When the fourth season of Wentworth begins, Bea Smith (Danielle Cormack) and the rest of the inmates are transported back to Wentworth prison. During this time, Franky Doyle (Nicole da Silva) remains on the outside and seems to be fully relishing in her freedom. She does a radio show and speaks about her status as “top dog”, while in prison. Meanwhile at Wentworth, Kaz Proctor (Tammy Macintosh) is quickly working to rally the girls against Bea. As soon as the bus arrives at Wentworth Prison, Bea, Doreen (Shareena Clanton), Boomer (Katrina Milosevic) and the rest of the girls are reintroduced to familiar faces. Little has changed. Will Jackson (Robbie Magasiva) stands guard outside. And beside of him? The new governor, Vera Bennett (Kate Atkinson).
As soon as the girls are escorted to their cells, they learn that Vera has taken Wentworth down a progressive path and has added new programs for the inmates. As for the girls themselves, they prefer conjugal visits. They won’t take no for an answer and quickly enlist Bea’s help in achieving their goals. A few old enemies welcome Bea back into the prison and offer up gifts. Maxine (Socratis Otto) is handed a shank and Bea is told she may very well need it for protection. Seconds later, Linda Miles (Jacqueline Brennan) interrupts, while escorting Kim Chang (Ra Chapman) back to her cell. Liz (Celia Ireland) and Doreen leave to use the phone, while Bea gets a good look at Kim. She quickly recognizes that drugs are once again flowing into the prison. Doreen learns that all charges were dropped against Nash and that he’ll be coming around on Thursday to collect Joshua. Meanwhile, Bea gets a visit from Allie Novak (Kate Jenkinson).
Allie and Bea make agreements for Bea to meet with Kaz. Before she can, Bea is whisked away to chat with the new governor. Bea agrees to help Vera and attempts to use the leverage to score conjugal visits for the women. Vera agrees to run it past the board and the women come to an unspoken agreement to stop the drugs from entering the prison. In the hallway, Bea is stopped by Maxine and give the shank. She then meets up with Kaz and is given wine as a homecoming present. That night, Doreen puts Joshua to bed and the girls feast on the offering. Also, Bridget Westfall (Libby Tanner) shares a little wine with Vera. They chat about Vera’s lack of confidence and Bridge attempts to bolster her self-esteem. Vera agrees the next bottle of wine will be on her dime, if Bridget’s advice helps. With that, Bridget departs.
Bridget heads home to feet her kitty, but is confronted by Franky. The women waste very little time getting down to business. At the prison, Liz speaks with Bea in private. Bea admits she feels like something bad is headed their way. Meanwhile, Vera heads to the prison drop off and welcomes an old friend, Joan Ferguson (Pamela Rabe), back into Wentworth. In the morning, Franky and Bridget flirt about Franky’s lucky underwear, before she receives a call from her probation officer and is forced to make a hasty exit. On the way out, we see a man watching Franky. Back at the prison, Vera tells the guards about Joan’s return and insists they’ll keep her in isolation and away from the other inmates. Vera also asks Nurse Radcliffe about their new contraceptive program and tells her to try and get the women to agree to get on the pill. Despite some reluctance, Radcliffe (Madeleine Jevic) agrees to help.
The nurse immediately speaks with the inmates and attempts to convince them to volunteer for the program. Unfortunately, Kaz manages to talk everyone out of it. Bea tries to tell the inmates to make their own choices. Kaz makes a few nasty comments about Will wanting to sleep with an inmate, before making her exit. Vera heads to the isolation cells and speaks with Joan. Joan immediately asks for a pencil and is refused for her own safety. She admits she wanted to return to the prison to see what it looked like. She asks Vera how it feels to finally have everything she ever wanted. Joan insists she saved a child’s life and is a hero. They chat back and forth about Derek Channing (Martin Sacks), before Vera tells Joan she visited her in the psyche hospital and saw her condition. In the prison yard, Kim Chang loses it and attempts to climb the fence. She gets stuck in the barbwire and is immediately taken to the nurse.
Doreen rushes off with Joshua and tells Liz that the other prison was safe compared to Wentworth. She also admits it’ll be difficult for her to let Joshua leave. Liz concurs and relates to her own situation and seeing Soph leave Wentworth. In the infirmary, Will asks Vera what they’re going to do with Chang. Vera insists they’ll keep her in isolation, until the press has left. Bea attempts to acquire information from Will, but is told to screw off. Bea and Maxine confront the drug dealer, Tina (Charli Tjoe), in the bathroom and prepare to give her a beating. Kaz and her girls enter and allow Maxine to punish the girl. Kaz speaks with her girls later and tells them Bea was trying to send a message, but insists the abused has now become the abuser. Bridget is caught off guard by Joan, who tells her she smells like Franky. Doreen attempts to visit Chang in isolation and sees Joan for the first time. During lunch, Allie and Kaz speak about Bea. Despite Allie’s admiration for Bea, Kaz insists Bea is the only reason they’re behind bars.
Kaz also discusses her belief that Bea is sleeping with Will and that they’re working with Vera, as well. She admits they need to be taken down a peg or two. Bea notices the women filling up cups with tomato juice, before Doreen returns and tells the women about Joan. Bea quickly asks Vera about Joan and is told Joan is no longer her problem. One of the guards allows Joan to avoid taking her pills and also gives her a pencil. The guard immediately reports the information to Vera and gives her a letter written by Joan. Meanwhile, Franky tells Bridget about her inability to obtain a job and is told to check out the Legal Relief Network. Franky also learns about Joan being held at Wentworth. Franky tries to calm Bridget down and insists Joan knows nothing. Next, Bea is confronted by Allie in the prison shower.
Allie freaks Bea out, by trying to flirt with her. Meanwhile, the press begins pouring into the prison and Vera’s nose refuses to stop bleeding. Eventually, she joins the group. Unfortunately, Kaz and her girls cause chaos, by throwing tomato juiced tampons into the area. Vera remains cool and manages to turn everything around, while speaking to the press. Maxine insists they need to do something about Kaz and her acting out, without confronting Bea first. Boomer confirms she isn’t pregnant, as she initially thought. Next, Joan is confronted by Vera. Vera reads the letter, which Joan wrote for her “adopted son”, Shane Butler. Vera rips the letter up and departs. Meanwhile, Franky tells Bridget that she got the job and prepares for a celebration. During this time, Vera pulls up outside and a bottle of wine. She sees the women inside and leaves, without entering. The next day, Doreen hands over Joshua to Nash. Also, Bea seems to be losing it in her cell and Joan grows angrier and angrier with Vera and her current predicament. Bea slashes her leg open, as the episode comes to an end.
The fourth season of Wentworth wasted no time drumming up the drama. The episode provided a forecast into future episodes and conflicts, which will likely ensue. Bea will be pitted against Kaz and Allie, while Franky seems to have her own enemies on the outside. As for Vera, she seems to be digging herself into a hole with Joan and she may never be able to wiggle her way out of it. The episode set the mood and it was not cheerful. In fact, I am beginning to agree with Bea that something bad is headed our way.
All in all, a good way to start a new season. An 8 out of 10 is deserved. Catch up with previous Wentworth news right now!