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

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From bad to worse — Helen and Dr. Waugh are having coffee. She says she’s looking forward to the conference. Oh, you mean the weekend away with academics and aperitifs?

Thomas: It’ll be my turn to be bricking it.

Helen: Not quite the same scale.

Yeah, Thomas: In what universe is presenting your stupid little paper even half as difficult as quelling a prison riot? You ass. Helen says as much, which almost makes me like her again, but then she says this:

Helen: Anyway, you’ll have me to hold your hand.

No. Incorrect! Wrong wrong wrong! Dammit. Fine, Helen, go have a romantic weekend with your puppy-dog-eyed sycophant. I won’t even feel sad about it.

A long exterior shot — It seems like we’re getting more exterior shots than usual in this episode — almost as if they ran out of time and had to replace cut scenes with stock footage. Let’s hope the deleted stuff was Helen/Thomas rather than Helen/Nikki.

(Oh, wait — Helen Thomas? Funny.)

A letter — Julie S. has a letter from her son — or maybe it’s from someone else; she hides it before Julie J. can be sure. But Julie J. is sure David will be happy to get “his mum and his Aunti Ju” back tomorrow. Oh, Julie S., why won’t you just tell her (and us) whatever your little secret is? Your squinched-up concerned face is getting tiresome.

Meanwhile, it seems Nikki has just told Barbara what Helen said. They’re discussing it as they walk to breakfast. I wish we could have heard Nikki’s description of Helen’s tone and mean face.

Barbara: Well, she’ll have said that in the heat of the moment, won’t she?

Nikki: Seemed pretty final to me. Maybe she’s just come to her senses. I mean … it is a bit unlikely, when you think about it, me and her together.

Barbara: Well, not if you win your appeals.

As they arrive at the breakfast queue, they’re interrupted by a hello from Caroline. It’s been a while since “Hi, Nikki” sounded that much like “Please kiss me.” And Nikki seems pretty happy to see Caroline too. Barbara looks surprised; she’s no doubt aware how difficult it is for anyone to get Nikki’s attention when she’s got Helen on the brain.

Barbara makes herself scarce as Nikki and Caroline chat about how well they slept. No matter how I feel about Helen (when I’m not disappointed in her like I have been lately), this flirty stuff is cute. It’s nice to see Nikki be on the receiving end of the wooing for a change.

From a nearby table, Maxi find the flirting interesting too, though presumably for entirely different reasons.

The wing office — Barbara’s such a romantic. As she cleans the office, she tells Helen how great Nikki is.

Barbara: It’s a good job Nikki was in control the other night.

Helen: [scowling] I’m sorry?

Gah, more unnecessary harshness! The way she said that, it sounded more like, “How dare you speak to me?!” This temporary authority is going to your head, Helen. Temporarily, I hope.

Barbara: Otherwise we might have had a full-blown riot on our hands. It’s just … I heard some of the officers talking as if she were the ringleader, when actually she did everything she could to contain it.

Helen: Did she tell you to say all this?

Barbara: Oh, no no, you mustn’t think that.

Helen: In case you’ve forgotten, it was Nikki who instigated the whole thing.

Barbara: Yes, but it started peacefully.

Helen: [seething] Barbara. We are lucky no one was killed. Now, if Nikki hadn’t kept a lid on things, she’d have been out of here at the speed of light. If she thinks she was badly treated, you can tell her from me she doesn’t know she was born!

As Helen stomps out, Barbara’s face says what we’re all thinking: What the hell crawled up her ass?!

Leather jacket aside, these mean faces do nothing for Helen’s appearance. She’s just scary in this episode.

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