Wentworth Prison Series 1 Review “The Girl Who Waited”

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After the relatively gentle sweetness of Doreen’s story on last week’s Wentworth, here we get fellow prisoner Franky’s tale of woe – and didn’t we just know it’d be tough going? I’m surprised that the show would air its most powerful character this early on in the series, if I’m honest, but hopefully it means that, with the audience knowing more about her character, we’ll get to enjoy her interactions with others going forward.

In prison for attacking a celebrity chef in the middle of a reality show – leaving him with third degree burns via a pan of hot oil – we start to get a sense of where Franky’s rage has been coming from. The chef might have been her biggest victim, but it’s her parents that did the original damage. Her mother an alcoholic who physically abused her daughter and her father having abandoned the pair of them when it all got too much, Franky can’t exactly be described as emotionally stable.

This manifests in her rivalry with Jacs, which takes a nastier turn this week when Bea is blackmailed into helping out. You get the sense that the war between the two queen bees will be what carries us through the entire ten weeks, so if this is where we are in episode three, I dread to think how violent things are going to get. In general, Wentworth is more vicious than its peers, showing the reality of sexuality, dangerous rivalries and violence in prison.

A scene in which Bea’s daughter is pointlessly subjected to a strip search before visiting only exists to press this point, for example, and Erica’s efforts to improve the conditions for inmates in solitary seem as important as they are effective. It’s a world most of the audience are entirely unfamiliar with, and it’s great that things are being shown and talked about at the same time as we’re being entertained each week.

What did you think of the episode? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Wentworth Prison airs on Channel 5 in the UK.