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TV Review: Prison Break – “Selfless” Had Us Spellbound

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Prison Break aired its twelfth episode this week, “Selfless”, and it was a spectacular episode indeed, arguably the best of this season in fact.

“Selfless” starts up where the series left off last week, with Scofield (Wentworth Miller) in front of the machine he and the gang worked so hard to gain access to, only to set off the silent alarm and cameras, showing the General that his nemesis had gained entry to the General’s most prized possession. However, we soon find out that Scofield had a solid plan all along involving Sara (Sarah Wayne Callies) holding the General’s daughter as captive, thereby ensuring safe passage for Scofield and the gang.

Meanwhile, T-Bag (Robert Knepper) and Gretchen (Jodi Lyn O’Keefe) get ready to double-cross Scofield and gang; however they instead trip the boss’s suspicion and the duo then pull their rifles on the workers there, holding them as hostage.

A third storyline takes place between Self (Michael Rapaport) and Trishanne (Shannon Lucio), who are held by Feng, and after a shoot-out which leaves Feng dead, Trishanne ends up at her old place of work, where she helps the hostage workers escap. She also ends up capturing T-Bag, as Gretchen manages to escape.

This episode was packed so full of punches, that one could barely take one's eyes off the screen for the entire 42 minutes! The entire episode was paced just frantically enough so that it grasped the audience’s attention all the way through, like a fish on a hook. From start to finish, this episode piled on electrifying twists, engaging turns, and gripping developments, thereby proving to be a very sensational episode.

Given how tired and weary the other episodes of this season (and the last season) were, it was simply delightful watching “Selfless”, which was intense, riveting, and absolutely titillating. A series like Prison Break has to rely on adrenalin-charged scenes and plot developments, and in this episode, the series dipped once again into its arsenal of mind-blowing scenes and storylines to give us a truly stimulating experience.

Of course, there were a couple of scenes that went against logic (because this is, after all, the highly improbable Prison Break) such as Trishanne not shooting Gretchen and T-Bag as they were inattentive and immersed in an argument with each other, and the General being able to delay all the flights at the airport within two minutes of thinking about it. However, the most illogical scene would have to have been Sara pulling a gun on Lisa, and the General actually believing that Sara would be capable of killing his daughter, just because Scofield spews something about everyone changing over the last three months.

The problem is that we’ve never seen this so called “change” in Sara! Sara is pretty much the same girlie girl who is way too dependent on Scofield that we saw in season two. Despite us knowing that she survived torture at the hands of Gretchen, and witnessing a couple of scenes where Callies unconvincingly thrashes around some wood, Sara has hardly been depicted as a lady who’s changed to become someone capable of cold-blooded murder. Sara barely even raises her voice, not even to Scofield when he refused to go to the hospital last week. In short, Sara has been and still is a pussy cat. We don’t believe that Sara is capable of murder, but we are supposed to be convinced that the General believed that she was? Surely the General is a lot more astute than to buy this deceit.

The scene would’ve been a lot more believable and effective if they had stationed Mahone or Sucre with Sara, since Sara has never been imaged as someone capable of holding a gun, much less aiming one at someone’s face and pulling the trigger! On top of that, Callies, with her extremely limited acting ability, wasn’t able to convince us that her character would actually pull the trigger either. She couldn’t convince us, so how did she convince Lisa? It was rather ludicrous that the General would’ve believed Sara at all. In fact, it was rather outlandish that Lisa listened to Sara, instead of just whipping the gun out of her hand.

However, atrocities aside, this episode was simply fun and exciting. It was certainly a blast of an adventure that kept us spellbound. The ending of “Selfless” left us on a cliffhanger that returns the gang to turmoil once again, just as we thought they were finally free, thereby enticing us to watch next week with bated breath. Spellbound indeed!

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About Sharmila Melissa Yogalingam

Ex-professor, Ex-phd student, current freelance critic, writer and filmmaker.
  • pbisfun

    The General wasn’t about to gamble with his daughter’s life. So he had no choice, really.

  • Guy, Paris

    However, Sara did held a scalpel to Gretchen’s throat, and even made her bleed… something “old” Sara would never do…

  • Beth

    Sara survived torture at the hands of Gretchen AND KELLERMAN. If I remember correctly Sara almost strangled Kellerman with a cord (season 2)and she was the one who killed Bill Kim.

  • Sara

    Although Wayne Callies potrays Sara as a demure, sweet lady..her character is anything but. Sara is an ex-drug addict, who apparently supplied her junkie bfs with drugs, instrumental in allowing convicts to escape from prison, nearly strangled Kellerman, shot Bill Kim in the heart to his death, bled Gretchen’s throat…and if these are not enough to prove she is capable of holding a gun to someone’s head, then the simple fact that Michael asked her to is enough.
    Sara is way head over heels in love with Michael and will do anything for him…he is all she has left!!

  • mel

    You are wrong ! Sarah Wayne Callies is a really great actress !!!

  • Joebohio

    I have to wonder how much time the writer has invested in actually watching the show. Sarah Wayne Callies is very good. As others have already noted; she nearly strangled Kellerman to death and shot Bill Kim to death at the end of season 2. This before she was tortured by Gretchen.