TV review: Prison Break Season 5, FOX
Wentworth Miller and Dominic Purcell are back as series finds form again after an eight year hiatus
Season 1 of Prison Break was brilliant. Meticulously constructed trashy fun, it played like a slick long form action movie. The problem was it had a set goal, a defined end point. Once they were out of the prison what next? The second series was watchable but the third and fourth were garbage. However the eight year gap, before a brand new fifth season, has been kind to the shows reputation. Most people still remember the initial thrilling escape and have wiped the gang's adventures on the run and in Panama from their minds.
But there's one minor detail that needs sorted if you want Prison Break back on track. And that's the difficult problem that arises when you kill off your lead. Michael Scofield (Wentworth Miller) died of a brain tumour in the final episode. However, on his release from Fox River Penitentiary enigmatic scumbag T-Bag (Robert Knepper) receives information that Michael might still be alive. Setting off an intricate high stakes treasure hunt as Lincoln (Dominic Purcell) attempts to track down his brother.
Prison Break was all about the details. A puzzle where each interlocking piece opened up the story. Season 5 seems to have embraced this winning formula, even if it does rely on a few tired stereotypes when the action moves to the Middle East. The how and why Michael faked his own death being the biggest mystery but there are several intriguing questions branching off from the main plot (though we refuse to spoil anything here).
Miller and Purcell are still likeable leads, bristling with strangely fascinating taciturn charisma. Throw in the old crew (Sarah Wayne Callies, Amaury Nolasco and Rockmond Dunbar are also back), an international conspiracy, a few punch ups and a dash of action and you have a solid opening episode. The plot feels a bit contrived to bring all the characters back into play but that it so closely echoes the first season works in its favour.
Prison Break, Season 5, Mon 10 Apr, 9pm, FOX (UK)