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Prison Break - The Liar - Review: "Michael Scofield" + POLL



At this juncture, it is worth taking a moment to consider the bigger picture of this revival, and what to expect from this season. As we know, the first season of the show was a long and convoluted build towards Michael breaking Lincoln out of prison, and subsequent years did other things to prolong the series and earn FOX more money. But there was an impression given off by the pre-revival talk and the promotional material that, at some point, Michael would escape Ogygia and there would be more to this season than just that breakout.

And although some aspects of the three episodes so far - many raised in “The Liar” - have pointed towards that being true, it is difficult to believe when Michael’s ‘last chance’ plan fails and he ends up in solitary confinement once again, resigned to the potential of never making it out.

Presumably, the show has not brought him back from the dead eight years later just to kill him again, so where is this going?

As always, there is a bigger picture, a bigger conspiracy at play here, revolving around an individual named Poseidon. Not only did he hire Van Gogh and A&W (Steve Mouzakis and Marina Benedict, respectively, the two trying to get at Sara) but he put Michael and Whip into Ogygia to break out Abu Ramal, only they were betrayed and are not going to help him escape. And, because of course he is, Kellerman is involved having seemingly taken Sara’s fingerprint and used it to hack her phone. So is he Poseidon, or does he just work with/for him?

In any event, the conspiracy angle is being played hard here, and not only does it feel like familiar territory but it once again feels like unsteady ground. There is only so much the show can do with misdirects or people potentially working for some shady government arm, or something to that effect. Certainly, chastising the show before it gets there would be pre-emptive - it could just be as simple as Kellerman being responsible for reasons as yet unclear to us - but it is concerning that this path is so reminiscent of before.

The revelation - if you can call it that - treated with the most weight was the final scene, in which Michael records a video on Ja’s that proves Jacob’s theory wrong and shows who this man really is and always was: Michael Scofield. Though it has been pretty nailed on that this was the case in prior episodes, “The Liar” needed to do this given its ambiguity over who he is pretending to be friends with and whether he truly has any connections. He does, it seems, and that is reassuring - even if a fact we essentially already knew.

His plan, as ever, is complex and prone to collapse, but it almost works exactly how he wanted. Prison Break is always at its most interesting not when exploring the mysterious powers that be, but when Michael is showing his genius. So although we are, as always, behind the eight ball when it comes to knowing why he is doing a particular thing - in this instance, punching Whip and stealing the guard’s watch - it is fun to see it all play out.

The only problem here is that he did not seem to think it through quite so well (*) and the plan fell apart once Ramal, his crew, and the Christian (T.J. Ramini) work out what is happening, as do the guards. It is strange that Michael overlooked the potential for what was essentially a riot leading to someone discovering his escape given his length experience inside prisons - he should know by now that they are prone to unrest. So for the time being, he must wait, plotting his next gambit despite no guarantee he will be let out of solitary anytime soon nor is his life expectancy particularly long once he is released.

(*) This is assuming it was not somehow part of his plan to get locked up in solitary and with Ramal set on killing him. Based on his newfound fear of dying inside Ogygia, it would seem unplanned, but it is difficult to ever definitively say with this show.

Elsewhere in Yemen, Lincoln runs into trouble - standard procedure - while he and Sheba try to acquire the passports needed for him and Michael to get home. It is not a surprise that he comes up short given how untrustworthy everyone in the country appears to be, and for the sake of making life difficult for him to pad out the season a little more. Their capture by Cyclops, the ISIS fighter who Sheba knew, felt like a stall but still provided some solid development for her. The revelation that they were friends years back but he raped her is a pretty dark turn of events, but not an entirely shocking one. With the passports still needed and Michael yet to break out, she will remain with Lincoln and C-Note for the time being, so delving deeper into her past can only be a good thing.

Back in the U.S., Sara tries to hit back at Van Gogh and A&W after realising her phone had been hacked (*), only to get hit with the brick wall of learning her fingerprint unlocked the phone. As noted above, Kellerman is the obvious suspect right now - in fairness, Kellerman should probably always be the obvious suspect - and, having encountered him in the hospital toilets, she enlists T-Bag to find out what he knows. Their interaction was fun, mainly because of Knepper - his “Which one’s this?” comment when answering the phone was delightfully horrible - and seeing him work with her to uncover everything that is happening could be rather entertaining.

(*) Again, hard to know why anyone does anything on this show, but it would appear they are terrible at hacking if she is able to discover the espionage without even trying.

It is probably a pointless hope to ask that the conspiracy angle is dialled down, but with that a real implausibility, if the show can maintain a level of entertainment and not push too hard on making everyone working both for and against five different people, this may end up being solid.

Notes:

I had not previously noticed, but the act breaks are not marked with the flashes of a prison as they were at all times during the original run.

Lincoln offers to pay for all of the children Sheba is looking after to leave the country. Where is he getting all of this money from, bearing in mind his $100,000 debt in his opening scene in the premiere?

Rockmond Dunbar keeps saying “exscape” and it is annoying.

Whip mentions a series of other jobs he and Michael seem to have worked, along with the CIA, so has Michael just been doing a series of prison breaks around the world for the CIA?

What did everyone think of “The Liar”? Leave your thoughts in the comments and be sure to vote in our poll below!



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