Prison Break – Season 3, Episode 4 – Good Fences

October 12, 2007

If you told me at the beginning of the season that Prison Break was going to once again become one of the most fun, pure escapist show on the air, I would have thought you were nuts, particularly after the contrived ending of last season that put Michael back in jail. But here we are at the 4th episode of the season and this show is in no danger whatsoever of falling off my list. It doesn’t hurt, of course, that this season seems to have the lamest new shows in recent memory. But that’s neither here nor there.

It’s kind of too bad that I stay on top of TV news and knew that the actress wasn’t coming back since it ruined what could have been a good surprise twist. Instead, as I predicted last week, we find out before the first commercial break that Sarah’s head is in the box that was sent to Linc. What was somewhat surprising, but actually made perfect sense to the story, was Linc not telling Michael. Given how reluctant Michael was to help when he thought it was only Linc’s son who was captured it seemed to be the right move.

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Prison Break – Season 3, Episode 3 – Call Waiting

October 3, 2007

All last year I complained about how silly this show was and in many cases that it was frankly boring.  And then after a couple of bad episodes just as I would be about to drop the show, there would be a good episode or 2 and my countdown would restart.

Well I’m done complaining.  The show has captured my interest again.  Given the let down the big conspiracy from the last 2 years was, I’m not confident that the current one involving Whistler is going to be that much better.  Do I really care why they want to find where Whistler took someone in a fishing boat?  That being said, I don’t think I care.

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Prison Break – Season 3, Episode 2 – Fire/ Water

September 27, 2007

I actually enjoyed this week’s Prison Break.  I know I sound surprised but the show has been so hit and miss you never know which side it’s going to lean toward.  Before I jump into what I like about the show, I’m going to get what I disliked out of the way.  One word – Sucre.  With all the new characters and still so many of the old around, he seems completely unnecessary.

Enough of the bad, on to the good.  First, the show looks great in high-def.   It really enhances the experience when it looks this good and takes advantage of the widescreen.  As for the storyline, the show feels like it’s raised the stakes this season.  Unlike last season’s disjointed chase across America, the Panama jail feels serious – from Bellick in a diaper to the lack of water to the absence of guards to Lechero, the informal head of the prison (the amazing Bunny Colvin from the Wire) who keeps these hardened criminals in line.  The events set up a feeling of danger, and the possibility that anything can happen which shows like Prison Break require to stay interesting.  Even the conspiracy story which has Michael trying to break a man named James Whistler out of prison in order to save Sara and Linc’s son is actually interesting and seems challenging.

For the first time in a long time I’m feeling like the decision to continue with a third season may not have been a mistake.  Bring on episode 3.

Avi’s Episode Rating: B+


Prison Break – Season 3, Episode 1 – Orientacion

September 18, 2007

I was only an episode or 2 away from dropping this show multiple times last year and then all of a sudden there would be a few good episodes and I’d be back in for a little longer.  At the end of last season with the main story arc pretty much wrapped up they dumped Michael and a bunch of the supporting cast into a Panamanian prison.

As we learn at the start of the new season this new prison is definitely not a country club like Fox River.  In fact it got so bad that all the guards left and all who remain are the prisoners including a leader of a gang who likes to hold fights to the death between inmates and as we find out at the end of the episode, a mysterious contact who Michael needs to break out.  Unfortunately breaking out of this jail doesn’t look trivial and like in season 1, he doesn’t have any tattoos to help.  What Michael does have are some old allies, old enemies and possibly some new friends to help.  This brings us to what’s at stake.  Apparently the tool of the show (LJ) has been kidnapped again, along with Sara who we know isn’t coming back, and it’s up to Michael to find his fellow inmate, break out and along the way discover who’s doing this to him.

I’m still not sure I’m in this show for the long haul.  It may just be too much “same old, same old” for me.  But this first new episode, coming right at the beginning of the season and a week before anything else starts, gives it a bit of a longer runway.  However, once the full season starts, I don’t think the show will get as many chances to redeem itself as I gave it last year.  For now though, I’m in for at least the next 2-3 weeks.

And let me add in conclusion: Welcome back TV.

Avi’s Episode Rating: B

Prison Break: Season 2, Episode 22 – Sona

April 4, 2007

The creators of Prison Break had a rare opportunity that so many shows don’t have.  After two seasons they had brought most of the storylines to a close including the conspiracy that set the show in motion.  However, instead of providing its loyal viewers with closure and ending the show, the powers that be opted to renew it for an unnecessary third season.

Now I liked the first season of the show.  It was suspenseful and entertaining with a cast that looked like it was enjoying itself.  The second season definitely had some ups and downs as it separated the core cast sending each off on a series of misadventures that ranged from mildly entertaining to cartoonish.  Meanwhile the conspiracy unravelled in the background, the hunter was revealed to be a pawn and the solider switched sides. 

I got a little bored as the show seemed to meander but the last few weeks the show definitely improved.  Last night I think was the end of my Prison Break viewing.  All of the surviving cast (except Linc ironically enough) ended up in a Panamanian jail and some new conspiracy was launched that had something to do with the old conspiracy and the reason the brothers are needed alive.  Make sense?  Yeah it didn’t really do much for me either. 

Watching I think I realized the problem I have with Prison Break is that I just don’t really care all that much about the characters.  Even when I enjoy the show it doesn’t matter much to me if they are on screen that week or even live or die for that matter.  So, for now I’m taking the position that I won’t be watching next year but knowing how hard it is for me to drop a show after I’ve followed for more than a season, I likely will give it a shot for a few episodes just to see if it gets better.  Doesn’t mean I’ll like it though.

Avi’s Episode Rating: C+

Prison Break – Season 2, Episode 17 – Bad Blood

February 20, 2007

I’m just getting tired of it all.  The conspiracy, the running, the near misses, kidnapped families, sick daughters and tonight flashbacks to sad childhoods.  The more plotlines the show creates, the less compelling it becomes and the less interested I am.

The last few episodes have been entertaining but I can’t see myself staying around beyond this season.  Word is that the writers are going to tie up the conspiracy thread by end of season.  This could make it an easy jumping off point for people like me who are tiring of the show.

Tonight’s episode brought back Stacy Keach as Warden Pope who helped Michael, Sara and Linc get their hands on her father’s evidence from the cigar club.  Surprise of surprise the Warden let them go in the end.  Meanwhile T-Bag flashed back to his childhood and decided to let his family go.  Meanwhile Sucre and C-Note zzzzzzzzzzzzzz.  Sorry dozed off.  I woke up in time to hear C-Note offer to help Mahone catch Michael.  Yeah, I don’t really care either.

Which brings us to my real problem with Prison Break.  I just don’t care anymore.  I still may wait out the rest of the season to see how it comes together, especially with only 4-5 more episodes to go, but it’s unlikely this will be on my list next season.

Avi’s episode rating – C+

Prison Break – Season 2, Episode 13 – The Killing Box

December 3, 2006

Now that was the Prison Break I remember.  I’ve found this second season to be very uneven with episodes especially in the first part of the season that ranged from boring to ridiculously implausible.  It seemed that once the convicts got out of prison, the writers didn’t know what to do with them.  As the show built towards its first hiatus for baseball, it seemed to regain some momentum, which I attribute to them finally bringing the characters back together to find Moreland’s money and the revelation that Mahone is working for the bad guys.

Since it’s returned from baseball, the show has been lots more fun.  I still cringe everytime I see someone recognizing the convicts but beyond that convenient plot device the show has moved at a good pace.

Which brings us to tonight’s episode.  So I’m one of those who got it wrong.  About 2 months ago I was sure that Mahone was going to switch sides and help Michael unravel the conspiracy.  I’m glad I did because it made tonight’s Kellerman reveal all the more shocking.  It also opens up a good follow on plot for the future as they relink up with Sara after Kellerman just tried to kill her.   So what do you think, is Mahone dead?   I hope not.

The build up to the reveal was definitely suspenseful with Mahone trying to kill Michael and Linc in custody, the set up to get them to run and then their eventual run towards Kellerman.  I was at the edge of my seat the whole time and fairly sure that the cliffhanger would be when they got caught rather than what did happen.  Much better ending.

I also liked T-Bag who was his usual creepy self stealing a prosthetic hand, sleeping with a mailwoman and then finding the woman who sent him to prison.   Is there anything this guy won’t do?  He is by far one of the most unique characters on TV.

I even felt bad for Bellick getting sent to Fox River expecting special treatment but instead getting thrown in with the convicts he previously had ruled over.

Oh yeah Sucre got awaaaaaaazzzzzzzzzzzzy.  So did Sazzzzzzzzzzzzzzra.  Sorry dozed off again.

All in all a great episode that has me waiting with eager anticipation the show’s return in late January.  Much improved for a show I was contemplating dropping back in September.

Avi’s Episode Rating: A-