Season 3, Episode 2: Back from the Brink
Recap by Filbertfox

Synopsis

Whooooo...without even a pause to collect ourselves, we're pushed straight back into the drama this week...

Fenner's still flat lining on the trolley, Dr No No's still flapping, Mazzer's still wailing and Karen's still wearing that frigging cardigan!!!!

Talking about the fair Miss Betts, she's very obviously in control of the situation, reaping the benefit of her nursing background and ordering Dr No No to charge the defibrillator up to 360...

No response...

But there's a slight waver on the gorgeous one's face...

Karen : Keep trying!

Dr No No dithers a bit more and orders the paramedic to charge up the paddles again...

Ladies and gentleman...Jim Fenner has just returned to the land of the living...

There's a lot of 'Thank God'ing going on in the background as Dr No No instructs the paramedics to ship Fenner out to the hospital...Mazzer follows the trolley down the corridor and Karen is left standing in the corridor with a look of absolute relief on her face.

Cut to the block...

Just a quick observation here...is it just me or is there something remarkably obscene about the way Di Barker takes her rubber gloves off?

Anyway, we've got no time to dither about...it's like the showdown at the OK Corral, Shell's got a face like a bag of spanners as she stares down an equally pissed off Bodybag who's still clad in her riot gear and looking more like The Terminator with every passing moment...

Bodybag : You've gone too far this time Dockley! You'd better pray to high heaven that Jim Fenner's alright!

Having made her point, Bodybag turns to leave the cell, but Shell's determined to have the last word...

Shell : Hope he bleeds to death!

Bodybag stops in her tracks and in an incredibly graceful pirouetting movement, spins round to smack Shell right round the kisser...

Bodybag : If that man doesn't pull through you'll end up wishing you were dead!

And her face seems to crumple with emotion as she says it...forget Karen Betts, looks like St Marilyn of the Cardigan has even stiffer competition now!!! Anyway, Bodybag's still not through...

Bodybag : And if she gives you any lip, smack her again! Good and hard!

Well Sylv, looks like you missed your calling the day you signed up for the Prison Service...you could be earning a fortune now, jack-booting up and down in PVC gear, brandishing a whip and torturing middle-aged businessmen for 」200 a pop!!

Anyway, Shell's obviously got the message...we leave her lying on the cell floor with a pained expression on her face.

Meanwhile...back in Acton, a bedroom door opens and we get our first glimpse of Josh and Crystal...turns out that the bedroom is Josh's, and predictably, Crystal jumps onto the defensive, thinking that he's got the wrong idea...but no, our Josh is a perfect gentleman and informs Crystal that he'll be moving his stuff into the spare bedroom. Josh apologises for the place being 'a dump' even though it's probably the tidiest and cleanest looking bedroom ever to be owned by a single bloke living on his own and tells Crystal that as soon as he's got another job, they'll look for a better place. He then asks Crystal to take the ring off the chain around her neck...

Josh : Crystal Gordon, will you marry me?
Crystal : (Coy smile) Yeah.


He slips the ring on her finger and they embrace...awwwww!!!

A few days later????

Bodybag's doing her usual, i.e. moaning on to Di Barker while brewing up in her Charles & Di mug...

Bodybag : It was different in my Bobby's day I can tell you, it wouldn't have been tolerated.

Okay, the logical assumption here is that the sanctimonious old windbag is whinging about the Fenner situation, but why bring Bobby into it?? Did he used to be a prison officer?? Or is she just going on about a load of old bollocks as usual??

Anyway, there's no time to tarry because the Fat Controller arrives in the officers' room with a leather-jacketed Helen and a pin-stripe suited (swooooon!) Karen in tow...at last, a reprieve from the cardigan from hell!!!

Stubberfield updates the screws on Fenner's condition...apparently he was moved to a local hospital a few days ago and is 'responding well to treatment'...there's a bit of guff about a bouquet of flowers being sent to him before Bodybag launches into attack mode...

Bodybag : What we want to know is what's going to happen to Dockley? A couple of weeks down on the block and then back into the system? You might as well stick targets on our backs!

And from the look on Helen's face as she listens to this, she'd be the first one in line with the bow and arrow.

The Fat Controller informs ye Olde Bodybag that he's got allocations looking for a place for Shell in Ashmore, which we assume is a psychiatric hospital because Helen immediately objects, citing the fact that Shell would have to be sectioned first, and anyway, if there's a decision to be made about Shell's future then it's up to the Lifers' Unit (for Lifers' Unit read Helen)...upon hearing this, Bodybag inflates in her chair and favours Helen with that patented 'busted arsehole' face...

Bodybag : What do you mean - any decision to move her? Do you mean you might not?

Okay...you all know I知 not exactly Helen's greatest fan, but the look she gives Bodybag is a classic - just like she was facing the village idiot...

Helen : We don't have all the facts Sylvia.
Bodybag : (Standing up to confront Helen) It's a fact that Jim nearly died because of her, it's a fact that he might never work again.
Helen : Look, I know feelings are running high Sylvia and I知 as upset as you are about Jim, but as head of the Lifers' Unit...
Bodybag : Come off it! You've never given that man any support, when I think of the times...


Enter the fair Miss Betts to call time out...

And you just know that I'm going to offend every single Helen fan out there when I say that right there, Karen won the battle of the Wing Governors...slapping Bodybag down with a firm hand rather than entering into a futile, wishy-washy argument about Shell being the responsibility of the Lifers' Unit etc etc etc...and in the words of that fine philosopher, Mr Forrest Gump - 'That's all I have to say about that!'

Anyway...

Stubberfield grabs the baton and trundles on with it, informing the present company that Shell's been charged with attempted murder by the police and that said police will be instigating a full investigation into the matter...and...there will also be an internal investigation...

Bodybag : And who's going to head that?

And while the Fat Controller dithers around like a great wobbly blancmange, Helen steps forward...

Helen : I'm Spartacus!

Ooooops...sorry...

Helen : I am.

But silently, she's really saying - 'so put that in your pipe and smoke it you fat old cow!'...anyway, Bodybag's obviously not that chuffed because she huffs, puffs and then folds her arms, looking like a bad-tempered Native American woman whose wigwam has just blown down around her.

Outside...Crystal emerges from a shop with a very shifty expression on her face...oh shit!! She ain't been teefing again has she??? Anyway, Josh calls out to her and she makes some excuse about not seeing anything in the shop that she likes before swiftly changing the subject and asking Josh how he's got on down at the job-centre...nada basically...but Crystal's game...

Crystal : Maybe I値l find something, there's plenty of shop work, but I ain't sure they'd be that keen on employing a shop-lifter.

WARNING!! Pause for crap joke which may be hazardous to the reader's health...

But Crystaaaaaal, you don't look strong enough to be able to lift shops.

Okay, okay...so it's just after midnight and the loopiness caused by sleep-deprivation is beginning to kick in...

And as Josh and Crystal indulge in another cuddle-fest, Crystal's eyes slide in the direction of the shop window where the assistant has just put a rather nice carriage clock out on display...

Back at the prison...

The inmates are all crowding around the wing gate and there's trouble in the air...

Yvonne : Mr Fenner not on duty today then Miss?

And as the other inmates piss themselves laughing, Bodybag scrumples her face and yet again, Di Barking is subjected to another bout of whinging...blimey! Is it any wonder the woman's off her head having to listen to that all day???

WHOA!!!

Back up...

Pick yourself up off the floor and rewind that video...

Nikki erupts from her cell...

Nikki : What's all the racket?

Okay, so you're sitting there wondering what all the fuss is about...okay, for the benefit of those not so lucky as us Brits...

What would your reaction be if I told you that the world's most perfect torso (well, discounting Jeri Ryan) was packed into a skin-tight black T-shirt???

Pause here while Mandana fans reach for the smelling salts...

Babs is totally unimpressed though...

Barbara : Just a bit of screw-baiting I'm afraid.
Nikki : Well as long as someone's having some fun. (Dissolves into that smouldering hard done by look we all know and love)
Barbara : There's no use dwelling on it Nikki.
Nikki : Yeah, maybe not...but there's sod all else to do in here! (Drapes herself over the table and huffs) Christ! I coulda been swanning around San Francisco right now.


Another pause here...let me just remind you all that Nikki's just been dumped by Helen, had her appeal blown out of the water and had her escape attempt thwarted...

Bearing this in mind, what pearl of wisdom does Babs come up with...

Barbara : Well you've still got your studies.

Isn't that rather like turning around to Zandra and saying - you're a smackhead, you were pregnant by a bloke who dumped you, you had your baby taken away, you were diagnosed with a fatal brain tumour at the age of nineteen, but hey...at least you got a nice pair of specs out of the deal.

But Nikki's turned into the Incredible Sulk yet again and nothing's registering...

Nikki : What's the point? I'm never gonna get out of this shit-hole now am I?
Barbara : But when your solicitor takes your case to the review commission...
Nikki : Look! It's all pie in the sky stuff, there won't be an appeal! Anyway, I might as well stay in here now that she's dumped me!


Nikki morphs into Kevin the Teenager again and stomps off back to her cell...

You know...I知 starting to wonder just what part of Nikki's lifestyle her parents disagreed with...was it because they found out that she was a lesbian or because she turned into a moody, confrontational strop-monster when she hit adolescence???

Anyway...it's high noon out on the wing and you can almost see the tumbleweed blowing across the set as Bodybag stares down the other inmates...oh, and check out the evil look on Julie S's face as the camera pans across...of course, the last face they show is Yvonne's - her expression puts you in mind of a crocodile basking on a riverbank while waiting for a juicy human to swim by...

Predictably, Bodybag backs down...

Bodybag : Anyway, I致e got reports to be getting on with.

The inmates realise they've won the battle and begin to laugh when Bodybag trundles across the wing...but, she's seen Dr No No and obviously has a favour to ask of him...hmmmmm, wonder what she's planning???

Down on the block, Helen arrives to speak to Shell who is staring out of the cell window like something out of a Greek tragedy....

Helen : So why don't you tell me in your own words Shell?
Shell : (Turns from the window, obviously deciding to do her meek and innocent routine) Like I said, Fenner came into my room...says something about fancying a bit...the party had got 'im in the mood. So, he pushed me down on the bed, gets on top of me, so I grabs the bottle and...(pauses, sighs and then looks down at the floor like a scared puppy) Well...you know the rest.
Helen : And all of this took you completely by surprise? He didn't come on to you at the party at all?
Shell : (Loses her cool slightly) Nah, too public innit? He ain't that daft.
Helen : So if you weren't prepared for it, how come you had the broken bottle handy?
Shell : (Long pause here and you can almost hear the gears cranking and grinding in her head as she frantically tries to come up with a plausible excuse) I was gonna slash me wrists...'cause I knew Fenner would never give up and I壇 had enough.
Helen : (Obviously not believing a word of it, stands up and walks across to stand by Shell) You know Shell, I want to see that you're treated fairly in this inquiry.
Shell : (Meekly) Thanks Miss.
Helen : Just as I want to make sure Mr Fenner is, so, when you want to start telling me the truth, instead of a load of bullshit (pronounced booolshit, coz she's Scottish innit?) we'll talk again.


Shell is left with a dumbfounded expression on her face...she obviously thought that she was going to be able to wrap Helen around her little finger.

Oh, we're visiting the Fenner's at the hospital where the bastard screwdriver himself is obviously still in a great deal of pain...but then again, he might just be having trouble moving around because of the, starched to razor sharp precision creases, M&S jim-jams he's wearing...and if that's not bad enough, Mazzer's fussing around him like a mother hen. The two talk about the stabbing incident...

Fenner : I told you she was a psycho, I told you she was out to get me didn't I?
Marilyn : Yeah, you did, and I didn't believe you...I知 so sorry.


Whoa! Stop right there...what's with the guilt-trip Marilyn?? It didn't stop him shagging the 'psycho' while you were listening on the other end of the phone did it????

Oh blimey! Don't tell me the dizzy cow's falling for it??? And as she crumples into Fenner's arms, you begin to wish you'd been there to give the bottle a twist yourself.

Back down the block, Shell's pacing up and down when the cell door opens to reveal Bodybag carrying a sack of her belongings. Shell immediately protests, thinking that she's going to be shipped out, but from the look on Bodybag's face, you know that she's got something worse in store for the G3 slasher.

Right, even watching this scene for the second time...I知 going to have to pause the video and collapse into complete hysterics...

This is obviously the infamous 'muppet wing'...and again, we致e been provided with a 'Lynchian' moment...

You've got the woman lolling in a plastic chair with a vacant look on her face...the fat harridan with the wild hair pacing up and down and moaning and the woman sitting with her head on the table, scratching at it frantically with her nails...all we're missing is a backwards speaking dwarf and a red curtain.

The look on Shell's face says it all...

Shell : You ain't gonna put me on the muppet wing!

Cut to Bodybag's smug face...

Shell : I ain't a bleedin' loony!

Just then, we get our first proper glimpse at the fat harridan's face as she advances on Shell...is she...

a) Anne Widdecombe's better looking sister?
b) An extra from 'The Exorcist'?
c) A glimpse at what Nikki's gonna look like umpteen years into the future after her fifty thousandth request for an appeal has been turned down...think I知 joking??? Sexual frustration can really get to some people!!!

Anyway, turns out that she is in fact, a nutter called Pam Jolly...hello??? Take the piss or what???

So, Bodybag disappears to leave Shell to it...

Shell : They're all bleedin' nutters in 'ere!
PO Wheeler : That's a terrible thing to say.


And Shell is dragged away kicking and screaming, while Bodybag gloats at the gate...

Shell : I wanna speak to Miss Stewart! Get me out of here now!
Bodybag : Your patron saint isn't going to save you this time Dockley.


How the mighty have fallen eh??? All that's left is a rather sad picture of Shell standing in a bare cell...as she sits down dejectedly on a bunk, some graffiti catches her eye...

'No one gets out alive'

End of part one...

Direct Line, Cheltenham & Gloucester, Charmin Ultra, Downy, Oil of Ulay, Red Bull...Dolmio, Intel Pentium 4...

8 adverts???? Torture or what???

Part two...

Babs is scribbling in her diary and Nikki's lying like a piece of wet lettuce on her bunk when there's a knock on the cell door...it's Helen...cut to Nikki snivelling before Babs gets the hint and leaves them to it...

Pause for a waffling moment...

What's with Helen's utility belt?? It looks like the one that Batman used to wear!!

Waffling moment over...

Helen walks over to the bunk and we get a shot of Nikki's bra strap because she's lying with her face to the wall...

Helen : Nikki...(pronounced Neeeeki, coz she's Scottish innit?)...Nikki...(reaches out to touch Nikki's shoulder)...you've gotta keep trying... (Nikki turns over tearfully)...come on for us.
Nikki : Don't, there isn't any us.
Helen : There is if you get out of here, it's the future we've got to think about.
Nikki : You don't get it do you? You think you do but you don't! The only future you have in here is your release date, that's what you fix your eyes on, that's what gets you through, and I don't have one. (Turns back to face the wall)
Helen : Listen, you didn't have one before and you got through it.
Nikki : (Extreeeeeeeme close-up!) I had you before...
Nikki : You know I could get through a whole week just waiting for one look from you? And when I got that, I could get through another week. (Oh, the pain, oh the anguish as she turns to face the wall again, voice cracking with emotion) You see, you're making me remember and I just want to forget.
Helen : Well I知 not going to let you forget (Voice quavering slightly) because there is going to be a future.
Nikki : A future that could be twelve, fifteen years away!


Ooops, looks like Nikki's just hit the nail right on the head there because there's a guilty look on Helen's face as she swiftly changes the subject...

Helen : Look, your solicitor isn't going to be able to make it in this week.
Nikki : You warned her off didn't you?
Helen : Oh shut up and listen, Claire's promised me that she's gonna get in as soon as she can, she wants to go through your case for the review.
Nikki : I thought...
Helen : What? You thought I was just gonna leave you in here to rot? Look, we're gonna do everything we can to get you out of here, whether you like it or not!


Another Extreeeeeeeme close-up on Nikki there...is it just me or does her nose look decidedly bigger from that angle???

Down in the muppet wing...

Shell's up on her feet like a whippet when Bodybag opens the door to her cell...

Shell : Mrs Hollamby! I'm really sorry for mouthing off; I deserved that smack in the face.
Bodybag : You don't say!
Shell : If you just let me out of here I won't give you no bother, honest.


But Bodybag's got more evil tricks up her sleeve than Lex Luthor...a frantically protesting inmate is dragged into Shell's cell...and as she looks up, she reveals herself to be none other than Mad Tessa 'chewed a screw's ear off' Spall!!!

Shell sums her predicament up silently...

Shell : Fuck!

In Karen's office, she's getting a bit of a mauling from a female detective who looks like she chews nails for breakfast and keeps her ice cubes cold in her knickers. She kicks off by accusing the screws who were on duty that night for negligence before moving on to Shell's claim that Fenner tried to rape her...through all of this, Karen squirms uncomfortably in her seat, deflecting all of the awkward questions like a Tory politician being cross-examined by Jeremy Paxman...well...that's until the detective goes for the knock-out blow and brings up Shell's allegation of assault against Fenner (S2ep2), after being pinned down by more direct questions, Karen is forced to admit that on that occasion, she believed Shell.

Talking of Shell...she's picking at her dinner and trying to avoid Tessa's mad poppy eyes, but it's too late - Tessa's recognised her and eventually remembers the incident from the last series when Shell tried to put her in her place and teach her 'some manners'...in a repeat of that incident, Shell's dinner is thrown to the floor and she finds herself eyeball to eyeball with the female equivalent of Hannibal Lector (but without the charm, obviously)...again, she is told to get on her knees and clean the mess up...Shell ain't arguing, she's obviously bricking it, especially when Tessa crouches down beside her...

Tessa : Well this time I知 gonna be teaching you some manners!

Down in Helen's office...the Fat Controller is doing the Spin Doctor routine and trying to convince her to sweep the whole thing under the carpet, just like always, his biggest fear is press involvement...she ain't having any of it though and he leaves when Karen arrives, fresh from her interview with the dibble...

Karen : I just wanted you to know that the Police have been to see me, asking me about Jim's suspension.
Helen : Yeah? Did you tell them that you had your own suspicions at the time?
Karen : Well of course I did!
Helen : I'm sorry.
Karen : You're not the only one with standards you know Helen.
Helen : (hugely uncomfortable look on her face) This whole thing is beginning to get to me.


Aha!!! So now we really see the conflict Helen is experiencing...but wait a minute?? Where's the confrontation between Helen and Karen that looked so on the cards last episode??

Anyway, Karen insists that if Fenner's hiding something then she wants to know about it and therefore, is refusing to be involved in a cover-up. But Helen confesses that she didn't believe a word of Shell's explanation, she's convinced that Fenner 'was going to get it no matter what'...

Helen : I'm beginning to think that we've got the man wrong.

Well...looks like Mr Teflon's gonna get away with it yet again!! But what else is new???

It's bedtime on the muppet wing and Shell's watching Tessa brush her teeth - blimey!! She even does that insanely!!! Shell comes to the conclusion that she's got to win Tessa round in order to survive and starts praising her obvious loopyness...

Shell : Chewing a screws ear off, that's got style innit?

Despite the fact that Tessa's completely non-responsive, Shell ploughs on...

Shell : We could be mates.

Tessa finishes brushing her teeth and flashes that mad poppy eyed look right into the camera...you just know that Shell's in for big trouble...after scaring the living shite out of her by threatening to slash their wrists so that they can become 'blood sisters', Tessa climbs into bed...

Tessa : Night, night. (Extreeeeeeeme close up) Sleep tight.

Awwww, don't you just wish they'd thought to stick in a little Hannibal impression???

The following day????

We pay another visit to the hospital - South Central Memorial no less...so Fenner's convalescing in 'da hood' then??? Karen's the visitor this time and she's there to get his version of the events of that night...he manages to convince her that Shell made up the rape story to get herself out of the situation and Karen eventually confesses that no one believes Shell, not even Helen. Having convinced her of his innocence, Fenner goes for the sympathy vote, revealing to Karen that he's been having nightmares and that he's nervous about returning to the prison...she suggests counselling but he turns her down. The talk moves onto their relationship...Fenner still wants to make a go of it but Karen's unsure, remembering the way Marilyn reacted back at the prison, she tells Jim that she suspects that Marilyn's still in love with him, and therefore feels she should give them a chance to sort their marriage out...Fenner insists that there's nothing to sort out and the two hold hands, obviously having sorted out their differences.

BOLLOCKS!!! Don't do it Karen!!! Pleeeeeaaaasse??? For me???

Meanwhile, Shell's still suffering at the hands of Mad Tessa who has her scrubbing the floor while she rifles through Shell's belongings...

Tessa : I like puzzle books.

Puzzle books????? Does Shell honestly look like the sort of person who settles down at night with a cryptic crossword???

Shell, sensibly, gives up the puzzle books...

Tessa : I like chocolate.

Shell, sensibly, gives up the chocolate...

But, it looks like she's in even deeper shit now...Tessa's realised that Shell reminds her of the fabled Debbie, she compares their hair and tells Shell that she used to brush Debbie's for her...Shell, understandably, refuses Tessa's offer of a brush, but gives in when it looks like her head might go pop...

Tessa : Hundred times I used to brush it...just like my mum did with me.

Well that's it then...we now know the reason behind Tessa's stark, staring craziness...her mum used to try to force a brush through those unruly curls...

Tessa : Sit still Tessa she'd say, and if I moved an inch, she'd whack me on the back on the head with it...hard! (Shell flinches as Tessa seemingly tugs a huge clump of hair out with the brush) She was good to me my mum.

End of Part Two...

More bloody adverts...yawn, yawn friggin' yawn!

Part Three...

Things can only get worse for Shell now...she's made to dress up in a flowery frock that used to belong to Debbie, but the madness doesn't end there, honestly, this woman could give Di Barker lessons in complete and utter barkingness...

Tessa : Do you know any hymns?
Shell : What?


Okay, hands up all those who were shouting out for 'Kumbyah...me Lod!', the Shaz and Denny remix...

Another hysterical moment...Tessa's face as she psyches herself up before launching into 'All Things Bright and Beautiful'...her lips quiver, she gets the most intense look of concentration on her face - so much so that it looks for all the world as if she's trying to lay an egg.

Shell is forced into a sing-along...now completely and utterly defeated.

Meanwhile, Bodybag's filing her nails down in the officers' room and crowing about Shell's plight to Di Barker...

Bodybag : Had a nice weekend, thinking about Shell Dockley down on the muppet wing.

Di is absolutely aghast at this, Shell may be a wrong 'un, but shoving her down with the loonies is only going to make her worse...Bodybag carries on regardless and tells Di that Shell's sharing a cell with Mad Tessa. Di's concern begins to grate on the old Bodybag's nerves and she launches into yet another tirade about 'them and us', citing the fact that if an inmate had been stabbed it would be all over the papers but Shell's attack on Fenner didn't even get a mention...she leaves Di after reminding her that they should 'stick together', but it's obvious that Di's been left in a rather compromising situation - how long before she dithers her way out of this one???

Let's hope it's quick because Shell's singing 'All Things Bright and Beautiful' for the eighth time and beginning to lose patience...so, she offers to do a few impressions instead...

Shell : (Puts on Peggy the Chaletmaid voice) Hello campers! Hi-de hi!

LMAO!!! Not just at the impersonation but at the look on Tessa's face...anyway, Shell decides to go for broke this time...

Shell : (Cilla Black) I like yuuurr 'uuur, it's gorgeous! (that's I like your hair for those of you lucky enough never to have been subjected to Cilla)
Tessa : You taking the piss?
Shell : Surprise surprise!
Tessa : (Grabbing Shell by the throat) I'll give you a bleedin' surprise!


In a last ditch attempt to placate Tessa, Shell sings the hymn again, this time, accompanied by...wait for it, wait for it...

A TAP DANCE!!!!!!!!!!!!

But luckily for Shell, Tessa is enchanted and the two share a bit of a nostalgic moment about their respective childhoods...Tessa, now completely won over, cracks open a packet of biscuits.

Brilliant timing, because a few minutes later, Bodybag walks into the cell...

Shell : Hi Miss! Wanna biccie?

I don't know what's funnier, the look on Bodybag's face or the way that Mad Tessa offers her the packet.

Back at the hospital...St Marilyn of the Cardigan is seeking a reconciliation, but Fenner, obviously deciding that he prefers Karen's little pink spangly number (that's her cardigan by the way!!) to Mazzer's double-knit beige one and tells her that he'd rather they took things slowly because he likes things the way they are...a woman with a brain in her head would see that as the piss-poor excuse that it is, but Marilyn's over the moon and rewards him with a snog...How does he do it??? How??? How???

LMAO!!! Brilliant shot follows of the full moon before the camera comes to settle on Podgy Pam having an episode...top marks to the make-up people here for making her look like she seriously is possessed by Satan and all of his little demons...Linda Blair eat your heart out!!! Anyway, turns out that Pam is kept under control by liberal doses of Lithium, and if her pills are late for any reason, she goes into yet more screaming ab-dabs...Wheeler offers to give Pam her dosage, the nurse is relieved (well wouldn't you be?), but there's obviously something afoot because Wheeler, after peering through the hatch into the cell, decides to pocket the pills...poor Pam is left barking at the moon.

We have another hilarious moment courtesy of the Spall and Dockley comedy partnership...Shell's peacefully asleep one minute, and then the next, her eyes fly open and Tessa pops up over her shoulder...

Tessa : I've been lying here for hours watching you sleep.

Shell has gone past fear now...the look in her eyes says it all - every one of her worst nightmares has come true.

Well, maybe not all of them...Wheeler, who we now realise has been plotting with Bodybag, prevents Pam from flying out of her cell with a crunching looking arm lock...

Pam : I WANT MY MEDICINE!!!!!!!!

Wheeler tells her that Shell's taken her medicine and Pam goes into orbit before being dragged off for her shower...

Pam : NO SHOWER!!!!!!!!!

My God!!! Where on earth did they find this woman??? Did they chalk out a pentagram on the floor and summon her up from the acting school of hell???

End of Part Three...

Shit...anyone got a couple of matchsticks I can use to prop my eyelids open??? It's 3.30am and I致e still got part 4 to do yet!!!

Part Four...

Well it's out of the frying-pan and into the fire for Shell...what she thinks is a lucky escape when Wheeler rescues her from Tessa's clutches and orders her off to take a shower is obviously a death sentence because we all know that Pam's going to be lying in wait...

Pam doesn't disappoint and launches herself on a naked Shell like a force-ten hurricane... by the time the screws arrive to pull her off, Shell is lying on the floor in a foetal position with blood streaming every which way...as she is led down to the hospital wing, Tessa begins to scream...

Quick point here...somebody could sell the rights to a grudge match between Tessa and Pam for millions.

At last!!!! Helen's talking to Yvonne...All we've had is one line and a threatening sneer so far, blimey; even Dawn gets better coverage usually!!!

Yvonne : My opinion? I haven't got one.
Helen : You heard nothing?
Yvonne : I heard someone shout out Fenner's name, the guv I think.
Helen : No sign of Shell crying out, being assaulted?
Yvonne : Fenner deserved all he got!
Helen : You don't think he tried to rape her then?
Yvonne : Well let's put it this way, he wouldn't be the first screw to live up to his name would he?
Helen : Cut the crap Yvonne!
Yvonne : Look, I don't know whether he tried it on with her or not but I wouldn't put it past him. He's obviously a two-timing bastard who doesn't give a shit about his marriage.
Helen : What makes you say that?
Yvonne : Oh come on! You lot must've noticed - him and the Governor? It's obvious. (Turns to lean over the railings, highly amused by the look of utter shock on Helen's face) Shell looked like that when I told her.
Helen : Told her what?
Yvonne : That Fenner and Betts were shagging!
Helen : And when did you tell her this?
Yvonne : Hollamby's do.


Brilliant acting from Linda Henry here...realising that Helen's jumping to all sorts of conclusions in her head, she goes for the knock-out punch...

Yvonne : Oooops! I do hope I didn't push Dockley over the edge (in that piss-taking, slightly posh voice) I couldn't live with myself if I knew I was reponsible for Mr Fenner's accident.
Helen : That'll be all.


You really have got to hand it to Yvonne...she's got everyone jumping to her tune.

Bit of a moment of light relief here...Di arrives with a letter for Julie S and is the subject of teasing about Dominic's imminent return from his holiday...Di sidles off all gooey eyed and the Julies smile knowingly at each other before turning to the letter...turns out it's from David...now why would it make Julie S look so depressed??? Bad news???

Helen arrives on the muppet wing and is greeted by a frantic Shell...

Shell : Miss Stewart! Thank Christ you've come, you've gotta get me out of here! They're all psychos!
Helen : Calm down Shell!
Shell : That Mad Tessa, she's got the hots for me!


Helen makes it clear that she wants the truth from Shell or she'll be spending more time among the muppets...Shell insists that she has told the truth but Helen, convinced by Yvonne's revelations, pins Shell down until she's forced to admit that she stabbed Fenner to protect Karen...she'd tried warning her off Fenner but she wouldn't listen...

Helen : Are you telling me that you tried to kill Mr Fenner just to save Miss Betts?

Finally the truth comes out...Shell admits that she was convinced that Karen was going to tell Fenner about the abuse she suffered when she was a child and that he'd make sure that the entire wing knew about it, finally revealing that she'd rather kill herself than have everyone laughing at her.

Helen, obviously disgusted with herself for any doubts she might have had about Fenner leaves Shell to spend another night on the muppet wing.

Back on the wing, we finally discover the reason for Julie S's depression...turns out that David's going to be starring in the school play on his 16th birthday and he wants both Julies to be there. Babs comes up with the bright idea of them applying for electronic tagging but they've been there done that...turns out that neither of them has an address on the outside and that's a pre-requisite of the tagging scheme...all might not be lost though...

Nikki : No, but Monica Lindsay has...remember? She turned her place into a halfway house, somewhere for women to go when they get out, I bet she'd let you stay.

Whoa Neddy!!!! When did all this happen??? Why were we not told??? Does this mean Monica's coming back???

The following morning, Josh turns up at the prison...turns out he's got his old job back, wonder how long it'll be before Yvonne recruits him again.

Up in Karen's office, looks like we might get that confrontation...

Helen : Are you having a sexual relationship with Jim Fenner?

But before Karen can answer the scene cuts back to the wing as Shell arrives back to an ecstatic reception from the other inmates...

Shell : Bastards couldn't grind me down!

Yeah right!!! Tell that to Mad Tessa and Podger Pam!!!

Up on the landing, Bodybag is more than a little pissed off...

Bodybag : Right, that's it! If they think they can let that smug little bitch back on here like nothing's happened they've got another think coming! We'll see how they like having to guard their backs for a change; we're all out on strike!

Oooh eck!!!! Looks like next week's episode is going to be a barn-stormer!!!

See you then...same time, same place...if I survive that long... 

Awards (by Coops and Filbertfox)

Top Dog of the Week
Helen - again. Yes Filbert, I know I'm biased, but she totally rocked! She put Stubberfield down quite nicely on two occasions; took no crap from Dockley; and when she announced that she was heading up the investigation, it was almost a "Nice soot" moment. This is the Governor Stewart we know and love. And how does she manage to get sexier each week?

Yes, and Yvonne again. Helen may have finally realised just how dangerous she can be. She is without doubt the undisputed Queen of G-Wing, and next week looks set to consolidate her position.

Twatting Twat of the Week
Karen Betts again. Yes Filbert, I know she had that nice pinstriped number on, but twatastic! Falling for Fenner's brand of charm again? Duh! Her saving grace is our discovery that she kept her S2Ep5 word to Tessa Spall and didn't transfer her out of Larkhall; and her slapping down of Hollamby when the old Bodybag is having a go at Helen.

If she's not careful, she'll end up like the other dodgy cardie-wearer, Marilyn. Excuse me, but just why were you apologising to your slimy adulterous husband? You heard him shagging Shell on the phone - just because she later tried to kill him, that does not put you in the wrong anywhere in the known universe.

Weedy Pigeon of the Week
You couldn't help but feel for Shell, terrified and desperately trying not to put a foot wrong with Tessa. She was really trying to please, but it just got worse when the nutter took a serious shine to her.

Nikki - Come on love! We know you're heart-broken, but don't you think that the Tracy Barlow act might be wearing a bit thin by now??

Spin Doctor of the Week
Fenner - he claws his way back from death's door at lightning speed, and wins both his wife and Betts over. Even Helen seems to want to give him the benefit of the doubt.

Worst Girl of the Week
Bodybag. At first I thought The Freak screw Wheeler put her in the shade, but she's just a natural sadist; Hollamby's actions had malice aforethought, plus she all but threatened Di Barker in an attempt to keep her in line. Be interesting to see if anyone crosses the picket line.

Best Line of the Week
The unspoken exchange between Barbara and Helen.

Shell (on seeing Mad Tessa): Fuck!

Karen: You're not the only one with standards, you know, Helen.

Bodybag: Shell Dockley, change? As much chance of that as keeping her legs crossed.

Barbara: It is a touch... obsequious.
[Cue blank looks from the Julies - put me in mind of Monica's "Appellation Controlle" line from season one.]

Nikki: I could get through a whole week just waiting for one look from you [Awww! would bring tears to a glass eye!]

Shell: Chewing a screw's ear off, that's got style innit?

Shell : Hi Miss! Wanna biccie?

Yvonne : Ooops! I do hope I didn't push Dockley over the edge, I couldn't live with myself if I knew I was responsible for Mr Fenner's accident.
[Pure class!]

Worst Line of the Week
Tessa: Top-heavy. I like 'em like that.

Barbara: Well you've still got your studies.
[Look, Nikki's lost the love of her life and faces another 10-15 years behind bars... I don't think an OU course is much consolation, frankly.]

Helen: I'm beginning to think that we've got the man wrong.

Tessa: I've been lying here for hours watching you sleep.
[The mere thought of waking up to find her in your bed is terrifying!!]

Warring Faction of the Week
Pure psychological warfare between Shell and Tessa; pretty one-sided though.

Best Performance by an Extra
Psycho Pam. Actually the whole muppet wing was quite disturbing.

She was partially obscured by the stairs, but it was unmistakably our Dawn who rushed forward to take Shell's bag when she returned to the wing.

Wheeler, aka The Freak screw. It had to be deliberate homage to Prisoner: Cell Block H. It's like ER replacing Doug Ross with Luka Kovac... they could be brothers!

Sight of the Week
Shell Dockley in a flowery mini-dress, tap-dancing whilst singing All Things Bright and Beautiful. Surreal doesn't do justice to it... had to be seen to be believed. (And we even got a bit of a riverdance too!!!)

Yay! The Larkhall rugby top!

Shell waking and Tessa popping up behind her.

The Freak and Bodybag exchanging glances outside the bathroom. Anybody thinking "Evil personified"?

Bodybag's face when she enters the muppet wing to find Shell sharing biscuits and a cosy conversation with Mad Tessa.

Shell's Su Pollard and Cilla Black impersonations.

Bodybag's perfectly executed pirouette when she slaps Shell one round the kisser...now we know why she wins awards for ballroom dancing.

Larkhall Miracles and Mysteries
Monica.... no mention for a whole season and then bam! How does Nikki know she's running a halfway house?

Looks like the Julies are more astute than they get credit for; wonderfully subtle teasing of Di Barker about Dominic.

On the other hand, does Julie S really think that David will want Cor Blimey Common from Clapham Park turning up at his posh public school?

How did Josh get his job back, after walking out without notice?

Did anyone else notice Helen's belt when she arrived to talk to Nikki?? What was it she had hanging off it???

So if Helen was so adamant that Shell was her responsibility, and, was so determined that Shell wasn't going to be transferred out to a psycho hospital...how come she allowed Bodybag to collude with Dr No No to get her transferred down to the muppet wing??

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