Review: Prison Break

By Lucas Shim

The Mirror

“I began by starting in the boy scouts, I got interested in serving then.”


Breaking Out

March 21,, 2017

ENTERTAINMENT: “Prison Break,” a smart heist-drama, offers incredible acting and storytelling as it enters its fifth season

The long-awaited new season of “Prison Break” will return on Fox Channel on April 4.

While many are left in anticipation for the upcoming TV shows that will arrive on Netflix—like “Iron Fist” and “A Series Of Unfortunate Events”—others are awaiting for Fox to air the fifth season of the award-winning heist-drama, “Prison Break,” created and written by Paul Scheuring.

The first episode of “Prison Break” aired on August 29, 2005 and lasted a total of four seasons, ending on May 15, 2009.

The first season starts off with a desperate structural engineer named Michael Scofield, played by Wentworth Miller, who attempts to break his wrongly convicted brother, Lincoln Burrows, played by Dominic Purcell, out of Fox River Penitentiary Prison before his execution date.

Before Scofield intentionally gets himself caught for bank robbery to be placed in the same prison, he sums up an escape plan by engraving tattoos on himself, which are secretly the blueprints of the prison’s architecture.

As other prisoners find out and jeopardize his plan, he has no choice but to bring them into the fold.

Breaking in is the easy part, but what matters is how he will be able to break out.

Meanwhile, Burrow’s ex-girlfriend and lawyer, Veronica Donovan, played by Robin Tunney, goes deep to investigate a secret organization called the Company, which is responsible for framing Burrows. As she is pursued by the Company’s agents—Paul Kellerman, played by Paul Adelstein and Daniel Hale, played by Danny McCarthy—she risks her life to prove his innocence.

“Prison Break” manages to grab audiences’ attention because each season carries puzzles and enigmas along with a load of intense moments, like when Scofield almost got caught when he needs to sneak into the sewers.

The show is comparable with hit movies, such as “The Italian Job,” where a team plans a heist for gold from one of their betraying allies, and “Ocean’s Eleven,” where three men simultaneously steal money from three casinos.

The cast of “Prison Break” also consists of phenomenal actors and actresses. Robert Knepper, who portrays prisoner Theodore Bagwell, gives an excellent performance as a psychopathic murderer and rapist who seeks revenge on his ex-girlfriend, who ratted him out to the police. His chemistry with Scofield is intense, since both characters are always at each other’s throats because of their differing views and moral values.

Amaury Nolasco, who portrays Michael’s cellmate, Fernando Sucre, entertains with his innocent personality and makes audiences laugh with his tendency to make jokes. His bond with Scofield gives the sense of a brotherly relationship.

The show also has a romantic storyline, specifically between Scofield and Dr. Sara Tancredi, played by actress Sarah Wayne Callies. Scofield tries to ask her questions about the prison that help him to break Burrows out, leading Tancredi to wonder what Scofield’s true agenda is. As they begin to fall for each other, her actions are influenced by their relationship.

One problem with the show is how Scofield repetitively seems to run into new problems at the end of each episode in each of the previous four seasons. After solving the episode’s current problem, another one forms at the end merely to be the central point of the next episode. It begins to feel predictable whenever Scofield fails once again.

Another issue is how the show sometimes leaves glaring plot holes and unanswered questions, such as “How is he alive? or “How did he manage to hide from the guards?” It gives audiences the idea that really anything—whether normal or absurd—is possible in “Prison Break.”

As the show progresses through the first four seasons, it transitions from a realistic storyline to a complete spy thriller, which makes the show’s title irrelevant, although the show has still managed to keep its original roots.

“Prison Break” may have its unforgettable flaws, but they are ameliorated by the talented acting, the compelling and dramatic storytelling, and the fascinating puzzles from writer Scheuring.

Miller, Purcell and Callies will all return along with writer Scheuring for another season of “Prison Break” on Fox starting April 4.



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