This week’s Prison Break episode, "The Price," had Michael Scofield (Wentworth Miller) making a deal to partner up with Gretchen and T-Bag, as the team set to get the last card that belonged to the General. Scofield had to tell Sara (Sarah Wayne Callies) about his unfortunate partnership, which brought about a series of flashbacks for Sara, which in turn allowed us to finally see what she went through and how she had escaped Gretchen’s clasp.
This episode, compared to last week’s brilliant one, was slightly disappointing. Unlike last week’s fast paced thrill of an episode, “The Price” moved too slowly and a little too deliberately. For a series that is thin on plausibility and storytelling, last week hit the jackpot with the focus on pumping the adrenalin via well paced scenes, and twists and turns that were exciting. However, this week the jackpot wasn’t paying out at all. This episode was too hum drum, draggy and bromidic, with nothing substantial happening at all. In other words, there was not enough of a payoff this week for spending your sixty minutes on this show.
The acting also seemed to have returned to the lackluster form usually found in this series. Wentworth Miller was back to his un-nuanced portrayal, and flashed us his typical one or two facial expressions that he showcased for the whole hour, complete with a teenage whine when he pleaded with Sara to believe that Lincoln was jumping to conclusions regarding Scofield’s health. Given his fine performance last week, it is a shame that this week saw Miller in his routine colorless, flat, and lifeless portrayal of Scofield.
Sarah Wayne Callies also had an uphill task in this episode, as her character vacillated between being calm and facing her torturer. The actress just doesn't have the range or the chutzpah to handle the scene in which Sara meets Gretchen and holds a knife to her throat. Callies came across as a soft kitten with a prop in her hands. There was no way to believe that Gretchen couldn’t just overpower her and stick the knife into Sara instead.
The worst actor has to be Michael Rapaport, who has never proven to be a good thespian on this show (mostly because he comes across as goofy and darkish), and in this episode upped the ante on nerdish and foolish to the point that in the scene he shared with the officer at the impound lot, one could’ve sworn they switched the channel to Friends or My Name is Earl. Over the top and ill fitting, his acting made the audience cringe watching Rapaport try and induce subtle lightheartedness into his role, and watching subtlety escape him entirely.
It’s a shame that last week’s wonderful episode was followed by this unaffecting one. It’s this type of inconsistency that makes Prison Break an unfaithful companion – you never know if you’re going to be satisfied or not each week!