Back I go into Wentworth Prison, with all kinds of new and old company. That is so often how it goes, innit? Although I don't see how it could have gone any other way for our Lady of the Saucy Flip, so let's see how it goes tonight in S5:E2 The B*tch is Back.
To be honest, I keep forgetting Kaz Proctor (Tammy McIntosh) is Top Dog, she's mostly interested in women's rights and that's not how your average Top Dog rolls. I wonder if Franky Doyle (Nicole da Silva) being back in the hoosegow will shift that balance. Let's find oot!
We open with Franky spacing out while listening to a methhead cry on the way to the prison; Franky wants her to shut up so reassures her that she'll be fine. How would she know? This kite says it all.
Mr. Will Jackson (Robbie J. Magasiva) can barely look at Franky, he's got his Disappointed Dad face on with a side of Sighing to Himself. I will just say that Franky totally did murder someone previously (Will's wife) and was never charged, so maybe it's okay that she's being framed for the murder of the guy whose face she burned who was subsequently stalking her, right? Oh, that's not how it works?
Franky sees Allie Novak (Kate Jenkinson) all banged up in Medical on her way to be processed, watching Franky almost cry in strip search was awful. Will's got some choice words for Franky, but look: he had a chance to get out and he came back in, didn't he? He hasn't got room to talk.
For whatever reason, it was fascinating watching Bridget Westfall (Libby Tanner) RUN down the hall to see Franky, in pleated pleather pants no less.
But Governor Vera Bennett (Kate Atkinson) isn't having the lovers anywhere near each other, no ma'am! Vera doesn't want to have to fire you, Bridget. That would make Franky and I sad.
Juice (Sally-Ann Upton) and Stella (Bessie Holland) and enthusiastically greeting all the newcomers with rape threats when Franky walks in and blows everyone's mind. Boomer (Katrina Milosevic) is ECSTATIC, warning Kaz that now she'll see what a REAL Top Dog looks like! Franky doesn't acknowledge anyone.
Back in H Block, though, she stares stonily at everyone and then "c'mere you big lug!" Hugs for everyone! Liz Birdsworth (Celia Ireland - a personal fave) and Dory Anderson (Shareena Clanton - not a fave) and Maxine Conway (Socratis Otto) bring up the rear. Boomer just wants a world she understands again, where she bashes people to make friends and influence people.
Kaz pops by Franky's cell, are they going to have any problems?
That's a hard no, Kaz. And Franky didn't murder anyone, so she won't be staying long.
We all know that's shite, right? Mike Pennici had years to properly prepare to screw over Franky Doyle and I'd be surprised if he messed it up.
Allie is well enough to leave Medical, so she gets called into Kaz's bunk right away. Just before Allie made an ill-advised run at evil incarnate Joan Ferguson (Pamela Rabe) in the yard, Kaz had issued a proclamation that nobody was to bash anybody ever. They were going to give Ferguson the silent treatment for killing THE MAIN CHARACTER BEA SMITH because in her head Kaz is singing Kumbaya and holding hands with everyone at summer camp in between 8th and 9th grade. Juice and her gang were particularly pissed about the ruling, what's Kaz gonna do about Allie breaking her rules? A Top Dog that doesn't enforce rules is no Top Dog at all.
Allie stops by Franky's cell next and explains her face, Franky knows how impossible it is to win against Ferguson so advises against further retribution. Allie thinks Bea was killed trying to kill Ferguson to avenge Allie's death (we all thought she was dead) and she WILL return the favour, FANKS.
Franky and Bridget have a quick moment on the stairs where Franky explains that her contact with Mike was a smidge more than she said it was. Just a hair. Ferguson lurking above springs them apart and it's time for our first rematch of the day.
Franky's mind isn't innit, though, she tells Ferguson to go mind-f*ck someone else, the Freak knows she can do better than that, come on!
Franky carries on to her interview with the police, it's all going well until they pull out a picture of the gun that shot Mike. It's the gun Franky took off Shayne (Ferguson's godson) when he was gonna kill Nils Jesper for Ferguson. Franky put it in a dumpster, so that means Mike has been working on this plan for quite some time.
Hey, if the gun is Fergsuon's, can that possibly take the Freak out? Pleasebabyjeebus
Kaz and gang aren't happy to see Will back, she threatens him (she has video of him tied up), taunts him for being replaced by Jake Stewart (Bernard Curry) and implies he has nothing else in his life.
You know, I once was far too emotionally invested in a website that I visited (before I realised I should be on Twitter - I'm much less annoying in a sea of eleven billionty people) and like Will, it took me a couple of false starts to get away from it. When it's all you know, it can be hard to leave it behind, no matter how depressing it is. Also applies to marriage, I hear.
Liz is off to see her detective, and I do mean her detective, since he sold her on selling out Sonia with a bit of the old razzle dazzle and his tongue down her throat. Don Kaplan (Steve Bastoni) is happy to see her, time to sign her fictitious statement and get out of jail! Again! Liz is having an awful week, Bea dying then Franky getting thrown back in, if she can't make it, what hope does Liz have?
Don murmurs about Liz having people that care about her and I have to wonder how present Don is going to be once the papers are signed. I have trust issues, though, so never mind me.
Allie finds Franky angrily punching a bag in the yard, she has the same reaction I did when I saw it was Shayne's gun.
WHAT IF EVERYTHING WAS SET UP TO TAKE FRANKY DOWN RIGHT FROM THE BEGINNING? As in Shayne was just shamming going after Nils to get Franky to touch that gun? Too deep, too deep, someone pull me out!
Will has to get cleared by Bridget before he can assume his Deputy Governor role from Jake, so he's in spilling his guts and trying not to cry as he talks about Bea. You and me both, sailor. He feels he failed her and it just wasn't your fault, Will. Bea gave up and she took her best shot at Ferguson in her last moments, so it wasn't all bad, just the dying after.
Franky has Shayne (Hunter Page-Lochard) visit her in prison (already! On her first day! This is the longest day ever with the laxest prison rules I've ever seen) so she can ask if he's screwing her over, she's shocked to find out who the gun belonged to but it gives her an idea. Whomever killed Nils Jesper for Ferguson also killed Mike Whatsits to frame her.
Well, we know it was Jake who killed Nils because he took off his balaclava as he was walking away, do you really think he had all the time in the world to be wandering around looking in dumpsters for that gun? He was on shift after all.
Franky runs right to the lunch room to brace Ferguson about it, now when has that ever worked, Franky? Honestly. Now tell her she won't get away with it!! Atta girl, Franky. I did like this part.
Ferguson croons a welcome to the old Franky, but Franky reminds her: Ferguson's very lucky Franky isn't the old Franky.
But absolutely none of that surprised Ferguson a whit and that's the problem. It's like everyone forgets Ferguson's an actual psychopath, you can't beat that, ladies, just GTFOtheway.
Franky goes to Vera instead and tells her tale of conspiracy and asks for the Governor's help. Jake and Will are listening, Ferguson's right in that Jake has nooo poker face. When Franky says Nils Jesper's killer must be who took Mike out, he about poops himself while staring hard at the floor.
He runs right to Ferguson, who reminds him it's not her he's running from. He goes and screams at himself in his car for a bit before placing an order for twice the amount of drugs that he got last time. See, he lost the drugs in a raid so had to borrow the money from Ferguson, who had him kill Nils Jesper because he drugged Bea and tried to kill just about everybody else. I mean this in the best way, Jake, I'm not a fan but this seems stupid, even for you.
Bridget sees that Vera's gone to her board meeting and seizes the moment to ask Jake about Franky; should she maybe have a meeting with her right now? I SAID RIGHT NOW JAKE, FANKS.
Franky finds Boomer hanging up pictures of "hot bitches" in her cell, it was all gloomy before! It was like she didn't want to be here or something! In prison. Boomer's thought it all through!
As usual, Franky takes her anger out on Boomer, she doesn't want this place to ever feel like home again! Poor Booms. Just trying to find wank material for the friend she adores.
Sonia Stevens (Sigrid Thornton) is back from her pre-trial meeting with her attorney, after ordering Liz to get her a drink (from her shampoo bottle, course), she spills that there is a mystery witness poised to take her down. Now, Don took Liz carefully through her testimony, but since she's faking it and they can't possibly know the intimate details of the murder, I don't see how this will go well.
Franky and Bridget finally get some alone time, and it's all very romantic and kissy but there they are, standing in front of a huge window with open blinds AGAIN. I am all for public displays of affection, but when one of you can use your job for necking, CLOSE THE FUCKING BLINDS! Thanks!
No matter, Will comes and grabs Franky right away for another police interview where the other penny drops. They've identified her DNA on the gun. Her lawyer Marcus (Gareth Reeves) shuts the interview down and asks for a consultation with his client. He wants her to change her plea, otherwise she'll be in here for life. Her conspiracy pleas fall on the same deaf ears as Ferguson's rantings last episode; conspiracy sells terribly in court. She fires him for not believing her but I'm more surprised that Bridget didn't seem to believe her. That's her partner!
Franky flips out and destroys her cell in slow motion, she's extremely frustrated and her throwing of the teal means she's coming to realise she might be there longer than she thought.
Vera has a spring in her step when she gets back to the office, the board accepted her sacrificial smoking lamb and that spikes Ferguson's conspiracy claims. Jake offers up the news of Franky's psych appointment then they kiss in front of a large window. It's like nobody knows what secret means any more! I'm not sure Vera would lose her job for bouncing on a subordinate, but I wouldn't doubt it.
Allie finds Franky on her floor clutching her kite necklace in midst of all the wreckage, she's been there! How about they get Ferguson together? Franky pauses, she'd really like to but she's got to focus on getting out, not stuck in MindHump Central with the Freak.
Aww man, now it's time for Maxine to go. She's being transferred to another prison closer to where she gets chemo and Boomer is devastated. We all cry along with Boomer, especially when Maxine walks by and says goodbye to Bea at her monument. HONESTLY
Dory interrupts Liz practicing her testimony, bloody hell, Liz, why would you take Doreen Bloody Anderson into your confidence??? She's about as reliable as a resurrected Pinto converted to diesel! Sonia comes in, oooh looks secretive! What's the goss?
Franky finds Boomer crying in her bunk over Maxine, some chitchat and our favourite friendsicles are back together!
Bridget makes an apology stop at Vera's office to explain about the appointment, Vera spills the beans about the DNA under Mike's fingernails and the gun and firmly suggests that Bridget stay far away from Franky.
Bridget runs straight to Franky, how could she not have told her all these things? That's what I wonder too, and I stop being so hurt that Bridget maybe doesn't believe Franky's story because Bridget is devastated that Franky didn't trust her enough to talk to her. That's what "protecting" people really is.
That's not pervy, right? Visually arresting, let's say that.
Vera skips into Ferguson's cell with a box under her arm and all the bad news Ferguson could not want: looks like Ferguson will be taking the teal as well as Franky. The latter zips up her hoodie as the former imagines herself in her old Governor uniform sliding on the kill gloves before a joust in the arena. Like a phoenix she rises from the ashes.
And Vera vows to get Ferguson for Bea. I love how Franky took parts of those "hot bitches" pics and made herself a kite out of them, she's focused on her freedom. And we're oot!
That's the problem with prison, innit? What you did to get there isn't as damaging as what you do once you're in there, it's almost impossible to get out of the system. So even if Franky is innocent, 'cause of course she is, can she stay innocent inside? Time will tell.
I will say I was disappointed that the plot against Franky was Ferguson-based; I thought Mike might have been some kind of stalker-savant and that her incarceration was a result of her earlier actions. To hear that it's just Ferguson the Phoenix AGAIN, sigh. Whatever.
Until next time!