Saving Not-So-Private Jim — Karen gives Di and Sylvia their orders. Sylvia’s task is to get into riot gear in preparation for breaking through the cell door. She protests, but Karen’s not interested in the details of her incompetence.
Karen is startled to see Helen there so soon, but then seems to accept the superpowers of the leather jacket and red shirt. She and Helen discuss the latest methods in hostage crisis resolution. Maybe they can co-author a paper when all this is over.
Helen doesn’t like Karen’s plan to "go in hard" and threatens to pull rank. I feel warm all over.
More death-defying stunts — Nikki, now out of the staff loo and on her way back to her cell, saunters past Sylvia and several guards. I was going to say that must be a really good wig, but I think the point is that it’s a really bad one. Bad hair can get you far in life, as many a lesbian will testify. People get sort of blinded and confused and just do whatever they must in order to hasten themselves away from the hideous coiffure.
Nikki makes it to her cell and slips in, tearing off her wig and uniform (hey, nice bra!) and asking Barbara for a trash bag to put it all in.
Barbara: [handing her a bag] Bag. And if you don’t tell me what’s going on, I’m probably going to throw up in it.
But Nikki and her pretty bra don’t say a word.
Negotiating with terrorists — Helen tries to play good cop and get Shell to trust her.
Helen: Look, I’ve come in from home especially to try and help you.
Shell: Yeah? Well, that’s your sad life, then, i’n't it? Don’t dump it on me.
Off to a good start, then. But isn’t Helen lovely when she’s negotiating?
When Helen asks Shell why she’s doing this, Shell tells her to ask Miss Betts. Oh, the thickening plot.
Nikki’s cell — Now that she’s back in her cell and her clothes and her cursed little life, Nikki is smoking and brooding. Barbara tells her she’s being stupid and points out that Helen must care a great deal about Nikki, considering all the risks she took. You don’t know the half of it, Barbara — you should have seen those police officers. Why, Nikki and Helen could have found themselves in a foursome!
Barbara encourages Nikki to focus on her appeal, but Nikki doesn’t think the "pricks in wigs" will change their minds about that. Or was it "prigs in wigs"? Nah, I think Nikki favors precision over rhyme. She does seem to be giving up, at any rate, and says Helen has too:
Nikki: We had one chance to share a life together. To take a huge bloody risk and go for it. And that’s it now.
She’s about to cry. You can tell because she’s frowning in a Beakerish way. I make that face and say "meep!" when I want to make my girlfriend snort with laughter.