The chickens have come home to roost for poor old serial lagger, Lizzie Birdsworth (Celia Ireland). Promised early release from Wentworth in return for lying in the witness box, things don’t go quite as planned.
She’s agreed to give evidence against Sonia Stephens (Sigrid Thornton); a move that would see Sonia convicted of a murder she didn’t commit, while Liz would walk free from jail to begin a life with Detective Don Kaplan (Steve Bastoni).
Except she’s wracked by guilt from the beginning. A guilty conscience that prompts a dream confrontation with Sonia and her paranoia builds as she tries to ‘learn her lines’ before heading to court.
Sonia finds out that the Witness X is one of the women of Wentworth.
“I’ve just got to ask which one of you bitches is Witness X? I received a copy of the statement and it’s perfectly obvious one of you women is fabricating evidence against me. I’ll find out who it is”.
Of course it’s Boomer who jokes about it being Liz, not realising how close to the mark she is. Really close.
“It’s probably Liz. She likes a good lag”.
Awkward to say the least. But Sonia doesn’t think its Liz; her ‘rock’. She suspects its Maxie, who’s been taken off to a hospital to undergo treatment for breast cancer.
As Liz wrestles with her conscience, the prison begins a descent in a drug-fuelled crisis. The women are fighting and overdosing. The tension is growing.
Yet, Top Dog Kaz Proctor does nothing.
Well, her hands are pretty much tied. She might be against drugs, like Bea was, but she’s done a deal with drugs kingpin, Tina, to maintain her grip on power.
And all the while it’s Vera’s boyfriend, officer Jake, who is getting the drugs into prison. How else can he afford to pay back Vera her 10-thousand dollars?
Allie tries to convince Kaz to stand up to Tina, but its not until The Freak reveals the source of the drugs that Kaz takes action, with Boomer providing the muscle.
But of course, Joan is playing both sides. She approaches Tina with an offer to help. She knows every inch of the prison. She knows how it runs. She could be invaluable because helping Tina would ‘serve a higher purpose’.
That looks like bringing down the Governor. Joan’s already tried to involve the Ombudsman by reporting the affair between Franky Doyle and Bridget Westfall, which she claims Vera knew all about.
Except, Joanie doesn’t look all that upset when Vera informs her the Ombudsman doesn’t believe her and her allegations are ‘another black mark against her name’.
The Freak is up to something, but we’ve yet to see the full extent of her shenanigans. But it DOESN’T appear she’s the one behind Frankie’s incarceration.
But, it takes us three quarters of the episode to get to this point. Franky realises this after receiving a picture in the mail. It’s of a kite with a red ribbon sailing over a fence topped with barbed wire with the message ‘freedom’.
The only person she told of the kite was Mike Penissi. He must have told someone. That someone must have killed him and Franky’s taken the fall. The plot thickens.
Meantime at the courthouse, Liz comes undone in the witness box. The defence punches holes in her story and she confesses that she made the whole thing up to earn early release.
She takes the blame and doesn’t mention Detective Kaplan, who convinced her to ‘lag’. She doesn’t say a word against him as she’s charged with perjury and returned to Wentworth.
“There’s no escaping this place, is there”?
But she’s unlikely to get a warm reception. Even though the other women were told she’d suffered a medical illness and was recovering in the hospital wing, she was spotted leaving with the detective and this could come back to haunt her.
A quarter of the way through season five, the plotlines are bubbling away and the tension is starting to boil.
What is Joan’s end game? Who killed Mike Penissi? Will Franky win her freedom? What other twists and turns can we expect over the next nine episodes?