It’s been nearly eight years since Michael Scofield (Wentworth Miller) successfully broke his brother, Lincoln Burrows (Dominic Purcell), out of the big house after he was framed for the murder of the Vice President’s brother in FOX’s hit drama Prison Break, and that’s a lot of time to remember what happened over those four seasons. Instead of rehashing all of it, let’s go over how we started and where we finished off:
As Lincoln awaits his death sentence in Fox River State Penitentiary, Michael, a brilliant engineer who happened to design the prison his brother is being housed, lands himself behind bars alongside his brother in order to break him out and prove his innocence. Over the course of four seasons, Michael and his ragtag gang of inmates made up of Theodore “T-Bag” Bagwell (Robert Knepper), Fernando Sucre (Amaury Nolasco), Benjamin Miles “C-Note” Franklin (Rockmond Dunbar), Alex Mahone (William Fichtner) and the prison doctor and Michael’s future wife, Sara (Sarah Wayne Callies) worked together to escape Fox River. In the final two episodes of the original series, Sara has been incarcerated for the murder of Christina, Michael’s mother who he thought was dead but was actually alive and working for The Company, and has a $100,000 bounty placed on her head by The General. Once Michael hears of this, he decides he’s going to break her out of the Miami-Dade prison she’s being held as his final sacrifice, as he knows he’s dying of a brain tumor. He, of course, succeeds and they marry and have a son named Mike.
And so, as we head into the fifth season of Prison Break, we’re left wondering what everyone has been up to since Michael’s death: Sara has remarried and is raising her and Michael’s now-seven year old son; Lincoln is back to his old ways; C-Note has converted to “the good kind” of Jihad; and T-Bag is freshly released from prison, which is where the new adventures begin.
Upon T-Bag’s release, he’s given a mailed envelope with a photo of Michael in what looks like a prison with a cryptic message scrawled across the bottom of the page that reads “By your hand you shall know the glories of your progeny and our world be made right forevermore.” Unsure what to do with it since he believes Michael is dead, he tracks down Lincoln and gives him the page, which sets in motion the hunt for his maybe-alive-but-maybe-dead brother. Spoiler: he’s alive and is trapped in a prison in Yemen. With the help of C-Note, Lincoln travels to Yemen to — you guessed it– break his brother out of prison.
For Prison Break fans, this is the homecoming for which you’ve been waiting. If I hadn’t known there was nearly a decade between the last and the new season, I would’ve never guessed it. The acting, the writing and the rhythm of the latest installment is as though it never missed a beat, but we’ve found our way back to the core and original intentions with which it first premiered. It’s fair to say season four was a departure from the beaten path the show found its initial success on — and probably the reason it was not renewed for a fifth season right away — but after watching the first four episodes, it’s clear time away did the writers and producers some good.
Prison Break returns Tuesday, April 4 at 9pm ET on FOX.