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TV Review: Prison Break – “Good Fences”

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Well, it appears that the suspense has ended. If Michael is going to have his reunion with Sara Tancredi, he’s going to have to figure out how to reattach her head. Yes, that was his true love’s head in last week’s terrifying box and Sarah Wayne Callies is gone from the show for good. Along with her goes any emotional resonance that Prison Break might have still had.

Without Sara, Michael has zero chance for redemption. I would have infinitely preferred that the show just recast the part. If they can change Darrens on Bewitched then no actor demurral should be able to capsize any television show. Recast her with Paris Hilton for all I care because Prison Break is now just an action show filled with an increasing number of irredeemable lowlifes. Yes, in spite of their rage they are all just rats in a cage.

Let’s take a look at this week’s skullduggery.

Lincoln: He flat-out lied to Michael and pretended that Sara was still alive. I suppose you could argue that he had to since L.J.’s life depends on Michael, and had Lincoln told his brother the truth, Mr. Scofield might have finally given up for good. I understand, but I’m still disappointed. Michael deserved the truth.

Susan B. Anthony: Is anyone buying her sensitive, “we’re all soldiers” crap? “Lincoln, I know that I just cut off Sara’s head, but really, if you ever need someone to talk to …” Lincoln would be better off booking a psychiatric session with Hannibal Lecter.

Bradley Bellick: Apparently, he scarfed up some discarded clothing from a gay body builder. Unable to convince Michael to include him in his escape, he instantly ratted our boy out to Lechero only to be outsmarted by Michael for about the 700th time and wind up with a cup of scalding hot coffee poured all over him. Actually, I can’t really blame Bradley. Michael has destroyed his corrupt, pathetic life. In this case, Lechero seems pretty short-sighted not to check out Michael’s Fox River history; after all, everyone else in Sona seems to have.

Michael: Yes, it’s time to wonder about him. Has he lost his soul? Are Bellick, Mahone, and Teddy right when they say he’ll screw you over in a second like a two dollar whore? Michael has a lot of reasons not to be as sympathetic towards Mahone as the audience is, but there was something scary about the way he told Whistler that he intended to use Mahone and then toss him away like a used up roll of toilet paper when the escape went down. Can we truly blame all of the ramifications of Michael’s brotherly machinations on the Company? Michael’s actions have produced a ton of collateral damage: the deaths during the prison riot he started; the extinction of the Tancredi family; the downfall of Warden Pope; the victims of a free Theodore Bagwell. You can chalk it all up to the true evil of the Company, but now that Michael is serving them he appears to be little more than yet another one of their tools. The moral line here is getting fuzzier and fuzzier.

On the plus side, we have some really good minds battling it out on this show.

Agent Mahone had an interesting week as his withdrawal increasingly took its toll on him in the guise of the voice of our old pal Haywire. Of course, with the long list of Mahone casualties it’s a little silly for him to suddenly care about Haywire, but this is apparently how the writers of the show intend to show us that he has truly gone loco. Nevertheless, now that T-Bag gave our man a fix, he finally appears back on track and ready to remain someone not to be dealt with lightly. Question of the day: What gross things did Mahone have to do to get that pen?

T-Bag: Everyone’s favorite character finally got his first Sona kill this week as he gave Lechero’s drug runner a post-suffocation fix of his own medicine. Frankly, I have no idea what Teddy’s end game is and that’s wonderful because Teddy is probably just as wily as Michael is and he doesn’t have any of those silly moral issues to slow him down. Is Teddy merely trying to supplant Lechero or could he actually be helping Michael? Michael seemed intent on putting Mahone back on his game, and I don’t really see any other reason for him to become Mahone’s pusher. So what’s old Teddy up to? I have no idea, but I’m fascinated. Have I said it before? This show needs more T-Bag!

Other snags on the road to freedom:

Latin Tweener now has some info to hold against Michael.

Whistler seems to have some thoughts and motivations of his own.

In the end, with the death of Sara, Prison Break has become little more than just another absurd season of 24. We watch to see how it all turns out, but we’re less and less proud of it.

TVGuide's Michael Ausiello has an explanation of what went wrong with the show and Sarah Wayne Callies.

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  • http://childoftv.blogspot.com Brent

    Apparently killing off Sara was always part of the plan for this season. The question was how long into the season the character would last. Sarah Wayne Callies made the producers’ decision a lot easier when she refused to come to terms about how to shoot her scenes. They even offered to fly to her home in what Michael Ausiello’s interview with the producers describes as “a remote part of Canada” to shoot scenes with her. She refused even to do that.

  • Rebecca

    Killing off Sara… maybe she wanted it…. but we viewers certainly did not!! i have loved Prison Break since the first second of their first show… buh you were right when you stated ‘we watch to see how it turns out but we are less ad less proud of it’
    I dont know how it will be able to go on…..

  • Eve

    I’m sad to see Sara go and I’m utterly disappointed with the writers. They could have done a much better job, than just a head in a box.
    This show is not Drama anymore! It’s a Horror show… Decapitations, drugs, filth…
    To make matters worse, when a fan asked one of the writers, what is the purpose of Prison Break if the good are not rewarded and if that’s the message you want to convey to young viewers, he bluntly answered:

    “Yup, that’s the message we’re going for.”

    Pure sarcasm…….!!

  • Jessie

    Sad sad that Sara had to die. We all wanted Michael and Sara to be happy in the end. The romance was one thing that kept us all going. Recasting would have been a better choice. Michael cannot fall in love again because Sara has already won the hearts of the fans. Bad turn of events.

  • http://childoftv.blogspot.com Brent

    “I’m sad to see Sara go and I’m utterly disappointed with the writers. They could have done a much better job, than just a head in a box.”

    They wanted to. The original plan, according to the interview with Ausiello at TVGuide.com was to kill the character sometime during the season. When Sarah Wayne Callies decided not to come back to the show they tried very hard to shoot some scenes that would at least give the relationship between Michael and Sara some closure – at the very least a final farewell. As I mentioned in the first comment they even offered to shoot her scenes at her home in “a remote part of Canada.” She refused every offer that they made. The shock business of the head in the box was probably necessary as it establishes the character’s death absolutely with no room for fans to say that “maybe she survived.”

  • http://prisondrawingspaintings.blogspot.com Fiona

    I think PB will suffer a bit of a loss of viewers with the dead Sara thing, but I won’t be one of them. I like where it’s heading. I think her death will have a bit of a Darth Vader effect on Michael – he will get dark and ugly. This show has always been about characters that struggle with good and evil, and now we will see Michael fall from his Mr Perfect pedestal and become like the people he looks down on – TBag, Mahone etc.
    Bring it on!!

  • Lynsey

    Killing off Sara was a big mistake – the michael/sara was one of the major plot lines of the show and the reason for Michael to keep going. Why develop something between them for two seasons just to end it like that??? I feel the show now lacks something the first two seasons had and am not so keen to tune in every week.

  • eustacia