Crumbs: Reviews » Dramas » Prison Break » Season 3 » Bang & Burn
Critical reviews of U.S. TV shows
and analysis of what makes them
good, bad, irritating and enlightening.

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 8 - Bang & Burn

30 March 2012

Synopsis: The Company’s “pad man” tells Gretchen that they are breaking Whistler out themselves by force. Sofia discovers another apartment belonging to Whistler with a passport in the name of Gary Miller. Inside Sona Lechero shows Michael the tunnels which used to connect different parts of Sona. Michael begins to formulate a plan to tunnel out. The Company agents try to kill Lincoln but he kills them instead. Mahone gets his day in court but is so raddled with withdrawal that his testimony is useless. The “Bang and Burn” approach fails because Michael stops Whistler from leaving. Once the guards restore order they take Michael away.

The Good: Poor Mahone manages to command our sympathies by explaining his situation clearly. He killed a horrible man and the guilt led him to take drugs. Now those drugs are keeping him from being able to testify coherently. As he stumbles and mumbles on the stand you can’t help but feel bad for him. His return to Sona will be interesting.

Whistler is growing as an intriguing character. He shows his crafty side when he convinces Michael that he is claustrophobic. Then there is what appears to be a profile he wrote of Mahone, presumably the start of a plan to manipulate him. When Gretchen orders Sofia to be considered expendable one of her operatives asks how Whistler will feel about that. If he were really their prisoner, why on earth would they consider his feelings? It would seem that he is more in control of his situation than it seems, especially when Gretchen tells him they are going with “Bang and Burn” and he instantly knows exactly what that will mean.

The reappearance of the “pad man” from the Company is interesting and puts the squeeze on Gretchen just as Lechero puts the squeeze on Michael. Michael seems amply justified when he tells Lincoln that not telling him about Sarah makes him like the Company.

The Bad: There are lots of niggles I have with this episode. There is nothing too wrong, just lots of things that don’t feel right.

The action sequences aren’t very dramatic and don’t grab you as Lincoln’s rescue attempt did in the last episode. The clumsy attempt to kill him is so easily thwarted as to damage the credibility of Gretchen’s team. It is a shame because she has done a good job of making them look efficient. Meanwhile the helicopter attack on Sona is filmed in an uninspiring way. Lots of gun fire and shots of Michael and Whistler struggling just don’t add up to much. It never feels like much significance will come from it and when they both fall back to earth and rush back into Sona, it makes the whole “Bang and Burn” story feel a bit redundant. Though I suppose we will have to wait and see where Michael is headed.

Speaking of “Bang and Burn”, why does the “pad man” threaten to essentially torture Gretchen? Is a threat of death just not dramatic enough? It seems like the writers are keen to point out how evil the Company are and how Gretchen is just a pawn in this game. But the threat comes across as empty. We don’t have a reason to like Gretchen at this stage and we would never see the consequences of the threat even if they happened.

The threat also joins a slightly worrying trend of meaningless violence developing in the show. Lincoln commits murder, self defence perhaps, but it was this alleged act for which he was wrongfully incarcerated in the first place. We have spent two seasons waiting for justice to be done and him to be set free. Now that he is free he kills a man. That should have been a very dramatic moment but it isn’t. It gets lost amongst the bloodshed.

Whistler’s supposed sex pad only has a single bed in it. He then buys a knife off a man in Sona who clearly doesn’t want anyone to know what he has done and yet the exchange takes place on the balcony in full view of the courtyard.

The Unknown: Why is McGrady in Sona? Again who is Whistler and how involved is he in his own breakout agenda? What was he trying to learn about Mahone?

Best Moment: Mahone laying out his problems to Agent Lang. It’s a very useful recap for new and old viewers and it acts as a confessional for him. His desperation is laid bare and his final plea in the courtroom is equally sad: “I would like to go home. So can I do that please?”

The Verdict: So much happens in this episode that nothing really sticks. There is intrigue and murder and threats and an escape attempt and a court hearing and it is all too much. The writers seem to be speeding through things to try and get things ready for the build up to the finale and this episode suffers a bit as a result.



Add your comments on this episode below. They may be included in the weekly podcasts.

Post your comment


No one has commented on this page yet.

RSS feed for comments on this page | RSS feed for all comments