The previous episode brought a number of important plot elements to the forefront, and this installment is all about the consequences. There are transitional elements to this episode, but there are also a number of important revelations. That mixture keeps the story moving at a blistering pace, and also helps to keep the disparate nature of the plot threads from getting too confusing.
We get a little more insight into the genesis of Michael’s psychological issues, and it’s not pretty. I suppose some fans speculated at an abusive childhood for Michael, based on his emotional problems, but this went a little further than I thought it would. In a nice touch, young Michael met the challenge of imprisonment by searching for a means to escape. More to the point, pushed to the limit, Michael fought to survive.
Michael could have fallen into despair at the death of his father, especially since it fed into his growing sense of responsibility for the pain and suffering that has resulted from his plot to free Lincoln. He didn’t really want to hear Lincoln’s counterargument that the conspiracy was ultimately responsible for everything, after all. But the instead of trying to run and hide, Michael has decided to put an end to the entire situation.
If one considers the true “prison” to be the threat of the conspiracy, then Michael is now doing the one thing necessary to escape that prison. It’s not enough to run away; the “prison” of the conspiracy would still be there. Michael and Lincoln would never be free from the possibility of danger. The only way to regain freedom is to bring the conspiracy down. So Michael is now dedicating his efforts to eliminating that “prison”.
I was hoping that Mahone would be turned against his controllers, but that’s much less likely to happen now. In fact, the writers are going to have to pull off quite an impressive bit of plotting to make survival even remotely plausible. Mahone really has Michael and Lincoln at his mercy. It would be all too easy for the writers to give Michael an easy way out.
Michael’s plot thread covered a number of crucial revelations, allowing the other plot threads to move along at a more natural pace. Most importantly, Sara manages to get away, showing more of that impressive resolve in the process, and her escape puts Kellerman in the worst possible situation. Similarly, Bellick ends up getting a more fitting reward for his troubles than I would have expected. I hope this isn’t the end of his story, but if it is, his apparent future date with a prison cell is a sweet turn of events.
Not everything worked so well. I thought that the lack of T-Bag was an oversight, though it would have been difficult to add more to an already packed episode. Perhaps it would have been better to focus on T-Bag instead of C-Note. C-Note’s story isn’t nearly as compelling as the rest of the episode, and it all hinges on an annoying plot contrivance. While that’s nothing new for “Prison Break”, in this case, it was an unnecessary distraction from much better material.
(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: 7/10