Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Prison Break “Eagles and Angels” Doesn’t Fly

It’s a good thing that Prison Break seems to be starting the episodes off with a recap of the prior week, because I sense things are going to get complicated and hard to follow as we move through the season.

In this week’s episode, “Eagles and Angels”, we seen the team continue in their effort to get their hands on The Company’s data memory cards collectively known as “Scylla”. We learned in an earlier episode (the season premier episodes ) that it wasn’t just one card they were after, but six, which meant 6 more episodes of the same.

In this episode, they find that other card is at the Turkish consulate. They assume that a man has it, but when they have trouble downloading the information from their highly obvious black vehicle parked nearby, they realize the card is in the possession of a woman - Lisa Tabak, who is married to the Turkish consul. While Lisa is later being given some information from one of The Company men, the team plots to get the information from her device. They have to abort one plan as she is surrounded by too much security.

T-Bag (Robert Knepper), however, continues in his impersonation of Colt Pfeiffer, but is spotted by Linc (Dominic Purcell) and he and Michael (Wentworth Miller) give chase. They catch up with T-Bag and press him on the whereabouts of the bird book, but let him loose when it appears they have caught the attention of security. T-Bag still has the bird book, however, and makes his way to his “job” to collect his “bonus”. When he arrives at the office as Cole Pfeiffer, a receptionist with extremely distracting and voluminous cleavage give him a message that matches a clue inside the bird book. Later when T-Bag is shown his office by a somewhat skeptical employee, he also sees that his office number is in the book as well.

Sara is distressed when Agent Self (Michael Rapaport ) calls her to say that Bruce Bennett was found dead, and Sara blames herself. (I blame her too.) Michael consoles her. But a worried Agent Self also warns Michael that Bennett might have told The Company they are in Los Angeles. Michael tells Agent Self about T-Bag, and that T-Bag has the book that he got from Whistler which has the plans for the break in. Still, Michael and the gang work to plot to get the information on the device, which will likely be with Lisa Tabak when she attends an “Eagles and Angels” benefit dinner that night. Since “Eagles and Angels” honors fallen police officers, they know they have their work cut out for them in order to get in unnoticed.

Meanwhile, Sara (Sarah Wayne Callies) still struggles with Bennet’s death and ends up at a bar, asking for a double bourbon, but doesn’t drink it.

While all this is going on, Wyatt (Cress Williams) is also in L.A. trying to hunt down Sara. He takes a diversion to kill Jasper, who was waiting for Agent Self to show up. It seems The Company knew that Jasper was leaking information. When Agent Self goes to meet the jumpy Jasper, he finds him dead on the floor of his room, and we glimpse Wyatt leaving the scene.

The team, during broad daylight, confounds the security at the police storage facility, where they easily get uniforms and badges to help them get access to the benefit. They get into the Eagles and Angels benefit, and Michael gets the data collection device right under the table where Lisa will be sitting. But when a police officer asks Michael where he worked Michael balks. He covers for this by saying he was emotional because one of the fallen cops being honored was one of his guys, but the real cop I doesn’t seem to be buying it.

At the bar, Sara is still contemplating taking that drink. While doing so, a sleazebag comes by, hitting on her, and when rebuffed, steals a credit card from Sara which has Bruce Bennet’s name on it. The bartender takes the drink from Sara, and the sleazebag uses the stolen credit card to pay his tab.

At the benefit, Linc is recognized by one of the guards, and Linc makes his way out. The problem is that Lisa also got a phone call with a code message, and she moves to leave as well, the data transfer not complete. Linc is stopped by the guard, who knows Linc’s name and holds a gun on him. Bellick (Wade Williams) comes up stabs in his side, but Linc pulls out the knife and stabs the guard again, killing him. He calls Michael to something so they can get rid of the body, but Michael advises him to let the guards find the body, and to wait for Mahone (William Fichtner).

Somewhere else, we see Gretchen (Jodi Lyn O'Keefe), chained, imprisoned in a dark room where Wyatt has been torturing her. He says someone else besides Whistler had been looking into Scylla, and pressures Gretchen for more information. But he gets a call from a woman telling him that Bennett's credit card had just been used at a bar in San Pedro.

At the benefit, Michael moves ahead with a modified plan. Mahone, still disguised as a police officer, tells one of Lisa's security guards that there was a body outside and "we believe it's one of your men." He asks the guard to come outside and identify the body, and Michael, who stas with Lisa, stands close to continue the wireless download of the data from her Scylla card she was carrying. Michael gets a little bonus when his nose begins bleeding.

Wyatt shows up at the bar where Sara had just been, asking the bartender if she'd seen Sara. Sara was in the bathroom crying, and she slips out the back without knowing Wyatt was looking for her and was so close.

The files finished downloading and Lisa was whisked away by her remaining security team. Back at the waterfront location, Sara is absent and no one knows where he is. Self and Michael commiserate, but also agree to keep going with the task, even though Self lost his contact in Jasper.

T-Bag, in the office, was mulling over the bird book and the name “Xing”. We then see some people in a dark room in New York City, where a man named Xing was telling someone else that Cole Pfeiffer did not show for their meeting. "So, you don't have Scylla?" the man asked, and then stabs Xing. The mystery man says he’s going to Los Angeles.

As Lincoln asked Glenn (James Hiroyuki Liao) if he got anything off Lisa Tabak's phone, Glenn hurriedly closed a bunch of windows on his computer screen, and said no. Mahone also asks Glenn to help him find the man who killed his son, giving Glenn a sketch with a description fitting Wyatt.

Michael calls Sara, wondering where she is an how she is doing. She tells him “you’re all that's keeping me going right now." He wanted them to make some time together and says he’ll come get her but she says she’s close and will be right there. But as she turns to leave, we see that Wyatt has been following her.

There were several things that bugged me about this episode. The first obvious thing was the lack of physical intimacy between Michael and Sara. For a person who seemed so desperate to find her, it’s as if he remains very distant when he’s around her, even when they are sitting privately as they were on the dock. At one point in the show he touches her hands, but that’s about it. There seems to be no chemistry between them. I know Sara is troubled and Michael is under pressure, but I guess I just expect at least an embrace, a kiss, something that makes it seem like there really is love or even just a little passion between them. They almost act like a married couple on the verge of divorce.

I also am finding the team's ability to break in or to infiltrate places a little too easy. Yes, I know this is television, but at least they should work for it more or make it more credible. Their stealing of police uniforms and badges was completely devoid of suspense because it wasn’t remotely credible.

I also believe that Michael Rapaport was miscast as Agent Self. His acting is flat, it’s almost like he’s reading lines in a high school play.

A pet peeve of mine in this show – but it’s not limited to this show – is the use of blown up color photographs on a whiteboard. Honestly now, do they really need it? It seems to me that in this episode, there was initially a huge layout of photos on the board, which suddenly disappeared a few scenes later for another picture or two. I know these things are done for show, but again, it detracts from a what I think should be a more realistic feel. Do they really have time to print out all those pictures, and do they want to even leave evidence of what they were doing if they have to suddenly flee?

Of course, the biggest problem will be the “story of the week” which will be “how to get another Scylla card without getting caught” scenario. It is already getting old, and frankly it is sapping any possible drama out of the show.

It is highly possible that this is the last season for Prison Break if they keep up this pattern. It can’t just be another version of Mission Impossible every week. The only prison this show needs to break out of may be of it’s own making – a repetitive storyline.

prison break 404 "Eagles ang Angels" promo #4
by pbeliteS4

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