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Wentworth Reaction and Review - Season 1

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  • #61
    This is definitely one of my new year's resolutions, I reeeeeally want to get back to watching this show and Lovecraft Country. I'm going to continue to episode 8 this week and am really looking forward to it.


    • #62
      Hoorah! The first return to Wentworth for the new year and it was an absolute corker of an episode! But aren't they all.

      1.08 - Mind Games

      Well it's there in the title and the episode was absolutely packed with the ways that people are manipulated and influenced. It isn't like this is a new theme, it has threaded through the episodes from the start. And we are definitely seeing some of those threads reaching further key points in this episode.

      We're led from the very start to see the ties between Bea and Jacs as we watch Bea exercising, trying to recover from the beating she took, and Jacs also suffering from her injuries. It's a tactic cleverly used: to let the interplay of the scenes draw attention to the main point of tension. What is really interesting is the emphasis that then comes to the position of power in the prison between these inmates as we see Franky come alongside Bea and start to jog too. All three women are central to the episode and what is happening in the dynamics amongst the inmates.

      It is very interesting to see the meeting that follows between Erica and Jacs and the acknowledgement that there is a state of flux happening because of the recent events in the attack on Bea and the retaliation on Jacs. Another comparison is made as Jacs suggests both she and Erica know about the choices made to get into being top dog. We see in both the suggestion Jacs goes into protection and in subsequent scenes with the guards that Erica is feeling nervous and wanting to watch the situation carefully, looking to try to manage the inevitable fallout. This sense of the influence and impact between the guards and inmates is underlined yet again. And we have the idea of surveillance and supervising, watching and assessing others running over the episode too.

      Within this, and greatly surrounding Jacs for the episode, is a deep belief in 'the ways things are'. Jacs' belief that Vinnie's latest affair just won't last long is grounded in wanting to believe that there are some certainties that she can lean back on. Some benefits to having made the choices she has and walking the path she has. It is fascinating how they play this along with flashbacks that show how traumatic Brayden's introduction to what comes with being part of the family business was when he was a child as he witnesses his mother beating a man to death. Like last episode's flashbacks gave us insight into both Will and Meg, this week's we're truly looking at both Jacs and Brayden.

      Aspects of hierarchy, loyalty and structure are all over the episode. They work in interesting interaction with the idea of passing on information, choice and influence. Not just in Jacs' relationship with Vinnie and her son. The guard's frustration at meeting Erica's demands on increasing supervision is summed up brilliantly by Will to Fletch. Either go to speak to her or get on with it, suck it up. And this element of facing those in positions of power, the choice to press or back down appears repeatedly between Jacs/Bea/Franky, and what we see in Jacs' power over both Will and Vera. Franky's ability to assess what is going on is also underlined in her mind games with Erica over her engagement, as well as her insight with Bea and where things may go. But she isn't flawless as Liz questions her over her approach with Bea.

      The elements of detachment and attempts at puppet mastery get a nice contrast throughout in people behaving naturally together too and supporting each other. Whether it is when we see Fletch and Vera interacting, Will and Fletch (although we know there are hidden secrets there, they clearly are/have been friends) and with Bea/Liz/Franky and the others. It is also seemingly there between Debbie and Brayden, although we know that to be on foundations that are falsely laid. Thankfully, considering where the episode ends, we also see it briefly in the tenderness between Bea and Debbie when they eventually speak and some misunderstandings are eased. Although the emphasis that Debbie isn't under Bea's protection and is being otherwise influenced is emphasised after the call as Brayden steps forwards to comfort her. And that element of what plays its part in what affects people works well with the repeated theme of food and substances we see that coincides with the ideas of influence, health, medicine and the natural damage that time can do. It is interesting that Fletch brings food for Vera and this act of offering nourishment is a strong contrast against the negative physical influence of drugs we see repeatedly. Perhaps even another example of the way 'mind games', people's intentional influence on another, can be deliberate in positively meant ways too.

      The element of influence that Brayden exerts on Debbie is one of many examples of the mind games that the episode is named after which is a whole heap away from anything that has foundations in positive intentions. The steering of her into separation from her family, into taking drugs, into questioning the care/love her mum has for her and into encouraging her to lean only on him for support, was all it seems towards this set up that would enable him to overdose her when/if given the nod to do so by his mum. And as we see Bea's panic and deep desire to check that Debbie is safe and well, we see Jacs' poisonous influence on her son as he is leaned on to strike out for her. To be her tool. Again looking at the previous theme of inside against outside, the comparison between the two and the effect of both scenarios working on those separated from each other. Interestingly, Jacs is determined to not lose anything more (even before her visit from Vinnie) and her desire to show an exertion of power on the outside still is part of a desperate bid to keep control on the inside. To be cut off and yet able to affect those on the outside anyway clearly plays a significant part in the way she got power and influences with fear. Something we see in her interactions with Vera and Will too as she is able to threaten their comfort despite being incarcerated. Jacs' attempt to show Bea and the other inmates what she can successfully do despite being inside is likely to come at a terrible price. But she's ruthless and it seems nothing is 'too far' to salve her deeply wounded sense of pride and serve her wish to hide her fear and vulnerability and keep her position of power.

      Making positive choices and not taking criminal or negative turns is brought out clearly in Fletch's conversation with Vera after we just learned that a foolish desire to affect how she was seen had led Vera to make a bargain with Jacs. In her wish to set herself up for a planned display of control in breaking up a fight (that presumably actually led to the riot in which Meg was killed), Vera put herself into a vulnerable position where Jacs now has something over her. Her panic attack perfectly illustrated the actual loss of control she really has from making such a bargain. Jacs' uses her for bringing in arthritis medication that she needs without it becoming common knowledge she is taking it. Her fear being that showing any clear weakness would put her in a more vulnerable position. Her aggressive response to Vera's wavering agreement to meet what was being asked of her, shows again how fiercely she'll protect the slipping grasp she has of her control and status.

      And here we see why Bea is so threatening. Whilst this note of how things 'are' affects everyone, there is also an aspect of not following what is expected and potentially bringing in a new and affecting degree of influence, going to the beat of a different drum, that often surrounds Bea too. Since helping Franky and taking the beating without giving up her attackers she is receiving the interest of the other inmates in the choices that she has made. Franky clearly sees her as a potential rival, even if Bea is adamant she isn't. The uncertainty of what degree Franky would turn on her if she tried to step up, considering what Bea has done for her, is intriguing. Bea keeps trying to emphasise there are other ways to deal with issues, approaching people and discussing the problems. But Jacs' unwillingness and inability to let go, her choice to show her influence, might actually just destabilise Bea's moral stance rather than re-solidify Jacs' own power.

      The flashbacks yet again proved to be a fantastic tool to give layers to the actions and choices of those they showed. We gained a bit more of an understanding of how inherently brutal Jacs is, how she perceives that as necessary, and the pressure that her son will have felt for so long. Combining these with the 'tip over the edge' for Jacs in Vinnie's visit and desire to have a divorce, the choice to ask for the hit on Debbie is a very believable one. The influence of the past on the present and the question of choices runs not only with the flashbacks but beautifully in Bea's conversation with Debbie too. Where the choice to stay with her husband is raised. And both then works brilliantly to the overlapping on the final scenes as we watch Brayden sat deciding what he's going to do, Jacs on her own looking out as if contemplating what her 'influence' on the outside might be realising, and Bea with the others happy and unaware of the devastating effect two other people's decisions are having as Debbie trustingly approaches Brayden.

      So how will Bea react? We don't know for certain yet that Debbie is dead. In having given Bea and Debbie that heart-warming moment in their telephone call, I'm leaning to thinking she is. Assuming that's true, or that Debbie would be at best fighting for her life, how quickly will Bea connect it to Jacs? Will Jackson provide the information of the link between Brayden and Debbie he witnessed, or is Jacs' hold on him, again for fear of losing his job, enough to keep him quiet? Will it really matter anyway? After the mind games of making Bea think that Debbie was being gang raped with the false telephone call, is there really any chance Bea could think that Franky would be trying to set her up as Jacs wished or was she still attributing that threat to Debbie as Jacs? I honestly think there's a very high chance that Bea is going to switch from the stance she has been taking in this episode and go on an emotionally fuelled, blind violent search for vengeance against whomever she believes has caused Debbie's death.

      I'm really looking forward to the next episode. My only criticism of this one is that the casting of the younger Brayden didn't feel like it was done with the older actor in mind enough. I did briefly wonder if we were seeing a brother who had been lost because they were so ill fitted visually. But regardless of that one small criticism, this is yet again another truly excellent episode.


      • #63
        I'm very pleased to see that you've started Wentworth again

        I had a sense of dread waiting for you to get to this point. You had signalled throughout your S1 reviews that you sensed Debbie was in legitimate danger from Jacs and Brayden so this has been on my mind for some time. I always feel so awful for Debbie that her life was turned upside down and then she's betrayed so devastatingly by someone she's come to trust and love. I think the actress conveys her naivety so perfectly in those final, agonising moments.

        In an earlier review we debated whether Jacs really did order the other prisoner to use her young daughter as a drug mule. Could she really be that callous? Could she really use children like that when even the Prisoners abide by a strong moral code? It was difficult for me to truly debate that having this episode at the forefront of my mind. If Jacs is capable of killing Debbie just to hurt Bea she is absolutely capable of using children as drug mules. She is evil to the core.

        I do love the power shift that's on the display here and the dynamic between Jacs, Bea and Frankie. Whilst Jacs and Frankie very much want power Bea has no real interest in it and yet they're both very much aware (as is Erica) that Bea keeps managing to stumble into it all the same. With that said, I wonder if on some subconscious level Bea is positioning herself as a true Top Dog contender even if she isn't aware that she really wants it. Does a part of Bea believe that she would be better for the women? That her way of dealing with things would be healthier and safer for all of them? Many of the women seem to think so and have no doubt told her this often. It's part of why they're drawn to her. So I have to wonder if this has crossed Bea's mind too?

        Very excited to hear your thoughts on the remaining 2 episodes of the season and then onto S2 which I think is objectively probably the best of the entire series If you're loving S1, I can't wait to hear your thoughts on what's to come

        ~ Banner by Nina ~


        • #64
          vampmogs you're right that it certainly puts weight on Jacs' willingness to use anyone for her own goals. I do wonder if she would have done this if Vinnie hadn't come and talked of divorcing her, that she didn't have power on the outside anymore. But she is certainly capable of it and clearly set Brayden up to be in a position to execute Debbie if she decided 'it was time'. The utter dismissal of another's life like that, to prove a point is horrific. I'm very glad they gave Bea and Debbie that moment of reconnection but obviously that is going to be little balm to Bea initially.

          The cruelty Jacs displays in this episode is incredible. And towards her own son as well in what she is asking of him. I do wonder if her assurance that 'he'll be back' is coming from experience of him trying to walk away before, confidence in her hold on him or self assurance. Would she truly care even if he didn't other than it being defiant of her? You can really sense when she's talking to Vera and Will in this episode I think that she thrives in feeling power and dominance, enjoys making others feel fear. My gut feeling here is that she has vastly misjudged Bea. I just can't see her being reduced by this because of her connection to why Debbie was targeted (although that is possible), but just fiercely enraged.

          With the insight into Vera's involvement in the riot at the start of the season I'm guessing we may learn more about that and possibly even what happened to Meg. It feels like that would be a lot to unravel in the last two episodes alongside the fallout to what has happened to Debbie but I'm sure they could do it. There's always so much covered in each episode. Very much looking forward to seeing what happens next.


          • #65
            Saw episode 7 a few weeks ago and will try to get caught up tomorrow and post! So glad that we’re getting back to this show!


            • vampmogs
              vampmogs commented
              Editing a comment
              Can't wait to hear your thoughts

          • #66
            Wentworth, Season 1, Episode 6: Captive

            Vera trying to do makeup – change herself to be more attractive. It’s obvious that she’s gotten a consultation (probably free) by a beauty consultant for the MAC brand of mineral makeup and is trying to imitate how the makeup was applied by the original salesperson. I love all the ridiculous names of the various shades meant to give the appearance of attractiveness - Expresso, Smokey Nude, Saucy Beige.

            Aside: As someone who struggles with oily acne-prone skin, Vera’s skin type strikes me as much too dry and washed out for mineral makeup to be suitable – looking at her pores and age/stress related wrinkles, a thicker based makeup like Double Wear with an underlayer of Smoothing Primer would suit her much better. She doesn’t know how to apply makeup to accentuate her naturally pretty features – drawing a thick raccoon-like smear of sooty eye pencil beneath her eyes only makes them look smaller and causes the dark circles beneath to stand out more.

            A softer light brown applied beneath the far corners of the eyes with a brush rather than a pencil, slightly upturned to lift the eyelid, a touch of bronzer contouring in the cheekbones, a dab of green concealer beneath the eyes, lighter lip gloss (not stick) and a light dash of mascara on the top lashes would suit her much better than the heavy-lidded 80-90s look she’s got going for her here. It makes Vera look ten years older than she is.

            We learn immediately that Vera’s makeup skills were arrested at a young age - her futile teenage attempts to play with her image crushed by a cruel mother who makes her feel eternally unattractive and unlovable – which explains the decades-old look. We also see that Vera was a bit chunky as a child – which probably didn’t help her self-image. The actress is obviously quite pretty in reality and I think they did a wonderful job of making her look frumpy and ill-groomed without going over the top.

            I was going to mention the awful hair style with juvenile clip, but her co-worker beat me to it. Her awkward flirtations, the lies about the non-existent boyfriend and how she jumps in fear at each movement were so pointed that I had a feeling it was all going to end in a disaster. But the idea of putting forth a phony exterior becomes really important in this episode. So many characters underline the title of the episode - Captive. They are all caught in webs of lies and truths with no way out.

            The whole episode is about secrets – who can keep them, who will reveal them, who will be the one to break. No one can be sure who is spreading information about Erica and Vera fingers Frankie. Both Jacs and Frankie are fighting over Toni and what she may or may not reveal. Vera and her mother are foils to Franky and Toni, another secret keeper who is being pushed by Jacs to finger Franky and destroy her relationship with Erica. Some really great camera work when Jacs invites Toni to “sit” in the chair of Truth and Lies – there is no other character in this show that makes you feel like all violent Hell is going to break loose like Jacs. She’s the Robert DeNiro of prison dramas – the temperature rises as she seems to take great pleasure in creating as much fear as possible without doing very much – so much of it is implied.

            And so much revolves around temperature itself – the cup of coffee that Jacs forces Bea to make over and over again until it’s just right breaks out into the kind of violence in which Frankie’s hand and Toni’s lap are brutally scalded. The smoke rising in the laundry room is the same that rises from the prison serving area and it rises in the air between Doreen and Toni as a reminder of the hot water Toni’s literally in and rises again between Jacs and Toni in the laundry room, connecting the two scenes of persuasion. Toni is really stuck between a rock and a hard place and she lashes out at Frankie while Jacs just smirks.

            This metaphor is pushed even further with the ad for Premium Drink Specials that Vera sees – another drink that gets her into hot water too with her mom. I love how Vera tries so hard to be a ‘normal’ woman here with friends and a potential love interest. It’s so obviously a struggle as she decides to tell her mother that she’s going out by standing like a stalker over her bed. The next morning has to be one of the most excruciating moments of the show so far as every one realizes that Vera’s not only lied to them, but made up a phony life.

            Erica is all touchy-feely with Frankie while trying to teach her strict definitions from only a legal standpoint – Frankie pushes morality and Erica tells her to stick to the legal. I love Frankie’s response to studying Jurisprudence – the philosophy of law – and Frankie immediately quotes Mark Twain: “Laws control the lesser man. Right conduct controls the greater one.”

            It’s an interesting quote – does Frankie mean to imply that there are two types of people – those who need laws because they are morally questionable and those who don’t need laws because they are morally superior as in Kant’s categorical imperative? Or is it a more cynical reading (and probably closer to Twain) that divides people into haves and have nots – the haves are controlled only by the idea of ‘right conduct’ because they are the ones who make the laws and the have nots must be controlled by those laws because they are not given the benefit of ‘right conduct’? Frankie the law breaker sitting next to Erica the law abider – with only a thin line between them.

            Of course, Frankie is also talking about Toni – trying to convince Erica to do the ‘right thing’ and move Toni back in with her. It’s a ‘crime’ to treat Toni in a certain way – Erica should be the greater one and place ethical concerns about strict legality. It’s a buttering up of Erica that firmly places Frankie on one side and Erica on the other from a moral standpoint – but not in the way that Erica wants. It turns the tables and makes her uncomfortable – what is the definition of right conduct? We get a report about the ‘unethical’ behavior of Erica soon afterward to punch this.

            This does relate to Vera and her mother as well – she transposes her feelings about her mother treating her with a lack of respect onto Erica and the prisoners. It’s very Iago-ish how Vera poisons the well between Erica and Frankie – lies to the others about her fictional boyfriend and ignores her mother. Then again, her mother is so manipulative and smothering of Vera that it’s obvious she’s living in her own kind of prison. We see the same with Doreen and Erica against Frankie – all under the direction of Jacs. Toni doesn’t want to be alone – but…more tea? Jacs says it with the offhanded smirk of a Scorsese mobster who knows he has complete control of the situation.

            Who is telling the truth? Who is lying? The viewer has a good idea, but the characters aren’t sure. And there’s no way to prove it. Erica’s not happy with the way that Frankie is belittled as she’s thrown into solitary right alongside Toni while Jacs eats in a room decorated with curtains and filled with food.

            Meanwhile, Bea is still trying to contact her daughter – which is incredibly ominous. We finally see Debbie with her father, but it all turns out badly. The BIG SECRET within the family is Bea’s treatment throughout her marriage, but her daughter still doesn’t know a thing. The refusal of Bea to say what actually happened and her inability to reveal that secret is a big character flaw. Instead of revealing the abuse and rape, she resorts to violence. Luckily for Bea, Will is on her side and protects her. And it doesn’t go unnoticed by Liz.

            The episode ends with a big secret revealed, though it’s not Bea’s secret. I really thought the scene in the stairway was rather sweet as Vera conceded that she lies because she was ashamed. It was a relief to see her so quickly forgiven – and cared for. But the ending is depressing as she returns home and decides to let her mother go on thinking that she’s won.

            Will watch the next one again tomorrow and then read Stoney’s post again and comment myself!
            Last edited by American Aurora; 30-01-21, 01:53 AM.


            • #67
              Wentworth, Season 1, Episode 7 Something Dies


              The fact that this is episode 7 fits because this episode of Wentworth was the equivalent of every 7th episode of a Buffy season - you know, the episode where the first arc finally reaches a peak that caps the first dramatic arc of the season. I know that there are only three episodes left in Wentworth Season 1, but this feels like a major shift in dramatic narrative. Something dies, indeed.

              It's not just tone - the narrative arc has been stripped down and all that's left are the bare bones of the characters who are now fighting for their lives and their sanity through naked power plays. The frantic jump cuts that reveal Will's increasingly pathetic turn downward after the death of his wife - drug addiction, meaningless sex, uncontrolled anger are nicely paralleled with the slow-motion of the prisoners playing a kind of football in their prison yard. We realize that one woman is new to the group - and we learn that she is antagonistic towards Franky's former girlfriend as she pushes her into the ground. When Jacs does a tiny hand wave, we realize this new character is well know to Jacs.

              I really like how this show places the characters under a microscope - not just character studies, but a real focus on the POV in the yard as we shift from Jacs to Will to Bea reacting to events that are seemingly innocuous but indicate a hidden world of subtextual rules and violations. It's not just Erica or the prison guards who are controlling the situation.

              The slow build up that shows us Jacs' increasing confidence now that Frankie has been removed is wonderfully done here. Jacs see everything and notices everything that might be a potential threat to her power. When Will enters the yard looking a bit deranged, Jacs looks at him curiously. Does she know about his drug addiction? Does she sense it? Meanwhile, Will is still angry over the death of his wife - or so we think. So much depends on the tiny little ball that the women are playing with in the prison yard as Franky exercises on her own in the jail cell. Both kinds of exercise reflect their frustration at being locked up - but whereas Franky's exercise is controlled and isolated, a preparation for war, the woman in the yard are exercising merely to relieve boredom. I really love Franky's incredible workout routine - the actress has such intensity!

              One would think with Franky out of the way - we learn that it's months!- that Jacs would try and make Frankie's women her own through displays of loyalty that would bind the women to her. Instead, I think she's made a fatal mistake which will result in her power being completely overthrown - for the meantime, something dies. We haven't seen much of her background except the contempt in which her husband treats her - I wonder if we will ever get her story in flashback or she'll remain an ominous figure to the end, inexplicable and malevolent.

              Jacs could have slowly brought the women over to her side, but it's like she's incapable of trust - only fear is at work here. She’s determined to be even more dominating than before and she’s pretty brutal to everyone around her, choosing brute force over other displays of power. When Will takes the ball in a moment of pique, Bea tries to retrieve it - but Jacs demands Bea ask permission to leave. It's almost insane theatrics - the power displays of a dictator who enjoys watching the powerless squirm. Bea pauses for just long enough that we're tempted to think she's going to say something - but she swallows her pride and asks for permission which is granted. This is extended even farther as a theme when Will actually throws the ball and tells Bea to go fetch. Is he mocking the women's obedience to Jacs? Or is he just playing at power in the same way?

              Bea's conversation with Will is another psychological manipulative ploy - Will's anger over finding out his wife had an abortion leads him to some really heinous behavior in this episode. And yet he doesn't seem to realize that part of the key of what happened is right in front of him. The clue when Fletch knows exactly where the key outside the door is hidden seems to lead to the idea that the kid was his. The shock of knowing that his wife had destroyed something so profoundly meaningful to him seems to have really destroyed him in response. Everything he does feels like an attack on her, including his sexcapades. There's something profoundly disturbing when Will sees Debbie with Brayden doing drugs - he does recognize her, but doesn't even seem to care. In some ways, it's almost like he feels everyone should suffer since he's suffering. Despite the fact that we saw him sympathetic to Bea and her daughter in the episode before, he doesn't step in and do anything. I have a bad feeling that if someone happens to Debbie, he's going to be the one who tells Bea who she was hanging with. Or maybe he'll just feel intense guilt because he stood by and did nothing to warn her.

              The whole episode in some ways is about characters making the moral choice to 'warn' other people or keep out of it. Much of power is gaining respect - something neither Will nor Jacs nor Erica seem to know how to do. But I have the feeling that Bea's choice to confront Jacs and refuse to tell Erica who beat her mercilessly will actually empower her more with the other women than all the bullying in the world.

              I agree with Stoney that the flashbacks aren't used as in former episodes. They're used in the past as a cudgel to beat the characters with as they remember their worst moments that inevitably brought them where they are. But Will's flashbacks are fragmentary, hallucinatory, unfinished because he doesn't know the whole story - just flashes of clarity between the drug use and the grieving. The thing that has died is his belief in his wife's love for him. That's very hard to take.

              Neither does Erica when she visits Franky - it's a great scene when Franky looks at her with wounded eyes, hurt that no one believes her. It's part manipulation and also part fear that Franky's losing her power through being branded a liar. Erica implies that the something that has died is her friendship with Franky and the possibilities of living life outside of a "marriage with children" scenario. Her cruelty to others could be seen as stemming from the misery of being deep in the closet and her unwillingness to extend the kind of freedom to others that she has denied to herself.

              There are aspects of Jac's cruelty that are explained a bit by her reaction to Simmo's description of her husband's betrayal - the slap is so sudden and so dismissive and the way in which Simmo cringes and walks away is disquieting. I agree with Stoney that the lack of supervision is shocking - the guards are so swept up in their own emotional dramas, too busy supervising each other to pay attention to much of what's happening within the cells. One would think after the death of Meg that there would be cameras everywhere and guards in every room. But somehow, the prisoners manage to plan major gang rapes and beatings around the schedule of hourly patrols. It almost makes me wonder if some of them are not paid off or in on the game. But I think it's most likely that the impression we're supposed to get is that they don't really care what happens to these inmates. Erica doesn't seem to really care if Bea is in danger, but only obsessed with how it will harm her reputation. Same with Franky's drugs or Jac's insolence - they're not indications of a problem to be solved, but a threat to her power. Her heartlessness in turning away Debbie from a very sick mother is indicative of a streak of cruelty that is very akin to Jacs' power plays. Obey - or suffer.

              There is one exception to this rule - Doreen. For some reason, Jacs decides not to use her brutality on Doreen, which is interesting. Instead, she uses psychological torture against her. The reasons for this are complex - it's possible that she wants to use Doreen to wield as a weapon against Franky and her gang. Jacs is turning one of their own - but it's not against her will. Doreen WANTS to betray Franky, to get revenge for what she did to the child. Much more hurtful to lose a loyal ally than to simply force her to betray Franky. And as all the women yell at Doreen, Will decides to go down the same path by taunting Vera and humiliating her.

              This puts everyone on edge. Everyone in the episode is ready to blow up - the anticipation is really well done. When Jacs asks Bea to do her hair, she’s sizing her up to see what side she’s on - but she's also trying to ascertain whether Bea's any threat to her power. Bea realizes that tomorrow is a big day and assumes that Jacs is going to see her husband again - but it's a different kind of dressing up. Jacs is prepared to throw Franky a welcome home party - something special. Her voice is chilling as she states, "I’ve got a lot of little jobs for everyone."

              If you think about it, Jacs is getting her hair done before she commits rape - preparing to look her best. It's a perverse sexualization of a brutal act.
              Bea talks to Doreen - she won’t tell her what she has planned. Liz knows - they’re going to gang rape her. Tells the story about a woman who was really nice to Liz. But Jacs thought she was competition and Liz was forced to watch and took the screwdriver out after the deed. The woman lived for only three weeks before killing herself.

              This kind of sexual brutalization has a special significance for Bea - it's partly why she's there. But instead of a screwdriver and a suicide note, Bea decides to take down her oppressor. So when Bea comes to talk with Jacs, it's a parallel to her reaction to her husband sexually assaulting her. Like her relationship with her brutal husband, Bea tries to communicate with Jacs. Jacs is astonished and tells Bea that she’s brave - but it's not grudging respect. It's a direct indication that she perceives Bea as a threat because she’s brave.

              So Bea needs to be taught a lesson. Jacs' hand curling as Bea talks to her is unsettling. The beating is awful - it feels much like a sacrifice in order to save Franky. I love the scene between Doreen and Liz where they bond again. I like how the guards feel they should get hazard pay considering all that’s happened this season. Fletch has gotten her blood all over him - and we see Vera cleaning Bea’s blood off Fletch's shirt just like Doreen and Liz are cleaning up the blood. Weirdly, enough, Bea’s bloody sacrifice is bringing other people together and shows subliminally that she is slowly gaining power simply by letting herself get brutalized.

              Erica comes with Will to ask them if they’ve seen anything. I find it odd that she doesn’t interview them one by one, but instead treats them as an undifferentiated clump. When she says, "I thought she was your friend," she doesn't seem to realize that’s why they’re not telling her who did it. As Erica accuses Jacs and her gang, Jacs says “Prove it”.

              But it's Franky who truly realizes what a friend Bea is - she suspects that the beating has something to do with her. Is she suspicious when Doreen tries to drag her away from the room? We get a small scene in which Franky finally leaves solitary and greets her friends. There's a lot of drama as Jacs tells Doreen to watch when Frankie is alone and she runs to tell Jacs that Franky is alone in the gym. The scene when it looks like they’re going to rape her with the screwdriver is momentarily terrifying, but turns out that it was a setup. Instead, they end up breaking Jacs' hand over and over again in the gym equipment.

              There's a wonderful conversation between Doreen and Franky here in which they both acknowledge that Doreen would have set up Franky if Bea hadn't been beaten - otherwise, she wouldn’t have said a thing. I think this is where Jacs makes her fatal mistake - by not winning Bea to her side, she lost. If she had lied to Bea and then claimed ignorance of what happened to Franky later, Bea wouldn't have been able to do anything. But Jacs forgot the cardinal rule of dictators - don't create martyrs.

              But Jacs now knows Doreen helped. Even if she didn't press the panic button.

              The end is awful - Debbie isn’t allowed to see her mom because she won’t give up Jacs. What would happen if they all collectively did? Would they all be killed by Jacs’ husband and his mafia-like crew? Her ties to the underworld are what seem to keep Jacs going. But it's obvious something awful is going to happen. What really dies is any sense of peace for Bea - from now on, she'll have to always look over her shoulder.

              Last edited by American Aurora; 08-02-21, 06:27 PM.


              • vampmogs
                vampmogs commented
                Editing a comment
                Absolutely brilliant review! I am loving reading all these thoughts

            • #68
              Originally posted by Stoney
              Fantastic write up Aurora.

              It's interesting that you noted how closely Jacs observes what is going on around her and weighs up people's behaviour. But her fixation on ruling by fear and her consideration of Bea as a threat don't lead her to judge Bea well. As a survivor of abuse, and significantly as someone who got to a snapping point, Bea has a very different reaction. She both doesn't want to sit back and ignore that someone is going to be assaulted and she also isn't going to be broken by being brutally beaten. Jacs is both seeing Bea's strength and underestimating it.

              The question then comes to whether Jacs can vary her responses and what will be her next move as the end of this veers so far out of her control when control was the very thing that she was looking to display.

              Very much looking forward to reading what you think of the next episode.

              EDIT: I was just looking back on your comments on the previous episode and the focus then on secrets and which are exposed is interesting heading into this episode where the choices the characters are making about what they are willing to keep quiet about and when they'll break cover to warn others. And particularly with the presence of the button as a line between prisoners and guards. It's interesting that the button is given presence from the very first episode and that it plays an active role in the social dynamics between the prisoners. It reminds me of the character the typewriter has in Steven King's Misery.
              That’s a fantastic point - the button is a character in of itself in terms of what it represents.

              I think the show is doing an excellent job - like Breaking Bad - of showing how a person slowly attains power. Bea doesn’t do it through brutality and bullying - she does it by creating an aura around her of difference. She IS different from the others there in the sense that she’s still directly connected to the outside world because of Debbie. Jacs closes her ears regarding her husband’s infidelity because his underworld connections are what seem to create a sense of invulnerability and Franky chooses deliberately to cut off her father to maintain a wall of discipline around herself.

              But Bea is still in the mind set of “I’m getting out of here” and thinking of her life in Wentworth as a ‘false’ one as opposed to the real one outside. If something were to happen to Debbie or Debbie finally rejects her utterly, I think her entire character would change. And it feels like that’s where the show is going - at least temporarily.

              I also forgot to point out the tremendous irony of Franky working out day after day to keep herself in fighting shape - but when she actually has an opportunity to defeat Jacs in a brutal manner, she uses the artificial beating of the gym machine. Perhaps connecting Franky’s new determination to keep herself isolated and strong with the actual machine itself which is only useful in terms of building up more muscle or breaking something down.


              • Stoney
                Stoney commented
                Editing a comment
                Another one of my posts that got deleted, I'm glad you quoted it so it wasn't truly lost.

            • #69
              Really looking forward to your thoughts on episode 8 next American Aurora . I'm a little bit further ahead and so am about to put up my thoughts on episode 9. I just wanted to flag which episode I was posting on so you could avoid spoilers!!
              1.09 - To the Moon

              I really like that they get straight into Bea finding out because it means the episode time is spent focusing on Bea's reaction rather than playing on the audience's apprehension for her. Instead we get stuck straight into the heart of this episode, some incredible performances and connections over grief.

              As far as I can remember, the only flashbacks relate directly to really brief moments surrounding Debbie' death and with Bea's memories thinking of her towards the end when she's looking at the photos. After all the episodes of the season having such a heavy focus on seeing something of the greater past to inform the present, we're really turned to looking at the 'now' here. You know that you are witnessing key events that are the ones which will bleed forwards and inform so much from here for Bea.

              What I was still constantly on edge for of course was when Bea would make a connection between Jacs and Debbie's death. Would it be the moment she heard how Debbie had died, considering the connection between Jacs and drugs in the prison? But the intensity of Bea's denial at what she's hearing and the heart wrenching grief engulfs her at first and she doesn't see immediately at all what I thought she might readily connect. Especially, after the fake out Jacs had pulled with the phone call. Painfully, with what has been done to her and her family here, I think it just goes to show how violence towards others isn't Bea's default view and expectation.

              The contrast of how we first see Bea, just before she's told, dancing and laughing with the group of prisoners she has come to be a part of, jovial and at ease, against the switch to the instant sense of tension and wariness when she is asked to go with Erica and the guards to medical is superb. Her anxiety very quickly rockets as she screams her demand that they tell her if Debbie is okay. I loved how we see Franky react to Bea's distress here with what looks like very genuine concern and feeling for her. And Bea's distress is so palpable we come to realise it sets off a post traumatic reaction in Fletch that links back to an incident from when he was a soldier of hearing a mother's distraught cries when her child is shot.

              There is a repeated use of responses to others in this episode as the impact of what someone is going through has ripples that reach out and overlap. One experience bringing out side-stepped memories in others. And Bea's initial acceptance doesn't come until she's spoken to Harry and heard from him directly about finding their daughter dead in their home. Indeed, she initially starts by asking to speak to Debbie, her voice taught and her breathing stressed and evidencing the height of tension within her to try to hold back the raw panic. Will's reaction in the background is incredible as he turns his eyes away when Bea first asks for Debbie, knowing that he's witnessing a deeply personal moment of pain. The emotional punches around all of this are so well done. Even though we can despise Harry for what we know of his relationship with Bea, seeing his clear reluctance to answer the phone and face the truth again himself is just excellent. I can't really begin to express all the nuance and superb acting in this scene. The outside/inside distinctions in the connections between the inmates and their families works brilliantly alongside facing truths and internal pains and is greatly emphasised around Bea's call to Harry.

              Despite their own terrible history, at that moment, Harry and Bea were both grieving parents and that connection I think binds his experience to Bea's reality in a way that makes the truth of Debbie's death now undeniable. As Harry just talks of having found Debbie and having left her at the hospital, that there was nothing to be done, nothing to keep hiding behind. Bea's despair at not being able to be with her daughter, not being able to look after her, is incredibly affecting. The choice to have her put down the phone and turn, to have just the music playing as she falls to her knees and lets out a deep scream of pain is utterly brilliant. It almost feels like they are acknowledging the inability to convey such grief, it's beyond specifying. And you're so pulled into what she is going through at that moment, you don't need the sound because you hear her without it. It's just sensational. What an incredible scene.

              The connection between Will and Bea in this episode is so well done. As he stands by when she's making that phone call and comforts her as she screams out her grief, I don't think you doubt that his concern for her is genuine. The later scene between them where Will relates to his own grief and just states that you don't forget someone you've lost but just stop remembering so much, is great. His agreement to go to Debbie and pass on Bea's message really shows a fundamental goodness in him I think. Aurora's write up on episode 7 reminded me, there could also be an element of guilt in this for him of course. Having seen Debbie with Brayden taking drugs, and doing/saying nothing of it. I'm sure this is part of his response, and why he agrees to go and pass on Bea's message, but I do also think he really feels this connection in grief he can relate to between them.

              Meg's death is actually pretty recent of course, and again it was losing someone loved to a sudden death. We've been watching the outpouring of Will's grief and the impact it has been having on him all through this season. The ties between him and Bea in understanding the intensity of such a loss, the links to love and grief, are really underlined by his visit to Debbie on Bea's behalf. The title of the episode takes 'to the moon' from the message (the actual phrase a reference to the book Guess How Much I Love You, which we can only assume Bea read to Debbie as a child). And it really is the depth of Bea's love for her daughter that spans the episode with this focus on her finding out about Debbie's death and her initial processing of it. It also brings with it a sense of something more too. The extremes that someone would go to for love and this brings back that sense of anticipation for when Bea finally makes the connection and questions if Jacs was behind this.

              Will's care contrasts fascinatingly to how Fletch responds throughout the episode because Bea's despair was triggering for him of his own sense of responsibility in not stopping a child being shot in his past. Bea's crimes resulting in her being unable to protect Debbie, being unable to attend Debbie's funeral, are costs Fletch lays firmly at Bea's feet for her own actions that got her locked away in the first place. It is straightforward to him, if she wasn't a criminal she would have been there. So she isn't innocent in his eyes, but this does feel in part about his own self-loathing being projected onto her and deeply affecting his perspective.

              There are some of the usual moments of power between different parties as well as the sense of mirroring that we often see. As Erica presses her expectations on Fletch she also turns down the advances of her own boss Channing and makes it clear that she won't be manipulated. There's an edge in both Fletch's response and hers that shows neither are going to be fully controlled. It's made clear that Channing's way of dealing with the humiliation of Erica's rejection is to look to lash out and he is obviously looking for any threads of dissent that he can use to get rid of her.

              Going against the sense that Fletch resists being controlled, we do see the firm hold that his memories have on him as he struggles to cope and, like Will, he turns to escapism and alcohol to try to drown out the voices that plague him. His choice to go to Vera's to try to use her to distract him and provide solace leads to a very destructive and negative experience for them both. As the abortive attempt to have sex really underlines the single-minded focus Fletch had in going there, Vera unsurprisingly feels humiliated, used, and asks him to leave. He does at least seem contrite, but I still find it hard to believe he is genuinely interested in her.

              Perhaps it is the consideration of him having had an affair with Meg that affects how much I can feel he is being honest and genuine with Vera. The similarity in how we recently saw Will trying to deal with his issues did make me wonder how much of all of this is actually about Meg for Fletch. How much is he grieving too? It seems that the connection of his grief and regrets is in going back to the experience he had as a soldier. But it could be that and more too. Is he, as Will had been, trying to find the truth about Meg's killer and he's somehow picked up on the tensions between Vera and Jacs? Or is Vera just a balm? Is he genuinely interested in her? I'm really not sure on this one still.

              The conversation between Bea and Harry when they meet is another of the really excellent moments that focuses on the complexities of grief and how much is an individual experience and how much can be shared. Both Bea and Harry are dealing with their own senses of inadequacy. Bea lashes out because she wasn't there by questioning how Harry could have not realised their daughter was on heroine. But his openness and grief in admitting that he had been in the house an hour before he came across her let's us know that Harry's own inadequacy is something he's feeling keenly. And at the end of this scene we get a key bit of information passed on to Bea as she hears that Debbie had a boyfriend, Brayden. So now there's another way that the connection between Debbie's death and Jacs might be uncovered. The name didn't instantly mean anything to Bea, but it undoubtedly would to others.

              So, as Bea returns we're aware of the reaction to her of the inmates. Despite Fletch's comment that she shouldn't expect special treatment, there is a clear note of sympathy in the air. This is greatly emphasised by Simone coming forward and offering her magazines to Bea. Something Jacs suspects and checks up on, under the false concern of bringing some chocolates by for Bea. In truth Jacs is shrewdly using it to have a look around and gauge the mood, to check whether one of her own is betraying her.

              Finding out that she can't go to Debbie's funeral is a huge blow for Bea. It emphasises her physical absence from Debbie's life. That Liz and Doreen argued on her behalf is a contrasting example of the contact that Bea has been having with others whilst separated from her daughter and how she has impacted people on the inside. Those she has befriended care about her and are trying to help her to be there. But, as we see both Harry and Bea trying to steel themselves and prepare to say goodbye to their daughter, power games are still playing their part and Channing's resentment at Erica's response to him has him look to label it as proof of her poor judgement and he refuses to allow Bea to go. How much Erica's guilt at having turned Debbie away when Bea was beaten played its part in her compassion here doesn't matter as it is quashed by Channing's desire to assert his authority. The whole idea of power games and manipulation playing its part is beautifully emphasised by Jacs' very small smiles when watching the events unfold in the yard and Bea's distress.

              The next sequence is another one of the highlights of this excellent episode. From the others trying to support Bea we see her withdraw and go to look on photos of Debbie and we get the lightest of flashbacks that really is just enough to know we're looking on Bea's affection and love for her daughter. All she is doing is remembering looking at her, seeing her full of happiness and alive. Her grief leads to Bea trying to take her own life and Liz waking to the sound of her kicking away whatever she had stood on, alerting the others and together saving her. The offered support and care emphasised again.

              The conversation that follows between Bea and Liz about losing hope and being cowardly or giving yourself the opportunity to find joy in life again, accepting that the pain of grief is what keeps you connected to those you've lost, is incredible. Another superb moment of shared understanding over grief. Celia Ireland who plays Liz is amazing in these moments of heartfelt emotional reactions.

              The attempt to set up a memorial for Debbie to help Bea to say her goodbyes underlines the focus on support again. It is interestingly reflected in Fletch's choice to talk to Vera honestly and explain the pain that was behind his behaviour the previous night. She gains some understanding of him and it is a surprisingly honest moment. He then chooses to stay away from the memorial, not wanting to support someone he sees as guilty and that sense of self-recriminations that actually connects him and Bea is drawn forwards again.

              The power games continue as Channing finds the opportunity to try to groom Fletch to, presumably, be his preferred replacement for Erica. As we also see Liz taking control in the memorial when Doreen struggles, again showing composure and the ability to step up to the peer role that Erica is keen for her to take up again. As Bea places the rose on the memorial table it reminds me of the original theme song that we heard Jacs singing in one of the first episodes. The tied connection to the lyrics of that with the talk of connection to those on the outside, really just made Bea's loss more stark. As we see the women en masse seemingly brought more to Bea's side and supporting her, I can't help but feel again that Jacs has misjudged this on multiple levels.


              • American Aurora
                American Aurora commented
                Editing a comment
                I'm not going to read your review, Stoney, until I watch episode 9. I watched episode 8. HolyFS!!! This show is as gritty as The Wire! Will post tonight.

              • Stoney
                Stoney commented
                Editing a comment
                Really looking forward to reading your thoughts on it! I've watched episode 10 now too & need to find time to post on that. Sad Mogs won't be with us reaching the end of the S1. I'm glad I'm not the only one watching.

            • #70
              Wentworth, Season 1, Episode 8: Mind Games

              After the wild violence of episode 7, Mind Games is a slow burn to a climatic ending. There’s isn’t a lot of confrontational fighting – primarily because everyone is nursing their wounds, both physical and mental, as they plot their next move. We see Bea on the treadmill – it’s a corollary to Franky keeping up her psychic strength doing pushups and crunches in solitary – Wentworth requires a person to continuously keep on their toes, never truly relaxing.

              And as we watch Bea breathing heavily as the camera pulls back to reveal Franky working out in solidarity next to her as Bea clutches her still-injured side, machine going like crazy, we see Jacs wincing as she touches her hand, her mind-machine going like crazy. There’s also the feeling that one can’t show any pain – it’s a very macho attitude that revealing weakness is – well, weak.

              How long has Jacs been away? Three weeks. Just long enough for Jacs to fear that she’s lost some of her power around the place – it’s a mirror of what Franky went through earlier as she looks around the joint, trying to discern who’s switched sides, who’s stayed loyal. Still, she acts tough enough when she confronts Erica in her office – bragging about how keeping her locked away isn’t going to change what happens when she’s put back into circulation.

              I like Stoney’s juxtaposition of Erica and Jacs as two top dogs who are slowly losing their grip on power, with Bea certain that she can mold everything back into the same shape and Erica nervously realizing how unstable the situation is. This is also a kind of funhouse mirror of the relationship between Erica and Franky – and it makes me realize how important it is for both Jacs and Franky to maintain a ‘special’ relationship with the real Top Dog who runs everything – an acknowledgement of power to power as they say.

              I was surprised when Erica seemed to be on top of things – she’s got an inkling that the winds have changed behind Jacs back – even offering her protection against Bea and the others. Up to this point, Erica has seemed fairly clueless, as were most of the guards. But we learn in this episode that it’s far more complicated than that – and the new information also makes sense finally of the lack of guards, the lack of surveillance and the lack of safeguards that might keep Jacs in her place. I thought Erica might be playing a few mind games of her own here, but we see Franky and Bea walk through the prison as women nod deferentially at their grand walk down the main hallway. Franky’s really digging all the attention – but Bea is tightly wound and guarded as always, which makes her only more compelling to the other women. Bea tries to tell Franky she doesn’t want to be Top Dog – but Franky just laughs and shakes her head – anything’s better than being a piece of s**t that everyone walks all over.

              Jacs, on the other hand, is subject to glares and somber looks – as Erica says, everyone knows there will be reprisals, but no one knows how or when. The tension in the laundry room is only exacerbated by Bea trying to cool things down – Bea foolishly gives Jacs what she wants – leverage – as she tells her again that all she cares about is being with her daughter. This causes the first of many flashbacks for Jacs regarding her own son – which are only exacerbated by the visit from her husband, asking for a divorce.

              We see this in what Stoney calls the ‘puppet mastery’ between power and its many uses – whether through natural strength, parental guidance, blackmail or love. Brayden uses Debbie’s feeling of powerlessness as an excuse to fill her full of druggie goodness that makes her feel empowered. We’ve seen Bea fight over the payphones to call Debbie – now she’s given a chance to skip the line directly to call her even as Debbie is floating in a haze. Fletch pushes himself on Vera – even though she’s told him that she’s not interested because it might harm their workplace friendship – by offering her the comfort of food and companionship – something she lacks at home. The women all get together for movie night with jokes and comfort food – but it’s Bea who seems to be the center of attention until Jacs enters in a deliberatively provocative manner.

              And then there’s Erica who seems to pull a major power play by showing up and forcing her guards to monitor Jacs – but unknowingly gives Jacs the power since she’s able to control Will and Vera. I agree with Stoney that Jacs is probably forced to push farther than she ever has because she’s lost her husband’s influence and has to set up a new kind of power base to match that of Bea, who’s brought a new kind of energy to the prison. The ugly phone call Bea answers is just the beginning of a major campaign that culminates in Debbie’s death. And I also agree with Stoney that pushing Bea this far might destabilize Bea to the point that Jacs might welcome a crushed hand compared to what’s coming. Just a feeling, but two can play at that game of mental and emotional torture.

              The last fifteen minutes are shocking – I was expecting Will to be weak enough to do anything Jacs wanted to an extent – but I really wasn’t expecting Vera to show up. It’s a nice bit of deflection – we learn that Vera herself has been playing games that were deadly. When I saw the first few episodes of the show, I felt that the guards in many ways were just as screwed up as the inmates, but I had no idea how complicit they were. By this point, everyone’s hiding a terrible secret – and no one’s talking to each other. In many ways, it’s akin to Buffy Season Six where everyone puts up a performative front of who they’d like to be rather than who they are.

              And I think this all ties into the entire idea of incarceration – those who are in the Big House are those who got caught for various reasons that sometimes tie into larger societal inequalities. Their crimes are open and declared and sentenced – but the real crimes are often those of the heart and the mind and much harder to discern or deal with. Bea tells Debbie the truth – why she stayed with an abusive husband – but Debbie internalizes it and takes on the blame for everything instead of understanding why her mother did it.

              The problem with a true confessional, however, is that it often just gives people more power over you. Admit weakness, admit the truth – and others will use it against you because they’re just as capable of creating a performative front for other people if they want to demonize or demoralize their opponent by striking them at the heart of their power. Bea’s strength in so many ways comes from her love for Debbie – her sense that the real world is still outside there. Take away Debbie and it takes away her power base, leaving her with no reason to live. Or at least that’s what Jacs thinks. Because in some ways, Jacs is in the same situation. Like Debbie for Bea, Brayden is all that Jacs has now.

              I was wondering when we’d get a flashback or two for Jacs and this episode didn’t disappoint. Like most of the background scenes, we get a sense of why Jacs is there – but I didn’t expect her son to be so directly involved in the action. The mind games of the title aren’t just about the battle of wits between Jacs and the other women in the prison – or even the pressure that Brayden exerts on Debbie. What surprised me is that the real insidious mind games going on here are the ways in which we shape the lives of those more malleable and weaker around us. There’s a hint that perhaps Jacs wasn’t as bad when she began, but under the tutelage of her vile husband, she’s learned about the finer points of cruelty that she then passes on to her son. Protect what they have. Humiliation drives Jacs – she even threatens her husband’s new soon-to-be wife until he bluntly tells her she needs Protection because he’s pulling all of her power from her.

              Looking at Debbie and Brayden, we see two characters who aren’t in a literal prison, but they’ve been punished and isolated all the same. Parents have unlimited power over their children with very little accountability – they can force children to do things they don’t want to do, prevent them from seeing people they don’t approve of and tragically instill horrific beliefs in them. Yes, children need guidance and approval and protection, but when a parent is either tragically absent (like Franky’s father) or unable to parent or tell the truth because of abuse (like Bea) or criminally violent and coercive (like Jacs), the result is a child who is left adrift, confused and self-destructive. The two forces of unwilling neglect and deliberate cruelty that respectively fuel Debbie and Brayden are what destroy both of them – Debbie literally overdoses as she tries to escape her unhappy situation and Brayden becomes a murderer thanks to his psychopathic vengeful mother. In my mind, the ‘mind games’ are equivalent to the flashbacks we see from episode to episode – the emotional lies that destroy the main characters as they prevaricate and delude themselves – and end up harming weaker and more vulnerable people.

              Brayden tells his mother that if he kills Debbie, they’re done. It’s a naïve point of view because he will never be done with his mother – she’s inside of him, guiding his hand and bending his entire belief system towards her own twisted view of life. We get a montage at the end of Bea leading the women on in celebrating their small moment of freedom and friendship, Jacs looking pensive as she worries that her son will be too weak to do what she asks. And then Debbie trusting Brayden enough to allow him to murder her. Does she realize at the end what he’s done? Or does she accept it in the end? It’s a strange look she gives him as she falls to the bed. Brayden leaves (oddly, with no gloves and fingerprints all over the room) and it seems likely that he’s going to be found out. Does Jacs even care?

              I imagine that if Debbie is dead, Bea will make Jacs’ revenge look like a field trip. It’s all leading to an explosive finale.


              • #71
                American Aurora I really love the point you make about the need to stay physically fit to keep on their toes and not show weakness. It calls to mind the laws of the wild when you see an injured animal and know how vulnerable that makes it if it can't recover quickly.

                Great observation that both Franky's and Jacs' interactions with Erica are significant as the top positions within the inmates, but Erica is still at the top overall. There's a real point of tension in there though. Erica can offer protection if their position becomes at risk and has a level of control to the surroundings that they lack. But equally there is a degree of compliance that they can offer or refuse which makes her look good or bad to her bosses as they control a lot of the tone and behaviour within the prison.

                In many ways, it’s akin to Buffy Season Six where everyone puts up a performative front of who they’d like to be rather than who they are.
                Love this comparison.

                Like Debbie for Bea, Brayden is all that Jacs has now.
                The difference of course being that Brayden is a tool for Jacs to use to enhance herself and her own power and Bea sees herself as someone who should have been protecting and strengthening Debbie. Your observations about the examples we're given of parental neglect, absence and abuse and the impact of this is great.

                Really looking forward to reading your thoughts on the next episodes. I will try at some point this week to put my thoughts down for episode 10 but I might wait to post it until you've seen 9 as well as it is just you and me still watching. I wish we could get more people to give it a try, it is really an exceptionally gripping show.


                • #72
                  I'm still watching Wentworth but haven't time to post due to work and another project I've been working on. I hope to post reviews next week once the first leg of this other thing is done.


                  • #73
                    Originally posted by PuckRobin View Post
                    I'm still watching Wentworth but haven't time to post due to work and another project I've been working on. I hope to post reviews next week once the first leg of this other thing is done.
                    Hey, PuckRobin. Really glad to hear that you've kept watching the show too.

                    You shouldn't worry about posting full reviews when you've got a lot on (some of which I appreciate is what you're doing for BF too ). Any odd thoughts you've had on the eps you've seen or on what AA or I have said would be great to read. I'm delighted you have stuck with it too.


                    • #74
                      PuckRobin, can't wait to hear your thoughts next week! Take your time - the Twitter account is really fantastic!

                      I will try to post a review of episode 9 tomorrow so i can get caught up to you, Stoney

                      I've actually just watched episode 10.

                      I will never see a pen the same way again.
                      Last edited by American Aurora; 25-02-21, 03:49 AM.