All right now. Prison Architect, which just recently celebrated its 5 year anniversary, led me to the first season of Prison Break. However, Escapists 2, led me to the second season of Prison Break. I figured, why not continue the story of the iconic TV show with another review? And with the second season of course.
Now, Prison Break has been something of a late discovery for me. I mean the first season the TV show premiered 15 years ago, and you may say I’ve discovered it late. But better late than never, I say. And, yes, I hope to do these reviews for the remaining seasons, but who knows if that will actually happen. However, if you’re interested in a great review of the Escapists 2, then you should check out my colleague’s review. The Italian Guy really did a good job in that review. You’re welcome.
However, I’m here for two things. Escapists 2 and the second season of Prison Break. So, let’s start with the video game. Shall we?
What’s Escapists 2 All About?
As you can probably tell by the title, Escapists 2 is a sequel to the 2015 video game. Developed by Mouldy Toof Studios, Team17 and published solely by Team17, Escapists 2 is a fantastic strategy RPG game. The players assume control of an inmate from a top-down perspective and yes, escape some of the toughest prisons. First, you get to create your con, and then you get to live by the prison rules. Attending roll call, doing prison jobs and following strict routines; all the while secretly engineering your bid for freedom! Not to mention, that you have the opportunity to unite 3 other convicts and engineer the wildest prison escape ever. Are you up for the challenge?
Well, if you are, you’re also in luck. We have Escapists 2 at IndieGala ready for purchasing. You know what to do. And if you want more action in the The Escapists universe, you might want to check The Survivalists! It is coming out tomorrow!
The Escapists 2 Led Me To Prison Break 2
Yes, Prison Architect was responsible for my previous post, but Escapists 2 is responsible for this one. And it’s a logical progression I might add, even though I’m talking about a totally different game. However, the second season of Prison Break is very much different from the first one. And, truth be told I loved that. I mean it was the inmate’s main mission of season 1 to escape Fox River penitentiary and SPOILER! Mission was completed. Michael Scofield, his brother Lincoln Burrows and 6 other inmates escaped the prison. Which is where season 2 picks off. Right after the escape.
The Structure Of The Season Is Different Too
While the first season was mostly confined to the premises of the Fox River prison, the second season is the exact opposite of that. Literally, the second season is an open world-type of a season. And for the large chunk of the season, most of the inmates are scattered through the mid-west. However, in some episodes, we’ll see some of them working together, again and I loved that as well. Some things are not changed after all.
In essence, you can say that the second season is both a roadie and a „cat and mouse“ game inspired season. And precisely that divide can be detrimental for some. Personally, I loved this change in the setting. It didn’t affect the pacing all that much, and it made it a bit more interesting. First, there was a change of scenery and it’s more focused on open set production. Secondly, because of the cat and mouse sub-plot, there’s the addition to the probably greatest character in the entire season. Alexander Mahone.
OK. How Amazing Is William Fichtner In Season 2?
I know I use the amazing adjective pretty loosely and frequently in my posts, but I feel for the performance of William Fichtner in season 2, it’s pretty apt. And fitting adjective I might add. But the thing is, you can really rely solely on the talent of the actor. I’m pleased that his character is one heck of a well-written character as well. Flawed, layered, tortured and genius. Mahone is probably the only one that can rival Scofield’s genius, and it’s interesting to see that dynamic. How they’re trying to outsmart each other. And that cat/mouse hunt I mentioned is made all the more interesting because of that. I’ve been a fan of William since I saw him in Heat and boy, the man can deliver a fantastic anti-hero performance each and every time. I love him, and his character here. How about you?
T-Bag Is T-Bag Again
Sans one arm and on the loose. That’s T-Bag in season 2. And I stand by what I wrote in the first post. It’s very hard for me to have any empathy for this character. He’s still a despicable psychopathic character and yeah, that’s not about to change. I’m glad the writers incorporated the promise he gave to the former flame (from season 1) which made a short U-turn on his main mission. Because of that promise precisely. A nice touch on a very complicated and layered character such as T-Bone, I must admit. But his U-turn wasn’t the only one. C-Note had a personal side-story as well, and well… Tweener too.
However, while some characters didn’t get any progression, or were just killed off (sorry Veronica you sucked)… Others got a boost and an upgrade to the story. And I’m stoked about that because one of those characters is Secret Service, Agent Paul Kellerman. My second favorite character in season 2. A full-on villain in the first season, Kellerman will get a nice and fantastic transition to anti-hero. And then to a real hero of the story. I loved the fact that his fervent loyalty towards Caroline Reynolds gets put to a test, and I loved the amends he did in the finale. A great character indeed.
More Conspiracies And More Murders
Because of the scattered narrative, I think that the story allowed the writers to add a lot more twists, turns and surprises. And to amp up the conspiracies to the max. Which is admirable, because imagine how wasted of an opportunity the bland and linear narration of the story would be. No, they kept the tensions and elements of surprise not just by adding great new supporting characters along the way.
The existing characters (supporting or not) are just as exciting and interesting as ever. Even characters that we all thought were dead, which is awesome. The tough as resilient Brad Bellick is a pleasure to watch in this season, as well. He’s a lot more cunning, vicious and wacky here, and I love that. The T-Bag torture scenes were just a bonus, and his prison fight was insane. Oh, yeah. That reminds me. The interesting twist of fate about his character (later in the season) is entertaining AF, and the fans of the show (like myself) know how to appreciate this twist.
A Decent Second Season Of A Great TV Show
I loved the second season of Prison Break. It’s different from the first, and I like that is. But also I loved the introduction of the new characters and the development of the old ones. That really paid off. I also wanted a lot more Mahone scenes, but hey. There’s always season 3.
Did You Enjoy Escapists 2?
Tell us in the comment section. We’d love to know your thoughts and impressions of Escapists 2. And of course the second season of Prison Break.