"PRISON BREAK: THE FINAL SEASON"
by Kevin Carr
|| MOVIE: **** (out of 5 stars)
DVD EXPERIENCE: ***1/2 (out of 5 stars)
Dominic Purcell as LINCOLN BURROWS
Wentworth Miller as MICHAEL SCOFIELD
Sarah Wayne Callies as SARA TANCREDI
Robert Knepper as T-BAG
Jodi Lyn O’Keefe as SUSAN B. ANTHONY
William Fichtner as ALEXANDER MAHONE
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The popular FOX drama wraps up in a fourth and final season following escaped cons on the run. Michael Scofield (Wentworth Miller) and Lincoln Burrows (Dominic Purcell) are brought together once again to combat the Company. This time, their talents are enlisted to steal a data device known as Scylla, which holds the secrets of the Company’s assets. Michael and Lincoln join forces with unlikely candidates like former agent Mahone (William Fichtner) and their old nemeses T-Bag (Robert Knepper) and Gretchen Morgan (Jodi Lyn O’Keefe) to take down the Company.
WHAT I LIKED
Over the years, I’ve only seen bits and pieces of “Prison Break,” and any time I’ve seen an episode, I have recognized that it is a finely crafted show. Like some of my favorite series – including “24” and “Lost” – “Prison Break” follows a week-to-week serial story, which makes it even more exciting to watch at home on DVD.
This season takes a more high-tech spin, leaving behind the walls of the prisons that we’ve seen in previous years. Now, the rag-tag team of cops and robbers act more like something from “Mission: Impossible” or “Alias.” Instead of just showing the characters on the run, we get to see them use wits and technology to pull of heists and MacGyver solutions to various problems.
There is an intensity behind the series that makes it difficult to stop watching. And, with this being the final season, the story is wrapped up somewhat nicely in the end. We’ve seen many of these plot lines before, in series like the aforementioned “24” and “Alias,” but that doesn’t stop them from being good devices.
The acting is good in this series, but the real stand-out performances come from Robert Knepper as the notorious T-Bag, who has several chances at redemption in this final season. (Of course, if you’ve been with the character from the beginning, you won’t want to see him redeemed.) William Fichtner as Mahone gives an extremely compelling performance as a former lawman who has lost everything and is now out for revenge. And finally, Jodi Lyn O’Keefe may not be the best actor on television, she is undeniably hot as the Company’s rogue asset Gretchen Morgan.
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE
While I do like most of the characters in the series, I got tired of Sarah Wayne Callies as Sara Tancredi. Sure, she’s Michael Scofield’s big love interest, but she’s a really whiney girl. I suppose that she’s necessary for a certain degree of sex appeal and emotion in the story, but I would have rather seen something better developed with Jodi Lyn O’Keefe on that angle. I just got tired of her whining about being an addict, whining about losing her medical license and whining about not killing people who really needed to be killed.
Also, as awesome as it is to experience an entire season in one DVD set, like “24,” the series gets a little unbelievable if you don’t have a week to decompress from episode to episode.
The six-disc set includes all 22 episodes of the series with audio commentaries on select episodes, usually one or two per disc.
Two featurettes examine the background of the series. The first, “The Plan, The Execution and The Bullet” provide a fly-on-the-wall look at three different scenes from the season. “Fade Out: The Final Episode” takes a look at the making of the series finale.
There’s also a spotlight on executive producer and director Kevin Hooks called “Director’s World.”
And, to seed the interest for the direct-to-DVD movie “Prison Break: The Final Break,” there’s a nice insert card letting fans know that a little more “Prison Break” will be coming their way in the next few months.
WHO’S GOING TO LIKE THIS MOVIE
Fans for action-oriented television serials.