“Bad Girls” Recaps: Episode 3.12 “Tough Love”

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Helen and her posse clomp back to the atrium. The prisoners are a little shocked to see all the screws in riot gear.

Helen: Well?

Nikki: We’ve called it off.

Helen: Where’s the Purvis sisters?

Nikki: Let’s just say the were banged up early.

As Nikki says this, smirking, Caroline looks on, smiling. See what happens when you neglect your bird, Helen?

Without a word of thanks or encouragement, Helen orders them all back to their cells. This doesn’t sit too well; everyone sort of scowls and shifts on their feet.

Nikki: Do as she says.

Helen: What are you waiting for, Wade? I said get back to your cell.

Nikki does as she’s told, but as she shuffles off with the others, she looks back over her shoulder as if to make sure Helen can see how much it hurts. Would a simple grunt of gratitude really have been so difficult, Miss Stewart?

The cleanup — The screws start to remove all the things that were transgressively placed on the safety netting. And in their cell, the two Julies think about how they’ll soon restore order to their own lives:

Julie J. [dreamily] One day we’ll have a place of our own. Cottage in the country’d be nice. Little stream … and no men to spoil it.

Julie S. feigns support, but she looks a little uncertain about that last part. There’s more uncertainty in the hallway on G-3:

Nikki: This wasn’t about you.

Helen: I don’t wanna hear it!

Yow! Maybe it’s just because my headphones are accentuating Helen’s vehemence, but that seemed unnecessarily harsh. On the other hand, it does bring to mind fond memories of “SIT IN THAT CHAIR!”

Nikki: It was about the system.

Helen: I am the system while I’m in charge. You betrayed me tonight.

Nikki: I thought you wanted to change things in here.

Helen: Not by violence.

Nikki: That was the Peckham Gang wanting a free-for-all. They don’t care about Femi.

Helen: It’s over, Nikki.

Nikki: What?

Helen: You and me. I don’t want anything more to do with you. And do you know something? I don’t even feel sad about it.

Um. With or without headphones, that was just plain nasty.

As Helen orders Nikki back into her cell and locks the door, Nikki seems to be literally holding herself together.

I can’t say I’m liking this episode very much so far. Helen, what has come over you?! All Nikki did was what you’ve come to expect of her: She spoke her mind and refused to accept the inequities of life behind bars. I thought that was the sort of high moral character that made you let her in when she showed up on your doorstep that fateful eve. Maybe that was more about hormones than morals.

The next morning — Miss Stewart is on the P.A. again, telling everyone they’ll be locked in their cells until further notice. Hollamby smirks with approval.

Nikki doesn’t much care to go anywhere anyway. She’s in her bed, crying.

Tina’s crying too, but … well, it’s complicated. A squad of screws are searching Tina and Maxi’s cell, apparently as part of the cleanup. The Peckham sisters managed to flush most of the evidence, but one file was still in plain sight, so Maxi has stuffed it under Tina’s mattress. Tina’s now sobbing, and on Maxi’s order, she’s also peeing — as if she’s “having a fit” of fright, as Maxi says, but really to keep the screws away from the evidence.

Gross. Not quite as bad as that hot tub thing on Nip/Tuck, but very icky. Quite a nifty skill, though, peeing on command.

And despite all that, it seems Helen didn’t even know there were any files missing — in the wing office, she orders Hollamby to sift through the cabinets and make sure all the records are in order. Hollamby looks like she’s ready to wet herself too, at the magnitude of the task.

There’s one bright spot in all of it: The new Nigerian inmate arrives and is immediately a great comfort to Femi.

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