Archive for the ‘Prison Break’ Category

Review: Prison Break 2.3 — “Scan”

September 8, 2006

Vague, TV-Guide-ish Recap:  The next step in Michael’s plans results in a convoluted digression out into the boonies.  The now-jobless Bellick deciides to after the brothers by following his own leads.  Sucre and C-Note start to do exactly the wrong thing if they want to stay out of jail: they start trying to get back into their respective women’s lives.  Dr. Sara’s governor father, now well on his way to the Vice-Presidency, uses his new-found clout to keep her out of jail and in rehab.  Paris Gellar’s fiancee (ie: Kellerman) inveigles his way into Dr. Sara’s rehab group.

Comments:  Over the opening weeks of the second season, there’ve been a lot of complaints from fans about how convoluted the plot it.  This coming from people who have been watching a show whose first episode ever promised, “We’re the Rube Goldberg of Conspiracy Theory Shows” by revealing that its lead character put all of his plans to break out of prison and stay out into a ginormous set of tatoos.  No doubt, the complainers are also mostly fans of 24, too, and the credibility-stretching plot convolutions there don’t seem to raise the same alarms.  Do I detect some hypocrisy here?

Anyway, while there are some gaping plot holes in the story — like, wouldn’t Fichtner’s task force have already had Michael’s Russian mail-order wife staked out long before Bellick even though of the lead? — none of them are deal-breaker implausible at this point and instead continue to reveal character.  Many of the turns simply continue to suggest (without outright stating) that Michael must have some form of OCD to have this much ability to 1) have his plans thought out sometimes years in advance and 2) to stick to the larger plan when some part of it (the loss of the backpack with fake IDs) goes awry.

That they’re continuing to include the previously disposable character of Michael’s mail-order bride . . . umm, what’s her name again, she’s that memorable? . . . strongly suggests that now that Veronica is dead, Linc is destined to fall for her and eventually remove the legal impediments to Hamlet Michael and Ophelia Dr. Sara finally hooking up at some point in the indeterminately near future.  And the more I thought about that implication, the more it became apparent to me that probably the sole reason Veronica was killed off was to make room in the budget for William Fichtner as the Inspector Javert-ish Gerard-ish man in charge of hunting the brothers down.  I certainly wouldn’t have killed Veronica off just for (or even primarily for, as I believe was done in this case) such budgetary reasons, but nevertheless, I like what Fichtner is bringing to the show.

On the other hand, Fichtner’s (umm, what is his character’s name again?) downing a few “tic-tacs” suggests that the character has the cliched deus-ex-machina-in-the-making of some sort of a heart problem looming over him.  I hope that they lose this cheap plot crutch by forgettting that they ever showed it.

The show, as always, runs on pure momentum, which the actors carry fine even when the story occasionally stumbles (but not where the fans think that it stumbles.)

Episode Grade:  B.

Three Moons Over Stars Hollow, Take Eleventy-Seven

September 4, 2006

Just when I’m starting to get used to Three Moons Over Stuckeyville Cicely Mayberry Stars Hollow Milford, they throw yet another shameless reference at me that they’ve stolen directly from Gilmore Girls:  namely a Town Troubadour.  Okay, sure, he’s an accordion player this time, but, geez, that just compounds the sin.

It’s official:  ABC Family is desperate to have its own Gilmore Girls and Three Moons Over Milford is just as desperate to be that rip-off of Gilmore Girls as its wacky residents are to go off and do their wacky townie things. 

Note:  yeah, this means that I watched last week’s episode last night, which only shows you how much a combination of a prescription reaction and a sinus infection within two days of each other have just whammied me.  To make matters worse, Fox up and repeated the pilot of Vanished twice on Friday night rather than repeat last week’s Prison Break in the 8pm timeslot like they originally threatened to, so I’ve missed out on the second episode — at least, until they decide to marathon the first eight or ten episodes on FX in, like a month or something.  Still, grrrrrr. 

Thanks for nothing, Fox.  It isn’t as if you hadn’t already shown that episode of Vanished twice that week as it was.  And no, you’re not making me any more interested in a show I wasn’t planning on watching in the first place.  Instead, you’re making me resent having Yet Another Political Action Thriller in the vein of 24 and Prison Break shoved down my throat.  Very much a case of Fox’s programmers acting too aggressively and over-promoting a show.

Review: Prison Break Season Premiere 8-21-06

August 27, 2006

I’ll try to have the episode titles in the headers for each show that I review, but this time it escapes me (mostly because it’s late at night).

John Billingsley’s loss as the President’s brother is the show’s gain.  I loved Billingsley as Dr. Phlox, but he seemed rather heavy handed in the first season.  His replacement in the role, Jeff Perry, is one of the few times where recasting a role in a primetime show works.  Perry brings much more range to the character, making the death of Veronica all the more tragic.

And speaking of the death of Veronica — Sorry, but I ain’t gonna do spoiler warnings.  You read at your own risk.  I’ll miss Veronica because I still have warm fuzzy hormones feelings for her from The Craft, but still, her demise showed how being out on a limb by yourself in the most deadly situation can get you killed and suggests that the Prison Breakers’ best chance to stay alive, clear Linc and get D.B. Cooper’s Westmoreland’s stash of money in Utah is to stick together.  The death of Veronica, one of the lead characters of the series in the season premiere also quite neatly shows us that no one is safe in this story, anyone, even Linc or Michael, could die at any time.  Brilliant, brilliant move to kill off one of my favorite characters on the series in such a great way.

Also, I’m glad that Dr. Sara survived her heroin overdose in last season’s finale.  Between her sadness and instability, Michael’s intense inscruitability and Horatio’s Linc’s newfound moral steadfastness, I think what we’ve got here is a remake of Hamlet by the way of The Great Escape.

Grade:  A+

This review was edited and slightly expanded since I first posted it.