Wentworth’s season seven penultimate episode, the Kevin Carlin directed ‘Under Siege – Part 1,’ was televised in Australia Tuesday, 23 July 2019. With a teleplay written by John Ridley, the episode set up the season finale perfectly. The filming of the closing scene, with prison officer Sean Brody (Rick Donald) shooting someone, was intense. As television viewers, we did not get to see the person Sean shot. We only saw the blood splatter hit his face and his shirt collar. Consequently, Carlin left fans hanging for an entire week to see if Sean’s victim is Wentworth Governor Vera Bennett (Kate Atkinson).
In close proximity to where Vera is setting, is Acting Deputy Governor Linda Miles (Jacqueline Brennan) and prisoner Vicky Kosta (Artemis Ioannides). Does Sean have the balls to shoot a pregnant woman or did he kill Linda or Vicky? Will we discover who Kaz Proctor’s (Tammy Macintosh) murderer is before the closing credits? The second instalment in Wentworth’s two-part season finale, the Carlin directed ‘Under Siege – Part 2’ addresses these questions and several others.
SPOILER ALERT: If you have yet to see Wentworth’s seventh season finale, stop reading. There are spoilers ahead.
Let’s get the surprise ending out of the way before we address who Sean shot in the closing seconds of the previous episode. Did anyone else see this coming? When it comes to Wentworth, it is difficult determining whether a story arc has been put to bed or it is just festering in the background.
At the end of the fifth season, Joan Ferguson (Pamela Rabe) escapes from Wentworth in a wooden box. Unbeknownst to her, Will Jackson (Robbie Magasiva) is aware of her plan to escape. Will buries Joan alive and leaves her there to die of suffocation.
During the sixth season, because Will needs closure, Vera and Jake Stewart (Bernard Curry) accompany him to where he buried Joan. If there’s a slim chance Joan managed to escape, he wanted to know about it. When the box was opened, the three of them discover a lifeless body.
The closing seconds of Wentworth’s seventh season leaves us with more questions. Whose body was in the box? Where has Joan been for the past two years?
Who did Sean Shoot?
Who did Sean shoot? It’s one of the many questions everyone has been asking since Wentworth’s seventh season penultimate episode was televised last week. Seven days is a long time. People are wanting answers to their most pressing questions.
We do not have to wait long because the answer comes in the season finale’s pre-opening credits sequence. It’s Vicky Kosta. Along with Acting Deputy Governor Linda Miles, Vicky was sitting relatively close to Governor Vera Bennett when Sean discharges his gun. While Sean tells the acting governor that he will shoot Vera if he does not open the airlock, that is not what he does because the prison governor is his most valuable hostage. Why would he kill his most valuable hostage? That would not make any sense. Because of Linda’s gambling debts, Sean has a financial stake in keeping her alive. Subsequently, Vicky is the person he shoots because there is no reason for him to keep her alive.
The Prison is in Lockdown…
With Wentworth in full lockdown mode, Chief Commander Rachel Marsh (Nicki Wendt) of the Special Operations Group is now in the facility with her team. She takes full responsibility for the prison.
Sean tells the acting governor he will get trigger happy if he doesn’t get what he wants. Because he has already killed one prisoner, there is no reason he will not short another prisoner or even a prison officer.
In a confrontation between Rita and Sean, Anton (Meyne Wyatt) is accidentally shot but not fatally. Rita manages to escape from Sean through the ventilation ducts in the ceiling. With gunfire echoing through the office wing of the facility, Will is rightfully concerned Sean may have executed one of the hostages.
Sean once again plays the ‘Vera card.” Because Jake doesn’t want anything to happen to Vera, he offers to swap with her. Vera is too valuable a hostage for him to let go of her so easily. Does Jake seriously think Sean would take him up on his offer?
As everyone is distracted, Sue ‘Boomer’ Jenkins (Katrina Milosevic) grabs Marie and holds a shiv to her neck. In retaliation for Boomer’s actions, Sean shoots May Jenkins (Anni Finsterer) in the head. May, Boomer’s mother, wouldn’t have been in prison if she has not have attempted to steal baby-formula from a local supermarket.
Who murdered Kaz Proctor?
Because the prison is home to several murderers, with much of our attention on the inmates, very few people thought the person that slit Kaz’s throat a prison officer.
Before Kaz was murdered, cameras were turned away from the corridor so that nothing could be seen. We did not see the individual’s face because a prison-issue hoody was covering the head of the murderer. Naturally, we automatically assume the killer is one of the prisoners. Despite this, it’s not a complete stretch to think one of the prison officers. Which one has something to gain from Kaz’s death?
Will has the most to gain because he was in a sexual relationship with Marie Winter (Susie Porter). If it were known Will was taking Marie to his office in the dead of night so that he could root her, he could kiss his prison career goodbye. Will being the killer is too obvious. Wentworth teleplay writers don’t do the obvious. They lead you down a garden path, but before you know it, you’re completely lost in misdirection and innuendo.
The prisoners, especially Allie Novak (Kate Jenkinson), all think Marie killed Kaz. Marie had plenty of motive but no real opportunity. Kaz’s murderer must have been someone that knew the layout of the facility, where all the cameras were and had unrestricted access. That leads us back to the murderer being a prison officer or someone else working within the prison.
When Boomer accuses Marie of killing Kaz, Sean reveals the truth. He was the one that slit Kaz’s throat. The shock of knowing the truth ripples through the entire laundry.
Why is the Attorney General on the Scene?
Did we already know Michael Heston (David Downer) is the Attorney General? Michael is the one Marie has been blackmailing. Consequently, because of her efforts, he is the one we saw pointing a gun to her head a few episodes ago. Michael only left Marie alive because she told him other people have copies for the files she was using to blackmail him with.
Michael suggests having a helicopter land on the roof of the facility. Will concurs with the attorney general’s plan, but Rachel doesn’t like it. There is something fishy going on, but we cannot quite put our fingers on it. It’s one of those feels one can’t shake.
One of Rachel’s people escorts Rita to the CCTV room because she has intel on the situation in the laundry.
As Will directs Sean to use his swipe card and make his way to the stairs leading to the roof, even though Sean refuses to go through with that plan, an expression crosses Michael’s face which suggests he has a plan of his own in play. What is Michael doing?
Sean tells Will that he, his mean and Marie will be taking the fire escape to the roof.
Rita is an Undercover Cop…
Rita reveals herself to Will as a detective. She has been working undercover within the prison. Rita tells the acting governor that she was in Wentworth to do a job on Marie Winter. Because Marie has been pulling someone strings, high up in the police force or government, they have been protecting her.
Whoever this protector is,” Rita tells Will, “Marie had a file and she was using that to blackmail them.”
Rita thought the file was destroyed, but if Marie is still leveraging, she must have access to a back-up copy. The undercover detective surmises Sean may have given Marie access to the internet.
Will realises it was not Sean that allowed Marie computer access. It was him. When Marie was in medical, Will logged onto the internet for Marie so that she could download files which would help her with her appeal.
After Will shows Rita to which computer Marie used to access the internet, she finds the files that were being used to blackmail her protector. It doesn’t take either Will or Rita long to realise Michael is Marie’s protector.
The Baby is Coming…
Ready or not, with Vera’s waters broken, the baby is coming and there is no stopping her from making her debut. Even though Vera has six weeks until her due date, the baby is on her way.
Boomer and Liz deliver Vera’s baby as the other women make their way up to the roof to meet with the helicopter.
Vera calls the baby Grace.
Once everyone is apparently on the roof, the helicopter is ordered to back off so that the police can arrest the hostage-takers. It soon becomes evident, the absence of a gun, Sean is not on the roof. Neither is Marie and Allie.
As Sean and Marie, along with Allie, make their way through the intake corridor so that they can make their escape another way, Ruby Mitchell (Rarriwuy Hick) incites Marie to seek revenge over the death of her son. Subsequently, Marie takes Sean’s gun and goes after Ruby.
Before Marie has a chance to exact revenge on Ruby, Rita tackles her. Marie drops the gun during the fight and is shot in the leg by Allie.
Allie turns the gun on Sean.
Marie is not the only Wentworth prisoner seeking revenge during this episode. Allie seeks revenge on Sean for him killing Kaz.
Seriously Sean? Calling someone stupid as they have a loaded gun aimed at you is not exactly the brightest thing one can do. Allie shoots Sean in the head and paints the wall in an interesting shade of brain matter. The siege is over.
Sean is dead, Marie has been shot in the leg, and the rest have been arrested. That includes the attorney general.
What happened to Liz Birdsworth?
With all the stress of the siege and delivering a baby, Liz Birdsworth (Celia Ireland) suffers a massive stoke (off-camera) and is immediately sent to the psych unit because that is the only facility within the prison that has the means to look after her.
As a result of her stoke, Liz develops ‘Locked-in-Syndrome.’
“The locked-in syndrome (pseudocoma) describes patients who are awake and conscious but selectively deefferented, i.e., have no means of producing speech, limb or facial movements. Acute ventral pontine lesions are its most common cause. People with such brainstem lesions often remain comatose for some days or weeks, needing artificial respiration and then gradually wake up, but remaining paralyzed and voiceless, superficially resembling patients in a vegetative state or akinetic mutism.”
Boomer, because she does not want to see Liz needlessly suffering, suffocates Liz with a pillow. Dr Greg Miller (David de Lautour) and Linda are too late to prevent Boomer killing Liz.
Later, Rita tells Will that what Boomer did was a kindness. From Will’s expression, even though he did not verbalise an opinion, it seems he agrees.
Celia Ireland, playing Liz Birdsworth, has been with Wentworth since the first episode. In respect to prisoner cast members, with Celia exiting the series, the only original cast member remaining from the first season is Katrina Milosevic. How long will it be before Katrina decides it’s her time to leave the series? Even though seven years is a long time to devote to a series, there are instances where actors have stayed with productions for decades.
Wentworth is about to begin production on the eighth season. If all goes well, because the series is ever-evolving, Wentworth will endure for at least another three to four-season.