"In cooking, as in all the arts, simplicity is a sign of perfection." - Curnonsky

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Prison Break: Under and Out

"Welcome to the coal mine, canary." - T-Bag

And the escape is on! I honestly can't say why I like this season of Prison Break so much. It's far from being the edgy show that it was during its first season and at the same time it's miles ahead of last season's manhunt mess. Maybe it's simply due to the fact that there literally isn't much else on TV right now and as a result, it's good by default. But after this episode, I'm leaning more towards the unpredictability factor.

Let me clarify that though. In season one, there was a cohesive plan from the get go and everything that happened felt logical as Scofield's plan unfolded. I referred to season two as "a mess." It was. However...it was a cohesive mess. As crappy as season two was, everything made sense and it played out pretty much as you expected. After this episode, season three has officially gained "Oh my god, I can't believe it got renewed" status. Not only has this season been all over the map, but I'm starting to get the feeling that I'm not the only one scratching my head. I'm not sure the good folks behind this show have any idea as to where this season is headed. I love it!

Honestly, had Prison Break been canceled after season two there would have been plenty of people angry... but let's be real -- it would have been forgotten pretty fast. But it wasn't canned and suddenly this fading tale needed a new direction. And that's where it all started to fall apart, but in a good way...

So here I am, eleven episodes in (due to the strike, there are only two left) and the escape has begun. There's no real plan other than "dig a hole and run," the conspiracy feels extremely loose at best (and even that's generous), there's a handful of new characters that still haven't really made a mark, and I seriously can't wait to find out what happens next! How is that possible?

First, some catch up. Michael and his merry band of inmates now consists of the usual crowd (Bellick, Mahone, T-Bag) and some newcomers to the art of escaping (Lechero, Whistler, McGrady). Sammy is dead and out of the way, they've re-dug their tunnel, and it's time to leave before the ground caves in and the guards notice a giant sinkhole in Sona's front yard. Hence, the plan I previously mentioned, "dig a hole and run."

Plenty of questions still loom. Most importantly, what does Whistler know? That is, besides the ominous "coordinates." My prediction? He's not who he says he is. For this to pay-off and be marginally interesting before the finale, he has to be far more powerful than we've been led to believe. I'm hoping he actually works for The Company (not just a "for hire" Company fisherman) and ends up being higher on the ladder than Susan -- unknown to her, of course. That'd be a nice turn, especially to see her reaction.
This episode had some fun moments which helped with the absurdity of it all. Seeing Bellick and T-Bag scramble to make alliances was humorous. Like it's going to matter once they get out. They have 30 seconds before those lights flick back on. Someone's gotta get shot...right?

Speaking of those lights, how exactly did Sucre get busted for that? Did Susan/Gretchen put out a fake warrant for him? She must have because he's been working for Sona for a while now and nothing happened. I'm betting...everyone else will get out and he'll be thrown in. Michael's conscience will love that.

More thoughts...

T-Bag can quote bible verse. Of course...

I mentioned Michael's conscience, but it's going to be interesting to see if he actually does something to hinder the escape of one of the "real" criminals.

Are the coordinates Whistler wrote down actually worth anything? Were they real? Does it matter that he ripped them in half?

Mahone's comment about T-Bag being inbred was great.

Bellick: "Does anybody know Spanish for 'don't shoot?'"

Select moments that just made me giggle: Lincoln hijacking a school-bus, Michael calling the 1-800-Generator number, and Bellick smearing honey all over an oil-drum lid.

I really don't know what's going to happen next. At one point, Susan said she wasn't the bad guy, but is The Company's role in this season going to tie into the overarching mythology of the whole show? What do they want? Why Whistler? They seem powerful enough. Why not just send some black-ops team in there to bust him out? Seems a bit more guaranteed than Scofield.

Regardless, that's all that matters now with these two final episodes coming up. I don't care about what happens to the other inmates. I don't care about the budding romance between Lincoln and Sofia. I don't care about McGrady's family reunion or Mahone's drug recovery or Bellick's sorry existence. I don't care if Sucre gets tossed in Sona. I'm not even sure that I care if L.J. lives or dies. All I care about is Whistler. What does he know? It better be good

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