by Billie Doux
And we're off!
It is seven years after the series finale. Linc is living in Chicago and is in trouble again; Sara has remarried (no, no no!); little Mike is seven years old and has uncomfortable questions about his god-like hero of a dead father; and C-Note has gone spiritual, converted to Islam, and has conveniently learned to speak Arabic.
The action began with T-Bag receiving a mysterious envelope and uncharacteristically doing Linc a favor and bringing it to him. The envelope contained a photograph of Michael in a prison, and a very-Michael-like coded message that turned out to be "Ogygia." This led Linc to a prison in Yemen where he indeed found Michael alive and behind bars. Michael refused to recognize Linc and insisted his name was "Kaniel Outis," but it was obvious from Michael's face afterward that he wasn't actually suffering from amnesia — he refused to acknowledge Linc in public for reasons that only Michael knows.
So clearly, it is again Linc's turn to break Michael out of prison. And I guess I'm on board. The fact that the cast is running from assassins already made this episode feel a bit like 24, but it was a pleasure to spend time with the Prison Break cast again.
Of course, T-Bag got the most bizarre plot line. Finally released from Fox River (although shouldn't he have gotten a life sentence for the things he's done?), T-Bag was contacted by a strange doctor with an offer T-Bag couldn't refuse. Seriously, a bionic hand? This particular plot twist made my heart sink because it felt like they were going in way too unrealistic a direction. I completely understand why they didn't want to do Prison Break without Robert Knepper, but if they were going for anything true to the characters, Linc would never have anything to do with T-Bag again, for any reason.
Not that the rest of it was all that realistic. I didn't understand why the blonde assassin who broke into Sara's house shot her husband Jacob, but didn't kill him. I thought the child actor playing Michael's son had a lot of trouble selling his lines; maybe they shouldn't have dumped a bunch of serious ones on him in the first episode.
And of course, there are lots of unanswered questions. Why is Michael alive in the first place, and how did it happen? How did the letter with the photograph and the code get to T-Bag? Who is behind the assassins? (I hope it isn't the Company. I hated the Company.) What's with the stupid bionic hand? And what on earth are they going to do plot-wise with Sara's husband Jacob? (I bet he turns out to be a bad guy.)
For me, the best scene in the episode was Linc digging up Michael's grave, finding Michael's empty suit, and clutching it to his chest, because it showed how much Linc loved his brother; the relationship between the brothers was one of the best things about the original series. I also liked that Linc got the suit cleaned and took it with him to Yemen. I expect to see Michael in that suit at some point.
When the Prison Break revival was announced last year, I went on a viewing binge and wrote season reviews of the original series. If I had given the seasons letter grades, the exemplary first season would have gotten an A, season two a B plus, season three a sad C, and season four a disappointing D minus. The straight-to-video series finale would have gotten a resounding F, a failing grade.
So what am I expecting for this nine-episode revival? Honestly, I'm not sure. But Prison Break as a whole desperately needed a better ending, and they'd better give us one. If there isn't a happily ever after for Michael and Sara, I will be... displeased.
-- The "previously on" could have continued for an hour, but didn't; it was relatively short. Congratulations for your restraint, guys.
-- Early on, there was a shot of a sewer full of origami paper thingies. I'm assuming that was intended to be symbolic, but it was sort of confusing.
-- Not much about Sucre yet, since he got left behind on the trip to Yemen.
-- Sheba? Is anyone actually named Sheba? It's a beautiful name, but it makes me think of cat food.
-- Linc traded his passport for a visit to see Michael in prison.
-- Michael has eyes tattooed on the center of his hands. No, not creepy at all.
I'm going to hold off on a rating and perhaps give the revival a letter grade when it's over. What did you guys think?
Billie Doux loves good television, especially science fiction, and spends way too much time writing about it.