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|Prison Break: Season Two, Disc One |
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At the close of Prison Break's terrific season 1, the motley crew of convicts successfully accomplished the title. So naturally, season 2 becomes about the manhunt, where the best-laid plans of Michael Scofield (Wentworth Miller)--concealed in his body tattoo with his escape route and hinted at throughout last season--get thrown for a loop. First, he and his convicted brother Lincoln (Dominic Purcell) are torn between fleeing the country and staying to clear Lincoln's name, which draws them deeper into a conspiracy that surpasses even the President of the United States (Patricia Wettig). Second, they're simultaneously pursued by Agent Kellerman (a terrific Paul Adelstein); prison warden Bellick (Wade Williams), now a bounty hunter; and a new pursuer: FBI agent Alexander Mahone (William Fichtner in all his bug-eyed glory), whose intelligence makes him a worthy foe to Michael, and whose pill-popping habit makes him just unstable enough to be interesting. There's also a new sinister lackey for the Company named Bill Kim (Reggie Lee, whose constant grimacing smile is a result of being instructed to act like a "customer service representative" while arranging for characters to be killed off, the actor reveals in commentary). Meanwhile, the other escapees scatter across the county, eluding the FBI as they try to reunite with their loved ones--Abruzzi (Peter Stormare), C-Note (Rockmond Dunbar), and Sucre (Amaury Nolasco)--or settle scores (in the case of T-Bag, played by Robert Knepper). But lest you think the series will split in 10 different directions, there's always the money hidden in Utah by fellow prisoner Westmoreland that will eventually lead them to cross paths again.
Season 2, taking place outside prison walls, doesn't have the claustrophobic tension of season 1; instead, it becomes one long Fugitive-esque chase, which lost interest every time it kept shifting to different characters' storylines. There are more baits-and-switches than you'd care to keep track of, and more than a little suspended disbelief. But the intriguing center of the drama will always be the way Michael's forced to think on his feet when his grand plans hit their snags, whereas in Fox River he was most assuredly in control (it also forces Miller's stoic acting to loosen up a little). Moreover, his unexpected feelings for Dr. Sara Tancredi (Sarah Wayne Callies), who was found overdosed in her apartment at the end of season 1, further complicates Michael's disappearance plans. The DVD includes several candid commentaries by cast members and show creators, and an Easter egg that alludes to the "death wall" (number of casualties) the show's writers kept in production offices. --Ellen A. Kim