Season 3, Episode 1: Back from the Brink
Recap by Filbertfox


So here we are, series three...the most awaited moment in TV history since Beth kissed Margaret in 'Brookside', since the father of Michelle's baby was revealed in 'Eastenders', since Scott married Charlene in 'Neighbours',, I think you get the idea so...

The BIG questions remain...

Will Shell fillet that bastard screwdriver Fenner?
Will Helen shop Nikki?
Will Bodybag come down off that E?
Will Karen realise that she is wearing the cardigan from hell?

Well, finally, the answers can be found here...

The series kicks off with Fenner and Shell sharing a tongue sandwich while all cosied up on her bunk...she's holding up the broken glass with a glint in her eye as he fumbles with her cleavage and...a noise is heard, Fenner's ears prick up and he flaps around for a few seconds before returning to her side.

Meanwhile, back at the love-nest...

Helen puts the phone down - did she, or didn't she??? Well, there are more important things to think about at the moment, namely, our first glimpse of the dynamic duo together for months and months and bloody months...

Nikki : (Walks into room, now dressed in uniform) Did you get a cab okay?
Helen : Nikki, you're not going to get to San Francisco.
Nikki : Huh?
Helen : It's a 12 hour flight, think.
Nikki : I'm not going direct.
Helen : It doesn't matter, you're passport's going to be red-hot wherever.
Nikki : It won't be my passport, I'll use Trish's, I've got the wig.

Okay, pause here because the bleedin' obvious is reflected on Helen's face as well as Nikki hoping to run into a blind customs official??

Nikki : Helen, please? (Tugs on Helen's sleeve with an adorably cute look on her face) All I need is a cab.
Helen : No!
Nikki : Well if you're worried about calling one here I'll...
Helen : I'm trying to get you to think things through. What about the nurse if you're not back tomorrow?
Nikki : It'll be those piss-head screws in the shit, there's nothing they can pin on her, she'll be on a flight herself in a few days. (Stands up) Darling, it's us we've gotta look after.
Helen : Which is why I'm begging you, don't be stupid.
Nikki : You'll soon know I'm safe. Can you lend me twenty quid for a cab?
Helen : I'll drive you. (Leaves the room)
Nikki : Love it when you're bossy!

Back at Larkhall...Shell and Fenner are still sharing that tongue butty while down on the landing, Karen's on the war-path because the officers on duty are more than a little lax after the party...

Karen : Bloody well count your bodies!

Anyway, she's still prowling around the landings when Fenner decides it's time to get Mr Todger out, Shell decides to help him...

Shell : I'll do that for you Sir.

...and we get a lovely shot of Fenner's hairy belly as he lies back, obviously thinking that he's in for a good time. But we know better and Shell reaches for the broken glass with one hand while obviously tossing him off with the other...Fenner's eyes are closed, he's concerned about nothing more than getting his end away, he doesn't see the glass until it's too late...

And we're all sitting there screaming - Do it Shell!!! In the bollocks!!!

But she decides instead to plunge the glass into his stomach...good choice there for maximum pain but prolonging the agony into a long and excruciating death...the look on Shell's face when she gives the glass a good old twist is a classic - hey na hey na Bad Shell's back!!!

Shell : Gone off me now 'ave ya? Big man.

Down on the landing, Karen hears Fenner's cry of pain and is up those stairs to G3 like a whippet, cardigan flapping in the breeze. She twigs immediately that the cries belong to Fenner and is straight over to Shell's cell-door where she gets an eyeful of Dockley brandishing the broken glass...

Shell : Piss off you bitch!

Karen doesn't waste any time...she sprints over to the alarm like Flo-Jo and sets it off...the screws start to panic, the inmates start to shout and as the lights go on, Yvonne lights a cigarette, a reflective look on her face...

Yvonne : She's got 'im.

Meanwhile, Barbara's not just having kittens; she's given birth to a whole bloody RSPCA shelter...

Barbara : Oh Nikki!

Shell decides to barricade the door and chucks Fenner off the bed, in the process we get to see copious amounts of claret on the floor...outside, Karen is dishing out orders left right and centre...tell you something, she's cool in a crisis and bloody gorgeous with it...anyway, I digress...

Fenner : You really are a bloody psycho aren't you?
Shell : Calling me names?
Fenner : (Between gasps of pain) You're stuffed darlin'! You're gonna get nutted off to the funny farm for this.
Shell : It's your nuts you wanna worry about Mister so shut up! (Turns to door) I ain't opening up to anyone right? Not until Fenner admits he's a rapist!

Outside, Karen's on hold for someone and she can't respond...

Shell : Did you 'ear that? (Realises she isn't going to get an answer and turns back to Fenner) 'Cause that's what you are! A rapist and a lying piece of shit!
Fenner : You've really blown it this time Shell.
Shell : Do you want another poke in the puddin'? So don't push me right 'cause there's plenny of sharp left!
Fenner : So what you gonna say about that bottle eh? That you just happened to find it under your bed?
Shell : You'll find it up your bleedin' spout in a minute!
Fenner : You know your problem Shell? You think you're cunning but B... (voice trails off, he's obviously in excruciating pain)
Shell : Sorry? Didn't quite catch that, what's my problem? (Stands up and cackles evilly) Well it ain't gonna be you anymore is it?

Outside, Karen finally manages to get in touch with the Fat Controller and apprises him of the situation.

Back outside...Helen and Nikki are in Helen's car...Nikki's got her wig back on...

Nikki : It's going to be hell waiting for you, it's going to be months isn't it?

Helen stares ahead, face determined.

Nikki : Listen Helen I...(realises Helen's got a face like a forty-shilling piss-pot and tries another direction) Forget it, I look a total prat! Dusty Springfield's ugly sister eh? Worked alright on your gormless gate-men though, really thought I was a right dizzy blonde!
Helen : Do you really think you'd've gone back to prison Nikki?
Nikki : What?
Helen : If you hadn't seen that letter?
Nikki : Why? Do you wish you hadn't shown it to me now?
Helen : No, I mean...if we'd still had hope for your appeal like we did and we'd spent this night together, do you honestly think you would've gone back to prison?
Nikki : (Thinks for a few moments) Yeah...I would've, yeah.
Helen : Why?
Nikki : 'Cause I really did think we were gonna win it.

The music starts playing in the background as Helen looks into the she wishing she'd not been so obvious in trying to conceal the letter??

Anyway, back up on G3 and the puddle of blood is getting bigger and Fenner decides to plead for his life...

Fenner : Shell, please let me out, I'm going to bleed to death.
Shell : Bollocks! You wanna try having a baby!
Fenner : Look at me!
Shell : (Leans forward threateningly with the glass) You're lucky I ain't cut yer dick off what you've done to me!
Fenner : I'll make it up to you...anything...just please let me out.
Shell : Wanna ask me for a sanny towel?

Back outside and there's a determined look on Helen's face as they reach a it symbolic we ask ourselves???

Nikki : It's right here. I'd've been more determined than ever now I've got you.

From the look on Helen's face, it's obvious she's made her decision and she turns left...

Nikki : You should've turned right back there!

Helen reaches out and activates the central locking.

Nikki : What? What you doing?
Helen : I'm taking you back to Larkhall.
Nikki : Huh?
Helen : There's no escape, I've already called the police.
Nikki : What?
Helen : If you give yourself up at the gate I'll tell them you only escaped to make a protest to me about your appeal.
Nikki : No!
Helen : I promise.
Nikki : No!

Nikki grabs the steering-wheel and the car swerves over to the other side of the road, narrowly avoiding another the time Helen manages to gain control they've attracted the attention of a police car which immediately takes pursuit and...

Shit! Commercial break!!! Oh well...luckily for you lot you're not going to hear about how white 'Persil' makes your knickers etc etc etc...I can fast-forward...

Our fugitives have been stopped by the dibble and Helen climbs out of the car to face the music...let's just hope it ain't Ludwig Von's death march...

Police Officer : You been drinking Madam?
Helen : No I haven't...I saw a cat, I thought it was going to run out in front of me.

Whoa Helen! There's no use playing the weak and feeble woman because you're faced by a woman P.O....or maybe that's it - get a woman's knickers off and the world's your oyster...but anyway, this has got to be the scariest looking copper since er...anyway...where do they find these actresses with wild poppy eyes???


Police Officer : A cat? (as in - 'a handbag?') (Gives Helen a look which says 'come on darlin' pull the other one, it whistles Dixie in F minor!')
Helen : Under a car, which is why I swerved. Look, I'm very happy to take a breath test.

The Police Officer wanders around the front of the car and clocks Nikki in the front seat.

Police Officer : Are you nurses?

Strange...very strange...she asks this as if she's a star in a Swedish porno film and she's about to give them both a good I the only one who was sitting there wondering what this little interlude was about???

Anyway, Helen nods, extremely embarrassed and the P.O. considers Nikki for a moment and then shares a knowing look with her colleague as if to say 'Cor blimey mate! We've got a pair of lezzas here and they've been up shaggin like rabbits all night!

Police Officer : You girls had better get home to your bed then.

And it's dripping with sub-text when she says it... I'm sorry...David Lynch or what??? You half expect Sherilyn Fenn to stagger out of the bushes with blood streaming down her face to add to the confusion...

Police Officer : Go careful (drops a leery wink like Steptoe)

Helen stares at the copper in confusion for a second before grinning knowingly...bloody hell!!! Any minute she's going to start jigging around and yelling 'I've been admitted to the lesbian club!' I said...strange...extremely strange...

Our two heroines wait for the freaky copper to depart...

Nikki : Why didn't you turn me in?
Helen : Oh shut up!
Nikki : (Tears wig off in disgust) Oh shit!
Helen : I told you I want you to turn yourself in at the prison!

Why does Helen pronounce her P's so sharply when she's pissed off?? When Nikki turns to give her a hard stare, we know it's really because she's been sprayed with spit...

Back on the wing, Yvonne's being taken downstairs...

Yvonne : Give Fenner some surgery from me Dockley!

Karen's strolling around with her mobile and we realise that she's just phoned Helen...she gives her the low-down and requests her presence ASAP.

Helen : Nikki...
Nikki : Did she say Fenner?
Helen : This is the perfect cover to get you back inside.
Nikki : What?
Helen : I thought I was going to have to drive round until morning, it'll be mayhem now.
Nikki : Just a second...
Helen : Look, no one knows you've escaped, I didn't call the police, but I still will if you try to make a run for it.
Nikki : You didn't call the police?
Helen : I dialed 999 but I couldn't go through with it, I just want to get you safely back into your cell, and with any luck...

Helen reaches out to stroke Nikki's cheek but Nikki pulls away...her face crumples and it's that patented Wade 'Kevin the Teenager' look again.

Helen : Nikki, look, if we want a future then the only way we can do that is to go back and start fighting for your appeal.

But it's too late...Nikki's in 'I'm not listening because IT'S JUST NOT FAIR!' mode.

Meanwhile, Yvonne is shoved in with the Julies...

Julie S : 'Ere, what's going on?
Yvonne : It's an all-night party tonight gels!

LMAO!!! The phone is ringing back at Bodybag's place which resembles a crash-down pad after a rave-up...anyway, her annoyance at being phoned is replaced by concern when she hears that her precious Jim has been filleted and she's asked to report for duty...oh Christ!! Can it get any worse???

Back up on G3, Karen's finished prowling around with her phone and tosses a few orders out to flapping P.Os...she's still cool, calm and collected on the outside but her hands are shaking like George Best with the DTs...she goes to scope the situation out in Shell's cell and tries to try her hand at talking the evil one round...

Karen : Shell, you've got to listen to me.
Shell : Bog off Betts!
Karen : Look, I know you're upset, but for your own sake I'm asking you to clear this door and let Mr Fenner out.
Shell : Well you're wasting your boggin' breath then!
Karen : Shell, use your brain, the longer you string this out the worse you're going to make it for yourself.
Shell : It's you who's made it worse for me you two-faced slag!
Karen : Why? What do you mean?
Shell : 'Cause I trusted you and you lied to me dintcha?
Fenner : (Mumbling) Just get the door open.
Shell : Shut yer gob you (brandishes glass) or I'll stick this in it! (Cuts his arm just to prove her point).
Karen : Jim, for God's sake don't talk, just try to hang on.
Shell : You thought you were gonna get a shag off him tonight didn't ya? He told me.
Fenner : She's raving!
Shell : Does he beat you up n'all? Is that how you like it Miss Smarty-suit Betts?
Karen : Shell, I don't know why you're saying this.
Shell : It turned you on, didn't it? Me saying all what he'd done to me. You're just gonna have to imagine what I'm gonna do to ‘im! (Stuffs a face-cloth in the spy hole)

Down in the yard it's like Chipperfield's circus...P.Os are flapping about, paramedics are arriving...perfect timing...with Nikki hidden in the back seat, Helen drives through without a second glance and the two mingle with the rest of the mayhem which includes the arrival of an eager looking Di and a whinging Bodybag who's lumbering around in her silver dancing shoes like a wounded hippopotamus...there's a close call by the gate though but they flatten themselves against the wall and aren't spotted...Helen spots a loo nearby and tells Nikki to hide inside it while she goes off to unlock the gate and her cell door...

And...we have another quality/symbolic moment when both our heroines are separated by a barred gate...the emotion is almost palpable as Helen looks into Nikki's eyes and...

Helen : Nikki...

The tears in Nikki's eyes say it all as she flees to hide in le pissoir...Helen stares after her and then sets off to execute the rest of the cunning plan.

Barbara, who is most probably thinking that the place is about to erupt around her drops yet more kittens when she hears a key turning in the lock...

Barbara : Christ!!!

But then she realises that the door has just been left open and Helen then goes up to G3 to report to Karen...

Meanwhile, Karen discusses the situation with a paramedic before ordering Di off to get Fenner's medical records...the paramedic tells Karen that the prison doctor might have to deal with Fenner if he's not stable enough to go in the ambulance...Karen doesn't exactly look that confident when she hears this, Dr No No may very well strike again!! Anyway, she turns to Bodybag and tells her to go and get kitted up in olde Bodybag is aghast and protests in the strongest possible terms which leads Karen to deduce that she isn't fit for duty...

Bodybag : Of course I am!
Karen : Well bloody well act like it then!

Bodybag reluctantly complies and Helen arrives...Helen asks if Shell's made any demands and Karen replies in the negative, voicing her plan to send the 'heavy mob' in...Helen protests, concerned that it'll 'send her over the edge' and threatens to pull rank if that's the only thing that'll change Karen's mind...Karen reluctantly agrees to let Helen handle it but makes it clear that Fenner is her only concern and if need be, she'll take over.

Downstairs...Nikki manages to sneak back into her cell...

Barbara : My God! Nikki!
Nikki : (Discards wig) Jesus!
Barbara : What's going on? I don't understand!
Nikki : I need a bag! (starts to strip) Get me a bag!
Barbara : Bag! (Hands Nikki a plastic bag) And if you don't tell me what's going on I'm probably going to throw up in it!!!

Yeeeee haaaaa!!!! First continuity error...those of you who rewound the sight of Nikki wobbling like a jelly in her bra will realise that it's a different bra to the one she wore in episode 13...this is a beige lacy jobby and not the white 'Marks & Spencer' granny harness she was wearing when Helen ripped her uniform open.

Outside, a poor screw is dodging missiles being thrown out of windows as Shell holds court from her window...

Shell : Trust me girls, he ain't wriggling out of it this time, not if he wants to keep all his bits on! (Laughs evilly and then turns when she hears someone at the cell door and stalks over to investigate)
Helen : Shell, it's Helen Stewart, I want you to tell me why you're doing this.
Shell : Blimey! What is it? A bleedin' relay?
Helen : Listen, I've come in from home especially to help you.
Shell : Yeah? Well that's your sad life then innit? Don't dump it on me!
Helen : I will be sad if you can't even come up with a good reason for this.
Shell : Well why don't you ask Betts what the reason is? She knows.
Helen : (Thinks about this) Why don't you tell me yourself?
Shell : Why do I tell you lot anything for the good it does me? I might as well speak friggin' Eskimo!

Down in Nikki's cell, Nikki's changed into a lovely Khaki T-shirt (looks like they might've finally taken pity on Mandana and sacked the wardrobe mistress) and Barbara is stuffing the uniform into said bag...

Barbara : What are you going to do with this?
Nikki : (Moody and magnificent, leaning against the cell door and smoking a fag) Bury it, along with my dreams!
Barbara : If you were my daughter Nikki I think I'd probably have to hit you...hard!
Nikki : Well don't talk to me then!

Barbara tries like mad to defend Helen but Nikki ain't listening...

Nikki : Well give her a bloody medal then!

Barbara tries again, this time mentioning the appeal...

Nikki : Because it's bollocks Barbara! What's suddenly going to change the pricks in wigs to let me appeal?
Barbara : Well she hasn't given up, has she?
Nikki : Yes she has, we had one chance to share a life together, to take a huge bloody risk and go for it...(Nikki's tearful and the music is playing again to add to the emotional significance of the moment)...well that's it now.

Out in the officers' room, Karen's in search of St Marilyn of the Cardigan's phone number (let's hope it's not to compare knitting patterns) when Di pre-empts her...she dithers about, asking where Dominic is until Karen moves her along...but she's got bigger fish to fry...she's just about to phone the estranged wife of her lover...Mazzer is distraught to hear that hubby's been filleted and twigs immediately that it was 'that Dockley' who did the deed...she slams the phone down on a very pissed off Karen and sets off for Larkhall in her Dad's car.

Karen lights a cigarette...and I want to shag her!!!!! Oooops...did I just say that???

Another commercial break...a packet of organic soup and a Nat West ad later...

Shell's onto Helen's game...

Shell : I know what your game is, you and Betts - you're doin' nice and nasty, ain't ya?
Helen : I just want to understand why you're doing this so you don't undo every good report that you've worked for.
Shell : Yeah, well I'll tell you what I want (what I really, really want...sorry, couldn't resist) right, I wanna be believed this time, I want 'im to sign a true confession saying that he raped me right? Because that's why I slashed him - to get 'im off me! (Turns to Fenner) You 'ear that mush?
Fenner : For God's sake, I'm dying.
Shell : Well look lively then! (Slaps him round the face)
Helen : Shell, listen to me! You need to help us try to keep Mr Fenner alive.
Shell : He ain't dying, he just don't like it up 'im!

Helen persuades Shell to give Fenner a sheet so that he can press it against the wound to stem the bleeding...Shell considers this for a seconds and then chucks Fenner a sheet...

Shell : 'Ere, stuff this in yer 'ole!

Helen then asks Shell to give him a blanket to wrap round his shoulders...

Shell : Make 'im a cup of tea as well shall I?

The talk then moves on to Shell's demands and Helen asks for a list of things she wants...realisation dawns on Shell's face...

Shell : 'What? You mean like I can 'ave it?

Shell begins to make her demands...

Shell : Well I'd want at least a hundred fags right?
Helen : Okay.
Shell : What?
Helen : Anything else?
Shell : Alright...don't rush me! I want a whole box of 'Kit Kats' right? And 'Mars Bars' and phonecards...the four quid ones right?
Helen : Yeah.
Shell : And new shampoo, and er...conditioner...and er...a load of stamps n'all.

Helen tries to make a deal and says that once the things arrive, Shell has to clear the door and stand back...but our Shell ain't as green as she's cabbage looking...

Shell : The name's Shell, not spazzer, right?

Negotiations continue and Shell tells Helen that she'll send a 'swinger' down for the gear, and once Fenner's signed the confession and she's been given a nice new cell 'with a duvet and curtains' she'll think about letting him go...Helen presses for a promise...

Shell : k'in 'ell! What do you want me to do? Crutch a bleedin' bible?

But eventually she gets Shell to agree.

Down on the landing, Karen is appraising the Fat Controller of the situation, and rather than being concerned about his golfing partner's well-being, the old duffer is more worried about how 'another dead body' is going to make him look crap in front of area...he informs Karen in no uncertain terms that he wants the situation resolved ASAP...blimey??? Could Karen be in trouble at last??? If this had happened when Helen was in charge she'd be straight out of the gates clutching her P45.

Down in the dorm, Shaz and Denny are avid for information and call up to Shell...

Denny : You killed 'im yet?
Shell : Nah, trying to bring 'im back to life now.
Denny : What?
Shell : Well it's no fun if they die too quick, is it?

Shell then asks if Denny's got a swinger made up...

Denny : Call me king of the swing innit?

Shell asks Denny to send the swinger up and Denny is quick to agree...all this excitement causes a bit of a pensive look to appear on Shaz's face...could the green-eyed monster be lurking???

Down in the Julies' cell, Yvonne is quick to dish out the advice...

Yvonne : Don't be so gentle with him! Stick it in again and give it a bit of wrist!

But the Julies are sitting there cuddled up like flopsy bunnies and Yvonne's beginning to wonder if they're on Fenner's side...the Julies admit to being scared and point out that the last time this happened on another wing it sparked off a riot and cells were burnt...a bit of a dicey situation if the woman in the cell next door is in for arson...

Julie J : We'd be stuck 'ere like piggies on a barbie!

Yvonne admits to feeling a bit of respect towards Shell...

Yvonne : I know she's a pain in the arse but she knows how to get her man.

Yvonne then goes on to lament on the Charlie situation...

Julie S : But we thought you was cut up about it.
Yvonne : I'd like to cut him up, I'd like to put him in a slicer so he could watch himself make salami!

Yvonne then tells the Julies that she's realised that Charlie and Renee set her up in the first place and that they obviously wanted her banged up in Larkhall so they could be together. The Julies sympathise and then produce two 'Tizer' bottles containing the dregs they managed to collect before Bodybag did her dying swan act. The three decide to toast their nemesis...

Yvonne : Here's to Sylvia and Bobby Hollamby...up theirs!

Up on G3, the officers are mobilising with sledgehammers and the like and Helen fills Karen in on Shell's demands...Karen's still not convinced and makes it clear that she'll be standing by to go in on a moment's notice...Di is sent outside with Shell's goody bag and Karen wonders aloud where the riot team are...

Cue Bodybag all geared out in a crash helmet, pads and a riot about the wicket-keeper from hell!!!

We get our first glimpse of Dawn (DAWN!!) as she assists the others to swing the swinger up to Shell's a last minute piece of diplomacy, Helen persuades Shell to send the broken glass down to Di who will replace it with the stuff she's asked for...however, it's clear by the way that Karen is pacing up and down outside the cell like a pissed off tiger that things might end up extremely badly for Shell...Eventually, after extracting another promise out of Helen, Shell agrees and wraps the broken glass up in the swinger before lowering it out the window.

As soon as Shell starts to lower the swinger, it becomes clear that Karen was just waiting for the opportunity to go in...she's got Di waiting downstairs to radio her the minute she has the glass before sending Bodybag and the heavies (WOW!! great name for a heavy metal band!!) in...Helen's pissed off to say the least, especially when Karen instructs the heavy mob that she wants Fenner out first...

Helen : What?
Karen : Sorry Helen, my call.

Di radios to say that she has the glass and a tug of war ensues between her and Shell as Karen steps forward...

She's cool, she's stern, she's not gonna take any bollocks from anyone...marry me?? Ooops. sidetracked there for a moment...

Karen : Shell Dockley, this is Governor Betts, I'm giving you a direct order to come out of this cell NOW!

Shell realises that things might not be going completely to plan...

Shell : Whaddeyer mean?

Ad time again...'Lloyd's Bank', 'Scottish Widows', 'Solpadeine', 'Lynx Shampoo'...on and on and on and on...have you ever noticed that the more you want a commercial break to end the longer it becomes????


Oooooh...the the screws start prying the door of its hinges with crowbars Shell gives a great tug on the swinger and Di Barking ends up flat on her keister as she looses the battle...a cheer goes up amongst the inmates...

It's a race now...will Shell get to the glass before the screws get the door off??? The tension is building, your heart is pounding...will she? won't she??? will they?? won't they??

Bodybag lowers her visor...she means business and just as Shell grabs hold of the glass the door falls and the heavies steam in...Fenner slides to the floor as they surround Shell with their shields, forcing her to the ground and restraining her forcibly...Shell starts screaming...your first thought is Kate Bush wuthering up those bleedin' heights, but then she becomes more like something out of 'The Exorcist' half expect her to start spinning her head and spraying the assembled company with green vomit...anyway, Karen expresses her concern about how long the whole thing is taking...

Karen : Just get her out of there!

And Helen's rather pathetic...

Helen : Just be careful with her! definitely the winner of 'cringe of the week'.

Anyway, finally the paramedics get into the cell and as Shell is led away, Yvonne Atkins starts a chant that the rest of the wing begin picking up on...

'Shell! Shell! Shell!...'

Jim's flat out and not responding...the paramedic tells Karen that he needs to be taken to the hospital wing where Dr No No awaits...let's just hope he hasn't got a brain tumour eh???

Pause for superb comedy moment here...clad in her winceyette jim-jams, Dawn is seen pounding on her cell door...

'Shell! Shell! Shell!'

Karen's concern for Jim is clear...

Karen : Come on Jim, you can make it!

And it's obvious that the steely wing governor is now on the ragged edge of losing it as he is carried away to the waiting stretcher.

Meanwhile, an unnamed screw sums up the atmosphere amongst the chanting inmates superbly...

Screw : Bloody hell!

Down in Nikki's cell, Barbara is clearly concerned as she tries to concentrate on her diary and it's plain to see why...Nikki is standing there massaging her temples with a pained look on her face...tense, nervous headache or a sign that the Wade volcano is about to erupt?????

Back up on G3, Fenner is taken away and Helen asks to do a recce of Shell's cell...Karen's facial expression tells a thousand words here, she's pissed off with the way that Helen tried to handle the situation, and if looks could kill, everyone's favourite bit of Scottish totty would be lying out flat on the floor, dead as a bleedin' dodo!

Well, have to admit that I felt a delicious shiver down my spine then at the prospect of a confrontation between Karen and Helen...the fiery Scot versus the icy blonde...ooooh errrrrr!!! Bodes well for the future dunnit???

Down in the dorm...Denny's reet pissed off about the way things have turned out for Shell, Shaz is understandably concerned about the situation and inquires if Denny still has feelings for Shell, Denny replies in the negative but there's just something in her eyes...could this series see her proving where her true loyalties lie???

Up in Shell's cell...Helen looks around until Shell's confession catches her eye and then suddenly, unexplainably, she gets all panicky and looks for all the world like she's just cacked a load in her knickers...

Anyway, we've got no time to analyse this because Nikki's suddenly decided to go stir-crazy and starts banging on the door like a woman possessed, ringing on the cell buzzer and yelling...

Nikki : Come on you arseholes! Come and get me!

Luckily for Nikki, Helen cuts the arriving screw off at the pass and announces her intention to handle it...but her face looks like it's just been carved out of Mount Rushmore...blimey Helen!! Nikki's escaped, had mind-blowing sex, been shopped by the love of her life, had all her hopes and dreams smashed etc etc etc...can you blame her for going loopy??? Looks like it...

Helen : Stand back from this door!

Nikki stands back and Helen opens the door...

Helen : Get out here!

Oh please...just sling her a choke chain and tell her to sit Helen friggin' Woodhouse!!

Helen : NOW!

Nikki leaves the cell meekly and Helen has a revelation when she meets a silent and impassioned plea from Barbara...

Helen : In the office!
Nikki : Why?
Helen : MOVE IT!

In the office...

Nikki : What?
Helen : Just tell me one thing Nikki, what have you told your cellmate?
Nikki : eh?
Helen : I'd forgotten that you share a cell.
Nikki : She knows it went arse-up.
Helen : No, I meant what does she know about me? (A significant silence from Nikki causes Helen to push her) For God's sake tell me!
Nikki : What's it matter?
Helen : Oh God! (turns away)
Nikki : Well how did you think I...
Helen : (turns back) I didn't think! I just imagined you in bed on your own.
Nikki : (puts her hands on Helen's shoulders) Darling, it's okay.
Helen : (shrugs off hands) No! It's not okay!
Nikki : I didn't tell the nurse about you.
Helen : I didn't think you'd told anyone!
Nikki : You told Dominic McAllister! (As if she was standing in a schoolyard saying - 'she hit me first Miss')
Helen : It's not the same. (As if she was standing in the same schoolyard saying - 'No, she hit me first')
Nikki : Why? Because he's not a con?
Helen : No, because I told him about my feelings, you told a prisoner that I broke the bloody law!
Nikki : Well she's not gonna dob you in it, she thinks you're a saint! Look, it was doing my head in! I told her it was all over between us, I didn't have to tell her any different.

Helen turns, the music starts again, and we know we're in for heartbreak...

Helen : It is all over.
Nikki : What?
Helen : It's got to be. (Eyes filming with tears, lips quivering) Here I am judging Jim Fenner for having an unprofessional relationship with Shell Dockley and look at me.
Nikki : Are you mad?
Helen : I am being a total hypocrite!
Nikki : He's a total bastard!
Helen : I can't hold it together anymore Nikki, and neither can you. (Cripes!! Finally, Helen shows just how much she really does feel for Nikki and even I'm starting to sympathise with her) It's too strong, what we feel...and what we need. (The torture and the passion in her voice is absolutely heart-breaking) It's impossible, we have to let go, we have no choice.
Nikki : This is just shit Helen.

And I'm sitting here saying, don't say it, don't say it...

Helen : It's how it is.


Nikki : Not for me! No way! We make our choices...(pauses and looks Helen right in the eye) coward. (It's whispered, but so full of feeling that it sends a shiver right down your spine) You don't need me; all you want is an easy life.
Helen : Fine, if that's the way you want to see it... (walks over to the door and opens it) ...then hate me for it.

Oh I the only one who was sitting there in absolute raptures?? Truly brilliant acting by both women here...yeah, yeah, so it was an unhappy outcome...but the emotions were spot on, the whole scene was so full of love it was gut-wrenching to watch...well, I set out watching tonight with a feeling that I was going to be disappointed, but with that scene, I've well and truly been blasted away.

Okay, enough of my gushing...

Nikki gets the last word when she is allowed back into her cell...

Nikki : It's okay now Barbara, you can put it all down in writing - N&H, R.I.P.

And out on the landing, Helen struggles to hold back the tears...

Down on the medical wing, Fenner has arrived and he ain't looking too good at all...Dr No No's already being a pompous git in between panicking when Karen arrives with St Marilyn of the Cardigan in tow...

Karen : How is he?
Dr No No : We're getting him stable.

Oh hello...and this is from the same bloke who misdiagnosed a brain tumour as it turns out, it's famous last words time because Fenner goes into arrest...

Dr No No : (Flapping like Bodybag at her best) Adrenalin quick!

Back up on the wing, the Julies are well and truly mullered and are reminiscing about Bodybag's dance moves...Julie J does a very convincing impression, complete with fluffy slippers when a screw arrives to break up the party...

Yvonne : Ooh, that'll be room service.

Before she is led back to her own cell she enquires after Fenner's health...

Yvonne : Fenner in the morgue yet?
Screw : Out!
Yvonne : Oh well, we'll soon find out, won't we?

Back down on the medical wing...Dr No No is proving as ineffectual as a fart in a hurricane, even Karen (ex nurse extraordinaire) is more on the ball...

Karen : Get the paddles!

And you half expect him to look around for a canoe...anyway, he realises in the end that Karen is referring to the nearby defibrillator, but he hesitates and even the paramedic has to advise him of the correct voltage...

The shock is response...

Mazzer is wailing, Karen is praying and the camera circles around on Fenner's totally unresponsive face...

End of Episode One...

Will he live?
Will Mazzer take acting lessons?
Will Karen finally get to lose that dreadful cardigan?

Will we survive until next week????

Not bloody likely!!! 

Awards (by Coops and Filbertfox)

Top Dog of the Week
Helen for getting Nikki back safe and sound, and apparently undiscovered.

Yvonne - just 'cos she is the Coolest Cat.

Twatting Twat of the Week
Just soooo many to choose from...

Karen Betts (ooo controversial, Filbert will be after my blood) - what the hell was she playing at? Helen was doing a great job of talking Shell down, but no, she had to send the heavies in.

Dippy Barker for giving the all-clear before she had the whole of the swinger.

Helen for treating her lover like a moron and blowing poor Nikki out yet again - put your sodding principles aside woman!

Dr No-No - just sack him for crying out loud. On second thoughts, don't – he might get replaced by a younger, better-looking version with the hots for a certain Lifers' Liaison Governor.

Weedy Pigeon of the Week
Got to be Fenner... we love to hate him, but it just wouldn't be the same now, would it? Let's hope the old git pulls through.

Spin Doctor of the Week
Karen is trying to front it out, and I think this week she succeeded. The teaser for next week doesn't look good for her but let's face it, had this happened on Helen's G-Wing, Stubbsy would have had our favourite Scot out of the door before the night was over.

Worst Girl of the Week
Shell - total star turn from Debra Stephenson.

Best Line of the Week
Shell: Do you want another poke in the pudding?

Nikki: I forget, I look a total prat. Dusty Springfield's ugly sister eh?

Helen: I'm very happy to take a breath test.
[*lmao* knowing your relationship with Mr Stoli, Helen, I don't think you'd pass that one]

Shell: Here, stuff this in your hole.

Yvonne: I'd like to put him in a slicer, so he could watch himself make salami.

Helen: Get out here. Now!
[ooo that accent...]

Julie J : We'd be stuck 'ere like piggies on a barbie

Shell : The name's Shell, not spazzer right?

Worst line of the Week
Nikki: Love it when you're bossy!

Nikki: It's right here.
[erm, hello - you've been inside for several years while Helen drives from her home to Larkhall everyday... I don't think she needs directions actually]

Barbara: Bag. And if you don't tell me what's going on, I'm probably going to throw up in it!

Helen: Just be careful with her.
[yeah right, she's just stabbed one of their colleagues, they're really going to use kid gloves aren't they?]

Marilyn Fenner : Oh my God! [wins worse actress of the week award with her terribly unconvincing wailing and moaning when she clocks Jim on the trolley]

Warring faction of the Week
Yep, it's our star-crossed lovers again. But I can see KB and Helen coming to blows before too long.

Best Performance by an Extra
It was a close thing, but it has to be the woman banging on her door with her boots. Style and rhythm in perfect harmony.

Sight of the Week
Helen getting a less-than-subtle wink from the policewoman. Get your coat love, you've pulled. She was about to chase Helen round the car ala Benny Hill whilst accompanied by the 'yakety sax' music...LMAO!!

Bodybag in riot gear. Did anyone else immediately think of that "Terminator" pic from Filbert's site?

Helen desperately trying to hold her emotions in check in the middle of the wing. Top writing, top acting.

It should be Sound of the Week - did you hear that squelch when Shell twisted the bottle in Fenner's guts? Eeowwwwww!

And is that a Flip-Flop I hear before me?

Di Barker falling flat on her backside after losing the tug-of war with Shell.

Julie J doing her 'Come Dancing' bit whilst wearing fluffy slippers and with a fag hanging out of her gob...Angela Rippon she ain't!!

Larkhall Miracles and Mysteries
Is it just me, or does Stubberfield now serve no useful purpose whatsoever?

Yvonne knew straight away what had happened when the alarm bells went off - is she the Mystic Meg of G-Wing?

Karen requests that the emergency services make a silent approach - why? Nobody was sleeping through them bells!

So a hosepipe at that range would burn Shell's skin off? Must have better pressure than the one which just gave Mad Tessa a soaking.

Where did Nikki get her new bra? In S2Ep13 it was definitely a 1000-wash grey number, not the lacey beige version she was flaunting here. Not that we're complaining, either about the bra or the flaunting *lol*.

Just had to mention the bit where Helen realises that Nikki does actually have a cellmate...okay, apart from the obvious admission of fuckwittage on Helen's behalf...she then goes on to say - 'I pictured you lying in bed on your own' - as if Nikki's in the habit of cuddling up to Barbara...yeah right!!!

Hello??? Your lover has just been stabbed by a psycho Barbie doll from hell and who do you order into the riot-gear??? Bodybag??? Serious error in judgement from the fair Miss Betts there.

The screws standing outside and dodging missiles thrown by the inmates from their windows - did anyone not think to give them headgear???

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