Prison Break’s 18th episode, “Versus”, sadly collapsed under its trite, clichéd, and tired plot. Its schizophrenic tone suggests that the writers were throwing everything, including the kitchen sink, into the last few episodes before the series wraps up for good, without realizing that this level of weak storytelling makes a mockery of this entire series.
"Versus" starts off with Lincoln (Dominic Purcell) being targeted by his mother’s henchman. However, he and Mahone (William Fichtner) overpower the man and steal his cell phone, which they use to trace his calls to the Indian embassy. At the embassy they see Christina (Kathleen Quinlan) arrive in an attempt to sell Scylla to an Indian diplomat. After a scuffle with Christina’s henchmen, Mahone, Lincoln, and Self (Michael Rapaport) pick up a note that Christina accidentally leaves behind informing them that a Vincent Sandinsky is due to arrive that afternoon.
Meanwhile, Sara (Sarah Wayne Callies) borrows an apartment from a friend whom she apparently has not seen and has not had contact with for the last ten years (being the only explanation as to why she had no idea her friend was married with two kids), but who dubiously was nice enough to give Sara the keys to her vacant place after losing touch for that many years! Sara is then mesmerized by her friend’s family photos in a scene that was a mere excuse to signpost in a very large way the extremely bromidic story development that Sara is now pregnant with Scofield’s baby — a feat that either would have had to involve some very powerful sperm from the guy or would have to mean that Sara took the time during her season three absence to find another lover, considering their lack of chemistry and seeing that they hardly even kissed during their cold and distant relationship.
From the piece of paper Scofield (Wentworth Miller) retrieved from his assassin last week, he and Sara work out the coordinates and find a car with a map to an airport. At the airport, the duo tries to kidnap Vincent Sandinsky, only to lose him to Lincoln, Mahone, and Self, who also arrive on the tarmac. However, Sara manages to nab Vincent’s phone before she loses him, and through his phone records, she and Scofield realize that Vincent is working with Christina.
Meanwhile T-Bag (Robert Knepper) secretly informs The General that Christina has Scylla.
This episode suffers in tone primarily because of the over-indulgent story line between Sara and Scofield. Aside from the over-extended scenes between the lovers sticking out like a sore thumb, Sara’s pregnancy pushes this series from an action-packed one that had romance as a secondary facet into one that seems to be headed into uneasy melodrama.
In the first scene in which Sara sees the photos of her friend’s family on the wall and Scofield starts talking about creating their own family, Callies’ chipper expressions seemed misplaced and contrary to the tone of the show. One wonders if the actress forgot the type of show she was on for that moment, or the characterization she was supposed to personify!
Also, Sara’s continuous bathroom breaks, Scofield’s concerns about that, and the couple talking about playing house one day all seemed out of place, banal, and shoddy within the scope of the seriousness of this series. These saccharin moments between Scofield and Sara just didn’t fit in with the original tone of the show.
In addition, this particular plot development between Sara and Scofield involving their pregnancy was cheap, corny, stale, and uninspired to say the least. It’s bewildering as to why the writers manufactured such an uninteresting, unimaginative, and unoriginal storyline. Surely they could’ve moved the story along without resorting to such commonplace dramatics.
Not only does a pregnancy not have its place in a series that has thrived on adrenalin and excitement, it also doesn’t seem plausible that Sara would think she was pregnant and resort to taking a pregnancy test seeing that Prison Break is on a protracted timeline, meaning that Scofield and Sara only hooked up probably two weeks ago in Prison Break time.
Another puzzling aspect to this episode is Christina revealing that Scylla has to do with healing the environment and solving all our current environmental problems. Why then did The General talk about the falling Kip in Laos in previous episodes? Did he mean Kip as in a measurement of a unit of force? What context would this all have with solving the environmental issues?
In a show that has turned schizophrenic in tone and has resorted to lazy, hackneyed, and uncreative plot development, in all probability we will never get the essential questions answered at all.