Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Prison Break 5x09 Recap: “Behind the Eyes” (What Goes Around) [Guest Poster: Rebecca]

“Behind the Eyes” 
Original Airdate: May 30, 2017

Last episode left us reeling with questions. Whose blood was splattered all over the door? Would Lincoln survive? Where was Sara? How would T-Bag navigate the strange waters of fatherhood? Would Michael’s four-year plan to get his family back work out? In typical Prison Break fashion, the answers to all these questions (and more) came together neatly in this season five finale.

“Behind the Eyes” is clearly a reference to Michael’s tattoos, which cover his hands — most prominently, a pair of eyes. Those eyes played a huge role in my favorite scene of the season, which I’ll dive into later.


The episode begins six minutes before where “Progeny” left off. We see Mike coloring in the living room and A&W fake-tied up with her brown wig and a gun. This time though, we are taken down to the lake house basement, where Jacob and Van Gogh have actually tied up Sara. Jacob claims he still loves his wife and hoped his lies would die with time, but Sara hates him for sending Michael to Yemen to die and using their son as bait to bring him back. She drops a bombshell on Van Gogh: Michael didn’t kill Harlan Gaines — Jacob did. This information clearly makes Van Gogh uneasy, and he starts to second-guess who he’s actually working for.

Jacob leaves, and now we’re back in real-time. Michael enters the house, Mike reveals he didn’t draw the treasure map, Michael realizes he’s been tricked by Jacob, and A&W reveals herself. Meanwhile, Van Gogh’s conscious is getting the better of him, and he leaves Sara and heads upstairs to try to talk some sense into his partner. He tries to explain to A&W that they should take a step back, slow down, and ask Michael some questions to make sure they’re getting the right guy. He thinks they should just turn Michael in and disappear.


A&W realizes her partner has become a liability and shoots Van Gogh.

Michael uses the distraction to flee and tells Mike to go outside and look for his uncle. Sara, who freed herself when Van Gogh went upstairs, comes up behind A&W and knocks her out, giving her and Michael a chance to escape. They come outside just in time to see Jacob speeding off with Mike. They find Lincoln slumped over in his car, wounded badly from his run-in with Luca.

Once Sara and Michael take Lincoln to a hospital, they meet up with Whip and T-Bag, who have had a nice little father-son bonding session in the car ride over from Chicago. T-Bag had shown Whip the original letter sent to him when he was released from Fox River: the photo of Michael in Ogygia and the cryptic message at the bottom. T-Bag had thought the message had something to do with religion, but realizes the “progeny” mentioned meant his own son — Whip. When they meet up with Sara and Michael, Michael reveals Jacob was controlling his communication with family, friends, and allies, but not with people he “despised,” so he had to reach out to T-Bag. Michael says no one can be free until T-Bag kills Jacob.

Meanwhile, Jacob meets with Theroux, his computer-hacker. Theroux is still analyzing Michael’s tattoos and has found an even bigger, more complicated code has been encrypted into the eyes. Jacob dismisses Theroux and goes back to Mike, telling him Theroux was a detective and that Sara is dead. He takes Mike to his secret office at the university and crafts some tale about how he’s a secret agent and people are after him. He shows Mike the “wanted” posters of Kaniel Outis and says Michael is lying about being his real father. During this explanation, Jacob gets a phone call from Michael, and tracks the phone to the zoo.

Back at the rendezvous, Michael is assigning everyone their final roles: Sara is to take care of Lincoln, Whip and T-Bag are to collect a wildcard, and Michael is headed back to the place “where everything started.”


Jacob arrives at the zoo while Theroux continues working on decoding the message from the screengrab of Michael’s tattoos. He finally makes out a phrase and sends it to Jacob: “Never interrupt your enemy when he’s making a mistake,” a quote from Napoleon. Jacob realizes that Michael’s a step ahead of him — again. As this is happening, we see Michael enter the university and head to Jacob’s secret office. In a totally epic motion, one that I rewound about four times to watch again, Michael brings his hands in front of his face, and his tattoos reveal a perfect replica of Jacob’s face, eyes and all, giving him access to the office. Once inside, he calls Jacob and they arrange to meet at a shipyard.

Sara arrives at the hospital, but the nurse says Lincoln checked himself out. A doctor asks if she knows what happened up in the Finger Lakes region, as another person came in shortly after Lincoln with a gunshot wound. Sara knows this person is Van Gogh, so she tracks down his room and gets him to write down where her son is.

While Sara meets with Van Gogh, Lincoln has found Luca. He gets a few punches in before the police roll up and take Luca into custody.


Fulfilling Michael’s orders, T-Bag and Whip roll up to Blue Hawaii’s house, who we learn is the wildcard. Blue Hawaii reveals Michael broke him out of a South American prison. He’s an artist who specializes in recreating real-life events; right now, he’s working on a model of the JFK assassination. The three of them meet back up with Sara and the brothers, and Michael prepares to put their final plan into action.

Michael and Jacob meet at the shipyard and argue over who is holding the cards (Jacob foolishly thinks he has the upper hand). Michael has all of Jacob’s communications and secret files that reveal everything he’s done, including killing Harlan Gaines, but Jacob reminds Michael he’s got his son — and the FBI is on their way, after receiving an “anonymous” tip about Kaniel Outis. Michael (very uncharacteristically) pulls out a gun and points it at Jacob, but A&W swoops in and takes the gun, giving it to Jacob. Whip and T-Bag come out of hiding and Whip pulls a gun on A&W, much to Michael’s displeasure, as this wasn’t part of the plan.

Whip’s temper gets the best of him, and he gets into a fight with A&W, who ends up shooting him. He dies in his father’s arms (☹), and T-Bag breaks A&W’s neck. The FBI comes in and arrests T-Bag... again.

Michael leads Jacob to the place where he’s hidden the hard drive when he gets a call from Sara saying she and Lincoln have retrieved Mike. The FBI gets closer, and Michael makes a run for it, swapping jackets as he runs. Jacob follows Michael through a door and shoots him; Michael falls, but is okay: the gun was loaded with blanks. Michael knew Jacob would take his gun. It’s revealed the pair are in the back of Blue Hawaii’s semi truck, which he has decorated to look exactly like the cabin where Jacob killed Gaines, complete with cameras and fake snow — and that jacket Michael changed into? Gaines’.


Jacob drags Michael back into the warehouse and they fight until the FBI arrive and arrest Michael. Jacob makes up lie after lie to the police and finally asks to go home, but some CIA agents come in and tell him he’s under arrest for the murder of Harlan Gaines. They found the victim’s blood in his office, an office only Jacob has access to, and we see a flashback of Michael taking the container of blood retrieved by Whip and painting it onto Jacob’s belongings.

Michael meets with the CIA director and gives him the missing frames of the video showing Jacob killing Gaines and forcing Michael to move the body. The CIA director says they’ve arrested Jacob’s partner, Andrew Nelson (Theroux), and he admitted to everything: Jacob killing Gaines, 21 Void wanting to frame Michael, and all the steps they took to destroy his identity. The CIA director tells Michael he’s free to go, but Michael asks if he can call in a favor.


Sara, Sheba, Mike, and the brothers sit at a park. The brothers exchange “I love you”s, and Lincoln joins the girls and Mike on a picnic blanket as Michael looks on, a smile on his face.

Cut to Fox River Penitentiary. A guard escorts Jacob to a cell, who learns his cellmate is none other than T-Bag. The episode ends with T-Bag taking Jacob by the throat, riling up the other prisoners.


I can’t believe it — we made it. I’m torn up about Whip, still bummed about Sid, vaguely disappointed about Kellerman, and strangely upset by Van Gogh. But for the most part, our favorites survived. Michael and Lincoln get their happy endings, and Jacob gets his comeuppance. The ending left me satisfied, which is all I wanted from this revival.

Last week, I voiced my concern that I had a feeling Whip might meet his demise, and I have never been so heartbroken to prove myself right. He was the best addition to the show and I’m sad to see him go. Unfortunately, I don’t think a gunshot to the abdomen can be faked, and I don’t think we’ll see him come back for future revivals.

Overall, I absolutely adored this revival. Of course, it didn’t have the same punch of the first two seasons of the show, but this season still packed enough humor, nostalgia, and shock value into its episodes and plot that I thoroughly enjoyed it. They somehow made the plotline of Michael coming back to life far-fetched but believable. I loved the new characters, especially Whip and Sheba. My only qualm is that we did not get nearly enough Sucre. Especially with his name in the opening credits, I thought for sure we’d see a lot more of him than we actually did. But I loved that we got to see him, Kellerman, and C-Note; they were good injections of past seasons who reminded us just how timeless Prison Break is.

Part of me hopes for a season six, and part of me would be satisfied if this is the last time we see Michael and Lincoln. I’m not sure how many more times Michael can break people out of prisons before it becomes contrived, but I’ll happily watch any more revivals that may come in the future.

Thank you Prison Break for the laughter, the tears, and the anxiety. It’s been a great five seasons.

Honorable Events Worth Mentioning:
  • “Is this blood freaking you out like it's freaking me out?” T-Bag and Whip’s attempts to bond with each other were somehow simultaneously cringeworthy, sweet, and hilarious.
  • Mike calling Jacob “dad”... did anyone else’s heart just completely break?
  • Did the CIA director really think Michael would accept a job with them?!
  • Van Gogh writing “let me die” on the notepad was heartbreaking. I get that he’s a killer, but it was still so sad to see him on life support. With Van Gogh, we saw just how much Jacob manipulated those who worked for him.
  • “Killin’ ain’t right.” “Yeah, I read the Bible.” Listening to T-Bag try to give a lesson on morality to Whip felt like I was in The Twilight Zone.
  • “Go easy, son.” The temper that Whip inherited from his father is what led to his death.


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