Queen Bea’s (Danielle McCormack) attempted sting against Joan Ferguson (Joan Rabe) proved deadly…and the queen was gone. How would Wentworth survive the loss of its “Queen Bea”?
This article contains spoilers so if you haven’t seen Wentworth Season 5, please do not continue reading
When Bea Smith met her demise at the end of Wentworth Season 4, it was a sad event for both the women at Wentworth Correctional who were devastated to lose a beloved member of their family and for fans who couldn’t imagine what the show would be like without her. I can’t speak for every viewer of Wentworth, but I wondered how the show would handle Bea’s absence. I remember thinking to myself “It’s a shame Franky got paroled, it would be great to have her back in the thick of things at the prison.” Well, I guess the correctional Gods a.k.a the writers heard me because before I could say ‘Top Dog’, the bitch (Not a slam against Franky, though she probably wouldn’t mind being called bitch, but actually a take on the title of the second episode of Season 5 “The Bitch Is Back”) was back.
Franky Doyle (Nicole DaSilva) was adjusting well to life on the outside. She was an assistant at a legal aid office and was great at her job; earning a promotion for her excellent work. She and Bridget Westfall were living together and madly in love. Life was good…that is, until one Mike Pennisi re-entered the picture. As viewers remember, Pennisi was the reason for Franky’s imprisonment as Doyle’s assault of him (throwing a frying pan of boiling hot grease in his face) was why she ended up at Wentworth.
A term of Franky’s parole was that Doyle keep her distance from Pennisi, which shouldn’t be hard to do as why would Franky even want to see the man? And also, why would Pennisi want to see the woman who had disfigured him? So imagine Franky’s shock when Mike Pennisi approaches her in the Season 5 premiere episode “Scars” wanting to grab a coffee. Franky declines his invitation at first, but then against her better judgment, meets with him. Pennisi explains he harbored bitterness against her for a long time but finally made peace and was able to get on with his life. That’s great Mike, enjoy the rest of your life and that should have been the end of it. But Pennisi began calling Franky asking to see her again. Or even talk with her on the phone sometimes. When Franky refused, Pennisi began threatening and stalking her. After a physical altercation in which Franky was able to get away from him, Mike Pennisi was later shot to death and Franky Doyle was arrested for his murder. Viewers later learned the real murderer was prisoner Iman, Mike Pennisi’s girlfriend who was angered by his obsession with Doyle.
Poor Franky was back at Wentworth Correctional. This was bad for her but great for fans. We no longer had Bea Smith, but Franky being back helped to dull the pain of missing Bea. Additionally, pairing Franky with Bea’s “seahorse” Allie Novak (Kate Jenkinson) in an escape plan was a stroke of genius. I’m glad the writers didn’t have a romantic relationship between Franky and Allie as I feel it wouldn’t have held true for the characters who were in love with Bridget and Bea.
As Season 5 concluded, Franky succeeded in her great “crate-escape” and she was off to obtain evidence needed to clear her name. I can’t wait for Wentworth Season 6 to see what happens next!
Last year I wrote that in Season 4 there wasn’t enough Franky Doyle. So glad this was changed for Season 5. Franky is my favorite Wentworth character; I love her strength and endurance as well as her smart-ass, bad-ass qualities. She’s a fighter that won’t let anything stop her. But she’s also a loyal and caring friend, who despite her own problems tries to be there for Liz, Boomer, Doreen and whoever else needs her.
Wentworth and viewers need Franky Doyle and the acting talents of Nicole DaSilva. In my opinion, she’s one of the reasons Wentworth is the powerful series that it is.
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