Wentworth S05E05 Recap: Belly of the Beast
Franky’s escape plan doesn’t go quite as she hopes and Doreen’s application for a transfer to Perth hits a bit of a snag.
This was a BIG episode. No fewer than about six or seven storylines playing out, many of them completely interwoven and dependent on factors occurring in the others. Mr Jackson’s and Kaz’s story is reliant on the Joan/Juice/Tina drugs story which in turn has something to do with Allie and whatever she’s got going on inside her head (surely not to shoot that H into her veins…).
Allie’s desire to help Franky has drawn her into the fractious Fridget friction, and of course – as predicted – the “whatever” Franky was scheming last week was destined to take down a whole bunch of other people with her. She already has Mr J, Kaz and the driver, but when they find out it was Bridget’s swipe card that Franky used to let herself into the garage, where does that leave Bridget? Allie?
But we’ll start with Liz. Which of course brings us to Sonia, and in this episode, Juice too. Juice and the boys are trying to extort ‘protection money’ from Sonia, with Sonia’s ominous reply “I don’t respond well to extortion” sounding scarily familiar.
It may not be a wine bottle, but threaten me, and there’ll be something with which I’ll crack you over the head.
Liz is already jumping at shadows with Sonia back inside, and is begging Vera to put Sonia into protection, so she doesn’t work out Liz is Witness X – but without a request from Sonia, that’s not going to happen. Juice is blackmailing Liz into convincing Sonia to agree to Juice’s request, asking her “Does she know about your dicky ticker?” Little do either of them know that Sonia is fully cognisant of Liz’s role in the farcical trial, and is just sitting on that piece of info, especially now that Dirty Det. Don has dumped her back in Wentworth (who could blame him, really?). When Sonia refuses Liz’s suggestions to take Juice up on the offer of protection, she learns the hard way about prison retribution – the old “slipped in the shower” trick. Liz goes to visit her in medical and implores her to go into protection, but Sonia won’t have a bar of it. If anything, the beating has strengthened her resolved that, “They won’t win.” Uh-oh.
Takes more than slipping in the shower to stop me.
Meanwhile, Doreen is preparing her statement for the parole board, finally requesting that transfer to Perth that she keeps going on about. The scene where Franky, Liz and Allie role play the board members provides some light relief in a pretty dark and heavy episode, and Liz and Allie’s heckling while Doreen is trying to speak is kinda cute. But it does prepare her for the hearing where she does a rocking job of convincing them that she’s a changed woman and her greatest need is to be closer to her son and partner. Sadly for Dors they come back with a “nope” – no explanation, no nothing. So Dors is stuck for another 6 months in Wentworth while Nash and Josh are on the other side of the country. I hope we all get to find out just what went wrong there.
Right, everybody’s getting parole, right now!
So here’s where it gets tricky and separating all the story strands is close to impossible, so you’ll have to put on your concentration caps and come along for the ride! The episode actually opens with shots of Joan looking pretty smug as she sits in the yard with Juice and Tina on either side of her – pretty symbolic of what I think is to come, in that she’s united the warring factions in their common goal of getting drugs into the prison. A new conduit through the delivery of the sanitary bins, and they’re back in business big time.
Super Freak is super happy to bide her time.
Kaz is none-too-happy that it’s started up again, and once more threatens Tina, who pretty much gives her the “whatever” knowing that there’s not much Kaz can do if she’s not prepared to use her greatest weapon – Boomer. Poor old Booms is pretty put out, not quite knowing where she fits in if it’s not for smacking people’s heads in to keep them in line for the Top Dog. This new style of prison politics is quite confusing for many of the women, not least of all Boomer.
But she still manages to get one on Tina, and having downed a bottle of Sonia’s finest, gifted to her upon her release just a few days prior, she ALMOST drops Tina over the railing of the stairwell, except that Jake appears and sends Boomer off for lunch. Tina warns Jake that it was about ‘the business’, Kaz is onto them and that’s why Boomer had a crack at her.
It’s much faster to the bottom if I drop you on your head.
Boomer finds her way to her cell to sleep off her drunken stupor, and after a “word” from the “ever-so-innocent-I’m-just-enquiring-after-the-history-and-welfare-of-Jenkins” Jake, Will goes off to check on her, finding the empty booze bottle and a stash of drugs in her cell. Now I wonder how that got there… Boomer is slotted and Kaz adds this to her “Reasons I hate Will Jackson” list, believing he’s the one bringing the drugs in, and that he planted the gear to undermine Kaz and keep the lines running.
I promise it weren’t me, I never done nuffin’.
So Kaz, being a bit of a hothead as we all know, does two things – goes to Vera to dob him in (hardly lagging if it’s dropping an officer in the shit, especially one you despise as much as she does Will), and outs him in front of the other inmates as a drug user (thanks for that info, Smiles – hope your nag came in that day for you, then it’d be a win-win all round. Except for Mr J). Will, in his glorious Kiwi accent, calls Kaz a “d’ckhid” – a label she happily wears as she knows she has gotten right under Will’s skin… And we’ll come back to this one later.
Franky’s symbol of freedom
Now, Franky. Oh Francesca my love – what are you doing? Other than breaking my heart? The kite, as we know, is Franky’s special Season 5 symbol, her freedom, her hope, her everything-good-in-life. Except as she herself puts it, she’s “fucked it all up.” Firstly she gets Allie to agree to help her with her scheme, and Allie obliges by going to see Bridget on the premise of needing counselling because Bea.
Franky: Wanna help me double cross my girlfriend, possibly make her lose her job, and maybe even add a few years onto your sentence too? Allie: Sure, why not? Got nothing better to do in here.
Which she probably did, even though she was being sneaky and disingenuous at the same time. Because… and here’s another tangent so stay with me – Franky had earlier handed over the box of Red’s stuff and through heartbreak and tears, Allie opens Bea’s sketch book to see it full of pictures of her. Plus a solitary self-portrait of Bea.
My heart still BEA-ts only for you.
So Allie is pretty messed up about Bea, and goes to see Bridget who tells her that she feels that Bea was deeply in love with her, which unleashed all sorts of feels in me of the “come back Bea” variety. Bridget tells her to let herself feel the pain and grief, because that’s the way she’ll heal, and she should make sure she has no relapses with drugs. Allie replies earnestly she’ll never use again because she made a promise to Bea, and Bridget tells her it’s just as well because you know what happens when your body’s not used to it and you suddenly start back on the gear again… ‘bah bah bah’ (that was that “I’ve just had an idea” music in case it made no sense to you), Allie pauses before replying with that “I’ve just had an idea” look on her face, “Yes I do.” Then she runs off to Tina to try and score some H. What the…??
Allie: I know I said I wouldn’t use again but how about some H? Tina: How about you piss off?
While she’s in there however, she pulls the swifty on Bridget and nicks her swipe card, because she trusts Franky’s plan implicitly. They’re BFFs now - “Bea brought them together for a reason” - but she does feel a little bit bad about maybe getting Ms Westfall into trouble so she wants to get that card back to her before she realises it’s missing. She’s a “top chick” after all. (Did they not think that Bridget might want to move around the prison at all during this period that it was missing…?). Don’t worry Allie – Franky will sort it all out for you.
Next thing we see Bridget realising it’s missing, Franky using it to get out of the garden and into the garage and, using the missing spanner from last week’s episode, loosening the bolts on the front wheel of the transport van. This does not bode well, and looks rather like a shaky plan not particularly well thought through. Bridget is in a bit of a panic and gets Smiles to check where her card was used last, and rushes to the garage – only to bump smack into Franky. I said last week that we had seen Libby Tanner’s finest acting to date in this show; well I think she may have matched it this week. Bridget’s wildly fluctuating emotions as she goes from “WTF?” to blazing anger to deep sorrow and desolation was truly a heartbreaking moment, as she despairs over what Franky is planning. Franky, at least, has the integrity to be miserable also – both for herself and her own future, but also the fact that she’s dragged Gidge into it. They’re desperate for each other, but they just can’t let it happen.
I just wanna hold ya.
So next day is Franky’s committal hearing – she’s off to court in that van with the wonky wheel. What does she think will happen when a wonky wheel works itself off a fast moving vehicle, I wonder? C’mon Franky – you’re cleverer than that. But what’s this? There’s going to be a swap?? Franky committal hearing is postponed, while at the same time Kaz’s appeal hearing has been brought forward… Bummer. You really fucked it up this time Francesca.
Mr J sees his opportunity to get back at Kaz for her ongoing and incessant taunting of him, and swaps the court run, so he’ll have all day to have his say. Which he does - and how! The driver stops the van for him and he climbs in the back to let her have it. He threatens that he could rip her head off and no-one would care and pulsating with anger, frustration and a good dose of testosterone, smacks the side of the van right next to Kaz’s head. If she wasn’t feeling so frightened, threatened and vulnerable, she would have been thinking, “Well this pretty much validates the reasons why I think all men are arseholes and use their superior strength to hurt and intimidate women.”
And you, Mr J, are the cream on the arse-cake with that little performance.
But once again, given the way she’s trying to take him down and ruin his career, you can’t really blame him for feeling so pissed off. Perhaps his delivery of the message was a little harsh, but hey, this is drama, and without that, how could we be so invested when HE SAVES KAZ’S LIFE just minutes later?? I mean he didn’t have to do that, did he? But he’s a good guy, dedicated to his job, is Will, and the idea of NOT doing his duty is abhorrent to him.
THAT scene. Wow, just wow! I don’t know what kind of giant rotor / giro / simulator they had going on, but it looked pretty bloody realistic to me. Of course, Franky’s plan to loosen the wheel nuts ended up in the wheel falling off, and the van did a couple of flips before ending in the Yarra. This scene was pretty horrifying for me - my worst nightmare is being in a car that lands in a body of water and me not being able to get out. And the night before I watched this episode I had that dream – that a friend of mine and I went over a cliff in his car and I got out, but we all thought he drowned, and then he suddenly appeared… Talk about a psychic investment in a TV show – if only I could dream up this week’s Lotto numbers.
No crash test dummies here.
So, the van’s in the water and going under. Will turns from villain to hero and drags out the unconscious driver, before swimming back to rescue Kaz, who has broken her arm. Kinda lucky, but kinda not so lucky – the back window has smashed out, but the wire is still in place, so while an unconscious Kaz is sinking lower and lower, Will is trying desperately to get the wire off. Her face hitting the water brings her to, and she panics a bit (OMG who wouldn’t??), but calms down enough to listen to Will’s instructions and get the cuffs off. He “slings” her arm in her jacket sleeve before pushing her out through the broken window for her to swim to safety. BUT… (DRAMA!)… he gets stuck trying to get out and it’s what seems like an age that he’s struggling under the water, nowhere to be seen with an almost hysterical Kaz screaming out for the man she hates most in the world. But then, like a superhero, he emerges – almost flies – from beneath the water, and their moment checking on each other on the bank of the river is one of calm, and what appears to be genuine concern. Their conversation when they arrive back at Wentworth is one of new beginnings. Truce, perhaps. Friendship, even. Maybe this is the start of something good? Waz? Kall? Wiz? Kill? Yeah, maybe the last one doesn’t quite work…
Meanwhile the news has travelled that the van was in an accident, and neither Bridget nor Allie are particularly impressed with Franky. But Allie uses the accident to score the gear she’s after. She tells Tina she’s no longer with Kaz’s crew and claims responsibility for the accident (imo – this will come back to bite you Allie). While Allie is looking through Bea’s sketches again, Tina hands over the H, but what are Allie’s intentions? We’ve not seen anymore of the girl hell-bent on revenge for Bea’s death for a few episodes, she’s vowed never to use, she’s had the revelation of how a body unused to hard drugs will respond… is she planning to hotshot Joan? My guess is yes. But good luck getting close.
I will have my day.
I think Joan is a hair’s width from becoming Top Dog. She was hardly seen this episode, other than in the very beginning where she has her cronies either side of her, and the very end where she once again imagines herself as Governor. She craves the power, and for the time being, Top Dog is the closest she’s going to get to attaining that power. I can just imagine a show down between Joan and Vera, where Joan will utter the iconic Wentworth line – “You don’t run this prison, I do.”