Prisoners’ Wives Series Blog: Episode 2

It's Mrs Brittas!

By Kate Diamond.

While last week taught us that criminals are prone to washing their shoes, in week two we learned some of the intricacies of life as a PWAG: what kids of convicts eat for breakfast (toast), what not to bring when visiting prison (flapjack) and how to rid a tea towel of DNA (I’m not telling you, that would practically be aiding and abetting).

This was Fran’s episode. Tragically, it opened with the bailiffs arriving to seize all her possessions and repossess her house. And with me weeping for her adorable built in drinks fridge.

Hubby Paul owes the bank £2.3 million and, despite his assurances otherwise, cannot keep on top of this from his prison cell, despite the fact he has a dodgy sim card and enough menace to get him his own table in the lunch room. Fran was understandably pissed off: she’s only on series two of The Sopranos and didn’t realise she was supposed to invest in real estate in order to safeguard her future against her husband’s possible incarceration.

Instead she shouts white wine fuelled rants down his answerphone, which culminate in a menacing ‘I won’t sit in an empty house and do nothing’. Ooooh, what you gonna do Fran? Blackmail someone for money? Shack up with a rival gang member? Pay a visit to Maya at the Job Centre and bag yourself a nightshift cleaning job? Really? Oh. High drama.

A career in NHS sanitisation follows, complete with regulation old hag boss and smooth talking Eastern European love interest co-worker. The scene where he teaches her to drive the floor polisher is akin to the potter’s wheel bit in Ghost. But with cleaners. 

During Fran’s short fling with Lukesh (which consists of a fumble on the sofa and a cod lunch) we learn her workout routine is a mixture of swimming, body balance and spinning. She later tells her husband ‘I had more fun cleaning shit off the floor than I’ve had in years’.

Maybe she should’ve tried Zumba?

In other PWAG news, Gemma is still pregnant but she doesn’t rub her belly quite as much this episode, so viewers are likely to have forgotten. At one point Fran gets on the bus and asks ‘how’s the baby?’ pointing at her stomach as a visual reminder, but we’re all too busy going FRAN’S ON A BUS! to notice. Later Gemma’s husband Steve tells her she can’t possibly dispose of the gun in the caravan biscuit tin (and implicate herself in a murder) for him, because she’s six months pregnant. What a gent.

Still, Gem’s made a commitment to this life. And so, in the most poignant scene I’ve ever witnessed featuring a washing machine, she hits 90⁰ on the tea towel, the only piece of incriminating evidence against her husband. Well, apart from the gun, which she just chucks into some bushes. Bloody pregnancy brain!

Elsewhere, Mason’s mum Lou is still living a ‘your dad isn’t in prison, merely building a secret Sheffield Utd stadium’ lie. But the cracks are beginning to show after Mason tells a school friend and they immediately call bollocks. Wasn’t hard to see that one coming. I haven’t decided if we’re supposed to like Lou, who let her other half take the rap for her drug dealing and carried on after he was sent down. But she does love her kid very much, and quite rightly tells a meddling school teacher to piss off. It’s a quandary.

Her episode highlight is a little scene at the tower block where she argues with some unseen gear chasing associate telling him to leave her alone, this is her house, her son is asleep inside, to which he responds ‘I know where you live!’

It’s a testament to the quality of her product.

Lastly, in a highly anticipated door opening, Mrs Brittas off of The Brittas Empire finally gets out of her car! She joins the other PWAGs at visiting and Gem, who’s been doing this for all of three weeks now, gets all cocky because she knows how to work the lockers.

It transpires Mrs Brittas is not a Prisoner’s Wife at all, but a Prisoner’s Mum (also, turns out she’s called Harriet, not Mrs Brittas. Weird). Her kid refuses to come out of his cell, so she goes home and builds a blanket fort to sleep in instead. I think the appropriate term for her is ‘a bit nervy’. We do finally catch a glimpse of the son, who vaguely resembles Steve Coogan in a ginger wig. But the real hook is the trailer for next week, in which she appears to become embroiled in drug smuggling. I cannot wait!

It’s not immediately clear where Prisoners’ Wives is going, nor am I completely sold on the way of life yet. It’s a shame about Fran losing all her money: watching her flounce around with her fancy biscuits was infinitely more entertaining than watching her navigate the touch screens of Jobcentre Plus. However, we’re no doubt building up to a dramatic birth scene finale once they remember that Gemma is with child. And here’s hoping Mrs Brittas will build something else out of furniture.

But if they don’t bring back the pop soundtrack and M&S food hall extravagance soon, I’ll be one of only a handful of viewers who find out.

Mason deception of the week

Mason: “why do all those men have chains on their belts?”        


Aha, the classic maize based distraction technique.

Fran one liner of the week

“I’m sick of the small talk and the crisps and you sat there smelling of cheap Lynx like some teenager on a date.”

Not her finest hour, but she has been working nights.


Related Posts: Prisoners’ Wives Series Blog- Episode One

You can catch up with Prisoners’ Wives here on iPlayer


About Hilary Wardle
Hilary is a freelance journalist and copywriter who writes for a wide range of websites, magazines and newspapers, including Buzzfeed, MSN, The Poke, Chortle, the Guardian and the Independent. She specialises in arts and entertainment, comedy, video games and viral content. Contact her at

14 Responses to Prisoners’ Wives Series Blog: Episode 2

  1. sam says:

    well before this series I never thought about the loss and suffering a prisoners family go through and what prisoners face in the prison am touched

  2. Pingback: Prisoners’ Wives Series Blog: Episode 3 « Tellysquawks

  3. kerry says:

    I was a prisoners wife for two years, went to every visit and can relate to this programme a lot. Getting searched and watched like an animal in a cage. Also got abuse on the phone from my husband at the time and was shocked that he was allowed to do this from a prison.

  4. Pingback: Prisoners’ Wives Series Blog: Episode 4 « Tellysquawks

  5. Daniella says:

    This drama is really the best I’ve seen for ages, keeping you intrigued each episode for the next, shame it’s not longer than the scheduled 6 weeks, should replace Eastenders that has got really boring.
    This drama has let us get closer to each woman involved and embroiled into the complex and intricate story lines they all follow. Can’t wait for each episode, make more of these.

  6. Pingback: Prisoners’ Wives Series Blog: Episode 5 « Tellysquawks

  7. Adele says:

    Is there going to be a second series please let me no it was very real the whole series was excellent well done x

  8. Madi says:

    please please tell me gonna be second series, so into this now, ive watched all episodes seond thy come out
    unfortunate that they only did 6 episodes in the series cos they could have dragged it over at least 12 b4 anyone got bored

  9. Pingback: Prisoners’ Wives Series Blog: Series One Finale « Tellysquawks

  10. lou says:

    I loved it I would love to see this on the tv every.night it was amazing and all the stars were amazing xxxxxxxxxxx

  11. juditanne says:

    Probably be a long while bf the Aussies pick this up, will have to make enquiries and see if the rights to it can be bought a.s.a.p. Sounds too good to miss.

  12. white says:

    the ever drama i hv`t seen yet so interesting please some more episode

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