After feeling underwhelmed and a little frustrated at last week's two hour season premiere, I was feeling less than optimistic about this weeks third episode, Shut Down. However I have to say, to my pleasant surprise, the episode really got me excited about Prison Break again, and eased some of my concerns about the upcoming season. It had a lot drama and excitement, and there was a lot of positive development in this episode which I will talk about in this review.
The Lincoln-Mahone relationship was brought to a climax in the penultimate episode of season 3, with Lincoln on the brink of shooting Mahone. That hatred carried over into the first two episodes of season 4, but in this episode, we finally see Lincoln's realization that he and Mahone are not so different, and we see Lincoln's sympathy for Mahone, which makes a great change in their relationship and really makes the character of Lincoln more likeable to the audience. A great moment in the episode was at the end, when Lincoln, after consoling Mahone, finally shakes his hand, and you see this as the moment that their new relationship begins. I thought William Fichtner (Mahone) was exceptional in this episode, and really sold his character's loss and desperation.
We also got a glimpse of what might be in store for T-Bag this season, and it seems T-Bag will be a regular this season, which will surely be positive for the show. Removing T-Bag from the main plot provides the show with a good secondary storyline to go to in episodes, away from the Scylla storyline. We also saw new character Don Self's love interest introduced via photograph, and I personally really like Michal Rapaport's character, and see it as a strong addition to the show. In this episode we really get a sense of his determination to bring down the Company, and I think this make him a likable character, knowing that ultimately, he is a "good guy".
There was also action, with a genuinely exciting car chase being one of the highlights of the episode. Another great moment was Michael spying on the Company's meeting, I don't know if I was the only one hoping he would reveal himself to the leader (the bald guy), but surely that confrontation is coming later in the season. That I am sure, will be terrific television, when Michael and Lincoln finally get to meet the man who started their whole story.
At the end of the episode we saw Sara clock the fact that Michael may be ill, something that it seems will be slowly develop through the series. The Michael-Sara relationship is obviously very popular with fans of the show, and this episode we got to see Sara helping out the group, and again sacrificing herself for Michael. Interviews with the cast suggested that their relationship this series will not all be plain sailing, but for the time being it was nice to see the two this episode just getting along and caring for one and other.
The only really criticism I have this episode would be that of the new character Roland, the computer hacker assigned to help the group. The problem is the nerdy/wise cracking computer geek has been done to death in films such as Die Hard 4, and although I see that its good for the show to bring in new blood, and a hacker character is certainly needed, I just find it hard to like Roland. Also I am still unsure whether or not Sucre and Bellick's inclusion as main characters in this season is wise. I'm just not sure if there is anything left to do with Bellick, although if he were to try and flee to Mexico, that certainly could be an interesting plot. Bellick's much more likeable when he's looking out for number 1, he seems too decent and nice in this season! As for Sucre, although I really like the character, I think its about time he got a happy ending, in a similar vein to that of C-Notes in season 2, left free to go and raise his family.
All in all I think I preferred this episode last weeks.