We’re almost at the half waypoint of season 5 of Wentworth and things have just got very “real”. We’ve begun to see the repercussions of Liz’s downfall in the witness box.
But things aren’t as ‘black and white’ in the world of Wentworth as one mystery is resolved and the scope of a conspiracy is revealed. And strangely enough, it revolves around Sonia Stevens (Sigrid Thornton).
In flashback, it’s revealed that Sonia did actually kill Helen Masters, who’d been blackmailing Sonia for a while.
“I’ve been a very loyal friend. I’ve kept your secret all these years”.
"I’m not giving you another cent”.
“Be careful or I’ll go to …”
A whack to Helen’s head with a wine bottle and Sonia looks down as she delivers a key line:
“I don’t respond well to blackmail”.
Back in the here and now, and Lizzie is freaking out as she comes to terms with her ‘lagging’ on Sonia. Her paranoia runs high as she rejects Doreen’s suggestion that she blames the cops and say they made her do it.
But of course, she won’t do that. She’s got the hots for Detective Don Kaplan, who promises to make things right (don’t trust him Lizzie). Don’t get a lawyer he says (don’t trust him, Lizzie) He’s going to go to the DPP and get the wheels in motion (no, really. Don’t trust him Lizzie).
Dodgy Don is not to be trusted. There’s just something about him that I don’t like. Maybe it’s the goatee…or maybe it’ something else.
Liz’s paranoia is running at about a 10, when she gets a message that Sonia wants to her to call. Doreen’s advice: make the call or she’ll get suspicious and put two and two together.
She plucks up the courage and picks up the phone, but gets a little freaked out when Sonia says she wants to pay her a little visit at Wentworth. But some quick thinking saves the day (for the time being).
“You don’t belong in this world. Put it all behind you. Forget about this place”.
Good thinking, Birdsworth, Sonia has bought it. But before she can give it any further thought, Sonia hangs up to answer the doorbell… and it’s Dodgy Don!
He doesn’t have it in for her, he’s into her. They’re pashing. He used Lizzie to disrupt Sonia’s murder trial. BASTARD! I knew we couldn’t trust him.
So, it turns out they’ve known each other for a while and Detective Kaplan was actually the first person she called after burying the body. The plot thickens.
And the ploy thickens even further when we find them in bed together, discussing how he manipulated Lizzie but there are strings attached.
“I think you’ve got a soft spot for her”.
“I played her that’s all. And you’ll pay me”.
“That’s what the deal”.
Now, we already know how Sonia feels about blackmail. Dodgy Don should feel a little nervous.
Meantime back at Wentworth; Doreen has asked for a prison transfer to Perth, where her boy and boyfriend are now living. I hope this doesn’t mean we’re going to lose another foundation cast member.
Franky is hatching her own plan now that she’s convinced that Joan Fergusson isn’t the person who set her up in the first place. Her legal aid lawyer isn’t convinced by the argument ‘maybe its someone who benefited from Mike Pennisi’s will’.
Her plan involves stealing a shifter from a visiting plumber, which will be used to bust out of jail. And here’s us thinking she’s a smart cookie.
Ferguson, meantime, is like a spider as she spins a web and manipulates the other inmates and officer Jake to do her bidding.
She offers the drug-deprived women that she can provide a new line of supply and tells Officer Jake that she can look after him from behind bars. She bends them to her will.
But really, those story lines are secondary to Sonia Stevens and Dodgy Don. He’s worked out that the secret Helen Masters had been keeping was that Sonia killed her husband.
Sonia offers to show Don what she did with the body. They go for a drive. He’s feeling the effects of the champagne. He passes out in the car and she keeps driving with a smile on her face.
Eventually, she stops. Looks over at Don, gets out and opens the boot to reveal her plans for the Dodgy Detective: rope, a tarp and two bricks.
She lays out the tarp, opens the passenger door but there’s no Don. Whack! He knocks her out, revealing he was just foxing and he knew all along that the champers was drugged.
BRILLIANT plot twist!
Sonia eventually regains consciousness and makes her way home, where it’s become clear that Don has taken the money and run. and that can mean only ONE thing. Her time on the outside is short lived.
In a blind panic, she packs her and grabs her passport only to find police at her door. Acting on a ‘tip-off’ they believe they’ve recovered the remains of her husband. And it’s back to Wentworth for Sonia.
But where does that leave Lizzie Birdsworth? Sonia’s back and she knows Liz lagged, but Liz doesn’t know it was all part of a grand plan. All her hopes of freedom are pinned on Don and his promises to help her.
Except he’s gone out on stress leave and no one knows where he is.
Wentworth continues to get better and better and continues to prove that it can move beyond the loss of fan favourite Bea Smith, without missing a beat.
That’s good scripting, acting, production – and everything else that makes for great TV viewing.
Nikole Gunn has been a watcher of TV since the 70s. A writer of words since the 80s. A reader of the news since the 90s; mostly on Triple M, Nova and Gold.
Twitter - @NikoleGunn