Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Best TV Prison Breaks

Harry Houdini himself never had to escape from anywhere smaller than your TV!

Arrested Development

The Great Escape:  If only we all had a twin brother a few cards shy of a full deck whose head we could shave in order to trade places.  Or simply enough, fake a heart attack and dive out a hospital window at the first chance!

Hogan's Heroes

The Great Escape:  The real heroes weren't those who escaped from Colonel Klink's concentration camp .  The real heroes were those who stayed behind anyway to thwart the Nazi war effort from within. 
Who knew the Final Solution could be so light-hearted?


The Great Escape:  Tired of the solitary and shank attempts, Miguel Alvarez makes a break from the hospital he recuperates in by escaping through the tunnel that Agamemnon Busmalis had dug.  In reality, Kirk Acevedo needed time off to film Band of Brothers!


The Great Escape:  You know, for an inter-dimensional desolate prison wasteland, The Phantom Zone didn't seem to hold anybody that effectively, as the Kryptonian phantoms, General Zod, Clark and even Lois have all found themselves guests sprung by a little hocus-pocus crystal-key magic, as the plot required.

The Venture Bros.

The Great Escape:  His elaborate escape plan foiled by the betrayal of his fellow supervillain inmates, only King Gorilla came to the Monarch's aid by knocking out the guards, and shoving the villain down a sewage line to escape to freedom.
Say what you will about Andy Dufresne's Shawshank escape, but at least he didn't have to french a gorilla before his crawl through a river of sh*t.

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

The Great Escape:  Imprisoned on a Dominion penal colony with the real Julian Bashir and General Martok, Garak manages to use the prison's life support systems as a beacon to call to the runabout for help! 
You'd think The Dominion would know better than to leave complex machinery accessible to imprisoned scientists...


The Great Escape:  Just who hasn't escaped from the Primatech prison cells of Heroes?  The supposed "villains" all exited the facility in a mass breakout when Elle's electricity shorted out all the power, and proceeded to wreak havoc...for all of two episodes before being brought to justice.  Or death.



The Great Escape:  Prison seems to provide no real obstacle in the Futurama universe, as Bender tends to escape by simply, you guessed it, bending his way out, and even scientist Drs. Farnsworth and Wernstrom can simply call upon the gargoyle Pazuzu for a one-way ticket out!


The Great Escape:  See, now THAT's how you get out of prison: hardcore boning.  Jack, and we imagine some others got quite an eye-ful from the security cameras in the Hydra's polar bear cages, but it turns out all it took was for Evangeline Lilly to shimmy her tight body through the bars.


The Great Escape:  Seeing a term in prison as no obstacle to one of Dexter's latest bloodlusts, Miguel Prado initiates an interrogation of white supremacist Clemson Galt so Dexter can pretend to sneak him out as a sympathizer, the final escape coming down to the wire as these things often do.
Maybe Dexter himself will have to sneak out of prison someday, no?


The Great Escape:  How many nail files baked in to cakes do you think Ma Beagle actually managed to sneak through before they decided to start x-raying them?  And even then, she'd jam them so full of sugar that her boys could use themselves as human jackhammers to escape! more cakes, guys!


The Great Escape:  Already impisoned by Sean and Christian's clever plastic surgery ruse, Escobar Gallardo actually sets himself on fire to burn away his features and reach the outside world for medical attention, having an associate sneak him a gun and escape in the process.
Talk about dedication.


The Great Escape:  Every week sees Jacknife making eanother absurdist, and horrifically violent escape from the demented warden of Superjail!, and every week sees him being picked up again for another murderous romp against Alice, Jailbot, and the warden's whims.

The Simpsons

The Great Escape:  As inept as the criminals that landed in jail in the first place, Springfield prisons never hold any inmate for long, as both Sideshow Bob and Snake have managed to escape a number of times, sometimes as simply as walking out the unlocked doors.


The Great Escape:  Seeing as she was mostly in there for personal atonement anyway, Faith didn't have much trouble diving through the two-way glass and out a window the moment it became apparent Angel needed her help.  That was easy!

My Name is Earl

The Great Escape:   Denied the freedom he'd been promised by the warden in true Shawshank-ian fashion, Joy, Randy and Darnell stage an elaborate escape through the air ducts, which lands Earl right in the middle of the Warden's office!
Fortunately, no one in the world had up until now realized the warden was a former porn star, and thus mere words saved Earl from further prison time.

Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes

The Great Escape:  Way to go, team.  The very first episode of Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes sees the release of EVERY supervillain from four Marvel prisons, The Raft, The Vault, The Cube, and The Big House, thanks to technological errors.  It's as if someone planned the whole thing


The Great Escape:  Lucky for all you decadent sinners, the various Hells of Supernatural aren't terribly difficult to escape from! 
Sure time flows differently and you might be tortured for decades or even do some torturing yourself, but a few unlocked seals, magical or angelic rescues have seen the boys Winchester and Lucifer himself stroll out the gates on more than one occasion.

Spartacus: Blood and Sand

The Great Escape:  Because as long as you're going to escape, kill 'em all!  Possibly the last we'll see of Andy Whitfield as Spartacus, he and Crixus team up to attack Batiatus and his guests, culminating in a bloody massacre that sees the entire ludus freed from the shackles of Gladiatorial games.

Avatar: The Last Airbender

The Great Escape:  As the most impenetrable Fire Nation prison, The Boiling Rock only managed to see Zuko, Sokka, Suki and Sokka's father escape after a failed attempt crossing the boiling lake, infiltrating the guard, and eventually a riot and the intervention of Mai and Ty Lee to stop Azula from downing the only gondola off the island.


The Great Escape:  Fully capable of organizing the ZFT from his prison cell as he was, Lane Pryce David Robert Jones decides enough is enough, and enlists outside members to assemble a teleporter of Walter Bishop's design and spring his other-worldly self straight from the corner of his cell! 
The process would eventually kill him, which sadly Star Trek never warned us about.

Batman: The Animated Series

The Great Escape:  Honestly, why even bother with this place anymore?  Batman villains rarely stay locked up in Arkham Asylum for more than a few weeks,  and we don't even want to think about the chaos and lack of security in Batman: Arkham City!

Prison Break

The Great Escape:  The Prison Break crew managed to escape from several "impenetrable" fortresses across the globe, but none so prolific as the original Fox River prison of season one.
Michael Scofield, Lincon Burrows, and others in tow manage to escape with some good-old fashions conspiracy, timing, and clues and blueprints extensively tattooed on Michael's upper body.  Ouch.

The Prisoner

The Great Escape:   The final episode of the original Prisoner sees Number Six finally confronting the mysterious Number One, and eventually making his way off the island to return back to his flat.
Or did he?  The ending really wasn't too clear...

The Fugitive

The Great Escape:  Forget about Harrison Ford, if you haven't already.  The true master of escape was The Fugitive's original Richard Kimble, David Janssen, for whom fate intervened to crash the train that carried him to Death Row.
Granted he didn't have to do most of the work himself, the resulting months on the lam to prove his innocence were certainly taxing for the good doctor!

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