One episode was provided prior to review.
Prison Break is the latest on a long list of shows to be resurrected years after being cancelled or coming to their natural conclusion, but if you were among those who didn’t think there was still some story left to be told in this world, the premiere of the revival sets out to prove you wrong. Picking up eight years after the feature length finale, the show wastes no time in introducing its new premise, as Lincoln Burrows (Dominic Purcell) finds himself on the receiving end of a visit from the newly freed T-Bag (Robert Knepper), who somehow has a photo of a seemingly very alive Michael Scofield (Wentworth Miller) in his possession. From there, conspiracies, mysterious assassins, and a lot of familiar faces come into play ahead of an unexpected twist that’s sure to hook fans once again.
If you’ve watched The Flash or Legends of Tomorrow, seeing Purcell and Miller side by side once again really isn’t all that special, and that sadly takes something away from this new season of Prison Break. There’s also not a huge amount of story here, at least not yet, and while a lot of new elements are put in front of us, none of them are given that much time to breathe in an episode which should have ideally been a two-parter over consecutive nights, similar to the underwhelming debut of 24: Legacy.
Prison Break is thankfully lightyears ahead of that series though and its success largely boils down to the decision to bring back the original cast almost in its entirety. It’s interesting to see what these characters have been up to in the years which have passed since we last saw them, though that too is only touched on ever so briefly. We’re hopeful that we get to learn more about their post-prison lives as the season progresses, though. It feels like there’s a lot of material there which could be used in a great way, rather than just factoring in as a throwaway line about Lincoln returning to his old ways or Sucre’s years at sea, for example. Despite that, it’s still a treat catching up with this lot again and fans will surely get a kick out of it.
It’s clear from the start that this season is intended for longtime viewers, so if you’re a newcomer, it may be hard to follow along with what exactly’s going on. Despite that, the Prison Break revival should still make for exciting television, as it’s packed full of great action and enough fun twists and turns to intrigue even those who aren’t totally caught up. Plus, the performances are strong all around, making it easy to get invested in the characters again.
While the opening episode of season 5 doesn’t exactly leave the viewer with a huge amount to chew on, there’s enough there to ensure that you’ll once again be interested in this world, as we get set for what will hopefully be another thrilling outing. That said, Prison Break‘s greatest challenge will be maintaining that sense momentum and delivering a story throughout the season which doesn’t feel forced.
When it aired, many found fault with the endless prison breaks and, to be fair, they had a point. It’s always felt like a show which only needed one season, but something which helped to still make those subsequent years so enjoyable were the characters and the intriguing mystery they were wrapped in, which is something this premiere definitely presents us with. By the time all is said and done, you’re left with a long list of unanswered questions, but rather than frustrating, they’re the sort to make you want to come back for more. Prison Break‘s revival may not be perfect, but it’s definitely good to have the show back again and things are most certainly off to a promising start.
A strong start to Prison Break's long overdue revival, if the show stays this enjoyable, fans are in for a real treat.