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Prison Break as a Quarter Horse

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Quarter Horses are named so because they are terrific sprinters, but for about the first quarter of a mile. Thoroughbreds don’t come out like a lightning bolt but they can keep a hefty cadence for much longer.

Prison Break is a Quarter Horse. It came out at light speed and we were all awed by its intensity and suspenseful drama. Now with the second season in full play, we can sense the show is already out of steam. The new season is just rehashing last season’s gimmicks: put the boys in a tense moment, have something go wrong with the plan at the last conceivable second, and end with everyone looking stressed out.  During the first season, I was willing to suspend disbelief but the show did push it a little too far in certain instances. I can get he’s brilliant, but our man Scoffield had redundant contingency plans for everything, as though he had foreknowledge of everything that was going to happen. Despite all the problems that emerged, he overcame them all. To believe this was a stretch of imagination but I was willing to go along because of well-developed characters played by very good actors.

But during the second season they started doing things that were beyond the limit of believability. First, they killed off the lawyer who was stupid enough the think she could get out of the "halfway house" the Vice President’s brother was being held in as a prisoner. Do you expect me to believe that someone as smart as Veronica would actually think calling the cops was gonna work?

If some nefarious plan is set in motion to keep the Vice President’s brother a prisoner while the rest of the world believes he’s dead, trust me, those responsible have their bases covered. The lawyer should have broken down in tears in the realization that she was completely screwed, not pick up the phone. Someone needed to read up on conspiracies when she realized that Lincoln had not shot or killed the VP’s brother. For being so stupid, she deserved two in the chest and one in the head. The writers were lazy and probably couldn’t find a way to work her into season two’s story arc. I would have taken her on the road with the boys.

Then there’s the stripper story line. Jeez, what where they thinking of? She loves Scoffield but wants to shoot him because she feels betrayed. Huh? Oh, who cares? Lincoln obviously didn’t and felt like putting a cap in her ass. And what's with that Tweener guy? Why the hell did they keep that guy on board? The actor does a better than good job, but the role is boring and should be rifle fodder. He needs to be killed off soon, yo.

Adding insult to injury, they kill off the most interesting bad boy on the show — John Abruzzi,  played by underscored genius actor Peter Stromare. He was my favorite character, he was the most connected, darkest one, and despite T-Bag's theatrics, he was the scariest one because he had real power in many circles. And they kill him off in a shootout because he suddenly became too dumb to send a posse to take out Fibonacci? No, instead the Don goes off by himself, alone. Godfather, anyone? Hello? Anyone home?

And then the ultimate offense to one's intellect is made. T-Bag. I love T-Bag because he’s completely and unabashedly repulsive and disgusting. He’s a monster and he accepts it, even revels in it. But please, oh please tell me the writers didn’t think we were stupid enough to believe that gimpy could get his hand sewn back on by a veterinarian in a small-town clinic. That is so completely preposterous that it insults my intelligence. Reattaching a limb is accomplished through micro-surgery, a lot of doctors, and some fancy equipment.

Last time something this weak happened was during the final season of Alias where an eight months pregnant Sydney drop-kicked a hostage along with the chair he was tied to, clear through a window — she was hormonal, she said. But I wasn’t under any influence and I stopped watching the show at that point. Prison Break is really pushing it right now with these antics and the storyline is losing ground with their outrageous and now predictable gimmicks and cliffhangers. It may be time for the producers to bring in a show runner from the Buffy-verse, folks who know how to stretch and make a storyline last, and work for viewers and keep them hooked like a crack addicts.

Or else it’s time to put down this lame horse before it becomes embarrassing to watch.

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About David Desjardins

  • Good to see another opinion. I’m a sucker for cliffhangers so it works for me as basic television. Plus, it’s smart enough to make me want to see how Scofield gets out of the rock and a hard place. And speaking of suspension of disbelief; Did you know that Scofield’s tattoos would have taken four years to do? It’s still fun for me though.

  • Glad to be back.

    Yeah PB is in a J, as in Jam. They need a new angle.

  • Ugh Dave, you’re so right….at first I watched the show because the guy is hot, then the story sucked me in….now I’m thinking he isn’t hot enough to keep me tuned into such a lame story-line. I always wondered though, how the writers planned to keep the story going strong once they actually broke out of the prison. Looks like they never figured it out.

    Great to see you on BC again 😉