With this episode, the second season of “Prison Break” hits the midpoint, which is traditionally when the complication phase hits a major turning point with a huge plot twist. In this case, the writers provide the solution to a long-running mystery, introduced in the first season as an important element for the post-escape plan. We now know what “Bolshoi Booze” means, and it works well within the context of the story.
Perhaps more important was Michael’s moment of realization, where he finally begins to realize the cost of his plan to rescue Lincoln. His psychology doesn’t allow him to dismiss the consequences of his actions, and knowing that the cost will continue to rise, he struggles with the need to resolve those consequences. This was something that I was waiting for since the beginning of the season, and it was good to see it integrated into this story.
A lot of subplots come together at the end of this episode. Certainly Michael and his father will have some words in the near future regarding his activities in the first season, and they have a vested interest in running to Sara’s rescue. The explanation about the flash drive and the evidence of Lincoln’s innocence holds water (and for now, it’s all fitting together well enough), then it should all come down to Michael and Mahone facing off over its possession.
Speaking of Mahone, there’s now a hint that he could be turned against the conspiracy, if resources were available to protect his wife and son. Michael’s father has a small but capable organization, one that could protect Mahone’s family easily enough. After all, the conspiracy can’t be watching them too closely, or Michael wouldn’t have gotten the chance to speak with Mahone’s wife. It could be fun to watch Mahone undermine his own investigation team, especially since they are beginning to question his motives.
Sara is definitely going through the wringer in this episode. Kellerman is about as creepy as it gets, with his mixture of violence and affection. Sara may have decided to put Michael and the truth behind her, but when push comes to shove, she’s willing to die for it all. This is one of the better moments for the character this season, and if she survives, her reluctance to help Michael will probably transform into steadfast purpose.
Overall, this is probably the best episode of the season in quite some time. The narrative is clearly building towards the cliffhanger to come with episode 13 (the fall season finale), but this is satisfying because of the culmination of so many lingering plot elements. The writers still need to address the fact that the characters are spread out so much, but for now, the season seems to be back on track.
(As a sidenote: I also have a new podcast associated with my various reviews called “Velocity TV”. Current episodes cover the “Prison Break”, so it might be something of interest. Go to http://entil2001.libsyn.com if you want to listen!)
Final Rating: 8/10