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

Friday, January 23, 2009

Prison Break: Greatness Achieved

I’ve watched operations on Nip/Tuck. I’ve seen brutal murders on Bones. I watched the Tigers win the World Series, but the kiss between Gretchen and General Krantz may be the creepiest, most disturbing thing on TV since Dennis Franz in the shower. Well, OK, so maybe it’s a toss-up with the Tigers.

As the episode opens, Linc is torturing Wyatt, trying to get him to call the General and tell him that Michael and Linc are dead. Mahone waits in the wings, knowing that he’ll get his shot at Wyatt after the call is made. Linc’s methods prove unsuccessful. Sara takes over with a more gentle approach, but Wyatt tries to sway her to his side. Self finally arrives with a sound editor, and they doctor Wyatt’s recorded calls to get what they need. Once the General buys into it, Mahone takes over, torturing Wyatt until he makes an apologetic call to Mahone’s wife. After that, Mahone leads him to the water’s edge with a cement block. He tries to persuade Mahone that they’re cut from the same cloth, but after about two words, Mahone tosses him into the water.

The police arrive at GATE to investigate Andy’s disappearance. Since Bagwell had issues with him, he is the first one questioned, as Michael and the crew start to make their way through the tunnel. Bagwell finally gets a free moment and persuades TrishAnne to doctor Andy’s sales records. He takes them to the CEO, telling him that Andy was laundering money, and it’s better to keep the police out of it. Bagwell feeds him a story to tell the cops.

Gretchen infiltrates the General’s lair. As she holds a gun on him, he clears the room. Once alone, he calmly takes the gun from her before that kiss. The others return to the room, where the General announces Gretchen’s addition to the team. He also orders Scylla moved by the end of the following day.

Michael, Linc, Sucre and Bellick head to the tunnel, following Whistler’s map. Unfortunately, there is an X, signifying a dead end that may be covered on the pages that Gretchen had. They decide to venture on anyway. The X turns out to be a conduit for the city’s water supply, a pipe that blocks their path. Michael sends Linc and Bellick to disrupt the water flow, while he and Sucre fashion a pipe thet will get them across. As Linc and Bellick leave, Michael starts to have double vision and motor skill issues, symptoms of a potential tumor. He swears Sucre to secrecy just before the others return. Linc and Bellick brace the pipe from the inside, then climb up to pull it through. But before the pipe is in place, the support breaks. With moments left, Bellick makes the decision that since he is the most expendable, he’ll crawl back inside to brace the pipe. As he gets it through, the water flow resumes.

In the first episode, the myth of Scylla was discussed, including that six of Jason’s sailors needed to be sacrificed. Roland was killed in the last episode, now Bellick. Make your bets on the other four. I have to say, though, that Wade Williams provided a damn noble end to the character, considering where he came from in season one. He even discusses the character before his exit, from an abusive guard to a bounty hunter to a prisoner. He’s been a menace, he’s been support and he’s been comic relief. If he’s really gone (and I have to qualify, with this show) Bellick has been a great character.

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