Prison Break season 5 episode 6 review: Phaecia

Even after all these years Prison Break can still manage to raise the stakes...

This review contains spoilers.

5.6 Phaecia

There’s only so much you can do in a prison.

This new season of Prison Break had the challenge of creating new ways for our team to ‘break out’. It may sound simple enough, but even in the original four seasons the show basically gave up having the main characters try to escape. It didn’t work. So how could they vary it?

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The past few weeks we’ve seen them break out of a prison and even the city. Both had their unique elements but they still had shades of what had come before. This week however, we get something brand new. An open landscape. Even with the team was escaping the city last week there were places to hide. Buildings to hole up in. Basements to hunker down in and wait. 

Phaecia has our team head out into the desert. No place to hide and they don’t even know the direction they’re heading in. It’s gripping, knowing our guys could be attacked at any moment. Even when they’ve only got one guy on their tail it’s still chilling. It’s laudable how this season keeps the stakes high while constantly raising and lowering the external threats. 

Here, Michael has to outthink one man and he falls into the same pattern he discussed last week. He has to do everything himself. While some viewers may wonder why the hell he’d fall into that same self-sacrificing way of thinking, it makes total sense. Michael is flying by the seat of his pants so of course he’ll fall back on his old ways. Just because he acknowledges the problem doesn’t mean he’s ready to fix it.

If we don’t get a season six of Prison Break, I hope the finale has Michael finally working with Lincoln in a way he never has before. Something where all hope is lost and Michael could simply sacrifice himself but instead works together with his brother to overcome all odds. 

Even if that doesn’t happen, Michael will have to rely on Lincoln and the others now that he’s critically injured. So far Lincoln has stepped up more this season but can he find a way to treat Michael and get a boat all the way to another country? We’ll have to see. It was a nice touch that, like Michael, Lincoln is reminded to not just go charging into things by yourself. Ja comes up with the idea to use the fireworks to let Michael know where they are. The more I see of Ja the more I like him.

This week we also got to see more of our Poseidon agents and they were okay. It seems a little late in the game to be trying to endear the audience to these ruthless characters. Prison Break does have a history with getting us to like bad guys so I’ll hold off judgment on them now, but I bet A&W (yes, that’s the actual name of the woman agent) will come out to be okay. I mean come on, she was going to have a great weekend with that other agent! Is she bisexual? Lesbian? No idea, but I’ll take another LGBT character after Sid’s death last week. We also learn that Poseidon itself is a he. Is there some master player at work here?

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So yeah, I guess Sid’s death was pointless? Creepy Glasses Guy (that’s his official name, at least to me) was pretty much fine and was chasing after our team no problem. So why bother with killing Sid? Did they just need to up the stakes? I get that people die in Prison Break style escapes but they should at least feel like they served a purpose to the greater cause.

The main problem with this season so far is that a lot of the plots end up being dead ends. Okay, Lincoln has a new lady lover possibly. Cool. What was the point besides a way to get them into the prison? Hell, a lot of the problems of the season can be pinned down to getting Lincoln to the prison. While there were some good elements to it it just felt like we were killing time with him before we got to the real good stuff, these past three episodes.

I wish the season had got going faster because I fear we’ll be racing to the end instead of getting to enjoy Michael coming up with new plans on the fly.

While this episode wasn’t quite as strong as the last two it’s still keeping the momentum going.

Although we’ve got to talk about the super binoculars Michael has. Did you see those things? Somehow the picture got EVEN CLEARER when he “zoomed in”. Binoculars don’t work that way!

Read Shamus’ review of the previous episode, Contingency, here.

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