“Shut Down”, the third episode of this new season of Prison Break, was a pleasant surprise and a far cry from the mediocrity of the premiere episodes. Not only was this episode exciting and thrilling, it has also finally brought the fun back into the series. Albeit the inclusion of a couple of contrived scenarios, “Shut Down” was a far cry from the two episodes that premiered last week.
Even Wentworth Miller did superbly as he commanded the screen with his aggressive, in control, firm handed, no nonsense Michael Scofield. Miller especially shines when his character is feeling an extreme emotion, and in this episode, he truly does a brilliant acting job emoting as so.
This episode sees the gang going after another Scylla card, and T-Bag meanwhile gets closer to the Gate Company. Agent Self finds himself in a position where he is forced to call the whole operation off, that in turn gets the gang running in order to prove they have valuable information.
We also see that Mahone gets confirmation on his son’s demise. William Fichtner, who plays Mahone, is the most seasoned, most skilled, and the most believable thespian out of this entire cast, and in this episode Fichtner dazzles as he oscillates beautifully between playing Mahone as a cooperative team player and being the broken, torn man he is underneath.
Despite Bellick and Sucre providing some lighter moments, it still remains to be seen what effect their characters will have on the plot advancement. With so many supporting cast members, in a show that only runs 40 something minutes, Prison Break hasn’t really utilized most of these characters in an efficacious enough manner. It would be decidedly better for the show if some of the supporting characters were trimmed out of the show, as such streamlining would only make the show tighter and easier to script for.
In addition the overtly sexual innuendos that constantly stem from Roland, the nerdish computer expert, seem overdone and used too blatantly as a character feature. The writers should learn to tone it down a notch, otherwise they'll risk turning this character into a caricature.
However, aside from a few shortcomings, this episode certainly delivered the highs and twists and turns that were so abundant in season one. While it remains to be seen if this will continue in the upcoming episodes, this episode has put the fun back into Prison Break — at least for this week.