Mini TV Watch: 'Prison Break' (Season 3, episode 1)

Prison_lFirst off, what was all that pre-premiere critical hoo-hah about Prison Break "improving" this season by sending Michael & Co. back to the slammer? I dug last year’s men-on-the-run in every-which-way-but-win setup.  Sucks that Lincoln’s lawyer babe Veronica had to get clipped in episode 1 (no double dates with Mike and Sara), but her goody-goodness was dead weight. Those dudes were in prison. With T-Bag. They were pawns in a hoax orchestrated by the vice president and Veronica was still angling for a reprieve.  Who wasn’t chuffed to see her screen time go to emotionally conflicted, drug-addicted, altogether cooler Sara?  The good doctor always came through in the pinch.  Season 2 trimmed Break‘s fat (Veronica, Abruzzi, C-Note), revealing a streamlined, if old-school, conspiracy thriller (a shady group of financial corporations known simply as the Company runs the country) and a slick game of cat-and-mouse pitting brainiac fugitive Michael against FBI genius Mahone (an employee of said group).  Now through machinations of the Company, the pair, along with T-Bag and Bellick, are trapped in a Panama City prison called Sona. 

And yeah, last night’s episode hinted at a pretty thrilling season to come.  For instance:

1. Prison Break: Panama City is rough.  Remember the jail-house riots from season 1? Child’s play.  It’s like 28 Days Later in there, everyday, complete with cannibalism (Bellick to inmate: "Mmmmm…chicken") and rotting corpses (inmate to Bellick: "That’s not chicken").  And the only way to get out is in a body bag.  Or in the stomach of someone in the body bag. 

2. Sona is run by Bunny Colvin, aka The Wire‘s Robert Wisdom, but without the cuddly cop thing he had going on in that show.  Here he’s called Lechero and he makes yoga — which he practices while watching his flat-screen TV (in a prison, so you know he’s got pull) — scary.

3. New Hamsterdam it ain’t.  Which brings me back to 28 Days Laterand Michael.  One of Lechero’s unbreakable prison rules mandates thatwhen inmates have a beef with each other, they fight it out — to thedeath.  Maybe it was the rain.  Maybe it was his shaved head.  But whenMichael got roped into one such face-off, I expected — no, hoped — for him to go all Cillian Murphy at the end of Daysand kill his opponent by pushing his thumbs through the guy’s eyes.  Hechickened out (saved only by Mahone’s FBI ninja moves — I sense areluctant partnership in their future…), but Michael’s violent side hasbeen brewing since Fox River (the tattoo, the guilt complex).  As T-Bagmight say, You have a freak flag, Pretty, fly it. 

4. There’s a mysterious Australian guy living in Sona’s walls.Obviously, he’s self-sufficient.  Obviously, Bunny would go nuts if hefound him.  And obviously, he’s the "James Whistler" the Company putMichael in there to break out. 

5. No more mentions of how General Pad Man’s labcoated lackey hintedat the end of season 2 that Michael was some sort of science experiment("You know he’s gonna break out.  It’s in his blood").  I’m not one fordropped plotlines or characters (like George Clooney’s son on ER), but I get enough of this on Lost.   

6. The scratch marks on Jodi Lyn O’Keefe’s face.  You know sheprobably got them from a boyfriend whose cruelty has turned her into ahard-hearted criminal, but you secretly hope Sara did it when she wassnatched. And when did PB become a haven for Nash Bridges’ cast (Jodi,Jeff Perry)? Next up, Don Johnson as T-Bag’s new honey. 

7. Sara’s potential return.  We know Sarah Wayne Callies is nolonger in the cast.  But here’s to hoping she has a tearful cameo in anend-of-season reunion.  George Clooney did it when Julianna Marguliesleft ER.

8. Sucre’s not dead.  Is it just me or whenever he yells "Maricruz!" are you reminded of Brando’s "Stella?" Don’t answer that. 

9. Kellerman’s return. Okay, so this isn’t in the episode, but needI point out that we never actually saw him die?  Come on PaulAdelstein, "everybody eats berries," you know what I’m talkng about!

Okay, all you Break fans, what did you think of Monday night’s episode?   

Comments (99 total) Add your comment
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  • charlie

    bitchin’

  • Sassy

    I loved it. I’ve been a fan since the first episode and this episode did not disappoint. Can someone please tell me though why Sarah Wayne Callies is not coming back? I know she announced her pregnancy but I didn’t hear anything after that.

  • Michelle

    Just brilliant. T-Bag makes the show-though he didn’t have a lot of air time last night. This show is better than 24 by far.

  • Jeff

    Sucre always yelling for Maricruz reminds me of “Lost” when Michael always yelled for Walt.
    Overall, solid episode. Sets up for a solid season. I’m a little dissappointed, however, that Sara won’t be in this season.

  • EP Sato

    I can’t watch anymore. They should have been free once they hit Panama, and the show feels like they’re stretching a thin storyline two seasons longer than they needed to. Fun while it lasted, but I’m now searching for new digs on Monday.

  • Jim

    this show went from awesome to bad to awesomely bad. it’s like watching michael bay movies (albeit without the explosions). you want to look away, but you just can’t.

  • Marsh

    For a show that shoulda only lasted a season or two, they keep finding ways to make it better, so my hats off to the writers

  • Jonathan F.

    Pretty good premiere. Looks like it will be much better than Season2.
    Which sucked sh*t.

  • Ben S

    I’m fairly sure the dude in Sona’s walls is English, not Australian.

  • monica

    MARICRUZ! lol I miss Kellerman, he was more entertaining than Mahone. Now I have to watch him be “cute” on Private Practice. I thought those scratch marks were from Sara too. She’s probably dead though. But if she isn’t, let’s be honest what kind of life is Michael going to have now that every criminal in the world knows he can break them out if motivated properly? However, she’s very resourceful–remember when she was going to be electrocuted in that tub–so maybe she’s on the run…again.

  • t3hdow

    Considering how much I didn’t like how the season 2 finale turned out back in March, the season 3 premier surprised me. I’m actually interested to see where the writers go with this, even if this wasn’t in the original game plan. Yeah, the plot’s gotten extremely ridiculous, and sure, it’ll never reach the season 1 level of suspense again, but at least it’s still entertaining, unlike 24 season 6 (which accomplished both without being fun to watch). With that said, I say this to the writers:
    PLEASE END PRISON BREAK AFTER THIS SEASON. Follow your gut like you said in March 2006 and end it with season 3 (if not 2).
    P.S. To any EW editor reading this, there’s a typo on #5. You said ‘at the end of season 3 [of Prison Break].’ It’s supposed to be season 2.

  • Maeve

    I’m really bent out of shape about no Sara. I started getting flashbacks to Newt on the slab in Alien 3…so happy it wasn’t Sara in that morgue but instead of Sara this season we have shots of hair covering some lady’s face.
    T-bag actually looked right at home at Sona. Bellick looked right at home in his clear garbage bag. Maybe it’s time Michael permanently shed that hoodie.
    I think that dude in the cell actually fed Bellick rat meat.

  • Michael

    Last night’s episode was great! I’ve enjoyed both seasons of PB, but like most thought season 1 was better that 2, so I’m glad to see the show go back to it’s roots. I completely agree with you Aubry with respect to Kellerman; I’m still hoping he arranged to have that firing squad kill the driver and the guard in the backseat with him, and that it wasn’t K himself that was killed. And one more thing…WHY IS THIS A MINI-TV WATCH?! IT NEEDS FULL TV-WATCH STATUS LIKE LAST SEASON! If you’re with me popwatchers, post your own comments so they know how much we want this!

  • Corinne

    You’re pretty dark if you’re assuming they were eating people, lol! I thought he meant rats. (“That’s not chicken”) Pretty intriguing start to the season.

  • Corinne

    To Ben S.: We watch the episodes with CC on (because the baby is asleep and the tv gets too loud) and before he spoke, CC said “In an Australian accent:” So it seems he’s Australian!

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