Erin (absinthe_spoons) wrote,

PB 4.03 "Shut Down"

I was going to do another play-by-play bullet-point commentary on this episode, but the play-by-plays are snippy and nit-picky and petty and this episode doesn't deserve that treatment. This episode was absolutely amazing. I cannot even remember an episode that I enjoyed watching as much as this one.

I mean, I'll still use bullet points, because bullet points are the shit, just not play-by-play bullets.
I loved this episode so hard. It could really do no wrong. Even characters I normally hate, I didn't mind. Well, nvm, Wyatt still needs to die right now plzkthnx, esp. for killing poor Bruce, but he is the exception that proves the rule. Maybe.
I'm gonna take this by character, how's that sound? I'm just going to go along this cast list I have out.
Michael Scofield -- I didn't mind him nearly as much in this episode. I especially enjoyed the part at the beginning when he got all pissy and started yelling at Self. WM's acting again, yayz. The MiSa in this episode was nicely moderated, not poured all over the episode like sticky syrup. I liked when Alex came into the room and said that the e-mail was in code, and Michael said something to the effect of him being glad that he was there... it could have been sarcastic, kind of like a teacher saying "I'm so glad you've finally decided to join us, Alexander." but I don't care, I chose to interpret it as him been grateful, because it would be about fucking time. I was a little disappointed with his reaction to Lincoln telling him about Cameron... or rather, lack of one. He didn't say anything. Speaking of...
Lincoln motherfucking Burrows -- Okay. Um, okay. I kind of love Linc. I wanted to jump into the TV and give him a huge hug and wail into his shoulder my thanks to him for being, like, the most forgiving person on the planet. Because, y'know, I really wanted him to stop being such a dick to Alex, I really did. But I NEVER expected him to do that heel-face turn and offer his help. Hell, promise his help. In his place, I wouldn't. Not if the guy killed my father, even if my father was like Aldo Burrows. He was also entertaining and such a bad-ass with that axe. I think he may be my second-favourite character on the main cast now. And I don't really want me liking him to be about him being nice to Alex, because that is a weird basis for liking someone (but really, I apply that to real-life relationships too, I really do -- if you don't like Alex and say so, I like you a lot less), but he was just so nice about it. I like that he wasn't too forward about it, not making himself known when he walked in on Alex's conversation with Lang, calling off Roland, trying to calm Alex down when Alex attacked Roland. And his speech at the end -- combined with the envelope (oh god, the envelope), and everything about Fichtner's performance -- just broke my heart.
Sara Tancredi -- She was one of the only people who weren't even slightly reprieved in this episode in my eyes. She was even more boring than normal, and her scene with the security guard at that building almost stopped this episode in its tracks. Plus, I thought it was really weird how she was all preparing to leave when the A-Team was arrested... she didn't even protest, didn't even hang around to see them go. What's that about, Sara?
Fernando Sucre -- Okay, maybe not that many people were reprieved. I perceive Sucre in much the same way that I perceive Sara. I honestly tried to give him a chance and see him in a better light during this episode, but he is just so dull. I don't feel for his story at all. I don't want the writers to give his story more screen-time than it already has, but I don't understand how they expect us to follow his story when we haven't seen Maricruz since around this time last year.
T-Bag -- He was so great in this episode. I laughed aloud several times at the smallest, most creative details that Knepper put into his performance. In the premiere, I was really incredulous of this whole "blood feud" thing, but this episode helped to put that in a little bit of perspective. In fact, this episode did that for a lot of elements. Everything that was shot out like ticker-tape in the premiere got a nice grounding and a little of Prison Break's version of realism. I was having a hard time trying to figure out how T-Bag's separated plot-line was going to gel with the rest of the story, but I found his scenes to be amusing little intermissions between bouts of wrenching emotion and heart-pounding action. I loved him shaving, I loved his musical "hello?" when he entered his apartment, I loved his conversation with Gregory White, I loved the quick shots of him enjoying his new apartment.
Brad Bellick -- This saddens me. I thought Bellick was going to turn out to be the season four version of S1 Sucre, and he disappointed me quite a bit in this episode. I hated Bellick in season 2, and he was pretty much S2 Bellick all over in 4.03, esp. his proposition to Sucre. Funny, he made a similar proposition back in s3 to Alex and I loved it, but back then the rest of the conversation was sad and sweet in a kind of pathetic way, with him getting all excited about the idea of a book deal, the "Butch & Sundance" exchange, and asking to be a part of Alex's life post-escape. But no, Bellick has lost major points with me.
Alexander Mahone -- Thanks very much, Alex Mahone, you just ripped my heart in two. No other fictional character, no other actor has ever affected me this much. I swear, Alex needs his own level on my personal version of Maslow's hierarchy of needs. But enough of generalities. I think my favourite part of Fichtner's performance in this ep was him huddled in the corner behind that metal frame, and then when he shook hands with Lincoln, I have never seen emotion so genuine on a human face before. He was so... beautiful, better than I've ever seen him, in this episode. I was searching for the right word to describe his physical perfection, and "beautiful" is all I could grasp. I liked how the camera lingered on him in moments when he didn't have any lines, they need to do that more often. When I finished this episode at about two in the morning last night (the rez internet connection was being a little bitch), I just stayed at my desk, in the dark, and sobbed and sobbed for about ten minutes. It was rough. Then this morning, I was eating breakfast downstairs (tater tots and scrambled eggs), and I'd just finished my tots, and was moving on to the eggs... and suddenly I thought of the envelope, the pictures dangling out of them, the bruises on the skinny arms, and Alex huddled in the corner, trying to hide from the world, holding the envelope limply... I was just so overcome with sadness that I suddenly felt this gag reflex, and I just couldn't continue eating. Then I went upstairs and cried again. I am taking this way, way too hard but I don't even care. Fuck off.
Felicia Lang -- Honestly? Not really feelin' Lang this time around. She was not so much Her Holy Awesomeness as she usually is. Don't get me wrong, I'm not upset with her for being reluctant to involve herself... that is a given, and completely understandable. What I don't like is that I was expecting and hoping for a poignant reaction to the news of Cameron's death, and at least some sort of reaction to the news that Alex isn't in jail. She didn't really seem that fazed about anything. Lang, be more awesome, or I shall put you on notice.
Bruce Bennett -- Aw, Bruce. He was so cute. Because it was Love Prison Break Day, I was able to get through his scenes with Wyatt solely on his own virtues. The whole truth serum bit played out more realistically than I thought it would. By the end of it, I believed that Bruce was genuinely being compelled to be truthful, but through the powers of suggestion rather than some wonder drug (which may actually exist for reals, but I don't want to hear about it). WYATT. NOT COOL. Poor Bruce, I was really starting to like him. He was one of those nostalgic characters... like Agent Quinn. Remember Agent Quinn? I loved him.
Wyatt -- Wyatt, you fucktard, DIE ALREADY. I really, really tried, okay? I tried really hard to like him. To see good things about Cress's performance. I couldn't. He's awful.
Don Self -- Self is in the same category as Bellick: loved him in the premiere, couldn't stand him in 4.03. He was whiny and petty, and his lines never seemed to hit the right note and gel properly with the rest of the scene. I was cheering on Mike when they were yelling in each other's faces.
Roland Glenn -- I laid off on Roland for this ep. I think my problem with him in the premiere is that it seemed to me that both the character AND the actor were trying too hard to impress everyone. Now I figure, that's how Liao is playing it. Roland got to show a lot of vulnerability in this episode, and I started to see him as just a scared kid who is in way over his head. In the premiere he was a deus ex machina (magic absorbing techno box thingy wut), but now the writers seem to be setting more limitations on him. He kind of reminded me of Tweener... not always (okay, ever) being completely wise or rational or honourable, but it's forgivable because everyone was a kid once (listen to me -- I still am a kid).
Overall, just an amazing episode. The best thing TPTB have put out in a really long time, maybe since mid-season 2, possibly even earlier than that. I can tell that I loved the episode because it elicited such a physical reaction from me -- I wailed aloud in grief, I laughed, I did several arm-pumps of jubilation and triumph, I bounced up and down in my seat. A+
Tags: pb season iv, pb: shut down, prison break
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