No, that’s the last thing you ever expected to see — It’s visiting time. Sylvia takes her place as the watcher as someone strolls in. Who’s that with the nice walk? Why, it’s … it’s Helen! Miss Stewart! The gov! She’s back!
Sylvia plotzes and radios Jim, telling him to get to the visiting room to see this with his own eyes. Helen sits down across from a beaming Nikki.
Helen: Hiya, Nikki.
I’ve listened to that line so many times, I’m going to answer to "Nikki" from now on. My, does Miss Stewart look lovely. Relaxed, right down to the roots of her hair. Clearly the change has done her some good.
Nikki: I wasn’t sure you’d come.
Helen: I said I would.
Nikki: Yeah. But it wasn’t that long ago I thought I’d never see you again. You still looking for work?
Helen: I’ve got one or two irons in the fire.
Helen: [sighing] I missed you, Nikki.
I cannot describe the sexy way she says that, or the warmth in her eyes as she searches Nikki’s face. She sighs in that way you do when you’re in love — that suffused, energized way. Nikki does her best to keep herself from smiling like a fool, but doesn’t really succeed.
Nikki: Missed you. Since you left, I’ve …
Helen: Well, I’m here now.
Nikki: Till you get bored of coming. Or till you meet someone else, like Trish did.
Already with the lesbian paranoia!
Helen: Listen. You never know what’s gonna happen.
Nikki: Yeah, right. Still got nine years to do, remember?
Helen: I wanna talk to you about that. I think you should appeal.
Nikki just stares, but wouldn’t you if you were beholding the face of Miss Stewart?
Shell’s cell — Karen asks Shell if she’s responsible for the graffiti. Shell blames Babs and says Babs also scrawled the mustache on her face. Wow. You have to give Debra Stephenson props for making these crazy lines seem so natural.
Back in the visiting room — Fenner and Hollamby can’t believe their eyes: an ex-officer visiting a con. Now, now, you two: Let you not to the marriage of true minds admit impediments. No bars can separate our heroines!
Nikki: I don’t want to be gettin’ my hopes up, just to have ‘em dashed.
Helen: Honestly, Nikki, there’s been a lot of cases a lot more seerrrious than yours that have had a successful appeal.
Nikki: Waste of time, i’n’t it?
Helen: Look. Let me put it another way. Will you do it for me?
Nikki: I’d do anything for you. You know that.
That time Nikki was the one with the sexy voice. But I’m still swooning over Helen.
Helen: Good. Well, that’s it settled. [a bell rings] I’d better go.
Nikki: I’ll see you soon.
Helen: Yes, you will. Be good. And remember, we’re gonna make this work. I promise.
That Helen-Nikki music swells again, and Nikki watches Helen go, with the wistfulest of wistful looks on her face.