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Prison Break Draws Closer to Execution Date

Cornelius Rogers | Monday, April 20, 2009

“Prison Break” has broken free of the many shows that get cancelled mid-season with large storylines unresolved. Now in its 4th and final season, “Prison Break” has only a handful of episodes left before its season finale. However, this is not due to a decline in ratings or a lack of confidence by the network. The writers and producers petitioned Fox to allow them to end the series this year, because they felt ending it this season would provide an ending that would be in keeping with the rest of the show and would reward the loyalty of its fans. This will prevent the writers from dragging the show out long past its prime. (They can only escape from prison so many times). But as the series winds to its close, let’s look back on how it all began and how it got to where it is now.The tale began like any other. It was a tale of brotherly love. Not set in Philadelphia, but rather Joliet, Ill. Sentenced to jail and framed for a crime he did not commit, Lincoln Burrows (Dominic Purcell) faces the death penalty. Coming to his rescue is his brother Michael Scofield (Wentworth Miller), the structural engineer who throws himself in jail alongside his brother. Michael’s cunning wit and the blueprints of the prison that he tattooed to his body are their only hope for escape. While they hatch their escape plot they encounter benevolent friends, like cellmate Fernando Sucre (Amaury Nolasco), and despicable enemies like the eloquent Southern pedophile Theodore Bagwell, otherwise known as “T-Bag” (Robert Knepper). The brothers also manage to find romance in the first season. Michael is smitten by prison doctor Sara Tancredi (Sarah Wayne Callies), and Lincoln falls for his attorney, Veronica Donovan (Robin Tunney). But how could romance blossom when secret service agent Paul Kellerman (Paul Adelstein) was hired by a secret evil corporation known as The Company to kill the brothers and anyone close to them? More about the mystery surrounding the death of the man that Lincoln supposedly “killed,” is revealed in a shocking season finale where the brothers and six other cons escape from prison. But breaking out was only the beginning. As the second season began, the clever Michael Scofield met his match in the formidable genius of Alexander Mahone (William Fichtner), the FBI agent assigned to track down the fugitives. For every smart move Michael had, he had an equally impressive countermove. Just as cunning as Michael, he managed to track down half of the fugitives and had several close encounters with the brothers. But like all “Prison Break” characters he was not perfect. He had some skeletons in his closet, and in his backyard.Also, the second season showed viewers more background to the characters and how they acted while on the run. Some relationships flourished, while others were cut short by an untimely death. The second season had the highest body count by far, but such can be expected when the stakes are as high as pursuit of a million dollars and exposing a secret government conspiracy. In an explosive showdown full of many twists and turns, the gang ended up in Panama by the end of the second season.Season three began with half of the characters in a Panamanian prison with no guards. The biggest threat this season was two-fold. 1) If someone threw down a chicken foot, it meant a fight to the death was imminent. 2) Meet sexy Company agent Gretchen Morgan (Jodi Lyn O’Keefe): she will do just about anything to make sure Michael breaks out of that Panamanian prison, along with the mysterious James Whistler (Chris Vance). This season was only 13 episodes long due to the writer’s strike, but that did not make any less emotional with the tragic death of a beloved character.However, season four begins by telling us this “death” never actually took place. This is just one piece of exciting news as the gang of ex-cons are offered an unusual deal by Homeland Security agent Don Self (Michael Rapaport). If the gang can work together to help bring down the evil Company that set them up, they will be granted full immunity. But as “Prison Break” often reminds us, no one can be trusted and the characters soon find themselves scattered across the U.S. and on the search for Scylla – a hard drive that contains vital information to the Company. This brings us to the current state of affairs. It looks like the writers are trying to meddle with the notion of brotherly love that started the show in the first place by pitting Michael and Linc against each other. Hopefully they are just pulling our legs for a more dramatic fraternal reunion. And the family drama is even more prevalent as the brothers’ mom, long thought to be dead, emerges. Her loyalties to her sons and to the Company are both questionable.What’s in store for the final episodes? The writers claim episode 22 will be a flash forward a few years in the future to see where everyone ends up, that is for those who don’t end up in body bags. Then a two-hour movie will bridge the gap between the present and the future flash forward. Will Michael and Lincoln finally open their scuba shop in Panama? Will Alexander Mahone ever get to see his wife Pam again? Will the irascible and verbose T-Bag finally get what’s coming? You’ll have to tune it at 8 p.m. on Friday nights to find out.