Spinning a web — Fenner tells Karen that Yvonne has asked for compassionate leave. Karen agrees that they should do whatever they can to help. She’s even grateful that Jim is willing to take on the escort duty himself. Yeah, he’s a giver.
Subtle — Helen is still "working" in the library and Nikki is still "reading," but what they’re really both doing is thinking about each other. When Officer Barker leaves (she’s the P.O. on duty in the library), Nikki makes her move. She puts her book down next to Helen, clears her throat, and goes to the door, waggling her eyebrows and doing one of those "this way" head motions. It’s about as subtle as Hollamby’s neck brace was.
Helen gathers up her things, does her own extremely obvious glance-around-the-room thing and then follows.
We’ll forgive them their graceless exits just this once, because what happens next is delicious. Helen goes to the Art room, and as she closes the door behind her, Nikki’s hands and lips are on her. Their kisses are both sweet and hungry, and Nikki’s fingers soon find the buttons on Helen’s shirt.
But Helen stops her.
Nikki: It’s all right; we’re safe here. Don’t worry.
Helen: It’s not that.
Nikki: What is it? You gone off me, then?
Helen: [breathlessly] Nikki, sit down. I need to talk to you.
Nikki: Talking’s what you do after.
Nikki: OK. [sitting] So what do you wanna talk about?
Helen: Us. What we’re doing.
Nikki: What we’re not doing, you mean.
Helen: Nikki, I need you to understand. You’ve turned my life inside out. I thought I knew which way I was going. I was doing the job that I wanted to do; I was committed to the man that I loved … There’s no signposts anymore. I don’t know what to expect. Except that it won’t be normal.
Nikki: So what’s normal? A husband, a job, 2.4 kids?
Helen: I wanted kids one day.
Nikki: You can still have them. There are ways. Oh, look, Helen: You’re not normal. You’re not abnormal. You’re just you. You do what you want to do. What you feel.
Helen: I wanna do what’s best for both of us.
Nikki: And this is. But Helen, relationships need both people involved in them. Sometimes I feel like I’m on my own. I need to know that you’re not just going through the motions.
Helen: Don’t worry, I’m not! Nikki. If I didn’t feel the way I feel, I wouldn’t be talkin’ like this.
Whoa. That was, like, three years’ worth of coming-out conversation compressed into three minutes. But once again, we got some intense looks, genuinely affectionate touching and so much chemistry I think my computer’s going to turn into a beaker.
Visiting time — Yvonne’s hot daughter Lauren is there. She immediately starts crying, but she’s not acting. Charlie’s in jail.
Lauren: Someone squealed, mum. They reckon he ain’t ever gettin’ out.
It’s pretty dire. Fenner sees their concerned faces and assumes the game is on; he goes right to Karen to start making the arrangements to escort Yvonne to the hospital. Yvonne just comforts her frightened (and still hot) daughter.
Karen asks Jim whether Sylvia can do the escort duty instead, but Fenner argues his case successfully, claiming he’s more "sympathetic." Snort.