TV’s original Breakout Kings are back for yet another Fox revival, and we’re hoping the Prison Break reboot is better in quality than previous efforts recently dusted off and shelled out by the network (we’re looking at you, 24: Live Another Day and The X-Files). Unfortunately, after watching the season five premiere, “Ogygia,” we’re not overly optimistic.
Not only did “Ogygia” raise more questions than it answered (fitting for a premiere, no doubt), but it refused to address any of the dozen or so elephants dancing around the room. There are so many glaring issues, questions, or omissions that still remain opaque and shrouded in mystery. This wouldn’t be concerning, but, in true Prison Break form, time is a factor. The show has only eight more episodes to answer a whole lot of questions — questions fans of the show deserve answers to if they’re expected to sit through a reboot that seemingly ignores much of what was previously established. With this in mind, here are 15 Questions Prison Break: Sequel Must Answer.
15 Is Michael really Michael?
Season five’s debut episode raised an intriguing question that’s sure to be a central mystery this season: is Michael Scofield really Michael Scofield? Or is he someone else entirely? The very first shots of “Ogygia” feature the man we know as Michael (Wentworth Miller), who sits behind bars and notes in a clear-as-mud monologue: “Not all deaths are the same. Some are real. Some are a story.” Sure. But it’s paramount that writer/creator Paul Scheuring lets the audience know the answer to this question relatively early on, so we know who to root for. We know that this season is inspired by The Odyssey, but that's about it.
When Lincoln (Dominic Purcell) is approached by T-Bag (Robert Knepper) with a photo of the presumed dead Michael, everyone involved is skeptical. “Consider the source,” a disbelieving Sara (Sarah Wayne Calles) tells Linc. Later, Linc searches for his brother on the Internet and sees the face of another man in place of Michael. Later, when Lincoln and C-Note travel to Yemen to locate the incarcerated Michael, they're told no one by the name of Michael Scofield is there. C-Note then shows the prison guard the photo of Michael, and the guard says the man in the picture is named Kaniel Outis, and is a “big-time terrorist.” The episode ends with Michael/Outis coming out to face Linc. He tells his older brother that his name isn’t Michael, before walking away with a quick look of pained regret on his face. What gives?
14 14.What’s up with Alex Mahone?
William Fichtner’s tortured, dogged, perpetually beleaguered former FBI agent Alex Mahone is not in the revival, and that’s fine — but we need to know what he’s up to, and we need to know ASAP. Mahone’s absence is a glaring omission in the reboot. He was one of the series’ most dynamic characters, and he’s completely AWOL, whereas every other major player from the previous four seasons is present or accounted for.
Largely due to Fichtner’s intense and layered performance, Mahone became a fan favorite despite the fact that he hunted the show’s heroes for the entire second season, killing innocents on the way (RIP, Tweener and Haywire). His character only became more endearing when he sacrificed everything to help the brothers Scofield in the final two seasons. His efforts were huge when it came to bringing down The Company, and when we learned in the series' final moments that he may have found love and happiness with his former partner Felicia Lang, we couldn’t help but get the fuzzies. We don’t need some huge moment, or a major dramatic reveal, but we do think a beloved character like Mahone warrants a mention. We want to know he has found peace!
13 Linc’s Criminal Links
Last time we saw Lincoln Burrows, he was settled in the Dominican Republic with a beautiful woman (Sofia) who loved him. He had lost Michael, but seemed to find solace working in his surf shop with Sofia, and he also seemed to relish a renewed relationship with his son, LJ. When the reboot kicks off, however, we see that he has become nothing more than a dimestore recidivist, still literally running away from unsavory characters — and from problems of his own making.
Put simply, Lincoln needs to grow as a character, and tying up the loose ends surrounding his criminal connections seems necessary for the character to evolve. When Linc visits Michael’s grave in “Ogygia,” he tells his brother’s tombstone that he needed Michael to find the good in himself, which feels incongruous when considering what we already know about him. Why would he revert back to a life of petty crime after all he went through during the series’ original run — especially when he had ultimately found love with Sofia and the acceptance of his son? As it stands, Linc’s criminal links don’t make much sense, and the show would be better served if it severed them.
12 Whatever happened with Sucre and Maricruz?
Michael and Sara aren’t the show’s only romance. In every one of the first four seasons, Maricruz was Fernando Sucre’s reason for being. She was the reason why he broke out of prison initially with Michael and Co., and he spent much of the rest of the series pining for a reunion with her. Later in the series, when he learned he was going to be a father, his world narrowed, and he seemed to have just one goal: to be with Maricruz and their little girl, Lila.
So in the reboot, when he shows up out of nowhere to help Linc find Michael with no mention of Maricruz or Lila whatsoever, we’re left feeling more than a little baffled. In an over-written attempt at humor, Sucre tells Linc he has been working on a tramp (“What are you, a pimp?” Lincoln asks). Turns out, a tramp is a freelance cargo ship that travels all over the world, so we know Sucre and Maricruz presumably aren’t together anymore — but after all those characters went through in the series’ first go-round, we need to know why.
11 Is Sara’s new husband good or evil?
Somewhat surprisingly, Sara remarried a seemingly milquetoast man (Jacob, played by Royal Pains' Mark Feuerstein) in the years since Michael was presumed dead. We don’t see that much of Jacob in the first episode of the new season, but what we DO see of him reeks of suspicion. When Lincoln comes to Sara and Jacob’s suburban home in Ithica, New York to tell her about Michael possibly being alive, Jacob doesn’t seem put off at all — instead, he gets all jolly and grabs Linc a beer.
Later, when attempts are made on both Linc and Sara’s lives, he seems dubiously ineffective when Sara tells him, to his surprise, to grab the gun she has hidden behind the artwork in the living room. He ends up getting shot in the leg by a female assassin who, upon hearing nearing police sirens and heading for the exit, walks right by him, letting him live. If people are suddenly after Linc and Sara, it stands to reason that maybe they’ve been under observation for some time. If Feuerstein’s Jacob is a baddie in disguise, we'll need to know at some point.
10 Kellerman’s Intentions
Paul Adelstein’s assassin-turned-politician, Paul Kellerman, was one of the original series’ biggest turnarounds. When the series began, he was terrifying and lethal, murdering Lincoln’s ex-wife (and the mother of his son, LJ) and attempting to kill anyone and everyone who lent Michael a hand, including his own hit-man partner. As the series progressed, we learned that Kellerman was just a cog in a much bigger machine — and he learned that the hard way, too, when the company (technically The Company) he was working for turned against him, trying to have him killed.
Kellerman responded by helping Michael and Lincoln bring down The Company after trying to kill the half-brothers for all those years. He then turned to politics, and with Adelstein slated to appear in the reboot, we want to know what he has been up to and whose side he’s ultimately on. Call us crazy, but politicians have a history of being corrupted, and we want to know what Kellerman’s true motivations and intentions are before the reboot wraps.
9 What’s going on with C-Note and his family?
Perhaps the reboot has that slow burn thing going on, where there are several major reveals about each character we just haven’t seen or learned yet. Perhaps everything will be explained in time. But as it stands, Benjamin “C-Note” Franklin (Rockmund Dunbar) is yet another character the reboot has set back a bit. Last we saw him, C-Note was a happy and content man. After all the prison breaking and dangerous situations he survived, he was given a new home and a new start with his wife and daughter. So how did he go from being a married and content UPS worker who relished the sun on his face to a man willing to risk everything for a dude he used to call Snowflake?
It’s an important question, largely because C-Note was the series’ voice of reason. The audience identified with his everyman persona, and it was obvious from the get-go how much he loved his wife and little girl. His transformation into Muslim activist is interesting, but we find it suspicious that there was no mention of his family at all. If the reboot wants to stay true to its best characters, it has to explain why C-Note’s family would be cool with him unexpectedly going to Yemen, because as it stands, that makes zero sense.
8 Everything/anything involving The Company
If it comes to pass that The Company, the big bad from the first four seasons of the show, is involved in Michael's current back-from-the-dead plot in any way, it’ll be a major fist-palmy moment, to be sure, but it should also be The Company’s last moment in this series. The show needs fresh villains and antagonists, and Prison Break has a storied history of not knowing when to quit, so we’re hoping The Company isn’t a major force this season.
That said, higher-ups in The Company included Michael’s biological mother — who Sara ended up killing. Considering that we never fully understood his mom’s motivation for nearly shooting him and framing his half-brother for murder, it might not be bad for the show to confirm that The Company no longer exists, and that they are an organization of yesteryear. Not everyone or everything on the show should come back from the dead, after all.
7 T-Bag’s Benefactor(s)
Robert Knepper’s slimy, hammy, rapey Theodore “T-Bag” Bagwell is also back, and it seems as though he’s a central part of the Scofield mystery this season. As season five opens, T-Bag is being released from prison, which, to viewers of the original series, makes no sense, especially considering he escaped and murdered even after the series ended its four-year run (see: the third episode of Breakout Kings’ first season). Also making little sense is a large envelope he is handed upon his release. The envelope contains an image of the presumed dead Michael Scofield in a Yemini prison.
It’s an odd string of events, and it needs clarification. Why would anyone want to knowingly loose a sociopath on the general public, and then later pay for a robotic prosthetic hand to replace the one that was so memorably hacked off near the end of the first season? That’s right — someone mysteriously paid a cutting edge surgeon to give T-Bag a new robot paw. When the surgeon tells T-Bag that his benefactor is someone named Kaniel Outis (which is the same name Michael is currently going by in prison), this storyline became one that needed to be explained and wrapped by season’s end.
6 How Michael got into a prison in Yemen
When Michael ended up in Sona, it made more sense. He had broken about a billion laws in and around Central America, so winding up in a Panamanian prison didn’t seem like much of a stretch. But how and why did he end up in Ogygia, and why are people calling him a major terrorist named Kaniel Outis? Another good question: does any of this have to do with why he may have faked his death?
C-Note reminds Linc that Michael rarely — if ever — got played. Michael is usually the one pulling all the strings. So it’s entirely possible (likely, even) that Mr. Scofield got himself into the situation he’s in on purpose. Buy why? Is he protecting someone, and if so, who is he protecting, and from whom? These are all pivotal plot points that need to be connected and explained. Deliberate vagueness doesn’t fit too well in shows such as this.
5 Why now?
Whether it was Michael who faked his death and hatched this whole plot himself, or whether it was some other unknown big bad, it’s important to know why they chose to reveal the news of Michael’s possible reemergence now. This would help create a sense of urgency, because right now, there just isn’t one. It would also help establish why this turn of events got into motion.
The ‘now’ matters so much here because Prison Break has always been a show in which time and/or the lack of it is a driving force. When the show was at its best, the time crunch aspect propelled the characters, the plot, and 100% of the show’s action. The reboot simply doesn’t have that time-is-running-out urgency it once did, and showing us at least some of the circumstances brewing that explain why this is all happening right now (as opposed to, say, two years ago, or in the distant future) would be helpful to both viewers and show alike.
4 Michael's health issues
So, what’s the skinny on Michael’s health? Is he sick? Was he sick but now he’s not? Because at one point, he had a tumor removed from his brain, and he was plagued by nosebleeds for pretty much the entirety of season four. Then, he was terminally ill, but then he wasn’t, then he was again. When we were told he was dead, we believed it, because his beautiful corpse was periwinkle and lifeless, and because of all this other foreshadowing.
Before the sequel wraps, we need to know what’s going on with Michael health-wise, and it needs to be resolved. Either he’s sick, or he’s not. At first glance, he seems fine physically, with no noticeable differences other than a few gray hairs. But he will eventually need to explain to Sara, Lincoln — and the audience — what happened to him, and whether or not it was health-related. His physical condition can no longer be a dangling thread the show hangs over us.
3 Michael and Sarah’s romance/relationship
They were the couple of the series, and they survived just enough ridiculousness to still be ship-worthy. But things have changed drastically for them both. Michael has some sort of amnesia, or he’s a total liar, and Sara is now remarried, which puts her in a pickle, because she isn’t exactly divorced from her first hubby. We know she and Michael will end up feeling propelled towards one another, but this isn’t just about them anymore — they have a son, who Michael likely abandoned by choice, which complicates things.
The reboot addresses these conflicts immediately. If Michael really is alive, Sara asks Linc, “Why did he abandon his own son?” Lincoln has no answer for her, but hopefully, the series will explain it all, because this is a core relationship on the show, and we need to know where it stands. These two don’t even need a happy ending, although they probably deserve one. But they do, however, need to have some sort of closure, and either be together or … not.
2 How Michael faked his death
This is likely to be revealed over the course of season five’s nine episodes, but it had better be revealed in its entirety. The ways in which Michael plotted to spring his brother in the first season were what made the show great. From his full-body tattoos to his research into all the players involved, the depth of Michael’s plan revealed a great deal about his character.
Scofield’s schemes tend to showcase his brilliance, and this one, if it is a scheme, should be no different. At the very least, we should learn the trajectory he took that brought him to Ogygia: how this all started, how he pulled it off, and who helped him along the way. Plausibility has never been an issue on Prison Break (remember when Sara got Seven-ed when her head showed up in a box but then she was alive and well when the next season rolled around?). We don’t need the scheme to be believable – but we do need to know the details regarding how it was done.
1 WHY he did it
In this case, the ‘how’ isn’t near as important as the ‘why.’ Why would Michael make such a devastating decision? What situation or danger did he face that put such ideas in his head? Who or what would make him put literally everyone he loves through that kind of pain? This revelation is crucial, because it explains Michael’s motivations, and those really matter here. The show has built a core following — one that’s sure to be watching the reboot — and that following needs this answer most of all, because it would explain (potentially, we hope) why death was his only option when a smart fellow like Scofield should be able to think his way out of any situation.
If someone is holding Michael hostage, that changes things. If he did this all himself, that changes our perspective even more. Did he do it because he has a new brain tumor or memory loss or something health-related? We need to know what the stakes are, and getting to the core of Michael’s motives needs to happen. The season five premiere left viewers with a lot of questions, which is good. But you know what's just as good (if not better) than questions? Getting. Answers.
Which plotlines do you think Prison Break: Sequel needs to wrap up before it ends? Are you excited for the revival? Let us know in the comments.