Tuesday, March 20, 2007

“You don’t take a piss without a plan” – Prison Break

I don’t have a whole lot to say about this episode. It was yet another hour of filler, but I’m not really bothered to rip into it (at this point I'm almost amused at how much Break gets away with episodes where absolutely nothing happens). Parts of it were decently entertaining, but overall it exemplified all of this season’s crippling flaws – a shame, since the last episode had done so well in overcoming them.

Michael and Lincoln escape to Panama (which also gave the episode its name – can’t they ever come up with interesting titles on this show?), sans Sarah who's picked up by the police before she reaches the boat. Michael is suitably devastated, and starts whining about all the horrible things that have happened and all the lives ruined because of his plan. I commend the writers for showing Michael’s regrets rather than sweeping the consequences of his actions under the rug, but at this point it’s getting extremely dull. This season’s eleventh episode, ‘Bolshoi Booze’, covered the issue in such detail (even with flashbacks to every single person they’ve screwed over) that it really would have been fine to just leave it there and get on with stuff.

But then, getting on with stuff hasn’t exactly been the show’s strong-suit this season. The only interesting development of ‘Panama’ was the conclusion(?) of C-Note’s saga. In exchange of testifying against Mahone, he and his family were put into the witness protection program and allowed to walk free. I kept waiting for something horrible to happen that would shatter this sunny outlook, but the moment never came – maybe the writers really did decide to give C-Note a happy ending? We shall see. If they did, it’s admirable on one level, but on another it’s dreadfully boring and totally out of place. Guess which of those levels Prison Break has always operated on. Yep. Sigh.

Elsewhere, everyone is converging on T-Bag. Michael is after him to make up for past sins, Sucre and Bellick (an unlikely team up that’s not quite as clever as the writers seem to think it is) just want Westmoreland’s $5 million, and Mahone is drawing Michael there in a last-ditch attempt to catch him. This all felt very similar to how the whole cast converged on Reynolds in ‘Wash’, another hour of filler. Sure, we’re assured a more satisfying instalment next week, just as was the case with ‘Sweet Caroline’, before what should be a very interesting finale. But I still can’t quite forgive the crippling lack of action in ‘Panama’. As the final two episodes will almost certainly be action-packed, I feel compelled to stress at this point that Prison Break has destroyed any trace of tension or excitement in most of its storylines by dragging things out to an unreasonable degree. As such, even if the conclusions reached at the end of season two are satisfying, the season as a whole has been pretty damn atrocious. Which is a shame.

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