The Killing Box
Fin Del Camino
Despite starting strongly, season 2 of Prison Break gets a little too wrapped up in the conspiracy behind Lincoln’s initial arrest and it hurts the overall integrity of the show. When it stays with the runaway fugatives, led by returning Michael Schofield (Wentworth Miller), the season shines, with FBI agent Alex Mahone (William Fichtner) bringing a wildcard dynamic to the story that helps to flesh it out. Whilst its not as engrossing or as claustrophobically tense as the first season, the main plot still holds its own as an entertaining watch.
The story picks up where the first season left off, with the survivng inmates on the run and a nationwide manhunt underway to find them. With new FBI agent Mahone picking up the trail and heading the investigation, there’s an interesting cat-and-mouse game between the fugitives and the FBI that gives a much needed sense of urgency to this season. Although this is well handled and for the first half of the season it plays out much like the first, the latter episodes look much more closely at the reason for Lincoln being sent to prison and its here that the show begins to deviate from what made it such an endearing watch in the first place.
The mostly unchanged cast help to bring some stability this year, with crooked prison officer Brad Bellic (Wade Williams) playing a much more important role this time around with some very nice character work. The other prominent figures include returning fugitives T-Bag (Robert Knepper) and Sucre (Amaury Nolasco) who shine with the material they’re given and feature much more prominently too. Although there is still tension engulfing the episodes, the open spaces and brighter colours this time around contrast the mood the show is trying to accentuate. Its not all bad though and for vast stretches of the film, the interesting character dynamics shine above the plot that flirts between being good and a little too convoluted when it tackles the issues around Lincoln’s framing.
Overall, season 2 of Prison Break is well worth a watch. Its not the groundbreaking, breathtaking spectacle the first season is, but there’s still some good material here. The plot works well for the most part, despite the latter periods of the season losing focus on the tense outcome of the fugitives and focusing too much on the conspiracy behind Lincoln’s arrest. The open areas and bright colours do contrast the tone the show’s trying to obtain but FBI agent Mahone is a great addition to the cast and his presence helps to bring some much needed energy and tension to a season that’s good, but not great compared to the first season.
Verdict - 7/10