Prison Break Series Finale: Review & Discussion

Published 5 years ago by , Updated May 17th, 2009 at 9:25 am,

prison break season 4 Prison Break Series Finale: Review & Discussion


The 4th season series finale of Prison Break ended it’s dying ratings existence in its Friday night slot.

This final season trudged along while everybody was chasing Scylla.  The General wanted it, Christina Scofield wanted it.  China wanted it.  India wanted.  Hell, who didn’t want it?  I wanted it so I can find some dirt to write about.

I tried to break this down in a chronological order, but my new novel adaptation of Fox’s Prison Break was getting way too long.  The closing story became too convoluted with twists, turns and the reappearance of old characters that I felt that maybe I just needed to draw on my emotions about the finale and not try to detail out the episode.  We all say it. Right?

There are some SPOILERS included in one way or another, so you have been warned.

pb wentworth 1436trc Prison Break Series Finale: Review & Discussion

The brothers Michael (Wentworth Miller) and Lincoln (Dominic Purcell) went through a lot through the entire show: from Michael allowing himself to be incarcerated to help free his brother Lincoln for a crime he didn’t commit, to the endless manipulations they were put through to achieve their one true goal: freedom.

General Jonathan Krantz (Leon Russom) was the man who was in control until Michael undermined his entire infrastructure by snagging different parts of Scylla from his control.  The General’s only leverage on people was to have his operatives put everyone’s families and friends under the gun.  Literally.  In the end, his electrical reward was the perfect gift for all his deeds.

Christina Scofield (Kathleen Quinlan) was nasty.  The mother of Lincoln Burroughs and Michael Scofield, she was the nasty nail in everything.  She was a true “Company” operative that did what was necessary to get her job or goals done.  She even gave up her kids to affect her end game.  When all was said and done, her demise at the hands of Sara Tanchredi (Sarah Wayne Callies) was perfect.

pb robert k 1376rc Prison Break Series Finale: Review & Discussion

Theodore “T-Bag” Bagwell (Robert Knepper) was the tragic Shakespearean character in this show.  Evil by impulse, he had gotten a taste of legitimate work and loved it.  An honest job was one of the lures that the General used to manipulate him into doing his bidding.

Yet T-Bag had a keen analytical mind that was wasted on crime.  In the end, the General’s biddings seemed to push T-Bag back to his core mode of murdering and “other” things.  Knepper made T-Bag incredibly believable and I couldn’t decide to like, hate or feel sorry for him.  In the end, his compulsive nature to take the easier path of crime landed him back where this all began, in a prison with some poor fool hanging on to his pocket linen.

Alexander Mahone (William Fichtner) was a catalyst of action when he had sufficient inspiration.  I really enjoyed Fichtner’s portrayal of the character.  In fact I like most of what William Fichtner does.  He proves that men with receding hairlines can get the job done!  Though he was forced to become allies with Scofield, things were worked out in the end for him.

Donald Self (Michael Rapaport) was the fed who promised immunity and gave the escapees blank paper for their work.  Who then found himself manipulated back into the fold to be part of this ragtag team of non-criminals (mostly) committing criminal deeds.  In the end, he was getting what he deserved as he found himself in a hospital.

Rappaport made us believe that Self was there to help, until he turned on the brothers.  Then we didn’t know what to think about his loyalties until I decided that Self was loyal to no one but his own end game.  In the end when he was put in a corner so to speak, his written defiance to the feds showed his loyalties finally cemented in with the gang and I’m mixed on his ending.  In some ways he deserved it for all his manipulations.  Then again, who deserves that kind of vegetative state?

Honorable mention though she wasn’t in the finale:

pb jodi 1244rc Prison Break Series Finale: Review & Discussion

Jodi Lyn O’Keefe as Gretchen Morgan.  I can’t remember a time when a character was done so well.  O’Keefe played Gretchen so well that A:  I hated every scene she was in.  B:  Every scene she wasn’t in, I was hoping the scene was producing some end-game to Gretchen’s demise.  Yea, it was that bad.  A kudos to the actress for scarring me for life.

The Finale Of Twists

Everyone had either been kidnapped or had someone they knew kidnapped or was going to be kidnapped.  The other angle that kept coming at me was that every 30 minutes or so, someone else had a gun to Michael’s head.  And everyone was tricking everyone.  At least Michael had dissected that damn Scylla.

All the on-the-sly maneuverings that went on allowed some old faces and other government entities to show up and finally get the upper hand.

There were a few fresh faces of old in the mix.  Fernando Sucre (Amaury Nolasco) and Benjamin Miles “C-Note” Franklin (Rockmond Dunbar). Sucre and C-Note show up as C-Note has a way for everyone to get himself or herself out of this endless spiral of legal trouble they keep finding themselves in and they work their way toward finding Michael and Lincoln.

And suddenly there’s Paul Kellerman, (Paul Adelstein) offering a legal way out of this whole debacle, as it seems he’s backed by the United Nations.  Man, everyone was in on this.

In the end, Kellerman had the power to exonerate everyone.  Sucre keeps the pen he used to sign his freedom.  Everyone bids farewell.  Everyone’s loved ones are safe.

The End Let A Steam Out Of My Bag

As everyone is settling into normalcy, Michael’s nose starts to bleed again.  You’ve got to be kidding me.  Then we jump to four years later and Michael is dead.

pb sarah 1 0858rca Prison Break Series Finale: Review & Discussion

It’s four years later and we watch Sara and Michael Jr. gather together with Sucre, Mahone and Lincoln to pay a remembrance visit to Michael’s grave.  Lincoln leaves the ever-iconic origami crane on top of the tombstone.

My Quick Take

This finale had to pack a lot into two hours.

Quick nit:  Did you notice the Verizon commercial showing off their streaming video in the first hour?  They were showing scenes that weren’t going to happen for another 45 minutes?  Just brilliant.

I think the show took a ton of extra turns and twists and steps to get where they were in the finale.

It felt like the writers never had an end game, but they let the writing take them wherever it did.  That works for some, but then in the end, it feels like writers are scrambling to account for things they hadn’t fully explored or finalized.

Even though I enjoyed watching the finale, there were so many different twists and turns in it that it got old for me.  At one point, we were just waiting for the close. It felt like an over-hyped James Bond action flick.  Sometimes there’s so much action that it is no longer exciting to see yet one more explosion.  Whoopee.

Michael’s death almost seemed to suck the emotion out of me.  It distracted from the entire journey of these four years.  It disappointed me that after all that work and effort, his only real reward was his own death.  Does that mean he’s truly escaped and is free now?  I don’t know.

I was hanging out on Twitter before and during the show and Twitter was aflame with frustration and anger toward the ending.  It seemed anti-climatic after all was said and done.

pb dom 8x10flat Prison Break Series Finale: Review & Discussion

For me, the image I can’t get out of my head, when all is said and done, is Lincoln putting the origami crane on Michael’s tombstone.  For me, that sad and touching scene will probably be my memory of this whole series.

At least my emotions were invoked one last time and they managed to engage my imaginative depression one last time before closing credits.

I thought the first two years were fantastic.

After that, I know that Fox wanted to keep a ratings winner in their pocket, but the stretching of the feasibility started after the gang got manipulated into helping Self and then everyone else and their mother (literally) after that.  If I stick to the first two years, I say fantastic.  The third year, well, yea, OK, it was still good.  But then this last season I was on-board solely out of sheer loyalty.  Loyalty and the hope for a great end game kept me watching.  I could not abandon Michael.  I needed to see how he came out of all this.

How did you feel about the finale of Prison Break, the season as a whole or the entire 4-year run?  Let us know.

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  1. I finished the series in the matter of maybe a week or less pulling allnighters watching it and when I saw the final break I was so emotionally attached that I cried and now I’m very sad I think they need to make a fith season so Michael can come back and turn out to be alive then I would be happy again

  2. i absolutely loved this series, right up until the moment when michael lights up like a Christmas tree. after all the running and hiding, after all the work they put in to earn their freedom, michael doesnt even get to enjoy it. out of everyone, michael deserved happiness the most. its BS that the studio claims that michael couldnt live with everything that had ahappened. the company was the one for all the deaths and murders. the finale literally sickened me to my stomache:(((

    • i agree with u so much!after everything hes been through-he deserved to be free and happy. i cried my eyes out after i finished watching, i just cant believe they killed him. i sorta wish i stopped watching till before the “four years later” part.

  3. yeah session one supper move

  4. They should have ended it with all them at Brad Bellick’s grave. That’s what I thought they were doing until I saw Lincoln put the crane on the grave. It was a good ending but I just wish they all got to be happy and they still cared about Bellick.

  5. It’s 2013 & I’m just now finding out about PRISON BREAK. I watched all 4 seasons on Netflex within a week, because once I got started I couldn’t stop. I agree that the 1st 2 seasons were GREAT, and even the 3rd season was okay, but the 4th season was like “Come on now! Are these guys ever going to be free?” I loved all of the main Characters(especially Michael)I even started to like Bellick. I hate that Michael died at the end & I was so attached to his character, that I cried.

  6. I need closure ! I can’t get the image of Lincoln putting the crane on michaels grave out of my head !! Best show ever I just wish Michael would’ve survived :,(

  7. Is it true ?? Dr. Sara really likes the general n t-bag’s dick..coz every times he stops michel when michel going to kill them.. she said no michail no..i wants the blowjob with general n t-bag !!

  8. Series 4 is too irritating…!! :’(

    Don’t want to see Series 5…!!

  9. I just finishen Watching. I believe that the end was very fitting – although sad!
    Michaels sole goal, was to save the people he was attached to. Seeing vis purpose fulfilled, he found die peacefully. Its a bold and fitting ending – i so enjoy when writers carry out their vision, despite of what the majority of viewers would like to see. I will now go stare out the windows with a cup of coffee.

  10. “The mother of Lincoln Burroughs” , his name is spelled Burrows.

  11. OMG the ending was so emotional for me why did ?michael die:( i wish lincoln just died instead they shiuld make another couple of episodes but they wont as michael is gay in real life

  12. the stretch of feasibility happened much earlier than season 2…were we watching the same show??

    but yeah I still watched the whole thing, lol

  13. I Just finished all seasons with in this week. I think they call that “binge watching”. I never knew anyone watching it when it was on. I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was very unbelievable at times, however it still sucked me in wanting more. Maybe they could have had bellicks mother in the last scene representing Bellick?

  14. A little bit of happiness after all the killing and struggle wasn’t going to hurt, I personally think that if you are going thru so many feelings sadness, pain, desperation, satisfaction we can also use the happiness specially after at the end when we have used over and over the negative ones.

  15. I just finished prison break on Netflix day and night none stop since the first episode I got hooked like a cracked head on crack. I just finished the last episode and I had tears coming down my cheeks! Micheal deserves a happy ending!!! I can’t get the image of linc leaving the origami crane on his tombstone. I ask no I demand a season 5 please with having a happy ending

  16. I just finished watching all four season on netflix within two weeks. I loved it so much up until the ending when Michael dies. It left me in tears. I hated the end so much, people like to see a happy ending. It’s like leaving the theater sad as hell and that really sucks. Sarah was left as a single mother. Everyone got what they wanted. The ending shows that good guys get it bad in the end. The rebel brother ended up free in the end. I totally hated the ending. I feel like I watched it all only to be disappointed in the end. Makes me wish I never watched it to begin with. Fans are always rooting for happy endings because they want that feeling of idealism. I felt the same way in the last episode of dexter except much worse.

    • I completely agree! once i gathered myself and wiped the tears, I instantly thought of Dexters ending! A lumber jack? really? They both could have done better instead of leaving a sense that you’ve been cheated! The one good thing is i only had a couple weeks invested in prison break… I had just over 6 years invested in Dexter!

  17. Great series all the way thru. Ironically, I thought Season 1 was the weakest. Superb ending.

  18. I started watching the show three weeks ago and have just seen “The final break” tonight. I absolutely lloved the show bu I feel like my heart has just been ripped out. I cried buckets that, after all hhe had been through, Michael ends up dying. I just cannot accept that and seriously wish that I had never seen this show :(

  19. I have only seen seasons 1-3 …….and I agree (after checking out the spoilers ….I got a little fed up with someone getting shot(or beaten) then recovering in record time(like literally minutes ..see Mahone ) ..I could do better cosmetic touches
    also I lament all the collateral damage victims (girl at the phone booth by example) was all this really for that gorilla Lincoln ……lotsa damage …people ….cars being taken (that poor guys pale blue volkswagon ) ……and I didn’t like Lincoln from the get-go !!!

    • Just watched the prison breka until the end. Biggest problem is
      season 4 completely.

      - They say Scofield inherited the brain tumor from hes mother! Okay
      Scofield’s mom didnt die and that story about the cancer was
      probably made up story.

      - Didnt Aldo know hes wife was still alive, they did work for the Company
      after Christinas “death”. If so, Aldo would have told to brothers before
      hes death that “oh btw, your mam is still alive”. But he didn’t.

      -Sara’s arrest in the end was a huge plot hole because they
      all got pardon from UN/Kellerman group!

      Season 4 was totally useless and in my eyes it ruined the hole
      series. Season 1 was best entertainment tv has offered me in years, after
      that the quality of the show dropped big time.

  20. Call it an obsession, but as a new fan of PB it took me a week, day and night to complete the series…there goes my vacation.
    Brilliant series but with several plot holes, a major one is Sara’s incarceration. If Kellerman has the power to exonerate the group for their past crimes, I think he could have done it again. Afterall Sara killed the most hated and wanted women in the world, and if she hadn’t done, then Shilla would have been lost again.

    • Just finished prison break, what a show! Best thing I’ve ever done with my life is spend my summer watching the first 3 series! Took me a little longer to watch 4 but near the end I was glued to it once again just like the first two series!

      I thought the ending was very good! But one thing your all missing out on in when Lincoln Mahone and Sara are driving in the car and Mahone sys to sarah Micheal told me to give you this if he didn’t make it out alove – he said it might make it a bit easier.. This was Micheal blood reports and from sarah and Lincolns reaction I thought that Micheal was going to die anyway??
      Any I’m starting the series over I loved it so much!

  21. I had never so much as hears of Prison Break, but my son urged me to watch it on Sky Entertainment. OMG! Talk about hooked from Series 1, Ep 1! I couldn’t get enough! Loved it, loved it, loved it. And yes, I sobbed when realising Michael had died!
    I’m going to watch it all over again. The best thing I’ve seen on TV – ever! (And that’s coming from a 50 year old mother, in England).

  22. I finished watching the finale and just cannot get over the fact that Michael died. Wentworth Miller did such an incredible job in this show. I absolutely loved this series and Michael and Sara were my favorite characters. Loved Micheal’s intelligent and determination to help those he loved and cared about. Which makes the ending so much harder. He deserved to live and be a father to his son. Although i get the symbolism of his death; i still don’t care for it.

    I think Sara being charged with Christina’s death was full of s***. They were all exonerated for all that happened prior to them signing those papers. It just made no sense to me.

    There are many moments at the end that I found so emotional and cannot shake. 1) Michael telling Sara that a piece of him is going with her and touches her belly and 2) Seeing Sara and MJ by the grave and Linc putting the origami on top of the grave. I would love a season 5. Since Micheal’s body was never found, it is possible.

  23. I finished watching the finale and just cannot get over the fact that Michael died. Wentworth Miller did such an incredible job in this show. I absolutely loved this series and Michael and Sara were my favorite characters. Loved Micheal’s intelligents and determination to help those he loved and cared about. Which makes the ending so much harder. He deserved to live and be a father to his son. Although i get the symbolism of his death; i still don’t care for it.

    I think Sara being charged with Christina’s death was full of s***. They were all exonerated for all that happened prior to them signing those papers. It just made no sense to me.

    There are many moments at the end that I found so emotional and cannot shake. 1) Michael telling Sara that a piece of him is going with her and touches her belly and 2) Seeing Sara and MJ by the grave and Linc putting the origami on top of the grave. I would love a season 5. Since Micheal’s body was never found, it is possible.

  24. Oh mann !!! What a Series … I took me 3 months to complete all 4 seasons. Why everyone want a happy ending ?? This was an Perfect ending where the director played with our emotions..Hats off to him to manage the story to 4 season ..still Season 3( SONA) was nt upto mark ..As I came to know that MS is dead :( :’( My eyes was flooded with water I hope this would be the same for all others .. But they must have shown his body that would be even better …

  25. Just finished watching all 4 series and WTF just happened? What a mess! Swansong after it ended? Eh? Talk of series 5? Leave it FFS! They should have wrapped it up in series 3 or got some better script writers. I enjoyed it immensely, especially Fox River and Sona. T-Bag was the best character by a longshot and played brilliantly by…whoever played him. Bellick would never have sacrificed himself like that being the coward he was, but his character wasnt going anywhere at that point, just crying like a baby. Couldn’t understand why Lincoln was called Burrows, but Michael Schofield, yet they didn’t know they weren’t brothers. Anyway, this post is about as mish..mash as the final series, so I’ll stop.

  26. Heres a little tip, right before the cops show up at the wedding turn off the tv show, that’s a happy ending

  27. I just finished the series on Netflex. It was awesome but to tell the truth, the ending was crappy. Michael should of lived and given some happness for all he did. I was expecting it to be a hoax to give the dumb authorities what they wanted (his death). I was sure hoping Michael would of showed up later. But who am I, just a person who thinks the police and higer ups need to be put in there place because there are some who are durty too.

  28. it’s the best serious ever…..OMG after those years i keep re-watching this serious its amazing even though the ending was sad :(

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