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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


Episode 19 - S.O.B

28 March 2012

Synopsis: Krantz arrives and gives Lincoln one day to recover Scylla. He also reveals that T-Bag betrayed them. Self, Mahone and Lincoln follow clues they get from Sandinsky and end up chasing Downey to the energy conference. Michael captures Christina and she reveals that he and Lincoln aren’t really brothers. She tells Michael that Lincoln is looking in the wrong place for Scylla. As Michael rushes off to warn Lincoln, Christina escapes from Sarah. Banerjee is assassinated and Christina has framed her two sons.

The Good: We get to see Christina’s mind at work in all its glory throughout this episode. Her plan is to apparently assassinate Banerjee so that the Indian government will be more inclined to pay top dollar for the advanced defence equipment which Scylla can create. A global bidding war might then ensue getting her the huge profit which Krantz believes she is after. To take the fall for the assassination she seems to have framed Mahone, Self and her two sons. With Lincoln once more framed for murder the show feels like it is coming full circle to season one and the reason why the Company must fall. Christina’s true motivations remain unclear, because ruining your children’s lives just to get rich sounds too hollow a storyline. She also leaves Sarah in peace so she is not totally immoral.

But seeing her manipulate Michael and Sarah is enjoyable stuff. Michael once more demonstrates his genius and his morality when he captures Christina without shooting anyone. Even after threatening her with scolding water Michael is deeply shook up. His morality and more gentle temperament are vital to differentiate him from practically every other gun wielding man on this show. Meanwhile Christina’s prodding of Sarah about her drug habit was really well written. She wants Sarah to slam the door and break off the stop. So she asks Sarah to leave the door open to give her some comfort and fresh air. Then she pokes and pokes away at Sarah’s sorest spot until she slams the door shut – trying to punish Christina but actually giving her what she wants. Prison Break is usually at its best when keeping things simple like that.

The revelation that Lincoln was adopted doesn’t mean much within the context of the show. As Michael convincingly points out, Lincoln sacrificed a lot to look after him, so their biology is now irrelevant. But it was an effective tactic to mess with Michael’s head and make him run off to protect his brother once more. It did allow Michael a rare moment of uncontrolled emotion as he yells at her “You don’t know why I did the things I did! You weren’t there!”

T-Bag is the other character whose story moves forward here. Krantz singles him out as the teachers pet and then tells him he will have to kill Lincoln in order to earn his cosy job with the Company. If Krantz is going to kill Lincoln then it’s not hard to imagine he plans on eliminating T-Bag as well. Perhaps the clue is in Krantz’ cocky question to him “Most Company operatives chose their own career path. Now I can’t say what would suit you. What do sexual predators from Alabama typically do? Aside from the obvious.” I don’t think Krantz has any more respect for T-Bag than anyone in the show has had. T-Bag is looking to find redemption (414) but here Krantz makes it clear he must kill again to earn it (see Best Moment). It’s as if this is a test for T-Bag. But once more he chooses the path of least resistance. He murders a man in order to gain his peace, but I don’t think that peace will be forthcoming. I suspect T-Bag may have to earn his redemption by killing Krantz.

The Bad: Mahone’s anger is a moment which bothered me. He was so well characterised earlier in the season when seeking retribution on Wyatt. But then having run away, he returned in a blasé fashion ostensibly because he owed Lincoln (416). Then he was soon threatened by the General too (417) in order to cooperate but claims to Michael that he still wants to bring down the company (418). It’s not clear what his true feelings are anymore, so his frustration didn’t mean much to the viewer. He also talks with real anger about trusting T-Bag. But he is complaining about trust to Don Self who betrayed him in the most conniving horrible way (412) only a few weeks ago!

Again the lack of clarity about what Krantz and Christina really stand for means it is difficult to care about their big scheming plans. What seems to come through is that Krantz was planning for long in the future but Christina wants money now. Yet Sandinsky accuses Krantz of thinking too small. Are we supposed to care about degrees of greed? I don’t think most viewers care about the relative merits of the Company’s leaders plans. With so little time left in a show about to end I think it’s clear we are heading for a happy ending. To spend time on the details of the competing bad guy factions just seems irrelevant.

The filming of Lincoln running up to the hit man who kills Banerjee was very poor. It looked like Lincoln was only a few metres away and he arrived far later. It just looked clumsy.

The Unknown: Christina’s cunning plan to set up her two sons seems far too well planned. It’s not clear how many of the pieces of the puzzle she had to put in place and how far in advance. How did she know that Lincoln and friends would still be working for the Company by now? Krantz keeps threatening to kill them after all. How did she know Sandinsky would give up certain information when he did allowing them to follow the right trail? Did she set Sandinsky up to get killed? I suspect all these details will be ignored but out of courtesy I have put it in The Unknown rather than just assume it was poorly thought through.

Best Moment: T-Bag murdering Sandinsky. With so much murder on television it always stands out when shows take their time over any gun killings. T-Bag shoots Sandinsky without much pause. But we get a full on shot of his recoil and the looks on everyone’s faces which was a welcome touch.

The Verdict: This is pretty entertaining stuff with the usual convenient moments. But the focus of the show needs to be squarely on the characters and their stories coming to a close rather than the mysteries of Scylla, which has long since lost any relevance.



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