Normally it’s my policy to not start covering a show this late in the game, but something happened on Breakout Kings that I feel needs a mention and a review. The show is created by former Prison Break writers Matt Olmstead and Nick Santora, on it’s own nothing but a nice piece of trivia. But in this episode something I consider ground breaking occurred.
Prison Break star Robert Knepper reprised his role of T-Bag making him the first character to crossover to a show on a completely different network. But enough with the set up, let’s get on to the review…
Review: For those uninitiated, Breakout Kings focuses on U.S. Marshals Ray Zancanelli and Charlie Duchamp who have created a new kind of team. A team of low level cons who help them catch other cons that break out of prison. And for every con they catch, the team gets a month knocked off their sentences.
Now that we got that out of the way, let me get right to the point… Man it was awesome to see T-Bag on screen again. I was a huge Prison Break fan, so to see one of the shows shining character achievements again was more than pleasing. And what made it even better is that we got to see a side of T-Bag that was only talked about during the Prison Break days. We got to see T-Bag’s killer side. The side that Michael Scofield was always able to partially control. But now that he’s on his own, T-Bag is back to his animalistic nature.
Right from the get go we get a sense that this a slightly different T-Bag. During Prison Break T-Bag was as much a schemer and manipulator as he was a bastard. But here he’s just ruthless, not phasing for a second when he takes out the two guard transporting him from Fox River. And thanks to some analysis from Lloyd, we all got the confirmation of what was only hinted at during Prison Break. T-Bag is a horrible human being, but he does believe that he can be a good person. And I so appreciate having my suspicions confirmed.
I also found it rather compelling to see that T-Bag was on an actual goal-induced mission when it was revealed that he was out to get revenge for his mother, who was assaulted while in a retirement facility. And in the hospital nothing could of been said better than when he said to her “I can’t join you in heaven, but you enjoy it for the both of us.” Does the dark soul have a heart? I think so.
But he has more than a heart, he also has feelings. Because the episode’s shining achievement came in the final scene when Lloyd finally gets his wish when he goes to have a sit down with the now captured T-Bag, so he can pick his brain. But instead, he does nothing except tell T-Bag that there is no mystery to his psychopathic mentality. He merely informs T-Bag that he is nothing more than a broken machine. To which T-Bag replies once Lloyd has left the room “no shit.”
That final line tells me more about T-Bag than I ever knew before. He’s a creature of acceptance. And being told he’s broken not only doesn’t bother him, but it seems to confirm a belief he always had. It was just perfect.
Final thoughts: T-Bag!!
Episode: “The Bag Man” (Season 1, Episode 3)
Airs: A&E, Sundays, 10pm
What’s next: Unknown
To listen to the latest episode of Merrill’s TV Podcast, The Idiot Boxers with Kevin Carr, head over to Fat Guys at the Movies.