Last night’s season premier of “Prison Break” was all over the map. It had good, bad and ugly.I’ve been somewhat of a Prison Break-apologist. I recognize that the world in which they’ve crafted (much like “Alias”) has it’s own rules that need to exist for the premise to work. But last night, there was one that really lost me.
I’m not talking about the super-cellphone that can read any electronic device, even a highly secure memory card that would NEVER have a radio signal to detect (the radiation it would have given off to activate the card at that range would be deadly). Come to think of it, why couldn’t the device access the alarm system? No, I’m talking about the fact that a two-time prison escapee would NEVER be let out on bail, much less without an arraignment. The TV watching public is all too familiar with how the courts work to fall for this. Then, there is the fact that they were out on bail, never saw a judge, yet were transferred to a federal prison? None of this makes sense, and completely took me out of the show in the first hour.
I understand why they felt this needed to happen. They needed a dramatic reveal for the return of Sarah (even though we knew she was coming back), and an attempt on her/their life to force Michael and Lincoln to take the assignment/deal. They rushed this first hour to get us to the setup (I like to call SD-6) with all the ex-cons working together in the warehouse. We as loyal “Prison Break” viewers deserved to see this play out properly, as well as see the Sona fire and escape. The entire first 2 hour episode should have ended with the Lincoln and Micheal agreeing to the deal. I can’t imagine how new viewers will perceive this show if this is their first exposure. We deserved more.
There was good in this premier. T-Bag’s desert Mexican-meal was a perfect way to remind the audience what kind of person he really is. T-Bag has become a beloved character, and many tend to forget this man is evil and ruthless. I’m glad they started off on the right foot with him.
Then there is the brutal murder of Mahone’s family. Although this was kind of glossed over, it is the single most powerful moment in the 2-hours. His motivation has been to return to a normal family life. Just when it appeared he might, his entire reason for living is taken from him. His emotions should have been explored deeper (instead of the mushy reunion between Sara and Michael). The slaughter also gave us a gruesome introduction to Wyatt, the new bad-guy.
Cress Williams (Wyatt) was an amazing choice. He has such a kind and calm personality that you would never expect him to be so evil. As he talked to the two roommates, sitting calmly at the dining room table, it was peaceful and frightening at the same time. I’m glad he has replaced Gretchen as the “bad-guy”, as everytime she was on the screen last season, I cringed at the terrible acting. Hopefully she spends most of this season bound and gagged.
In all, I was disappointed with the premier. I know that the writers strike was most likely the cause of this rushed opener. I’m sure that much of what we missed (and much of what was in the first hour) was supposed to be the tail end of last season. I can support the SD-6 style missions that it appears the new group will be going on. Again, “Prison Break” has changed formulas; let’s hope it’s a good one.