This week’s episode of Prison Break, “The Legend,” was much better in terms of story, thrills, and structure than last week’s offering. This episode sees Scofield (Wentworth Miller) heading off to the hospital with Sara (Sarah Wayne Callies) in order to check on his frequent fainting spells. Meanwhile, Sucre (Amaury Nolasco) and Lincoln (Dominic Purcell) find themselves in a little bit of a pickle and they rely on Gretchen (Jodi Lyn O’Keefe) to try and help them out of this predicament. Mahone (William Fichtner) finds the person who built Scylla, and gets some valuable information from that meeting.
There were some nice twists that, although not as robust and vibrant as they have been in the past, still managed to put a smile on viewers' faces. “The Legend” built up quite nicely as we got to understand more about Scofield’s health issues, and this also provided Scofield with an emotional stretch this week, which unfortunately Wentworth Miller was not capable of translating onto the screen. Miller, for the most part, delivered his lines with sighs and breathlessness, sans the emotions and nuances expected in someone who had been fainting at the drop of a hat for the past couple of episodes. Miller remained blank-faced throughout as he often does when Scofield is in situations that are not extreme.
Another twist was Mahone getting unexpected help at the last minute, which in turn came in handy un-pickling Lincoln and Sucre from their tough spot. We also saw that Agent Self (Michael Rapaport) has a connection with the Girl Friday that T-Bag usually cavorts with.
This episode moved along at a good enough pace, and it offered a few exciting moments. However, the writers and producers marred this week’s episode by upping the cheese factor too much, as they tried shoving down our throats how much they sorely missed their colleague Wade Williams (who plays Bellick) who left the show last week. This episode was basically a cheap, trashy and constant homage to Bellick throughout!
Almost all of the cast had flashes to show how Bellick touched their lives, and given that the character spent three quarters of the series being the bad mean guy, it all seemed very contrived that they would’ve been this touched by his demise. Despite Scofield reassuring us that nothing was the same since Fox River, we were never given any “wonderful” Bellick moments to feel that he warranted this level of sorrow and attention.
I would say short of violins playing, the never-ending Bellick homage was farcical and comical; however in the scene where T-Bag gives a speech and then chokes up as he recalls Bellick, there were violins playing in the background, over T-Bag’s audience looking mesmerized and taken in by his recollection of the Great Bellick! One would have thought that a main character, one who was honorable and dignified, had died, given the tedious and repetitive nature with which Bellick’s eulogy occupied the show.
Instead, Bellick was a mean ex-guard who was quite a loser in life and never really brought anything joyful to anyone throughout the four years on the program. That entire scene with T-Bag and the violins playing in the background, and everyone looking like they were in nirvana as they witnessed T-Bag’s Ode to Bellick, was shockingly cheesy, and read more like a mockery and satire than anything real. Odes are usually melancholic and deeply emotional, which is perhaps what this scene intended to be, but instead what was delivered was derisory and risible.
I am sure Wade Williams is missed and having been one of the original cast, losing him would’ve been a blow to all cast and crew. Perhaps Wade Williams, the actor, deserves several odes dedicated to him, but Brad Bellick does not deserve even one!
Today’s episode was a clear blurring of the line between character and actor, to the point that it compromised the integrity of the show because the character Wade Williams played was too despicable to be afforded such a grandiose eulogy of this nature. It just didn't make sense within the ideology of Prison Break, and for all its characters either.
Therefore, despite this week’s episode being far more enticing than last week’s, the Ode to Bellick scenes securing such immense time in the program left this episode a complete farce instead. They should have saved the odes and homage episode for Michael Scofield, when or if he should die, because he would be more deserving of such glorification, and it wouldn't be absurd to have such a glowing, eulogy-filled episode then.