Warning: spoilers ahead
It’s been approximately 8 years since Prison Break aired its last. Obviously, when I heard that a fifth season was announced, I screamed out of my window and woke the neighbourhood (figuratively). Anyway, boy, am I glad that it’s back on my television again.
It almost feels like we never left the show, or the cast. We dive right in with Theodore Bagwell, or T-Bag as he’s more commonly known, leaving prison, where the rest of our beloved cast left him previously. While it initially was a surprise that he was the one who received the clue to Michael’s whereabouts, it does make sense that he, out of Michael’s whole crew, would be the least likely to be under surveillance by whoever is keeping Michael. Lincoln is back up to his old ways, owing debts and running from people when he is confronted with the news that his brother might be alive. It does not take that much time for C-Note and Sucre to show up as well. And there we have it, the gang is all back together.
Sarah Wayne Callies was a standout as Sara Tancredi, who has remarried (how could you, Sara?) to a much less interesting man and is happily raising her and Michael’s son in the suburbs.
This domestic bliss however does not detract from her steel as a mother and readiness when a female assassin comes calling. Her swiftness of response in ordering for her new husband to get the gun and her efforts to get her son to safety were nothing short of extraordinary. It brings back memories of Dr Tancredi being locked up in the Fox River infirmary during the infamous riot Michael incited and her readiness to stand her ground and fight (or stab someone with broken glass).
Dominic Purcell stole the whole episode, in my opinion, and not just because he was one of those who had the most screen time. The theme was clear from the very beginning that Michael had always been Lincoln’s moral compass. This showed in their flashbacks to their childhood, while they were on the run, and it certainly showed now, post-Michael’s ‘death’. Purcell conveyed Lincoln’s deep emotions about Michael at the graveyard scene poignantly and brought many to tears, as evidenced by the live-tweeting (check the #PrisonBreak tag on Twitter). His ability to balance his character’s potential for both brute force and strong emotions has always been evident through the seasons and we see it even now, in Season 5.
Another thing that was apparent since Season 1 was that the brothers would do anything for each other. They have saved each other over and over from the very beginning and Lincoln showed no hesitation in charging into war-torn Yemen to save Michael from prison. Sounds foolish, I know, but touching, all the same. C-Note accompanies him and our brave duo venture forth, only to find that Michael does not remember them, or at least, pretends that he does not.
I will not lie that that first look at our dear protagonist had me fighting tears. Wentworth Miller’s trademark smolder (there really is no other way to describe it), even through the bars of the Yemen prison, took me back 8 years. Miller had reached deep into himself to reconnect with Michael Scofield again, although he claims that it was difficult at the beginning. He credits his co-star Purcell as the one who helped him: “All I had to do was look through the bars at [Purcell]’s face and it grounded me because he has been my through line.” Can someone reach back in time and give teenage me a hug?
The new tattoos were certainly interesting and the two eyes on his palms bring to mind the Pale Man, featured heavily in Pan’s Labyrinth. Would Michael then be the one to lure his captors into the labyrinth that is Yemen and the prison in order to devour them and be free? Sara also had a moment with her son, describing Michael as a storm, which was punctuated with scenes of Michael walking through the Yemen prison, amongst the other prisoners. This foreshadowing of Michael raising hell in the prison was certainly not lost on this writer and there’s certainly much excitement to be had in future episodes.
All in all, the transition into the new season felt seamless and I had almost forgotten that we were picking up the show after years instead of months. Each character felt true to their original selves and new characters were introduced with just enough mystery to keep us questioning and waiting for the next episode. The plot was quickly set up without too much preamble and it was simple to follow along without getting too confused. The complications are sure to follow in the next few weeks but for now, the season premiere was everything I had wanted in the reboot. Here’s to the next few weeks and to the return of my adolescent memories.
Things to consider:
- Who else questioned how Lincoln was able to fit into Michael’s suit, please clap your hands. Also, how did Michael know so far ahead to put the name on the suit label?
- Michael must have somebody on the inside, either in the prison or in Yemen, in order to get his photograph taken and his clues sent to America. Wonder if this person will be trustworthy in the end?
- Where is LJ Burrows? Or Maricruz? Or C-Note’s family?
Favourite scene: Lincoln bitch-slapping Sucre. Bruh, you should know better than to sneak up on Linc the Sink. And he looks stunned when he hits the ground, like he expected a big hug or something (I laugh).
Favourite line: “Greetings from the US Prison System, bitches.” C-Note please, you’re supposed to be a reformed religious man.
Random fact: Check out the #PrisonBreak hashtag on Twitter everyone. It comes with an automatic emoji of a paper crane!