Review: Wentworth, season 6

Kate Jenkinson and Susie Porter in Wentworth

Wentworth, season 6, raises the danger level for prisoners and officers as new threats and old sins come to a violent head.

First, a couple of spoilers from early in the season to clear up cliffhangers from the end of season 5.

The Good News

Nicole da Silva and Libby Tanner in Wentworth

Franky (Nicole da Silva) does get away. She has to hide out, she gets shot, but she also finds the evidence she needs to prove her innocence in both of the murders she was charged with. She is released and is a free woman. Bridget (Libby Tanner), of course, is beside her as she struggles to prove her innocence.

Ferguson (Pamela Rabe) is, in fact, dead. She was buried alive by Will Jackson (Robbie Magasiva). Yep. Dead and gone. The wicked witch is dead. I was afraid she’d pull a Buffy and dig her way out. Whew.

Will had nightmares and various issues because of what he’d done throughout the entire season. And he kept telling people! He confessed to the top dog Kaz (Tammy Macintosh), to Governor Vera Bennett (Kate Atkinson) and eventually to Officer Jake Steward (Bernard Curry). Will was not cut out to bury people alive, even someone as horrid as Joan Ferguson.

Ferguson wasn’t entirely gone from our screen, because she appeared in a few episodes as a specter haunting Will and whispering her particular brand of venom in his ears as he suffered guilt and self doubt over his actions.

The New Prisoners

With Franky out, Ferguson dead, and Bea, Maxine and several others no longer about, a few new cast members were needed. I quite liked the new characters that came into the prison. They brought interesting stories and fit into good niches within existing Wentworth relationships.

Rarriwuy Hick in Wentworth

Ruby (Rarriwuy Hick) was a young boxer. She was a championship quality boxer. When she found out she could make money in the prison ‘fight club’ she signed up.

She had health issues that made boxing life threatening for her. We learned this because she also had epilepsy.

Ruby and Allie (Kate Jenkinson) spent quite a few episodes flirting and finally became a couple. Allie’s affection for Ruby put her in the middle of all kinds of drama between Kaz and the other prisoners.

Leah Purcell in Wentworth

Rita (Leah Purcell) was interesting in several ways. She was Ruby’s sister but tried to keep it secret. She was an undercover cop and was supposed to be feeding information back to the cops. Her main priority was protecting her sister, but she did help the cops.

Rita taught Ruby everything she knew about boxing. She was a brilliant boxer herself. Her talent with her fists got her in big trouble before the season was over.

Susie Porter in Wentworth

Marie (Susie Porter) had the most connections to the previously existing cast of characters. She ran brothels and other illegal operations in the real world. Several of the women in the prison had worked for her, including Allie. Marie was Allie’s former lover and the person who introduced Allie to heroin.

Marie was a manipulator and convinced people to do things that were against their own self-interests. The writers keep inserting characters like that into the prison.

Marie’s son was attacked outside a bar. She was in for assaulting a doctor who wasn’t able to keep her son alive. Her main goal was to find the person who killed her son. The answer lay inside the prison.

Rita’s goal, as a cop, was to get the information that would bring down Marie’s crime network.

In Old News

Kate Jenkinson in Wentworth

Allie was torn between her loyalty to Kaz, her past affection for Marie, and her new relationship with Ruby. She tried to be like Switzerland between all the drama among them, but it didn’t work very well.

Sonia (Sigrid Thornton) didn’t die like she was supposed to in season 5. She came back to devil poor Liz (Celia Ireland). Early in the season Sonia stabbed a woman in the shower she thought was Liz 17 times with a big fork.

Sonia had so much money and influence on the outside, she thought she could continue to get away with whatever she wanted.

Sonia had it in for numerous people, but she was determined to kill Liz before she got out. She chased Liz onto the roof and meant to dispatch her with a heavy wrench. Kaz saw what was going on. Oops, Sonia took a spill from the roof.

Kaz grew hard and tough in season 6. She did some vicious things, but always in defense of others. Being top dog changed her, and not in good ways. She did look after Liz, however.

Liz began suffering with dementia. This troubled her personally, but also contributed to confusion over murders, crimes, and a failure to deliver messages.

Boomer (Katrina Milosevic) studied for the written test to be certified as a welder in the newly reopened green wall shop. She tried to learn to box from Ruby and got some good news toward the end of the season.

Who’s in Charge Here?

Officer Linda Miles (Jacqueline Brennan) remained as crooked as ever. She took bribes, bet on the fights, and smuggled in stuff for the prisoners. Why Governor Bennett never caught on to her is a mystery to me.

Bernard Curry, Kate Atkinson, and Robbie Magasiva in Wentworth

Jake murdered a guy for Ferguson. Will murdered Ferguson. Vera didn’t murder anybody (except maybe her mother?). She did some other not quite legit things. And Vera had a problem that kept growing and growing.

Someone stalked and terrorized Vera and demanded money. Jake and Will got into it. They thought it might be Ferguson. They dug her up just to be sure she was dead, and they were photographed doing it. The three of them were up shit creek without a paddle.

I don’t want to spoil the surprise ending about their issue, but it involved characters from past seasons. At the end of season 6, cops were everywhere. The three of them were in a state of shock and didn’t know if they’d go to jail or appear blameless.

The Season Overall

Wentworth, season 6, was exciting, dramatic, and packed with plenty of fraught situations. I thought it was an excellent season. I liked the new characters and their addition to the Wentworth ecosystem. I liked the way it ended with everyone in a state of upheaval and nothing known for sure about what might come next.

I appreciate the way Wentworth continues to reference characters who are gone like Bea, Doreen, and Maxine, even previous guards and cops. The past seasons are not forgotten. Events from past seasons come forward and create an impact in season 6. It’s all a continuum. It’s reassuring to fans like myself who’ve developed affections for certain characters to realize they aren’t forgotten in the Wentworth storylines. Thanks, Wentworth, for never letting us down and for keeping the excellent storylines coming.

Women directors in season 6 included Fiona Banks and Sian Davies. Between them, they directed 8 of the 12 episodes.

Did you like season 6, or are you still smarting over the loss of Bea? What did you think of Allie taking a new lover?

6 thoughts on “Review: Wentworth, season 6”

  1. Vera and Boomer hold down the fort, literally. I had no memory at all of the blackmailer, something of a disappointment there, but the creepy scenes in that whole plotline before the reveal scared me like no horror movie has in years! The performance of Pamela Rabe is unforgettable here. I wanted Vera to check under the bed for me. Hate to say this, but the other plotlines were uninteresting. While I’m glad Frankie got her moment in the sun, I’d rather have her back in.

    1. Regarding Franky, I thought they might show a few scenes of her at home or visiting the prison as they have in past seasons, but she just dropped out of sight as soon as her name was cleared. I do miss all the old favs.

    1. They finally did kill Ferguson, but I agree that Bea was the most likeable character the show has ever had. Bea took us into the story. She was the one we cared about right from the start. Having her gone creates the sense that the show isn’t what it was supposed to be.

      I also miss Franky – even though she isn’t dead, she’s seldom around.

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