Plotting — Fenner is sitting in the wing office, just thinking. It’s kind of frightening — who knows what evil lurks inside that thick skull of his?
Karen comes in and asks for a file. And then she starts talking.
Karen: You look rough. Night on the tiles?
Karen: I had a drink last night. Helen Stewart. You’re not her favorite person, are you, Jim? In fact, I’d say you’re getting a reputation for upsetting wing governors. Well, female ones, at any rate.
On that well-played note, she tries to make a dramatic exit, but he stops her and says he has no trouble with female bosses and was even looking forward to working with Karen. But then she had to go and back Dockley instead of him.
Karen: Well, I thought I had good reason.
Fenner: Yeah. Maybe you did.
And then — are you sitting down? — he sincerely apologizes. What? Maybe he’s trying to make amends before he helps Yvonne make her big break.
I think I saw that in a movie once — Yvonne is on the phone with Charlie, talking about a dream she had. They were on a beach, white sand, palm trees, blah blah, "making love with the sea rushing in over our legs."
A sea of nausea has just rushed over me, picturing that lunk of a guy with Yvonne. I guess they do say power is an aphrodisiac. I can’t figure out what else Charlie has going for him.
More plotting in the wing office — Jim tells Sylvia that Yvonne will need an escort next week; her husband has liver cancer, remember? Wink, wink. Sylvia is less than sympathetic, but she swallows the story, which is all Fenner cares about.
Unbearable — The pain in her head is too much for Zandra. She’s crying in her bed, and next thing you know, she’s shrieking out the door of her cell, telling everyone to shut up. Suddenly she thunks to the floor, unconscious. Barbara insists that Di get the nurse.
The next morning — Yvonne informs Fenner that today’s the day for her big escape. This is news to him, but Yvonne’s got it all planned. Her daughter’s going to come to visiting hours this afternoon with a story about how sick Charlie is. Then, one compassionate leave paper and half a taxi ride later, Charlie will threaten Fenner and create a big drama, and Yvonne will make a break for it. After Yvonne explains all of this, Fenner says she must be joking.
Yvonne: Do I look like a comedian, Mr. Fenner?
No. But you do look kinda hot when you glare like that.
A talk — Helen finds Nikki in the library. Nikki is all smiles when she sees Helen, but Miss Stewart is very seerrrious. She tells Nikki that she’ll have to be in Larkhall for nine more years before anyone will even consider letting her out — and with her "attitude," it could add up to 15 or 20. But wait, it gets worse:
Helen: Lettin’ you go is up to the Home Secretary. Now, you killed a police officer. It means that they might never let you out of here.
Helen almost breaks down as she says this. Nikki does shed a few tears.
Nikki: I said I was a hopeless case.
Helen: You’re not a hopeless case, Nikki. It’s just gonna be difficult, forming an appeal. [pausing] I saw the statement you made to the police. You didn’t do yourself any favors. [sighing] The judge said it was cold-blooded murder. Is he right? Is that what you are — a cold-blooded killer?
Nikki: [quickly] No, of course I’m not.
And then they’re interrupted, as Di comes in. Helen sits down but looks back at Nikki with a lot of longing on her face.
There’s so much going on in that little scene. First, the way Helen says cold-bludded murrrdurrr is, again, swoon-worthy. And the way Nikki pleads with her eyes, willing Helen to see her as she is rather than as her file presents her, is heartbreaking. These two are so very good at the deep, long gazing. Go ahead, rewind! You know you want to.