Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Late to the Party: Prison Break – Seasons 3 and 4

As this show continues, it becomes ever-more ludicrous. Having distanced the characters so far from realism in the first two series, the ever-expanding world of double-crosses and conspiracies can only escalate, which it does with aplomb. Series three is the weakest of the show’s run, being more or less a reimagining of the first-series’ circumstances. Presumably its half-length run was due to the Writer’s Guild Strike of 2007-08. Regardless, season 4 reinstates some of the outlandish paranoia established in series 2. Most fun of all are the writers’ attempts to fake out the audience by offering events that make little sense, then later revealing what was “really going on”. The trait largely fails because after the first instance, the repeated ploy is no longer surprising. However, the trait admirably attempts to subsume the viewer into the characters’ world of “trusting no one”. Moreover, the technique allows the writers to throw in what look like enormous errors. By resolving them, the writers dispel viewers of the compulsion to pick holes in the unwieldy plot. Of course, there are plot-holes aplenty, but the masking technique is ingenious. The coda episodes known as ‘Final Break’ are weak, and are better avoided. Otherwise, Prison Break is .22 calibre, action packed trash-TV. 

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