Prison Break Season 5 Episode 5 Review: Contingency

Michael thankfully reveals how he's still alive and the action kicks up a notch.

This Prison Break review contains spoilers.

Prison Break Season 5 Episode 5

Michael being alive is the biggest “gimme” of the new Prison Break series. Let’s be real, he was dead at the end of the final “movie” of the series. There was no back door built in. He was legit dead. So when this series came around the first thought on every single fan’s mind was, “How the hell is Michael alive?”

Thankfully we didn’t have to wait until the final episode to find out how, but is it satisfactory? Yeah, I’d say so. I mean look, if it had been a clone or something? I would have laughed and totally rolled with it, but I’m also writing for a geeky news website. The explanation did need to be grounded in some level of believability. When it was revealed after the first commercial break I thought it was okay, but what really sold me on it? Michael’s tearful admittance that he should have gone to Lincoln for help.

Of course Michael would have tried to solve it all by himself. That’s Michael’s thing. As far back as season one he wanted as few people as possible involved in the plan. For as much as Michael can see the big picture, he sometimes misses the finer details. You can’t do everything by yourself. You need help from others. It’s like Michael wasn’t paying attention to what kept him alive for the original series. He couldn’t have done it all his own, but it’s easy to miss that when you’re working for a “greater purpose,” in this case protecting his family.

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It parallels the struggles people go through with depression, something Wentworth Miller has openly admitted. It’s about wanting to take care of it yourself and not wanting to ask for help and shouldering all the guilt because you’re the one who’s looked up to. I couldn’t help but read into Miller’s powerful performance in that scene and not be reminded of his own struggles with depression.

As I discussed earlier in this season in people not giving enough credit to Dominic Purcell after his somewhat goofy turn on Legends of Tomorrow, I feel the same way about Wentworth Miller. The guy is a powerhouse actor and this episode is a perfect demonstration of that.

He’s so good and the emotions are so real I can overlook all the hand waving of Kellerman not really having the authority to exonerate them or Michael faking his death to rescue Sara. Although that does give Kellerman’s scene with T-Bag last week a whole new layer to it. Did Kellerman know he didn’t have the authority? I’d guess not, but if he did that adds a delightfully messed up side to the whole thing. 

While it’s easy to compare this episode to the better parts of season two when the gang was on the run, I think this took on a whole new feel. They’re out in open and away from the prison, but it’s more confined than the country spanning trek of season two. Here, Michael and the others are boxed in plus the added threat of having pursuers on their trail every second and all of them will shoot to kill. It’s even more chaotic then the governments pursuit of the team in season two and I applaud the writers for coming up with a new twist to what could have been a formulaic retread.

Lo and behold, I actually liked Sara this week. Yeah, I know! Her scenes finally had some much needed tension, what with her not knowing whether her husband is telling the truth or not. I firmly believe he’s still got shady dealings going on. That meeting T-Bag saw looked too cozy. Also, this episode needed more T-Bag. Hell, every episode needs more T-Bag.

The action on display was also top notch. I pretty much figured out Ja’s plan the second he grabbed the rubbing alcohol but dang it, it was such a spectacle I was still on board. I also appreciated the downtime for all the characters that perfectly balanced out the action. Sid relating the tale of his first lover to Whip was heartbreaking, especially when Sid got killed a few minutes later. 

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I was not a fan of that death. Look, I’m not saying all gay characters should have a shield around them but come on! Why Sid? Oh, he didn’t get horribly beaten and then buried alive so his death was more acceptable? No way, not buying it. At the very least he got to go out like a hero, hopefully taking down creepy glasses guy. If his death was for nothing? Yeah, I’m gonna have some issues.

That ending though. What a great callback to the end of season one. Once again, Michael and Lincoln miss their plane out of there. While it didn’t have quite the same impact, it was still a powerful image. How will Michael get him out of this one? He could barely keep up this time. Does he have another plan ready? I don’t think so.

Besides Sid’s death, this was a damn impressive episode. Prison Break is on a role and if the second half of the season keeps this momentum up I can only hope we might see a sixth season in our future.

Shamus Kelley is still wondering what Michael’s new tatoo’s mean. Follow him on Twitter!  


4.5 out of 5