Review: Wentworth Season 5

Pamela Rabe in Wentworth

Wentworth season 5 or Wentworth Prison, as it is also called, came roaring back after Bea Smith’s (Danielle Cormack) murder with a season that was tighter, tenser, and hold-your-breath dangerous. I thought Wentworth would never recover its bite without Bea. I was wrong.

Netflix US got hold of Wentworth season 5 within days of its final episode in Australia. I celebrated by watching it all immediately. I’ll give you a bit of a summary of what happened to some of the characters, in no particular order. There will be spoilers, but no big ones.

The themes running through the entire season were revenge, justice, love, and loss. There was recognition of the loss of Bea throughout the season.

Kate Jenkinson and Jacqueline Brennan in Wentworth season 5

Allie (Kate Jenkinson) recovered from her near death at Ferguson’s (Pamela Rabe) hands. Allie was determined to get revenge for Bea’s murder. Determined.

Kate Jenkinson and Nicole da Silva in Wentworth season 5

Franky (Nicole da Silva) showed up in Wentworth again because she was accused of murder. She didn’t do it, but nobody believed her. Once Franky was in the prison, Ferguson murdered someone and made everyone believe Franky did that one, too! Franky was determined to find a way to escape and prove her innocence. Determined.

Bridget (Libby Tanner) went a bit nuts with Franky in prison again. She finally had to quit her job as prison counselor because she couldn’t stand it. She still managed to be around a lot.

People kept leaving. Maxine (Socratis Otto) went off to get cancer treatment. Doreen (Shareena Clanton) went off to be with her little boy. Boomer (Katrina Milosevic) hated every change, every loss. She glomped onto Franky like a lifeline.

Even Lucy “Juice” (Sally-Anne Upton) left mid-season after a sharp run-in with Ferguson. I liked Juice as a nasty villain. Not that you need more than one with Ferguson around, but still. I think Juice is currently on a rock near the ocean, posing as a mermaid.

Katrina Milosevic and Kate Jenkinson in Wentworth season 5

Boomer had serious welding and construction skills. She became the boss of a wall garden operation that shipped wall garden kits to the outside world in big coffin-shaped boxes. A Boomer with skills and authority was a beautiful thing to behold – confident, strong, and sensible (most of the time).

And all those big boxes. Just think of the things you could ship off in those boxes.

Sigrid Thornton in Wentworth season 5

Sonia (Sigrid Thornton) got out, then quick as that she was back in for a different murder.

Celia Ireland in Wentworth season 5

The cop who got Liz (Celia Ireland) to testify against Sonia disappeared. Liz lied on the stand and got caught. She didn’t get out after all. She lost the guy she thought was her man. A brokenhearted Liz gave Celia Ireland a chance to let loose with an awesome performance, too.

Sonia made Liz nervous and panicky for nearly all of season 5. There was so much retribution going around. Then Liz got determined. Determined.

Kate Atkinson in Wentworth season 5

Poor Governor Vera Bennett (Kate Atkinson). She had a hellish season. She got the Juice Hep-C blood treatment again. The inmates wouldn’t behave. Drugs were everywhere. There were rapes, murders, and mayhem under her leadership. It was all Ferguson’s fault, of course.

Kaz (Tammy Macintosh) was a peace, love, and nonviolence kind of top dog and it didn’t help the Governor a bit.

Ferguson thought she was winning big time when she got Vera tossed out of her job as governor. Ferguson even became top dog and took over the drug operation.

Bernard Curry in Wentworth season 5

Vera was cohabiting with Jake Stewart (Bernard Curry). She wouldn’t believe a word of it when Will Jackson (Robbie Magasiva) said it was Jake bringing in the drugs. Jake was a very bad guy and the governor was really mad when she finally faced the facts. Or was he a bad guy? Maybe Jake had a conscience after all. Maybe he really loved Vera Bennett.

And Will Jackson, for goodness sake. He’s the good guy, right? He saves prisoners he can’t stand (like Kaz Proctor). He believes in the law and justice. Right? How determined is he to see justice done?

Nicole da Silva and Kate Jenkinson in Wentworth in Wentworth season 5

Maybe you’ve seen this image of Franky and Allie around the internets. Don’t worry. Franky really loves Bridget. Allie’s really in mourning for Bea. They are making out in the corner because they got caught working on a plan. They are planning something and spend a lot of time together. That upsets Bridget, who can’t be told why they are always together.

Nobody stays dead on this show. Allie was presumed dead then her eyes popped open. Ferguson had a serious, ropy, breathing problem and Vera gave her CPR. Really?!? Vera couldn’t leave her there on the basketball court, dead and gone? No, Vera had to freaking save her.

Sonia got all beat up and spent most of the season in a wheelchair with a black and blue face. I know Sonia is a bitch on this show, but I like Sigrid Thornton’s face. Don’t mess it up, people.

Wentworth season 5 felt like the best season yet.Kaz was trapped underwater and came out of it with nothing more than a broken arm and a deep affection for Will Jackson.

I’m making light of the drama because I’m trying to avoid too many spoilers. I’m trying to bury the ending of the season: a cliffhanger to really dig into.

The season was OUTSTANDING. Everyone really stepped up, especially the writers. The stakes were high, people wanted revenge, or justice, or love in the most powerful of ways. There were surprises, twists, thrills, and nail-biting drama. I hate to say this without Danielle Cormack in the cast because it seems like a betrayal, but Wentworth season 5 felt like the best season yet.

Images via Foxtel Showcase, the Wentworth Facebook page, and IMDB

2 thoughts on “Review: Wentworth Season 5”

  1. Seasons 1-3 were fantastic. Season 4 was pretty good. Season 5, sadly was a letdown. The plot lines and characterizations were contrived, lazy and downright insulting. It’s as if they decided on about 3 or 4 shock and awe scenes then wrote a season of weak filler around them. I didn’t care about anyone there. Even the characters I used to love seemed either a parody or a mere shell of their previous selves.

    The earlier seasons were well conceived drama with characterizations that were believable. Multiple storylines with excellent dialogue were woven meticulously together driving towards a climatic finish. I didn’t mind return of Joan or Franky, two characters that were probably best gone by end of S3. Bea Smith was one of the best and relatable protagonists I’ve ever seen on a gritty drama, but they opted to ditch her for whatever reason. If the writing is creative enough the show can do whatever they please, but it’s just lame now. I’ll pass on S6.

    1. I think your opinion represents that of quite a few others I’ve heard from on Twitter who felt let down by season 5. It’s hard to figure out what to do when your star is gone, but at least they still have Franky.

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