August 25, 2006 -
With the second episode of the second season, Prison Break continues to mix completely unbelievable and implausible situations with a few kinda cool moments. For those viewers that became frustrated at the end of last season (especially with the lackluster finale, "Flight"), the second season has proven just as frustrating. The series' saving grace has been the introduction of a new nemesis for Michael, in the form of FBI Agent Mahone, played by the excellent William Fichtner. Mahone is the perfect foil for Michael, as he figures out the fugitives' plans each step of the way. In "Manhunt" he figured out where Michael had hidden his civilian clothes and other supplies. In "Otis," Mahone correctly assumes that Lincoln won't want to leave town without L.J., who's going to court for sentencing, and places himself in the way of Michael and Lincoln's plan to rescue L.J.
Another highlight of this episode is that we find out what Tweener's been up to, which turns out to be a lot more realistic and clever than any of the other escapees. We meet up with Tweener at a bus station, where he's recently shaved his head and picks a guy's pocket to get his wallet. After getting a little nervous about being made as one of the fugitives, Tweener gets the idea of heading over to a local college campus, posing as a student, and checks out the ride share list for anyone heading to Utah.
In contrast to Tweener disguising himself as a college student, we have Michael and Lincoln, who look like badly dressed extras in a vintage episode of Miami Vice -- Lincoln's wearing a sport coat with a button-up shirt that's half un-buttoned, and Michael has a totally ridiculous combination of a Cubs baseball hat with a tan suit straight out of the '70s. They look about as conspicuous and out of place as they would have had they just left on their prison uniforms.
In the department of totally unbelievable situations, we have two events that may make you go, "Oh, come on." First is T-Bag getting his cut-off hand reattached by a veterinarian (apparently repairing severed tendons and nerves in a human wrist is pretty routine when you work with cats and dogs) and soon afterwards overpowering the doctor, using his newly reattached hand in the process. The second improbable event occurs when Lincoln and Michael take off in a slow-moving UPS-like delivery truck (with no doors on either passenger's or driver's side) while multiple officers fire their weapons at the truck. Apparently no police cars chase them and when the truck stops, just two police officers find it -- not exactly the response and manpower one would expect for fugitives that we learn have six-figure bounties on their heads.
Two episodes into the season and so far we've seen all but one of the escaped convicts -- wherefore art thou, Haywire? If there's one convict that was just begging to be caught and taken back to prison at the end of season one, it was the guy who was still in his prison outfit and riding down a street on a stolen kid's bike, while wearing a football helmet. How incompetent are the police in Prison Break's world that they can't at least catch that guy? Our guess is that they won't catch him, nor will they catch any of the other convicts any time soon, and later in the season they'll all meet up in Utah, fighting each other for the money. One can only hope that at least Agent Mahone will already be there, waiting for them, and single-handedly making the show interesting.
They gave it 4.5/10 stars.