Silasweirmitchell_240Monday (Jan. 29) night’s new episode of Prison Break began by teasing viewers with what looked like a news bulletin, complete with Fox News insignia and info graphics. I suspect at least a few more gullible fans were initially ticked off that FOX would interrupt their favorite 8 p.m. serial before realizing that the anchor was announcing the whereabouts of fictional escaped convicts Lincoln Burroughs and Michael Scofield.

I can’t imagine that many viewers paid attention to the news crawl at the bottom of the screen, a ticker saying that fictional House Leader Matt Petersen, speaking on the issue of troop withdrawal from Iraq, "declared that setting any kind of time limit will only ‘aid the insurgency and further unify the r…’" Nice of the network’s narrative show to imbed the kind of message frequently espoused by the more conservative pundits (are there any other kind?) on FOX’s sibling news channel. I’m not sure if that’s verisimilitude or subliminal advocacy.

But enough about Prison Break’s showrunners faux-electing a legislature out of touch with the opinions held by a majority of Americans in polls.

Monday’s episode gets my approval because of the triumphant return of Silas Weir Mitchell’s Haywire and his trusty dog Larry. It’s lamentable that Haywire and Larry are no closer to Holland now than when we last left them, still attempting to build a seaworthy vessel and accumulate provisions for the journey. Yes, I know that many fans aren’t fans of the Haywire subplot and won’t cotton to this episode’s digression, which found Haywire taking an unexpected interest in a small town waif (Kaley Cuoco) with daddy issues. What? You’d rather watch C-Note sit in a trailer park talking on his cell phone?

My suggestion for next season: Kill off Lincoln, Michael, C-Note, Dr. Tancredi, Sucre and Mahone in the finale. There are already too many characters. Build next season around a game of cat-and-mouse between Kellerman and T-Bag, while Haywire and Larry roam the country like David Banner or Richard Kimball, vaguely evading the law, but mostly going from town to town helping battered wives and abused children. Cuoco is welcome to join them as eye-candy. That’s Must-See TV.

Other thoughts on this week’s episode:

  • I miss Smart Michael. Remember when he used to have all sorts of cool ideas? Now it’s just Kellerman with the ideas and even if Michael had an idea, Mahone is so darned quick it’s impossible to fool him for more than two or three seconds.
  • Glad to have Patricia Wettig back on the show, at least in vocal form.
  • Having seemingly seen the trailer for Norbit several dozen times already this evening, is it too late to preemptively take away Eddie Murphy’s Dreamgirls Oscar as punishment?
  • What’s up with that weird Epcot Center version of Mexico that Sucre is visiting? I expected the Frito Bandito to hijack his rickety old bus fully of cackling roosters and tamale-eating old ladies.
  • Bellick has apparently been in jail for one day. The timetable there is crazy.

    So, are you pro-Haywire or anti-Haywire? And did you enjoy the episode?

  • Posted by:Daniel Fienberg