We’ve all had a stressful day at the office; just the other day I misplaced my stapler and spilt a bit of my yoghurt onto my blazer. But even that doesn’t compare to the nightmare of a week poor Vera suffered at Wentworth in the latest episode.
Left out in the cold by her cruel talking mother, a group of laughing prisoners chanting ‘vinegar tits’ at her condiment soaked blouse, her colleagues whom she had investigated for drug trafficking and even the boss who once kept her as her personal poodle, it’s fair to say that things had hit rock bottom for Vera. The heartache started as Joan set Vera the task of pinning the drugs intake on Franky. Naive Vera was quick to believe Franky’s insinuations that Fletch the Letch was bringing the gear in, although to be fair, Franky was at the stage of believing this herself. It was all part of cunning Joan’s carefully weaved plot as she continued in her role as puppet master in the prison with sinister effectiveness.
Eager to prove she could solve the case, Vera called in the drugs squad who found dubious packets of powder in Fletch’s locker; so he got the afternoon off whilst this was investigated. Turns out, they were nothing more than amino acids and Fletch, for once, was as innocent as a newborn cherub. This left Vera in an embarrassing situation. The stress at home with her mother wasn’t helping of course, and as Joan sent Vera home and told her, very deliberately, to ‘deal with her mother’, matters took a dark turn as Vera seemed set to put her mum into a permanent sleep.
As if all of this wasn’t bad enough, Vera became the unwitting victim of one of Franky and Boomer’s pranks, slipping on a pool of vinegar that was meant for Fletch. This left her blouse soaked and earned the poor lass a nickname which harks back to the Cell Block H days; and which will no doubt stick with her for as long as she remains at Wentworth.
Vera wasn’t the only one having a miserable time of it. Maxine desperately wanted to explain to her ex why she had injured him with scissors and, in truly moving scenes, opened her heart out to Bea about her decision to become a woman. Socratis Otto shined more than ever in these scenes and we saw Maxine’s true vulnerabilities well and truly exposed as her ex refused to visit. Taking desperate measures in a world in which she could not cope, Maxine made a bid for freedom after ditching her wig. After being caught, she is now back in a cell, this time without her blonde locks. Life had already been bad enough with the ever so delightful Fletch continuing to victimise her; and I can’t imagine things will get any better for poor Maxine in the near future.
Elsewhere, when she wasn’t inciting vinegar related atrocities, Franky was a woman on a mission; determined to get to the bottom of how the uncut drugs had made it into Simmo’s possession-and bloodstream. Fletch was her main candidate for blame but it soon transpired that the only person who had access to the supply would have been Joan herself. Franky arranged a tense meeting with the Governor and, even as it dawned on Franky that ‘The Freak’ had administered the killer shot personally, Joan seemed terrifyingly unperturbed, even handing Franky the phone as an offer to call in the ombudsman. Joan has well and truly seized control of Wentworth Correctional Facility and is a force to be reckoned with, even for Franky. And her parting shot was letting the Top Dog know that she has an informant in her ranks. How long before Franky realises the identity of who tipped off the Governor about the drugs?
And finally, there was happy yet cautiously worrying news as Doreen managed to smuggle in a pregnancy test ‘in the bank’. It turns out that she is with child which is all very well and good; only it will likely lead to a few technical issues when it becomes obvious she has a human growing inside of her. Short of being a miracle from the Gods, it’s going to be fairly obvious that Doreen has been breaking the rules.
Tonight’s episode was an agonising watch, particularly for the ordeals of Maxine and Vera. Kate Atkinson played an absolute blinder as socially awkward and eager to impress Vera took a rocky road into a new and more sinister territory. The events of this week will change her forever; and Wentworth Prison won’t know what’s hit it…
Did you enjoy this week’s visit to Wentworth? Who is your favourite inmate? Let us know your thoughts in the usual way by leaving a comment below. Meanwhile, I can be followed on Twitter where you can enjoy all of my razor sharp wit (ha!) and mindful musings (ha ha!) on the world of television and entertainment: https://twitter.com/Our_manPLA
Written By Our Man In The North