One of the most unexpected things that happens this episode is when Vera confronts Joan about Fletch’s accusations, and Joan just freely admits that it’s all true. She says she did everything she did “for the greater good,” which doesn’t make any sense, but doesn’t really have to because then she says she knows Vera killed her mum, so she’d better keep her mouth shut.
Ah, poor Franky. At least Boomer is sticking by her.
Booms informs Franky that the vultures are circling; it seems everyone wants to fight Franky now that Bea made it look so easy. Hurt and scared, Franky considers accepting Joan’s offer to keep herself alive.
It’s kind of a toss-up as to who is getting worse screwed this episode, but Will is certainly a contender. He’s just traipsing along, trying to track down Bea, unaware that Joan’s guillotine is hovering over his head. He figures she must have paid Liz a visit, so he tracks her down at a pub. (I know we were all hoping Liz would stay on the wagon, but she just found out that she’s probably going to lose her parole and she can only afford one drink, so we mustn’t judge too harshly.) He convinces her to confess where Bea is headed, so that he can hopefully prevent Brayden’s murder. He calls Joan to update her, but at least has the good sense to lie about where Bea is. It really is a shame Will is screening Fletch’s calls, because right after Joan talks to him, she turns around and tells the police that Will and Bea are having an affair and trying to run away together. The true gut punch isn’t this betrayal, but the fact that Joan gets Vera to back her up about Will and Bea.
As badly as Will is getting fucked over by Joan, Fletch somehow manages to draw an even shorter stick. He calls Will over and over, and even goes to his house (SOMEHOW FAILING TO LEAVE A MESSAGE OR EVEN A NOTE INDICATING THE SITUATION). Just as he walks out, the same white van that nearly killed Will and the hot doctor comes out of nowhere and mows down Fletch.
Now I usually hold out hope that characters who are grievously injured in season finales somehow make it through (I rooted for Matthew Crawley even after people told me he quit Downton Abbey) but I think Fletch is down for the count. That might actually be a good narrative decision, since it means Vera is the only one left who knows the truth.
OK, climax time. Bea Smith tracks down Brayden at his business, climbs into an upstairs window (no mean feat even when you haven’t just slit your wrists) and pulls a gun on him just as he’s about to inject his Debbie-replacement girlfriend with heroin. She orders the girl to leave and orders Brayden to get on his knees. The chemistry between these two actors is unbelievable, as Bea shakes with adrenaline and Brayden pleads for his life. He tries multiple tacks:
- Debbie made me inject her with heroin because you were a bad mother.
- My mother made me kill her and I was just a scared kid.
- I don’t know why I did it; I’m sorry. Please don’t kill me.
He gets more and more desperate, and you do start to doubt whether Bea should go through with his murder.
The whole scene is so desperately raw (the filter is overkill, but we’ll overlook it this time), especially when Bea orders Brayden to inject himself with the same amount of heroin that killed her daughter. Before she can execute him, though, Will shows up and begs Bea to put down the gun. He says, quite rightly, that this isn’t what Bea would have wanted. She finally lowers the gun, and Brayden gets up to leave. But before he goes, he flashes Bea that same shit-eating smirk he did after she tried to stab him.
So she puts a bullet in his brain, and condemns herself to be a resident of Wentworth for the rest of her life.
Right then, a bunch of cop cars pull up, so Will escorts Bea out of the building. To his immense surprise, the cops force both of them face down on the pavement and into handcuffs.
In the fallout from Brayden’s murder, Liz is also arrested for aiding Bea, which is sad, but I will be happy to have her still be on the show next season.
So, holy shit. Fletch (probably) dead, Will and Liz arrested, does this episode have any more twists up its sleeve? Well, as it turns out, one. It’s quieter than the others but no less crucial.
When Bea returns to prison, the women respect her more than ever for her flawlessly executed master plan. (She also whispers “Freak” at Joan, which seems a little out of place, since she doesn’t even know the full extent of her freakishness.) When Frankie sees her, far from staging a rematch of their fight, she announces “This is Queen Bea, your new Top Dog.” She even leads the inmates in a slow clap for Her Majesty, before grinningly whispering in her ear “They’re all yours.” It’s the smartest, canniest move she could make, but she’s still underestimating Bea. The look Bea shoots at the camera though, as she surveys her new dominion, makes me very eager to find out just what kind of a queen she will be.
So, I know I was tough on it this season, but I have always rooted for Wentworth to be its best self, and I hope there’s more of that in store. Please let me know in the comments what you thought of the finale.