Prison Break

One of the series I’ve watched lately is Prison Break. Before I laid my eyes on the show, I thought it was just this testosterone-loaded show with a lame-o storyline. Then I watched the show, and it turned out to be a testosterone-loaded show, only with a good solid plot. Very engaging storyline filled with thrill and suspense, in practically every episode. It’s like watching an action movie that is 45 minutes long. I shall give a little synopsis about the story first.

Basically, the story is about Michael, who intentionally gets himself jailed, so that he can break out of prison with his brother, whom he believes is wrongly accused of murder. Lincoln is sentenced to death for killing the Vice President’s brother, but he claims to be set up. Being the great brother he is, and because the company he worked for actually designed the prison, Michael formulates a plan to break out of prison. He tattoos the blueprints for the prison on his body (just the upper part, of course) and the key steps in his plan are also hidden within the tattoo.

The tattoo. The boxers there are a bit of a turn-off though.

Along the way a lot of unexpected turns come up, hence all the action and thrill. This is a little spoiler-ific, but by the end of the first season they do break out successfully, and the second season is about them on the run. In the second season all of them are basically fugitives, with loads of people on their trail – FBI, secret service, etc. It’s much, much more dangerous than just being locked up in prison, trust me. More of the conspiracy behind everything is revealed, and the brothers (and practically everyone else) face a lot more enemies.

More spoilers ahead!

Time to talk about the characters. There’ll definitely be a lot of spoilers here, because I like talking about characters. I like telling things about characters but not stories, I dunno why.

(l-r): Warden Pope, Dr Sara, Lincoln, Michael, LJ, and Veronica

The above picture shows the people in the cast that I actually like. Nolah. I just like the poses in the second picture. In the first cast photo there were too many people for me to name them all. *grins*

First up: Michael Scofield. He’s undoubted the genius of the show, with his grand master super plan of breaking out. Before getting himself jailed, he plans out all his steps, not only to get out of prison, but to stay out of prison as well. So apart from the escape route, which actually seems to be the easier part, he has got to make sure that his brother and him have enough money and whatever else they need to disappear. Then he goes and fake-robs a bank, pleads guilty and gets sent to Fox River Penitentiary, where his brother is. He tells his very-shocked brother about his plans, but Lincoln warns him that people are unpredictable. True enough, Michael does run into a lot of setbacks along the way, and his grand master super plan is revealed to more inmates than he initially intended to. Poor Michael scowls and pouts his way through it, and his brains finally does get 8 of them out of jail.

Gush factor: 9. Before I watched the show I didn’t think too highly of Wentworth Miller, except like how he got nominated for an Emmy. After watching, OMG. Where else can you find such deep set, intense, blue eyes? Gosh, the intensity in his eyes is amazing. He can convey so much with just one look. And his favourite whispery tone also adds to the intensity of the character. *swoons and faints* Man man voice is a plus point. Lol XD

Lincoln Burrows. It seems a bit unfair that I chose a nice handsome picture of Michael but I took this look-a-bit-like-he’s-pooping picture for Linc. Lol but I don’t need any more reason to like Lincoln already, so the poop-y picture just further endears him to me. Adds to his whole papa-bear image. So why is his last name Burrows and not Scofield? Burrows was their father’s surname, but he left the family before Michael was born, so Michael took his mother’s surname. He comes across as this big burly guy, but he’s really a kind family guy. Awww. He’s a small-time felon, and he got framed for killing Terence Steadman, the VP’s brother. Actually Linc is just a scapegoat, a part of this huge conspiracy which serves as a background plot to the breakout. The conspiracy is cooked up by this huge powerful organisation called The Company, which is supposedly powerful enough to decide which laws are passed and things like that. The Company sort of reminds me of The Others on Lost, because the names are so plain they don’t add a lot of mystery or fear (in my opinion). It just strikes me as…the writers being too lazy to think up some canggih name.

Lincoln also has a son, who he named after himself (for the lack of creativity?). Will talk about him more later. The whole death row thing made Lincoln this really vulnerable guy, and at one point he gives up hope on getting out, because there were too many setbacks. Michael tells him to “just have a little faith”. Lincoln gets to have a lot more fun in Season 2 where he’s out in the open, and we get to see him bashing people up and pointing a gun at them. Sweet. Dominic Purcell portrays Linc who has strength with a tinge of vulnerability in him. Deep inside of him is a big heart, which makes him papa bear.

Gush factor: 10. Because he’s such a papa bear. Beats Michael anytime. I do like intelligent people, but papa bear guys are so much more lovable.

This is Lincoln’s son, Lincoln Junior aka LJ. Lincoln probably had him when he was in his teens, and LJ’s mom already married another guy. LJ lived with his mom and stepfather, who he hates. He never really liked his dad either, because he thought dear old Linc was a murderer. Later he changes his mind and tries to accept his dad. Aww so sweet. But LJ gets into trouble too, when people behind the conspiracy try to kill him as a warning to Lincoln. So LJ’s mom and stepfather are both shot dead, and they made it look as if LJ killed both him. Damn, they’re really good at that too. LJ
goes on the run to avoid the cops, and he goes looking for Veronica, who is also in hiding because The Company wanted her dead too. Later on he tries to do some heroic stuff by going to look for Kellerman and kill him, so he gets caught. Looks like he got the no-brainer and the no-brawn genes of the Burrows side. Poor thing. He was charged and then released later, thanks to The Company (for both the catch and release actually). LJ was more like a pawn that was used to lure Lincoln most of the time, and he didn’t really get to develop as a character. There weren’t enough father-son scenes for me to really get the bond between them too. In Season 2 the character faded away mid-season after Lincoln had him somewhere safe, which is really the right thing to do, because he can’t really keep running with the fugitives. He hasn’t even graduated from high school.

Gush factor: 2. He’s a kid only ma. Plus, with the hair, I wasn’t going to rate him past 5 anyway. Most of the time he looks very sweaty and exasperated in his scenes. Not really my type of sweaty and exasperated la.

Moving on to Veronica Donovan. She’s Lincoln and Michael’s childhood friend, also Lincoln’s ex. And also a lawyer. After realising that Lincoln is innocent (thanks to Michael), she goes on a mission to prove his innocence. She pokes around everywhere trying to get information to exonerate him, eventually making The Company mad. They try to kill her, of course. But she gains a partner, Nick Savrinn from Project Justice, who helps her in the case. Both of them get chased around by the company a whole lot, while they keep trying to kill them off. In the end, Veronica does stumble across a great piece of information that will set Lincoln free, thanks to a double-crossing Agent Hale (one of the guys who was supposed to kill her). He tells her that Terence Steadman is in fact, still alive, and then dramatically gets gunned down by Kellerman. The very smart Veronica then goes to hunt for Steadman alone, after Nick, who has his personal agenda, gets a go at her. Nick’s not working with The Company, he’s just a mole placed there by John Abruzzi. More on that later. So Veronica strolls into Steadman’s mansion, which was surprisingly not locked. She goes on a little house tour to find Steadman making a smoothie in the kitchen. Oh my my. She’s shocked, then she does the whole asking questions thing. Steadman (who is played by the same actor who plays Meredith Grey’s dad) tells her that the doors cannot be opened from the inside, so they’re both trapped. Desperate Veronica gets to her phone and dials 911 for help. Little did she know that she was actually calling the feds, who were there to cover up Steadman’s ass quicker than you can say “huh?” Then Veronica, in all her dumb glory, gets shot twice in the chest.

Gush factor: 7. I like her voice, it’s this low throaty kind of tone. Plus, there are so little girls on the show that she’s sort of like an endangered species. Must appreciate her presence.

I shall move on to the characters in Fox River now. Let’s start with the bigwigs.

This is the Pope. He’s the Warden, Henry Pope. He’s really a big papa bear at heart too. He’s a great guy, who shows Michael a lot of trust and respect, despite Michael being an inmate. The Governor however, thinks that Pope is too soft, because he ain’t exactly the rule-with-an-iron-hand kin of warden. Pope focuses on the correctional part of his job a lot, probably too much that he lets his staff do a lot of running around behind his back. He’s not a series regular, but I like it when he comes on-screen. There is something surprisingly soothing about him. Lol. In Season 2 after they’ve broken out he just appears in one episode, because he quits after they’ve broken out. You see, after the break-out, officials started to look into the case, investigate how Michael and co. managed to break out. They revealed that Bellick played a lot of hanky-panky behind-the-scenes, which contributed to the break-out. Pope quit because he stood up for Bellick (despite Bellick being the asshole that he is). Sidenote: After the Pope quit, he was replaced by some iron-hand guy who turned Fox River around. Party pooper.

Gush factor: 7. Too old for me, but he does have papa-bear quality. And a big heart too. Damn, he’s like an older Lincoln.

Captain Brad Bellick. He’s the Pope’s right hand man, but at times he’s showed that he was willing to rat on the Pope, in hopes of getting promoted to warden. He does a lot of illegal underhanded stuff in the prison, trying to gain a penny or a pound from the inmates by selling off PI, auctioning cells and stupid stuff like that. In other words, greedy guy with more greed than brains. Not a good combination. He gets fired from his job in Season 2, then he tries to track down the escapees so that he can claim the cash reward for their capture. His priorities are ever-changing though, because when he finds out that the escapees unearthed 5 million bucks of cash (courtesy of an ex-con), he tries to get his hands on that loot instead. More money ma. He’s also unintelligent enough to be seduced by Michael’s stripper wife, who turns on her act to distract him while Michael and Lincoln (who were unfortunately caught by dumbo) try to wriggle out of his capture. So technically, Bellick is a greedy hamsap guy.

Gush factor: 1. The only thing to gush about is that he’s a momma’s boy. Other than that he’s just a very annoying dumb villain to me.

Now, for the inmates.

First is Fernando Sucre. He’s Puerto Rican, in jail for robbing a convenience store. He happens to be Michael’s cell mate, so that’s why he was included into the plan in the first place. But he turns out to be a pretty decent guy who can rig cars in the blink of an eye. His objective in life is to get married to Maricruz, who obviously is the love of his life. He just has to do his time of about 16 months and he’s out. But he went along with the plan because Maricruz was pregnant and she was going to marry his cousin Hector (because she can’t get pregnant before marriage, technically). Now Hector is the scumbag who reported Sucre to the police, in his attempt to separate Sucre from Maricruz. He’s set his eyes on her too, that punk. Sucre’s also proven to be loyal to Michael, whom he really treats as a friend. Michael isn’t really that loyal to Sucre in my opinion, because Linc is always on top of Michael’s priorities.

Gush factor: 8. He always has this earnest but sometimes cheeky look on his face, so endearing. He is a really simple-minded fellow who calls people Papi. (I watch enough of Ugly Betty to know what that means, I think.) And his smile? Oh, so infectious.

Charles Westmooreland aka DB Cooper. I couldn’t find any ni
ce promo pics of him, so I settled for this screencap with him and Michael. Now this one is the ex-con I was talking about. He supposedly had the loot of 1.5 million bucks hidden somewhere, so Michael wanted a part of it to make life easier after they are out. Despite denying vehemently that he’s DB Cooper initially (he is a con after all), Charles finally joins the team, as he wants to pay a visit to his dying daughter. Aww. Papa bears are everywhere. Sadly, he took a stab for the team shortly before he makes the escape, and while they were climbing out the window, he bled out and died. Truth be told, it was quite a miracle how he lasted so long after getting stabbed. He did tell Michael where he stashed the loot before he died, and it turns out to be 5 million that he stashed.

Gush factor: 7. See? Papa bear trumps good looks. Plus, Charles had this very cute cat with him called Marilyn. Later on Bellick killed the cat as a warning because Charles refused to take sides and tell him what Michael is up to. So much for being neutral, Charles thought. Then he helped Michael by setting fire to the break room. Don’t ever cross papa bears, y’know that? And I had another reason to drop an anvil on Bellick.

Benjamin Miles Franklin, aka C-Note. Apparently C-Note stands for the $100 bill, which has Benjamin Franklin on it. So that’s how his name came about. If in doubt, please wiki C-Note. So C-Note has his own story. He used to be a soldier serving in Iraq, where he tried to stay out of trouble and also the line of fire. He used to patrol prisons in Iraq (ironic sangat), and he came across some soldiers torturing prisoners. Being the nice righteous man he is, he reported the incident and he got discharged dishonourably from the service. Cover-ups. Haih. He went back to the US, but he didn’t want his family to know about the incident, so he pretended that he was still in Iraq, sent them postcards from Iraq and everything. Meanwhile, to make a living, he drove trucks carrying illegal goods, and he got caught. That’s how he ended in Fox River. He’s a pretty decent guy too, family man. He stands up for what he thinks is right, and doesn’t take shit from people. Ooh. Interesting. To me, he’s not that likeable in Season 1 because he was just this nosy guy who poked his nose into Michael’s plan. He was included in the escape after he threatened to tell Bellick.

Gush factor: 6. He more or less redeems himself in Season 2, because he proved himself to be a real papa bear. He tried to reach out to his family the first thing after he got out, and got his wife and daughter into a lot of trouble/hassle. What do you expect if you’re a fugitive anyway? In the end, he cooperated with the FBI (to try and catch Michael), but he failed. He was later set free, together with his wife and daughter, by another FBI guy. Clean slate and everything. That’s one of the only happy endings so far in the series actually. Hope they don’t bring him back and let him live his happily ever after. Because papa bears deserve happily ever afters.

Now…on to the inmates and baddies which I don’t really like.

John Abruzzi, mob boss. He’s the bigwig in jail, because he runs PI, so he gets to decide who works and who doesn’t. He’s included in Michael’s plans because he has the means to get them a jet once they escape from prison. But John’s a bit hard to impress, so Michael planned ahead, getting information on something John wants most badly. It turns out to be Fibonacci, not the Fibonacci as in the Fibonacci sequence (now that would be too smart), but a guy named Fibonacci. He’s the one who testified against John, putting him in prison. So a man being a man, John wants revenge. But Fibonacci is in the Witness Protection Programme, which should be practiced here in Malaysia too. Michael claims to know his whereabouts and uses that to lure John into the plan. John obviously agrees. In the second season, his vengeance got the better of him when he gets caught while trying to find Fibonacci. He could’ve disappeared so much more easily compared to the others, because of his status and all. Just one booby trap by the FBI and he’s down. Boohoo. Anyway despite being a mob boss, he isn’t exactly papa-bear either. He’s done some bad things to Michael when the little fish tried to impress him, thus resulting in Michael only having 8 toes. Watching Michael’s hurt puppy expression was quite enjoyable.

Gush factor: 5. The long shaggy dog hair doesn’t help much. Later on when he had that haircut he looked so much better, but not enough to redeem himself. The rating is solely based on him cutting Michael’s toes, and wiping that smirk off his face.

David Apolskis. They call him Tweener in Fox River. He’s only 18, and got into jailed because he stole a baseball card from his friend’s father’s collection. Turns out the card was worth a whole lot of $$$ and he got dumped into jail. When he first went into Fox River, he was kind of kesian. Because the Causians didn’t want to mix with him, and neither did the African-Americans. Poor thing. He had that whole rapper talk thing going on with him, probably that’s why even the whites didn’t want him. T-Bag was going to get him (because T-Bag is horny), and Michael stood up for him, because Michael has this hero complex about him. According to Michael’s shrink, Michael looks at every little thing in detail, which makes him suffer. I’m not really a shrink, so I can’t explain his condition very well. So anyway, it pains Michael to see T-Bag taking opportunity of Tweener, so he saves him from T-Bag, without Tweener’s knowledge. The thankless Tweener then rats on Michael and gang by reporting their activities to Bellick, in exchange for fries and milkshake. When Michael trusted him enough to tell him about their plan, he betrayed them by telling Bellick about it, forcing the team to bring forward the whole plan. Michael eventually finds out about that, and once they were out of Fox River he told Tweener to go his own way.

Later on, Tweener didn’t really have a lot of interesting development. He tried to make his way to Utah where the money was stashed by hitching a ride with a university student, Deb. His story ended probably because it didn’t really tie in to the main story with Michael and gang. He got caught by Mahone along the way, and he did one right thing by not giving away Michael and Lincoln’s location. Kind of redeemed himself a little, but not quite enough (I think). Mahone then shot him five times, under orders from The Company. At least he did something right before he died.

Gush factor: 5. The way he talked really got on my nerves, yo.

T-Bag aka Theodore Bagwell. According to Bellick, T-Bag’s father raped his mongoloid sister who gave birth to T-Bag. Gruesome. Anyway T-Bag is the scumbag of Fox River. He goes around picking young fresh handsome and most importantly scared inmates to be his boyfriends. When Michael first got into Fox River, he tried ‘taking Michael under his wing’ too, by offering him a pocket. You have to
see it to get creeped out by it. Oh yeah, did I mention that he was thrown into jail for raping and murdering kids? Eww. T-Bag was obviously never going to be included in the plan, but he stumbled upon the hole in Michael’s cell during the riot, and obviously threatened to tell unless he was included. He was obviously an outcast in the entire group, but because he’s a scum, Michael had to let him in. In the second season, he gets hornier and nastier, as he kills even more people. I’ve lost count of how many he’s killed (and all without a gun), but the first was a correctional officer caught in the riot.

Gush factor: -10. He’s probably one of the character on a tv show whom I consistently hated. I also consistently wanted to douse him with fire in every episode he appears in. There are not many characters who had this sort of treatment from me. It used to be Lana Lang from Smallville; I always wished that she would get rolled over by a truck when she’s on screen. Later on it became a little better, probably because she dated Jason. And who acted as Jason? Jensen Ackles. XD For T-Bag, all I can hope is that they put him through a whole lot of pain, torture and suffering before killing him off.

Charles Patoshik, aka Haywire. His nickname is obviously a reference to his mental state, which is kind of cuckoo. He was temporarily Michael’s cell mate in Season 1, when Sucre got himself transfered out because he didn’t want to be involved with the grand master super plan. Haywire was particularly fascinated with Michael’s tattoo, which obviously freaked Michael out for two reasons: 1) He might figure out what the tattoo is all about. 2) Would you want a wacko staring at your naked torso? Eventually Haywire did figure out what the tattoo was, and freaked out Michael smashed his head (his own, not Haywire’s) against the bars. Haywire was then sent back to the psych ward. Michael later realised that the escape route would include the pipes running beneath the psych ward. Due to some accident, he lost a part of the tattoo (the crucial part of course, this being tv) when he got burned. He then pretended to go mad, thus he was sent to the psych ward, where he was reunited with his cellie. To make Haywire remember the part of the tattoo, he forced the poor guy to throw up his meds every day. Eventually Haywire remembered. On the night of the escape, he trailed the gang and insisted on joining. Michael had no choice, although like Tweener, Haywire wasn’t included in the jet plan.

Gush factor: 2. The fact that he killed all his family members was a little disturbing. Post-breakout he killed a granny and stole her oil painting, and also the alcoholic father of a teen he just met. How did he end up? Dead, of course. Mahone manipulated him into committing suicide. Haywire took his great big leap. A bit sad also la.

Now…the baddies. It’s a bit ironic that most of the villains in the show are mostly in the law enforcement, and the good guys are convicts. A little twisted.

Alexander Mahone, FBI. His job was to trail the convicts and re-capture them. Secretly he was also working for The Company albeit unwillingly, to kill of the convicts. FBI wanted them alive, but The Company, for fear of them knowing about the conspiracy, sent Mahone to make sure that all 8 of them were dead. Mahone has ghosts of his own. Many years ago, he chased down a fugitive, Oscar Shales, for years. Finally he managed to capture him, and probably in a fit of anger, killed the guy. He buried Shales in his garden, and still goes back to visit him. Yeah, creepy. He also consumes tranquilisers like candies. He’s really bummed out by Michael, because Michael seems to be smart enough to elude him like Shales did. Hence, the visits to his garden. To give Mahone some credit, he did figure most of Michael’s plans, just that he was always too late. To me, Mahone’s intelligence didn’t really seem to come from him, because my only impression of him is a disoriented man on the verge of a breakdown. He’s alienated his family ever since he killed Shales, and even though he tries to make up for it, it’s just too hard to go back. He’s killed so many people, caused the death of so many.

Gush factor: 6. He has a teeny weeny bit of papa bearness about him. I can sense him. But he’s too much of a mess that I can’t bear to watch.

Paul Kellerman, Secret Service. He basically also one of the baddies. He’s been after Lincoln and Michael since Day One. He set Lincoln up, helped to hide Terence Steadman, and did loads of other bad things for The Company. His loyalties lie with the Vice President, his longtime friend whom he has feelings for. Feelings aren’t mutual though, but that’s not the point here. In Season 1, he and his sidekick Agent Hale (who later double-crossed him) were set out to make sure that Lincoln Burrows is dead. He is also the one who kills LJ’s mom and stepfather, and made LJ’s life a living hell. He also went after Veronica and Nick. Yeah, his list of evil deeds is neverending. In Season 2, he just continues the act of making other people’s lives miserable, and one of them was Sara. The episode where he tortures her was just……painful. I hope nobody learned anything from that, because if that happened in real life, Sara would be so dead. Anyway, in Season 2, his own life is getting miserable too. He seems to be losing credibility with The Company, which later wanted him dead. He also wasn’t in direct contact with the VP (who in Season 2 became the P), which made him even more miserable. Aww. Then one day, he wakes up and decides, to hell with them! They don’t care about me! Why should I care about them! They want me dead! So he offered his help to Lincoln and Michael, and help them he did. When Sara was charged in court, he stepped up and testified, and eventually all charges against Sara and Lincoln were dropped. He was charged instead, for multiple murders and all his misdeeds. On the way to prison, however, the van carrying him was hijacked, and he was seemingly killed, although he seemed awfully calm about it.

Gush factor: 8. Bad guy without conscience? Wow. Paul Adelstein rocks. I can tell you that Paul is probably dead, or at least Paul Adelstein won’t be back in Prison Break. Because he’s starring in Private Practice, the Grey’s Anatomy spinoff. He’s going to be this paediatrician who’s a loser when it comes to love. He’s really funny in the show, so it kind of threw me off to see mean-ass Kellerman in Prison Break.

Dr. Sara Tancredi. Hee, I saved best for last, not because I don’t like her. She’s another one of the endangered species on the show, so I love her dearly. Lol. She’s one heck of a tough lady, in my opinion. She used to work in the prison infirmary, where she got to know Michael. Michael lied about being diabetic so that he could be in the infirmary every day to get his insulin shots. In fact, Michael wanted to be there so that he could pull some hanky-panky with the pipes running beneath the infirmary. Of course, they end up falling for ea
ch other. She also helps Michael complete his plan by leaving the infirmary door open on the night of the escape. She got into a lot of trouble for that, but then she gets into even more trouble after her father got killed by The Company. Apparently her father had some evidence that could prove Lincoln’s innocence, and therefore he was murdered. The Company then went after her, believing that she was holding the evidence. They sent Kellerman to snoop around her, pretending to be her friend, attending Narcotics Anonymous meeting with her. (She was recovering from an OD of morphine.) Kellerman later turned nasty on her, and tried to force the information out of her. But damn, she was good. Jumped straight out of the first-storey window. *salutes*

Gush factor: 9. Sarah Wayne Callies is currently pregnant, so they say she’ll probably be missing in action in the first few episodes of the third season. Awww. At least she and Michael had some good scenes together in Season 2. ^__^

More reviews to come!

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