"Prison Break" Recap #3.01 "Orientacion"
Storylines gone awry no more. "Prison Break" returned with a great premiere episode that went back to its roots. But, can they keep up the tempo all season long? Those viewers who seemed to have abandoned the show may want to give it another shot as "Break" is back with what it does best - gritty prison drama.
An exonerated Lincoln searches for his son LJ and Michael's love Sara, while he tries to have his brother transfered to a safer prison facility. Sona, as he learns, is the worst of hellholes where guards have pulled out and the inmates are left at one another's mercy. The prison is ruled by a powerful kingpin Lechero.
Michael's old "friends" Mahone, Bellick and T-Bag have also made it to Sona. Although Mahone tries to form an alliance with Michael in a desperate hope to escape this nightmare, Michael can only see him as the man who murdered his father and rejects that idea. He may want to change his mind, though.
Sona is a dangerous place where conflicts are resolved in a fighting arena where one of the men never survives the battle. In fact there is a woman outside the prison demanding to see the body of her husband who, as we believe, was killed in a match at the beginning of the episode.
Michael is, meanwhile, set up and accused of stealing an inmate's drugs. Lechero orders that the dispute be resolved in a deadly match. But the battle ends in the inmate's death, after Mahone steps up and kills the man instead of Michael.
Just before that, a disgraced Bellick who limps around Sona in a diaper begging for food, is forced to clean toilets where he learns there is a mysterious man who hides in the prison sewage system who offers him food in exchange for an errand.
Bellick places a message written on a piece of paper in the pockets of Michael and the man he battles. After Mahone kills the man, the bodies of all men killed in recent days are thrown out.
TWIST #1: the woman who is allegedly waiting to see her dead husband searches through all the bodies, until she finds the paper in the last corpse. The message that also made it to Michael's pocket (in case he died) reads: "Versailles, 1989, V.Madrid."
TWIST #2: Michael is visited by a man who reveals he ended up in the prison because there is someone in Sona whom he needs to help with his skills to break out. A tired Michael would not hear of that. But he will soon be asked to do the same by his own brother.
Lincoln gets a phone call from LJ who asks him to meet him at a posh restaurant. Instead of LJ, Lincoln meets with a beautiful but dangerous woman who may work for "The Company." She gives Lincoln a BlackBerry with a video message that may change Michael's mind.
TWIST #3: Lincoln returns to Sona to visit Michael and tell him that both LJ and Sara have been abducted and kept in captivity and the kidnappers demand that Michael help the man hiding in sewage system of Sona named Whistler break out.
The show has certainly managed to re-energize itself following a somewhat lackluster season 2. But, now that the actress Sarah Wayne Callies has confirmed she left "Prison Break" can the show survive? Her character's love story with Michael was one of the driving engines of the show.
The producers can obviously recast, but unlike supporting character Sucre's love Maricruz who keeps changing each season, Sara is a principal character and I am afraid Wayne Callies' absence may spell fatal trouble for the show.