'Prison Break': 10 Questions About the Fox Thriller's Return

8:00 AM 7/19/2016

by Josh Wigler

Michael Scofield lives! But how? That's one of 10 major questions surrounding the upcoming relaunch.

Courtesy Everett Collection

Michael Scofield and Lincoln Burrows never escaped. Not really. 

The brothers at the heart of Prison Break died and retired, respectively, following the show's final bow in 2009, but their spirit lived on in the form of Wentworth Miller and Dominic Purcell playing two hot-and-cold rogues on The CW superhero shows The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow. What's more, both Peter Stormare and Robert Knepper — the character actors behind Prison Break baddies John Abruzzi and Theodore "T-Bag" Bagwell — boasted roles on Arrow. Four of the Fox River Eight existed together in another universe, with plenty of room for the rest. 

Living lives of crime in a world filled with superheroes was just about as close to an alternate universe happy ending as possible, until Fox reopened the cell doors on Prison Break for one more breakout. After seven years in solitary, Scofield, Burrows and the gang are returning to general population with the upcoming nine-episode Prison Break miniseries. When the show arrives, here are 10 of the most important questions it needs to answer.

  • 10. Do We Need This?

    Michael died. Lincoln lived. Sara escaped prison and lived a normal life with her son, albeit without the boy's father. Each and every character received closure, or close enough to it. Why do we need to return to the Prison Break well, then? In truth, "need" has nothing to do with it. When it comes to Prison Break, it's always been about "want," with Scofield and the others breaking in and out and in and out of impenetrable fortresses in increasingly entertaining (if unlikely) ways throughout the series. If creator Paul Scheuring and the rest of the team want to tell further stories in this universe, then fans will happily let it happen. On the studio side, producer 20th Century Fox Television continues to find new value in library titles after reviving The X-Files and 24.

  • 9. How Is Michael Still Alive?

    The brains behind the breakouts fried to death during Prison Break: The Final Break, the television movie that aired after the fourth season — or so it seemed. The sequel series sees Michael imprisoned in Morocco, though the specifics of his incarceration, not to mention his continued survival, are currently unknown. Consider this the biggest question mark on the board.

  • 8. Can Lincoln Pull This Off?

    With Michael behind bars, it's up to his brutish, brooding brother to help break him out. With respect to Lincoln, Michael was always the sharper knife in the drawer. Does Lincoln have what it takes to help Michael escape? Look no further than season three's Sona storyline for further intel on just how much Lincoln needs Michael's help when executing these heists.

  • 7. How Much Sara Are We Getting?

    Sarah Wayne Callies returns as Dr. Sara Tancredi, who knows a thing or two about returning from the dead. (See: season three's Se7en-esque head-in-a-box twist, which was reversed in season four.) As Michael's wife and mother of his child, there's no doubt that Sara is one of the most important figures in the show's lore ... but how much of her will we see, given Callies' commitment to USA Network drama Colony

  • 6. How Are Michael's Son's Origami Skills?

    Does he win over his classmates with paper swans? Does he impress his friends with elaborate block constructions? Has he ever intentionally earned detention, specifically to break a loved one out of the school equivalent of prison for the rest of the day? Basically, how much Michael Scofield exists in his son? Will he be a capable young man like his father, or will he fall into the TV trope of helpless and hapless youth in desperate need of rescue?

  • 5. What's in the Bag?

    T-Bag returns in the Prison Break sequel, but not for the first time since the series ended. Robert Knepper's snarling psycho was front and center in an episode of Breakout Kings, the short-lived series from the makers of Prison Break. Through all his appearances, T-Bag has shifted between dark-hearted killer to reformed bad boy and back again, without every fully losing his sinister streak. But which version of T-Bag will we get in the revival? Is T-Bag on the level with Scofield and Burrows, or does he have something else up his sleeve … other than, you know, a prosthetic hand?

  • 4. Who is the President?

    In his final scene of the series, Paul Adelstein's morally flexible Company man Paul Kellerman was seen in a surprising new light: as a popular congressman running for president. He would hardly be the most crooked president in Prison Break history, believe it or not, what with President Reynolds at the heart of the big Company conspiracy. Adelstein is set for a reprise in the relaunch, so don't be at all shocked if he comes back draped in red, white and blue.

  • 3. Who Else Is in on the Breakout?

    Amaury Nolasco's Sucre is set for a Prison Break return, even if he's not seen in the initial trailer. Likewise, Rockmond Dunbar is back in action as C-Note. But who else is in on the rescue? Will we see Alex Mahone, William Fichtner's crooked federal agent who eventually learned how to play nice with Scofield and Burrows? How about Lincoln's son, LJ, who slowly phased out of the show in the final season? And what's the scoop on Gretchen, Jodi Lyn O'Keefe's killer agent last seen behind bars? The Prison Break universe is vast, and with any luck, some unannounced figures from the past will wind up in the show's future.

  • 2. Who's Going to Die?

    During the show's original run, the only people more ruthless than the inmates of Fox River and the assassins working for the Company were the writers pulling the strings. Characters were regularly killed off with little fanfare, from Veronica Donovan's shocking season two execution through Brad Bellick's sacrifice in season four, and more. That's not even mentioning the high-profile fakeouts like Sara's and Michael's supposed demises. It's only a question of which major player joins the body count when Prison Break returns — and it's wise to prepare for more than one casualty.

  • 1. Is This the End?

    Following the season four finale, Fox wrapped up the series with a television movie called Prison Break: The Final Break. In light of the sequel series, perhaps it's time to reevaluate the name of that film. Will Michael, Lincoln, Sara and the rest remain drama-free for the rest of their lives once this relaunch wraps, or will there be more stories to tell with the surviving members of the Fox River Eight? If the series has taught its fans anything, it's to never underestimate the brothers' ability to get into improbable amounts of trouble.

comments powered by Disqus