TV Article

Breaking Out Is Hard to Do

On the ''Prison Break'' fall finale, Michael and his crew start their escape but are blocked by an untimely repair; meanwhile, Veronica almost uncovers the conspiracy

THE MIGHTY DUCT Michael's plans were foiled by a new air vent
Image credit: Prison Break: Fox
THE MIGHTY DUCT Michael's plans were foiled by a new air vent

The ''Prison Break'' fall finale: Give us a break!

We know, we know. Some of you harder-core Prison Break fans must be a little disappointed that we haven't done a TV Watch on the show until now, the morning after its so-called fall finale. (The series is returning in March, if you believe the latest promo.) So we'll try to deflect some of your anger onto the episode itself. For weeks, we've been led to expect a big payoff: Finally! They were busting out. And then...well, let's just say lots of funny little things happened on the way out of the infirmary.

Let's begin with the blood — that is, the blood spraying from Abruzzi's neck courtesy of a run-in with T-Bag and his hidden razor blade at the end of the previous episode. While Abruzzi was being airlifted to a Chicago hospital (and possibly written out of the show), T-Bag played coy, saying to the rest of the PI gang, ''I wonder what happened to that boy.'' Even though you would assume that the Abruzzi associates who walked T-Bag to their little sitdown might have some idea, nobody wondered for long. Abruzzi out. Looks like the Mafia's taking a backseat for a while.

The brothers Burrows and Scofield, on the other hand, were on everyone's mind. C-Note, Sucre, and the rest of the PI crew wondered if Michael would ditch Lincoln and go ahead with the escape. Veronica raced to get the proof from Agent Hale (good) that would free Lincoln before Agent Kellerman (bad) could track her down. And Lincoln? He was locked away in the hole — and locked into a stare-off with a matchstick. Yes, a matchstick. Now I don't know about you, but if I were on death row, I'd expect taxpayers to at least spring for a flashlight.

Lincoln's stay at Camp Confinement did, however, give us a chance to get to know our lesser characters a little better. Apparently C-Note's wife is under the impression her man's an Army sergeant stationed in Kuwait. What, no caller ID? And that prison chaplain who was there to comfort Abruzzi during his ''Jesus is really a red stain on my wall'' moment last week? Either he's in on Michael's plan or really careless about crucifixes.

But this week's Best Supporting Player Who Won't Be Around Much Longer Award goes to Agent Hale. What's a remorseful assassin for hire to do? He wanted to help Veronica save Lincoln, he really did. He also wanted to keep Kellerman from shooting him in the face. Can't win 'em all, I guess. At least he went out knowing that Kellerman was impressed he'd managed to outline the whole conspiracy in three pages. Hemingway would've been proud.

Ah, and now we come to the escape. The months of planning, scheming, digging — not to mention loss of phalanges — all foiled by...maintenance. Wait a minute; don't Michael and the boys do the maintenance? Who else could have replaced that air vent Michael had been ever so slowly dissolving? Did Fox River outsource without telling PI? Either way, that new hardware is staying put, and there's nothing Michael or all the magic little black pills in the world can do about it.

I feel used. I thought for sure that this fall finale would offer some closure. But can I really be satisfied with the revelation that the murder Lincoln is being executed for never actually took place? Or that Michael grows increasingly pouty as the obstacles mount? How will I ever wait until March?

Well, there's always American Idol.

What do you think? Will Lincoln get a stay of execution? Will Michael start over from square one? Were you disappointed or intrigued by the non-final finale? Will you be back in March?

Originally posted Nov 29, 2005
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