“Bad Girls” Recaps: Episode 3.03 “The Chains of Freedom”


The halfway house for illiterates — Julie S.’s son’s school play (still with me?) is Macbeth. Great. I hope we won’t be tying in that pilfered kitchen knife somehow. Oh, look, there’s a shot of it, still with an unidentified hand.

It’s not just small talk: David’s father, Trevor, arrives to talk to Julie S. Aww. He looks sort of sweet and unassuming. And he doesn’t even know that Julie has been in jail. She says she’s been traveling. He reveals that he’s a mechanic.

Julie S.: [to Monica, innocently] Always was good with a tool and his hands, was Trevor.

Monica tries to keep the conversation going, but then it gets a little too close, so she leaves them alone to talk. Is it just me, or is life outside Larkhall kind of boring? No wonder they all try to get right back behind bars. The music isn’t so treacly there, for one thing.

Inspection — Yvonne checks on the state of the kitchen, wanting to make sure Denny and Shaz cleaned things up. She notices the missing knife, of course. She blames Shaz, because — let’s face it — Shaz is kind of a prankster.

She’s also a poser. I was wrong about the music being less treacly in jail, because Shaz is crooning “Scarborough Fair” at the impromptu sing-along session. Everyone’s being respectful and paying attention, but it makes me yawn. I guess you just can’t escape folk-singing lesbians, not even in jail. Why don’t they just give up and sing “Closer to Fine”?

Yvonne searches Denny and Shaz’s cell but finds no knife. Missing cutlery hath no investigator like a woman scorned.

As Shaz sings, Nikki asks Julie J. how she’s doing without her bosom buddy. Julie J. pretends she’s happy to be getting her own life back. Before they can discuss it further, Yvonne grabs Nikki to help her search for the knife.

They have a little interrogation session, with Yvonne, Nikki, Julie J. and Barbara (all the den mothers, I guess) asking Shaz to ‘fess up. She does, but she’s joking. So the faux cops decide to search all the cells.

Regrets — Julie S. thinks Trevor is nice and life outside is lovely, but she misses her best friend. She worries that Trevor will reject her when he finds out about her checkered past.

Keeping everyone distracted — Yvonne does a little comedy routine while the other den mothers search the cells. Ah, Yvonne: Always the life of the party. But it gets a little too jolly, so Simon and Karen put an end to the frivolity.

Nikki fashions a knife lookalike with a saucepan handle and hopes the screws won’t notice.

Two story lines I’d rather ignore — Di cries and acts weird while her mother cries for help. Did I say “acts weird”? More like acts like a lunatic: She slaps her poor old helpless mum. Ack.

Meanwhile, Julie S. tells Trevor the truth. He’s OK with it, pretty much. Well, he’s better with the prison part than the prostitution part.

The morning after — Helen and Karen pat themselves on the back, uh, backs, for the relative calm on the wing during the sick-out. Simon tells them not to talk themselves out of a job. Blah blah.

Helen gives Simon her report on the Fenner incident. She says there’s no evidence against Jim, which of course makes Simon happy. Blah blah again, with a side of ugh. Karen and Helen go off to work, while Simon sits right down and calls Sylvia to convince her to come back to work. He ends up offering to restore her previous rank, whatever that was.

The school play — David is thrilled to see his mom, and Julie S. is thrilled to see her son. Sweetness and light all around. Oh, except Trevor’s not there. He eventually shows up, of course, because sometimes Bad Girls really is a Lifetime movie.

Boredom — Nikki and Yvonne are kind of at a loss, with no screws around to complain about. They chat about the Shell incident and confirm they both hate Fenner — and don’t really like men in general.

Yvonne: Now I’ve come to think about it, I’ve never been with a bloke who was straight-down-the-middle decent. All of ’em are bastards. Doesn’t stop me wanting one, though.
Nikki: Yvonne, just give me the knife.
Yvonne: You what? You gone soft in the head?
Nikki: I know you’re going through a difficult time right now, but let me have the knife and I can help you.
Yvonne: I’m not suicidal, you stupid cow. I just want a shag! And as far as helping me goes, darling [casting her eyes toward Nikki’s lap], you just haven’t got the tackle.
Nikki: [laughing] You wanna bet?

I love the fondness between these two. And I’m rather fond of them both myself!

Nikki ends up giving Yvonne the name of an “old mate” who runs a male escort agency. Yvonne’s not sure how that can help her right now.

Nikki: When was the last time you saw your solicitor?

Yeah, that lends a whole new meaning to the term solicitor.

Yvonne: Of course. You get a private room when you see your brief. And this guy’s briefs’ll be packing more than just his paperwork.

Nikki laughs almost desperately, as if she can’t believe her character has been reduced to making this kind of joke.

Annoying, heavy-handed synchronicity — As Julie S.’s son performs the dagger part of Macbeth, Julie S. runs out. Yes, she’s suddenly very worried about Julie J., and at the very same moment, we learn that Julie J. is the knife thief and was planning to off herself.

Unbelievably, Julie S. goes back to Larkhall (Trevor gives her a ride) and ends up getting herself re-arrested and shouting up to Julie S.’s window, telling her it’s OK, she’s back, all is well — just as Julie J. is about to make the first cut. Did I call this “unbelievable”? Sort of un-stomach-able, really. But the whole prison erupts with shouts of joy. I guess this is what counts as a happy ending on this crazy show.

NEXT TIME ON BAD GIRLS: Lots of Yvonne. Yum!

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