Prison Break follows a man, Michael Scofield, on his mission to break his brother out of prison. Michael is convinced that his brother, Lincoln Burrows, is innocent of the crime for which he was committed, which was the murder of the vice president’s brother. Burrows is on death row, and scheduled for execution within the month. Scofield must make connections on the prison block that will aid him in his escape, but enemies are sure to make slow work of Michael’s plans.
As the TV shows team of New York Digimag, we thought that Prison Break was a complex and intense show. From a story buff’s perspective, we thought that this show did an excellent job. We were captivated the entire time we were watching and we thought the show had its fair share of plot twists, which we love. The characters were difficult to love, which is very real to life. No character should ever be perceived to be perfect and always good. We loved Michael Scofield the most, as he always tried to do the right thing, and was nearly always loyal and honorable. He refused to murder anyone, and always found a way around hurting others. The show constantly illustrated the moral war being waged inside Michael’s head, and this was fascinating to us as viewers. Though he never pulled the trigger, people’s lives were ruined by some of the things Michael needed to do in order to get his brother out of prison. Throughout the show, you could see the weight that Michael took on himself for the bad that had been done.
The elements of Good vs. Evil were very evident in this show and were not only portrayed by the “good guys” or just the “bad guys.” You generally were exposed to good and bad in every character. Even the most despised character, Theodore “T-Bag” Bagwell, who killed recklessly and was convicted sex offender was not all bad. Viewers were able to see his more vulnerable moments and even pitied him occasionally. The show was excellent at demonstrating the grey areas of life. Very few things are ever black and white, but rather a thick shade of grey.
The “bad” sides of “good” men generally reared their ugly heads in the show when they were trying to protect family or loved ones. They were willing to do ANYTHING to protect the ones they loved and cared about. A line said by Michael says it all, “You have obviously seriously underestimated the lengths I am willing to go to to get my brother out of prison.” We found this show an excellent study in morality, good & evil, and the nature of man.
We think that from a faith perspective we are conflicted with Prison Break, as with other shows (Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, Dexter, etc). With these shows and Prison Break, there lies a very complex and fascinating story/plot. There is a well written script and incredible character development. This can be used as a crutch to justify watching the show…if you know that this is something that you shouldn’t be watching. This is not a broad sweeping generalization, but rather more individualized. As Christ followers, we live lives that run media and other stimuli through a filter of discernment and wisdom. Some people just let ANYTHING enter their brains, and sorry if we are too frank, but that is pretty dumb…not even from a religious context, just from a wise context. There is some real crap out there, and limiting the amount of seriously messed up content that we expose ourselves to is generally a good idea. It’s a free country, but again, this is just our two cents.
In light of that perspective, we find it difficult to watch certain shows regardless of plot, story, character development, entertainment, or complexity. Each person has their weaknesses. For some who have had a family member murdered, it would be seriously insensitive to recommend Dexter to them as a show they should watch. To someone getting clean, we wouldn’t ever recommend Breaking Bad. You get the idea. After watching Prison Break, we find ourselves asking questions like: “Was that show necessarily good to watch? Was it worth it? Did the good outweigh the bad? What was the good? What was the bad?” We have to admit, when we watch TV, we blaze a trail. We were done with 4 seasons of Prison Break inside of 3 weeks. Sometimes we can forget to discern what we are watching until we are already done with it. We think that many of us are caught in the same dilemma and should incorporate some more wisdom in what we watch. Think about it. What we put into us is going to come out somehow. In speech? In manner? In lifestyle? This is for you to think about, not for us to preach about.
PRISON BREAK SUMMARY
(Season 1) In the first season we find Michael making connections, scheming his plans and remaining completely focused. RARELY does Michael become unhinged and nervous. Michael seems to have every angle thought out and every contingency considered. Only when Lincoln was about to be executed did his plans fall apart. If it wasn’t for that rouge call from the judge, Lincoln would have been fried. It was only when the plane took off the runway, leaving the convicts waving down the plane, that it finally sank in. Some things can’t be accounted for. Humans. It seemed that everything that went wrong in Michael's plan was not due to some equipment malfunctioning, but rather a human acting, well…unpredictable. And we just have to say, for about 45 minutes of that final episode in season 1 (which was all of it, haha) we were holding our breath. We couldn’t believe the amount of suspense that led up to the final escape. We found our hearts racing like a dubstep beat. That first season was solid!
(Season 2) According to us, season 2 was very interesting too. We loved the new addition with FBI Agent Alex Mahone heading up a task force to retrieve the escaped convicts. We thought William Fichtner did an incredible job as the FBI agent. In this season, we follow the gang as they attempt to escape the clutches of the law and remain low as to not get noticed by any civilians. We have to mention this right now though, because it bugs us as a serious plot hole. You would think that with all of Michael’s knowledge and foreplanning, he would have decided it was a smart idea to purchase some decent disguises for himself and his brother. It seemed like THE MAIN problem the brothers and the Foxriver 8 were running into was being “made” by the local populous. Some of them were arrested and even killed because of it. “But Nooooooooo! We’ll just put on some civilian clothes, maybe a hat, and we’ll be fine! Yeah, our faces are plastered all over the country, but I think NOT disguising our faces in ANY way is good enough.” Hardly. Anyway, aside from that, we enjoyed the suspense of the Foxriver 8 trying not to get caught. Season 2 was not worse than season 1, just different in design. We still loved it.
Additionally, we thought that the continuing plot-line revolving around “The Company” was starting to get interesting. You really begin to feel how strong of a hold The Company has on those in law enforcement, politics, government, even on the executive level. You start to think, “Is there anything that The Company can’t do, or get to?” We find that The Company has a TIGHT hold on FBI Agnet Mahone, as well as any person who has someone they love and doesn’t want to see any harm come to them. The Company loves to exploit this angle.
(Season 3) This season starts with an interesting twist. At the end of season 2, it seemed like it was all over. Lincoln was exonerated for his crimes, they had a boat in Panama, Sara (Michael's love), and the money. Life looked good. Then Agent Kim enters the scene to screw everything up. He has Lincoln and Michael at gunpoint at the boat and is out for blood. Just as he is about to shoot, Sara comes from the back of the boat and shoots Kim in the chest. Kim falls into the water dead. The money falls into the river and is lost. Sirens from the Panama police are heard in the distance (from when Mahone made the call about two Americans shooting an Asian-American male.) Things don’t look good. Michael and Sara run and Lincoln escapes in the other direction. Michael takes the fall for the murder and is thrown into Sona Prison, the worst of the worst, and no one has ever escaped.
Season 3 wasn’t exactly our favorite, but it was still interesting enough. The entire season is about Michael trying to free a man named James Whistler. The Company wants Whistler out of Sona and are holding Lincoln’s son and Sara as collateral until Michael complies. Michael doesn’t exactly have a lot of time, and Sona is the kind of place where inmates regularly die from feuds. Lincoln is working on the outside to help Michael, but things aren’t easy…heck, when are they in this show? Lincoln decides to try and find his son and Sara before they are killed, and after Sara gave the brothers a clue as to where she was, Lincoln investigates. He finds where they are held, but fails to free them by seconds. Gretchen Morgan, the woman holding the two captives, decides to send Michael and Lincoln a message for their insolence, so she cuts off Sara’s head and put’s it in a box for Lincoln to find. This was easily the most darkly intense moment of the season. Still, the long and short of it is this: Michael escapes with Whistler and Whister leaves with Gretchen.
(Season 4) This season is all about taking The Company down. A team is put together, The Brothers, Sucre (Michael's cell mate in Foxriver Prison), Mahone, Brad Bellick, Sara, and Roland Glenn, the techy. The team was put together by Homeland Security Agent Don Self. We think that this season was the most complex. The Company, the reason for SO many deaths surrounding each member of the team, was finally being taken down. Each member had a reason to take down the company. Each member knew someone killed by The Company in order to carry out The Company’s selfish plans.
The season ends with The Company being taken down and justice coming to those responsible. Still, you feel like you have to take a deep breath after it all comes to a slow. The scene where Michael is at the table about to hand over Scylla (The Company’s black book and patented ecological technologies worth billions) in exchange for exoneration, you can see it in his face…he is tired. Just as you think it’s all about to go bad once more, Michael says, “I’m tired of running…” And he hands over Scylla. His team is fully exonerated and their families safe. Everything that they had been fighting for the past 4 years was finally coming into fruition. As a viewer, it felt good. Like taking a deep breath after tense lungs are relaxed. If you were a watcher of the show, you know how it ends. We feel like the ending is very appropriate and beautiful.
(Season 5) After an eight-year-long hiatus, Prison Break returned in 2017 with a nine episode revival. The popular TV show was supposed to end with a ninety-minute series finale called "The Final Break," but apparently Fox decided not to air it. Instead, they took the last few minutes of "The Final Break" containing the "Four Years Later" sequence, and tacked it on to the end of episode 4.22, "Killing Your Number." But later, "The Final Break" was available as episodes 4.23 (The Old Ball and Chain) and 4.24 (Free) on online streaming platforms.
What happens in Prison Break season 5? The story takes place a few weeks after the events of "Killing Your Number." It opens with Michael and Sara getting married on the beach, followed almost immediately by Sara's arrest for the murder of Michael's mother, "Christina Hampton." Sara is immediately incarcerated in Miami-Dade State Penitentiary, which also houses our old friends T-Bag, Gretchen Morgan and the General.