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Prison break series 5 review (SPOILERS)

Well, with the last episode having aired in the US, it’s time for me to give my review. In my first review I suggested that the series started well, but I was sceptical of where it would go. Well I was not wrong. I was originally going to post this before the last episode aired as I thought it was blindingly obvious how it would wrap up (and it was), so I’ll go through what I rightly predicted as well. In fact I may as well start there.

Paul Scheuring stated before the season even began that Prison Break series 5 is based on The Odyssey by Homer. So for this reason the finale was predictable. For example, in The Odyssey the Greek hero Odysseus outsmarts Poseidon and successfully traps him. So for that reason I knew that Michael was going to trap Poseidon somehow, and that he didn’t have any intention of killing him. Poseidon in both the Odyssey and in Prison Break is overly confident that Odysseus/Michael can’t possibly outsmart him.

So I knew Michael was going to outsmart and trap Poseidon in the finale – what else did I know? Well I knew that neither he, Sarah, or Mike could die, and probably not Linc too. I also knew that it was Poseidon’s henchman Van Gogh that gets shot at the end of the penultimate episode. I didn’t know where Sarah was, I will admit, and I think that was a huge cop-out and let down to have her so easily escape. I had also worked out that Michael didn’t actually want T-Bag and Whip to kill Poseidon, I didn’t even think it was Poseidon he asked them to kill, and I also knew that Michael actually didn’t care about either of them – I knew that from Poseidon’s Game Theory speech he gave to Sarah: “You make them love you so much that when they’re up against it their loyalty will make them act against their own best interests”. Michael had already manipulated Whip into killing Ramal for him, and Sid into sacrificing himself for the good of the team. I also knew that Blue Hawaii would have a role, although in hindsight I should have known that he would have been involved in the trap. Oh, and I knew that most of the information encoded in his tatts was useless and intended to waste Poseidon’s time.

Overall the season finale was lacklustre. It was thoroughly predictable. Yes the trap itself was executed very well, but the sub-plots were hastily wrapped up in a dissatisfying way for the main part, and “errors”/contradictions made throughout the series were not addressed – I guess they really were errors. Also, the tatto on the back of his hands was never in the previous episodes (although I did wonder why his knuckles were always black) – and it was revealed in the promo for the episode – bad form! You want proof that the tat isn’t there? Here:

hands-1

hands-2

hands-3

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Now here’s what I do love about the finale – Michael spectacularly manipulated and betrayed Whip. Now that was beautiful in its own dark-twisted way to show the dark side of Michael. The mechanical hand that he gives T-Bag has a purpose – so that T-Bag will betray his own best interests and land back in gaol. Speaking of which, how the fuck was he released after only 7 years? Why change the fucking timeline to begin with? The original show Seasons 1-4 take place in 2005, not 2010. As a part of the betrayal, Michael lies to T-Bag and Whip and claims that Poseidon will go after him – when in fact there’s no evidence at all that Poseidon has given Whip a second thought, and Whip would be in no danger so long as he remained ignorant of Poseidon’s identity. Anyway, great to see that betrayal and they’re both none the wiser. On the other hand, the relationship between T-Bag and Whip never felt very satisfying.

I also didn’t buy the final scene where Michael has asked the CIA to have Poseidon placed in T-Bag’s cell. Michael wants Poseidon to suffer, not face instant death at the robo-hand of T-Bag… although I doubt that T-Bag actually killed him as is implied in the final scene (he wouldn’t kill someone in his own cell, he’s not that stupid). It was anticlimactic and unnecessary.

So overall, this series just pushed too many subplots that went nowhere. It should have focused itself entirely on Michael’s slow meticulous plan unfolding, and not wasted time on anticlimactic victories along the way. Instead they wanted to do way too many things – Michael has to “escape” the prison, Michael has to “escape” Yemen and ISIS, Michael has to be saved from being poisoned, Michael has to smuggle himself to the US, Michael has to outsmart and get revenge from Poseidon. Also, Linc has to free himself from the debt and get the girl. Jesus it was pathetic.

 

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