Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Turn of the Screw, S3.2

We open right where we left off last week...

...with the odious and incompetent Dr NoNo standing by uselessly, wondering how to revive the loathsome and vile Jim Fenner.

The defibrillator also sits idly by until Karen yells, "raise it to 360!" Cuz she used to be a nurse, innit?

Snapped out of his reverie, NoNo tells the medic, "360!" The medic charges the paddles, NoNo shocks Jim, but there's still no pulse.

Karen: "Keep trying!"

NoNo juices Jim again, and despite his complete ineptitude, manages to get a pulse. Fenner's wheeled off to hospital.

Down the block, Sylvia says, "you've gone too far this time, Dockley. You better pray to high heaven that Jim Fenner's alright!"
Shell: "I hope he bleeds to death!"

Sylvia responds with what can only be described as... a roundhouse bitch slap. "If that man doesn't pull through, you'll end up wishing you were dead!"

The screws shove Shell to the floor.

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

She turns on her heel and leaves.

And jesus christ on a cracker - it's Josh and Crystal. Damn, I'd forgotten all about them. I was hoping they got killed in a rhinoceros stampede in London. In fact, I'm still hoping that happens. So movin' right along....

Officer's lounge. Enter Simon, Karen, and Helen.

Simple Simon: "Now then, I know you were all wondering how Jim was getting on.", doing well, flowers from "all his friends on G-Wing."

Sylvia: "I'm sure he'll be delighted. What WE want to know is, what's going to happen to Dockley? A couple of weeks on the block and then back into the system? You might as well stick targets on our backs."

Simon says they're looking into a place for her.

Helen: "Shell Dockley would have to be sectioned for a special hospital to even consider her. Anyway, any decision to move her is up to the Lifer's Unit."

Heh. Go Helen!

Sylvia: "What do you mean, 'any decision to move her?' You mean, you might not?"

Helen: "We don't have all the facts, Sylvia."
Sylvia (jumps up): "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 that feelings are running high, Sylvia, and I'm as upset as you are about Jim, but as head of the Lifer's..."

Sylvia (cuts her off): "Come off it - you've never given that man any support! When I think of the time..."

But Karen interrupts. "That's enough, Sylvia."

Simon says that in addition to a police investigation, they’ll be conducting an internal inquiry.

Sylvia: "And who's going to head that?"

But Simon doesn't answer, he just stares at the ceiling. So Helen stands up.

"I am."

Ha, of course you are, Helen! (but please don't transfer Shell).

Sylvia and Di walk across the wing, where all the cons are waiting:
Yvonne: "Mr. Fenner not on duty today, Miss?"

The women laugh (me too).

Sylvia (to Di): "D'ya hear that? Jim could've died and they'd still treat it as a joke. We're nothing to them, you know - just scum, and the governors think the same."

Nikki comes out of her cell. "What's all the racket?"

OMG, the complete and utter fabulocity that is You Dressed All in Black??

Oh seriously - if Nikki had worn that outfit back in S1, she'd have shagged Helen WAY earlier. Like, on the night of the fashion show. Right on the G3 landing. In the middle of evening lockup.

She sits down and drapes her fab and sulky self across the table.

Barbara: “It's no good dwelling on it, Nikki.”
Nikki: “Yeah, maybe not. But there's sod all else to do in here. Christ, I coulda been swanning round San Francisco right now.”
Barbara: “You've still got your studies.”

Which may well be the stupidest thing Babs has ever said.

Nikki: “What's the point? I'm never gonna get out of this shithole 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 may as well stay in here now she's dumped me.”

And she stomps off back to her cell. Poor Nikki....

G-Wing. High Noon. Bodybag looks up from the screw's lounge and sees:

Sylvia's a little rattled, but walks off and finds Dr NoNo. She has a favor to ask.

Down the block. Helen goes to see Shell.

Helen: "So why don't you tell me in your own words, Shell?"
Shell: "Well like I said, Fenner came into my room. Said something about 'fancying a bit.' Party had got him in the mood. So he pushed me down on the bed, gets on top of me, so I grabbed the bottle and...(sighs) you know the rest."
Helen: "And all this took you completely by surprise? He didn't come on to you at the party at all?"
Shell: "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's like, 'oops...' "Cuz I was gonna slash my wrists. Cuz I knew Fenner'd never give up and I'd had enough."

Helen gets up and walks over to Shell. "You know Shell, I want to make sure you're treated fairly in this inquiry."

Shell: "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, we'll talk again."
And she leaves.

Cut to the hospital. Where a very healthy looking Fenner seems to be convalescing nicely. And quickly. Like, really quickly.

Marilyn's visiting, and fawning all over him. Ewwww. She's really not too bright, is she? And since I don't care about this at all...

Down the block, Sylvia walks into Shell's cell with her clothes. Throws them on the bed and says, "shift yourself. The powers that be have decided you're to have a change of scenery."

Shell: "Ey? (alarmed) I ain't being shipped out, am I?"
Sylvia: "Oh no. We wouldn't want to lose you yet."

Cut to....the Muppet Wing. Land of mumblin’, shufflin’, perpetually droolin’ denizens.
Shell: "You ain't gonna put me on the Muppet Wing. I ain't a bleedin' loony!"

Just then, a large and extremely disturbed woman lunges at Shell. And is restrained by an equally disturbed looking nurse.

Nurse Ratched: "Now then, Pam, you'll feel better once you've had your medicine."
(oh seriously - where do they find these actors??)

Shell: "They're all bleedin' nutters in here!"
Nurse Ratched: "That's a terrible thing to say."

Sylvia looks on with satisfaction as Nurse Ratched drags Shell off to her cell.

Shell (yells): "I wanna see Miss Stewart! Get her down here. NOW!"
Sylvia: "Your patron saint isn't gonna save you this time, Dockley!"

Alone in her new digs, Shell sits down. And speaking of patron saints...
....the one behind Shell reads "no one here gets out alive."

In Nikki's cell, Babs scribbles in her by-now-Encyclopedia-Britannica-sized journal while Nikki lies morosely on her bed. There's a knock at the door - enter Miss Stewart.
Babs does her usual disappearing act, and Helen sits down next to Nikki.

Helen (shakes her): "Nikki. Nikki, you've gotta keep trying. Come on. For us."
Nikki (turns over): "Don't. There isn't any 'us'."

Helen: "There is if you get out of here."

What?? When did you decide this, Helen? And did you bother to tell Nikki??

Helen: "There's a future that we've gotta 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."
Helen: "Listen, you didn't have one before and you got through it."
Nikki: "I had you before. Did you know I could get through a whole week just waiting for one look from you?"

Nikki: "When I got that, that'd get me through another week. See, you're making me remember. I just wanna forget."
Helen: "Well, I'm not gonna let you forget. Because there is still a future."
Nikki: "A future that could be 12, 15 years away."
Helen: "Look, your solicitor isn't gonna make it in this week."
Nikki: "You warned her off, didn't you?"
Helen: "Oh, shut up and listen. Look, Claire's promised me, she's gonna get in as soon as she can. She wants to go through your case for the review."
Nikki: "But I thought..."
Helen: "What? You thought I was just gonna leave you in here to rot? Look, we're gonna do everything to get you out of here. Whether you like it or not."
Is that like breaking up with her, Helen, and getting back together - whether she likes it or not?

Back on the Muppet Wing, Bodybag lets herself into Shell's new digs.

Shell (jumps up): "Mrs. Hollamby. I'm really sorry for mouthin' off. I deserved that slap in the face."
Sylvia: "You don't say."
Shell: "If you just let me out of here, I won't give you no more bother. Honest!"

But the screws drag another inmate in - it seems Shell's getting a roomie instead. Sylvia smirks and closes the door.

Shell turns around and...
Shell: "Fuck."

Yup. It's Mad Tessa Spall (from S2.5, 'Mistaken Identity').

In Karen's office, the police are investigating Fenner's stabbing and want to know what Fenner was doing in Shell’s cell that night.

Karen doesn’t know. They mention Fenner's suspension - the first time Shell filed charges against him, and Karen concedes she believed Shell then.

Muppet Wing. Shell and Tessa share a not-so-quiet meal.

Tessa: "We've met before, haven't we?
Shell (not looking up): "No, don't think so."
Tessa: "Which wing are you from? And I can find out anyway, so don't try pissing me about."
Shell: "G-Wing."
Recognition dawns on Tessa.

Tessa (slowly smiles): "I remember. You came into my cell and introduced youself, didn't ya? Told me you was Governor of the Wing. Thought you was a real tough bitch."
Shell: "I don't remember."

But Tessa does. She leaps up, knocks Shell's food to the floor, and grabs her.

"That jog your memory?"

She shoves Shell to the floor and tells her to clean up the food.
Tessa: "That's a good girl. See, this time I can teach you some manners."

Helen's Office. Regarding the investigation, Simple Simon tells her he "definitely doesn't want any of this leaking out to the press." Does he have her cooperation?

Helen: "Not for a cover-up, you don't."

Simon pushes her to be "discreet" just as Karen walks in.

Karen: "I just wanted to let you know the police have been to see me. Asking me about Jim's suspension."
Helen: "Yeah? Did you tell them 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."
Are you kidding, Karen??  You're bangin' Jim Bloody Fenner! You don't get to even utter the word "standards."

Helen: "This whole thing's beginning to get to me."
Karen: "Listen, if Jim was up to anything that night, I want to know about it. I have no intention of covering it up."

But Helen doesn't think there was a cover-up - she thinks Shell took the bottle and was gonna use it anyway, and is just making up the part about rape.

Karen (nods sagely): "That's how it seemed to me."
Helen: "I'm beginning to think that we've got the man wrong."

What the fuck?? Karen's insanity must be contagious, cuz now Helen's caught it. I'm not sure which is more painful, this scene or the last one with Shell and Tessa.

And speaking of painful and insane... while Tessa brushes her teeth, Shell tries to make nice.

Shell: "I heard you chewed a screw's ear off in Newby. Neat. D'ya know why they moved me here? Cuz I slashed a screw, didn't I? Got 'im right in the belly."
But Tessa never even blinks. Or stops brushing.

Shell: "So you and me have got a lot in common really, haven't we? Only you're much better at that sort of thing than me. I mean, chewing an ear off - that's got style, innit?"
AHAHAHAAA! That's the funniest thing Shell has EVER said! Truly. Hilarious.

Shell: "Anyway...I mean, we can be mates, can't we?"
Tessa: "I knew this girl once who wanted to be mates. So I says to her, 'you that keen on being close? (walks over to Shell). Come on - we can be blood sisters'!"

Tessa, who's HIV+, holds her wrist out and mimes cutting. "Little nick here, (grabs Shell's wrist) little nick there...and bingo! (rubs wrists together). Welcome to the club."
With that, Tessa climbs into bed. "Night-night. Sleep tight."

Ok, this is beyond fucking creepy. The most cringeworthy Bad Girls epi EVER. Shell's not the only one freaked out now - I'm cowering under my blanket, hand over my eyes.

Hospital. Karen visits Jim, but he's upset she hasn't come sooner. She tells him she's been busy, goddammit - the police, the inquiry, getting tested for STDs.

Karen: "What were you doing in the cell, exactly?"

Fenner: "Well, like I told the police, I was doing the lockup when she called me in. And suddenly, she turned on me, and the next thing I know, she stabbed me."

Karen: "Why do you think she attacked you?"

Damned if Fenner knows. He didn't provoke or touch her - not for one teeny, tiny second.

Karen looks unconvinced.

Fenner: "God, Karen - you don't believe her, do you?"
Karen: "No. Neither does anybody else. Not even Helen Stewart. I had to ask, that's all. I'm as accountable for that night as you are. (long pause). How are you really?"

Who cares? I hope his wound is red and itchy and oozy and putrid.

Karen thinks Marilyn's still in love with Jim. Ever the master manipulator, Fenner convinces her it's not true. Karen and Jim sit and hold hands, making googly eyes at each other. While I fight the dry heaves.

Back on the Muppet Wing:
Tessa: "You missed a bit."

When the floor is clean enough for Tessa, she starts looking through Shell's things. And pulls out a booklet.

Tessa: "I like puzzle books."
Shell: "You can have 'em if you want."

Next, Tessa pulls out some candy. "Chocolate. I like chocolate."
Shell: "Tryin' to lose weight anyway."

Tessa opens the candy and starts eating.

Tessa: "My Debs was always on a diet. She had a lovely full figure. (long stare at Shell's tits). Top heavy. (smiles) I like 'em like that."

GAH, that does it - I abandon my blanket and crawl onto the floor. I'm full-on fuckin' fetal now.

In addition to my hatred of obsessive stalkers, I'm somewhat claustrophobic. So watching this crazy bitch hang all over Shell in that tiny little space just makes me gasp for air. If I were Shell, I'd have to kill Tessa in her sleep. Or she'd have to kill me. Either way, there'd only be one of us breathing come sunrise.

A few deep breaths, a quick cigarette, I reluctantly (and with an audible whimper), return to the Muppet Wing.

Tessa: "Got any fags?"
Shell: "No. Sorry."

Tessa grabs Shell. "You wouldn't be trying to put one over on me, would ya Shell?"

Shell: "No. I mean, if I had any I'd give 'em to you, wouldn't I? I mean, I like you."
Tessa: "Yeah?"

Shell nods. Well, as much as she can nod with Tessa's fingers dug in her face.

Tessa lets go of Shell. And starts playing with her hair (which makes the hair on my neck stand up). "My Debs had blond hair. I used to brush it for her every day. Till it was all nice and shiny. I could brush yours, if you like."

Shell: "I've already done it."
Tessa: "Not how I like it, you haven't."

Well, that's it settled, then. Tessa starts brushing Shell's hair. Complete with childhood tales of Mother Spall.

Cut to....Shell dressed in Deb's clothes.

Tessa: "Told ya it'd fit ya. I used to love my Debs in this. It's the only bit of her I got left now. I wouldn't let just anyone wear it. Do you know any hymns?"
Shell: "What?"
Tessa: "Hymns. Like what I used to sing in Sunday school."

And she breaks into a rendition of "All Things Bright and Batshit Beautiful" while Shell looks on, horrified.

And then she makes Shell join in.

Cut to the screw's lounge. Sylvia is still gloating over Shell, but Di's upset she shipped her to the Muppet Wing.

Di: "But she'll never cope on there."
Sylvia: "No, probably not. Especially with Mad Tessa as her cellmate."

Di protests but Bodybag says, "what happened to Jim could happen to any one of us. And if the bosses won't lay the law down, someone has to."

Di: "Yeah, but ya can't just go around meting out your own punishment."

I'm sorry, Di - are you new here at Larkhall??

But Di's conscience is bothering her. Sylvia tells her that screws have to stick together. "Your fellow officers are all you've got. Just remember that."

Back to the Muppet Wing. (sob!!) Shell's still singing "All Things Bright and Beautiful." Which Tessa *really* seems to like.

Tessa: "Good! That was good!"
Shell: "I don't have to do it again, do I? Only, that's 8 times now."
Tessa: "No! Again! Now!"
Shell (desperate): "I do impressions!"
Tessa: "Who of?"

And so Shell starts a series of impressions, apparently from some British children's show (being an ignorant Yank and all, I won't even attempt to transcribe).

But since Tessa didn't spend a normal childhood in front of the tv, she has NO idea what the fuck Shell is doing. So she gets mad and grabs Shell.

Shell (stammers): "Wait! I can tap dance. You'll like that!"
Tessa (warns her): "I'm startin' to get bored!"

So Shell starts dancing and singing for her life. "All things wise and won-derfuuull/the Lord God made them allll...."

Tessa just stares. Then breaks out in applause. "You was really good!"

Shell is clearly relieved. Which inspires her to reminisce about her childhood, memories both good and bad. And which only further endears her to Tessa.

Tessa: "I got some biscuits. Do you want one?"

And there they sit, on the bed eating snacks, when Bodybag walks in.

Shell: "Hiya, miss. Want a biccie?"

Annoyed that they're so cozy, Sylvia slams the door behind her.

Hospital. Now Marilyn's visiting Jim. She wants to get back together and apologizes (for what?? For listening to him fuck Shell)??

Jim, of course, prefers to have his cake AND eat it. And he prefers Karen's cake, so he tells Marilyn to "leave things as they are" - they should take things slow.

Cut to.... shot of the full moon and crazy Pam Jolly howling like a coyote. A psychotic, demented coyote snarling and grunting for meds.

Nurse Ratched hears her snarling/grunting and kindly tells the nurse she'll bring Pam her lithium. Then just pockets the pills instead.

Morning on the Muppet Wing. Shell sleeps peacefully as the sun streams through the window. It's nice that they get a bright, eastern exposure on the Muppet Wing.

But suddenly....

Tessa: "I've been lying here for hours watching you sleep (strokes her hair). Ain't no one never gonna hurt you. Not now, you're with me (cuddles closer). You'd never do the dirty on me, like Debs - would you? I knew you wouldn't let me down."

Shell tries to get up, "I'll go run the basin for you!"  But Tessa just holds her tighter.

Jesus fuck - that's it. My skin is crawling and I can barely breathe. I run a bath with rose oil and bleach, and scrub myself raw with sandpaper. Then I soak in rubbing alcohol and weep softly, knowing I'll never feel clean again.

Three cigarettes and 2 vodka martinis later...

...and we're back in Pam's cell. She rushes Nurse Ratched, but with a little voodoo judo, she twists Pam's arm, shoving her to the ground.

Nurse Ratched: "Now then, Pam, calm down. That new girl, Shell Dockley, stole it."

Pam replies with...guttural grunts.

Nurse Ratched (repeats): "Shell Dockley. The blonde-haired girl. She's got your medicine and she won't give it back."

(ok, I'm not sure what she screams, but that's what it sounds like. And that's just funny, so there it is).

Nurse Ratched hauls Pam off to the showers.

Next stop, the Honeymoon Suite. Where Nurse Ratched barges in on Tessa and Shell.

Tessa: "Can't you lot friggin' knock before you come in?"
Nurse Ratched: "Come on, Shell. Time for your shower."

Outside the cell, Shell runs over to Sylvia. "Miss, you've got to get me out of here! You've just got to! I'll be good from now on, I promise I will."

Sylvia: "Well, maybe you've learned your lesson."
Shell: "Oh, I have, miss! Really I have."
Sylvia: "I'll see what I can do."

As Shell goes into the shower, Nurse Ratched calls out, "don't be all day in here, SHELL DOCKLEY." And shuts the door behind her.

Sylvia and Nurse Ratched: "Mwuhahahahaaaa...."

In the shower, Pam sets upon Shell and just wails on her.

And. Truly. Beats. Her. Down.

Anonymous screw comes a-running, and Nurse Ratched runs in behind her. Together they drag Pam out. A nurse helps a sobbing, soaked, and bloodied Shell while Tessa cries out from her cell.
"Shell! SHELLLLL!!"

Back on G-Wing, Helen is talking with Yvonne.

Yvonne: “My opinion? I haven't got one.”
Helen: “You heard nothing?”
Yvonne: “I heard someone shout out Fenner's name - the Gov, 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 (notices surprise 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: “At Hollamby's do (pause). Oops! 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.”
Helen: “That'll be all.”

Back at Muppets R Us, Helen drops in on Shell.

Shell: “Miss Stewart! Thank Christ you’ve come! You gotta get me outta here! They’re all psychos!”
Helen: “Calm down, Shell.”
Shell: “That Mad Tessa, she’s got the hots for me! Don’t bring her back in here. And don’t send me down the block neither, I’ll cut up, I swear I will!”

Helen says she’ll help her, but she wants the truth about that night. Shell repeats that Fenner tried to rape her, but Helen interrupts. “No. You heard something, didn’t you? About him and Miss Betts?”

Shell says she believes Yvonne. “Mr. Fenner told me, didn’t he? He said she’d invited him back to her place after the party. He was gloatin’ about it.

Shell: "I tried to warn her. I told her again how he did me. I just didn’t want to see the same thing happen to her, that’s all.”

Helen: “You telling me that you tried to kill Mr. Fenner just to save Miss Betts?”
Shell: “I told her stuff, hadn’t I? Private stuff. Stuff what happened to me when I was a kid. I didn’t want him findin’ out about it and he would’ve done, he’s a slimy bastard. He’d have had a good laugh and spread it around the wing. I couldn’t have that. I couldn’t have everyone knowing what I done. I’d rather kill myself. Or him.”

With that, Helen gets up to leave.

Shell: “Miss Stewart! You ain’t gonna leave me here, are ya? I done what you said! I told ya the truth!
Helen: “I’ll see you in the morning, Shell.”

And she leaves.

...and goes straight to Karen’s office.

Helen: “I talked to Shell Dockley again last nite.”
Karen: “My turn now, is it?”
Helen: “It won’t take long. In fact, I’ve only got one question: Are you having a sexual relationship with Jim Fenner?”


Back on G-Wing...

Shell returns amid cheers and applause. And a big "welcome back" hug from Denny.

But Bodybag & Co are watching from above.

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

and...that’s it. I got nothin' left here.  I’m still trying to wash off the pall of Spall.

I gotta say, there’s crazy and then there’s krazy. I can deal with crazy. I can deal with Shell, I can deal with Pam.  I can even deal with Di, (well, sort of). But Tessa Spall?? I just can’t fuck with that kinda krazy...

Oh yeah - I didn’t get to it but: the Julies want out of Larkhall on an electronic tagging program - Julie S wants to see her son in his school play. Nikki tells them that Monica runs a halfway house for women cons, so they can use her address. Babs helps them write their appeal to Stubberfield.

here’s a pic:

And here’s a pic of Nikki (just because she’s happy), and even tho she’s not wearing black: