Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Prison Break: “Safe and Sound”, But for How Long?

Last night’s episode of Prison Break, “Safe and Sound” was just another trip on the predictability train. But now, we’ve jumped to the unbelievability train.

The premise of the story is the same as it’s been in the last few weeks. The team is working to get another one of the Scylla memory cards. But this time, while Wyatt ( Cress Williams) is trying to catch up with Sara (Sarah Wayne Callies), Mahone (William Fichtner) is trying to catch up the Wyatt, who murdered his son.

In order to get their hands on the latest Scylla card, they have to enlist the help of Agent Self (Michael Rapaport). Agent Self tries to get the card in a conventional way – by getting close to the card by meeting with the person who possesses it, Oren – the head of the LA Treasury Bureau – who is located in Self’s building. But, as luck would have it, the card is in a safe, which is blocking any transmission of any signals that would allow them to grab the data. Since this is television, they have an easy work-around. Self will help them to break into the office next door to Oren’s, so they can cut through the safe to extract the card.

In a scenario that stretches any sense of credibility, Self manages to get the blue prints to the building in a nanosecond, and get the guy in the office next door to go out to lunch with him. While there are leaving the office, he sprays a liquid all over the carpet as he leaves the room. This necessitates some one to call for a clean up, which just so happens to be Sucre (Amaury Nolasco) and Bellick (Wade Williams). Of course, they arrive there immediately and begin the clean up. (Now think about it, when has anyone in a maintenance or janitorial department come right away to clean up?) While they are running their noisy equipment, Michael (Wentworth Miller) and Linc (Dominic Purcell) use a noisier metal saw to cut through the safe. I would think that a noise from a simple carpet-cleaning machine would not be able to drown that out. What is even crazier is that “the General” has arrived in Oren’s office, and after Oren returns, Michael can hear them talking though the hole in the safe while they are downloading the data. Now if they can hear someone talking normally even through the safe and the wall, wouldn’t someone have heard that very very noisy metal cutter?

Of course, they get the data in time and leave in no time flat, managing to clean up the office they were in and leaving no trace they were there, all before the guy comes back from lunch with Self. Meanwhile, to make things more secure, the General tells Oren that all Scylla card holders have to keep the cards on their person at all times. Yes, that will make them much safer. (!?)

Meanwhile, back at the office at another time, T-Bag (Robert Knepper) is shocked to see Sucre and Bellick at the front desk, speaking with the woman who incapacitates people with her cleavage, showing her T-Bag's photo. She then proceeds to blackmail T-Bag, keeping her silence for a small percentage of his earnings, which he has yet to see. Of course, she really has no idea that T-Bag is really a murderous Scum-Bag. But T-Bag has an epiphany when tea dripped on the pages of the bird book seemed to reveal more information. Later, complicating matters, Mr. Xing shows up at T-Bag's office with gun in tow, and asks if is ready to hand over the Scylla. He says that if T-Bag does not turn over the Scylla in three days, T-Bag will be dead.

Wyatt is still holding and torturing Gretchen (Jodi Lyn O'Keefe) but she manages to escape by, over time, prying out a nail and stabbing one of Wyatt’s flunkies with it. She seems near crazy from her torture.

With information he got from Sara, and also conformation he got from his wife, Mahone is hot on the trail of Wyatt. He tracks him to a motel, and catches a hotel employee who Wyatt paid off to serve as a lookout, but before the employee can tip off Wyatt. He gets Wyatt’s cell phone number from the hotel employee.
Image from Fox
Back at the home base, Sara and Glenn (James Hiroyuki Liao ) go through all the possible Scylla holders. Sara recalls hearing that one of them had flown to Laos, and another was heading to Asia. She researches Laos on her Blackberry and finds that "runaway inflation" in Laos has led to riots and a high death toll. When Michael returns, the two discuss Laos, and they conclude the Company's plan was to destroy the area's finances, in order to reap the profits from reconstruction. Sara also admits to him that she was at a bar, but didn’t drink, and won’t ever lie to Michael again. They share a passionless kiss.

Agent Self says they have information on two of the other three card-holders, but admits that the General is a "ghost." Luckily Sara remembers that while she was being held captive, she heard Gretchen called her boss "General." Sara thinks he is the top man of the Company.

Wyatt and the General are mulling Gretchen's escape. Someone interrupts and tell them that a search of their image database for the General had been requested that day… by Don Self. Someone’s going to be in trouble.

And – that’s it for the episode.

My initial reaction was that they are trying very hard to generate suspense for Scylla and what it all means, but they are ruining any progress they make by creating these unrealistic scenarios in which to get their hands on Scylla. The whole stunt with the team gaining access to the office during the day, where they risk being spotted, heard, or caught, would have been more realistic had they pulled off the heist at night. Heck, if they had waited a day, the guy would have had the card on his person if he followed the General’s new mandate. I suspect that the new rule to keep the cards ON the cardholders at all time was a plot device just to get themselves out of these silly, imitation Mission: Impossible scenarios.

Again, Sara and Michael seem lifeless together. Mind you, I’m not one of those “shipper” people so I don’t care what goes on with those two. Still, I expect him to show much more love towards her since he went to such lengths to find her.

But the real workhorse of the show – the person who delivers a solid performance every week no matter what he’s given – is William Fichtner. Frankly, I am finding myself caring more about what happens to Mahone than anyone else on the show.

I can only wish that we’ll see something different next week, a little less Mission: Impossible and a little more intrigue. Somehow, though, I doubt it.

Check out my blog home page for the latest information, here.

No comments: