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TV Review: Prison Break Breaks Off Second Season Premiere

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Throughout the first season of the campy and ironically fun Prison Break (it's theoretically a taut prison drama, for Higher Power's sake), the big question was: what happens if and when Michael Scofield (Wentworth Miller) manages to bust himself and his brother, Lincoln Burrows (Dominic Purcell) out of prison, evading handmade shivs on the inside, prison guards, and some kind of sinister 24-like government-run conspiracy in the process?

Wouldn't that just kill the drama, we thought, leaving nothing but years of lasering off tattoos for young Scofield?

Well, as Season Two debuts, we find out that just because the fellas -– and their ragtag crew of prison escapees (most of whom are along for the ride because they learned of Scofield's elaborate escape plan and elbowed in on the action) –- are outside the prison walls, the breakin' doesn't necessarily have to end.

The guards and the feds -– led by a new character played by William Fichtner of Invasion fame –- are close on the tails of the boys. And I mean close. Like, Tommy Lee Jones would have had the thing rapped up in twenty seconds close. Close as in a half dozen or so fugitives manage to run their way around a moving train, causing a horde of the fuzz to lose them. But, you know, it's fun.

Most of the episode was eaten up by Scofield revealing an evermore complicated plan to get $5 million out of the Utah desert (recently deceased prisoner Charles Westmoreland buried it there, or so he admitted, right before he died during the first season finale's mad scramble to the prison perimeter) and lead his brother –- who, while not an angel, was wrongly convicted of killing the president's brother –- to a safe haven in Panama.

Of course, there's a jungle of obstacles in the way. Fichtner, for one, has quickly latched onto Scofield's insanely tattooed body and somehow has gotten access to photos that reveal many of the odd codes and symbols that Scofield uses to remember, Memento-like, how to proceed with The Plan. It's pretty clear that the season will likely feature a cat-and-mouse game in which Fichtner will attempt to outthink Scofield's inked blueprints and catch up to the prison breakery.

There's no word yet as to whether or not Fichtner is involved with The Company, the sinister-ish organization that seems to really like killing people while accumulating political power at the highest levels, presumably for the whole money and power head-trip thing.

Meanwhile, Burrows' attorney and all around do gooder Veronica Donovan (Robin Tunney) made it to the home of Terrence Steadman, the murdered guy around which the entire premise of the show spins. However, Steadman ain't dead, though he's kept captive in a rather nice home in western Montana (you get a nice variety of prisons with Prison Break, it seems). Unfortunately, the prison-home was Donovan's last stop as The Company folk unceremoniously shot her, erasing a major figure from the show. From a story perspective, it would have likely had a bigger dramatic impact to have kept her character around for a while longer, but it's become more fashionable in recent years to off familiar characters from television dramas when we "least expect it."

Other tidbits: Abruzzi's become a "bad guy" for holding a little girl hostage briefly, T-Bag is still trying to get his hand reattached and has gotten reduced to threatening kindly Asian American vets, and poor LJ Burrows –- perhaps the most tortured child character on television –- has lost yet another figure close to him to assassination-style murder.

You can't beat this kind of fun!

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