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Wentworth Recap 4.8: Fuck the Labels

In other news, this is the week that Maxine goes to the hospital for her double mastectomy. Maxi handles this with the grace we have come to expect from her and leaves Bea with words of encouragement to follow her her heart and give Allie a chance. But Maxi’s surgery affects the plot most seriously as it relates to Boomer. Booms makes a passionate case to Vera for why she should be allowed to go to the hospital with Maxine and spends the whole episode acting like a concerned spouse whose wife could give birth at any time.

OH GOD WE HAVEN’T PRACTICED OUR BREATHING. WE DON’T EVEN KNOW HOW TO BREATHE!!

Despite her love and devotion for Maxine, it is ultimately decided that Boomer is not allowed to accompany Maxine. (To be fair, after Bea’s escape from the hospital, one can understand the liability issues at play.) Joan, of course, predicts this turn of events and goads Boomer so much that she screams at Vera and gets herself landed in the slot.

So if you’re keeping track, that means that Bea’s crew is now down to her and Liz. Doreen has defected, Maxine is in the hospital, and Boomer is out of the picture. A wise Top Dog would see the pattern and increase her wariness. But Bea can’t be a wise Top Dog because she is falling in love like Alice through the rabbit hole. The next time she visits Allie in the equipment room, she even gets the nerve to sneak up to second base.

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Watching these scenes, it kind of makes me feel like every other pair sharing a lesbian kiss on TV have been fundamentally doing it wrong. I mean it. I usually take off my critical goggles when I watch these scenes because I don’t wish to deprive myself of the chance to swoon. But even so, I almost never get to feel the way I do when Allie and Bea are together, with my heart pounding and breath held. (Not even with Frankie and Bridget!) I think that’s because of a combination of once-in-a-lifetime chemistry, and two actors treating their characters’ attraction as the unmanageable, irrepressible thing that it is. More often than not, female love interests kiss in a way that is so staged, so lukewarm, that it’s as if they charge the network for every second their faces are forced to touch. Whereas in real life, people kiss like this, like it’s the very best drug, the only one that finally takes you somewhere else while leaving you finally, fully where you are.

(I may have watched it a couple of times, to be sure. I may also have watched Kate Jenkinson’s acting reel on the Internet.)

Sadly, they can’t stay in heaven forever. First, Allie starts asking Bea when they can go public with their romance and stop sneaking around in the closet. Then it comes out that Allie and Kaz both think it was Bea who turned them into the authorities, a charge Bea hotly denies. Allie is like, “Baby, I don’t even care if you landed in me in prison. Does it look like I want to be anywhere else?” But even so, Bea storms off, though neither she nor Allie really believe they can stay away from each other.

From there, Bea schedules herself a little queer counseling.

OK WELL I’M GONNA GET YOU STARTED ON SOME REMEDIAL “L WORD.”

Bea is like “So what if someone—not me, just a friend, an imaginary friend—were to all the sudden start…listening to Tegan and Sara. Would that make them…a Tegan and Sara…fan?” And Bridget is like “Well, I would tell your imaginary friend to relax, because lots of people start…listening to Tegan and Sara later in life. And while the word ‘fan’ can be a useful political term insofar as it allows people to demand rights and form communities, those sorts of labels aren’t always necessary on a personal level. So maybe your friend doesn’t need to get the cover of So Jealous tattooed on their bicep, but can just appreciate their songs on a case-by-case basis.”

This comes as a huge relief to Bea and a source of BOUNDLESS AMUSEMENT to Bridget, who will no doubt go straight home to Franky and tell her everything.

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