THIS WEEK’S RAP SHEET:
The scapegoat: Nikki gets blamed for Shell’s petty phone pranks.
The schemer: Yvonne has plans for Hollamby. You know, in that scary way that mobsters have "plans."
The s— stirrer: Helen causes all kinds of trouble for Nikki.
Not such a good night — It’s bedtime at the Fenner household. Mrs. Fenner is answering the phone. It’s Shell, calling her a "poor cow" because she’s "married to him." It’s like Fenner is Voldemort: best to just call him “him” and never speak his name.
Mrs. Fenner calls for Jim, then turns back to the phone and asks who’s calling. Can’t you tell by the way the phone is glowing red-hot in your hand, Marilyn?
Shell: [in a lower voice and different accent] He gives Shell Dockley a seeing-to in her cell, you know.
Mrs. Fenner: Did you write those letters?
Shell: You can hear him groaning all down the wing.
Mrs. Fenner must be thinking, "Yeah, well, you should hear him snoring all through the night." But Jim is there now; he takes the phone and says hello, but Shell just hangs up. Jim asks Marilyn what’s going on. Naturally, she says, "You tell me."
Jim tries to dial 1471 (the equivalent of *69 in the U.S.), but Shell wisely withheld her number. Did I just call Shell "wise"?!
Jim: What does she sound like?
Marilyn: It’s hard to say. But it’s funny how this Shell Dockley’s name keeps cropping up.
Jim: And what’s that supposed to mean, eh?
It means Marilyn may have been stupid enough to marry you, Jim, but she might also be smart enough to leave you. Jim rationalizes the whole thing by saying Shell is a "slag" and lots of people have it in for her. And then he turns it around on Marilyn again.
Jim: That’s what it’s like at a women’s prison. They’re bitching and moaning at me all day long. I expect something better when I come home, all right?
Marilyn just sighs. Next time you exhale, Marilyn, put your breath behind a poison blow dart. That’ll take care of some "bitching and moaning."
Larkhall — See that strut? See that leather jacket? Miss Stewart is arriving for work. Nikki just happens to be right there inside the gates, pushing a wheelbarrow and keeping her face as expressionless as possible. Well, not quite expressionless — there’s a teensy bit of expectation there. But it won’t be fulfilled: Helen just walks by her without a word. She appears to war with herself a little as she does so, but all Nikki sees is her back, so to her it must just seem like a cold-hearted dis.
But what a lovely cold heart it is! And Nikki is surprisingly cute in her gardener’s garb. Will you two please move on from staring dumbly to gazing deeply into each other’s eyes?
The wing office — Hollamby has a lovely bouquet of flowers. She pretends it’s for Jim, which freaks him out, but she’s just teasing.
Dominic: Who are they for?
Hollamby: The gangster’s moll.
Thank you, Dominic, for filling in the gaps for us. And thank you for defending Yvonne — when Hollamby puts the flowers on the radiator, Dom protests:
Dominic: They’ll die if you do that.
Gah. Such a meanie.
After the roof drama — Zandra is "down the block" (in solitary) in punishment for her little death-defying stunt on the roof in the last episode. Dominic stops by to say hello.
Dominic: You weren’t really gonna jump, were you?
Zandra: What’s it to you? You should have let me do it. I’m not worth saving.
Dominic: That’s half your trouble. You think you’re worth nothin’.
Zandra: Look at me.
Dominic: Aw, come on. It’s not that bad.
I dunno, Dom. She’s in prison; her baby was born a smack addict; the father of the kid is trying to take him away from her; and she’s suicidal. It really is that bad — and worse.
Dom says Miss Stewart is going to let Zandra back on the wing, but Zandra’s not impressed. She is impressed, though, when Dominic gets all vulnerable and cute:
Dominic: Didn’t sleep a wink last night, thinking about you on the edge of that roof.
Aww. He plays it off as just a job thing — "Already had to cope with Rachel Hicks dyin’ on me; don’t want another" — but Zan can see he’s got a heart. She gazes after him when he goes.