Tuesday, September 18, 2007

"Never use my floor as a bathroom!":Prison Break

Previously on "Michael Scofield: Beyond Thunderdome": The events in Panama came to a conclusion, with almost the entire cast either dying or getting sent to the Panamanian Sona prison.

It is back to basics for Prison Break with much of the show taking place in an actual prison again. The current whereabouts of Sara and LJ, Lincoln's son, are unknown, Lincoln and Sucre are free, Sucre's former fiance Maricruz is being held captive somewhere, and the rest (Michael, Bellick, T-Bag, and Mahone) are all rotting in prison. We also learned in the season finale last year that Michael is perhaps generetically engineered to escape from prison, if I took the implication right. That sounds to me, if scientists were really able to have that kind of power, especially in the early 1970s when Michael must have been born, to be a really, really specific application of genetic manipulation.

We learn that Sona is not your ordinary prison; a year before the current time period, there was a riot there so horrible that they pulled the guards out. Now it is a lawless prison, where people are sent to die. Now, this makes me wonder: "How do they get food and supplies?" or "Doesn't that probably violate several United Nations regulations?" but then I remember what show I am watching. In any case the prison isn't really lawless; there is an interior building where the guards will not go, but it is surrounded by an outer gate where visitors can come and where guards patrol or shoot prisoners trying to escape (conveniently this happens once in the first episode). The interior is not really lawless either as there is a de-facto leader, Lechero (Robert Wisdom), who with his gang runs the interior, hoards the meager supplies given to them by the outside, and sets up gladiator-style fights between any inmates who have a dispute.

The events of the episode are not all that important to require explaining, except how it applies to what is being set up for the remainder of the season, so I'll limit myself to that. Lechero takes an immediate disliking to Michael, and gets one of his goons to get into a gladiator fight with him; Michael wins with the help of Mahone, who wants his help breaking out. Obviously Michael and Lechero will be bumping heads frequently throughout the season. Additionally T-Bag, not too surprisingly, attaches himself to Lechero in a rather pathetic manner; I am sure he will use his position to try to get revenge on Michael at some point. Finally and most importantly: even though Lincoln, with the help of the American Embassy in Panama, convinces the government to give Michael a transfer to a less dangerous prison, he has to stay. This is because the Company is apparently holding LJ and Sara hostage and will kill them both if Michael does not arrange another escape which includes a man named James Whisler. However will Michael break out of a prison without his tatoos? Well he is born for this sort of thing, after all.

Now, everybody knows that Prison Break is not a good show. Except I think it is worth watching for a couple of reasons. First of all, they are back in prison where the characters will actually have a chance to interact with each other, which was the main problem of season two. In season two so many of the plot threads that followed the individual escapees were just distracting from the overall arc of the show or if not that, then just rather dull and boring. The second reason to watch Prison Break is that it is the best accidental comedy on television right now outside of CSI: Miami. It is so self-serious that it is difficult not to laugh when Characters! Are! In! Immediate! Peril! or there is a Shocking! Twist! that you called several minutes before it happened. That is why I really watch it. So hopefully I will enjoy this season more than last.

A couple footnotes for fans: even though Agent Kellerman was shot off-screen, probably making you wonder if he was dead: he is. The actor has taken on a regular role on Private Practice so I do not think he will be coming back. Also, unfortunately, Sara (Sarah Wayne Calles) will no doubt die before Michael sees her, as her name has been taken off the opening credits and she has reportedly been let go of the series for good. She had a pregnancy, so missing a lot of the show is understandable, but for good? Damn you, Prison Break producers!

Prison Break plot hole of the week: Why does a man in what appears to be solitary confinement have more food than people who have been there for 'days and days'? Infact, why is he there in the first place? I suppose he angered Lechero enough to put him in solitary confinement, but was pals enough with the leader to score a food supply in addition to not being set up to die in a gladiator fight like anyone else would be.

Prison Break funny moment of the week: Bellick, completely out of character, screaming "Noooooo!" when a man he barely knows is shot escaping.


Joey Sims said...

That was enjoyable enough to keep me watching. I figure it'll go the path of season two - starts out fun, then gradually gets kinda dull. But even at its silliest, PB always has a bizarre charm.

Carrie said...

That was the most ridiculous thing I've ever seen, and I loved every second of it.

I hate to say this because it sounds so "shipper" (and I assure you, it's not) but I am really concerned that they actually are going to kill Sara. If Sara is dead, what does Michael have to live for, really? Why wouldn't he just give up altogether? I know this show is unrealistic but at least Michael's character motivation has always been consistently solid. Also, I just like the actress and would be sad to see her go.

Dan said...

PB's a great deal of fun, don't be too harsh on it! I really enjoyed s1 and the first half of s2. S3's opener was very entertaining and I'm interested to see where it goes.

I like the actors and get a perverted kick from seeing the writers scramble to keep things going. It knows it's silly, but revels in it. Oh, and William Fichtner is just superb. Here's hoping Robert Knepper gets his s1 groove back too.