Wentworth S05E09 Snakehead Recap
Will discovers the truth about Vera and Jake, while Franky and Allie’s escape plan continues.
So I’m going to start by saying that weird stuff happens in this show. Like a week ago Franky was busted up and heart-broken over being dumped by Bridget, but now she’s back all happy-chappy planning the BIG DUMB ESCAPE with Allie (henceforth known as the BDE). It’s also been weeks since we’ve heard the name ‘Mike Pennisi’, so it’s kind of good that the little weasel has popped up again, this time in the form of his name on some Islamophobic hate mail received by newbie Iman. Given that she also refused to provide the emails to Franky, and she nicked Franky’s kite talisman, you’d have to think that this is pretty bloody significant in the whole scheme of things. Now Franky just has to firstly twig, then secondly, prove Iman was most likely the one that killed Pennisi.
But I’ve started arse-about, as that’s our ending this week. But still – a week ago we ended on Franky jumping Allie for some my-heart-is-broke-rebound-sex, and now Bridget seems all but forgotten. We also ended with Joan, after making a deal with Sonia, telling Jake the Snake they’re back on with the drug importation. But Jake is having to keep a bit of a low profile, with Will right up his jacksie and throwing accusations left, right and centre that he’s the dirty officer. But we’ll get to that too…
So the very opening scene demonstrates clearly the vulnerability of women in correctional facilities. Kaz is woken in the middle of the night by a big burly guard, ordered out of bed and dragged off to who knows where. She fears the worst – who wouldn’t? Worried she about to be raped or bashed, she screams, only to find it’s her new BFF Mr J hiding in a storeroom to talk in private. He wants her to ask Allie to tell Vera that the Snake supplied her with ice, but Kaz isn’t keen. She knows how vulnerable Allie is, and she wants to keep her out of it. She wants Will to tell Vera himself, but Jake gets to Vera first, making out that Will’s been acting weird lately, and has a bit of a vendetta against him because he took his job. So when Will turns up telling Vera it’s Jake the Snake who’s the supplier, Vera demands proof (surprise, surprise). Will gives Kaz his best puppy dog eyes and she relents and goes off to ask Allie.
Allie, of course, freaks out, and says no way, I’m no lagger. But Kaz points out it’s not lagging if you’re telling on a screw, to which Allie retorts it’s just as bad if you’re doing it to help another screw. Lots of Kaz pressure, and Allie agrees to do it, and Will rushes off to Vera to say, ‘ha! I’m not crazy – you can’t fob me off again, I have a witness, and why are you defending him anyway? He’s a dealer FFS!’ Vera’s not quite ready to reveal yet.
Vera’s trying to find a bit of quiet out in the yard, aimlessly rolling a tennis ball along the groove of a table as a distraction. Along comes the Snake (oh just piss off already will you?), who feigns innocence (badly I might add – pretty amusing to watch a decent actor having to act at being a bad actor, but Bernie does it convincingly), and Vera ‘fesses up that Will has made an accusation that he’s the dealer and there’s a witness. Jake makes Vera promise she doesn’t believe him, but behind those eyes his brain is trying to work out who the witness might be – the only prisoners that know are in on the business – Tina, Kim and The Freak. He goes off to find Joan, who’s doing everything in slow motion these days and might I say – BORING. They work out that the only other person who knows is Allie and Joan tells Jake to “leave her to me.” That rattles my cage a bit, I have to say.
Jake gets a bit tired of waiting for Joan to do something about Allie, and says he’s going to do it himself, so while she’s slow motion playing chess with herself, she slow motion says “you’re thinking like a pawn, you need to think like a knight.” Joan, Jake ain’t that clever, he’s just a dumb fuck who’s making a quick buck dealing drugs, and who’s got himself owned by someone like you – he’s not gonna understand a chess reference. She’s got him by his bits (still), so when she says, “I need you to do something for me,” you know he’s going to do whatever it is she asks.
So Franky arrives in her cell and finds an envelope with the words “Ask Novak” on it, and pictures of her little sister inside. Jake – the fucking Snake – has been watching her and is now using her as the pawn (there’s your chess reference Jakey) to make sure Allie doesn’t spill to Vera. Allie says, “I promised Kaz”; Franky says, “You’re not telling”; Allie says, “But Kaz’s principles”; Franky says, “FUCK HER PRINCIPLES!” Kaz continues to press Allie, says the Red Right Hand will protect Tessa, calls Allie “Bubba” (yeah some pretty heavy emotional blackmail going on), and Allie reluctantly follows Will to Vera’s office – where she suddenly, “can’t remember exactly” who it was that gave her drugs because let’s all face it, “I was a bit off-my-face.” Will smells a rat (he’s pretty quick on the uptake is old Mr J) and Vera asks if she’s been threatened; Franky is grateful and very relieved her little sister is safe, “thanks – ready to get the fuck out of this joint?”; and Kaz feels like a complete failure because of the breakdown in her friendship with Allie; AND she feels she’s let everyone down by doing deals with Tina; AND by letting Ferguson become Top Dog; AND now not being able to undo all the shit she unwittingly started in the first place with her insistence on non-violence. Meanwhile, Joan sits in the yard and slow motion looks around while slow motion playing with a single chess piece – the queen I believe.
Will is really pissed off that Vera won’t believe him about Jake, and Vera is having massive guilts over the fact she’s never told Will about them, so decides she’s going to do that this afternoon. Jake gets in first when Will threatens him that he’s going to catch him ‘red-handed’, then Vera will see him for what he is. Jake literally laughs in his face, “I’m fucking Vera. I’m Teflon mate, can’t touch me”. And then walks out the room while flipping him the bird just for good measure.
But Jake had under-estimated Will and Vera’s relationship, and Vera’s dedication to her job. (But also – poor Vera, about to get her heart-broken again, exactly like Joan has planned all along. Break her heart, break her spirit.) Will confronts Vera, who tries to defend Jake, claiming Will’s vision is distorted when it comes to him, to which Will retorts – rather aggressively mind you – “You’re the one that’s fucking a drug dealer!” Umm yeah, he’s got a point there Vera. And she knows it. The seeds of doubt have been planted. May they be like edelweiss and bloom and grow.
Liz has got her stuff going on too. Smiles turns up to tell her she has a visitor. Liz’s pleasant enquiry as to who it might be, elicits a very Smiles response, “Do I look like your PA?” But it’s a detective, and Liz gets her hopes up that Dirty Don has come back to make all her troubles disappear. But it’s not Don at all, it’s some other Detective here to question her about her perjury charge. Try as she may, she can’t get her to believe that she was “doing it for Don” and she certainly won’t drop Don in it. But when the detective tells her that Don’s disappeared, Liz immediately jumps to the conclusion that Sonia’s knocked him off… and blames herself. Oh Lizzie – poor, sweet, innocent, lovely, hood-winked Lizzie. If only you knew that the bastard has done the dirty on the both of you. She begins having nightmares about it, and tells Vera she knows Sonia did it, and she’s going to prove it. I wonder if this might be the end of another fan-favourite, as Liz slowly goes insane and ends up in psych? And we all know once you go to psych, you never come back.
Boomer tells Sonia she’s bringing Iman into the workshop as the Stella replacement, “cultural diversity in the workplace Susan, well done!”, but the more interesting thing is that Franky and Allie are building the boxes that they intend to smuggle themselves out in. Franky momentarily asks if they’re “good” – a brief reference to her trying to get it on with Allie last week; Allie’s response of “yeah, we were both thinking of someone else” seems the end of the discussion about said issue. But she’s clear she’s still doing “this other thing” (the BDE) because if she doesn’t “I’m either gunna kill Ferguson or kill myself.” Finally Franky says this might be a dumb thing to do, lots of risks, could get caught yada, yada, yada… No shit Sherlock! But when the guard goes out to collect some shipment after getting a message on his walky-talky, Franky seems to have been hit with a cunning plan.
Next thing, Franky’s dad is visiting. Wait, who? Oh right, the guy we haven’t seen since about ep3, season 4. Armed with photos of little sister Tessa, their visit is warm and friendly; unlike most other times we’ve seen their interactions. He’s keen to help with whatever she mentioned on the phone, but she backs down – thinks better of it, clearly not wanting to drag someone else into the BDE. But he convinces her, and she tells him she needs a walky-talky, but he says, “I’m a plumber”. Clearly Franky’s dumb because of this BDE, but she’s not, because she’s actually really, really clever, and the walky-talky is part of her cunning plan. But he agrees to help; they just need a plan of the prison sewerage system. Eeuuw.
So, Iman. Now she’s in prison for beating up some internet troll who was posting hateful Islamaphobia on her website. Franky’s helping her prepare her defence, but when her lawyer says she’s “pretty much stuffed”, Franky replies, no way that’s just because they’re lazy and “can’t be arsed doing their job”. Franky tells her to get copies of the abusive emails, but Iman loses it at her as, “my family is dead, my friends are dead, they are all fucking dead, so stop trying to be helpful.” Massive PTSD and years in a refugee camp would do that to you, sadly.
Later on, as Franky is lying on her bed with her kite necklace in hand, Iman turns up to apologise, and tells her a bit about the rape and brutality in the refugee camps. It’s no wonder she went spare at the internet trolls. It’s quite a poignant moment when she tells Franky that so long as they don’t get to your heart, you are free. Franky – being the huge great empath that she is… as well as totally stubborn – rushes off to Vera to beg for 15 minutes on the internet to get to the comments left on the website. She chucks the guilts on Vera, telling her that “she’ll end up in and outta here for the rest of her life. You literally have the chance to get her a new life.” Vera doesn’t want that hanging over her head, so agrees she can have 15 minutes of supervised use.
Franky gets her access, and as usual, makes me laugh out loud with her total Aussie bogan crassness, “You know what I love about the internet, Miss? Anyone can get a root, even screws.” Oh, Franky, that what I love about you – your directness, and that you’re such a shit-stirrer! So she’s searching through Iman’s comments from her website – prints out a whole stack to check on later, and when Allie comes in to briefly distract the supervising officer, she quickly logs in to the prison system using Bridget’s login (sweet that she knows her password…), and prints off a copy of the prison sewage system, no doubt for the BDE. Kill two birds with one stone. Nice one Franky! Oh right, it’s the BDE… Oh, noes Franky!!
Out in the yard she’s doing that bouncy thing she does with a tennis ball – so much mindless repetition, but part of building up less suspicion to the plans for the BDE – but with Allie on ‘distract the screw duty’ again, she hurls a second ball over the fence, one with the sewage plan secreted inside that her father retrieves and then gets the fuck outta there. Later that night, around bedtime, she goes to grab her kite necklace and finds it’s gone, but is quickly distracted by Liz’s nightmare panic attack over ‘Dead Don’.
Next day, Mr D gets himself decked out in his overalls, beanie and high viz vest, and parks his plumbing truck outside Wentworth - he could, of course, be a totally legit plumber doing totally legit work… except he’s not. Map in hand, it’s in through the sewage system he goes, until his little camera arrives at the bathroom grate. Franky and Allie are hightailing to the showers to collect what we assume is the walky-talky, only The Freak is currently enjoying her shower time, and they’re turned away. So while he’s tap-tap-tapping away at the metal, Joan is looking rather bemused - what might that strange noise be? There was a brief moment when I thought we were going to get a bit too freaky, and see a bit too much of the Freak, but Franky manages to get her dad on the phone (just in the nick of time, mind you – how very charmed they are that he doesn’t keep his phone on silent) and he redirects her to the kitchen. Got it.
Off they go, where Franky tells Allie to distract the approaching Tina and crew while she looks for a drain hole in the kitchen. Allie almost gets herself messed up again by Tina and the crew, but Franky finds the hidden treasure, and emerges with one walky-talky. Bam! BDE is on. Jake walks in and Tina tells him to “we have to fix this”.
So back to where we started this week, and we are in Iman’s cell as she takes out Franky’s hidden kite necklace and swings it back and forth in front of her, watching it intently. Why does she have it? Did she kill Mike Pennisi? If so, why? Does she have beef with Franky? If so, why? Is Pennisi even dead…? Is it all a great big red herring?
We’re entering Act 3 of the story arc – hold on for the wild ride home.
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