Fans of Foxtel’s hit series Wentworth were left heavily disappointed last night when the season 6 finale did not live up to any expectations.
MAJOR SPOILER ALERT.
Being a huge fan of Wentworth, it pains me to have to write a negative article on my absolute favorite show. Yet, as last night’s season 6 finale was so astoundingly bad, and delivered so little of what was promised throughout, it is only fitting that the writers and everyone else involved in this debacle should hear the thoughts of a once-devoted superfan.
What were they thinking?
Ok, we understand that Wentworth is finishing in 2019. And we have gauged that Pamela Rabe, for whatever reason, was not written into the show this year. I’m sure we will find out why eventually – hopefully sooner than later.
This does NOT mean that you can use the ghost of one of Australian TV’s most iconic characters to amateurishly ‘dead end’ a season-long plot – one that openly teased her return each and every episode. Not only was it unprofessional, it was an outright insult to fans, and was also completely disingenuous in every regard.
“it was an outright insult to fans, and was also completely disingenuous in every regard.”
They promised Joan Ferguson (Pamela Rabe) from the beginning. Everyone was waiting for the Freak to reappear. There was no closure on her death in season 5, and this issue has been – without any doubt – what has kept a great portion of fans on board after a massive character shake-up.
In the first full-length season 6 teaser (below) Ferguson features heavily, and the words: “sooner or later they’ll find Ferguson, and she’ll be back” are the premise for the whole bit. What the hell happened to the integrity in THAT plot-line? (Source: Foxtel).
The Freak’s return was continuously dangled like a carrot in front of the loyal fan base throughout the season – then – just disregarded entirely in the most recent season finale last night. Does anyone else feel suckered?
We got to know and love the new characters, and they were given their ‘Freak-free’ space to grow, punch, scratch and kill each other. All Wentworth fans accepted this; with the majority of viewers thinking they are actually quite good. Not as good as Franky, Bea, Jacs Holt or the Freak – but good enough.
In a single astoundingly bad episode, Wentworth has gone from being a potential TV series of the ages, that could even be held in the same regard as Breaking Bad or Orange is the New Black – but now – with a single, selfish, completely ridiculous, yet pivotal plot mistake, it has relegated itself to being almost below Neighbours in dramatic status.
This was the penultimate series finale. Something major should have transpired. You can’t do this to your audience and expect anyone with a brain to stick by you if you totally soil this part of the show’s life-cycle in such a deplorable fashion. You can bring the Freak back next year – but it’s too little too late now. We all waited a long time for something – anything. The season 6 end results were simply not good enough.
“The Freak’s return was continuously dangled like a carrot in front of the loyal fan base throughout the season – then – just disregarded entirely.”
Wentworth is an ever-happening anthology, with a new chapter every year. Each chapter should play off the last and not leave fans pessimistic or negatively polarised. It hasn’t gone in that downward direction before, why start now?
As a quick comparison, and as a reference of how a great show should end, we can briefly look to the perfect scripting of Breaking Bad season 4 (also the second-last season), where each season fed off the last – with this second-last season also being the best. If there was ever perfect pacing and storytelling – Breaking Bad season 4 was it…
In the season 4 finale, Walt and Gus were desperately trying to kill each other. Gus had taken on an almost unkillable, all-knowing ‘Prince of Darkness’ type of persona. Then, in a brutal, yet jaw-dropping and audience-pleasing finish to the penultimate series, Walt blows Gus up with an ingenious plan, all culminating in a now-iconic scene in which Gus takes his last few steps of life with half his face blown off. It was the end-result of genius story-crafting and performance, and it was EPIC. It properly dispensed with the ‘Big Bad’ and left plenty of room for the final series.
How a pivotal, fan-rewarding scene in a penultimate season’s finale should be… (Source: AMC).
You had your chance at your ‘Gus moment’ last night Wentworth. The ‘Big Bad’ could have been dispensed also, and you could have ruled out any and all damage control afterward. What the hell was THAT?
You’d think that a show that previously was so meticulously crafted and passionately written would deliver something truly special. I’m going to throw it out here, right now, and say it was the BIGGEST kick in the guts in Australian TV history.
“the BIGGEST kick in the guts in Australian TV history.”
Derek Channing shoots a character who was basically an extra in the head – but the whole time you were meant to think this nobody was the Freak? They even went so far as to give her the Freak’s bun and gloves. Seriously?
Disappointment and scorn have engulfed social media as a result. It started within five minutes of the episode finishing. There are fake fan accounts, trying to put out fires by putting up their ‘fave Franky moments’ and such – but no amount of bullshittery is going to undo what has been done.
This is by no means a fault of the actors, and nothing can be taken from them. These guys are so brilliant and talented it’s truly inspiring some nights to watch them do what they do best. Yet, they have no artistic license in regards to the almighty script. They get a job, they read it, they memorise it, they perform it. I actually feel sorry for them having to roll with such badly-ended storytelling.
In an article I wrote yesterday, I proposed the possibility of a Last Jedi ending, where both continuance and pleasing the fans were thrown out the window. Last night, I’m sorry to say, we got that ending – and it’s a godamn shame.
I personally won’t be watching 2019’s final season of Wentworth. I’m out. Someone else can do my Wentworth duties. Thanks for the memories.
2.5 out of 5 stars. It would have been 4 if it had of been Ferguson holding the gun instead of Channing. It only crossed the ‘pass’ line because of the actors, old and new, who are faultless across the board.
So disappointing, so forgettable, no ‘Gus’ moments, no Joan moments. Bah humbug.