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The biggest shocks of Wentworth's penultimate episode

Warning: Major spoilers ahead!

By Clare Rigden
If you watched Tuesday night's Wentworth finale – in our opinion, one of the very best episodes the series has ever aired – you're probably in a deep state of shock right now.
Did we really just watch Sean Brody (Rick Donald) pull the trigger on our beloved Vera (Kate Atkinson)? Was that her blood covering his face in the grizzly final shoot? And what does any of this mean? Will the girls held hostage in the Work Unit be forced to help deliver Vera's unborn child as she lies dying?
Please, say it ain't so! We can't cope!
Before we discuss these sensational final moments, let's backtrack to where everything started to go so spectacularly wrong.
It's the day of Marie's (Susie Porter) planned escape, and Brody has asked to be transferred to the visitor's entrance in order to smuggle in two guards who are there to help her out of Wentworth.
The plan is to swap out Rita's (Leah Purcell) waiting transport "brawler" – which is there to take her to her final acquittal hearing – to use in Marie's escape, transporting her to an airfield where a plane is waiting to fly her to freedom.
Marie Winter is planning her escape.
With Rita waiting in the admissions holding cell, and Brody having successfully got Marie down to admissions, everything is going according to plan. But, just as they're ready to escort her out, Marie sees Ruby (Rarriwuy Hick) entering medical and decides she'd like to enact one final act of revenge – and this is where everything goes wrong.
She persuades Brody to loosen her cuffs, and heads back into Wentworth, presumably to use the shiv she's been hiding to kill the woman who murdered her son. But as she's heading back inside, Vera appears. Immediately suspicious of who the unfamiliar guards are, she orders Brody to explain what is going on, and to prove their identities.
Aware their plan could spectacularly unravel, Brody takes Vera hostage, with the plan to keep her quiet as they enact their escape. Matters are complicated further when Liz (Celia Ireland), who is downstairs being strip-searched after her devastating final meeting with her son Artie – where she revealed her dementia diagnosis and told him she couldn't see him anymore – runs outside in a state of panic, thinking she's being taken to the psych ward.
In the confusion, Vera, takes the opportunity to press the red button, and another guard radios lockdown to Will.
An out-of-control Sean Brody becomes desperate as his plan comes undone.
Here is when all hell breaks loose.
Unbeknownst to Brody, in the work unit, Miles (Jacqueline Brennan) and the women of H Block are trapped. But when they try to escape through the airlock with Will's help, Brody discovers their presence – and takes them all hostage.
If this was the only thing that happened in the penultimate episode, it would undoubtedly be one of the most gripping episodes of Wentworth ever. But on top of that, we have the sideline stories – not only of Vera discovering Will's (Robbie Magasiva) affair with Marie (through a genius bit of sleuthing), you've also got the return of Franky (Nicole Da Silva)!
Yep, our favourite "ex-jail bird" comes back to surprise Liz, and it's honestly one of the best things to happen this season. As always, Nicole gives a flawless performance, and we challenge anyone not to have a tear in their eye as they watch her slow realisation that her friend is more by her illness than she expected.
It's an emotional reunion for former cell buddies Liz and Franky
So what does this all mean for next week's final episode?
Presumably we'll find out what happened to Vera and the rest of the girls. Will Brody get trigger happy and pop them off one by one? We'll also learn whether Marie has been successful in her escape attempts…Watch this space.

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