In anticipation of the coming special 9 episode event in early 2017, I thought I would binge watch the first four seasons of the excellent action/thriller Prison Break. I had missed the show when it was broadcast (Fox 2005-2009), but seeing it’s stars Dominic Purcell and Wentworth Miller working together in DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, I thought I’d give the show a chance. Boy, am I glad I did.
Miller plays the role of Michael Scofield, a genius structural engineer whose brother Lincoln Burrows (Purcell) has been wrongfully convicted of murdering the vice president’s brother and has been sentenced to death. Scofield decides he’s breaking his brother out of infamous Fox River Prison and uses his unique skills and a tattoo artist to devise a stunning escape plan. He actually hides the prison’s blueprint inside a detailed full upper body tattoo.
You never get comfortable in the world of Prison Break. There is always danger, a new threat, an unforeseen problem that Michael, Lincoln and their fellow cohorts have to deal with. That makes the show move at a crisp pace for four seasons. There’s bigger and bigger escapes with each season and a detailed cloak-and-dagger plot behind Burrows’ false imprisonment that drives the series forward. Think of this as The Fugitive for the 21st century.
The acting is superb with a number of very well-written characters that you’ll come to both love and hate. Robert Knepper steals the show as Theodore “T-Bag” Bagwell, a magnificently layered villain. He’s despicably slimy one moment, but then has the ability to actually make you care for this murderer and rapist, who is often working against Scofield and Burrows.
Prison Break is currently on Netflix. This is how exciting, gripping TV should be.