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Cult Spy Icons: Mahone - 'Prison Break'

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Cult Spy Icons: Mahone - 'Prison Break'
Every hero needs his arch nemesis. The Doctor has The Master, Holmes has Moriarty and Michael Schofield has Alexander Mahone. Played by the wonderful William Fichtner, this edgy FBI Agent joined Prison Break at the start of the second season and quickly became more appealing than the brooding hero himself.

Armed with a stash of pills hidden inside a pen and an amazingly sharp mind, Mahone was a joy to watch as he attempted to smoke out the fugitives. It was he who cracked the mysteries lying inside Schofield's tattoo and decoded the televised message sent out by the young scamp. Effectively, they were two sides of the same brilliant coin – but sat on opposite sides of the law. So why was the cop the bad guy then?

Well, it's fair to say Mahone has a somewhat ambiguous take on the law. Most notably, his decision to execute Tweener – more delinquent than hardened criminal – was a jarring glimpse into the darker recesses of his psyche. But it emerged that Mahone had a family he clearly cared for, and The Company were blackmailing him into committing horrible acts in order to keep them alive. Remember how his son ended up in hospital after being run over?

Season three hasn't treated Mahone too well. Locked up in Sona and deprived of pills, he's been a gibbering, sweating wreck most of the time. Having paranoid flashbacks of looney convict Haywire, who he talked into jumping to his death, may have been the nadir. But occasional glimpses of his super sleuthing remind us of his brilliance, such as when he sussed out that the guard's coffee cup was the key to escaping.

Call it character development, but we'd rather see the smart ass slickster back with a gun in his hand and sniffing the trail. Come on, give him his own series!

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