This Prison Break review contains spoilers.
Prison Break Season 5 Episode 9
Why do fans love Prison Break? Is it for the titular prison breaks? Perhaps, but the only reasons those even register is because they’re deeply rooted in one thing. Michael and Lincoln’s relationship. The two would do anything for each other and the lengths Michael went to in order to save his brother proved how strong that relationship was.
The biggest problem with the finale is that relationship is barely on display. Michael and Lincoln barely share any scenes together. They aren’t facing a common enemy. They aren’t taking down Jacob together. Sure, Lincoln saves Sara and Mike, but we want to see the brothers work together.
Earlier this season there was this whole lesson about the two needing each other. That in trying to do everything by himself, Michael had ended up in prison again. The two reaffirmed they were stronger together. This finale could have had more impact if Michael had relied on Lincoln more than he had in the past but instead it’s all down to Michael again.
That’s okay, there are some fun Michael plans at work, but is just makes the ending feel hollow. I can only imagine how insane the shooting schedule for this series was, with Dominic Purcell a main cast member on Legends of Tomorrow. If I had to place a wager, I’d bet on Purcell not being available for certain shooting blocks and the writers had to make due.
It does Lincoln’s character a massive disservice because the start of the season made him out to be such a focal character. In this finale he’s an afterthought. That bullet wound from last episode? Don’t worry about it! We’re cool!
It’s a shame because the best episodes in the season, those in the middle actually, had the brothers together the most. They’re together again at the very end for any future adventures, but it doesn’t feel earned. What should be a triumph moment, finally getting what they both wanted, just feels perfunctory.
T-Bag’s plot sadly fell by the wayside. I was willing to give it the benefit of the doubt last week but this was… bad. I liked the idea of T-Bag trying to be a father to this guy but Whip takes it all in stride way too easily. It’s too easy. The two don’t have time to build up a relationship before Whip is murdered, which seems to have been done only to give us that “shock” ending. I don’t buy it. It’s a disservice to T-Bag that he got such a poor ending and wasn’t even in a large chunk of the season.
Also, hey, what happened to Sucre? You think Michael couldn’t have used one of his best buddies in the plan?
So many of the plot beats felt just like that, beats they had to hit. Nothing felt grounded in genuine emotions. I never truly feared if Michael would get out of this. The stakes were high, but it never felt that way. It doesn’t help they totally copped out of last weeks ending but adding a whole extra minute of dialogue before the gunshot went off. I can buy a little dramatic license but not that much.
If Prison Break comes back for another season, it needs to find a better villain than Jacob. His ultimate motivation, just wanting Sara for himself, never clicked. I was on board with him thinking he was the good guy in all of this, but the fact he out and out says it was all for Sara and Mike just felt too mustache twirly evil for me. Did he love Mike? Perhaps, but I never bought it.
It’s a shame this episode was such a whimper after a season that really had some potential. At its height it reminded me of the show’s glory days. At its worst, it seemed a victim of a lot of interesting ideas that didn’t have time to play themselves out.
I would be lying if I said I didn’t want another season, though. Wentworth Miller especially was eclectic as Michael and sold every scene he was in. I would watch another season solely for him. That and his tattoos. Seriously that bit with Michael using his tattoos to get into Jacob’s office was just about the most ridiculous thing this show has ever done and I kind of loved it.
Thanks to everyone for reading my reviews of Prison Break this season. It was a blast to talk about. What did you think of the season? Did it work for you? What would you like to see in a possible sixth season?
Shamus Kelley is sad that gum from the first episode didn’t tie together Prison Break and Legends of Tomorrow. Follow him on Twitter!