Rockmonddunbar_prisonbreak_240When did sweeps periods cease to be about long-planned weddings, unplanned childbirth (in elevators, preferably) and awkward guest appearances by Cher? When did producers determine that the only ways to goose viewership were impending death, near death and actual death?

There have been so many small screen slayings this season, that it’s ceased to have any meaning, particularly since at least half of the slaughtered characters have found their way back to the realm of the living with minimal repercussions. Yeah, Meredith Grey. I’m looking at you.

Like Zap2it’s own TV Gal, I’m tired of it.

[Spoilers here, just in case you didn’t guess.]

We’re in the final week of sweeps and first on the killing floor was Monday’s (Feb. 26) Prison Break, which left viewers with a cliffhanger-and-a-half. Will C-Note successfully off himself, thereby assuring his wife and daughter of a life without the evil attentions of FBI goon Mahone? And will Kellerman successfully take revenge on the President who left him out in the cold by shooting her with a high-powered rifle?

Tune in next week!

Well, next week isn’t sweeps anymore and I’m betting than both C-Note and the unseen president are going to survive.

Prison Break has been enjoying a slaughter-happy season, as Bill Fichtner’s unstoppable Mahone has managed to track down and eliminate Tweener, Abruzzi and Haywire all by himself. That’s saying nothing of the myriad supporting characters who T-Bag or Kellerman have killed (three this week alone!) just for kicks. But Tweener was a little putz (on-screen and, allegedly, off), Abruzzi was a vicious mobster and Haywire was a murderer, albeit a sentimental one. Killing those three didn’t take any guts at all. But killing C-Note wouldn’t do anything for the show’s narrative and it would require the producers to eliminate a character whose greatest crime was being caught in a dull subplot. I doubt the producers have the guts. I’d guess the noose or the pipe snap. The only thing his death would accomplish is making Mahone guiltier than he should be already. Yawn.

But enough already. When the creative team on 24 killed off Teri Bauer at the end of Season One, they were making a shocking point: On this show, anybody can die. In today’s TV landscape, it’s more surprising when somebody lives.

A few additional quick thoughts on this week’s episode:

  • Is going to every mean anything or will it just keep being a red herring?
  • Was anybody glad to see L.J. again? How has that character managed to survive?
  • So Sucre knows that the authorities know he’s in Mexico and his first and only plan is to go stay with his aunt? I could be wrong, but I don’t think that’ll be safe for long.
  • On a similar note, maybe Michael and Lincoln should have chosen a place to meet Fake Cooper Green that wasn’t in a direct sight line to the hotel where they were staying. I’ve lost a lot of respect for Michael’s intellect this season. He seems to only be smart about things that are tattooed on his abs.
  • Kellerman’s got some serious issues when it comes to women, but perhaps the root of his misogyny can be tied back to his mom, as he tells his sister, "Just cuz someone spits you out of her crotch doesn’t make them your mother."

    Do you think C-Note’s really dead? Do you think Kellerman will kill the President? Who else seems marked for death? And do all of these deaths make you enjoy the show more or less?

  • Posted by:Daniel Fienberg