Last week's lengthy, exciting, confusing and show-changing season premiere effectively (or ineffectively, depending on how you look at it) put the Sona storyline to rest and brought the action back to the U.S. New characters were introduced; both heroes and villains. There were awkward, inexplicable reunions, shocking losses, hasty exists, and of course the obligatory Lincoln Burrows (Dominic Purcell
) brawl. So, how was the follow-up, now that the story arc of the season has been established? Pretty solid, even if it did lack an appearance from everybody's favorite Revlon Girl (Jodi Lyn O'Keefe
Wentworth Miller auditions for the "Red Rock West" remake
We start out with a nice shot of Special Agent Donald Self (Michael Rapaport
) fiddling with his wedding ring and looking quite despondent. Could there be problems with a current or former wife? This clever foreshadowing points to "yes." Then Michael (Wentworth Miller) shows up for the daily mission update. He is furious, thinking that Self purposely mislead him and his merry men (and woman) into thinking that Scylla is comprised of only one data card, when it is in fact composed of six. Wentworth's overacting in the scene is reminiscent of Nicolas Cage
at his worst
. Get back to being stoic Went; it's what you do best.
Self apparently did not know about the existence of the other five cards, and instead of congratulating Michael for finding the first card so quickly, he gets agitated and demands the next card within 24 hours. Otherwise everyone goes back to jail. Way to motivate the troops, Don.
Things go downhill from there for Self and the boys, as Self's boss demands that he pull the plug on the entire operation. Michael, Lincoln and the rest of the gang, oblivious to this unlikely turn of events, continue planning how they are going to locate the other cardholders. Through the email data that they intercepted in last week's episode, they determine that there is going to be a meeting with all six cardholders, and the team heads to Anaheim in order to put computer wunderkind Roland to good use, and find out exactly where the rendezvous will take place. Don't ask why. Don't ask how. Just go with it.
Bellick & Sucre: BFFs?
As the A-Team of Michael, Lincoln, Mahone (William Fichtner
) and Sara (Sarah Wayne Callies
) heads to the Land of Disney, the B-Team of Sucre (Amaury Nolasco) and Bellick (Wade Williams) are sent on a seemingly pointless stakeout. However, it does provide more bonding time for the two, who recently shared an unforgettable road trip with Bellick's elderly mom. Ahh, the memories. Bellick, perhaps feeling nostalgic, tries to get Sucre to run away with him to Mexico. Just the two of them. While he outwardly shows disgust at the thought, if you look closer you can see that Sucre secretly salivates about the possibility. Who needs Maricruz when you've got Bradley Bellick around?
T-Bag goes 9-5
While the rest of the characters are fighting for their lives, conducting secret missions and in Lincoln's case, sweating profusely (although this time he seems to be the only one), T-Bag (Robert Knepper
) is getting himself a pretty sweet signing bonus. You see, he discovered Whistler's secret cache of documents when he was in San Diego; a stash which included an alias that had just secured a pretty sweet sales job (again, don't ask). Inconceivably, Whistler's alias had gotten the gig without meeting or speaking with anyone at the company, so T-Bag is able to assume that identity and prepares for his first day of work! Aww, it seems like just yesterday that he was raping his first inmate in Fox River. They grow up so fast.
Oh, and Teddy gets some bonus points for the new 'stache. Definitely beats his short-lived 'Gary Oldman in "Air Force One" goatee.'
Termie and Bruce go on a picnic
And what about our villain, the terminator-esque Wyatt (Cress Williams
), who will henceforth be known by the affectionate nickname Termie? Well, Termie is happy doing what he does best - killing people. His unfortunate victim this week is Bruce Bennett, friend of the Tancredi family. Termie has some fun with him, dopes him up with loads of truth serum, pretends that they are going on a family picnic, and finally gets him to divulge the location of Sara, Lincoln and Michael. Then, of course, he kills him. Watch out gang, Termie is coming to La La Land.
So, do they find out the location of the secret cardholder meeting?
But of course. You dare doubt the skills of Michael Scofield? They find the location of the top-secret rendezvous, and Michael is able to take a video of The General meeting with all six cardholders. He gives the video to Agent Self (who had resigned himself to shutting down the operation and shipping everyone back to prison), who is then reenergized by the info. Self promptly goes above his superior's head and gets the operation going again. That was inexplicably easy. Well, whoever said that "Prison Break" was logical?
Keeps on rolling
Criticize it for its faults (there are a whole bunch), but nevertheless, "Prison Break" remains one of the most consistently entertaining dramas on television. It's exciting, fast-paced, and has a terrific assortment of characters, both regular and recurring. As amazing as the characters are, the writers' penchant for killing those characters is refreshing and keeps the show exciting and unpredictable. Sure, the body count hasn't reached the ridiculously high levels of a show like "Oz," yet, but it is sufficient enough to set the series apart from the competition.
The new story-arc for season four looks like it will be more compelling than that of the uneven season three, and Termie, as the most efficient villain that we have seen so far, is a great cast addition (with apologies to Special Agent Bill Kim). The show is less predictable when the characters are not incarcerated in some sort of prison, and more fun. So, sit back, relax, and enjoy the rest of the season. Just try not to think about it too hard.
What are your thoughts on last night's episode? Do you like T-Bag's new facial hair? Who do you think will be the next to die? Leave a comment!
Story by Derek Krebs
Starpulse contributing writer