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Home / TV Review: Prison Break – “The Sunshine State” Is Evidence That The Show Has Lost Its Plot
With too many unanswered questions already, and even more questions thrown into the mix, Prison Break can't possibly answer them in the 8 remaining episodes!

TV Review: Prison Break – “The Sunshine State” Is Evidence That The Show Has Lost Its Plot

Prison Break ended its winter offerings with the episode “The Sunshine State,” which brought about more questions than answers, and given the writers’ inabilities to tackle the already existing questions of Prison Break, now simply puts more holes into the series’ plot. Most likely these holes will never be covered or explained, thus giving the impression that the series has become over-laden with unresolved storylines and questions and as a result has gotten incredibly unwieldy.  One has to believe that this is going to force the show off its plot-path again!

“The Sunshine State” starts off strong as we see Michael Scofield (Wentworth Miller) waking up in a strange room in a mountain resort, only to find that he’s being kept there in an attempt by the General to brainwash or convince him (by way of a certain drug) to join The Company. In the course of trying to persuade Scofield to join up, the psychiatrist engaged to make Scofield join the dark side reveals to him that Scofield's mother is still alive and working for the Company too. With the help of Sara (Sarah Wayne Callies), Scofield escapes from the resort and the Company.

Meanwhile, Lincoln (Dominic Purcell) teams up with T-Bag (Robert Knepper), Self (Michael Rapaport), Gretchen (Jodi Lyn O’Keefe), and later with Mahone (William Fichtner) to find Scylla. There are some thrills as internal double crossing occurs, leading to Gretchen being shot and left in the parking lot while the others run off, no closer to Scylla than when the episode started.

While there were some good twists and turns, and exciting chase sequences and shoot out scenes, with the introduction of Scofield’s and Burrow’s undead mother who works for The Company, the plot of Prison Break went from being implausible to downright insane!

Weren’t we led to believe that both boys loved their mother, and that she was a good and righteous person deserving of this love? After all, aside from the boys constantly talking fondly about her, Scofield named the boat after his mother in Season 2, and even nervously joked to Mahone that Mahone should change the name of the boat since his mother wouldn’t like a character like Mahone. Nothing the boys said or implied about their mum gave the impression that she was ever less than stellar as a mother. And now we are to believe that she was involved in Lincoln being framed and sentenced to death for a crime he didn’t commit? The company framed Lincoln in order to bring their father out of hiding in the first place, so does this mean that their mother was involved in this plan of coaxing the father into the light as well?

Even if the premise is that their mother is the absolute opposite of what both Scofield and Lincoln thought she was, would a mother ever kill her own son by conspiring to frame him for murder and put him on death row? Would a mother then sit back as the organization that she works for tries to murder her two sons and her grandson plus everyone they’ve cared about? Does such a mother exist in our world? Or, do they really expect us to believe that mum was in the Madagascar rainforest without satellite access for the past few months, and was clueless that her children were being pursued and used for target practice? Why is she still working for the very people who want her kids dead? Again, does such a mother exist in our world?

Perhaps mum is good, and working against The Company from the inside (since she's obviously after Scylla as well)? So where has she been for the past three seasons while her boys were being shot at? Lost in Madagascar?  It doesn't seem plausible.

To add to evidence of just how sloppy both the writers and the producers are, this episode had Scofield reminisce as he looks nostalgically at family shots, and we see a photo of Scofield with his brother, mother, and father. Didn’t Lincoln explain in season two, via a piece of dialogue between him and his son, that Scofield never met his father? Yet here is a photo of Scofield posing with his father? Did the writers conveniently forget what they previously decided on, or do they have so many plates up in the air that one or two of those plates just end up by the wayside, broken and chucked away, just like certain story angles?

The trailer for Spring’s return of Prison Break implies that Lincoln will be working against his brother as he tries to get Scylla and return it to the General in exchange for complete freedom. Scofield on the other hand doesn’t want the General to lay his hands on such a vital piece of information as what is contained in Scylla. Hence the brothers ending up on opposite ends of the morality meter.

In fact, the explanation as to why Lincoln agreed to partner up with the General is fuzzy at best, and why he’s still partnering with the General even after Scofield has escaped from The Company defies any logic, even logic in the realm of the usual implausibility of Prison Break. Surely we can't be expected to buy Lincoln's explanation that The Company is just fed up with the Gang, and only want Scylla back and hence is willing to give them freedom if they succeed? Surely we can't be expected to buy that The Company has means to access people's phone records and credit card history, but they still desperately need Lincoln to track down Scylla for them?  Why would Lincoln be a worthy commodity to them when they already have mindless thugs? And surely they must know that introducing a possibly murderous mother whom the boys thought was dead is foolish at best.

All in all, this last episode “The Sunshine State” threw up even more questions than the writers and producers have the ability, or the skill, to tackle. There are already loopholes and questions in Prison Break that need answering.  However, instead of closing those issues, the producers and scribes have decided to heroically put more holes into the plot. All that’s left now is a withered and tattered storyline in a series that really should’ve ended with them returning Scylla to Self and all of them going free. Instead, Prison Break has set up a mountain of new questions that it now intends to scale using a toothpick. Will we be given a reasonable explanation to all these new questions given that the season is due to end in 8 episodes? Don’t hold your breath, because Prison Break has undoubtedly lost its plot.

About Sharmila Melissa Yogalingam

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

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