THIS WEEK’S RAP SHEET:
The rule-maker: Helen lays down the law and then adheres to every letter of it.
The rule-breaker: Zandra is just a victim of circumstance.
The rascal: Shell gets a phone and gets up to no good.
A reminder — Hey, remember the last few episodes? Remember when Nikki and Helen kissed? And then when Sean burned his wedding suit on the Larkhall lawn because Helen said she didn’t want to marry him? Yeah, good times.
So this is the next season, but I don’t know how much time has passed at the prison. But it doesn’t really matter whether it’s an hour or a year: Nikki is still peering out the window of her cell, waiting for Helen to arrive. Sadly, Miss Stewart is nowhere to be seen.
Nikki does a great wistful, mooning look. She’s always sighing and wearing her pain on her face, and on her, that’s adorable.
My eyes, my eyes! — Dominic makes his way to the gov’s office. But who is that behind the desk? It’s not the stunning Miss Stewart; it’s that loathsome Jim. Is he really the wing governor now? He seems to be fond of his role already. He’s wearing a suit and strutting his stuff. I know I just said he was sitting at a desk, but if anyone can strut while sitting, it’s Fenner.
Governing Governor Simon Stubberfield (that looks like a cartoon character’s name) stops by to give Fenner some news about Helen. She’s due back from "sick leave," but Simon thinks she’s gone AWOL.
Sick leave. Hmm. Sick of suppressing her attraction to Nikki? Sick of pretending to be straight? Sick of facing Fenner’s foul mug every day? I know I’m sick of his feigned concern for Helen.
Fenner: It’s a shame. I feel sorry for her. This job’s tough enough without problems on the home front.
You should know, Jim. Your wife must be a drunkard or a dimwit if she’s tolerating you.
Simon promises to get Jim a promotion just as soon as he possibly can. Fenner’s lips quirk into a half-smile, but on him, a quirk is more like a queer — as in, I see it, and I become even more queer.
Speaking of the home front — Fenner calls his wife, Marilyn. She looks sane enough. Inconceivable!
As Jim asks Marilyn whether she’d like to go out for a steak to celebrate his imminent promotion, Marilyn examines a letter that has just arrived. Remember Shell’s little epistolary moment in the last episode? Her bilious words are about to hit the fan. But not immediately — this is still a soap opera, after all. First we have to go back to Larkhall.
A different kind of grimace — Zandra’s face is almost always squinched in pain or fury, but this time she’s not jonesing for something; she’s giving birth. Crystal tells her to do her breathing while Denny does some breathing of her own, exhaling smoke all over the pregnant lady.
In the wing office, the alarm for the four-bed dorm lights up. Officer Hollamby says she’s not going to jump just because some “silly kids” tell her to.
Dominic: One of them’s pregnant. Don’t want another miscarriage, do we?
Dominic rushes to the rescue; Hollamby sort of saunters along behind him. The woman moves like a slab of suet. By the time they get to the cell, Zandra’s water has broken. Imagine having a baby in prison — worse yet, with Hollamby as your nurse. Not the best start for a little one.