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DVD Review: Prison Break – Season 2

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Prison Break is one of the more exciting high concept shows to emerge over the past couple of years. The series presents an intricately plotted collection of tales surrounding a group of Fox River Prison inmates as they plot their escape. Well, that was the first season, and it was only supposed to involve two inmates, Lincoln Burrows and his brother Michael Scofield. What was meant to be two ended up being eight by the time the first season came to a close. The second season, soon to arrive on DVD, reinvented the series as a tale of much larger scope.

Season two kicks off right where the first ended, with the escapees fleeing across an airstrip as their escape plane leaves without them. They run off into the woods with the prison guards and police in hot pursuit. They narrowly escape, only to discover a little girl in the woods hunting with her father. Abruzzi takes the girl hostage as a means to escape, much to the displeasure of the rest of the crew. Fortunately, they do get away.

As their escape continues, a new character is introduced back at the base, Alexander Mahone, played by William Finchtner (Invasion). He is an intriguing addition and seems able to match wits with our hero, Michael Scofield. This proves to a good match-up for the season. Mahone is seen as an interloper by Bellick, who is intent on bringing the convicts down, but winds up having even more issues the further into the season we get.

In yet a third layer, Veronica discovers the President's brother is still alive, so she intends to use him to clear Lincoln. Of course, nothing goes as planned and the results here were definitely unexpected.

Back with Scofield, the rest of the group finds out about Michael and Lincoln's plan to retrieve Westmoreland's hidden money in Utah. This leads to a crossroads that could tear this motley crew apart, all while they try to stay one step ahead of Mahone and Bellick.

And so the second season began. No longer were they a disparate group of inmates forging a fragile bond in order to gain their freedom. No, they were all loners looking to stay one step ahead of the pursuing lawmen. Their stories would diverge, going in wildly different paths. Still, a select few have found their post-prison journeys forever intertwined. This would lead to continued excitement, drama, and suspense as the show expanded beyond the prison walls, but still retained the feel of the first season. It was definitely an interesting new road to travel.

One had to wonder how they would manage to keep the second season going, considering they were no longer in the prison of the title.

The search for Westmorland's money results in its discovery buried beneath a garage. Once uncovered, it is promptly stolen by one of the few of the group who was left. The chase for the money leads to Panama, where the season concludes. The money, the truth of the VP's brother, Bellick, the mysterious Kim, and an even more mysterious clip from a hospital in New York all come into play as we get yet another fascinating cliffhanger. It leaves us with many more questions than answers, but it marks Prison Break as one of the more compelling series currently in production.

Audio, Video, and Extras

This brings me to a little note regarding FOX's promotion of the title. According to the PR person, it appears that for many series they are directly producing, FOX has chosen to only send the final disk of the collection out for review — meaning I was unable to refresh my memory by watching any of the earlier episodes, or checking out any of the commentaries. I am not terribly happy about this, but I am able to give you a glimpse into the extras contained on this final disk.

I will refrain from commenting on the audio/video aspect, as the disk I did receive was a promo copy and not a final release copy. I suspect that this is close to, if not the same, as, what you will find on the store shelves, but I do not want to mislead.

  • Commentary on "Sona." There are 11 commentary tracks on the set; one of them is on this disk, for the season finale. The participants are Paul Adelstein, Fernando Arguelles, Kevin Hooks, and Matt Olmstead. It is a fairly dull listen. There are pretty good-sized gaps considering there were five participants. They speak of the shots and some of the moments, but nothing terribly interesting. Hopefully the other tracks are better.
  • Reinvention of a Series. This runs for thirty minutes and features interviews with all of the primary characters and members of the creative staff. It makes for interesting viewing as they discuss the changes that the show had to go through into what is essentially a different series. The characters had the opportunity to grow and change as the new setting allowed them to spread their wings.
  • Turning Dallas into America. This ten minute featurette chronicles the production's move from Chicago (where season one was shot) to Texas. It also goes into how they went about making parts of the city look like Middle America, New York, Washington DC, and Panama. It includes interviews with some of the primaries. It is decent, but nothing you would watch more than once.
  • Prison Break Theme – Ferry Corsten Breakout Mix. A techno remix of the theme music set to snips from both seasons as well as some club footage.
  • Easter Egg: Sticky Note Death Figures. There is a hidden clip featuring all of the deaths from the first two seasons. Each one is accompanied by a stickman drawing used to represent the death. Never realized just how many there were!

Bottom line. This is an excellent show, and will hopefully be an excellent set. However, the extras are not all that extensive or insightful. At least they did not impress me much. Still, this series is still definitely worth adding to your collection.

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