Episode 1.6 - A Big Mistake
Written by Tom Higgins
Produced by Brian Park
Directed by Jim O'Hanlon
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 spent drying out, Jessie is moved to G-Wing where she is soon marked out as an easy target for a spot of bullying by Shell. Salvation arrives in the unlikely form of Denny who seems to recognise Jessie from somewhere.
Helen decides to review Nikki’s sentence plan and then playfully colludes with her by agreeing to lend her a novel. Recognising Nikki’s love of literature, she tries to persuade her to consider furthering her education with the Open University. When Nikki scoffs at the idea, Helen requests that Nikki at least consider it, as a favour for her. The proposition and its flirtatious delivery clearly hold some appeal for Nikki who reluctantly agrees.
Helen takes Dominic to the pub in a bid to persuade him to retract his resignation. She is reluctant to lose such a good PO, not least because he is one of the rare ones who treat the women with respect. Dominic feels obliged to confess that he and Lorna covered up Zandra’s escape from the clinic. Although she is furious with Dominic for being so stupid, Helen agrees to put in a good word for him and Lorna with Stubberfield. Meanwhile, totally oblivious that the secret is out, Lorna smuggles in some of her mother’s prescription drugs for Zandra. However, this is the least of Lorna’s worries; Shell has overheard one of her conversations with Zandra and wants in on the deal too.
Denny has shown an unusually benevolent interest in Jessie and therefore, her out of the blue decision to attack her with a plastic knife is totally incomprehensible. When Helen demands an explanation, she and Jessie are stunned when Denny makes an emotional announcement: Jessie is her mother! When they hear that Jessie abandoned Denny to a childhood spent living in abusive foster homes, the other inmates are quick to turn on 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 have been reunited, they will soon be forced to part. Convinced that she and Jessie will only be able to have a proper relationship if they are both on the outside, she plans to escape. However, Jessie manages to convince Denny that this would be a bad idea, not least because as an alcoholic, she has nothing to offer her. A few days later, Denny is ecstatic when she receives a postcard from Jessie. She is still firmly on the wagon and planning to visit as soon as she can.
Helen has briefed Stubberfield on Dominic and Lorna’s cover up of Zandra’s escape. They both agree that although the POs should not be formally disciplined, they should both be read the riot act. When Dominic passes on the good news, Lorna is only partly relieved. Cleared of one transgression, she is now guilty of a far more serious offence.