Bad Girls

Season 1 Episode 2

Drug Wars

Aired Thursday 9:00 PM Jun 08, 1999 on ITV

Episode Recap

Helen is determined to tackle the high level of drug abuse on G-Wing but is shocked to learn that the prison's random testing policy is anything but – her POs make a point of only testing women they known are clean to avoid unnecessary paperwork. Although Fenner and Hollamby are scathing of Helen's naivety, she decides to make it clear to everyone that she means business by introducing a scheme to encourage inmates to report drug dealers to the much feared Dedicated Search Team.

New inmate Zandra Plackett steps off the prisoner transport. She is shivering from the rain and desperate for a fix and quickly becomes agitated by the long and drawn out reception process. Sharing Zandra's distress is first timer Monica Lindsey. Although she finds the process harrowing, her biggest concern is the welfare of her Down's Syndrome son, Spencer who relies on her totally.

After a miserable weekend spent in the grim reception dorm, Zandra and Monica are both allocated to cells on G-Wing. Zandra is dismayed – she still owes Shell and Denny for some smack she got on credit last time she was on remand – and her worst nightmare comes true when she and Monica are taken to the four-bed dorm. As Denny prepares to throttle Zandra, Monica intervenes and slaps her around the face. Denny is stunned into silence and much too shocked to respond. It's then only a matter of time before Denny and Shell get Zandra on her own and violently 'de-crutch' her for the stash she has smuggled in.

Helen's new scheme has given Shell an idea. She bullies Rachel into writing a letter to the DST, falsely naming Nikki as a dealer, and is delighted when her arch enemy is stripped and searched for drugs by the sadistic DST. Although Fenner is delighted by Nikki's plight, the smug smile disappears from his face like a flash when Rachel reveals that Shell forced her to tip off the DST. Fenner is clearly spooked and warns Rachel to give Shell a wide berth. Later, Fenner takes Shell to one side and orders her to leave Rachel alone – if she blabbed to him, there's no telling what she'll say next, and to whom.

Both Zandra and Monica are looking forward to visiting time. Monica is desperate to see Spencer and Zandra is expecting to receive some gear from her fiancé, Robin. When Robin and the fix don't show, she causes a scene. However, this is nothing compared to the chaos caused when the DST detect a drugs exchange and swoop violently on the perpetrators. As the visiting room is plunged into mayhem, a terrified Spencer is left screaming.

The events in the visiting room have caused pandemonium on G-Wing and as a result, that day's association time is cancelled. Helen is now experiencing doubts about her anti-drugs strategy and apologises to her POs for the disruption caused by the DST. Fenner is delighted by this admission of failure and now believes more than ever that Helen is out of her depth.