‘Prison Break’ goes out with disappointing finale

By Rick Bentley

It always seemed like the worst thing that could happen with a television series was for it to end without a proper finale.

There may be something worse.

The two-hour series finale of “Prison Break,” to air at 8 p.m. tonight, wraps up events that have unfolded during the show’s four-year run on Fox. But the ending is grossly unsatisfying.

“Prison Break’s” first season was masterful. It featured a complicated storyline about genius brother Michael Scofield (Wentworth Miller) getting himself tossed in jail to help his brother, Lincoln Burrows (Dominic Purcell). Each week built tension. It was television at its finest.

Then, the brothers escaped and the quality began to fade until eventually the series ended up in a muddled mess of backstabbing in this fourth and final season. While this past year has been a chore to watch because of the illogical twists and turns, the promise of a proper finale was appealing.

Fox has asked that no specific details of the two-hour finale be revealed. Fine. It would be unfair to take away the fun that comes with each revelation.

It is safe to say that the battle between the brothers and their psychotic mother (Kathleen Quinlan) is wrapped up. More mercifully, the silly battle over the device known as Scylla comes to an end.

And the fate of all of the supporting cast is revealed. There are even a few surprises. You’ll just have to watch to find out the details.

That there is a final chapter to “Prison Break” is great. It is the epilogue to that ending that is so infuriating.

Television viewers are asked to invest in characters. We grow to like them. That relationship is important for a show to keep going past a few episodes. But this finale makes me wish I had stopped watching “Prison Break” after the first season.

What happens can’t be explained without giving away key plot points. All I can say is it is a slap in the face.

It’s criminal when a series that started so strong leaves viewers with such an unappealing ending.

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