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Wentworth (known internationally as Wentworth Prison) is a television drama series which started in 2013.

The show is considered to be a Darker and Edgier Continuity Reboot (not quite a Remake) of the 1980s Australian cult-classic Prisoner: Cell Block H, sharing and twisting many of the latter's characters and storylines. It follows Bea Smith, a new prisoner at Wentworth prison, as she navigates her way through being hazed by the dominant clique in Cell Block H and deals with her crumbling family life. As the show progresses of course, the focus also shifts to other characters in the prison.


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This show provides examples of:

  • Accidental Truth: Bea attempts to turn Simmo against the Holts by falsely suggesting that Brayden is seducing her daughter. Except, as we discover when Bea escapes and goes after Brayden, it was true after all.
  • Action Girl: Bea and Franky among many others.
  • Adaptational Attractiveness: Many of the women but particularly Bea, Franky and Vera compared with the original Prisoner: Cell Block H.
  • The Alcoholic: Liz. And her daughter Sophie.
  • Alpha Bitch: Known in-universe as Top Dog, the Alpha Bitch is basically the woman in charge of the other inmates. Throughout the seasons, we've had five Top Dogs: Jacs Holt, Franky Doyle, Bea Smith, Kaz Proctor after Bea walked away from the position, and Joan Ferguson.
  • Anti-Hero: Bea can be pretty callous, especially after becoming Top Dog.
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  • Anti-Villain: Franky, whose vicious ways are usually a result of paranoia and heartbreak.
  • Asshole Victim: Jacs, Brayden and Vinnie Holt. For some, Meg Jackson and Harry Smith count too.
    • Lucy, in season 5. Though lecherous, disgusting and a rapist, seeing her get her tongue cut out by Ferguson is just brutal.
  • Ax-Crazy: The series' main villains, Joan Ferguson and Jacs Holt, as well as Jess Warner and Kaz Proctor.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Both Bea and Franky rock their respective scars.
    • In general this is averted; most of the prisoners, with the exception of a few (Franky, Doreen, and Allie) look like real women hardened by the prison, and fight scenes are generally bloody and leave the combatants bruised. Boomer's actress Katrina Milosevic, a self-described "girlie girl," has mentioned how difficult it sometimes is for her to do things like not brush her hair for a few days, in order to truly look like a woman who is in prison.
  • Best Served Cold: Ferguson's been biding her time for years to destroy Will Jackson.
    • Allie herself gets this against Ferguson in the season five finale, arranging for Ferguson to be buried alive, with a picture of Bea the last thing she looks at, no less.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Maxine saving Bea during the shower assassination attempt.
    • Boomer leading the group effort to save Franky from Jacs's attempt to gang rape her.
    • Subverted in "Plan Bea." Kaz and company save Bea from Ferguson's murder attempt, but it's only because Will revealed to Kaz that Ferguson was the one who got the Red Right Hand imprisoned. She knew about the murder attempt and was (relatively) fine with it.
    • Rita, most of the time, but especially in the two-part "Under Siege" story arc at the end of Season 7. Never threaten her sister, Ruby!
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: In season five, it's revealed that Don, who had been coaching Liz's testimony, was playing Liz the entire time, exploiting her affection by pushing her towards a false testimony. Liz takes the stand only for her testimony to collapse under the weight of evidence not yet revealed to her — all a plot by Don, who was having an affair with Sonia before the murder, to get Sonia exonerated.
    • In the same season you have Iman, who pretended to be a defenseless victim and friend to Franky, until The Reveal that she was the girlfriend of the man whose face Franky burned, who also turned into a stalker determined to burn Franky's face as well. Jealous of his obsession, she murdered him, framed Franky, and then got herself into prison in order to murder her as well.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: Liz, Franky, and Bea.
  • Book-Ends: Season five starts and ends with Allie attempting to kill Ferguson. The first attempt is of course a failure, but the second...
  • Boom, Headshot!: Bea kills Brayden this way when she finally tracks him down.
  • Break-Up/Make-Up Scenario: On a platonic level, Doreen leaves the group midway through season four in protest over Bea's treatment of Tasha and joins Kaz's group. She comes back, though, after an anxious remark to Kaz nearly gets Nash bashed by Kaz's mooks.
    • In a straightforward romantic vein, Bea breaks her affair with Allie off after she guesses — and Kaz falsely asserts — that Allie was bait in Ferguson's plot to murder her. Allie doesn't take this well, and Bea takes her back to protect her and help her detox.
  • Bring My Brown Pants: Harry in Whatever It Takes and Jodie in Righteous Acts. Jake also pisses himself when dealing with his drug dealers in season four.
  • Broken Bird: Many prisoners qualify, notably Franky Doyle, Doreen Anderson, Liz Birdsworth and Bea Smith.
  • Bury Your Gays: Bea's death in the fourth season finale, after having a romantic arc with Allie. Though there are gay characters on the show whose arcs didn't end in death, the fact that there were lesbians dying in the same time frame on other shows exacerbated accusations.
  • Butch Lesbian: Subverted with Franky and Joan, who were much butcher in Prisoner.
    • Played straight with Juicy Lucy, as well as minor character Spike Baxter.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Franky learns law with Erica in the first season, which comes up again in the second season when Franky gives Maxine legal advice and again when she becomes a paralegal during parole.
    • After Sky cuts her wrist at the start of the second season, Bea overhear the guards reminding Fletch that protocol states he cannot cuff an inmate with wrist injuries. She later slashes her wrists so that she can remain uncuffed and escape the hospital in order to kill Brayden.
  • The Chessmaster: Liz, of all people, as revealed in Checkmate. She loses this quality in later seasons, however.
    • Bea and Joan too, of course.
  • Code of Honour: As aforementioned... no lagging! Punishable by either severe assault (like Boomer on Liz) or even death (like Franky attempted on Bea).
    • Played with in season four. Tasha, a newbie, presses the panic button to avoid being raped, leading to a discussion of whether or not pressing the button should be punishable by violence.
  • Conflict Ball: Bea spends a lot of season four getting angry and annoyed with Doreen for little reason. It could be excused due to the pressure of her position, but she doesn't have the same problem with characters who are actually being obnoxious. This culminates in Doreen rejecting Bea to start hanging with Kaz's gang, including Ferguson, who she had been afraid of mere episodes before.
  • Cruel Twist Ending: The final moments of the season four finale. If it wasn't cruel enough that Bea apparently dies, the faint silver lining was that she was going to be Together in Death with brief lover Allie. Except the final shot of the series shows Allie being successfully resuscitated...
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Ruby's boxing skills carry her well in her first two fight club matches; she leaves both opponents KO'd and bloody without getting touched (apart from dirty fighting).
  • Darker and Edgier: Than both Prisoner and Orange is the New Black.
    • Wentworth itself seems to get progressively darker and edgier as its seasons go along.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Naturally, given both the setting and dark nature of the show. Inmates and officers alike are shown to be Royally Screwed Up in general. The first season took it furthest with frequent and poignant flashback scenes.
  • Dating Catwoman: Bea hooks up with Allie, who's a member of rival Kaz's entourage.
  • A Day in the Limelight: "Twist the Knife" is the first episode to feature Boomer more than her usual role as simply being Franky's muscle.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Most notably Franky, Joan and Miss Miles.
  • Deliberate Injury Gambit: Ferguson getting sodomized with a broom handle by Lucy's gang seems to have genuinely affected her, until we see that she's deliberately playing it up to make Kaz want to protect and avenge her. This is compared within the episode to a flashback of Joan letting her psychologist rape her so that she can blackmail him into giving her a clean bill of mental health.
  • Deliver Us from Evil: Inverted and Zigzagged with Joan and Doreen, as the former becomes very protective and nurturing toward the latter and her newborn. For a while.
  • Dies Wide Open: Bea in the season four finale. Debbie and Cindy-Lou go out this way as well.
  • Dirty Cop: Derek Channing, the sleazy and unfaithful boardman who runs a brothel with vulnerable ex-prisoners as prostitutes.
    • Also Linda Miles, who is willing to bargain with any prisoner for the right price.
  • Don't You Dare Pity Me!: Don't ever sympathise for Franky. Even lampshaded by Doreen in the first episode!
  • Dope Slap: Several, most notably:
    • Bea to Franky in Knives Out
    • Franky to Kim in Goldfish
    • Joan to Vera in The Living And The Dead.
    • Subverted with Bea and Harry.
  • The Dragon:
    • Boomer to Franky
    • Maxine to Bea
    • Simmo to Jacs
    • Vera to Joan
  • Dragon Ascendant: Simmo following Jacs's death. It fails.
  • Driven to Suicide: Almost the case for Bea, after the death of her daughter.
    • Cruelly referenced several episodes later during a near-murder scene: "You should've done it right the first time."
    • Played straight at first, but ultimately averted, with Jianna. She apparently commits suicide after a social worker takes her baby away, leading paramour Ferguson to take revenge on the worker who did it, who turns out to be Will Jackson. It's not until season three that it's revealed that the other prisoners lynched her for being a "screw lover" and to get back at the tyrannical Ferguson.
  • Driven to Villainy: Joan after the death of her criminal lover prior to her arrival at Wentworth. Then again, she was torturing inmates into keeping silent the entire time....
    • Also Vera, who killed her mother in the latter's sleep after years of psychological abuse. Not only that, but she finally decided to become an epic Alpha Bitch with anyone and everyone who isn't Will or Joan.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: Vinnie Holt and Harry Smith.
    • Cindy-Lou was Franky's antagonist early in the season and presumed to be a minor threat to Bea's power, but she overdoses abruptly after Kim starts smuggling drugs again.
  • Early Installment Weirdness:
    • Season one's title theme had no lyrics. From season two on, a new theme based on the first one, with sung lyrics is used (season two uses a slightly different snippet of it than other seasons).
    • The very earliest episodes make frequent use of flashbacks to tell characters' backstories/criminal histories. This goes away after a few episodes; even when new major characters are introduced down the road, they either get no flashbacks or substantially fewer.
    • Linda actually does smile in a few season one episodes!
    • There's a very subtle one in the pilot regarding Jacs' return from the slot. It's implied that she had been locked up for an unspecified infraction for a very long time (weeks at least and likely months) and it's said outright that she wasn't supposed to come back for weeks more. Come season 6, and the apparent murder of Sonia by Kaz gets the perpetrator only a *total* of 2 weeks in the slot.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Franky.
  • Enemy Mine: Bea and Franky teaming up to take down Joan.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Ferguson organizes for Lucy to rape Tasha and waits gleefully for the inevitable fallout when Kaz comes to defend Tasha from pressing the panic button. Maxine instead chooses to let her off with a warning, which earns the respect of the other prisoners, including Kaz, while Ferguson is shocking that nothing came to blows. (Bea later chastises Maxine for not properly punishing Tasha and ends up doing it anyway, though the fact that she loses some of her greatest supporters because of it demonstrates she made the unpopular choice)
    • Ferguson also discreetly revealed to Will that it was Franky who killed Meg, not Jacs, so that Will could kill Franky before she could get parole. In the end he chooses to let her go, shocking Ferguson.
  • Evil Gloating: Joan and Jacs love doing this.
  • Eye Scream: Kelly Bryant and Jodie Spiteri. Both courtesy of Joan Ferguson.
  • False Rape Accusation: Joan uses her ganging at the hands of Lucy to manipulate Kaz into thinking that Will raped her.
  • Fight Clubbing: Season 6 introduces a prisoner fight club organized by Vicky Kosta, in which bouts are filmed and sold on the dark web. New inmate Ruby Mitchell is drafted to participate due to her boxing skills.
  • Five-Man Band: Our main gals:
  • Friends with Benefits: Franky and Kim / Jodie.
  • Foreshadowing: Subverted. Most of the third season seems to be warning us about Franky's death with lines such as "I'm never getting out of here alive" and "I'll be leaving this place in a coffin" when actually her line "I wanna leave this place as a pile of ashes and smoke (the great fire) in a hot car with a hot girl (Bridget)." is what really happens.
  • Gambit Pileup: The entirety of Hell Bent. Franky makes her escape attempt, Liz deals with Sonia, Kaz and Ferguson attempt to play out their respective endgames, Will attempts to deal with Ferguson once and for all and all of it comes crashing together spectularly.
  • Girls Behind Bars: One of the most popular examples alongside the original, as well as Bad Girls and rival show Orange Is The New Black.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: Though the show doesn't hold back on violence, it's even more effective when we only hear of Sally-Lee's gang rape, not to mention Boomer's bashing of Liz.
  • Grey and Gray Morality: The series is big on this trope in general:
    • Erica Davidson, torn between being a good governor who helps the women.. and covering up her bad deeds and fantasizing about sex with an inmate.
    • Franky saving Sophie from the predatory inmates, only to completely negate it by getting Sophie drunk and vulnerable in her cell.
    • This seems to be in play when Frankie and Bea deprive Jodie of sleep and food ... to make her crack and tell them about Joan torturing her.
  • Heroic Team Revolt: Kaz is only Top Dog for a few episodes in season five before the other prisoners turn on her and choose Ferguson for Top Dog for her inaction and ineffectual leadership.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Doreen and Liz. Also seems to be happening between Boomer and Maxine.
  • Hope Spot: Everything seems to be going well for Bea at the end of season four: she's walked away from the stressful top dog position and enjoyed a night with Allie... and then Ferguson attacks Allie.
  • Improvised Armour: Bea duct tapes magazines to her torso to shield herself from Franky's shiv attacks — and it works beautifully.
  • Institutional Apparel: Wentworth inmates wear blue and white clothes, though it's varied enough to not count as uniform.
  • Ironic Echo: "If you rule through chaos, you reap what you sow." Said firstly by Joan to Bea after Bea is shivved, then by Bea to Joan after Joan sets the prison on fire during a meltdown.
  • Irony: The panic button that Bea railed against using ends up saving her life a few episodes later.
  • Jerkass: Will and Fletcher for the first two seasons.
    • Derek Channing, on the other hand, is at least a consistent asshole.
  • Kickthe Son Of A Bitch: Subverted with Joan's ganging by Lucy's group. Ferguson's still a massive threat, but it's not cathartic.
    • Played more straight in "Plan Bea," where Kaz brutally attacks Ferguson and scalds her hand in a deep fryer in revenge for being the one to have put the Red Right Hand in prison.
  • Lipstick Lesbian: Franky, unlike the original, and Bridget.
  • Make It Look Like an Accident: Ferguson attacks Allie, drugs her to near-death, and makes it look like she overdosed.
  • Mama Bear: Bea and Liz, in spades. Doreen too after the birth of Joshua.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Bea and Joan again.
  • Mark of Shame: A temporary version: Bea uses the steam-press to severely burn Boomer's hands after the former attacked Liz against Bea's orders.
  • Married to the Job: Vera is stated to be when Jake asks if she is single. Will Jackson is this as well once Meg is killed, sticking with his job despite all of the turmoil and danger he goes through when a lesser man probably would have quit long ago.
  • Mirror Scare: Ferguson gives one to Doreen at the end of season three, and to Allie at the end of season four.
  • The Missus and the Ex: Doreen finds out in season four that Nash, with Joshua, is living with his ex and their daughter, as he can't find a job and thus can't afford his own place to live. The ex is nice enough, but Doreen is anxious about the situation, worried that Joshua will forget about his biological mother and look at this temporary family as his "real" one.
  • The Mole: Subverted in the season four premiere. There appears to be a new guard working for the imprisoned Ferguson but she turns out to be working for Vera the whole time.
  • Mood Whiplash: The women in the cell block are all having a good time dancing to music. Minutes later, Bea's informed that Debbie has died, leading her to have a breakdown.
  • Neck Lift: Given from Ferguson to Jess, fatally, and Ferguson to Allie, nonfatally.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown:
    • Bea's punishment after interfering with Jacs's plans in Something Dies.
    • Rather fittingly, Jacs herself will later be bashed in the same episode.
    • Maxine and Bea team up to do this to Lucy after the latter constantly undermines their authority.
    • And of course, Bea bashing Franky at the end of their much-anticipated fight.
  • No Periods, Period: Averted when Boomer mourns the fact that getting her period means she isn't pregnant. Though she wasn't in much danger of it anyway.
  • Nothing Is the Same Anymore: After Bea's death.
  • Not Me This Time: When Franky is thrown back in prison after being framed for murder of her stalker, everyone naturally assumes that Joan had something to do with it, though she contemptuously remarks that she had nothing to do with it. Turns out she's right; it was the victim's girlfriend, Iman. Though she does take advantage of this fact to murder Iman and destroy any chance of Iman confessing and exonerating Franky.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Bea arriving at Wentworth, then losing her friend's daughter in a riot, then becoming prime suspect in an officer's murder.
    • Jacs when Boomer and co save Franky from the gym.
    • A much sadder example: briefly with Debbie when she realises Brayden has injected her with too much heroin.
    • Franky when Bea challenges her for the position of Top Dog, and again when she realizes that stabbing her in the torso isn't doing anything thanks to her Improvised Armour.
    • Liz when she receives a gun... whilst on parole.
    • Joan when Bea escapes both prison and hospital. Also when Bea outsmarts her during the second riot.
  • Office Romance: Briefly between Fletch and Vera in season one, as well as Will and Rose in seasons two and three.
  • Poison Is Evil: Jess drugs Doreen's drink so that she can get sick, leaving her to take care of Joshua.
  • Precision F-Strike: Bea's final word in season two, but not in the way you think.
    • "Freak."
  • Pretty Little Headshots: When Bea shoots and kills Brayden, all we see is a tiny bullet-sized entry wound between the latter's eyes.
  • Prison Rape: Averted with Jess and Fletch. But played straight with Jodie and Joan, not to mention Lucy and her gang's frequent rapes of new prisoners.
  • Prison Riot: The first episodes of seasons one and three, both equally badass.
  • Psycho Supporter: Kaz Proctor and The Red Right Hand, though Kaz quickly turns against Bea.
  • Put on a Bus: Erica Davidson, who very abruptly left after the first season.
    • Fletch, Rose, and Sophie all disappear between the third and fourth seasons.
    • In the fifth season Maxine is transferred to another prison while undergoing chemo, and Doreen is suddenly granted parole without much of an explanation.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: The most notable ones include Bea and Simmo in The Pink Dragon, Liz and Franky in Sins of the Mother, and Boomer and Franky in Failing Upwards.
    • Bea gives a much-deserved one to Kaz in "Afterlife."
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Mr Jackson, when he isn't coked up and hellbent on finding his wife's killer.
  • Red Herring: The start of series four seems to show someone stalking Franky. It turns out to be her father, looking to reconnect.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Double Subverted with Simmo, who went from The Dragon to Anti-Villain, back to Villain, and finally Alas, Poor Villain.
  • Relationship Upgrade: Bridget and Franky are shown to be living together at the start of season four, though it's a forbidden relationship.
  • The Reveal: Why does Jackson hate Will Jackson so much? Because he apparently and indirectly caused Ferguson's lover to commit suicide.
  • Serial Killer: Bea has pretty much become this by season three.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Lots for Prisoner, including:
      • Using the laundry steam-press to burn hands as punishment
      • Prison riots resulting in the death of an officer
      • Nicknames such as Queen Bea, The Freak and Vinegar Tits.
      • Kaiya's teddy bear.
      • The dryer scene in Sins of the Mother.
      • The leather gloves!
      • Bea being hospitaled for knife wounds, only to escape.
    • There's a subtle one when Rita is introduced in season 6. She sarcastically asks another inmate "Do ya like black chicks?" which is very likely a reference to actress Leah Purcell's multimedia project Black Chicks Talking, aimed at increasing indigenous female voices in Australian media.
    • The Season 7 finale has a big one to One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, including the score.
  • Shower of Angst : Franky.
  • Slain in Their Sleep: Simmo and Vera's mom - in consecutive episodes!
  • Slow Motion: The show is obsessed with this.
  • Sympathetic Murderer: Bea for killing both Jacs and Brayden, and possibly Franky for accidentally killing Meg Jackson.
  • Situational Sexuality: Kim, who Franky described as 'gate gay' due to having a boyfriend on the outside whilst being a lesbian fuck-buddy on the inside.
  • Staircase Tumble: Lucy. Played with in that it looks like she might be pushed by Vera.
  • Stalker Shrine: Mike Pennisi has one of Franky, as well as a wig resembling her hair. Eugh. Iman messing with it is his Berserk Button and causes the argument that leads her to shoot him. Franky herself makes a break in her case when seeing a blank wall in the crime scene photos and realizing that something used to be there.
  • Status Quo Is God: Though Franky gets out of prison and spends Season 4 starting a new life and dealing with working and living outside of prison, the beginning of Season 5 puts her right back behind bars.
  • Stepford Smiler: Jess.
  • Tastes Like Chicken: What practicing lesbian Franky tells bicurious Bea cunnilingus tastes like. Hilariously, the latter seems to believe it for a moment.
  • Thanatos Gambit: Bea kills herself, framing Ferguson in the process, in order to defeat the latter for good.
  • Theseus' Ship Paradox: The cast is getting pretty close. As of the end of season 7, the only main cast members from the beginning of the show still here are Kate Atkinson (Vera) and Robbie Magasiva (Will).note  Even as late on as season 4, the only additional holdovers are Kate Jenkinson (Allie) and Bernard Curry (Jake). Justified as people obviously do come and go from a prison.
  • Time Skip: There's a Time Skip between every season: a matter of few weeks between seasons one and two, months between seasons two and three (as evidenced by Bea's unquestioned position and Doreen's advanced pregnancy) and some time between three and four as the cell block is restored.
  • Together in Death: Subverted. Bea tells Allie to "wait for me" before killing herself to frame Ferguson, thinking that Allie will die and she can be reunited with her and Debbie in death. The final scene of season four, however, shows Allie being successfuly rescuscitated just as Bea dies.
    • Played straight with Bea and Debbie. Several characters refer to them being together again.
  • The Topic of Cancer: Maxine gets cancer in season four, and the prisoners rally around her after she's told she can't have any supporters there with her.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Brayden in the season two finale, and Joan in season three.
  • Weighted Gloves: Spike wears makeshift knuckledusters under her boxing gloves during her fight club bout against Ruby. They cause Ruby to piss blood later after she's hit with body shots.
  • Wham Episode: The fact that so many episodes involve shocking material makes "Seeing Red"'s shocking conclusion all the more staggering. Bea manipulates Ferguson into killing her so that the latter has no chance of evading justice.
  • Wham Line: "Jacs's son... his name's Brayden."
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Both Toni and Skye simply disappear after their respective seasons, except for a brief cameo by Toni in season two's Metamorphosis.
    • Will mentions what happened to Fletch between seasons three and four, but Rose simply disappears after season three without mention.
  • You Are in Command Now: Kaz is pushed into becoming Top Dog after Bea walks away from the position, but the beginning of Season 5 shows her already losing control of the prisoners once they realize that Joan killed the beloved Bea, with Kaz not allowing them to touch her. She loses the position after Ferguson takes control.

Alternative Title(s): Wentworth Prison

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