Before March, I had no idea A&E had original programming (I barely remembered it’s even a channel, actually). I kept seeing advertisements for their new show, Breakout Kings, and didn’t think much of it. But then I realized both Jimmi Simpson and Domenick Lombardozzi were in it, and that got my attention.
I first saw Jimmi Simpson in the Jason Biggs’ movie, Loser, back in 2000. More recently, though, he played one of the dirty cops in Date Night. If you’re not familiar with Domenick Lombardozzi, he played Herc in The Wire. And if you haven’t watched The Wire, you should probably reevaluate your life. Just saying.
But back to the show. Breakout Kings is a drama that centers on the U.S. Marshalls and their special task force to catch fugitives. What makes this task force special is the fact that it’s made up of current prisoners, each of whom brings a special skill to the table. As part of their deal, they are transfered to a minimum security facility and will have one month taken off their sentences for every fugitive they catch. But, if any of them try to run away, they’ll all go back to maximum security and their sentences will be doubled.
The task force is made up of three prisoners (for now). Shea Daniels (Malcom Goodwin) is a former drug smuggler with very useful street smarts. He helps the team by providing his knowledge of how convicts think and how they may decide to move around while on the run. Erica Reed (Serinda Swan) is a bounty hunter and expert tracker. Her father was tortured and killed, and Erica hunted down and killed five of the six people involved in the murder. She was only convicted of weapons charges because she killed her victims so flawlessly that they couldn’t pin it on her. She also has a daughter who she rarely sees. As a result, she is very driven to catch the fugitives because the sooner she gets out of prison, the sooner she’ll see her kid. Finally, Dr. Lloyd Lowery (Jimmi Simpson) is a former child prodigy and a behaviorist. He is able to predict the actions of the fugitives through psychological evaluation. He also has a gambling addiction and ended up in prison because he wrote illegal prescriptions to college students to help pay his debts.
Charlie Duchamp (Laz Alonso), a Deputy U.S. Marshall, leads the team. He has a congenital heart defect and was assigned to a desk job for six years because of it. Ray Zancanelli (Domenick Lombardozzi) is Special Deputy U.S. Marhsall on the task force. He was convicted of stealing money and lost his job. He’s now in a halfway house and is able to work on the team and carry a weapon. Up until the last new episode, the prisoners on the team didn’t know he’s a con as well. Finally, Jules Simms (Brooke Nevin) is a research analyst on the team. She never goes into the field, but she researches and finds various resources the fugitives may have to help them in their escape. She used to be a student at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center but was expelled for various psychological disorders.
Now that you know everyone’s life story, I recommend you start watching the show. It’s one of those shows that you don’t have to start from the beginning (but, I recommend you do so anyway). It comes on A&E Sundays at 10pm (Bonus points if you know what channel A&E is!).