on 4 June 2009
This review contains spoilers from the end of the final season, so read on if you have seen it, or simply do not care about spoilers.
The special opens with Michael and Sara get married on a beautiful beachfront, with all of their troubles behind them, after being exonerated of all crimes. However, it's never that simple in the prison break world, and shortly after the wedding, Sara is arrested for the murder of Christina, who we all remember as Michaels mother, and a key player in The Company. Sadly for Tancredi, Christina may have been a key member of The Company, but to everyone else she was just a businesswoman that was brutally murdered. To top it off, the rest of the world is rather upset that the Notorious Fox River escapees have been let free, so they are doubly hard in trying to convict Sara.
Instead of being sent to Jail to wait until a trial, there appears to be other circumstances that have led Sara to being placed in a prison. Situated in a different wing of the prison is General Krantz, and in his bitter hatred for Michael, decides he would spend his remaining money on putting a hit out on Sara, this with the warden's reluctance to do anything about it, inspires Michael to break Sara out.
As a big fan of Prison Break, even in it's ups and down, I was very happy to hear that they were making a special one off episode after prison break had finished. I was surprised that they decided to do this straight after instead of waiting the few years that most TV shows do, but none the less, I was happy.
My general impression of The Final Break is that it is a good one off, but for all it brings forward it also has a lot of problems that it can't avoid.
The biggest problem, albeit unavoidable, is that it takes place in the gap between the exoneration and the final scene from the end of the final season, so going into The Final Break, we already know that Sara gets out, which sucks all of the dramatic tension of will she or won't she, right out the window. Prison Break as always been about tension, and this one loses a lot of it because they have already shown us the outcome. Imagine seeing the score of a football match, and then watching the match, there may be surprises in what exactly happens, but ultimately you know the final outcome.
There is also another problem; any long time fans of prison break will remember the brilliant first season; where Michael enlisted the help of a bunch of rag tag convicts to help executed an already planned escape. Here the tension really was fever pitch, where we were never sure if it was going to work out, but more than that we had 20 episodes of planning, before the execution, to build up to the actual break out, so we saw what worked and what didn't, what was a good idea and what was a bad idea, and all the other intricacies of a prison break. Sara's break out, however, consisted of some photographs being taken and some other recon work, which is rather lame considering the prison is considered inescapable. It's almost as if the writers forgot that the build up of tension in the first season was what really had us on the edge of out seat, and that the intense planning and execution needed to be flawless.
There are some nice touches in the episode for some better character development, but seeing as it is the last time we get to see them, it really is superfluous.
After watching The Final Break, the first thing that came into my mind was why? Why did they put an arrest, a threat, an escape plan and an escape all into an 80-minute special? Why did they think it would be ok to basically condense what had taken them 22 episodes in the first season, to 2 episodes?
Really, your enjoyment of this episode is going to come from how much you like prison break, and if you have seen all the seasons then you will definitely want to watch this. Like me, you will be forgiving of a lot of these points, just to get to watch prison break for one last time, but if you just a casual fan of prison break then I would pass on it.
As a fan i have given the score a 4, but if i honestly believe that my score of this will always change between a 3 and 4, depending on how i feel about it on any given day.