Series 1, Episode 6
Written by Tom Higgins
Produced by Brian Park
Directed by Jim O’Hanlon
Air Date: 6th July, 1999
Helen returns to work after her holiday and, although Nikki is pleased to see her, her officers definitely aren’t. Dominic is the only exception to this rule but still maintains that he will quit the prison service as soon as his notice period is over. Helen, deciding that she doesn’t want to lose an officer as good as Dominic, pulls out all of the stops in an attempt to get him to stay, even going so far as inviting him out for a drink in the hope she’ll be able to change his mind.
In reception, Dominic has his hands full with a new inmate, Jessie Devlin, a chronic alcoholic who has the DTs, voices and visions in her head, the lot! After a period drying out in solitary, Jessie is moved to G-Wing where she is soon marked as an easy target for a spot of bullying by Shell. Jessie’s salvation arrives in the unlikely form of Denny who seems to have a strange, reflective look on her face whenever she sees Jessie…could it be that their paths have crossed before?
Helen decides to review Nikki’s sentence plan and, although she is clearly reluctant, persuades Nikki to consider furthering her education with the Open University. When Helen makes a point of smuggling in a copy of ‘Sophie’s World’ for her to read, Nikki wrongly interprets this to mean that the interest Helen has shown in her so far is not purely professional.
Later, over several pints of lager, Helen is successful in her bid to persuade Dominic to retract his resignation. As the alcohol continues to flow, Dominic takes the opportunity to unburden himself and tells Helen about Zandra escaping from the abortion clinic. Helen is understandably angry, but promises Dominic that she’ll put a good word in for him and Lorna when she reports the matter to Stubberfield. Dominic makes Helen promise not to say anything to Lorna about his confession until he’s had chance to speak to her about it first.
Meanwhile, totally ignorant of the fact that Dominic has confessed all to Helen, Lorna is forced to give in to Zandra’s blackmail and agrees to deliver a letter to Robin. However, Robin makes it clear to Lorna that he doesn’t care about Zandra or the baby and refuses to even read the letter. Although initially distraught when Lorna returns with this news, Zandra’s thoughts soon return to blackmail and this time, she demands drugs in exchange for her continued silence. Realising that refusal could place her career on the line, Lorna smuggles in some of her mother’s prescription temazepam. However, Lorna’s troubles could soon increase dramatically – after overhearing one of their conversations, Shell knows exactly what Zandra and Lorna are up to.
As she has so far gone out of her way to extend the hand of friendship to Jessie, her out of the blue decision to attack her with a plastic knife is totally incomprehensible. Later, Helen calls Denny and Jessie to her office and demands to know what is going on; she and Jessie are stunned when Denny makes an emotional announcement – Jessie is her mother! The other inmates on G-Wing are disgusted with Jessie when they discover that she abandoned Denny to a childhood spent in and out of abusive foster homes and they are all quick to turn against her. Nikki however, decides to give Jessie the benefit of the doubt and persuades her to write a letter to Denny, explaining to her why she couldn’t cope with motherhood. That night, Denny asks Zandra to read Jessie’s letter for her.
It seems unfair to Denny that just as she and Jessie are beginning to build a relationship, they will soon be forced to part when Jessie is released. Although Jessie promises to write and visit, Denny decides that the only way they can have a proper relationship is if they are together on the outside, and, in order for that to happen, she will have to escape. Fortunately, Jessie manages to persuade Denny against this. Convinced that she won’t hear from Jessie again, Denny receives a nice surprise in the post – a postcard from Jessie who is still on the wagon and planning to visit as soon as she can.
Dominic waits nervously outside Stubberfield’s office for the verdict. He is relieved when Helen emerges and tells him that although he and Lorna are in line for a lecture, Stubberfield has decided not to reprimand them for not reporting Zandra’s escape.
Helen – “You’re not interested in education classes?”
Nikki – “Well, there are only so many macramé plant hangers you need in one lifetime.”
Denny – “The woman’s a friggin’ nutcase, not a junkie. Just leave her alone alright?”
Zandra – “Ooooh! Who slapped her tits?”
Denny – “Bit of a shock to meet my mum in here looking like a burst bag of shite.”
Helen – “I’m not interested in women…not in that way.”
Nikki – “You should give it a go sometimes, you don’t know what you’re missing.”