“Bad Girls” Recaps: Episode 1.7 “Playing With Fire”



The taunter: Shell mouths off to everyone.

The tested: Monica tries to adjust to life away from her son.

The toucher: Nikki reaches out.

Morning — Each morning at Larkhall, the ladies are roused and queued up for their ablutions. Today is no different. Dominic knocks on Nikki’s door and says, "Ready for your shower?” That’s more than enough to lubricate the wheels of my imagination, but then something even more brilliant happens: The glimpses of Nikki’s morning are intercut with scenes of Helen’s similar activities. Except, well, Helen’s doing them of her own accord instead of marching to a screw’s orders.

Helen is in her robe (gasp); a towel is wrapped around her head. She hums tunelessly — like, really tunelessly. I’m glad you’re flawed in some way, Helen. But of course this "flaw" only makes you more adorable.

As Helen beholds the break of day, so does Nikki. The sun shines on Helen’s face, while Nikki must peer through the filmy window in her gloomy cell.

And then it’s time to face the mirror. Nikki’s mirror is more like a warped fun-house looking glass.

Helen goes out to the back garden, offering Sean some orange juice and a smile. Apparently it’s Take Your Boyfriend to Work Day:

Helen: Hey, I bet you’re pleased I roped you into this talk.

Sean: [half laughing, half sighing]

Helen: They’re dead keen — just be gentle with them.

Sean: Well, will they be gentle with me?

Helen: Course! You’ll love them.

Sean: You’re beginning to sound like their mother.

Helen: Oh, please.

Sean: I think you’d make a pretty good mother.

Sean, you just make me yawn. Helen, what are you thinking? Do you really prefer him to the dark-haired beauty who was just carefully applying mascara in her dimly lit cell — and no doubt thinking of you all the while?

Helen thinks Sean must be having an "early midlife crisis" because he keeps talking about having kids. That makes me think of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, specifically, references to "my early late 20s " or "the late mid-80s."

Sean says he just thinks it would be nice to be a bit "normal." This leads him to make a half-assed marriage proposal. Helen just smiles, and the scene ends before we can tell what she’s thinking. You can borrow one of my yawns, Helen, if you need a quick way to make a point.

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