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Prison Break

Prison Break is a drama about Michael Schofield, a gifted engineer who deliberately gets incarcerated in order to try and break his brother Lincoln out of prison. FOX 2005-2009

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Episode 21 - Rate of Exchange

28 March 2012

Synopsis: Michael and Mahone try to kill Christina but fail. Their next plan is for Mahone to go to her apparently betraying Michael and give her a fake Scylla that is really an explosive device. Meanwhile Michael agrees to meet the General. The General has no intention of making a fair exchange and sets T-Bag on Sarah. But Michael doesn’t go to the exchange, instead he breaks into the loft and rescues Sarah. In Chicago C-Note returns to tell Sucre that someone has offered him a deal: Scylla in return for all of their freedoms. The returning man of influence is Paul Kellerman. Finally two FBI agents interrogate Don Self who tries not to give himself away. Christina sends Downey to inject self with something nasty.

The Good: Mahone is the voice of reason as you would expect him to be. He lays out all the various obstacles which Michael has to overcome in order for more people not to die. Equally understandably Michael doesn’t trust Mahone. It is the first time that they have been alone together like this and he has no reason to believe Mahone won’t betray him.

T-Bag can make almost any speech sound interesting. Certainly his threat to rape Sarah thus making Michael always think of him would be a horrific revenge.

The Bad: Oh dear. For a season finale this just feels like all the poor episodes which preceded it. Only this is more disappointing because viewers will be expecting more.

The trade offs of valuable objects have become deeply dull to watch. By this stage neither side is taking realistic or adequate precautions to ensure a fair trade. So when Michael fails to kill Christina or fools the General you just roll your eyes. The season finale should be the time for the greatest of all Michael’s plans, instead this is more cookie cutter stuff. The General looks like a complete moron when Michael is able to rescue Sarah without raising an alarm. Where were the guards? How did they get out without being seen?

Christina playing uber-bitch doesn’t matter anymore. It’s so obvious that she is about to get her comeuppance that being cruel to Lincoln doesn’t make me feel anything. Mahone playing traitor was never convincing either and the ruse didn’t last more than a scene or two anyway. Another intriguing story which could have been developed but wasn’t.

C-Note and Paul Kellerman’s returns are pure Deus Ex Machina. Suddenly they turn up offering the magic solution to everyone’s problems. Where were the hints of this ten episodes ago? Why hasn’t this been building up to a final gigantic showdown? By throwing it in it feels like such an afterthought. It will take one hell of a performance in the finale to make this seem less contrived.

It’s difficult to know what to make of Don Self’s predicament. His character has received no real attention since he betrayed the gang. Now it’s difficult to know whether to want a horrible end for him or to feel sorry for a man who was driven by guilt over hurting his wife.

Finally we have T-Bag threatening to rape Sarah. The longer he talks the less likely it was that this was going anywhere at all interesting. The writers really let him down here. After spending all season being seduced by the good life he could never had he just reverts to his season one character here. Now he didn’t deserve redemption by any means but to just dial back his character is a huge letdown. When the General refuses to keep his promise to Michael and Sarah, T-Bag ought to be smart enough to see that he is going to be next. But instead he gets baited by Sarah and then knocked out by Michael. Again, unless there is a big twist coming in the next episode this was a real waste of one of the show’s best characters.

The Unknown: How did Kellerman avoid being killed?

Best Moment: Umm, T-Bag’s idea for revenge maybe.

The Verdict: Thoroughly disappointing and depressing really.

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