Hi guys, I missed Wentworth Prison Wednesdays, but the last episode needed a little extry time to process anyway. And then some more. It's touch and go, let's see what's happening with Bea and Allie
Joan Ferguson (Pamela Rabe) is having a nightmare after her gang rape by Lucy (Sally-Ann Upton), Stella (Bessie Radic) and another inmate I didn't recognise - I canea believe this did not result in a hospitalization. We saw last time that Ferguson allowed the attack as a way to curry favour with Red Right Hand leader Kaz Proctor (Tammy McIntosh) and earn her protection, that's how she got out of the psychiatric facility she was in.
Physically, there is an ocean apart between a gang rape with implements and a furtive toss up against a wall; and I would have to say that mentally there would be as well. While I can kiiiiiind of buy that Ferguson would allow the defective psychiatrist to "seduce" her to enable her escape, I have a much harder time believing that Ferguson could allow the former as part of a master plan. I will stop shouting about it; those are my objections and we've noted them, so: moving on.
Kaz tends to Ferguson, asking who was responsible while Allie (Kate Jenkinson) watches from the doorway. After she leaves, Ferguson tells Kaz that it wasn't Bea (Danielle Cormack) so thank the gods for that.
Kaz cries as she helps Ferguson, holding her hand as she sleeps and I can't even imagine. Allie draws her out, she needs sleep too. I'm glad Kaz has Allie, I think she's dangerously bat-shit stark raving mad, she needs someone who sees the good in her. I do respect that she wants to protect women, she's just scary in that she allows the feral part of nature to be guided easily like a large serrated spear. I agree with her in this aspect.
Someone has to pay.
And last time I'll say something, promise. I cannot take sexualized violence of almost any stripe, I've given up other shows who've used it in a sensationalized way (The Magicians is on the fence) and taken breathers from others for walking that line (Game of Thrones). I've said this before and I will do my level best to not keep going on about it: rape as a plot device is lazy writing at best and an unforgivable ignorance of trauma at worst. THIS IS VERY HARD!! I know it's a fictional show! I'm doing my best.
The next morning for count, Joan rushes to change into clean sweats as Kaz helps her and we all make that helpless face when someone is in pain and we can't make it any better. CO Miles (Jacqueline Brennan) was who found Joan, so she gives her an extra minute. Kaz, Joan and Allie exchange glances after: an alliance borne.
At breakfast, Boomer (Katrina Milosevic) is ECSTATIC: conjugal visits are back on! She'll be rooting Desi (I cannot wait to see what this tool looks like) now that someone's copped to hitting that guard with the cue ball in the yard. With Boomer's encouragement. Bea's gonna do her hair, Maxine (Socratis Otto) will do makeup, woot! Dory (Shareena Clanton) stomps out, pouting, SHE doesn't get conjugal visits with her babydaddy Nash (Luke McKenzie) just because she's a poster child for why conjugal visits aren't usually allowed in prison. Liz (Celia Ireland) goes after her, but I'm with Boomer on this one. I want Boomer to have a baby!
The doors open and Ferguson walks in with Kaz's crew. Everything stops. Maxine and Bea can't believe it. Juice starts the "Freak" chant and while I have wished for Lucy to have an unfortunate accident before, I just flat out hope someone pushes her under a moving truck now.
Deputy Governor Will Jackson (Robbie J. Magasiva) walks in, causing Ferguson to flee, perfectly understandable that she's chosen to appear weak before him for Kaz's benefit since she knows how much Kaz hates Will and loves to protect women.
Will is also one of Bea's most important allies, so that is also a strategic move against Bea. Bea can't believe Kaz is protecting Ferguson, what the eff, Allie? "You know Kaz, gotta help a sister" Bea warns her to be careful, but Allie makes the classic mistake of underestimating Ferguson: they can handle a frail older woman who can barely move. As long as Ferguson can SPEAK, she's a danger, Allie.
Ferguson has run back to H3 ohhhhh I hadn't thought of that: Ferguson is blaming the rape on WILL. Huh. Honestly, only someone with a gigantic hateon for Will could imagine that of him, well spotted Ferguson.
That makes me very angry for two reasons: One, Will is going to have to waste time dealing with a vengeful Kaz and Two: NOBODY IS GOING TO TAKE LUCY DOWN. Come ON!!
If Kaz was paying attention, she would notice Joan going from her approximation of a shattered, terrified woman to a game player carefully connecting Will Jackson to Bea Smith.
Ohhh Maxie is getting her test results. Please be good. Oh no it isn't. She has breast cancer and ooooh shite, she might not be able to keep taking her female hormones. The estrogen can make some forms of breast cancer worse. Maxine spaces out right there, that's no choice at all. Stop taking her hormone treatments and revert to masculine or have her possibly fatal breast cancer be that much more aggressive. I wouldn't know what to do in that situation.
Governor Vera Bennett (Kate Atkinson) is reviewing the tapes from breakfast, she only allowed Ferguson to eat there because she had assurance that Ferguson had Kaz Proctor's protection. She can't understand how that happened so quickly. Will's not happy that he wasn't informed, she apologizes. They're interrupted by a call from Strip Search, Ferguson is refusing before her visit with her lawyer.
A completely upright and in control Ferguson is citing chapter and verse why she shouldn't have to strip before seeing her lawyer, I don't see that working for her as it hasn't ever worked for anyone else. Ferguson does seem to be able to get what she wants without impunity, I'll give her that. As former Governor, she knows ALL the regulations she can manipulate.
Joan starts to remove clothing, keeping everything nice and tidy as she goes and Vera and another guard watch. Eeeeh I don't want to see oh god and we do. Ferguson is beat to absolute shite and when she has to bend over, Vera and I can't take it. Who did this to you?? Ferguson answers crisply; she fell. Vera sends her for a mandatory medical check, Ferguson counters that her consent is required for an internal exam and Vera threatens Protective Custody. There is a standoff, then Joan is brought to Medical while Kaz shouts her support in the hallway
Kaz goes straight to the yard to come at Bea; accusing her of covering for her toyboy Will Jackson. Bea lets her know what's up, but when Kaz calls her a "screw lover" and accuses her of covering for her the guard she's fcuking, Bea has had enough
I'm worried that Allie and Bea will be even more separate, the women are more concerned that Bea just publicly stood up for a screw. Maxine comes back in, oh she's decided to not tell anyone about her condition but Liz can tell something is wrong. Maxine lies to her too, what will she do?
Bridget Westfall (Libby Tanner) is in to see Ferguson in Medical, Ferguson knows what she's after. Bridget and Vera want her to admit to an attack so they can send her to Protective Custody
But Ferguson is enjoying all the new people to manipulative, she isn't going anywhere. A girl has to have hobbies.
Side note: I know that ponytail playing was deliberately incongruous, it was still jarring
Bridget comes in close; she sees Ferguson submitting herself to this attack to serve her agenda (Bridget is wicket smart) but all Ferguson does is smell her and ask "what happened to Franky?"
Ferguson is brought back; falling into Kaz's arms as Lucy sums her up incredulously
Ferguson's cold smile over her shoulder wipes the smirk right off Lucy's face. She knows how much danger she's in now and that, and Ferguson taking out baby-killer Jess Warner, are the only things that I can agree with about Ferguson.
Vera has all the guards in for a Come To Jeebus meeting: how was Ferguson attacked when she's been under constant guard? Miles blames it on Ferguson putting herself into General, but Vera calls bullshit. General isn't supposed to be RapeTown for ANYONE. Who knows something? Who has a weakness like gambling? Vera isn't letting this go, Miles knows her time is limited. Bridget floats the idea privately to Vera that maybe Ferguson did it to herself and that's the very first time Bridget has gotten it wrong.
Vera's got Kaz in her office; upon seeing Kaz's face she asks is she walked into the same door that Ferguson walked into? "Apparently not" was funny. She asks why Vera thinks it was a prisoner?
There was a line in Home Fires the other day: "men tend to believe whatever fits their existing prejudice" and that is how everyone is buying what is happening here.
Bea brushes Dory off (honestly, how many people are supposed to care that Dory isn't getting laid? I do think her and Nash need to spend some quality time getting to know each other, but I'm pretty sure we don't need it referenced 40 times in two episodes) on her way to tell Mr. Jackson what's up. Allie sees them talking and Will grabbing Bea's arm.
Bea chases after Allie, grabbing HER arm, that's it: they're having a talk. She kicks everyone out of the shower and roughs Allie up again. We all spent that whole time measuring the distance between their mouths, right? Bea is like a bull in a china shop, she's over the top aggressive, demanding that Allie doesn't go pass on what she saw just then. Allie's on your side, you can go softer, Bea! Bea finally spills why she looks out for Will, he did her a favour when Debbie died and it really was beautiful. You can't forget that kindness, not ever. Allie accepts that; she's just happy it's not about sex then.
Will passes on the allegation to Vera, who's furious that he managed to have any contact with Ferguson at all in the prison. He took Ferguson back to her cell after the riot in the yard and talked to her for a minute, Vera is foaming at the mouth. How can he leave himself open like this??
Ferguson is working Dory further, she's heard the disturbing rumours about Dory's shagging being taken away and given to Boomer. I'm frustrated that this is a major issue, clearly being set up so that Ferguson is seen to be caretaking Dory better than Bea, but I guess it goes back to whomever gives the women what they want shall be in charge.
Boomer's cheeking her contraception because of course she is. It's babymaking time!
Kaz calls Will a rapist walking down the hallway, he stops her by chiding her for demeaning the women who have actually been assaulted. She calls herself a defender of women?
That is the difficulty of prosecuting sexual assault in a nutshell: it is horrifically under-reported, BECAUSE of how it is prosecuted, but part of why it is prosecuted like that is that there ARE false reports. I am not defending how assault victims are treated, it's reprehensible and misogynistic (for the cases where women are assaulted, not men) and unfair; it's the system we have right now that demands proof beyond a reasonable doubt. The fact that nobody is a perfect victim seems to really bother people, I absolutely back Kaz erring on the side of believing unconditionally. Because however Ferguson is using this assault: she WAS ganged. So.
Kaz comes back to the unit fuming, it's time for payback! Allie tries to talk some sense into her but Ferguson pipes up with information as to how they can do it without being caught. I can't believe they haven't noticed how easily she goes from shattered to calculating.
Boomer's ready for her root!!
I love Boomer. I know she's flawed and awful and has said and done some terrible things, but there is a childlike innocence to her that I can't help but be drawn to.
She heads to her conjugal screaming "I'M GETTING MY FUCK ON" while high fiving everyone along the way, can you imagine anyone else doing that? She looks lovely but NERVOUS.
Des is, well, Des is DAZ (Tom Budge), which means I've been spelling it wrong the ENTIRE SERIES and is a tiny little rat-like man who seems equally nervous, perhaps given that he's been screwing Boomer's sister the last while.
He doesn't want to do it, what if Boomer's sister finds out! The screws did a cross-check and she might have overheard on the phone! Boomer says he doesn't need to think about it, she'll do "everything" including the finger up the bum, so finally: he's game.
Dory is giving her appeal to Vera again, but this time she's had counseling from Ferguson. Technically, she could blame her pregnancy on not being guarded properly and then dangles media interest...Vera knows what's up
Boomer and Daz are having a little bit of trouble in the bedroom, even with her vast sexual repertoire. Finally it's Go Time and he wants a condom and the other shoe drops for him. Is she trying to get pregnant? He rabbits, did he really think she only wanted access to his anal cavities? Ah Booms.
The payback plan is in play, Kaz directs Allie to film and upload the attack and if there's another rape you guys. Allie runs straight to Bea; there's going to be an attack on Will in the kitchen right NOW.
Ah you guys you guys. I love you all and I love this show but if there's another sexual assault right after the last: I am oot. I will not be finishing this series.
Bea grabs Miles's radio and yells a warning to Mr. Jackson, but it's too late. He's out of the locked cage and the women are upon him. They spray something in his eyes and start beating him, but he struggles to his feet and manages to get away and behind locked doors in time.
Bea passes Kaz in the hallway after, it is everything
Vera calls for Bea to be brought her office while Allie makes it back to H3 and a firing squad. They think she told Bea. Kaz goes at her hard, but Ferguson sums it up differently. It doesn't matter that the attack failed, everyone heard Bea calling out to protect Mr. Jackson. She's been publicly exposed as a screw lover and if Kaz is smart, she can knock Bea out of Top Dog using that. To hold that position for Ferguson, of course.
Bea isn't ratting out Allie or anyone else; she and Vera appear to be on different sides. Bea is brought back into the unit while calls of SCREW LOVER, she's in trouble. Liz TOLD her to keep her friendship with Jackson on the DL!
Bea storms in her cell at Maxine; she played RIGHT into Kaz's hands! Maxine doesn't want to hear any of that; Bea finally realises something is up with Maxie and calms down enough to ask. Maxine tells her, oh thank the gods and wee boarlets, Maxie, you don't want to go through that alone.
Will comes up then, he needs a word with Bea. He just wants to say thank you, she won't be slotted. Oh but she HAS to be slotted, if she isn't, the women will tear her apart. She runs after him and beats the every-loving shite out of him while the women cheer.
For the love of
I know she had to, they were being very imprudent with their obvious friendship, but I hate seeing him attacked like that.
Kaz and Ferguson watch the scene and hear the women chanting "BEA! BEA! BEA!" ; their reactions key to who they are. Kaz furious that her plan has been thwarted, but Ferguson knows this is but one battle in the war to run the prison, she is unconcerned.
Bea looks exhausted, sad beyond belief and drained as she's dragged to the slot. She's lost her one true ally and betrayed the trust they had based in his kindness at the time of Debbie's death. I hope he understands. We're oot.
I would like to apologize for my constant interjections above about the rape, but I can't. I could barely bring myself to watch this show again, and that is only because I couldn't have those images of Ferguson in the shower be my last of the show. I also couldn't stop seeing that, so I needed something to replace that for me.
This episode was good from a storytelling perspective, but to be honest, it moved too quickly. To believe that Ferguson could recover that quickly from a severe physical attack of any nature in that amount of time AND end up leading the Red Right Hand directly against Bea Smith and her allies strains credulity. I do like that Bea is making moves finally, she seems stuck and reactive; last season she was ALL moves and I hope we see some more of that from her. She needs to defend her role and the women. Until next time, cheers.