THIS WEEK’S RAP SHEET:
The absentee: Larkhall just isn’t the same without Miss Stewart.
The abused: Shell wants Fenner back, even though the wounds from their last encounter haven’t healed.
The agitated: Dominic has had enough of Sylvia’s whining. You and me both, Dom.
A warning — Helen quit at the end of the last episode, remember? That doesn’t bode well for this one. If she can’t get through the front gates, she’ll never make it to the potting shed for a quick feel!
Mail call — Dominic is delivering letters. The two Julies are sad to learn they have no missives; same goes for a crestfallen Zandra. Denny, however, gets some good news:
Denny: [tearing open the letter] Hey, my mum’s comin’ next visitin’.
Shell: Bully for you.
Shell is still sporting bruises and cuts from the beating Fenner gave her in the last episode. And that little incident is on everyone’s mind: As Hollamby passes by, Zandra asks whether Fenner has been banged up (locked up) yet. The Julies ruminate to themselves.
Julie J.: We liked Mr. Fenner, didn’t we, Ju?
Julie S.: He was always very kind to us, Ju.
Ugh. Really? Can you be that foolish, Julies? It seems so. They tell Shell they lost their favorite screw to her and her lies. (In case you’ve forgotten, a "screw" is just a jailer, not a, er, partner. Except in Shell’s case.) For once, though, Shell’s telling the truth. But you can’t really blame the Julies for suspecting her of spinning another yarn.
Suddenly the camera follows Dominic up the stairs on his delivery route. I guess we’re supposed to be looking at the letters in his hand, but jeez, his butt — sorry, bum — is filling up the whole screen.
He stops to chat with Nikki, whose outlook is as grey as her shirt.
Dominic: You all right, Nikki?
Dominic: Well, I thought you’d be celebrating, now Jim Fenner’s gone.
Nikki: Yeah? Maybe I’ll crack the champagne open later.
Dominic, who is less than charmed by her sunny disposition, turns to go. Oh, but wait — he’s turning back around; he’s reaching; he’s — yes! There’s a letter for Nikki!
She’s surprised, and then she practically claws apart the envelope in a rush to see what’s inside. It’s a postcard. She looks at the back first. It says: "Recognise this? H." On the front is a picture of George Eliot, one of Nikki’s favorite authors (or so it seems). Remember how attracted and awkward Helen was when she caught Nikki reading Silas Marner in her cell?
Yes, this postcard is from Helen. Oh, and there’s a letter in the envelope too! I’m grinning almost as widely as Nikki; you’d think I’d received a telegram from Simone Lahbib or something. It’s embarrassing.
But anyway, do you know what this means? Helen has not just ridden off into the sunset: She’s still out there somewhere, thinking of Nikki, keeping the flame alive. And probably journaling and lighting candles and sipping cabernet and listening to Ella Fitzgerald. Oh, wait: I think that was fan fic. Or me, when I was 23 and ridiculously romantic.