At the beginning of the episode, Joan Ferguson (Pamela Rabe) visits the dentist. She speaks with Jake (Bernard Curry) about Vera’s weakness. Ferguson explains that Vera’s perfect little life has a seed of rot and it is time for Jake to exploit it. She suggests Jake become governor and she remain behind bars as top dog. Ferguson lays out her plan to make Vera dependent on Jake and then crush her. The next day, a wounded Kaz (Tammy Macintosh) is reintroduced to the prisoners. The other inmates immediately pick up on her weakness. Ferguson breaks ranks by sitting with Juice (Sally-Anne Upton) in the cafeteria. Kaz tries to persuade Ferguson to change seats, but the Freak refuses to budget. Kaz’s decision not to punish the girls is beginning to backfire.
Boomer (Katrina Milosevic) wheels in Sonia (Sigrid Thornton) and her wheelchair. Liz (Celia Ireland) makes a comment about Sonia’s sunglasses, before her badly swollen face is unveiled. Sonia admits she has taken a liken to Susan, who is ordered to fetch her some eggs. Boomer gets the eggs, but Juice spits a mouthful of blood all over them. This sets off and argument among the girls. Seconds later, Will (Robbie Magasiva) admits to Vera that he believes Kaz is losing her grip over the girls. Vera (Kate Atkinson) refuses to give up hope for Kaz. She admits she appreciates the fact that Kaz actually wishes to protect the women. Jake interrupts. After Will leaves, Jake asks Vera about her upcoming birthday and what should would like. Vera is adamant that she wants nothing and doesn’t celebrate birthdays. Jake also tries to coax Vera into letting him move in with her. Vera hesitates, before insisting she’ll have to think it over.
Franky (Nicole da Silva) catches Allie Novak (Kate Jenkinson) buying drugs. Allie insists she is just going through a rough patch. When Franky leaves, Allie hides the drugs inside of hallowed out book. Out in the yard, Juice complains about her tooth. She is urged to visit the dentist, but Tina (Charli Tjoe) reminds everyone that Juice is afraid of the dentist. Boomer is belittled for her new job as Sonia’s helper. Kaz confronts the girls and asks them if they’d prefer violence over her way of running things. Nobody rejects her as top dog. Sonia gets Liz to help her paint her toenails. The women also chat about the detective, who has vanished from the face of the Earth. Afterwards, Liz expresses her concerns to Bridget (Libby Tanner). Bridget refuses to believe that Don has gone missing. Instead, she is more concerned about Liz’s relationship with him. Back outside, Sonia looks at Bea’s memorial.
She speaks with Vera seconds later and asks to be allowed to create a vertical garden. Sonia admits she can find money for her new green walls. With a little help from Linda Miles (Jacqueline Brennan), Sonia gets access to the tools she needs surprisingly quick. That night, Ferguson instructs Jake to get Nurse Radcliffe (Madeleine Jevic) on his good side. Within seconds, Jake has sex with the nurse. In the morning, Vera breaks the bad news to Jake. She confirms she simply isn’t ready to move the relationship forward. Sonia’s project gets underway. As it turns out, Boomer knows how to weld. A new prisoner, Iman Farah (Zahra Newman), is led into the prison. Juice and Stella (Bessie Holland) quickly take an interest in the new girl. She tells them off, but Juice doesn’t seem scared.
Boomer gives the girls a lesson in welding. Back in the yard, Stella continues urging Juice to see the dentist. Ferguson tells Juice to think about the girls she could have, if only she was top dog. She also implies that Juice could take over with fear. Iman speaks with Doreen (Shareena Clanton) about her case. She pleads for legal assistance, but Doreen isn’t able to help. Sonia praises Boomer, before asking her to take over the project. Ferguson tries to get on good terms with Iman. Doreen walks past and notices Juice and Stella circling around Iman. She rushes to Franky’s cell and begs for help. Franky and Boomer manage to stop Juice, before she can defile Iman. Will enters seconds later and orders Juice to follow him. Vera suspends Juice’s privileges for a month. Once Juice is sent back to her cell, Will and Vera agree that she is getting out of hand. Doreen does what she does best. She confronts Kaz and complains about Juice’s behavior.
Will takes Kaz to see Vera. During the encounter, Vera basically gives Kaz permission to retaliate against Juice. Back in the yard, Kaz speaks with Sonia. She agree to bash Juice, if Sonia wants her to. Sonia reminds her to stick with her principles. Ferguson visits the Nurse. She threatens to tell everyone about her recent encounter with Jake. Vera tells Jake about her mother’s cruelty when she was young. Kaz tells Will that she will not retaliate. Instead, she intends to stick with her principles. Juice overhears Ferguson speaking with Jake about Vera. She learns about their nefarious deal. Juice speaks with Vera and offers to tell her about it. However, she requests that Vera support her bid to be top dog. She offer is refused. Juice angrily confronts Liz and threatens to tell Sonia about her being Witness X. Liz immediately speaks with Bridget. Again, her concerns are ignored. Jake follows Ferguson’s advice and throws a surprise party for Vera in the staff room.
Vera rushes out. Jake tries to comfort her. She admits she feels special when around Jake. She also asks him to come over that night and to bring his suitcase. He agrees. Juice visits the nurse and gets prepared for her dental work. She is put under, before Ferguson enters, climbs on top of her and cuts her tongue out. Outside, Sonia and Boomer unveil their green wall. Juice stumbles outside and spews blood all over Vera. Bridget suggests Liz might’ve done it. Vera doesn’t believe so. She tries to get information from Juice, but gets nothing. Ferguson heads out into the yard, as Tina and the others chant Top Dog!
Ferguson appears ready to take over. Vera retreats to her office. She finds a present on her desk. She opens it up and is startled to find Juice’s tongue inside. That night, Jake arrives at Vera’s with a gift and his suitcase.
While this season of Wentworth has definitely been worth my time, it feels like a giant leap down compared to the first 3. The characters that made the show so great are either gone or have been pushed to the backburner. Maxine has disappeared. Franky felt like a moot point and Liz’s Witness X scare is being overplayed. Doreen could disappear today and very few people would care. The show is trying too hard to become shocking and violent. In its attempt to push the bar, the storylines have been simplified far too much.
Jake immediately hooking up with Nurse Radcliffe was unbelievable. And sadly, Ferguson has been transformed into a comic book character. Pamela Rabe plays the role perfectly, but it has been written so childishly that the character no long feels authentic. Earlier in the season, Ferguson body slammed four or five inmates. Now, she has gained control of the whole prison. Her rise to Top Dog has been too easy. At least the segments with Boomer, Sonia and Vera are somewhat interesting.
The episode deserves a 6.5 out of 10. Catch up with previous recaps of Wentworth now.