“Quiet Riot”, this week's Prison Break episode, proved that every once in awhile the producers and writers remember their winning formula from season one, and revisit it with remarkable success. In this episode, the tension and nail-biting suspense was felt in the second half of the episode as the gang moved a step closer, literally, towards Scylla.
“Quiet Riot” started off with Michael Scofield (Wentworth Miller) torn between going in for a much needed operation and thereby abandoning the gang in their time of need, and putting his life in danger by completing the mission with them. With the help of Sara Trancedi’s (Sarah Wayne Callies) medical expertise, they managed to curtail Scofield’s symptoms to a certain degree that enabled him to continue with the others on the mission. These scenes of Scofield deciding what to do added another dimension of apprehension to the characters that later segued nicely into the tension and excitement in later sequences.
Meanwhile T-Bag (Robert Knepper) and Gretchen (Jodi Lyn O’Keefe) decide to use sex as a tool to get the General’s card (the sixth card), with Gretchen dressing up as the naughty school girl, in a much too short plaid skirt and a much too tight white blouse. The scene was hilariously cheesy, and didn’t particularly fit into a dramatic story like Prison Break, but nonetheless even that scene between Gretchen and the General added tense layers to this episode, as we saw Gretchen’s plan turning to dust.
Despite being a very tight episode, it wouldn’t be Prison Break without some flaw in logic as we saw T-Bag assume that Trishanne (Shannon Lucio) was a federal agent, by her simple refusal to take her jacket off for a thousand bucks. One wonders what sort of women the producers and writers socialize with if they think all women shed clothes for some quid.
The paths of Trishanne and Self (Michael Rapaport), Gretchen and T-Bag, and Feng all come to cross as Gretchen and T-Bag figure Trishanne and Self are in cahoots, and they cue Feng in on this.
This all leads in to the final segment which has the Gang attempt to break into where Scylla is kept, which is a bunker that has noise and temperature detectors, thereby posing a humongous challenge to Scofield and gang to overcome. The entire scene plays out without dialogue, and it’s all about the action, which proves to always be Prison Break’s high point. And this time it did not disappoint.
The anxiety was built up from the start, and with the characters moving slowly and cautiously, the audience was able to feel every bit of eagerness and uncertainty as well. The direction employed in these scenes by director Kevin Hooks was appropriate and highly suitable for allowing the audience to experience the dilemma and apprehension of the characters in peril, thereby contributing to the exhilaration this episode brought.
Prison Break does very well when it gives us situations that are anticipatory in nature, and that make us bite our nails along with the characters on screen, which is a feat the show so easily achieved in season one. Hence it was a great treat to watch this particular episode return to its previous caliber as “Quiet Riot” had high anxiety and well placed tension throughout, and it ended with a good cliffhanger as well.