"First On FOX"
Though the official start of the fall TV season is not until September 18th (Happy Birthday to me!), FOX really got things started last night with the return of “Prison Break” and the premiere of “Vanished.”
I was a little surprised at some of the negative reviews “Prison Break” got from some TV critics—especially since the episode was better than anything they did last season (which was generally reviewed favorably). I guess all of the totally unbelievable plot twists to postpone the breakout (like part of Michael’s tattoo getting burned off in the tunnels) finally got the best of some people.
That’s why I really liked last night’s episode because it gave us “Break” fans the promise of something different.
Obviously there’s some concern that every week will be the same old “the FBI’s just around the corner” scenario, but I think the escapees going their separate ways will help diversify the story (especially when you see what they’ve got in store for Tweener).
I’m so glad the show decided not to kill off Sarah. I loved Michael leaving Sarah the origami swan (his calling card) with a message promising to make things right, opening the possibility of an actual romantic moment between the two. The chemistry between Wentworth Miller and Sarah Wayne Callies is nothing short of sizzling and the eventual reckoning between them will definitely be worth waiting for. When I watched the episode again last night, I noticed the dots underneath his words. My guess is that he’s left Sarah a coded message.
One couple that will not be reunited is Lincoln and Veronica (I promised you a shocker in the last five minutes.). I’ve never liked her, but watching Lincoln break down after hearing her death over the phone (You have to admit that was clever.), I almost shed a tear myself. I should have seen it coming because the rough cut of the premiere I saw did not have Robin Tunney in the opening credits (I went back and checked.). Apparently someone realized that and corrected the error for last night’s airing.
Veronica’s death does two things. Number one, it gives Lincoln no one on the outside (i.e. a non-felon) to help clear his innocence. Number two, it helps put aside the show’s worst storyline—the conspiracy to frame Lincoln. Whenever Veronica was on screen last season, the show ground to a halt. Her story made absolutely no sense most of the time and Tunney’s hushed attempt at a dramatic voice didn’t help any. “Break” has always been compared to “24,” so it’s nice to see the show use a “24” trademark (killing major characters) in such a good way.
I wouldn’t say that the conspiracy theory is over just yet, though, because I have a feeling that Agent Mahone is somehow involved with The Company. And what was up with that pill he was popping in the cemetery? You know that Michael’s all over that one.
Plus, I’ve got to believe that one of those government agents would check to see who Veronica was talking to on the phone.
Next week’s previews show Lincoln and Michael trying to break Lincoln’s son, L.J., out of Mahone’s custody. See what I mean about a whole new show?
As for “Vanished,” you’ll notice that I was pretty vague in my preview because I didn’t want to give anything away. It’s unfortunate that FOX did not follow my lead.
Every major clue that was uncovered in last night’s premiere was given away in a promo—especially the ones that aired during “Break”—except for the identity of the frozen body (although we did see the body in the previews and see the prayer card that was with it). Just by watching the promos you know that Sara Collins had disappeared before and she was pregnant, even though she had been told that wasn’t possible. And based on that, you knew it was only a matter of time before someone recognized her as another person (I was just glad that it was “Pepper Dennis” hottie Josh Hopkins that did.).
Now you know why I don’t watch “24” promos during the season.
The thing that sets “Vanished” apart from NBC’s “Kidnapped” (or at least we think) is the “Da Vinci Code” elements behind Sara Collins’ disappearance. So, FOX wants everyone to know that as soon as possible—even touting the “centuries-old conspiracy” in the promos when nothing like that (other than the prayer card) was introduced in the premiere.
As I said before, I’m going to give “Vanished” another couple of episodes before I draw any other conclusions. But if the mythology gets too complicated, it will vanish from my viewing schedule.
So if you watched either of these, tell me what you think. If you didn’t and I’ve peaked your curiosity, you can catch an encore of “Vanished” tonight (Tuesday) at 9 and an encore of “Prison Break” Wednesday at 9 p.m.