“Wentworth” recap (4.10): Save Me

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When no one will sell to her, Allie goes hunting for drugs in Juice’s cell, which earns her a beating in the showers. Bea rushes in to save her but promises that this is the last time. After this, she’s on her own.

And this is the scene that is hardest for me. It is a portrait of raw, abject suffering.

wentworth10.11LOOK I GOT MY FACE PAINTED TO MATCH MY HEART.

Bea’s got her drawbridge back up, and Allie just keeps flinging herself against it. “I miss you,” she says. “I love you,” and most painfully, “I can still feel you.” And ain’t that just the truth about heartbreak: a bundle of exposed nerves attached to a phantom limb.

What Allie needs to do, obviously, is get off heroin. A couple of you spoke up about that in the comments last week, and you were right on target about Allie’s relationship to both addiction and Bea. Kaz got Allie off drugs and Bea kept her off. It’s been the desire to earn love from other women that kept Allie on the path, and the loss of that love robbed her of her compass. Which goes to show something that took me 28 whole years to learn: your reason for taking care of yourself cannot be someone else. It can help, and it can tide you over, but the core of real self-care has got to be self-love. Allie has so much love to give Bea. All season long she’s held it out with an open palm. Now she’s throwing it at her. But what remains to be seen is whether she has any love to give herself. She sure as fuck doesn’t have any armor, and it makes her an easy target for Officer Jake, who offers her a gram of dope in exchange for Kaz’s cell phone.

And she steals it without a thought, because Allie is no more herself on heroin than Liz is when she’s drunk. But in one of her few moments of cogency, she grabs Bea by the arm and delivers the following speech: “I never gave up on you. I saved your life. You were gone. You were dead, on the floor, lying in a puddle. But I never gave up on you. Never.”

She’s talking about when Bea was literally drowning in the kitchen, but she’s also talking about this entire season. Bea was dead from the first shot of the first episode. She was exhausted, closed off, stripped bare of every soft and tender feeling. Allie was the only person who gave enough of a shit to lay a balm on her wounds, the only one patient enough to be rejected again and again. And now (even though in the long term no person can save another!) Allie needs some of the love she’s given to Bea.

So (after checking with Will that Allie really did resuscitate her in the kitchen), Bea has her moved to Cell Block H, which is basically the prison equivalent of changing your relationship status on Facebook. Allie warns her that it won’t be pretty, and indeed it is not. It is a long, dark night of vomit and tears and ugly words. Bea can’t do it for her, but she can do it with her.

And thank God it ends like this.

wentworth10.12WHAT IF WE JUST ALL AGREED TO STOP WATCHING NOW.

I let myself be spoiled on this episode, because I didn’t want to risk it spoiling my birthday. So I knew ahead of time that it ended with Allie and Bea back together. But they’d never been together like this before. Up until now, we’ve been in the dazed wonderland with them, in that initial rush of euphoric attraction. After this, we’re in a relationship. And God help me, it’s the TV relationship that means the most to me out of any one I have ever written about.

It is absolutely terrifying to admit that! I have opened the delicate petals of my heart so many times before only to see them demolished. As a writer, I have presided over so many funerals, even on shows like Last Tango in Halifax, where I should have been safe. And now the relationship that has gotten to me the most is on the most dangerous show not populated by zombies or dragons.

I’m trying to make peace with all this in time for next week, when we’ve been promised an angelic love scene between Allie and Bea but also Kaz finally going nuclear, as she’s threatened to do for so long. And for me, what “peace” looks like is extreme pessimism about the odds of Allie’s survival. This show has given us one queer couple free and happy, and no show in history has ever given us two.

But even as I prepare myself for the worst (a habit I don’t think I can unlearn at this point) I recognize that relationships have value despite the fact that the vast majority of them end. This show has given us something beautiful. They’ve given it to the whole world, and Australia in particular, where people badly need to see the beauty in the way we love.

I’d say that’s worth getting hurt for.

See you next week.

(Oh and yes I read that Kate Jenkinson is officially queer and dating a celebrity trainer and on Instagram. You can all stop gleefully informing me of it. But I can’t talk about it any more than I can walk on the surface of the sun. It is just entirely too, too overwhelming to contemplate.)

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