After a 7 year hiatus, Prison Break has returned. I have a personal connection to the show: the first season of #PrisonBreak aired in 2005, as my wife and I first started dating. We were doing the long distance relationship thing, and once a week we'd watch Prison Break "together," viewing in our respective cities with our cell phones pressed to our ears. Even though we were far apart, watching Wentworth Miller's Michael Scofield planning the escape of his brother Lincoln Burrows (played by Dominic Purcell) made those long miles between us feel like inches. Although Prison Break came to a final conclusion in Season 4, I metaphorically inked up my body, broke her out of girlfriend status, and married her that same year.
So it's with great excitement and fond memories that I approach the reunion of the Prison Break team for another season. Let's bust into Episode 1, "Ogygia."
Note: Spoilers ahead!
What Are the Old Crew Doing Now?
"Ogygia" opens with Michael Scofield (#WentworthMiller) speaking to the audience about his current state of affairs. Didn't he die in Season 4? Guess not! He is being held in a prison in Yemen, which is just a bit like death, but not quite.
Next everyone's favorite creepy bad-guy-turned-good-guy Theodore 'T-Bag' Bagwell is released from prison. As the belongings he had when he entered the jail are returned to him, Bagwell is given a peculiar envelope. Opening it gives him a shock.
Cut to Michael's half-brother, Lincoln Burrows (Dominic Purcell) running away from thugs. We quickly learn that he is trying to avoid them because he owes $10,000. (We never do find out why he needed the money.) Lincoln meets T-Bag at his house, and he shown the envelope, which contains a hazy photo of Michael standing in front of window covered in bars showing a few buildings in the distance. There's also a phrase at the bottom of the photo:
By Your Hand You Shall Know the Glories of Your Progeny and Our World Will Be Made Right Forever More
Lincoln can't quite believe this is a message from Michael. After years of coming to grips with the death of his brother, it makes sense that he has his doubts about the message.
But maybe something is going on. The next logical step for Lincoln is to visit Dr. Sara Tancredi (Sarah Wayne Callies), Michael's widow and mother of their son Mike. Now secluded in Syracuse, NY, Sara is married to a new man named Jacob (Mark Feuerstein). Lincoln and Sara both discuss how they are still sad, and how they both are trying to move on with their lives in their own ways. Still, they are trying to come to terms with the contents of the envelope. Is the image photoshopped? Who sent it? Why now after all these years?
While talking to his maybe-dead brother's grave, some of Michael's smarts rubbed off on Lincoln for a change. Lincoln starts to think about that odd phrase from the photo and notices a pattern in the letters: "Ogygia" It turns out that this is a prison located in Yemen. Now he starts to wonder if this whole cryptic message is from his brother. Lincoln then decides to check the grave where his brother was buried. After several hours of digging, he uncovers the coffin. Guess what. No dead body. Just an old suit that he decides to take out and smell it.
If finding an empty coffin wasn't enough to convince Lincoln and Sara that Michael is alive, then maybe sending some professional hitmen would do the trick? Lincoln has his car hacked and controlled by a nefarious looking man in black truck to the point where Lincoln is thrown off a cliff and lands in a nearby lake. The nefarious dude who hacked the car pulls out a gun starts to go after Lincoln. But a passerby who noticed the accident thwarts the nefarious dude's plan to give Lincoln a grave of his own.
Back at Sara's house, a blonde lady holding a gun with a silencer sneaks into the home. Just moments earlier, Lincoln calls Sara to tell him about the black truck. Sara sees a similar truck pull into her driveway. Here is out first intense scene create by the writers of Prison Break. Sara asks her husband to call the police, and he gets shots in the leg by the blonde woman. Sara and Mikey lock themselves in the bathroom. Sara definitely worked in a prison. She immediately snapped the metal towel holder to create a makeshift shiv. She is saved by the sounds of police sirens, the blonde woman retreats, and Jacob is taken to the hospital.
At the hospital, Lincoln decides that he is going to Yemen. He tries to convince Sara to go, but she wants to stay at home with her family. Now Lincoln has to find someone to help him around a foreign country in the Middle East.
Enter Benjamin Miles 'C-Note' Franklin (Rockmond Dunbar) who has now converted to Islam and is helping other prisoners and fighting radical groups in the US. This allows the writers to create a believable character that has connections to Yemen. Not to mention, it ties in with the political climate of today's politics. C-Note explains to Lincoln the dangers of travelling to Yemen because they are in the middle of a civil war. But if they are going over there, then C-Note wants to go through the proper channels. After making a few calls and searching the internet, they discover that there's no Michael Scofield at the prison, but the pictures of Michael in the database are of some other person. This piques C-Note's interest, and he wants to help Lincoln find Michael.
You know who else shows up looking to help find Michael? Michael's former cell mate, Fernando Sucre (Amaury Nolasco). He offers to help C-Note and Lincoln, but Lincoln decides that it is best for Sucre to stay back because they may need him in the future. Even though Sucre thinks he can help because he "...knows French, and is brown and will fit in better in Yemen." Although Sucre only appeared in the show for a few minutes, I'm sure he will play a bigger role down the stretch.
T-Bag Goes Bionic
While T-Bag is sifting through email for some love and affection, another mystery pops up on his computer: an appointment to meet with a Dr. Whitecombe. This isn't a hookup opportunity; it's for prosthetic research. (T-Bag's hand was chopped off, with an axe, in Season 1, when he handcuffed himself to Michael.)
The appointment is a chance for T-Bag to learn that he has a benefactor who wants to give T-Bag a state-of-the-art prosthetic hand. Then he remembers the line from the envelope: "By Your Hand You Shall Know the Glories of Your Progeny..." Things are starting to come into focus. After the surgery his benefactor is revealed as... "Outis." What? Dr. Whitecombe explains that the name is Greek for "nobody."
Off To Yemen!
Immediately after Lincoln and C-Note arrive in Yemen, they find trouble. Their first goal is to meet up with an operative named Sheba who also has some connections. They are greeted by a taxi, and the taxi drives them to a shady-looking abandoned garage. But's not abandoned at all. The taxi driver set them up, and the group ends up fighting a bunch of thugs looking to kill our Prison Break crew in our first action sequence. Sheba does find them in the garage and takes them to the prison where Michael is being held captive.
Michael, Is That You?
We've spent about 50 minutes of the show without once seeing Michael Scofield. Again, the they learn that there is no Michael Scofield at the prison. They decide to show the guard the picture that came in the envelope. The guard is familiar with the face and mentions the name Outis. Lincoln responds with, "Kariel Outis?" And the guard immediately goes and fetches the person that is Outis. Both C-Note and Sheba are concerned at this point because the name Kariel Outis is in reference to a malicous terrorist. It turns out, that Michael is now going by this name. When he finally appears, he pretends that he does not know Lincoln. He does this in a way where Lincoln notices that Michael has new tattoos on the palm of his hands. This appears to be another one of Michael's clues. As Michael walks away, the Prison Break crew is frustrated and flustered by the way Michael is behaving.
Questions For Episode 2 And Beyond
Even after thinking through the first episode of Prison Break season 5, I have some thoughts and concerns:
- Another taxi driver in Yemen holds up a sign that reads Franklin Burrows. Is this Lincoln's father? We were already introduced to Michael's mother in season 4.
- Will T-Bag's new hand play more of a role?
- When Lincoln took the suit jacket out of the coffin, we see him at the hotel getting it dry cleaned. How was he able to fit in Michael's jacket?
What did you think of the first new episode of Prison Break?