Week 4 is Lou’s week. The opening credits tell us that much. Unfortunately Lou was far more exciting when she was being all enigmatic and kick ass within the confines of visiting hour.
Now she’s back at home, keeping her drugs money in a ‘magic tin’ down the back of the sofa and generally trying to hide her hobby from her son, it’s all a bit grim.
Still, she’s finally decided to jack in the dealing. But her boss, Tapper, isn’t being 100% supportive: he just recruits her kid to transport the gear for him instead. Mason manages to muck this up, what with being seven years old and not having a full grasp of the Sale of Goods Act yet, so Lou agrees to one last job in order to pay off his debt.
A mother’s work is never done.
Fellow PWAG Harriet is dithering around with a box of Matchmakers, which she’s desperate to give to Lou along with a ‘Thank you for saving my son from the protection racket’ card (they actually stock those in Tesco now. Probably).
Harriet can’t eat chocolate because it gives her “terrible diarrhea”. Lovely. Mason shovels some into his gob and immediately spits it out: turns out they’re from 2005. Silly, bumbling Harriet!
Elsewhere, pregnant Gemma’s back visiting Steve like she hasn’t just uncovered his secret pirate DVD sweatshop and grassed him up to the police. He’s flouting the rules, again, rubbing his hands all over her baby bump (I’ve lost hope of them throwing in an Arrested Development style “NO TOUCHING!” by now).
Groping hour over, Gem has to give a top secret witness statement to the police, which involves travelling to Leicester (hey, I’m from there!) and dressing as an Eskimo in order to stand in a room and point at a TV screen…for her own safety. It’s all a bit silly.
Afterwards, the nice detective drives her back up the M1 and squeezes her hand. Was that a friendly squeeze or a sleazy squeeze? I’m losing track at this point. Please, everyone, stop being creepy to the pregnant girl. And also, everyone, don’t forget she’s pregnant! I know the programme plays it down a lot.
I have a sneaking suspicion she’s going to time her labour to coincide perfectly with the end of the series. How gosh darned clever would that be?
Back to Lou, who’s up at the posh end of town on her ‘final ever’ drug deal. Famous last words. She’s obviously never seen every retiring cop movie ever.
Over here the tower blocks are called ‘apartment buildings’ and have actual patches of grass and those tiny balconies you can balance half a dining chair on and pretend you’re on holiday. In fact, it’s so fancy that she has to stand still for a minute, in her double denim, soaking up all the rich. Wow, thank goodness she never saw Lou’s old house: her head would have exploded.
Back on the estate, several random blokes are hanging around, casually talking on their mobiles in the way only undercover policemen can. They promptly arrest her and chuck Mason into emergency foster care (which actually looks pretty swanky. Not tiny balcony swanky, but still).
Harriet, who was babysitting for Mason while his mum fetched the drugs, manages to stealth away the magic pot for safekeeping without the police seeing. Ok, I actually went “aaaah” at that bit- but then I remembered how she hid the pot last week and almost sicked up my Matchmakers.
Over to Fran. This week, she skipped normal visiting hour and attends a group therapy session with hubby Paul instead: a prime opportunity for some classic banter, you’d think. Instead she just gets a bit mardy and stomps off- it’s like she’s giving up before our very eyes (or she knew everyone would be watching the Brit Awards on the other channel).
Oh Fran. Remember the heady days of riding the floor polisher machines with your European love interest? Instead, she goes back to her box room at her dad’s, where she’s still looking at that box of mix tapes and photos she had out last week. Come on Franny, nobody likes a nostalgia bore. You’re sleeping in a single bed. Straighten the place up.
As Lou is carted off in the back of a riot van, the charming Tapper looks on in delight. It’s almost like he planned it. We’re learning from PWAGs all the time: Once you’re employed by the local drug dealer, quitting’s not as simple as giving a month’s notice, a week of which you’ll take as outstanding annual leave. And there usually isn’t a pub lunch and a bunch of flowers on your last day.
You should be ok for Matchmakers, though.
Mason deception of the week
Week 4, and Mason finally utters the words we’ve all been screaming at him – “is this a prison?”. Lou tries the Jurassic Park distraction technique by shouting “HE MADE A VELOCIRAPTOR THE OTHER DAY! It were top!” But Sean decides it’s time to come clean to his son, “Sometimes good people, they do daft things. Like if they haven’t got enough money.” Nevertheless, well done for staying so spectacularly off the scent until now, kid.
Fran one liner of the week
She calls Paul a bell end at one point, and flounces out of group therapy. But she is tragically under used again, and her once snappy dialogue does not currently deserve a weekly award in this series blog. Have a bit of classic Mrs Brittas instead.
Prisoner’s Wives is on BBC1, Tuesdays at 9pm. You can catch up on iPlayer here