Wentworth Prison Series 1 Review “Captive”

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Though I wrongly assumed that the focus of Wentworth episodes would only be on the female prisoners, episode six marks the second foray into the lives of the staff. This week it’s the turn of Vera Bennett, who hasn’t made too much of an impact in the first five episodes. The reason for this is clarified during the hour, as we discover that her life is a pretty miserable one.

We begin as Vera attempts to do herself up for work, tentatively applying makeup from a cheat sheet as we flashback to a teenage Vera doing exactly the same thing. She’s as unsure now as she was then, and it seems that the reasons for this come down to her mother’s gradual chipping away at her spirit. Her life consists of going to work and taking care of her mother, and she’s finally decided that enough is enough. The episode is about the struggle for control over her own existence, and it’s one of the better instalments so far.

Things are set in motion for Franky and Erica, also, and it’s pretty clear that these two are the breakout characters, relationship and actors of Wentworth series one. They are the heart of the show, and the events of episode six are likely to see us through to the end. Toni is released from solitary and promptly ‘recruited’ by Jacs for a bit of subterfuge, told to report to the prisoners and then to Erica that Franky was the one who sold her the drugs. We, and Erica, know this isn’t true, but Franky gets into trouble regardless.

Bea gets something to do this week, which addresses my complaint from last week. Telling her husband to bring Debbie to visit, she soon discover that he’s got a job that means travelling a lot and, when she asks him to take better care of their daughter, he hints that history may soon be repeating itself. She reacts as any protective mother would, given how bad the abuse got, and throttles him. More of this from Bea would be very welcome, as well as some more exploration of the flirtation between her and guard Will.

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

Wentworth currently airs on Channel 5 in the UK.