Prison Break: Season Three

Prison Break: Season Three
After the success of the compact, well-paced and often gripping first season of Fox’s Monday night hit, it was almost inevitable that season two would suffer from the "where do we go from here?” woes. With increasingly ludicrous storylines involving psychotic, drug addicted investigators, severed hands, presidential conspiracies, numerous suicide attempts and illogical character motivations — namely those of Ms. Wayne Callies — the show seemed to be on a path to nowhere, and fast. Seemingly embracing the sheer absurdity of the constructed Prison Break world, season two left Michael Scofield (Wentworth Miller) in a Panamanian prison called Sona with investigator Alexander Mahone (William Fichtner), prison guard Bellick (Wade Williams) and the child molesting, handless wonder T-Bag (Robert Knepper). While illogical and stretching credulity far beyond the realm of acceptable, this storyline at least managed to reel the show back into the familiar territory that made it initially successful. The first few episodes of season three ultimately try to explain how "the company” manoeuvred all of these people into this ungoverned Panamanian prison to help James Whistler (Chris Vance), a mysterious inmate, escape. To drive this home, Lincoln’s (Dominic Purcell) son LJ (Marshall Allman) is kidnapped by mega-bitch Susan B. Anthony/Gretchen (Jodi-Lyn O’Keefe), a sociopathic, single-minded serpent who’s relentless in her efforts to get what she wants. After the initial expository episodes of season three, which feature Bellick shuffling around in tighty whities, decapitations and gladiator-style battles to the death, season three manages to find its groove, recapturing some of the tension from the first season in the many plans and problems involved with breaking out of Sona. The door left open for season four is far less groan-inducing than last year’s, as the tangential, multi-narrative direction the show seems to be taking may actually work in its favour. The DVD box set includes featurettes surrounding the "Orientacion” episode, as well as the "Breakout” episode, which explore actors’ perceptions of character trajectories, the aid of elaborate set design and the complexities involved with location shooting. They’re interesting enough, even if they are relatively standard behind-the-scenes glances. The "Directors’ Takes” and "Between Takes” featurettes offer mild insights from actors and directors alike on what happens when the camera isn’t rolling. It’s a creative idea and again, sheds a bit of light on what goes on around the actors while shooting, but the endless thanking of the audience grows tired after awhile. Also included is an episode of The Unit, which isn’t a particularly subtle marketing technique but isn’t unwelcome either. (Fox)