Baby joy, a new top dog and volatile power struggles: Everything you need to know about Wentworth season 8

It's a new-look Wentworth as season eight kicks off.

By Amber Giles
Three people dead, one baby born and a prison left shaken after a siege is the a very basic way of describing the jaw-dropping finale for Wentworth season seven.
But all fans of this Australian prison drama know that nothing about this show is ever basic. The two-part finale had viewer's blood pressure sky-rocketing and hearts pumping as they watched on to see who out of the teal gang would survive.
It has been almost a year since fans last watched this TV WEEK Logie-winning drama and the start of season eight doesn't disappoint, with a whole new Wentworth ready to deliver for 2020.
We get a glimpse of the new-world order inside of the prison, and it starts with the normally shy and quiet Allie Novak (Kate Jenkinson) stepping up to the role of top dog.
The former prostitute has gained the respect of her inmates after she helped end the siege by shooting dead rogue prison officer Sean Brody (Rick Donald) and shooting (but not killing) her former lover Marie Winter (Susie Porter) for being involved in the siege and attempted escape.
Despite rocking a new look with peroxide blonde hair and an edgier attitude; Allie isn't completely confident in her new role.
"Allie definitely feels the pressure of being appointed top dog," Kate says.
"She knows the responsibility and the consequences, and she's seen how tragically it ends for most top dogs, so there is an enormous weight on her shoulders."
This season, Allie's in charge! (Image: Wentworth)
Allie has long been a follower and not a leader, but this time she is using her strength to show her fellow inmates and Governor Will Jackson (Robbie Magasiva) that she can step up to the role, no matter how unsure she feels about it.
"I don't think she's trying to prove a point to anyone but herself," Kate says.
"She's surprising herself with her own strength and ability. Ironically, it's under the most oppressive circumstances that she's thriving."
Elsewhere in the prison, Boomer (Katrina Milosevic) is still coming to terms with the fact she killed her best friend Liz (Celia Ireland) and Ruby is trying to find her way now that her sister Rita (Leah Purcell) is in protective custody.

What happens with Marie and Will?

Despite it being more than three months since the siege, Will Jackson is still nursing a heavy heart and a bruised ego.
"Will is still in shock that this could have happened on his watch and that Marie [Susie Porter] was the main instigator," Robbie Magasiva, 50, tells TV WEEK.
In season seven, inmate Marie Winter and governor Will were in an intimate relationship, but Will was betrayed by his lover when she tried to escape.
"He's angry, plus has a lot of guilt for what the inmates and Vera were put through," Robbie says. "Will is usually the protector and he feels he's failed."
As for the romance continuing?
"Marie is in the slot – and the way he's feeling at the opening of season eight, he'd be happy for her to stay there," Robbie explains.
"He feels completely betrayed."
Was Marie using Will just to try to escape?

Evil returns

A new season means new prisoners, and rolling into Wentworth this year is a former top dog.
"Some of you will be familiar with Lou Kelly she is volatile and fearless," Will Jackson tells the other officers before Lou arrives in the prison.
"Any trouble, we need to be ready, lets show this new government and general manager we can handle trouble makers," Will says.
Lou Kelly, played by the powerful Kate Box is caught in a smash and grab at a local jewellery store with her partner Reb (Zoe Terakes)
"Don't worry babe, this place is a walk in the park," Lou tells her partner Reb as the head into the prison together.
After an altercation on the bus in, Lou is already sent to the slot and Reb, who is on a hormone program to help her transition to a man, is separated from her.
"Lou swore she'd never be back at Wentworth and is raging to be back behind bars, but having spent most of her adult life in prison, she knows the place inside out and how to survive it," Kate Box says.
"This time though, she's brought with her the love of her life and the shame, guilt and sadness Lou feels is inescapable."
This season of the show is set to be the most dramatic yet. (Image: Wentworth)
Despite being a top dog in her previous prison life, it's not what Lou is seeking out – for now.
"Lou has no desire to be Top Dog. Been there done that. She's just gotta keep Reb safe and Top Dog is a target on your back," Kate says. "But Ali? Lou doesn't see that lasting."
It doesn't take long for the word to spread on Lou's history with the other prisoners.
"She was top dog before Bea before Jacks, she is called 'fingers' cause if you cause trouble she cuts them off," Boomer warns her mates.
So who will be the first one to ruffle feather with Fingers Kelly?

Baby joy

In the midst of the horror that was the siege in the season seven finale, some joy also arrived.
Vera had her baby on the roof of the prison, with inmates Boomer and Liz helping her deliver baby Grace.
When we first see Vera this season, she is a different person. She is deeply entrenched in maternity leave life and utterly obsessed with her little girl.
"Vera is approaching motherhood with a mix of wonder and love, fatigue and abject terror," Kate Atkinson, who plays the former Governor tells TV WEEK.
'But, while she might not be a confident mother, she is totally in love with Gracie and surprised that some things do come naturally to her.'
Vera is embracing motherhood but Ann (far left) wants her back in uniform. (Image: Wentworth)
It doesn't take long for the new General Manager of Wentworth Ann Reynold (Jane Hall) to be chatting to Vera about her possible return, despite it only being three months. But Vera can't decide if she wants to return to her old life just yet.
"Being the victim of less than ideal parenting, Vera feels the fear of failure as a mother very deeply," Kate explains.
"So, though she would love to keep serving the prison (and possibly her own need for authority), I think she's worried about doing the wrong thing by her daughter."
In classic Vera style, she is conflicted and wants to help the prisoners and her friend Will Jackson to make the prison as best it can be.
"Vera still feels a great sense of responsibility to the women of Wentworth and having worked so hard to become Governor inevitably feels a pull to return," Kate says.
Wentworth, Tuesday, 8.30pm, FOX SHOWCASE

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