Thursday 7 May 2009


Thursday 7 May 2009
[SPOILERS] No, no, no. Sorry -- I still don't care about anything that's happening right now. To be fair, writer Karyn Usher did a better job at making this episode feel more interesting than the preceding two installments, and the storyline even progressed a notch, but it was still torturous nonsense...

We're knee-deep in a thick malaise of implausible rivalries, flip-flopping loyalties and questionable logic, with Linc (Dominic Purcell) failing to get anything useful out of narrative dead-end Mr. Sandinsky, until The General (Leon Russom) arrives to takeover the interrogation. T-Bag (Robert Knepper) is then exposed as the General's inside-man who's been feeding him intel about Linc's attempts to find Scylla, prompting a laughable storyline with T-Bag trying to endear himself to the General so he can become a Company agent. The bizarre thing is: idiot Krantz actually believes a convicted paedophile with pathological disloyalty would make a fantastic new recruit! Jeez.

Meanwhile, Michael (Wentworth Miller) and Sara (Sarah Wayne Callies) lure Christine's (Kathleen Quinlan) party to a warehouse, where they've set a trap to knock them all unconscious when they get back into their car and turn on the air-con they've laced with a chemical. This allows Michael to whisk his unconscious mom to his apartment, to interrogate her about Scylla. In a bland episode, this was the minor highlight -- as Christina reveals to Michael that Linc isn't his brother (he was an adopted orphan -- a twist too far?), and correctly guesses that Sara is pregnant with her grandchild (improbably noticing the doc's "protective" body-language!) Even more implausibly, Christina continues to claim she knows her son better than anyone else, despite the fact we know she left home when Michael was five years old! I don't know about you, but my formative years weren't while finger-painting at primary school.

Miller isn't a strong enough actor to run the gamut of emotions required upon hearing his beloved bro's a stray, either -- so he instead opts to break his trademark serenity by just shouting a bit. Then he drags his mom to a bathroom and threatens to drown her in hot water unless she cooperates and tells him where Linc is. So he can intercept Linc if he manages to steal Scylla, assumedly? I'm past caring. Christina gives up the information, so Michael hotfoots it to a Progressive Energies conference, leaving Sara alone with his mother, where she's predictably tricked and allow Christina to escape using, er, dental floss.

The episode's climax is relatively sane (unless you think about it for more than a few seconds), as we realize the Progressive Energies conference is just an elaborate set-up by Christina, who has her men assassinate Scylla's buyer as he gives his key-note speech, having planted evidence around the building that implicates Linc's team in the deed. Across town, Christina flees with her right-hand man Mr Downey, with Scylla still in her possession.

I've skimped over several details about "S.O.B", but the one thing more disheartening than watching Prison Break is actually writing about it just recently. It's become over-reliant on formula (more numbers and letters to decipher), and Christina just isn't working as a Machiavellian super-bitch villain. This episode wanted us to believe she has a similar knack for engineering traps and getting out of impossible situations as Michael, but she's still not a believable antithesis of her genius son. And now the writers want us to believe Michael and Linc aren't even brothers? Admittedly that's not difficult to accept (given their disparity in IQ and temperament), but it feels like the writers are just getting desperate for things to surprise us with. What's next? Sarah's actually the General's daughter? T-Bag and Mahone are cousins?

Overall, "S.O.B" was another awkward and tedious episode, enlivened by a climax that gave the preceding hour slightly more credibility, as a few strings tightened around our heroes' necks. But really, Prison Break has descending into a rather farcical miasma of stupidity that beggars belief. It's a spinning plates act where the sound of smashing crockery is becoming deafening.

5 May 2009
Sky1, 10pm

Writer: Karyn Usher
Director: Garry A. Brown

Cast: Wentworth Miller (Michael), Dominic Purcell (Linc), William Fichtner (Mahone), Robert Knepper (T-Bag), Michael Rappaport (Don), Leon Russom (General Krantz), Kathleen Quinlan (Christina) & Sarah Wayne Callies (Sara)