We may have come to the end of the series and we certainly have reached this season’s conclusion – and it was a great episode. Michael’s insanely genius plan comes into play and everything falls into place. A rather uplifting end after the grim first half of the season. So we see a short turn back in time. 6 minutes earlier to the shooting cliffhanger. During Michael’s conversation with MJ, Sara is tied up in the basement and provokes Jacob. He slaps her and her talk about Outis not killing this CIA guy clearly affects Van Gogh because it was his mentor or something. Van Gogh seems to believe and confronts A&W just before she can shoot Michael, creating an important diversion. She claims there’s not escaping 21 Void and shoots Van Gogh, whose change of mind was heavily hinted at in the past few episodes. Michael has MJ run to Linc and is then grabbed by A&W, who is eventually knocked out by Sara, who was able to cut her ties. Jacob grabs MJ and drives away with him. Sara genuinely freaks out (which is justified) and Michael and Sara find Linc wounded in the car. They bring him to the hospital and meet up with T-Bag and Whip, who give the mysterious, part-of-the-incredibly-complicated-8-year-plan-of-Michael jar of blood to Michael. We then learn why Michael reached out to T-Bag: Jacob didn’t supervise his communications with people he despised. I loved T-Bag’s slightly confused question what his actual feelings towards him are. After finding out about his son, T-Bag was going to be willing to kill Jacob to know his son free and safe.
Then they split up and Michael’s plan unravels. T-Bag and Whip have a nice father-and-son roadtrip with a great classic T-Bag quote:
Sometimes certain sons of bitches, they just need to be plain ol’ eradicated.
They go collect Elvis, who is a master at recreating situations, a talent which later saves Michael’s ass.
Sara visits Van Gogh in hospital, who is barely alive. She wants to know MJ’s location but he wants her to pull his plug. She shows him compassion but doesn’t help him die but he somehow seems to have told her anyway. Michael in the meantime calls Jacob to lure him and A&W in the zoo, in which he used to secretly watch Sara and MJ. As Jacob’s tech guy decrypted Michael’s tattoos and informs him about the secret message (“Never interrupt your enemy when he’s making a mistake”), Michael is shown getting into Jacob’s secret cave by the help of his freakin’ tattoos.
This was a bit ludicrous but I like that they keep having their fun with the useful tattoos. Sara is able to free Jacob with the help of Linc, after the latter has lured Luca Abruzzi into a trap with the cops.
The episode climaxes with Michael’s final confrontation with Jacob. They pull their guns on each other and Whip tries to kill A&W but fails. Michael, seemingly beaten, takes Jacob to the hard drives with the evidence about Michael’s supposed killing but runs off, weirdly changes his jacket, runs into the back of a truck where Jacobs shoots him. Or not. GOTCHA. This room uncannily recreated the exact same situation where Michael shot the CIA guy. Michael was dressed like the CIA guy, Jacob is recorded by a camera shooting him, an image which is forwarded to the police, and the gun shot a blank. Gotta love this twist because it got Jacob to prison after his arrest because Michael planted the jar of blood from the killed CIA director in Jacob’s office. Unfortunately, Michael is also arrested but he is able to convince the officer of his innocence via the fabricated image. The police officer asks Michael whether he would be interested in a job but Michael just wants to finally enjoy his newly found freedom. But he asks for a favor…
The penultimate scene shows Sara, MJ, Sheba (Yay! Michael had to call her because Linc wouldn’t) and the brothers in a park, enjoying themselves. This rounds up the story very nicely, which is why I wouldn’t be sad to not see Prison Break return. And the very last scene brings us back to Fox River, where the result of Michael’s favor is shown. Jacob is brought to his cell and of course his cellmate is T-Bag, who is about to kill the guy every watcher hates. [It is a bit questionable to have the audience cheer for such a moment of vigilantism but come on, this dude was the worst and Prison Break was never all too worried about its moral implications.]
I think this sums it up better than I could have (even though I don’t quite feel as strongly about this season):
When a revival doesn’t live up to expectations, many wonder if it was worth doing or if the show’s legacy has been damaged. I would say, “Who cares?” Yes, this fifth season didn’t come close to the epic first season or exhilarating second season, but I would contest it was at least better than the dreadful third season in Sona and probably on par with the Ocean’s Eleven-style reboot of season 4. Whether you view this new installment as a disappointment or a competent follow-up, it doesn’t take away from the previous iteration.
Did I love this Prison Break? No. Am I glad it exists? Hell yeah. As a fan of the original, why wouldn’t I want to hear Sucre call Michael “Papi” again or see the brothers back together or continue to be conflicted over loving the detestable T-Bag? This isn’t an all-time Mount Rushmore series like Lost or The Sopranos. It’s Prison Break. So if they want to make a nonsensical limited series every few years, then count me in. Just two conditions: Come up with better villain names (see A&W, Van Gogh, Cyclops) and more Sucre. (Derek Lawrance, ew.com)
all images, including title image © by FOX, taken from IMDb