“Bad Girls” Recaps: Episode 1.7 “Playing With Fire”


Almost in the clear — Zandra and Lorna are having a heart-to-heart in the loo. Zandra asks for more drugs, but this time Lorna’s not playing. She tells Zandra that Helen already knows about the near-escape at the clinic, so Zandra has nothing on her now. Nyah, nyah, nyah!

Lorna: So. No more running little errands for you. Got it?
Shell: [emerging from a stall] Surprise, surprise! It’s amazing what you hear when you’re doing a number two.
Lorna: What’s going on?
Shell: I told ya. A number two.

OK, I’ll admit that she-devils are sometimes kind of funny.

Shell threatens to turn Lorna in for bringing drugs in and for delivering Zandra’s letters to Robin. Lorna gets nervous and starts to plead with Shell, but it’s clear that Lorna has just stumbled into a trap she won’t easily get out of. Poor Lorna. I almost feel sorry for you, but as my contracts professor always said, "The law does not protect the stupid."

A scared son — Monica and Nikki talk about Spencer’s visit. Monica says he almost seemed afraid of her. Nikki tries to cheer her up and encourages her to call her lawyer about her appeal, but Monica’s losing heart.

Monica: I don’t want to hear bad news. I don’t think I could bear it.
Nikki: Fine. Just sit around moping for the next three years till your parole board meets.

This is all very depressing. Partly because there are so many neutral tones on the screen — that is a lot of beige.

Also, Nikki, I’m not sure reverse psychology will work on a smart cookie like Monica. She seems a little more savvy than that.

More depression — In the wing office, Dominic encounters a teary-eyed Lorna and tries to figure out what’s wrong. She brushes him off and stares into her teacup as if it were a time machine that could take her back to a time before Zandra and drugs and all the other slings and arrows of her outrageous fortune.

The four-bed dorm — Denny’s looking for reading material. Crystal suggests the Bible. Denny calls it "a pile of bleeding mince." I looked up "mince" in the Urban Dictionary, and one of the definitions is "rubbish." Whatever it means, it has offended Crystal — not that that’s difficult to do.

Zandra just cries; she misses her drugs. Zandra, you do cry a lot, even for a pregnant lady. Speaking of which, how are you still so rail-thin?

The wing office — Helen is meeting with her guards. One particular item of business gets a lot of attention:

Helen: I see that we’ve got a vacancy on G-3. I’d like to put Nikki Wade up there.
Everyone else: [stunned silence]
Helen: Well, don’t all talk at once.
Fenner: Wade? On Enhanced? Are you joking?
Helen: Obviously I’m not, Jim. Lorna, you’re Nikki’s personal officer. What do you think?
Lorna: Yeah, fine.
Hollamby: Fine? She’s worse than ever since she was put on that university course.
Helen: [standing up and pacing] No one is denying that Nikki is difficult.
Fenner: So, Helen, what exactly are you trying to prove?
Helen: [stern stare]
Dominic: Look. Nikki Wade’s a pain in the ass. But recently, you’ve gotta admit —
Hollamby: A few weeks’ good behavior and she gets the run of the place.

Dominic observes that nothing else has worked with Nikki, so they might as well try this. ("Enhanced," by the way, is another way to refer to G-3. "Basic" means G-1, the bottom floor. I don’t know yet what they call G-2. "Middling"?)

Fenner: Well, the number one’s not gonna like it one bit.
Helen: Once you get round to telling him all about it, I’m sure he won’t.

Fenner, you need to learn to stop talking back to Helen. It only makes you look even more like a doofus than you usually do. Actually, please don’t stop talking back, because I like the way it affects Helen’s demeanor. Anything that provokes that stern glare is OK by me.

Here’s one thing I don’t get, though: With the exception of that time she tackled Shell, we haven’t really seen Nikki misbehave. I mean, other TV shows make a habit of "telling" rather than "showing," but I expect more from Bad Girls. Don’t let me down already!

After the meeting, Dominic confronts Jim. Dom thinks Helen’s approaches have made a big difference. And he thinks Larkhall houses much worse than the likes of Nikki Wade. He mentions Shell, which of course puts Jim on the defensive.

Dominic: There’s never anything you can pin on Shell. Makes you wonder if someone’s tipping her off.

Oh, Dom. You’re noble, but you’re also such a rube. Fenner can out-scheme you in his sleep.

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