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

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Prison Break: Quiet Riot

OK, so apparently they’ve given up on actual show titles, and from now on, I’ll just use 80s bands, is that it? Actually, this association points out how important music is in building suspense. Don’t believe it? Try watching The Omen, hitting the mute button and whistling the Three Stooges theme. Suspense, double crosses, and Gretchen in a schoolgirl outfit. How can you miss?

So in order to get to the Scylla nerve center, the crew has to get through a room with pressure, heat and sound sensors. But instead of making the scene a Mission: Impossible retread, Michael has the crew construct a kind of suspension bridge, periodically using liquid nitrogen to cool the room. Nice variation. No dialogue for this entire scene, just minor assembly noises and that music.

Meanwhile, Bagwell takes a couple of provocative pictures of Gretchen to send to General Krantz. She sends one with a message to meet her. Defying Lisa’s suspicions, the General heads to the meet. To Gretchen’s dismay, he leaves the card behind. He pulls a gun and orders her out of his life.

As Bagwell wrestles with the temptation to settle into Cole Pfeiffer’s life, he and Gretchen plant a phony meet with Feng. Trishanne and Self head to the location, only to be abducted by Feng’s men. Gretchen and Bagwell plan to use them as bargaining chips to get Michael to hand over Scylla.

Interesting to see the resurgence of women in the mix. Veronica was a key component to the first season, but Sara has been the only prominent female role on the show. Sofia Lugo was a dud last season, and Gretchen had only a half-season to work with. Now TrishAnne, Gretchen and Lisa all seem to be enjoying some pretty hefty portions of the storyline.

Michael, by the way, decides to put off his brain surgery so he won’t leave the team hanging. He crosses the bridge to Scylla’s glass wall, fighting mental issues as he approaches. He cuts through the glass and crosses to the unit, but as the episode closes, the final alarm signals General Krantz, who mobilizes his forces and heads for the basement.

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