A shocking plea comes through at an awaited trial hearing. Top dog, Lou (Kate Box), rallies the inmates against Rita (Leah Purcell), creating tension amongst H Block. Ann (Jane Hall) forces Vera’s (Kate Atkinson) hand when she lashes out. Judy (Vivienne Awosoga) pulls the plug on a devious scheme but Lou restores control.
There is something very satisfying about watching Ferguson (Pamela Rabe) sat in the hot seat in front of the jury. Always with tricks up her sleeve, the former governor is sure to slither her way out scot free as she usually does. At this point in the series, Ferguson’s constant evasion of punishment is somewhat tiring to see but holds the anticipation of what she could do on the loose. This episode, however, sees Ferguson have a surprising change of heart, but what are her motives?
Vera is observing the governor-turned-inmate closely, ready to do anything if it means the latter receives her comeuppance – even breaking the law. It’s not just Ferguson that requires Vera’s supervision anymore; Ann finds herself finally being pushed over the edge (or rather jumps) with her vendetta against Judy. The scene in question isn’t as brutal as it earlier altercations, yet Judy’s agonising cries for help along with the sight of Linda (Jacqueline Brennan) retreating from the room are harrowing.
Meanwhile, word spreads like wildfire around the prison and Rita is in trouble. The entire season has clearly been building towards a fight for power between Rita and Lou and now, the top dog has pushed a step too far. Of all the characters, Rita is the best match for Lou. The Reckoning emphasises how calculated she is compared to Lou’s brashness, suggesting Rita will use her wits to take down her opponent. It’s certainly been a while since two alphas went head to head on the show so the thirst is real for everyone.
Righting her wrongs with a moment of redemption, Marie (Susie Porter) takes a stand. Sharing a tender scene with Allie (Kate Jenkinson), Marie’s development over the last four seasons shines. From a villain to the anti-hero, Porter is a star in her role. Throughout the episode, Ruby (Rarriwuy Hick) and Marie clash over where loyalties lie. The pair have history, Ruby’s reservations are logical, but the team-up potential is appealing. Besides, it wouldn’t be the first time two enemies put their differences aside to take on a greater threat.
Who doesn’t love Linda ‘Smiles’? Jacqueline Brennan’s portrayal of the hard-boiled officer is a highlight of the show. Always providing the entertainment, Brennan’s dry delivery and stoic expressions ease the tone, particularly in the darker, more serious sequences. One of the best lines in Wentworth’s nine year run comes at the discovery of a crucial character death. Brennan utters the phrase nonchalantly, as if the prison won’t face any repercussions of yet another crime within the walls. Linda ‘Smiles’ supremacy, okay.
For a penultimate episode (and in the final season at that), The Reckoning fails to hit its mark. Nothing builds, tension is delayed until the conclusion and there are a considerable amount of plots to wrap up. If it weren’t supposed to carry the weight of next week’s finale, episode 9 is a solid addition to the season.