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Prison Break: I can't believe they changed the whole thing

[This is a review of the fourth season opener, written during the original run of the series.]

They completely retconned the entire series. What a bold, gutsy move.

But a necessary one. How many times could Michael break out of an inescapable prison? Twice was pushing it. The producers must have been thinking, hey, Wentworth Miller is a great leading man, we have this outstanding cast of well-developed shady characters played by top-of-the-line character actors, but if we put them all back in prison together for another season, the audience just won't buy it.

But will the audience stay on board with all these changes?

They made Michael the head of his own little semi-criminal team, sort of Mission Impossible meets The Dirty Dozen -- just add the requisite computer expert and stir. They moved a lot of the action to Los Angeles, which was shiny and new after an entire season of hot and sweaty Dallas pretending to be Panama. They even brought Sara back to life, which was a stretch but a good move since killing her off last season was a mistake of gigantic proportions. (Especially the brutal and gruesome way they did it.) I mean, if you're going to change everything, why not?

I did laugh out loud when they got rid of Michael's tatts, because it was just so improbable: you don't laser off tattoos covering half your body, people, and just act like nothing happened. Yes, they were a huge inconvenience for their lead actor since they stopped being a major plot device, but still, you could say it was a stretch too far. I'm almost surprised they didn't glue Michael's missing toes back on, too.

So it was a smart move. But did it work?

The two-hour premiere was certainly fast-paced and fun to watch. It was great to see Michael and Sara reunited, although the brief hotel room scene was too ambiguous and somewhat unsatisfying. (Yes, sex was implied, but are they a couple now? Come on, guys. I want to know.) But the plot 180 occasionally felt forced and unrealistic. And did they have to do what they did to Mahone? I like Mahone. Poor Mahone.

The jury is out. But I'll keep watching. That's not exactly an endorsement, though, because at this point, I'll watch anything with Wentworth Miller in it.
Billie Doux loves good television and spends way too much time writing about it.

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