“Wentworth” recap (1.5): (Don’t) Play Nice

When Bea leaves the hospital wing, she dashes off to the unit to spread the word about Mr. Jackson and his Glorious Pectorals. This launches the ladies into a spirited discussion of their preferred fantasy material, and Bea reveals that she has never actually given herself an orgasm. Which, given what we know about her husband, may mean that she has never had an orgasm. This is cause for some good-natured ribbing, but Liz, who is really the world’s most obnoxious drunk, crosses the line into obscene. The whole “dirty old lady” shtick is starting to wear on all the prisoners, who wish dear Aunty Liz would come back. No one wishes it more than Doreen, who tells Liz about how she turned down the peer worker job. Hurt and trying to hide it, Liz screams that Dorrie wouldn’t last five minutes, because she is “dumb and black.” And I am hurt and outraged at Liz, but Doreen herself shakes it off, goes straight to Erica, and announces that she would love to be peer worker, thank you very much. And I kind of think that was the perfect way to introduce the subject of racism in the show: as something disgusting lurking under the surface, even of the people you could have sworn knew better. But I also love that, even though Doreen is hurt, she doesn’t let Liz’s bullshit destroy or define her.

wentworth5.6Just wanted to let you know that I’m stronger than yesterday, my loneliness ain’t killing me no more.

At last it is time for Franky Doyle’s career counseling, where all the innuendo is torn off and thrown to the floor like so much excess clothing.


Erica: So what sort of career do you think you’d like?

Franky: Well it’s just so difficult to choose. Like, what if everyone expected you to be into MENtal health, when your true passion was for WOMEN’s studies. I’m talking about sex, by the way. Just sex, sex, sex. Did you get that?

Erica: Bit hard to miss, actually.

Erica pretends to be unmoved, but then rushes home to her fiancé for some good old societally sanctioned sex. EXCEPT that for her, sex is inextricably bound up with power, and for once, she’d like to lose control. She asks her fella for a little hair-pulling, which totally throws him off and freaks him out. In that depressing sort of low tide beach that is left when desire suddenly drains away, he asks what the hair-pulling was about, to which she responds “It’s sex. It doesn’t have to be so nice.” He walks away, and she flashes back to the time when she proposed whilst sitting on the toilet, and they were so in love that even that seemed adorable, and not a sign of a relationship a little too comfortable for its own good.

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