“Bad Girls” Recaps: Episode 2.05 “Mistaken Identity”


The psycho: A new arrival shows everyone why they call her “Mad” Tessa Spall.
The psychoanalyzed: Shell goes to group therapy.
The planner: Fenner makes a deal with Yvonne.

Morning — Oh, look, new arrivals! One of them is an older woman. She’s shrieking and begging to be let out of the prison truck/lorry/cell-on-wheels. I’d be shrieking too, if I were locked in that teeny space that’s barely person-sized.

The wing office — Betts is giving everyone the 411 on the group therapy sessions. The therapist, Meg Richards, is starting today.

Now, if you don’t see much of me for the rest of the week, it’s not because I don’t love you. I’ll be combing over budgets.

Wah. Don’t toy with me, Karen. What do we have to do to get a wing governor to stick around for a few episodes?

On their way out of the office, Di and Sylvia discuss the group therapy. Sylvia thinks it’s a waste of money, but Di thinks it can really open doors for some people.

Hollamby: All it’ll open in here is a can o’ worms.

I can’t help but laugh at Hollamby in her neck brace. Is that wrong of me?

Fenner warns Sylvia about one of the new arrivals: "Mad" Tessa Spall.

Fenner: Doing life for hacking her sister to bits. Then went off on one in Newby and chewed off a screw’s ear. Oh, yeah: Apparently she’s HIV-positive.

I don’t know if he’s saying "Newby" or something else: I can’t stand to look at Fenner’s lips long enough to decipher what he’s saying. But I do understand that Mad Tessa is scary.

Outside — Some guards unload the newbies (er, one of which is from Newby, I guess?). Hollamby waltzes up and assumes the shrieking woman is Tessa Spall. But the woman is screaming, "I can’t breathe," not "I’ll chew your ear off!" There’s no way to be sure; she has no documents. That’s quite a system. No papers? We don’t care, we’ll lock you up anyway!

Sylvia tells the guards to put the shrieking woman down the block right away, and to watch out: "She’s infected." As she barks her orders, another woman is escorted into the prison. She has curly hair and looks reasonably sane.

Shell’s cell — Dominic tells Shell about group therapy and encourages her to give it a try. Shell says she’d rather not but seems to reconsider when Dominic says it’s the best way for her to get back on Enhanced — it would prove she’s really trying to change. Yeah, or it would prove she wants you to think she’s really trying to change.

Reception — I love that they call it "reception" when they process new arrivals, as if they’re welcoming them and serving them tea and cakes. The reality is that Hollamby’s still barking orders, and the shrieking newbie is still shrieking as she is escorted to solitary.

Hollamby calls for a Barbara Hunt, but gets no reply at first. (How great are Hollamby’s grunts and sighs as she does her oh-so-difficult job?) Finally the curly-headed woman stands up and comes forward. She seems quite genial, doesn’t she? I would even say she’s kinda cute.

Hollamby reads out Barbara Hunt’s details; she’s sentenced to three years and was born in 1949. But this woman looks younger than that.

Hollamby: That can’t be right.
Newbie: It’s ’59, Miss.

Hollamby finds the newbie perfectly acceptable and says, "We like new prisoners who don’t create problems for us." The newbie, who is pretty clearly not Barbara Hunt, seems to find this amusing.

Meanwhile, down the block, the shrieking woman is given a sedative to ensure that she won’t create problems tonight either.