Réalisateur : Mike Adams / Scénariste : Sally Waintwright
Nikki espère apercevoir l'arrivée d'Helen et regarde par la petite fenêtre de sa cellule. Comme s'il se doutait sur la nature des sentiments de Nikki, Fenner n'hésite pas à lui faire un petit commentaire sarcastique alors qu'il arrive dans sa cellule : "Elle a toujours quelques minutes de retard. L'as-tu remarqué ?". Nikki refuse de rentrer dans le jeu et déversera toute sa frustration sur Shell dans le réfectoire. Helen avertit Monica qu'elle pourra rendre visite à son fils d'ici 3 semaines et demi.
Les deux Julie lisent la carte d'anniversaire que David a envoyé à sa mère, Julie S, avec 4 semaines d'avance. Il leur dit qu'il est en train d'apprendre la fermentation dans son cours de biologie. A cette lecture, Julie S. comprend qu'en fait, le résultat de cette "fermentation" sera son cadeau d'anniversaire...
Fenner et Shell se retrouvent dans les toilettes. Alors que Jim l'embrasse et la tripote, Shell se plaind de son transfert au rez de chaussée de l'aile G. Visiblement Fenner s'en fiche et lui dit juste qu'elle n'a qu'à s'en prendre à elle-même et qu'il n'existe qu'une infime petite chance pour lui de la retransférer au 3ème étage. Ce n'est pas du tout ce que Shell voulait entendre et elle lui fait bien comprendre que si elle reste en bas, leur relation redeviendra uniquement "professionnelle".
Les deux Julie pensent que le résultat de la fameuse fermentation sera du vin ! Elles accourent dans la bibliothèque pour obtenir de plus amples renseignements. Ne trouvant absolument rien, leur chance viendra de Monica puisqu'elle fait elle-même son propre vin. Une fois notés tous les ingrédients nécessaires, les deux Julie recrutent le plus de monde possible pour obtenir les ingrédients. Elles demanderont également de l'aide à Nikki pour qu'elle accepte de cacher l'alambique, confectionné à partir d'un arrosoir, dans le petit cabanon de jardin. Alors que Julie S. est en train de mélanger les ingrédients en compagnie de Nikki, Julie J. monte la garde et "balaie" l'herbe ! Hollamby, passant dans le coin, soupçonne quelque chose et fonce droit vers le cabanon. Entendant les cris de Julie J. et de Hollamby, Nikki enlève vite son T-Shirt devant une Julie S. médusée. C'est à ce moment que la porte s'ouvre sur les deux femmes en soutien-gorge !
Monica est convoquée dans le bureau d'Helen, et elle apprend la mort subite de son fils Spencer. Helen va voir Nikki pour lui demander d'être près de Monica afin de l'aider à surmonter cette terrible épreuve. Mais Nikki n'hésitera pas à déverser sa colère sur Helen en lui reprochant beaucoup de choses. Nikki va voir Monica qui semble être dans un autre monde. Elle s'accroche désespéremment au pull-over de son fils. Helen accompagne Monica aux funérailles. Elle fera une entorse au réglement en lui enlevant les menottes durant la cérémonie. La peine de Monica touche profondément Helen et cela révèle toute la compassion qu'éprouve la directrice.
Shell va voir Fenner et lui dit que Nikki est en train de faire quelque chose d'illégal dans son petit cabanon de jardin. Fenner se précipite vers Nikki et tourne sans dessus-dessous le cabanon, mais ne trouve absolument rien. De retour à l'intérieur de la prison, Fenner va vers Shell et lui conseillera de ne jamais refaire ce qu'elle vient de faire ! De retour des funérailles, Monica rejoint sa cellule. Helen va parler à Nikki lorsqu'elle entend cette dernière appeler Monica de derrière la porte de sa cellule. Nikki s'inquiète de savoir comment va Monica. Helen lui dit qu'elle a besoin de temps et qu'elle-même a besoin également de se retrouver seule un moment. Nikki lui dit : "Mais vous avez Sean qui vous attend à la maison". Helen ne répond rien et lui dit juste bonne nuit.
CAPTURES DE L'EPISODE
Helen arrive à Larkhall :
Helen reçoit Monica dans son bureau pour lui annoncer une bonne nouvelle :
Helen rend visite à Nikki dans sa cellule pour lui dire de prendre soin de Monica. Mais comme souvent, l'entrevue ne se passe pas très bien... :
Nikki : They're never been apart. Not once, in 30 years.
Helen : I know. I know, I know everything that you're gonna say. And I agree. You're gonna tell me that Spencer was serving a sentence too and now he's dead because of that. I know that. I do know.
Nikki : How can you do it ? How can you go home at night knowing that that woman is banged up in a little brick box miles from her son's body ?! I mean what the shit kind of torture do you think she's going through ?!
Helen : I know what she's going through, that's why I've come to see you. To ask you to be a good friend to her because she needs one just now. Alright ?
Nikki : You amaze me !
Helen : I didn't come here for a debate !
Helen quitte la cellule accompagnée par les charmants mots de Nikki :
Nikki : You're full of shit ! Like all the others ! You pretend you're not but you are !
Helen, de retour à la maison, se retrouve face à Sean dont les préoccupations sont loins d'être les siennes :
Nikki croise Helen dans un couloir :
Helen : How is she ?
Nikki : Still not speaking. Sorry about the other day, the way I spoke to you. Takin' her some flowers.
Helen : It's nice.
Nikki : Well if I'm allowed to.
Helen : What d'you mean ?
Nikki : Flowers. Usually they're banned from cell aren't they ?
Helen : Nikki....
Helen accompagne Monica aux funérailles de son fils :
De retour à Larkhall :
Helen passe devant la cellule de Nikki et l'entend qui appelle Monica :
Helen : Nikki, I think she needs some time in her own.
Nikki : What, in here ? She'll be lucky.
Helen : I think I do as well.
Nikki : You've got Sean to go home to.
Helen : Yeah. Good night Nikki
Nikki : Night Helen.
ANALYSE DE L'EPISODE
(AUTEUR : JENNIFERT T)
While this episode is entitled "Falling Apart," the episode really focuses on characters' struggles to hold their emotions together. Two central characters, Monica and Helen, struggle to maintain control of their increasingly out-of-control circumstances and relationships. For Helen, this places her in direct opposition to Nikki, who has always embraced open emotional expression.
Ever since Nikki breached the rules of their burgeoning relationship, Helen has struggled to maintain her control in relation to Nikki. As the episode opens, Helen is entering the prison yard, at ease in her interactions with various members of the prison staff. She seems very confident, comfortable and in-charge, something we've rarely seen before. However, as she steps into the yard, she looks up to Nikki's cell window, and catches the eye of Nikki who is looking down for a chance to see Helen as she enters the yard. With this upward glance, Helen, perhaps unconsciously, loses her calm and control, spilling coffee on her wrist. Nikki is the one aspect of Larkhall she hasn't mastered. Helen tries to overcome her lack of mastery and control regarding Nikki by avoiding relating to Nikki directly. During this period of avoidance (which carries through most of this episode), their shared relationships with other people become the connective tissue between them, allowing their relationship to continue to grow and evolve even after the Rubicon has been crossed in the potting shed. After the potting shed, Helen had insisted that a relationship between them isn't possible, that it will never grow. She's wrong: it does grow, but indirectly, via shared concern for Monica, and shared loathing of Fenner. Helen's conscious mind won't allow it to grow directly.
These shared relationships also become the battleground for Helen's struggle between maintaining control of her growing feelings for Nikki, and her desire to give in to feeling those emotions, as Nikki has urged her to do (and will continue to) time and again. When Helen breaks the news to Monica about the death of Monica's son, Spencer, she immediately asks a nurse to give Monica a sedative. A sedative, emotional sedation, is a form of imprisonment, a way of denying Monica any emotional sensation or experience related to her son's death. Helen wants to provide Monica some peace and relief from suffering. But Monica doesn't want to be sedated. She wants to "talk to people," to tell friends and family about Spencer's death, to stay active and engaged. But Helen doesn't listen to Monica's wishes; she considers Monica to be in shock, to not have her full judgment capabilities. However, Helen's action, in effect, helps Monica repress her emotions, rather than allowing her to work through them. In contrast, later in the episode Nikki urges Monica to feel her emotions rather than repress them: "You've got to give in to it and let yourself cry. It doesn't do you any good just bottling things up."
The Julies' wine-making hijinks serve as a counterpoint to this emotionally moving and dramatic storyline, demonstrating the prisoners' freedom to resist the control of the prison and the officers. The prisoners conspire on something totally against the rules yet totally harmless, thwarting the regime just to prove that they can. The beauty of this particular endeavor is the way they triumph over the obstacles they are confronted with at every turn: how to get the instructions to make wine, where to get the ingredients, how to keep the brew warm while it ferments, how to get the watering can filled with the wine back into their cell, how to even drink the stuff because it tastes so bad! The best efforts of the prison officers, both the hapless Bodybag and the clued-in Fenner, can't uncover the plot—unlike the grieving Monica, the Julies' winemaking is immune to prison (officer) control. Sheer determination and teamwork is the key, not just in wine-making but in freeing oneself from any prison, particularly an emotional one like the one in which Helen has locked herself.
Helen's enforcement of Monica's emotional prison reflects her own struggles, her own refusal to feel her own emotions for Nikki. The only scene where Helen and Nikki speak directly and openly to each other turns into a fight. Helen reaches out to Nikki to ask her to support Monica, and Nikki erupts with anger about Spencer's death. Helen agrees with her but doesn't want to turn it into "a debate"—a real and open exchange of beliefs and feelings. She just wants the conversation to be in control, she wants Nikki to agree to help Monica and not bring up any of the messier issues. After this confrontation, every later scene between Helen and Nikki is staged with some physical obstacle between them or in front of them: when Nikki asks Helen's permission to bring flowers to Monica, she and Helen are standing behind wire fencing; during the "Goodnight" scene when they start to connect just the tiniest bit, they are each standing on opposite sides of Nikki's cell door. Nikki won't let Helen ignore her feelings, and Helen can't deal with them, so she has to insure there is something protecting her from Nikki.
This "debate" scene also highlights a specific form of emotional imprisonment: being separated from the person who loves you the most. Spencer "was serving a prison sentence too" when Monica was in Larkhall. And Helen, by extension, is imprisoned, as long as she continues to deny her feelings for Nikki. She's become completely emotionally separated from her fiancé, choosing to accompany Monica to Spencer's funeral rather than joining Sean for a meal with his family to announce their engagement. During this scene where Helen tells Sean she won't be attending the dinner, the two of them are sitting miles apart on the couch, with the camera close-up on Helen while Sean is blurring and blabbering away about the wedding in the background. This wonderful visual representation of Helen's emotional state shows how her fiancé is merely a blur in the back of her mind compared to the women at Larkhall.
Helen's trip with Monica to Spencer's funeral dramatizes a shift in Helen, her new understanding of the need to experience and express emotions. When they first arrive, Helen follows the rules by handcuffing Monica's wrist to her own, despite the vocal disapproval of Monica's sister. During the service, however, Helen unlocks the cuffs, symbolically unlocking Monica's ability to express her grief, realizing this is more important than following any rulebook. Monica expresses herself in dramatic fashion, throwing herself into Spencer's grave and sobbing uncontrollably.
The shift inside Helen which enables her to free Monica also changes the way she experiences and expresses her own emotions, as she reveals in her subsequent interaction with Nikki. When Helen returns Monica to her cell after the funeral, she hears Nikki shout out to Monica. She goes over to Nikki's door to tell Nikki Monica needs some time alone. Nikki reacts somewhat bitterly, with sarcasm tingeing her responses. When Helen suggests Monica needs to be alone, Nikki retorts "What, in this place?" and in response to Helen's very honest and emotionally open "So do I" she says in a quite biting manner "You have Sean to go home to". It's not until the very final line ("'night Helen") that Nikki lets up a bit, and responds in an emotionally open and vulnerable way—something Helen has been doing for the entire scene.
The pattern of this scene mirrors almost every Helen and Nikki scene we've had since the second episode: Helen reaches out to Nikki in an up-front and open way. Nikki responds hostilely (or, to be more benevolent, semi-hostilely). Helen gets angry and storms away. Except—the end of this scene is different. Helen doesn't storm away or get angry as she usually does, and because of that they share this tiny final intimate moment, where Nikki calls Helen by her first name for the first time. Helen knows on an emotional level (although perhaps not on a conscious level) how connected she is with Nikki, how much she is known by Nikki. Helen's still emotionally imprisoned, however: this scene takes place with a door between them; face-to-face it might never have occurred.
Immediately after Helen wishes Nikki goodnight, as she is walking out of G-Wing, Sylvia calls her "ma'am" and Helen mutters to herself "Helen," correcting Sylvia for the umpteenth time, but also drawing the contrast between the staff members who will never see her for who she truly is, and Nikki, who sees and understands Helen in a very fundamental way. And more importantly, Nikki wants Helen to know that she understands her—that's why she calls her Helen. In addition, Helen is naming herself. It's not just that Sylvia doesn't "know" Helen or acknowledge her humanity, but until this moment, Helen doesn't really know herself.