Prison Break: Resurrection – “Phaeacia” Review

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By: Jaclyn Cascio (@jaclynator)

The escape continues in Prison Break: Resurrection with the season’s sixth episode this week. Was it worth the watch or not? Read on for a review of “Phaeacia” and see if you agree!

Spoilers ahead!

The team finally broke away from the city in a refreshing change of pace from the chaos and violence of the streets in this week’s episode, “Phaeacia.” Prison Break is given an opportunity to shine in the movement of the characters and change of location. Too much time in one place can begin to feel stagnant. The writers, however, smartly avoided this issue with excellent story pacing and scene changes. Additionally, in moving the escapees from the walled-in and closed off environment of the city into the wide-open spaces of the Yemen desert (which was filmed in Morocco), the story regains the scope intended to make Prison Break: Resurrection an event season.

Although the scenery expanded and gave the impression of a larger story, “Phaeacia” gave viewers the ability to focus even more on the main characters trying to make their way out of the war-torn country of Yemen. Much of the supporting cast was stripped away as the fugitives made their way across the desert and we were able to see the team working together without the distraction of outsiders. Unfortunately, when referring to outsiders, Sheba falls into that category. Initially presented as a strong, independent female character, her purpose in the story is now questionable. When Sheba was first introduced as a contact and a way to connect with necessary allies and tools to rescue Michael, she served a purpose which served the plot. However, by this week’s episode, she is becoming an implied potential love interest for Lincoln and is starting to feel like a token female in a male-dominated cast.

Unfortunately, this week’s episode also lacked the mystery that permeated the beginning of the season. The tantalizing teasing that has pulled at the curiosity of viewers was lost with “Phaeacia” to some extent, with little progress made concerning the role of Poseidon. Much of the charm and fun of Prison Break comes from watching Michael’s plans unfold, with contingencies abounding. However, with improvisation being the theme of this week’s episode, it raises questions of, “Where is the mystery? Where are the surprise twists?” There was a bit of a red herring as part of Michael’s plans, but even that felt predictable. And if there’s one thing Prison Break should never be (aside from the knowledge that someone, at some point, is going to break out of a prison), it’s predictable!

One of the most interesting aspects of “Phaeacia” was the closer look at the minions of Poseidon. It’s easy to think in terms of black-and-white and that villains have mindless nefarious plans. This week’s episode of Prison Break: Resurrection allowed the shades of gray to leak into the viewer’s experience by presenting more information about the would-be assassins working for Poseidon in the United States. It opens the door to conundrums such as terrorist vs. freedom fighter debates or ethical arguments about ends justifying means. An important part of an interesting story is creating a stimulating antagonist, a comparable foil to the protagonist leading a story. While we may not know much about Poseidon other than the opinions of other characters or rumors about the supposed villain, this week’s insight into the workings of some of the underlings of 21 Void was enlightening. Faceless shooters and unknown assassins are never as fun as baddies who have arguments and beliefs you could see yourself aligning with! (You all saw Captain America: Civil War, right? I rest my case.)

Overall, “Phaeacia” was not the best episode of the season. It traded mystery for action, bordering on feeling like a “filler” episode. This is troubling in an especially short revival season of a television show. However, this week’s episode certainly had undeniable merits. Most importantly, there are a lot of unanswered questions remaining, which implies that there is some major excitement to be expected from upcoming episodes!

What do you think about the season so far?


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