What rises Wentworth above just being another show about people in prison is the characters. They are not stereotypes of those incarcerated but could be real individuals who made mistakes and are now answering for them.
One character who has made an impact on Wentworth since the beginning is Francesca (Franky) Doyle. She is a woman who may appear tough on the outside but on the inside hides unresolved issues from her abandonment by her father as a child. As Wentworth Correctional’s top dog, she sought to protect the women of her crew. But ironically, the women in authority like ex-Governor Erica Davidson and prison psychologist Bridget Westfall wanted to protect her to the extent of putting their jobs on the line by pursuing an against regulation romantic relationship with her.
At the end of Season 3, Franky was paroled. I had mixed emotions about this. On the one hand, I was happy for her and wanted to see what she’d make of her life on the outside. But on the other, I was concerned that a freed Franky would mean a limited story for this great character as all the drama happens behind bars. I watched Season 4 and enjoyed seeing new prisoner Joan Ferguson continued plotting, new governor Vera and Bea Smith battling Kaz Proctor to retain control as top dog but something or rather, someone was missing. As I feared, Franky had no place in this action and was absent for several episodes.
But then Ferguson’s botched murder attempt of Bea and the introduction of Jhiana’s son Shane brings Franky back into the fold. As Bea’s woman on the outside and now a paralegal, Franky helps by learning the plan Ferguson has for Shane. Franky is also determined not to let a good kid like Shane go down the wrong path.
Wentworth and viewers need Franky Doyle and the acting talents of Nicole da Silva.
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