Wentworth Prison Series 1 Review “Checkmate”

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The first series of Wentworth has never been particularly slow moving, but I was still impressed at the speed in which the identity of Debbie’s boyfriend as Jacs’ son was revealed to Bea. It was barely five minutes before she was launching herself at the she-devil herself and, though she was stopped in this instance by Liz, the revelation set free that deeply buried part of Bea that tried to kill her husband before the start of the series. She means business, and even Jacs knows she’s made a slight error in judgement.

So the only weapon she has left is to turn Bea into her unwilling protégé, practically encouraging her murderous feelings so that she can have the satisfaction of breaking her down. Bea tries, as she has all series, to solve her problems in the right way and salvage her sense of self, but the way of life inside Wentworth had to get to her at some point. I sense that’s what the first series was about – rearranging the hierarchy with the new girl now on top. When Bea stabbed Jacs in the neck with a pen, she physically pushed her away with a look of absolute glee on her face.

Though the war between Franky, Bea and Jacs was the main focus, there were a few other storylines to wrap up. Vera and Fletch look as though they’re going to provide the only happy ending when they manage to actually have a nice meal and sex for dessert, but Vera has to go ruin it by sifting through her new boyfriend’s bedside drawer. Fletch makes the discovery of his murderous intentions for Meg about her error, and it remains to be seen whether she will reveal their indiscretion to Will. With Jacs out of the picture, it looks as though Vera’s secret is buried forever, at least.

The big breakout story of the show was Franky and Erica’s forbidden romance, which actually turned into a real-life kiss in this finale, but the development of this relationship will sadly be cut short in series two when Leeanna Walsman leaves the show. It leaves Franky with a gaping hole in her storyline, but the revelation that she was the one who (somewhat accidently) killed Meg will surely give her something to do. Like with Vera’s role in starting the riot, I’m not entirely sure how the murder mystery can continue now that everyone thinks Jacs was Meg’s killer, but at least Franky and Liz know the truth.

With the striking image of Bea walking through the halls wearing a good amount of Jacs’ blood, the series fades to black. This was a cracking finale to a great series, and I’m excited to see how all of the game changers in this episode play out in the (currently filming) second series. 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.