Warning: spoilers ahead
It has been a wild ride with this show coming back to the screens; while all the loose ends may not have been tied up neatly into a bow, this mini-series has hit all the right notes with how they ended the plot.
The cliffhanger of the previous episode is quickly resolved. Filled with doubt, Van Gogh had tried to stop A&W from executing Michael and had gotten shot for his efforts. Michael sacrifices himself to allow Mike to get to safety, but the boy is quickly scooped up by Jacob. Sara saves Michael, they rescue Lincoln and gets him into treatment. Michael meets up with T-Bag and Whip, and just like that, the game is on again.
Michael’s plan to have T-Bag kill Jacob is, in all honesty, a relatively good plan. Out of everybody involved in the plan at that point, he was the best candidate. This explains why Whip (real name: David Martin) was Michael’s whip hand; he was Michael’s leverage to ensure T-Bag carried out his part of the plan to order. It’s a little cold, but we know full well Michael has calculated every plan to a T and will achieve his goals no matter the cost.
There are so many father-son relationships in this season. Jacob-Mike, Michael-Mike and T-Bag-Whip. Michael’s first instinct is to protect his son while Jacob’s is to lie to him. Telling. Unfortunately, the show didn’t allow much of the Michael-Mike relationship to be fleshed out in this episode. The contrast between Jacob-Mike’s and T-Bag-Whip’s relationship was surprisingly clear. Jacob manipulates a young Mike, who has trust in him, to turn on Michael, brainwashing him with fake facts and twisted truths. He lies to him in order to keep him compliant. Compare it to T-Bag and Whip: it seems like Whip knows full well what his father has done and what kind of a man he is. The two of them are still feeling each other out, awkwardly treading around sensitive topics like Poseidon’s murder. But when it comes down to it, the genuine emotion of regret and familial love comes out as Whip lies dying from his gunshot wound. They have treasured each moment that they’ve had, short it might be, whereas Jacob simply wants more than he has.
This brings me to the relationship Jacob has with Sara and Michael. He loves them, or at least he thinks he does. The lying and the physical abuse says otherwise. It is him hitting Sara that sort of knocks Van Gogh out of his brainwashed state to start asking questions. The love that he claims to feel for the two of them should not require a facade in order to get them to love him back. Sara theorized that it was his ego and the comparing of himself to Michael that compelled him to act in this way, which I agree with. In comparing himself to Michael, he constantly asserts his own intelligence. It culminated in some sort of power trip where he needed to have everything Michael had in order to prove his superiority, which meant his family as well.
Michael’s final move against Jacob was brilliant, ‘framing’ him again for the murder of the CIA agent that he framed Michael for. Say that three times fast. His plan was very Ocean’s Eleven-esque. In one move, he cleared his name and implicated Jacob. Easy peasy, if you’re Michael Scofield of course. Jacob’s eventual end at the hands of T-Bag in a cell in Fox River was so satisfying and it feels like the series has come full circle, starting in Fox River in Season 1 and ending in the exact same place in Season 5. What kind of cosmic justice is this, placing Jacob in the cell of the father whose son he had killed? While we might not have seen his death on-screen, knowing T-Bag, I hope it was slow and painful.
I would have liked to have seen more of Michael and Mike’s relationship as well as more of their idyllic life in the suburbs. But I guess that wasn’t the point. This series started off with Michael sacrificing himself to save the only family he had left in this world. And here we are at the end, with Michael free and clear to spend time with the people closest to him. He’s picked up a few people along the way, and lost others, but Michael Scofield is finally happy. A season ago, we’d all thought he was dead. We grieved for this character, his intelligence and his perseverance against the injustices in the world. To have this character back and to see him alive and well is more than I could ever ask for.
The season had high and lows. While it may have dallied a tad too long in Yemen getting our team out of the prison and out of the country safely, the pace was kept relatively quick. I’m not sure if it’s due to the fact that I’m a veteran Prison Break viewer but I felt that certain plot points (e.g. Jacob being evil) were something I saw coming. However, I was still pleasantly surprised at others (e.g. Michael getting inspiration from the owl to mimic Jacob’s face in order to gain access to his top-secret hideout). This season, while short, provided me with much closure that I ever deserved. While I had hoped that more of our old Fox River gang would be seen or play into the plot, the smaller, main group as this season’s focal point helped us to focus on a more developed plot in a short amount of time. The Scofield and Burrows brothers’ relationship is as strong as ever, and I expected nothing less, seeing that without this brotherly relationship, where would our story be?
Things to consider:
- Did Van Gogh die? Did he live out the night?
- How is Sucre doing? C-Note? We never went back to visit them after everything went down. I hope they’re doing well. Speaking of which, I hope that Maricruz and LJ are all doing well too.
- How did Michael get his tattoo to mimic Jacob’s face? Correct me if I’m wrong, but the eyes were on the palms of his hand. I never really paid attention to the backs of his hands but were the eyes always there?
- On that, the analyst said that there were multiple messages hidden in the tattoo. It would have been great to see more than one.
- Why did Michael send BlueHawaii an image of his palms? What use was that?
Favourite scene: I love Michael and all his scenes with his family but I feel like I have to mention the scene where T-Bag and Whip are trying to justify the possible murder of Jacob. It’s hilarious how they quote the Bible and Old Testament justice for how some people just deserve to be punished for their actions. The actors play off each other well like a father-son duo lovingly debating an issue. Whip also does this thing where he bites his lip and sucks in a breath, something T-Bag does very often, which I felt was a nice touch alluding to their relationship. It was a moment of levity amidst the fast paced action which was well timed and appreciated.
Whip: You’re out of your damn tree, aren’t you?
T-Bag: Now you know where you got it from.
Random fact: Robert Knepper also plays an absent father figure, Angus McDonough, in iZombie to the antagonist, Blaine DeBeers. At least he tried in Prison Break, his iZombie character tried to kill his own son and abused him constantly during his childhood. Terrifying.
Favourite line: “This is for the last seven years.” Watching Michael getting to punish his abuser for the last seven years of torture and manipulation was unbelievably satisfying. Michael got his agency back the minute he broke out of that prison amidst the rebel fighting. Jacob never planned on that, and never planned on Michael outsmarting him ever. Michael always wins against the world, and isn’t that a satisfying note to end the series on?
This writer has reviewed Prison Break Season 5 in its entirety. Comments or theories are welcome.