With a series like Prison Break, it’s difficult not to have mixed feelings about a revival. At it’s best the show was an exciting, smart and fast-paced action thriller with compelling characters. But the series wasn’t immune to falling foul of its far-fetched narrative and ridiculously implausible escapes, which only seemed magnified by the writers’ strike back in 2007-08.
It’s no surprise then that the mind-boggling plot continues right off the bat in the first episode of Prison Break: Resurrection, as the show fast-forwards to seven years after Michael’s (Wentworth Miller) apparent demise. If you’re watching the revival though, silly plots are what you came for, and seeing Lincoln (Dominic Purcell) and C-Note (Rockmond Dunbar) reunite (and Amaury Nolasco’s Sucre trying to tag along like the annoying but well-meaning little brother) is as thrilling as seeing a tattooed Michael Scofield behind bars once more.
Opening episode, ‘Ogygia’, has a taste of the Sona days about it, as the roles are reversed again, with Lincoln heading to a war-torn ISIL controlled Yemen to confirm the rumour that his brother is still alive. How Michael managed to evade death is unclear right now but, as always, he’s mixed up with some powerful players and is going under the identity of Kaniel Outis, a dangerous terrorist. Whilst all signs point at Michael having gone over to the dark side – particularly given he pretended not to know who Lincoln was – it’s no doubt part of the grand plan that’s always whirling around in Michael’s brilliant mind.Catching up with the rest of the gang, we revisit Sara (Sara Wayne Callies) who is now married to Jacob (Mark Feuerstein) and is raising Michael’s son, bigging up the boy’s father like he’s some sort of mythical god-like creature: “He was like a storm, appearing suddenly out of a clear blue sky, and then disappear just as quickly.”
Meanwhile, T-Bag – played by the fantastic Robert Knepper – is released from prison and given an offer he can’t refuse in the form of a new robotic hand. Ever the charming-yet-creepy psychopath, T-Bag wastes no time in threatening people and being his general despicable self. His handy upgrade is courtesy of a wealthy benefactor – also known as Outis (the greek word for ‘nobody’) – but what will he have to do to return the favour?
As for why Michael chose T-Bag to deliver the news about his resurrection to Lincoln, that’s perhaps got something to do with this season’s big bad keeping murderous tabs on him (and Sara apparently). Watching how T-Bag will adapt to his new metallic limb, and what exactly he’ll do with it, will surely be one of the highlights of the new series, as will seeing how Michael will get out of prison with a little help from his friends.
The first episode of season five offers up everything Prison Break always did right – fast action, snappy dialogue, paper swans and Theodore Bagwell’s drawling one-liners. It’s thrown loads of questions at us and laid the groundwork for what’s sure to be another outlandish jail escape, and you know what? I’m already looking forward to next week’s episode. And if you’re a true Prison Break fan, you should be too.