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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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/100

Episode 7 - Vamonos

30 March 2012

Synopsis: Michael’s challenge to Whistler is merely a distraction as they attempt to escape. But clouds cover the glare and so they abandon the attempt. Lechero forces them to fight to the death until the guards discover their rope ladder and enter the prison. They humiliate Lechero and so he enlists Michael to break him out of Sona. Meanwhile Lincoln pretends that they have escaped and he and Sucre almost recover LJ.

The Good: All credit to the writers of Prison Break, they have been relentless in their pursuit of logical feeling plot developments this season. So in this episode we learn that Michael’s challenge to Whistler was just a way to distract the other inmates. It makes sense and Michael’s stated quest of revenge on those who killed Sarah is similarly logical motivation for him.

The clouds covering the glare is so simple and yet devastates their plan, again a logical development. The guards burst in to prevent Michael dying once they find the rope ladder. Once more a logical development. The head of the guards gives Lechero an almighty dressing down, once more this makes sense. As does the fact that Sammy and company know only Michael could be responsible for an escape attempt. Finally Michael’s life can only be saved by the fact that Lechero now needs him to escape.

It’s all breathless stuff but each manoeuvre is well explained and dramatic and naturally sets up Michael’s next escape attempt which should cover the remaining few episodes leading up to the strike-affected finale.

Meanwhile Lincoln and Sucre steal the best scene of the episode (see Best Moment) in a genuinely dramatic and tense standoff with Susan. Or should that be Gretchen. We later learn that Whistler is in contact with her and is clearly involved in putting pressure on Michael to help him escape. It’s an interesting twist which once more begs many questions about who Whistler really is.

Perhaps the best logic all season has been that of people in authority not taking any crap from those beneath them. It weakens a show badly when characters look weak or foolish when they are meant to be portrayed as a threat. Susan remains the strongest as she cuts off LJ when he attempts to play on her sympathies. She follows up by convincing Lincoln that she and her partner would rather die than hand over LJ and finally says to Whistler that if she gives Michael more time after insisting he had only a week then she “may as well hand them a condom and a cigarette to go with it.” She has been unflinching throughout and is a convincing threat as a result. Similarly the head of the prison basically invites the other inmates to overthrow Lechero which makes sense after an escape attempt and finally Sammy punches Whistler in the face for taunting him. Well why not, he made comments about his mother and this is prison. Sammy would have looked like a fool if he hadn’t.

The Bad: Meanwhile Alexander Mahone sweats and crawls around his hotel room as he fights his withdrawal. Again it is a strong performance but it lacks an obvious moral centre. Alex is responsible for so many deaths that in a way we should want him to serve his time in Sona. But we know he was under pressure from the company and it is difficult not to feel sorry for him as he suffers so badly. If we knew he was genuinely penitent I suppose it would be easier to interpret his behaviour, as it is he remains a muddle.

The Unknown: Who is Whistler and what is he really being asked to do outside Sona? Is Gretchen working for him or the company? Is he just being consulted on the plan as we know it or is he in much deeper than that?

Best Moment: Sucre drives his car in front of Susan’s escaping van and they collide. Lincoln speeds up to the pile up and pulls out his gun. He slams Susan into the door of the car and shoots her driver dead. Her other partner jumps out of the back of the van with a gun pointed on LJs head. A tense standoff follows. She talks him down by saying “When you chose this line of work, you know its all going to come down to a moment like this. So kill me.” Unfortunately for Lincoln, he has so much more to lose than she does that he does back down. And they take LJ and leave. Exciting, dramatic, logical.

The Verdict: An excellent episode, full of incident and drama, full of logic. When an episode can be pleasing on the eye and the mind you have a winning combination. The only drawback is that this is a television show, so you knew that with more episodes to fill, the escape wasn’t likely to go well. But it plays out very nicely and sets up a new escape plan with plenty of intrigue surrounding it.

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