Tuesday, July 21, 2009

One Final Prison Break

For four seasons on Fox, the cast of PRISON BREAK dodged the authorities, searched for D.B. Cooper’s buried treasure (!), got trapped in a Caribbean hellhole, encountered international intrigue, and even underwent a covert mission for Homeland Security. As the final season bore to an end, the producers decided they had one last story to tell. Since ratings had dropped precipitously in its final year, the two extra episodes were cut together and released directly to home video a few months after the last show aired.

To fully explain PRISON BREAK would entail more space than I have available (the show’s premise changed every season), but in a nutshell, brilliant engineer Michael Scofield (Wentworth Miller) had himself tossed into a Chicago penitentiary with the notion of helping his brother Lincoln Burrows (JOHN DOE's Dominic Purcell), on Death Row for the murder of the Vice-President’s brother (which he didn’t commit), escape. They did at the end of Season 1, along with Scofield’s cellmate Sucre (Amaury Nolasco), serial killer T-Bag (scene-stealing Robert Knepper), and several others. Prison doctor Sara Tancredi (Sarah Wayne Callies), who helped Scofield’s breakout, tagged along, and William Fichtner (late of INVASION) eventually joined the cast and was consistently wonderful as drug-addicted FBI agent Alex Mahone.

Season 4, which is when THE FINAL BREAK takes place, found Scofield, Burrows, Sucre, T-Bag, and Sara involved in a conspiracy headed by a shady organization known as The Company, headed by the insidious bald General Krantz (flinty Leon Russom). The series ended with the good guys clearing their names and the bad guys behind bars, where they belong. But THE FINAL BREAK finds the brothers back together with Mahone and Sucre for—what else—another prison break. This time, it’s Sara (now Michael’s wife) in the joint for killing Michael’s mother (played by Kathleen Quinlan in the series), also a high-ranking member of The Company.

Since THE FINAL BREAK is a two-part episode and not really any kind of “movie,” its strengths and weaknesses coincide with those of the TV series. If you were a fan of PRISON BREAK, THE FINAL BREAK offers the same wacky plotting, slick production values, rocky performances, breakneck chases, and terse dialogue. By this time, you’ve either learned to give in to the production’s charms, which resemble a Republic serial on PCP, or give up altogether. The TV finale foreshadowed the bittersweet ending, but the actors, perhaps mirroring their own feelings about ending the show, still make it deliver a lump in the throat.


Sona said...

Thanks for nice article,Me too a Prison Break Fan,but it is really sad that they are not going to make the season 5 :( Will miss it :(
watch prison break

kamagra said...

i just love that series. PRISON BREAK has been changing my mind and I THINK we can't ignore the way like producers did the job because it's all about structures and scripts.

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