“Bad Girls” Recaps: Episode 1.8 “Falling Apart”

THIS WEEK’S RAP SHEET:

The sons: Julie S. gets a gift from her son, while Monica faces a loss.
The snitch: Shell uses everyone, as usual.
The schemers: Nikki, the Julies and Denny conspire to have a party.

Another day — Helen is arriving at Larkhall for the start of another workday. There’s no such thing as a throwaway scene on this show; there’s so much to learn from Helen’s stroll through the gates.

First, Helen drives a Peugeot. Sensible even by British standards. But it’s also red, because Helen’s not one to fade into the woodwork.

Second, she looks good in chains. I know that chain dangling from her pocket is just securing her jailhouse keys, but I’m convinced that the weight of all that metal gives her a little bit of a swagger.

And finally, she’s a good governor: She knows everyone’s name. She says hello to the guards called John and Tony as she signs in and makes her way through a second gate. And she’s not just tossing out pleasantries; there’s genuine kindness and interest in her lovely face.

I’m not the only one who’s studying Helen’s every move. She glances up at a row of cell windows, and if she’s looking anywhere in the vicinity of Nikki’s cell, she knows Nikki’s watching her too. I can’t be sure that’s what Helen’s seeing, but it might explain why she’s just spilled coffee on herself. Helen curses under her breath.

No doubt Nikki’s cursing now too, considering Fenner has just interrupted her reverie:

Fenner: [peering out Nikki's window] She always manages to be a couple of minutes late. You noticed?

Nikki just smirks and leaves. I don’t understand why the inmates haven’t conspired to claw Fenner’s eyes out yet.

The breakfast queue — Gosh, Nikki, that’s a nice shirt you’re wearing today. Is that for Helen?

Nikki may be wearing pink, but her attitude is much tougher than her wardrobe:

Nikki: [to Shell] Enjoying life back on Basic, Dockley? Looks like it.
Shell: I’m gonna be back on three sooner than any of you wankers think.
Nikki: Yeah? Well, us wankers won’t bother holding our breath, all right?

Shell pouts and stomps off. On her way out, she yells, "I’m only down here ’cause of that bitch Lorna Rose." Nikki mutters "my ass" and saunters over to a table to eat her breakfast.

A wanker, if you’re not familiar with the term, is … um … one who wanks. Wanking is a solitary activity. But the activity doesn’t really have much to do with the insult. Oh, just go read about it on Urban Dictionary.

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