's managed to get hold of a Nigerian translator who tells her that Femi's worried because there's no one back in Nigeria to look after her children...Helen then asks the translator to ask Femi if she's suffered any violence from the Prison Officers whilst in Larkhall and Femi replies that 'she doesn't want any trouble, she just wants to see her children again'...bloody hell Helen!! It's bloody obvious that she's been on the receiving end of a kicking!! You got peanut butter and jam in your eyes or what???

Down in the yard, Buki's keen to be seen to be running with the 'in crowd'...

Buki : See...I tell you who's got the gear, your girls nick it and then I sell it back to them for twice the's easy!
Maxine : Oh yeah?
Buki : Then we divide the spoils...I dunno...say half and half?
Maxine : Us Peckham girls are gonna be running this place soon Buki...very soon...and you wanna be onside, I like that...but there are a few of 'em in here who still need a bit of...persuading.
Al : Persuading...aye!
Maxine : So you help me out with a little problem I got...then we'll talk business...that a deal?
Buki : Yeah...okay.
Maxine : You reckon you can get your mate Shaz into the laundry room just before lock-up?
Buki : Yeah, why? You gonna do 'er? Are you?
Maxine : (Spots Yvonne, Shaz and Crystal approaching) Watch it!

Shaz is all cocky now that she's with Yvonne and is convinced that she won't get any more hassle from the Boot Gang now that she's stood up to them...Yvonne's not convinced though and advises her to stay out of their way.

A passing Nikki notices Helen walk into the yard and runs over to have a word...

Nikki : Miss Stewart!
Helen : Hi Nikki.
Nikki : What the hell's happening to Femi? Nobody will tell me anything.
Helen : It's being dealt with.
Nikki : Yeah? Like it was being dealt with last night?
Helen : If she wants to make a complaint about my officers...
Nikki : Your officers kicked the shit out of her! Now I want to know just how badly hurt she is, what...if any...treatment she is getting and when she's getting off the block.
Helen : (Losing her temper) It may come as a huge surprise to you but I'm the one running this prison, not you!
Nikki : Look, I'm worried about that woman! I've a right to know how she is haven't I?
Helen : Actually Nikki no you haven't!

Helen storms off and Nikki is left wondering what the hell she's done wrong...maybe she should invest in some peanut butter and jam sandwiches and start eating with her mouth open.

Down on the wing...Shaz tells Yvonne that there's a party on in the laundry room just before lock-up, one of the inmates has sneaked a bottle of vodka in apparently...Yvonne asks who told Shaz about the party and is told that she received the information from Buki...Shaz leaves then and Yvonne is left looking over at Buki rather suspiciously.

Later that night, Al smashes the light in the laundry room in readiness for her surprise attack on Shaz and receives the shock of her life when the door opens and Yvonne is standing there looking hard as nails in her leather jacket...

Yvonne : Surprise surprise!

This doesn't faze Al though and she takes a swing at Yvonne, but Yvonne proves that she doesn't only do a great line in threatening sneers, she can handle herself too and grabs Al's fist, swinging her around and pinning her down to one of the washing machines.

Yvonne : (Holding Al by her shirt) Not too early am I? I'm not very good at party etiquette.
Al : This isnae your fight Atkins!
Yvonne : No, but I feel like a work out!
Al : I get it...Shaz's wee sugar mummy are you?
Yvonne : No...I just think it's about time you picked on someone your own what's it gonna be eh? The easy way, or the hard way?
Al : Suck my...

Yvonne's right in there with a head-butt that would have Rab C Nesbitt in raptures before throwing Al down onto the floor.

She slams the door shut and walks over towards Al.

Yvonne : Hard way it is then!

She brings her foot down, extremely hard on Al's stomach.

Go Yvonne! Go Yvonne! Go Yvonne!

Out by the pool table, the Scooby Gang are more than a little disgusted about the treatment of Femi and Barbara suggests that they make some sort of protest to force the screws to tell them what's going on...Crystal agrees, pointing out that the hunger strike worked for her...the Julies are up for it too, but Nikki is dismissive...

Nikki : We've all got too much to lose, and the screws know that!

But the rest of the gang are up for it...they just have to convince Nikki that it's a good idea.

Meanwhile, back in the laundry room...

Yvonne knees Al in the face.

Yvonne : Just say when darlin'!

She knees her in the face again.

Yvonne : Because the more you can take...(Knees Al in the chest repeatedly)...the more I've got to give!

Al finally gives in and Yvonne stands up, placing her foot over her throat.

Yvonne : You're slow...but you got there in the end...(Presses down on Al's throat)...didn't ya?

Shaz appears then and stands there gob-smacked as she surveys the scene...Yvonne then forces Al to apologise and steps off her throat when she complies, but she's still determined to have the last word...

She kicks Al in the stomach.


Buki and Al flee the laundry room leaving Shaz to pledge her undying gratitude before hugging Yvonne...Yvonne nods and then tells Shaz to go...she is then left on her own, she's out of breath and extremely shaky looking...could it be that she was scared that she might be out of her depth?

Al returns to the Boot Gang HQ, bruised, battered and extremely bloody...

Tina : (Shocked) Poison dwarf do that to you?
Al : Got set up d'int I? Frigging Atkins!
Maxine : (Disbelieving) What? The old lady?
Al : She's no pushover Maxi...I swear to yer!
Maxine : Maybe it's time I had a little chat with Atkins.

Yeah right!!! She's already seen off your Krankie rottweiler no trouble...I don't think she's going to be cacking herself when confronted by you love!! Someone should tell her that Yvonne just don't so scared!

Out on the wing, it's time for the protest and for Larkhall's answer to Emmeline Pankhurst to climb up onto her soap-box...well...chair actually...

Nikki : Listen up everyone! Can I have your attention please? (Pause while the wing falls silent) Right...we all know Femi's been put down the block.
Inmates : (Overacting extras extraordinaire) Yeah!!
Nikki : That's right...another woman down the block because she's depressed and lonely and makes herself heard the only way she can!
Bodybag : That's enough politicising Wade!
Nikki : (Totally ignoring Bodybag) Meanwhile...Charlotte 'Middle-class' Myddleton got transferred to an open yesterday! (More cheers of approval from the inmates) All know why that is don't we?
Julie S : Yeah! Because it's one rule for them...
Both Julies : ...and another for the rest of us!
Nikki : I saw them give Femi a bloody good kicking yesterday and I want reassurance here and now that she's alright!
Inmates : Yeah!
Bodybag : Reassurance my eye! All you'll be getting from me is extra days...the lot of you!
Nikki : Right! (Steps down from chair and eyeballs Bodybag) Then I suggest that we all sit out here until we hear different!

Go Nikki! Go Nikki! Go Nikki!

All of the inmates sit down in the centre of the wing and begin singing 'We Shall Not Be Moved'...meanwhile, Bodybag starts to flap and reaches for her walkie-talkie...

Bodybag : (Into walkie-talkie) Zulu to Bravo...we've got a situation!

Yvonne, Shaz, Buki and the Boot Gang join the other inmates on the ground just as the POs arrive in force and stand at the gate to the wing...looking eager to get stuck in.

LMAO!!! Class from the Julies who are shown peeping over the pool table and obviously absolutely bricking it!!

Nikki's quick with the reassurance...

Nikki : They're just trying to psych us out! Just keep still and there's no reason for them to attack!

The gate is opened then and the screws assemble on the wing...the inmates are in uproar and Maxine decides it's time to throw the cat amongst the pigeons...

Maxine : I say we take the threes! We get above 'em and we take the advantage!

Maxine and the other Booters lead the charge up to G3, but Nikki and the others decide to sit firm as the alarm sounds and the screws start to get stuck in...Nikki gets a slap in the kisser from one screw as fists and feet start flying...Crystal's struggling on the pool table with one officer and Yvonne turns round and smacks another one...another quality Yvonne moment here...she smacks the screw and then shrugs her leather jacket back into place as if to say 'hands off the threads!'

Realising that the screws are on the run...Nikki and the others make a break for the stairs...Josh is rugby tackled out of the way and Nikki pushes another screw over to allow the Julies to give him a weedy kick while he's down on the floor...Bodybag, flapping like a good 'un calls the screws into retreat as the inmates take over the wing.

End of Part Three...

Off for a fag...

Part Four...

Helen arrives on the wing and is told by Bodybag that Nikki started it...she's a woman on a mission now and storms onto the wing to find out what's going on...

Helen : Can someone please explain to me what the problem is!
Nikki : (Over the noise of the other shouting inmates) This is a peaceful protest!
Both Julies : Shush!
Nikki : All we wanna know is (Directly at Helen who can't meet Nikki's eye, obviously realising that if she'd answered Nikki's questions in the first place then none of this would be happening)...what's happening to Femi, what state is she in and is someone prepared to review her case!
Inmates : Yeah!
Helen : I understand your concern, but as acting Prison governor it's not in my power to move Femi or influence how the courts have treated her!
Nikki : Well what about the way she's been treated in her? Surely you've got some influence over that!
Inmates : Yeah!
Helen : I talked to Femi myself this morning and I can assure you, she's perfectly fine! (Pause while the inmates call out rubbish, and up on the landing it's obvious that the Boot Gang are plotting a way to relight the fuse) I asked her if she'd experienced any sort of violence here at Larkhall, and specifically if she wanted to make any sort of complaint...she declined!
Nikki : That's not good enough! We want the officers who assaulted her disciplined!
Helen : You wanted reassurance about Femi and I have given you that reassurance! Now I am not prepared to discuss this matter any further until you are all back in your cells!

The Boot Gang light the fuse then by tipping a mug of water over Helen's head...oh dear! The Fonz ain't gonna like water all over her leather jacket!!! This is a cue for several inmates to jump down onto the safety netting as the place erupts...Helen makes one last ditch attempt to calm them down but it's like facing a man-eating tiger with a water-pistol...

Helen : This is a Governor's order! Get back in your cells!

A full-scale riot breaks out and furniture is thrown onto the netting and down the stairs as Helen sounds the retreat...Nikki, Crystal and Babs are trying desperately to get the other inmates to calm down but its mob rule now and nothing's going to stop them from kicking off. And as Helen leaves the wing, she looks up at Nikki...if looks could kill, Nikki would be dead as a bleedin' dodo...oh shit!! It's obvious who she blames!! Peanut butter and jam sandwiches all round then!!

The inmates are throwing everything they can get their hands on...toilet rolls, lockers...even the bloody kitchen sink!! Well, not really a kitchen sink but you get the idea...and all the while, Babs, Nikki and the Julies are trying to regain order...with absolutely zip success.

As the screws finally leave the wing, Maxine decides to go for broke and announces that they should break into the servery...Nikki is quick to jump in...

Nikki : You're ruining any chance we've got of helping Femi! Can't you see that?
Maxine : Never mind Wade! You can keep 'er company when they put you down the block n'all!

Nikki returns to Barbara who sums the situation up nicely...

Barbara : What have we started?

But Yvonne's philosophical...

Yvonne : You might as well sit back and enjoy the ride's about time the bloody screws had a good scare! And that prat Stewart n'all!

And so say all of us!!! Well, I do anyway!!

Go Yvonne! Go Yvonne! Go Yvonne!

The inmates, under the command of the Boot Gang break into the servery and tool themselves up with the knives from the cabinet...and while all of this goes on, Maxine stands back and smiles...enjoying the chaos she's created.

Later that night...Shaz and Crystal shout over to one of the other wings and tell them that they've taken the whole wing...while this is going on, Yvonne's leaning back against the bunk and she's got that strange look back on her face...could she be losing her bottle in the face of all the madness???

LMAO!! The screws are gathering their riot gear together...could we get another shot of Bodybag as Terminator?? Well, maybe not because Helen arrives with further instructions...She's obviously dried herself off and changed into a dry's just unfortunate that for some reason, she's picked a top that looks like an upside-down baby-gro...honestly!! Anyway, on with the action...

Helen : Our main focus is to contain the prisoners on G-Wing...make sure the trouble doesn't spread to other parts of the prison.
Bodybag : What? Just give 'em the run of the place?
Helen : For now...yes...they'll soon give up when they're hungry.
Bodybag : Well if you don't mind me saying Ma''s not much of a strategy, is it?
Helen : It is important that we don't over-react too soon...which doesn't mean to say that I intend to give in to any of their demands.
Bodybag : I should hope not!
Gina : Good!
Helen : And I certainly don't expect a cavalier attitude from anyone!

[What about roundheads???...Sorry, couldn't resist!]

Helen : We are professionals doing a professional job, and while this continues, I'll thank you all to remember that!

Go Helen! Go Helen! Go Helen!

Down on the wing...Al's giving the other inmates lessons on how to attack someone with a knife...Nikki and Yvonne are watching this, rather nervously...

Nikki : You've gotta help me stop!
Yvonne : Not me Nikki.
Nikki : Someone's gonna get stabbed at this rate Yvonne!
Yvonne : Yeah, 'opefully it'll be a screw and I ain't gonna lose any sleep over that!
Nikki : What about Femi? How the hell's this gonna help her?
Yvonne : Look, she didn't deserve what she got but I ain't taking a beating for anyone!
Nikki : So you're just gonna walk away.
Yvonne : It's like I said Nikki...survival.

Yvonne walks away then leaving Nikki to try to take control of the situation on her own.

Nikki : Listen you stupid bitches! Why don't you stop messing about before someone gets killed?
Maxine : Watch out everyone! It's Head bloody Prefect!
Nikki : We started this because we wanted Femi off the block...which means, like it or not, that we've got to negotiate with the screws...they're not gonna listen to us if we're tooled up to the eyeballs!
Maxine: Yeah, well this ain't about 'er no more, this is about us!

Pause here...notice the surprise appearance of the new inmate, Caroline Lewis at this point...she's shown leaning against the wall in the background...and it's yet another casualty from soapland...Helen Grace, aka Georgia Simpson who was last seen shagging her brother Nat on Brookie. And I have to say...she's definitely the best looking blonde on the wing now that Karen's off on her jollies with Fenner...anyway, she steps forward at this point and confronts Al...

Caroline : Any of you used a knife before?
Al : (Holds up knife) I just showed them didn't I?

This doesn't faze her and she steps forward, smiles and then, completely without warning, twists the knife out of Al's hand...confronting Al who's obviously wishing that she'd stayed safe and remained in pantomime as Jimmy Krankie after the couple of days she's had! Anyway, Nikki's saviour bends down to pick up the knife...

Caroline : First rule of self-defence...never use a weapon an assailant can turn back on
you...then of course if one of you sticks a screw, do you think it's worth the extra stretch? (Pause to look up at Nikki who is looking on rather admiringly) And be sure of a long stay down in solitary...where no one can hear you scream! (Hands the knife back to Al) Just telling you how it is girls! (Puts her hands in her pockets and strolls off)
Maxine : Yeah alright, she's got a point...lose the knives!

And as the inmates drop their knives in a pile on the floor, Nikki looks up at Barbara, extremely relieved...

Nikki : Where the hell did she come from?

Which is precisely what we want to know!!!

Meanwhile, Bodybag's protesting because Helen won't allow them to storm the wing...she's determined that they're going to do this the right way...

Helen : We pull back and identify the ring-leaders.
Bodybag : We know who the ring-leader is...Nikki Wade!

Ooh eck! Looks like Nikki might be due for a very long stay down the block when all of this is resolved!!

Up on the wing, Nikki catches up with her saviour...

Nikki : Self-defence your thing is it?
Caroline : Never stuck it...I've only got the one move...(Coy smile at Nikki) won't tell anyone will you?
Nikki : Your secret's safe. (Big flirty grin) You got me out of a tight spot there...thanks.
Caroline : It's my pleasure. (Goes to walk away)
Nikki : Have you been on G-Wing long?
Caroline : A couple of weeks.
Nikki : Only I've not noticed you before.
Caroline : Oh...(Blushes slightly)...well I've definitely noticed you.

The two consider each other for a moment before leaving in separate directions...Yee Haa!! It's about time that Nikki got a bit of fun, let's face it, it'll serve Helen right!! And plus, this new girl is better looking too!!! sue me!! It's my synopsis and I'll write what I like!!

Meanwhile, the Peckham Boot Gang are congratulating themselves on a job well done...

Tina : You're top-dog now Max and no mistake!
Maxine : Well not quite...there's still one small problem needs dealing with.
Al : What's that?
Maxine : Yvonne bleedin' Atkins!
Tina : Thinks she's rock 'ard her, don't she?
Maxine : Yeah, well...we're gonna have to teach her different...ain't we?
Al : Why? What we gonna do?
Maxine : We're gonna waste her!


Awards (by Coops and Filbertfox)

Top Dog of the Week
There is no finer woman in the whole of Larkhall...I prostrate myself before the greatness that is Yvonne Atkins. At last we saw that it's not a veneer; menace truly runs thick in those veins. For the first time, she was made to physically defend her Cool Cat status, and she didn't disappoint. To have all her complex facets captured in a single episode was a real feat, but they did it. She was supportive and motherly to Shaz; touched by her interaction with Charlotte; brutal avenging angel upon Al; and ever the realist, was disinterested in Nikki's politics, choosing her battles wisely and simply happy to see the screws bear the brunt. She did look knackered though, almost as if maintaining her position is becoming a burden...

Nikki has to get a mention though, standing for Truth, Justice and the Ameri... sorry, wrong show. Anyway, her idealistic (to the point of naivety) sense of right and wrong couldn't stand by and watch the disgraceful treatment of Femi. She's always had an aversion to the system that her lover upholds - and who can blame her - but it's the first time they've crossed swords about it since falling in love. She has to decide whether she wants to be Head Prefect (as per Season 1) and champion of the weak (Season 2) or not. Her low profile of late has obviously affected how the rest of the Wing see her, and although they listened to her spiel and joined the sit-in, it took new girl Caroline's intervention to disarm them. The repercussions should be very interesting.

Twatting Twat of the Week
Helen, Helen, Helen. On this showing you have to ask how the hell she made it to Governing Governor. Frankly I could care less if she goes off on the poxy conference with Dr Yes Yes. You are not worthy of the Wonder Wade right now! In her defence, she did get an interpreter and have a conversation with Femi, but she should have told Nikki that and prevented the sit-in fiasco altogether. I'm a tad disillusioned - no Stubberfield, no Fenner, no Betts; by rights she should have been stamping her authority all over G-Wing. Maybe she's just priming her musket, but I almost expected her to trot out the "tragic set of circumstances" line.

Buki. Your time will come, mark my words - an Atkins never forgets. Better hope you've backed the winning team.

Weedy Pigeon of the Week
Shaz - if you count Filbert's Fine Fanfic ™, that's the second kicking she's had this week. About time she started missing Denny, shame it's only for her muscle.

The poor sods on G3 who had their rooms trashed for ammunition to throw onto the safety netting.

Not to mention that poor sink...torn off its wall and thrown down onto the netting here it shattered into a million pieces...I bet it was made in Stoke on Trent too!!

Femi. Alone in a foreign country, you've been passed from one cell to another, stood in a courtroom where you don't know who is who and can't follow the proceedings. Hauled off to an institution, bewildered and desperately worried bout the fate of your children, thousands of miles away. Wrestling Bodybag or the phone seems like a fairly mild reaction to me.

Spin Doctor of the Week
Maxi for convincing the Wing to take to G3, and thus turning a peaceful sit-in into a mob rampage and armed stand-off. She's got the brains to be an worthwhile adversary or ally for Yvonne.

Worst Girl of the Week
The system that imprisons real Femis. 13% of the women imprisoned in England nd Wales are from overseas, imprisoned for drugs offences. They get a free -minute phone call home - every 3 months.

Bodybag - casually racist and arguably culpable for igniting the riot. Her call for heavy-handed backup did nothing to restore good order and discipline. And her insistence on blaming Nikki in the face of incontrovertible evidence? A pure plot evice to painfully highlight Helen's torn loyalties, I presume.

Best Line of the Week
Julie J: Only they've got no yams.
Julie S: So they're gonna use 'Smash' instead.
[instant mashed potato, for anyone
not familiar with that culinary delight]

Gina: Yeah, and I'm Britney bloody Spears.

Shaz: That in't fair, why can't I go to an open prison?
Buki: Er, cos you're a mass murderer, stupid.

Yvonne: I thought, now where would an halfwit like Buki stash her gear, and bingo, there it was.
[as ever, it's all in Linda Henry's fabulous delivery]

Gina: Yeah, and I want Ricky Martin in my shower every morning. But life's a bitch like that, isn't it?

Yvonne: It's about time those bloody screws had a good scare. And that prat Stewart, an' all.
[Jealous, Yvonne?!!]

Bodybag: And if I see you chewing like a prize Friesian again I'll have you down the lock! [Oh we have missed you!!!]

Purvis: Watch out everyone! It's the head bloody prefect! [Definitely provided a nostalgic hell moment...pity she's gone, I have a feeling that she'd be playing Atkins and Purvis off each other perfectly by now]

Worst Line of the Week
Bodybag: Jungle telegraph was it? I didn't hear any drumming.

Helen: It may come as a huge surprise to you, but I'm the one running this prison, not you.
[yeah, so Nikki was being a bit sanctimonious, but that was way harsh]

Warring Faction of the Week
G-Wing and the screws.

Best Performance by an Extra
So many to choose from during the riot... my personal favourite was the woman in shorts who, just before the final ad break, was leaping up and down on G3 like a deranged trampolinist.

Special mention for the male PO who was so convincingly punching Femi in the stomach.

Also a mention for the inmate with the Valderrama (Columbian footballer with humungous afro) type hair style...oh, and the royal blue footie top got a look in this week to and was shown going up the stairs twice during the storming of G3.

Sight of the Week
It has to be Yvonne pasting Al. The head butt alone was poetry in motion. Actually, Al's face when Yvonne came through the door was worth a rewind.

Total yeeeeuch moment when Bodybag holds out her hand for Tina's chong (bit of Stokey slang for you there!!) and ends up getting a palm full of gob as marks to the rotund one for not batting an eyelid though.

Bodybag having a wibbly-wobbly type Fenner moment when Femi manhandles her off the phone...she falls to the floor like a broken doll...let's hope that Shell and Denny did her major psychological damage!!!

Larkhall Miracles and Mysteries
So Di's mum "had a nasty fall" eh? Was Helen being discreet or did Jim cover for the Barking one?

Helen says that it's not within her power to move Femi. Bullshit. She was able to ship Nikki out last series.

It was a miracle that Helen only got water on her head.

Why the hell didn't the screws lock the doors to the servery? Access to the knives alone makes you shudder.

Nikki's little rescuer should prove interesting. Put me in mind of a certain undercover copper in Filb's Secrets & Lies. Nikki should have asked her name though.

An international call on 60 phonecard units??? I don't think so!!

Bodybag...Principal Officer??? How???? After the muppet wing incident, I would've thought she'd marked her card with Helen good and proper.

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