Friday, June 29, 2007

Facing Up, S2.12

The Potting Shed. At long last, Nikki and Helen are consummating their love. Helen's tongue has finally found its way home, and as Nikki takes off Helen’s shirt...

...I suddenly wake up. Dammit!

Sorry, I had to get that outta my system. I'll start again:

Nikki is in the potting shed when Helen comes to work, but doesn’t look happy to see her.

Helen: “Hi, Nikki.”
Nikki (walking past her): “Hi.”

Helen: “I spoke to your solicitor last night. She reckons we’ll get the go ahead this week.”
Nikki: “Great.”
Helen: “I thought you’d be pleased.”
Nikki: “Well, my appeal’s not exactly big on my mind at the minute. Not since I found out about your date with Dominick.”
Helen: “What are you talking about?
Nikki: “You went out for curry with him, didn’t you?”
Helen: “So?”

Nikki: “So why didn’t you tell me about it, if that’s all it was?”
Helen: “Probably to avoid a reaction like this.”
Nikki: “Oh, well, great. Just rams it home to me, don’t it, what a huge part of your life I am!”
Helen: “I went out to talk about work, if you really must know.”
Nikki: “Did you?”

Helen (angry): “Not that I have to explain what I do to you! You know what? Sod you, Nikki!”

And Helen storms away.

Yeah, I liked my opening better, too.

Screws Lounge. Di's still fawning all over Dom, and tells Karen he went out with Helen.

Dom obviously doesn't want to talk about it, but that doesn't dissuade Di.

Karen says it'll be a tough week with Jim and Sylvia out, so everything's gotta be "by the book." She doesn't want any screw ups.

Dom asks Karen if Jim's mad at him (ya know, for not crawling into that bottle with him last week). She tells him that Marilyn left Jim and "he's in a bit of a mess."

Oh, boo fucking hoo.

Karen's Office. Denny and Shaz are off the block.

Karen: "Have you each had a good think about how stupid you've been? Because if I hear about any more antics from you two, I'll have you split up for good. Do you understand?"

Denny: "Yes, miss. Sorry, miss."
But Shaz starts giggling.

Karen (rolls her eyes): "Sharon?"
Shaz: "I'm only laughin' cuz there's us sayin' we done murder on her and all it took were a nut! Ya gotta laugh, haven't ya?"

Apparently not, since Karen makes Shaz the new loo cleaner.

Exit Shaz and Denny, enter Fenner.

Karen: "What are you doing here?"
Fenner: "Dedicated type, aren't I?"
Karen: "You sure you're feeling up to work?"
Fenner: "Sod all point to staying home in an empty house, is there?"

Any point in sitting on an empty bar stool, Jim? First round's on me (come on, you know you want it)!

Helen's Office. She's meeting with Shaz.

Helen: "Take a seat, Sharon."
Shaz: "Keep callin' me Shaz, miss. I hate Sharon."
Helen: "Alright. So what I'd like us to do today, is for us to talk about why you're in prison and how you feel about it."

Shaz feels "okay" about it.

Helen: "It must still be quite a shock, facing up to it."
Shaz: "I'm cool about it. It's alright in here. Well, most of the time. Not down the block. I just wanna know, like, when's the karaoke? Cuz so far, like, nada."


Helen (tries again): "Look, you're in here because you're responsible for the deaths of 3 people. And an unborn baby. What I'd like to know is how you're coping with the knowledge of that."
Shaz: "I didn't mean to kill nobody, did I? It was an accident. I'm just glad 2 of 'em was old already."

Shaz says she feels worse about the one who was pregnant. But it was all her manager's fault, anyway.

Hallway. Helen and Karen are talking.

Helen: "She seemed more upset that I didn't call her 'Shaz' than she did about the people she killed."
Karen: "She was laughing her head off about Renee Williams this morning. Till I put her on bog brush duty."

(to be fair, Karen, I'm still laughing my head off about Renee Williams)!

But Helen doesn't think she's heartless. "I just think she can't get her head around the enormity of it." She wants to try something different with Shaz.

Karen: "Oh, Helen, I meant to ask you: what's this I'm hearing about you and Dominick McAllister?"
Helen: "What's that?"
Karen: "Di Barker told us all about your hot date."
Helen: "Did she now? Well, the only thing hot about it for me was the curry sauce."

Karen seems disappointed.

Dominick and Di are having lunch. She wants all the details about his "date" with Helen Stewart. He says she's interested in his policy views, that's all.

Di: "Yeah, but don’t pretend that’s all she’s interested in about you."
Dominick: "Can we talk about something else?"

What the fucking fuck? Di Barker's gone from nice and helpful to cringesome and desperate in the blink of an eye. A crazy, twitching, blinking eye.

Ok, I'm going on record with my theory: between Nikki's extreme jealousy, Karen's Fenner fetish, and The Three Faces of Di, there's obviously something in the drinking water. How else to explain this mass insanity??

There's only one logical explanation: the moldy bread from last week. It was tainted with ergot, leached into Larkhall's water supply, and caused them ALL to lose their fucking minds.

On her way to Shaz's cell, Helen walks right past Nikki. And won't even look at her.

Helen walks in the dorm. Shaz: "what have I done wrong now?"

(lord, if I had a dime for every time I've said that...)

Helen: "I want to set up a meeting between you and a relative of one of your victims."
Shaz: "Ey?"
Helen: "Look, it's not as a punishment. I just think it'd be a good opportunity for you both to come to terms with what happened. I'm gonna give you all the help you need to prepare for it."

But Shaz doesn't like the idea - she's afraid they'll wanna "do her over." Helen explains it'll be in a closed visit, under supervision.

Shaz: "No way, man. I don't need this." I just need me karaoke.
Helen: "Sharon, we can't force you to agree. But if you don't do something soon to improve your record, you're going to be cleaning a lot of toilets for a very long time!"

Helen storms back across the wing and....

...yep, right past her again.

Nikki can't take anymore of this freeze-out, so off she goes, in pursuit of the elusive Miss Stewart. And catches her just outside the gate to the wing.

Nikki: "I want to apologize. What I said, I'm sorry."
Helen: "Well, I hope you are. Because I don't want to be spoken to like that ever again!"

Nikki: "Just couldn't help feeling jealous."
Helen: "Why? Did you really think that I was trying to get off with Dominick?!"
Nikki: "He fancies you."
Helen: "So? There's lots of women in here fancy you, should I be jealous of them?"
Nikki: "It's not the same."

Helen: "Why?"
Nikki (yells): "Because you...(lowers her voice)'re the only woman that I want. But you could decide you want a man as well."
Helen: "I won't be dictated to when and how I can see my work colleagues. So you better stop thinking I'm so fickle about how I feel about you!"

And...that's the end of that. Helen walks off.

Outside, Dominick sees Jim and calls after him. But Jim's on his way to the Officers Club. "D'ya fancy a pint?"

Dom's like, 'in the middle of the workday?' Instead he says, "if you wanna take some more time off, I'm sure we can cover for ya."

Jim gives him a look that says, "I think I'll work AND drink, thanks just the same."

Mealtime. Shaz and Denny are eating when Shaz starts choking. Di runs over and slaps her on the back, until Shaz starts laughing. But Di doesn't think it's funny and threatens to put her on report.

Shaz: "It’s only a joke."
Di: "You can go back to your cell and laugh about it. Right now, go on!"

Shaz, you really need some new material - the choking bit is getting old. Maybe a nice knock-knock joke instead?

Di asks Fenner for help, but he just can't be bothered.

Evening. Chez Stewart. The lovely gov is working at home when her doorbell rings.

Dominick: "Can we pick up where we left the other night?"
Helen (long pause): "Sure. Come in."

Back on the wing, the inmates are a little restless and Di's at the end of her rope. She goes into the screws lounge.

Di: "Jim, I'm sorry but I need an explanation from you."
Jim: "Do me a favor..."
Di: "I asked you for back-up out there!"
Jim: "Yeah, well go and back yourself up, ey?"

Always with the clever comebacks, Fenner.

Di: "Are you drunk?"
Jim: "I tell you what I am - I am pig sick of sloppy, bloody women telling me what to do!"

I think this is the most honest, revealing thing Jim's EVER said.

He walks out, leaving Di on the verge of a breakdown. Outside, the women are getting louder and more raucous.

Back at Helen's, Dom says he likes what she's done with the lifers unit and he wants to take some courses.

Helen: "Well, I can't go into details, but if everything I'm planning comes off, there's gonna be a real opportunity for you, Dominick."

All Dom hears is "opportunity," though, and he takes another drink.

In the midst of the rowdiness on G-Wing, Nikki calls Helen's house.

...where the talk has moved to partners.

Dominick: "I only go out with rich ones with their own places. Usually means they're a bit older, but I like that."
Helen (teasing): "The secret life of Dominick McAllister."

Ok, that's cute, but Helen? You can't see this heading down a slippery slope?

Dominick: "And you only go out with posh blokes with their own businesses."
Helen (corrects him): "Past tense." Now I only date hot, moody chicks behind bars.

Seriously. Awkward. Pause.

Helen: "Anyway..."

Riinngg, riinng! Dom is closer to the phone, so he passes it to Helen. And drops it. "Sorry about that," he says, handing her the receiver.


But Nikki heard Dom's voice and quickly hangs up.

Helen's distracted by the call. Dominick doesn't notice and decides to make his move:

But Helen pulls away. And sits Dominick down. He apologizes, but Helen says it's her, not him.

Helen: "I just should've told you - I'm in love with someone else. That was the phone call."
Dominick: "Who is he?"
Helen: "It's not a 'he,' it's a 'she.' (pause) Nikki Wade. I'm beggin' ya not to tell anyone, Dominick. I'm really asking you as a friend here. Promise me?"

To say that Dom is 'gobsmacked' would be an understatement, but he agrees to not say anything.

Dominick: "I'm sorry, you've really thrown me here. I mean, I knew Nikki Wade liked you, I just never thought..."
Helen: "I just want you to know where I'm coming from. (pause) Let's have another drink."

Fuckin' A. Make mine a double....

Back in Nikki's cell, she's having a tantrum. Babs asks her what's wrong.

Nikki: "Helen Bloody Stewart! I phoned her house and guess who was there, surprise surbloodyprise. McAllister!"
Barbara: "So?"
Nikki: "So? She's been lying to me! She's getting off with him!"
Barbara: "Hold on, how do you jump to that one?"
Nikki: "He was in her house. What the hell else for? She knows he fancies her."

Barbara points out that it doesn't necessarily mean anything, but Nikki's not buying it.

Nikki: "What, you invite a man you know fancies you into your house, at night, just the two of you, if you're really not interested? No, you don't!"
Barbara: "You're guessing. And anyway, if you can't trust her to have a bit more integrity than that..."

Nikki: "Well obviously I can't! I've already had this out with her today. She says one thing, and then she does the bloody other!"
Barbara: "But why would she risk leading you on if she wasn't genuine? Don't be ridiculous!"

Nikki: "You don't know what you're talking about. I've had affairs with straight women before. They don't know what truth means, they're so used to manipulating men. I don't know why I thought she'd be any different."
Barbara: "I think you're just proving exactly what you warned me about - that prison makes you paranoid. I think you should calm down and take your own advice!"

Way to be the voice of reason, Babs, but it's lost on Nikki (who, presumably, drinks more of the loony Larkhall water. From her blue flask).

At Helen's flat, Dominick's left but Helen is visibly disturbed.

She's not the only one. Back on the wing, Nikki's wide awake.

Sigh. I soothe myself by rereading my recap opening.

The next morning on G-Wing, Dom's doing unlock and goes into Nikki's cell.

Nikki: “Late night yesterday, was it, Sir?”
Dominick: “Look...”
Nikki: "Get what you wanted, did you?”

Dominick: “I know it was you that phoned, Nikki.”
Nikki: "She shared that with you, too, did she?”
Dominick (shakes his head, starts to leave): “Another time.”
Nikki (yells): "You little shit!”

Dominick unlocks the dorm for Shaz, Denny and Crystal.

Dom: "Out you come."
Denny: "Out and proud, right sir?"

Bwaahaha! This would be funny anyway, but after Dominick's night with Helen?? It's priceless.

Karen runs into Fenner on the wing and says she doesn't want him drinking on the job - she'd rather he go home. Jim makes nice by saying he'll smooth things over with Di.

He whines a bit about Marilyn, and since it seems Karen also drank the water today, she's foolish enough to feel bad for him.

Helen's Office. She's meeting with Shaz.

Shaz (steels herself): "You got one of them relatives wants to see me, then?"
Helen: "You seem very keen now."
Shaz: "Gotta be, haven’t I?"

Helen explains that Mrs. Foster, the wife of the old man who died, will come to meet Shaz.

Shaz: "Sweet."
Helen: "Shaz, I’m still concerned you’re not taking this seriously enough, It’s not gonna be a half hour chat and that’s it. I want you to think carefully about what it is that you want to say to Mrs. Foster."
Shaz: "Yeah, okay."
Helen: "And what she might want to say to you."

Shaz: "Say what she likes."
Helen: "I think you’re going to have to go a little deeper than that. (pause) Imagine how you’d feel if someone casually killed someone you cared about."
Shaz (annoyed): "I’ve said I’m cool about it!"

Garden. Nikki's working when Helen approaches.

Helen: "Nikki..."
Nikki: "Recognition?"
Helen: "Please, give me a chance to explain."

If you would just take off that jacket, Helen, I think Nikki would give you a chance to explain anything...

Helen: "I didn’t invite Dominick ‘round last night, he just turned up."
Nikki: "Let him in though, didn’t you?"
Helen: "I couldn’t not let him in."

Nikki: "No, course you couldn’t."
Helen: "Look, do you want to know what happened or not?"
Nikki: "Helen, I’m really glad for you. Must be a great relief to know you can still pull the boys. Now why don’t you just piss off, you two-faced tart!"

Nikki turns away but Helen grabs her. And pulls rank.

Helen (angry): "Just a minute. You are still my responsibility! And you better get it into your head - if you don’t want to jeopardize your appeal, you will speak and behave towards me in line with prison rules!"
Nikki: "Or what? You’ll report me?"
Helen: "Don’t push me any further, Nikki."
Nikki: "Yeah? Well, now you ruined my plans, I don’t really give a shit about my appeal anymore. But don’t worry, I won’t forget to call you 'Miss'."

Helen: "I am so sick of you!"

And she storms off.

Arrgghhh! This episode is the first time I've ever wanted to smack the shit outta Nikki. Repeatedly. And for the entire 60 minutes.

She's so distracted and upset, she stabs herself with the...pointy garden thing.

So now I don't have to smack her at all.

In the locker room, Di's still hangin' all over poor Dominick. He manages to extricate himself from her krazy fucking klutches as Fenner comes in.

Fenner: "Di, I...I’m really sorry about the other night. No excuses, I was out of order."
Di: "You put me in a very difficult position."

Fenner: "Look, I’ve been having a few problems, but it won’t happen again, I promise you. Trust me, I mean it."
Di: "Yeah, well, okay. I accept your apology."

Screws Lounge. Helen's going through some files when Dominick walks in.

Dominick: "Hi."
Helen: "Hi."
Dominick: "Look, about the other night...I feel...(pause) I still really want to talk about courses and that."
Helen: "Sure."
Dominick: "You ok?"
Helen: "Not really. I’m having a really tough time with Nikki."

Dominick: "How?"
Helen: "It’s stupid. She’s convinced I was getting off with you."
Dominick: "What, even after you explained it to her?"

Helen: "She doesn’t believe me."
Dominick: "Why would she think you’d lie to her?"
Helen: Because she's locked up, has no control over her life, and too much time makes her imagination run wild. Prison makes you paranoid. Oh and she knows you have a crush on me and came to my flat last nite.

But just then, Di barges in - Mrs. Foster's here for Shaz so Helen leaves.

Di: "Sorry if I was, uh, interrupting something."
Dominick: "Forget it."
Di: "Did she say something to upset you?"
Dominick: "I’m not upset."
Di: "Yeah, well you seem upset to me."

Yeah, well you seem obsessive and unhinged to me, Di. Have another drink of water.

Cut to another horrifying scene - Fenner and Karen in the hallway.

Karen: "Nice aftershave."
Fenner: "Thanks. Seemed to work on Di Barker, too. She accepted my apology."
Karen: "Great."
Fenner: "No, I really meant it. And I, uh, wanted to say thanks, for being so patient with me."
Karen: "Not really one of my virtues, but..."

And just as they're about to OMFG kiss, a couple of screws comes around the corner. God bless you, anonymous screws!

Sweet jesus, y'all are trying my patience tonight....

In the hospital wing. Nikki's having her hand seen to by the nurse. She's a little stroppy at first, but apologizes and explains she's having a hard time.

Nurse: "Partner problems?"
Nikki: "How’d you guess?"
Nurse: "If it’s not drugs, it’s usually home life. What is it? Gone off with somebody else?"

Nikki: "Bingo."
Nurse: "That’s tough."
Nikki: "Yeah it is, when you’re stuck in prison."

The nurse has her own problems: her boyfriend was deported and she’s working her ass off to pay their debt so she can join him in Australia.

Visitation Area. Helen brings Mrs. Foster in and explains that Shaz will be on the other side of the glass, but Mrs. Foster wants to actually sit down with Shaz.

Mrs. Foster: "I didn't come here to keep my distance, dear."

Di brings Shaz in.

Helen: "This is Mrs. Foster. Sharon Wiley."
Shaz: "It’s Shaz."
Mrs. Foster: "I’m glad to meet you, Shaz."

Nikki's cell. Dominick comes in.

Nikki: "What do you want?"
Dominick: "I want to tell you something you need to know."
Nikki: "Spare me."

Dominick: "If you think Helen’s even remotely interested in me, you’re making a big mistake. I wish she was. ‘Cause I’d be a lot better for her than you are."
Nikki: "Oh, I bet you would."
Dominick: "Nikki, she’s in love with you."

Dominick: "She made me promise not to tell anyone, and this is the one time I will, cuz for her sake, you better believe it."
Nikki: "You really are a saint, aren’t you?"
Dominick: "What?"

(Me: "What?!")

Nikki: "You saying she didn’t flirt with you? Didn’t make you think you were in with a chance? How far did you get before the big confession huh, or did that just turn you on even more?"
Dominick: "It’s all in your head, Nikki."

He leaves.

Um, Nikki? He just said 'she's in love with you.' Stop drinking the water and snap out of it!

Visitation Room. Shaz sits with Mrs. Foster.

...and tells her it was all a big mistake. She wasn't trying to kill anybody, just wanted to get back at her manager.

Mrs. Foster: "See, that’s what I don’t understand. Why did you think poisoning other people would make things better for you?"
Shaz: "I just thought it’d get her into trouble. You don't know what it’s like, being got at every day, called names, made to feel stupid."
Mrs. Foster: "So, you were too scared to stand up for yourself?"

Mrs. Foster: "Why didn’t you tell her to stop picking on you? Or, say you’d report her?"

Shaz just shrugs.

Helen: "I think you should try and answer that one, Shaz."
Shaz: "I was just scared I’d get the sack and then me stepdad would bash me. That’s why I’m glad I’m in prison, cuz he can’t touch me now, can he?"

Mrs. Foster tells her how much her husband loved oysters. And asks Shaz how it felt to watch people eat them, all the while knowing they'd get sick.

Shaz: "Said I’m sorry, didn’t I?"
Mrs. Foster: "No, you’re kidding yourself, dear. You’ve only got as far as being sorry for yourself."

Mrs. Foster: "If you could've seen my poor Alfie...don’t ever think old age makes you more ready to die. When your time’s running out, it just makes it seem all that more precious. If you knew how much I miss him, you’d never forgive yourself, never."

G-Wing. Nikki sees the Julies and hijacks their tea trolley, where she wheels it to Visitation. Where Shaz is crying her eyes out. And where Helen's more than a little surprised to see her.

Nikki: "Can I see you for a moment please, Miss Stewart?"

Helen asks Di to cover for her and steps outside.

Helen: "What the hell are you doing here?"
Nikki: "Dominick told me what you said to him. I’ve been a total arsehole. I love you, Helen. I know you love me."

Helen: "No. No, Nikki, you’re too late. You said things I can’t forget. I don’t know what I feel about you anymore!"
Nikki: "Please..."
Helen: "No! Go and fall for someone else."

She storms off back to the visiting room.

Sigh again. I go back and reread my recap opening. Again.

Outside the bathrooms. Helen's brought Denny round to comfort Shaz. "Don't tell her I sent you."

Inside, Shaz is sobbing. She lets Denny into the stall and says she hates herself for being a coward.

Shaz: "I killed them people and I didn’t give a shit about ‘em! They’re all dead, Den. I should be dead, too."
Denny: "Hey, don’t say that. What you gotta do, you just gotta do somethin’ to make up for it."

Shaz: "How? There’s nothing."
Denny: "Well you killin’ yourself’s not even trying. That’s the real coward’s way, innit? And anyway, if you died, I’d wanna die. So you just gotta do it different, babe."

Helen's Office. She's on her way out when Karen drops by.

Karen: "How did Sharon Wiley’s visit go?"
Helen: "Pretty devastating."
Karen: "What, so...?"

Helen: "So, I don’t think she’ll be making any more flip jokes about poisoning people."
Karen: "Good."

Helen says she'll give her a full report in the morning.

Karen: "So, where’s he taking you tonight, then?"
Helen: "Who?"
Karen: "Dominick."
Helen (gets angry): "Listen, Karen! I just come to this bloody place to do a job, alright?"

I've lost track of how many times Helen's yelled and stomped away from people this episode.

Nikki's cell.

Barbara: "Aren’t you coming out of here at all tonight, then?"
Nikki: "Nope."
Barbara: "She’ll be back home by now, won’t she?"
Nikki: "Probably."
Barbara: "At least you know she’s living and breathing in the same little part of the world as you."

Babs slips Nikki a phone card. "You shouldn’t give up."

Out on the wing, Nikki goes to the phone. She dials Helen but gets her machine.

Nikki: "Hi, it’s me. Please pick up the phone if you’re there...I’m not gonna give up on you, Helen, I can’t."

Cut to Helen's house, where she stands listening to Nikki's call.

Nikki: "Just give me another chance. I can’t believe this has happened to us. I know it’s all my fault, but...I’ve got to talk to you."

Nikki fights back tears and hangs up....

...just as Helen picks up the receiver.

BAH! I throw my phone at the tv.

Helen rewinds Nikki's message and listens to it again. I rewind Helen rewinding Nikki's message and watch it again.

And just when I thought things couldn't get worse:

Karen's Office. Fenner walks in. She asks how his day was - she's got a bottle of Larkhall water scotch, if he'd like some.

Yes, the perfect beverage to offer someone whose been drunk all week, Karen.

....Marilyn, divorce, blah blah blah.

Time to spread the pain:

And I can't be soothed by reading the recap beginning again - I'm WAY past that now. Instead, I write a whole filthy chapter about Helen & Nikki in the Potting Shed. (ok, not really, but only cuz I don't have to - it's all in my dirty little mind already).

After "Rough Justice," this epi is just cruel and unusual punishment. You've got 6 days and 21 hrs to make this all better, Shed....