Of all the shows I expected to be on my must-see list this season, “Prison Break” was definitely not one of them.
But as Wentworth Miller (Michael) said, this season brings “the ole gang back together.”
And darn it all, it looks like that gang is going to include me…
Maybe I’ve been watching too much Bravo. Or maybe I’ve been living in a world without “24” too long. But for some reason I found the unrealistic twists and turns and outrageous storylines of the season premiere to be somewhat reassuring…
You may remember me saying that I just couldn’t see how “Break” could go another season. But you’ve got to hand it to the writers for finding a way. As I said, it’s not the most realistic way, but it does have potential.
The first fifteen minutes of the premiere fly by at a breakneck pace as the show catches us up on all the characters. But it moves through that so quickly because where they are is not nearly as important as where they’re going—back together.
After Michael and Lincoln (Dominic Purcell) both make major missteps, they both end up—where else?—back in jail. But a way out emerges quickly in the form of Don Self (Michael Rapaport), a Homeland Security agent who wants to bring down The Company. He asks Lincoln and Michael to steal Scylla, The Company’s black book, and then break into an unknown Company facility in exchange for their freedom. They take a pass until they realize they will never be safe until The Company is destroyed.
But they can’t do it alone. So Self brings in Sucre (Amaury Nolasco), Bellick (Wade Williams), and even Mahone (William Fichtner) to help out. Joining the familiar five is newcomer Roland (James Hiroyuki Liao), an electronics expert who is also working for his freedom.
The dynamics in the group are chock full of entertaining possibilities. Bellick is nervous and clueless and provides the humor while Mahone is not entirely stable and must deal with Lincoln’s thirst for revenge (Remember that Mahone killed Michael and Lincoln’s father.). And Roland brings an edgy and hip perspective to the team that is sure to set off fireworks.
And don’t worry. T-Bag (Robert Knepper) is still around. He’s just separated from the group. But it won’t be for long as the gang soon realizes that T-Bag may hold the key to the whole thing.
Of course, The Company still casts a huge shadow over everything. And the new Company assassin, Wyatt (the wonderfully mysterious Cress Williams), lurks around every corner to create trouble for our gang and their friends and loved ones.
Now at this point, you’re probably remembering how I said I was done with “Break” after the way they killed Sara. But if you took a close look at the cast photo, you know why I changed my mind.
es, Sara (Sarah Wayne Callies) is back. And before you get mad at me for revealing a major surprise, let me assure you that I haven’t ruined anything as Sara’s resurrection is part of those breakneck opening fifteen minutes. But again, her reappearance is not the important thing. It’s where she’s going once she does reappear that matters—which is into the thick of things with the rest of the gang.
However, Sara is not the person we once knew as she is scarred by her captivity at the hands of The Company. Sadly, the chemistry between Callies and Miller also is not the same, but I’m hoping that’s due more to the change in Sara as opposed to issues off-screen.
One thing is the same—the brilliance of Robert Knepper and William Fichtner. For me, Knepper IS “Prison Break” and T-Bag is as captivating as ever in the premiere as he does one of the most disgusting things he’s ever done (and that’s saying something).
Meanwhile, Fichtner (who was so great in his “The Dark Knight” cameo) creates new facets for an already complex character as Mahone receives real motivation to turn on The Company…
After the whirlwind opening, the remainder of the two-hour premiere settles into the familiar “Break” pattern of crazy twists, big surprises and lots of red herrings to fool us along the way. The body count is extremely high, including the death of a “Break” trademark. And, of course, there’s a huge cliffhanger that will definitely bring you back for more…
I feel quite certain that “Break” will find some way to disappoint me along the way this season, but for now, we—like the ole gang—are back together again.
Who’d have thunk it?
“Prison Break” premieres Monday, September 1st at 8 p.m. on FOX…Cast Photo Credit: Florian SchneiderOther Photo Credits: Michael LavineProvided by FOX