We’ve reached the point in Prison Break where its ostensible stars — Wentworth Miller (Michael) and Dominic Purcell (Lincoln) — have become the most superfluous protagonists in prime time. Remember when it was all about Michael’s body tattoo and Lincoln’s escape? Now, as the series begins its — whaddaya call it, winter post-finale? — Break splits into a number of subplots. Michael and Lincoln are out and on the run, but the focus is on how rogue government agent Kellerman (Paul Adelstein) is going to corral the brothers and the corrupt brother of the president, Steadman (Jeff Perry).
In other subplots so disparate they may as well exist in different TV shows, T-Bag (Robert Knepper) invades the suburban life of his onetime inamorata Susan Hollander (K.K. Dodds); prison guard-turned-convict Bellick (Wade Williams) is bullied by inmates; C-Note (Rockmond Dunbar) schemes to take his wife and daughter to Alaska; and we witness the fallout of Kellerman’s shooting of Agent Mahone (William Fichtner).
In this opening hour, Michael and Lincoln are incidental to the action, which would be an interesting narrative approach were these subplots not so silly. By the time T-Bag holds Susan and her kids hostage by hammering boards across their suburban front door, Prison Break starts looking like last season’s dire Desperate Housewives. Oh, yeah — a major character kills himself. Or herself. Don’t say I gave away a spoiler; I just ran out of stuff to make this series’ return sound interesting.