I’m quite sure this post is filled with spoilers so you might want to skip this if you haven’t watched Prison Break because you really should watch it – especially when you plan to break somebody out of prison some time soon.
I was smart enough to watch Prison Break again.. but I haven’t made it to the final season yet because other shows came back and my schedule is totally full – but revisiting the first and the second season was great, the third one was interesting as well but the whole Sarah thing – well, let’s just say that they could’ve done it differently.
I read somewhere that the first and the last season are the fan favorites, so there is no surprise that I watched the first season for the second time and didn’t get tired of it. I knew what was going to happen but I still was excited about it and well, watching Wentworth Miller look serious and emotionless is somewhat a joy itself. For those who haven’t watched this show, big mistake guys!, the whole plot is built around two brothers – Michael Scofield and Lincoln Burrows. Scofield or his much cuter nickname “Snow-flake” is played by an English actor Wentworth Miller who’s good looks made him very popular back when the series was running (2005-2009). Lincoln was portrayed by Dominic Purcell, also an English actor – irony is that they both played Americans – talk about UK talent! The older brother, Lincoln, is on death row and about to be executed for killing the vice presidents brother
which he really didin’t do. Scofield who is very talented and smart ends up in the same prison as his brother because he has planned a prison break to of course get them both out of there. A lot of things happen during the first season in and outside the prison – inside the whole plan starts to come together, then falls apart, then a new plan is formed and so on whilst outside, Veronica (played by Robin Tunney – who’s now on The Mentalist) is trying to figure out the scam that put Lincoln behind bars. But that is not all, Lincoln’s son Lincoln Junior “LJ” Burrows (played by Marshall Allman) is also framed for murder – that family just can’t catch a break.
While season 1 focuses on Lincoln and Michael getting out of the prison, a whole lot of characters are introduced to us: the most important one is probably Sarah Tancredi (played by Sarah Wayne Callies who now plays in The Walking Dead), Michael’s love interest and the doctor at the prison – Fox River State Penitentiary (FRSP). Another person who is a big part of Scofield’s plan is his cell-mate Fernando Sucre (played by Amaury Nolasco) and the warden Henry Pope (Stacey Keach): those three help the brothers and therefore are positive characters
and they haven’t killed nobody The rest of the characters including the prison guard Brad Bellick (played by Wade Williams) end up being negative – killers and mob leaders and so on. Conflicted character Paul Kellerman (played by Paul Adelstein) is also one of the guys outside the prison who apparently framed Lincoln – he stays on the bad side but as season 2 evolves he changes his tone.
Focus is mainly on the escaped prisoners including Michael and Lincoln. A new main character is brought into the main story, Alexander Mahone (played by William Fichtner) is a FBI agent who is hired to hunt down the escaped prisoners and to softly but it – make them quiet. Second season for me was interesting but after the first one I felt a bit disconnected and probably because one of the main characters wasn’t there anymore – FRSP – the prison! Season 1 was all about the atmosphere inside those walls, the chemistry between the actors who played the prisoners – season 2 lost those two things because they now were outside, running wild and they hardly came face-to-face with each other. The most interesting plot in the second season for me, for previously mentioned reasons, was when they all were digging up the money. Main characters were all together and the tension between the killers and the good guys and the civilians was perfect.
Thinking back, season 2 had a lot going on – I mean, they were all split up and brought back together, split up and so on – so when I try to remember how the whole thing went down I find it difficult. For sure, there was as much tension as in the first season, but the stories were in my opinion so thrown apart that Prison Break came a bit loose. Of course it was meant to be that way because the outside world is messy and chaotic even – but the first season freshly on my mind I tended to miss the prison.
The prison, not the same one but a whole new one, was introduced in the final scenes of season 2. Being the shortest season (due to the Writers Guild strike), 3 was definitely one of the least favorites of the Prison Break fan-club and I might even agree. The #1 reason for that might be the “putting Sarah’s head in a box” situation! Why the show decided to do this is a mystery but the rage of the fans brought Sarah back for season 4 – this being said, I’m quite sure that season 3 would’ve been much better if Sarah had been alive.
Anyway, Lincoln was a free man but Michael was in prison! Now is probably the best time to mention one of the unmentioned main characters who could probably be one of the faces of Prison Break – Theodore “T-Bag” Bagwell (played by Robert Knepper). He is a character from season 1, season 2 and I’m pretty sure season 4 as well even though I haven’t seen it yet. He is bad, evil, the serial killer who Michael breaks free because.. well, T-Bag is quite the intelligent murderer. Alexander Mahone, Brad Bellick are also inside the prison walls, while Fernando Sucre comes to the rescue from outside. But like every season, season 3 introduces 2
(actually 3 – but the third one is mostly for Lincoln if you know what I mean) new characters to the story – Gretchen Morgan (played by Jodi Lyn O’Keefe) and James Whistler (played by Chris Vance).
While the new characters offer a lot of action to the short but action filled third season, the main tension is still on Michael who is now faced with another prison break but this time – he doesn’t have a plan! I quite liked the unexpected story-line thing in season 3 and you could really see Michael’s character become more of a personality than he was before. But the season lacked the deepness that the previous two had, probably because they killed off a lot of characters before and in the beginning they kind of nailed themselves to the wall by cutting Sarah. In the end though, the bridge between season 3 and 4 was nicely built and when I get the time I hope to enjoy season 4 as much as I have enjoyed the whole Prison Break series so far.
The fan-club, which was mentioned a couple of times in this post, is done very good job putting everything together on Wikipedia – so if anybody is interested you could check it out. All the characters, all the story-lines and some interesting facts are all there. Plus, all the T-Bag fans can rejoice because he is coming back on the screen this year: a new series Breakout Kings (premiering on March 6th) has featured him in 4 episodes.