Friday, May 5, 2017

Prison Break 5x05 Recap: “Contingency” (10 Million Rial) [Guest Poster: Rebecca]

Original Airdate: May 2, 2017

Last week’s episode was a total whirlwind, culminating in the heart-wrenching realization that our very own beloved Sara could be married to the man orchestrating everything going on, including Michael’s faked death and imprisonment in Yemen. Naturally, we don’t have all the answers yet, but we are slowly getting closer to uncovering what exactly happened to Michael Scofield and who all was involved.


This episode opens with T-Bag sneaking up on Sara at a phone booth as she’s calling Jacob at work. She demands to know what he got out of Kellerman, and he somberly shows Sara the picture of Jacob with Poseidon’s henchmen, assuring Sara Kellerman was not their guy. T-Bag says he couldn’t hear what Jacob, A&W, and Van Gough were talking about, but he could make out her name and Michael’s.

Meanwhile, Ramal’s corpse is being passed through a crowd of armed terrorists, who have declared war on Michael, Lincoln, Sid, Ja, and Whip. They broadcast all over the city that they will offer 10 million rial (equivalent to about 300 U.S. dollars) for the group — dead or alive.

Michael leads the group to an abandoned building and argues with Lincoln over his plan. Lincoln says that the town and streets have changed in the time that Michael was in prison, and his plan might not be any good anymore. He wants to go to the airport, but Michael assures his brother his plan will work. Finally, Lincoln is able to convince Michael to explain what’s going on.


A few weeks before marrying Sara, Michael received a phone call from a deep cover CIA operative named Poseidon who said Kellerman did not have the authority to exonerate the group from the crimes they committed in the previous seasons of the show. Poseidon threatened to send them away for life unless Michael helped him break terrorists and political prisoners out of jail from all over the world. Part of the deal was to fake his death and cut off contact with his family. Michael also tells Lincoln that Poseidon is the leader of a cell within the CIA called “21 Void.” Lincoln becomes angry at Michael for not reaching out to him when he was in trouble, but Michael repeats over and over that he didn’t have a choice.

Nearby, the others notice the terrorists are searching buildings, and the group makes their way to the train station.

At the airport, C-Note, Sheba, and her family are trying to get on a plane, but the airport has devolved into absolute chaos. C-Note refuses to leave without Lincoln and Michael and sneaks the group out of the building through a flight crew exit. C-Note tells the others to hang back as he ventures on his own into a parking lot, where he discovers a terrorist holding a civilian at gunpoint. Despite his efforts to hide, C-Note is discovered. Luckily, Sheba had followed C-Note and distracts the terrorist long enough that C-Note can get to his gun and kill him. C-Note offers to help the civilian, who leads the group to an old, private plane.


Back in the United States, Sara goes to Jacob’s parents’ lake house to get Mike. She tries to leave with him but Jacob comes home before they can escape. She shows Jacob the photo of him with Poseidon’s henchmen and Jacob explains he was worried about his family’s safety, so he took Sara’s hacked phone to his friend at the university, who did a deep data dive to get the hackers’ information. He then claims that he met up with the henchmen to confront them, but Sara doesn’t believe him and leaves with Mike.

Meanwhile, the Michael, Lincoln, and the others have arrived at the train station. Michael wants to hop a ride on a cargo train, but Lincoln still wants to go to the airport. One terrorist referred to as “Cyclops” wants the reward money and determines the only way the group can get out of Sana’a is by train, thus figuring out Michael’s plan.


Sara meets up with her friend Heather to explain what’s going on. Heather tries to calm Sara down and explain that Jacob is a good man, but Sara can’t be convinced. The pair decides to look up Andrew Nelson, the man Jacob claimed did the deep data dive on Sara’s phone, and meet with him to confirm Jacob’s alibi. Andrew is able to confirm Jacob’s story, and during their meeting, Sara gets a call from Jacob asking her to come to the police station immediately.

In Yemen, the crew has been discovered by a group of terrorists, but they manage to escape by jumping in front of a train to get to the other side of the tracks; however, Cyclops watches the whole thing and takes their picture, sending it to his leader. Michael says there is another train station 30 miles away from Sana’a and thinks they can make it there. While the two brothers argue, Whip hotwires a car and the group eventually agrees to trust Michael.


Whip pressures Michael to tell the truth about who he is and why he chose Whip to get involved with the whole escape scheme. Michael tries to convince Whip the details are frivolous, and all that matters is that he’s taken care of Whip. Michael assures Whip there’s a reason why Whip was selected, but before he can say anything else, their car gets t-boned by another; they realize the terrorists have found them. The group manages to find shelter in an abandoned building.

Michael feels absolutely hopeless, but his brother encourages him to keep thinking, to keep trying to find a way out. Michael apologizes to Lincoln for everything, saying he didn’t mean to make things so much worse for everyone. Meanwhile, Sid, Ja, and Whip see the terrorists breaking into nearby buildings and searching them; they know they have to act quickly.

At the police station in New York, Jacob and a detective lead Sara to a lineup and ask her to identify her attacks. She correctly identifies A&W and Van Gough. Jacob explains to Sara he thought he could bribe the henchmen with money, and he put a tiny tracker inside the stack of bills; however, A&W and Van Gough would not touch the money. Sara examines the tiny tracker before bringing Jacob into a hug.

While Michael and Lincoln gear up to fight the terrorists, Ja wanders around the building singing “We are the Champions,” seemingly high, dousing the hallways with rubbing alcohol. Whip and Sid try to shut him up, but the terrorists follow the singing and shoot at what they think is Ja, but is really an elaborate booby trap Ja created to resemble a person. The gunfire causes the trap to explode, burning up the terrorists and allowing the group to escape unscathed. Michael finally agrees to go to the airport.

Lincoln and Michael call C-Note, and they agree to meet at a hanger off the runway in 20 minutes. As the group is planning their next move, Cyclops appears from behind them and shoots Sid. Before dying, Sid manages to handcuff himself to Cyclops so that Cyclops can’t escape to follow the others, but he has already notified other rebels that the brothers, Ja, and Whip are making their way to the airport.

C-Note, Sheba, and the others on the plane are getting antsy. Everyone wants to leave except for C-Note and Sheba, who feels she owes Lincoln her life. C-Note finally manages to convince everyone to wait five more minutes, but they end up having to leave immediately as a truck of terrorists pulls up and begins shooting at the plane.

Lincoln, Michael, Whip, and Ja are watching this scene unfold, and Lincoln calls C-Note and tells him to leave, that they’ll figure something out. The terrorists spot the gang, and they make a run for it.


I’m really glad we’re getting to see more of Ja and Whip, as they obviously serve important roles in the escape, we just aren’t sure what yet. I have to imagine Ja means more to Michael than just his access to a cell phone. Regarding Sid, I’m so heartbroken and can only hope that he didn’t die in vain and that everyone else makes it out alive.

Overall, I thought this episode did a great job of further establishing the characters’ relationships to one another, especially Whip and Michael. Whip is in limbo and seeks answers to his predicament, and only Michael can give them to him. The pair’s relationship teeters somewhere between friendship and brotherhood, which makes a really interesting dynamic. I look forward to figuring out how all of these puzzle pieces fit together.

Finally, I want to spend some time unpacking the final scene. I’ve mentioned multiple times the important role nostalgia plays in this reboot, and as we watch C-Note and Sheba’s plane fly over Michael and Lincoln at the end of this episode, I can’t help but reminisce. This scene is nearly identical to what we saw at the end of Prison Break’s first season: as the Fox River 8 make their way from Fox River to the rendezvous at the airport, they watch as their escape plane flies right over top their heads. Greeted by flashing lights and police sirens, the group turns and makes a run for it toward the woods. What we see here in “Contingency” is so similar, it gave me a little bit of a chill.

From the camera angle of the plane flying overhead to the hopelessness etched on the faces of Michael and Lincoln to the turning and running from a quickly-approaching enemy, the two scenes were eerily similar.

Honorable Events Worth Mentioning:
  • Michael originally said no to Poseidon’s offer at first, but shortly afterward, Sara was arrested and beaten inside of prison. It was then Michael realized this offer was serious and agreed to it.
  • All the references to Ja buying Freddie Mercury’s ashes were gold.
  • Sid’s story about the man he first fell in love with. It was heartbreaking and made Sid’s death just that much more tragic. Why do the writers have to make us feel for a character right before they get killed off!?
  • When Sara is hugging Jacob at the police station, does she put the tracker in his shirt collar? I think she did and I love her for this.
  • The flashbacks of Michael following Sara and baby Mike at a zoo or botanical garden of some sort. Has he been keeping tabs on his family all along?


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