Wentworth’s Vera Bennett always seemed like a fish in a water of sharks as an officer at a correctional facility.
This article contains spoilers so if you haven’t seen Wentworth, please do not continue reading.
When we first meet Deputy Governor Vera Bennett in the pilot, she seems to be an almost docile law enforcement officer. She is sympathetic to new prisoner Bea Smith and appears unaware of the situation (i.e. Franky’s drug smuggling ring) going on inside the prison.
Then, Governor Meg Jackson is killed during a prison riot. Vera temporarily steps in as governor. She is more than capable of handling the administrative tasks associated with the position. However, the prison board isn’t confident in her abilities to become governor permanently and she is replaced by Erica Davidson. Although this must have felt like a slap in the face for Vera, she maintains her professionalism and supports Erica as her second in command.
At the start of Season 2, there’s a new governor in town. Joan Ferguson arrives and from the beginning, viewers realize she is a hard nosed task master who makes sure the women at Wentworth Correctional (and her subordinates) fall into line. Ferguson offers to mentor Vera, promising if Bennett sticks with her, she’ll go far.
Vera pledges allegiance to the new governor and begins to overlook the bad actions Joan Ferguson commits. But when Vera is taken hostage by prisoners who hold a needle to her throat unless Governor Ferguson unlocks the gate and learns Ferguson refused, she realizes Joan Ferguson doesn’t care about her. This opens Vera’s eyes and she begins to question her loyalty to Ferguson.
I believe Vera is a good officer. She follows orders and tries to do what’s right for the prison and the prisoners. I am doubtful whether she is governor material, but then again, I wasn’t that keen of Erica Davidson’s leadership.
And lets not even discuss the Ferguson administration.
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