Because of the way season 4 of Wentworth ended, my original review of the season was strictly about Bea’s Journey. I’ve rewatched the entire season with a bit of emotional distance between the way the season ended and my response to the season as a whole. I realize the rest of the story and the cast deserve praise – it wasn’t only Bea (Danielle Cormack) doing great work. Will you let me set things to rights?
There was so much good work from the cast in Wentworth season 4. These actors perform to the max in every scene. It is the reason Wentworth is such a strong series. I want to praise them all for making the series believable and powerful and meaningful. The main cast among the prisoners in the image above were stars. Every one!
Maybe it’s because she was new, or maybe it’s because she had such an important, well-written role in season 4, but I’m wildly impressed by Kate Jenkinson.
Not pictured above, Charli Tjoe as the drug dealing Tina and Sally-Anne Upton as the nasty Juice also deserve recognition. As far as nasty characters are concerned Pamela Rabe gets a lot of notice for her work as the psychopathic Ferguson, but Sally-Anne Upton needs some notice for her portrayal of the disgusting bully Juice.
Kate Atkinson is utterly self-assured as the new governor. I love the way the camera follows her down hallways, shooting up from the floor to capture her swagger and confidence. What a walk! Get outta her way, world! She’s not intimidated by Ferguson one little bit. She is taken in by the crooked guard Jake (Bernard Curry), but so is the honest guard Will (Robbie Magasiva).
Among the guards, Curry and Magasiva do great work. Jacqueline Brennan as Miles is equally effective.
Franky Doyle (da Silva) is out on parole in season 4. She’s not in every episode, but when she shows up, it matters. She’s in a relationship with the prison counselor Bridget Westfall (Tanner). This keeps Franky in touch with what’s going on inside. Again, great work from both these performers.
I loved seeing Franky in a civilian job, being smart and effective at it, dealing with the problems of others such as Shayne Butler. Hunter Page-Lochard as Shayne is wonderful as the troubled 17 year old who is unfortunately connected to Joan Ferguson.
Sigrid Thornton has been in everything that comes out of Australia – and England and the U.S. (Maybe not everything, but a lot.) She steps into the prison as the mysterious Sonia and plays her part like a regal monarch who is untouched by the horrors around her. She’s aloof and snooty but dangerously scary.
Possibilities for Season 5
There are a number of story lines that should continue into season 5.
- Allie (Jenkinson) is alive and will be grieving over Bea, but probably still part of Kaz’s (Macintosh) crew
- Maxine (Otto) is dealing with breast cancer
- Liz (Ireland) promised to lie about Sonia in court to get released
- Ferguson will continue to be as manipulative as ever, probably claiming she stabbed Bea 487 times in self-defense
- Kaz is top dog
- Doreen (Clanton) may transfer to a prison in Perth to be near her son
- Stewart is a murderer and drug dealer wearing a guard’s uniform
- Will is suspended because his urine test showed drugs
One thing is certain, season 5 will be different. For 4 seasons it’s been all about Franky and Bea. Season 5 will be a big shake up in many ways. I can’t wait to see what comes next for Wentworth.
Wentworth is one of many high quality television series from Australia. Australians are giving American actors and writers a run for their money. Keep it coming from down under!
2 responses to “Wentworth Season 4: A Second Look”
I didn’t catch Wentworth as it was broadcast series by series. Instead, i binge watched s1 to s4 (can’t/won’t watch any further) and i have been profoundly moved by it. Bordering on depressed right now (and i’m not predisposed to the black dog) after the demise of the wonderful Bea Smith. What a Performance by Danielle Cormack!!! (Apologies, as this will come across as abit creepy, but i am very much in love with Danielle. Ridiculous, stupid and childish but i cannot help myself) Big Big Congratulations to ALL concerned for a tremendous, engaging, believable and touching story. Many Thanks
The character Bea was so important to the success of the show. A lot of people miss her, you aren’t alone in that.