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Prison Break, Episode 5: "Map 1213"


Somehow they're still pulling it off. Prison Break's second season, being filmed entirely in North Texas, continues to work as both drama and dreamscape. Monday's fifth episode, subtitled "Map 1213," depicted downtown Elm Street (with a very visible Majestic Theatre) as one of Chicago's main drags.

Cons on the lam later made their way through mockups of Las Vegas (with an obviously digitized Stratosphere hotel dropped in) and Cache County, Utah, where $5 million in buried booty is supposed to be waiting. Stern but shaky FBI agent Alexander Mahone (William Fichtner) also name-dropped a real-life North Texas city, Mesquite, while trying to map out the fugitives' game plan. He earlier picked up a new stash of whatever drug he's on, with the Dallas Arts District serving as an attractive drop-off point. Wiser heads reading this will nail down exactly where Mahone met his pusher man.

Last Monday's surprise gundown of mob boss John Abruzzi (Peter Stormare) shows that just about anyone is expendable, except of course heartthrob series star Wentworth Miller as "Snowflake" Michael Scofield. Maybe this is heresy, but I'm still waiting for a really good scene from either Mr. Miller or principal co-star Dominic Purcell, who plays his older brother, Lincoln Burrows.

For me, the two standout characters in the early going are despotic Theodore "T-Bag" Bagwell (Robert Knepper) and stray cat David "Tweener" Apolskis (Dallas native Lane Garrison). Both bring a jittery, offbeat intensity to their roles. They finally had their first 2nd season scene together Monday night, with T-Bag strong-arming the kid with his good arm.

"Get your grubby paws off me," said Tweener, also upset at having to part with his "St. Louis University" hitchhiking babe after cops blew his cover.

One preposterous sidetrip at last ended. Were we really supposed to believe that fugitive Fernando Sucre (Amaury Nolasco) blazed on a motorcycle from Bedford-Stuyvesant, NY to Vegas in less than two days? I guess it's possible, but not with a big price on your head. Where were the speed traps?

Fernando was bent on stopping his previous fiancee from getting married, but instead got ratted out in what amounted to The Graduate from bizarro world. So now he's back on his bike again, ready to rejoin fellow escapees in pursuit of a big chunk of change that now turns out to be buried under a new housing development.

There goes the neighborhood.