Prison Break season 4 has been going along surprising well so far, with the fourth season in my opinion being far more exciting and enjoyable than the last season, which focused on the escape from Sona. As the break-in draws nearer, things are certainly looking good for Prison Break this season.
Well we were promised death was coming to Prison Break, and the writers make good of that promise in this week's episode, "Greatness Achieved" with the untimely, yet heroic, demise of Brad Bellick. Surely it is a testament to the quality of Wade Williams' acting and popularity of the character that Bellick has stuck around this far, with the character occupying roles in all four of the show's seasons.
And the portrayal of Bellick has changed a lot over these four seasons. In season 1 he is a thug, a corrupt and morally bankrupt police officer, bullying the inmates and generally despised by the audience. In season 2 we see the thuggish nature of Bellick again when hunting the brothers. However during both these seasons we do get a glimpse into the unhappiness in his life, and by season 3, when he is incarcerated in Sona, Bellick becomes a major figure of pathos in the show, and to a certain extent this continued into season 4, with Bellick changing from the angry bastard of a prison officer in season 1, into a outcast and lonely man, a man who loves his mother and is squeamish at the sight of blood. In the end, Bellick gets to die in a way that he would want, heroically, for friends. (Try not to think about the fact that now Scylla has been moved by the Company, his sacrifice was ultimately for nothing...)
Whilst watching this episode, something sort of dawned on me. I realised that I don't really care about the Company. I don't really care about Gretchen, or Scylla, or even T-Bag anymore. When we see Gretchen kiss the General, I'm not shocked. More indifferent. You see it's the characters like Michael, Lincoln (who I still maintain has been criminally underused and dumbed-down this season), Sara and Mahone, the characters we've spent time watching grow over many seasons that I care about. I hope now that the break-in has become the main focus of this season that Michael and co will be given a decent amount of attention. Remember in season 1, when every show was about Michael, and how he was going to move forward with the escape. That is what I'd like to see in season 4 with the break-in.
Probably the highlight of this episode was Mahone's revenge on Wyatt, William Fichtner as always gave a quality performance, and I just loved his final moments with Wyatt, with Mahone interrupting him mid sentence to push him to his death. It worked really well, and we hope Mahone can now become a bigger part of the break-in storyline. Don Self also reveals that the mysterious woman whose picture he carries round with him was actually his wife, who died in childbirth. Although a pretty dark revelation, it does give us insight into why Self is embarking on the very dangerous vendetta against the company; he's man with little to live for, making work his life to defeat an evil in the world. It also allows Mahone and Self to empathise with one and other, having both lost a child.
Michael's illness is taken up a notch this episode, with Michael nearly collapsing. This is all well and good, but as rumours of a fifth Prison Break season emerge, our view of Michael's illness changes from "Hmmm I wonder if he might die at the end of the season" to "Who do you think you are kidding suggesting Michael might die, whats this I hear about a fifth season then?!?" But OK putting that aside, it is nice to see Michael being threatened by this illness that he can't control, it does remind us that despite all his intellect, and all he's accomplished, he is still only human. And who knows, he may well d