Wentworthmiller_prisonbreak_240_002I’ve had a running problem all through this second season of Prison Break: In the ostensibly noble act of freeing his brother from incarceration, Michael Schofield has directly led to the death of at least a dozen people, many of them total innocents. Nobody’s coming out pure, which makes it hard to root for anybody on the show to succeed.

Monday (March 19) night’s Prison Break was one of my favorites of the season because it eschewed the usual shocks and twists and cliffhangers and let several key characters take pause and reexamine their actions. The episode was about repercussions and guilt and an acknowledgement that happy endings are going to be hard to come by.

Michael was certainly the one feeling the most inner conflict, particularly after Dr. Tancredi told him she loved him and then turned herself in. Too often Wentworth Miller subscribes to the lemon-sucking, pinched-brow school of overly concerned acting, but in this episode, particularly in the verbal sparring with Lincoln that led to a ludicrous bout of man-on-man tussling. He’s finally free, safely in Panama, a country without extradition, sailboat at-the-ready, and he’s prepared to go back into Panama City after T-Bag, as if cleansing the world of his stain will be sufficient to expiate all of his sins. Even if he’s been stupid for this entire season, though, Michael knows that killing T-Bag or assisting in the rapist-molester-killer’s capture won’t make things right. But he has to believe that it will.

Williamfichtner2_prisonbreak_s2_240Similarly Mahone can’t possibly believe that his own trip down to the Canal Zone will prove to be a gateway to escape. He’s close enough to bat guano crazy that he has no other choice but to believe that if he keeps digging down, he’ll find the light at the end of the tunnel at the other side. This was Bill Fichtner’s finest moment, particularly when he confronted the agent selling him out to Internal Affairs. Rather than turning on the weasely character in violence, Mahone recognized his own lost idealism and urged the antagonist agent to hold onto his desire for good. Nice stuff.

And if that wasn’t enough to make a good episode, I love the idea of next season’s spin-off being Bellick and Sucre as an unlikely bounty-hunting team. I adored Bellick’s mixed-fruit metaphor warning Sucre that his fiance is being kept in a place with enough food and water for only three weeks, adding, "Anything longer than that, your sweet little plum’s gonna dry up like a raisin."

Other thoughts from a darned near cerebral episode that probably satisfied me and nobody else:

  • Another great week for Robert Knepper, from T-Bag’s pathetic role-playing with the hooker to his "I’m meeting an old friend for dinner" Hannibal Lecter get-up in Panama. However, I have to wonder why T-Bag, a sociopathic mastermind, doesn’t know one of the most unequivocal truths of murder: If you’re going to leave a dead whore in your hotel bathtub, at least put the "Do Not Disturb" sign up on the door.
  • I’d like nothing more than for C-Note to go off into witness protection with his family and live a nice, happy life without my ever needed to see him again. Under the circumstances, wouldn’t you think, though, that he would be put into protective custody for a while? Or at least put under heavy police escort? Rather than walking out of prison entirely on his own, I mean…
  • Glad to see the return of Michael’s tattoos, but I need somebody to explain to me why he needed ink to remind him that he had a boat named after his mother. Even the guy from Memento could have kept track of that, plus a three-digit lock code.

    What’d you think of this week’s episode? And what would you like to see happen in the last two episodes of the season?