Tuesday, September 05, 2006

A (be)labored point

Why does it always feel like, at the end of a three-day weekend, you need an extra day off just to recover? (Or, in my case, to clean.) But back to the salt mines we shall go, and that includes reviewing.

After dealing with "Standoff" and MyNetwork TV in yesterday's column, today offers a preview of the new seasons of "House" (which will, of course, be back in the review rotation) and "Nip/Tuck" (which may pop up on occasion, but isn't a show I care about enough to consistently watch). In trying to get the column done in time for the holiday deadlines, I may have gone off too far on a tangent about trying to balance fans' desires with what's best for a show, but the key points are this: After last year's Carver detour, "Nip/Tuck" is back to being "Nip/Tuck" again, while "House" is doing something very interesting with the aftermath of the shooting in the finale.

A solid "Prison Break," up until the cop-out ending. Maybe if the producers hadn't done several interviews where they proudly announced their intention to kill a lot of characters this year, I would have assumed it was a feint much sooner and accepted it as the conventions of network series TV. But put your money where your mouth is, guys.

A few other points:
  • Really, what's the value of the tattoos, except as a neat visual device? At least half of them contain information that super-genius Michael already seems to know or doesn't need to remember exactly (the names of the streets surrounding the prison, the station the car radio would reach to trigger the explosives). All they're doing is giving Mahone an easier means of following them.
  • Another super-genius quibble: the man with backup plans within his backup plans keeps all their useful documentation in one backpack? He'd better have another set buried someplace en route to Mexico.
  • So how does Sucre get from a Midwest cornfield to a Bed-Stuy apartment in, like, a day? If nothing else, how does he get into and around New York without any money? I'm sure he stole stuff at some point, but one of the elements I've been enjoying about the fugitive storylines are the details of everything they have to do to stay free and unnoticed. I'm not saying I want to see how C-Note is scrounging for each meal or anything, but the cornfield-->Brooklyn journey could have been fun if shown in more detail.
  • Speaking of C-Note, man's got no one but himself to blame for his wife betraying him. If he had just told her the truth about his discharge, she'd be more willing to trust him now (not to mention, he probably wouldn't have been forced to participate in the robbery that put him away). Pride goeth before a jail stint.
And this morning's "The Wire" post over at The House: Dan Jardine on Bubbles.


Anonymous said...

"Laurie, a comic actor by trade who just so happens to also be great at the serious stuff (and, in case his multi-talents don't already annoy you enough, he's also a fine author)..."

And a rock star. (Sorta.)

Alan Sepinwall said...

Fienberg scolded me for not mentioning Michael using the amazing healing powers of cayenne pepper to so thoroughly fix Linc's gunshot wound that he was able to sprint at the end of the episode. So scolded.

Cinemania said...

Hey Alan, thanks for the plug. Love that Bubs.

Lord Floppington said...

That last scene with C-Note. I took away that the agent was already there questioning her. She looked in on her daughter and had a struggle with her conscience about what to do. Turning the porch lights on signaled to me that at the last minute, she changed her mind and would not betray him after all. I would expect her to make up some story to tell the agent to throw her off the track.

I agree that Michael did blow it with the backpack, but the tattoos are useful I think. There are only so many specific, precise, details one can expect to remember, especially after some number of months in a jail away from all of your reference materials. Is it highway 38 or highway 48? Or was it 38 miles on highway 12? Or was it 101.3 or 103.1 on the radio? The tattoos are a helpful backup, if nothing else.

Anonymous said...

ITA with Lord Floppington's entire post. I also took the porch light scene to mean that C-Note's wife was not going to betray him after all. I also find Michael's tattoos useful, if not sex-ay as hay-ull.

I didn't mind the cop-out at the end; I was actually relieved because I wasn't ready to lose C-Note or Sucre (I knew Michael & Linc were safe).

BTW, where is Haywire? I don't remember what happened to him at the end of last season. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

They made it look like Haywire was going to assault a little girl putting playing cards in the spokes of her bicycle, but then it turned out he just wanted the bike. Last we saw him, he was pedalling away into the night.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Jim! At the beginning of this last ep, I thought Haywire would be the one dead in the car since he seems the most expendable at this point, then I couldn't remember where the heck he'd gotten to.