Making the world a better place, one show at a time.

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Washington, DC, United States
I guess you would like to know a little bit about the person making all these proclamations upon good taste and horrid characters. I'm Andrea and when I was 15 I fell in love. An hour after meeting "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" I was forever altered in the way only love can, and I never questioned for one minute afterwards that television offered me an amazing chance to experience lives and moments that I could never imagine. So now, when I'm not getting distracted by my real life, I write about TV. I also read, am finishing a Master's degree in English Literature, travel, am attempting to learn vegan cooking, am the 5th of 6 children, and drive my roommate nuts by constantly cleaning our already clean apartment. Now that we're old friends, time for you to take my opinions as the be all and end all.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Prison Break (7): That Was Not What I Expected.

Take a trip into my past with me. On May 19, 1998 I was a freshman in high school. That evening Buffy Summers skewered the love of her life Angel in order to close the world-devouring portal his vampire alter-ego Angelus had opened. As her friends contemplate the fact that the world didn’t end, Buffy takes a last look at her home, and then gets on a bus out of town. That night I cried for a fictional character for the first time in my adult life (that is to say, not as child, I don’t think I am quite an adult yet). I will never forget that episode; I will never forget how I felt when I watched that bus drive away from Sunnydale.

I am sharing this experience because I felt something similar last night, watching the season finale of Prison Break. I am not trying to make a direct comparison, more like trying to describe something that is just at the edge of my peripheral vision. As the episode closed, the shot pulling away from Michael driving alone down the Panamanian highway in search of Whistler and revenge I was overcome with that vague sense that something has gone very, very wrong and it will not ever be quite right again. For all those who hurt Sara, they get what’s coming to them as far as I am concerned. I do not think that it is Michael’s desire for vengeance that got to me. He could not shoot Gretchen in the back in a public street, so he has not become completely other than that which he was. What broke my heart is that he was alone; for the first time in three seasons he and Linc have parted ways with no intention of reconnecting. When they part neither needs to say that Linc is actively choosing not to help him; that since LJ is safe and Sophia will live Linc has no reason to pursue the Company. Because of the intermediate events, Michael is renouncing his original purpose; he is not taking the opportunity to live with his reunited family. This is his free choice, but I have to believe it is not one with which Sara would agree. Part of me knows Linc is making the right choice (and the series ending choice), but another part of me is furious. Linc has no right to abandon Michael now. (Side bar: if you have a problem with patterns of mutually destructive, fraternally motivated, self sacrifice a la Supernatural, I wouldn’t recommend Prison Break.) Going with Michael now would makes Michael’s initial sacrifice for Linc completely worthless, but still, why does Linc get to be happy when Michael is so miserable? Sometimes it is hard to see if justice and love are concurrently present.

I have to take a moment to give Sucre a round of applause for his loyalty. Sona is a horrible way to be rewarded for such devotion, but in the whose-a-good-person race, he is definitely a front-runner.

Someone who was never entered in that race is T-Bag, but what happened with his character last night was so in-character and so brilliant I am immensely impressed. T-Bag’s amalgamation of Brutus and Marc Antony knocked my socks off. I always think that this character has run his course, and then they find away to reinvent him. First T-Bag murders his predecessor in the name of friendship, and then secures his power over the other inmates by claiming absolute equality and distributing money he got from the naughty nun. Expanding the scope of T-Bag’s manipulative and selfish personality opens new possibilities for the character and the show. I predict Season Four will feature a power struggle between T-Bag and Sucre within Sona.

I assume there will be a Season Four, but TV is an unpredictable place. Some shows disappear without being given a real chance (Kitchen Confidential), while others hang on after their prime (Alias). Then there are shows that are perverse miracles; never good to begin with but they seem to continue forever (Walker Texas Ranger, I am looking at you). It is way too soon to call the line-up for Fall 2008. Be that as it may, I will carry on predicting the possibilities for shows that have a reasonable chance of returning.

Shout Outs:
Little Things to Know That Make Watching Better

Evil, evil, evil Gretchen (or Susan or whatever her name is) is played by Jodi Lyn O’Keefe, and it took me a while to figure out from where I knew her. Last night it hit me; she is the uber-bitch girlfriend in She’s All That. Maybe realizing that has increased my nostalgia for the mid/late 90’s.

The TV Girl


Asiankp said...

Wait so linc is not going to help michael get revenge? WTF...allright...prison break is next on my list, i think. after VM, i dont know what i'm going to do...

The TV Girl said...

WTF is right! I am outraged and heartbroken and kind of don't know what to do. The finale made it clear to me that no matter how painful watching Season Three will be, I have to do it.
Season Two is good, but Season One is fantastic. Intrigue, conspiracy, death, backstabbing, tats,a model Taj Mahal; god Season One had everything. Plus one of the nihilist from the Big Leboweski is one of the convicts.