My TV

03 September 2008

Prison Break: new season, new genre

By // TV

 This week’s season premiere of Prison Break made 3 things clear:

1) Sara’s back, it’s totally plausible and the audience is not, under any circumstances, to question it. And question it I won’t, because having Sara back means an end of the vengeful, mopey Michael and more of the thoughtful, focused Michael of earlier seasons. The romance also adds a little variety to the usually one-note show.

2) Mahone, Sucre, Bellick, Lincoln and the new guy are all going to serve useful purposes this year and not just be dead weight around Michael’s neck again. Mahone’s long and detailed speech detailing how they can uncover the identity of the cardholder served the essential purpose of reminding the audience that Alex Mahone wasn’t always a pill-popping and paranoid loser, once upon a time he was at the top of his FBI division.

3) We’ve moved into a completely different genre. Prison Break hasn’t been a suspense show since season 1. For the past 2 years it’s been a conspiracy and action-based show. Now, for season 4, they’ve moved towards an espionage angle. With all the breaking, entering, defrauding and data stealing that went on in the two-part premiere, there were times when I had to remind myself that I wasn’t watching an early season of Alias.

So it’s not even pretending to be about a prison break anymore, but the new season’s premise seems to be the most promising in years. I only wish that they had gone through with the murder of Gretchen, there’s no need to have the bitch from She’s All That playing tough all season.

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