Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Prison Break 5x03 Recap: “The Liar” (A Modern Day Odyssey) [Guest Poster: Rebecca]

“The Liar”
Original Airdate: April 18, 2017

Trigger Warning: There is a very brief mention of rape in the second half of the episode.

As we all know, social media and the Internet are black holes — especially when it comes to your favorite books/movies/TV shows/etc. Last week, after episode two of Prison Break aired and browsing Twitter, I stumbled upon an article comparing this season to Homer’s The Odyssey. And as a recent college graduate with a degree in English literature, I was appalled that I hadn’t made the connection sooner!

I did get a sense of déjà vu in the first episode, when Dr. Whitcombe tells T-Bag that “Nobody” was his benefactor. One of my favorite parts of The Odyssey is when Odysseus defeats the Cyclops using his wit and pretending to be a man named “Nobody,” but I didn’t make that connection at the time. Additionally, the first thing that comes up with you Google “Ogygia” is a reference to an island in The Odyssey. And, of course, the overall premise of both tales is the journey of man who disappeared for several years trying to return home to his beloved wife and son. Pretty awesome stuff!


This episode picks up directly where “Kaniel Outis” left off, with Michael sitting in his cell looking at his tattoos and writing a letter in Arabic. He folds the note into a paper airplane and sticks a piece of bubble gum in it, throwing it outside much to the delight of some Yemen children who wait near the prison. One exclaims gleefully that the “Bubble Gum Man” has another gift for them.

The kid chews on his gum while making his way to Lincoln’s hotel and slipping the note beneath the mat. As he is turning to leave, he runs into Lincoln, who forces the kid to explain why he’s there. It’s clear the kid is frightened, but he relaxes after Lincoln offers him some Tic-Tacs.

Sheba examines the message from Michael, saying the letters and spacing resembled spokes on a wheel, like the city center. Sheba, Lincoln, and C-Note discover a red dot seemingly randomly placed in the message, and Lincoln realizes this is where he’s supposed to meet Michael after the escape. Lincoln promises to pay to get Sheba and anyone she wants out of Yemen if she can secure three plane tickets — one for him, one for C-Note, and one for Michael.


The gang follows the map and finds that the red dot is located at an abandoned auto shop, bought from the previous owner by an American. The shop is clearly not in operation and is littered with maps, markups, disguises, and passport photos. C-Note, Lincoln, and Sheba realize Michael is trying to break out multiple people (including Abu Ramal), causing the group (especially Sheba) to wonder who they’re really helping.

Inside Ogygia, the prisoners are becoming extremely agitated because the bombs are increasing in frequency and proximity. Abu Ramal and his gang call for “homosexuals” to be killed, and Sid (Michael and Whip’s cellmate whose father is Mohammed, the Sheik of Light) fears for his life. Michael finally convinces Ramal to let Sid go after threatening not to include him in the breakout if he kills Sid.

Back in New York, the man and woman who have been out to get Michael’s family learn that Michael has contacted Sara via Mike. (Side note: I’ve finally learned their names! Blonde chick = A&W, man = Van Gough. Thanks, IMDB.) They’re staking out Sara’s family at the hospital where Jacob is staying, still recovering from his gunshot wound and muse that Sara will be the one to lead them straight to Michael.


Jacob is told he can leave the hospital soon, much to Sara’s dismay, as she thinks he needs more time to recover. Sara goes the bathroom and is followed by T-Bag, much to her surprise. She appears afraid, defensive, and frightened — and rightfully so, but T-Bag promises her he just wants to help. He tells her what he knows about Kaniel Outis and shows off his prosthetic hand.

As she leaves the bathroom, Sara checks her phone and notices strange codes and images flashing across the screen — she realizes she’s been hacked. She goes to a nearby phone shop to get a new phone and asks the salesman for help identifying her hacker.

Back in Yemen, Whip voices his concerns about the escape to Michael. He isn’t sure if he can trust Michael anymore, since more and more people have been invited to participate in the escape. Michael assures Whip that he’s just pretending to be on Ramal’s side but they’re not actually going to break him out. Whip puts his arm on Michael, who punches him. A guard comes to restrain Michael, and Michael stealthily commandeers his watch. He whispers something to Ramal as he leaves the yard.

A friend of Sheba’s offers to make Lincoln a fake passport, since he had to surrender his in the first episode to get a meeting in Ogygia. The gang agrees that C-Note and Mohammed will kill the lights while Lincoln and Sheba get the passport; however, upon arriving at the place to receive the passports, Lincoln and Sheba realize they’ve been set up. They are knocked unconscious and dragged away to separate rooms. When Lincoln comes to, he can hear Sheba being interrogated and severely beaten.

A guard comes into Michael’s cell and asks him where his watch is. Michael plays dumb, and the guard searches the cell top to bottom. He doesn’t find anything, so he puts the prison on lockdown and inspects every prisoner and every cell.


A&W and Van Gough show up at the cell phone store Sara had visited. They threaten the salesman into telling them that he had seen Sara. Looking out the window, the duo realizes Sara is watching them from a store window across the street; now Sara knows what her attackers look like. They attempt to chase her down, but Sara manages to evade them.

As the Ogygia guards search the prison cells one by one looking for the watch, Michael’s cellmates, Whip, Sid, and Ja (the junkie with the illegal cell phone) talk about what they’re going to do when they get out of prison.

In New York, Sara, Jacob, and Mike arrive to Jacob’s parent’s lake house for a getaway. Brian, the cell phone salesman, calls Sara and tells her whoever hacked her phone used her thumbprint. We see a flashback of Sara sitting in Paul Kellerman’s office, drinking out of a glass of water. The camera zooms in on her fingerprint on the glass. She finally agrees to work with T-Bag to figure out what’s going on and tells him to visit Kellerman.


Fifteen minutes until breakout. Whip tells Michael he’s become a brother figure to him and presses Michael to disclose if something happened to him in solitary. “Did you become Kaniel Outis in your head?” he asks Michael, who does not answer.

Five minutes until breakout. Ramal assures his cell mates that Michael will come for them when it’s time, but their excitement is halted when the guard finds his watch in Ramal’s cell. We learn Michael slipped the watch into Ramal’s pocket when they were whispering in the yard.

The lights go out, and Michael and his cellmates begin the escape, unlocking a grate in the ceiling above Michael’s bed. Chaos ensues inside Ogygia, and it becomes an all-out brawl between the guards and prisoners. Ramal heads for Michael’s cell, followed my others, including two brothers who shanked a guard.

Lincoln can hear Sheba screaming as she tries to defend herself from being raped by her interrogator. He finally manages to break down the door and fight off her attacker. He calls C-Note and tells him to go to the rendezvous without himself and Sheba, as Sheba needed to get to a hospital.

Michael, Ja, Whip, and Sid are all up in the vent when Ramal and his gang enter the cell. Whip breaks the top bunk so there is no way for them to climb up, but the brothers yank Sid out from the vent. Michael promises if they let Sid back up, he’ll bring them along. A guard shoots on of the brothers, and Michael makes the heart wrenching decision to leave Sid behind. The guards realize Michael and his cellmates have escaped. They call up to some other guards on the roof, who capture Michael, Whip, and Ja.

From the rendezvous point, C-Note watches as Michael reenters the prison with his hands up.


In solitary, Michael examines the eye tattoos on his palm. He finally grabs Ja’s cell phone, which is very low on battery, and makes a video for Sara. He tells her he still loves her and implores to not to let anyone put “Kaniel Outis” on his headstone if he is killed. Before he can say his real name, the phone dies.


I knew it! I knew there was no way Michael would have ever let someone erase his identity like that. Whether or not he actively played a role in this is still unknown, but I have a feeling he had a hand in it.

I thought this episode did a great job with fleshing out secondary characters, such as Whip and Sheba. We get a glimpse into Sheba’s past, and we are painted a better picture of who Whip is outside of “Michael’s cellmate.” We see him as a human with hopes and fears, whose experiences have completely obliterated his ability to trust. I also feel like this episode has set up the bigger picture of the series — instead of just watching Michael try to escape and hook back up with Lincoln, we’re learning more about why this whole thing is happening in the first place. This has been my favorite episode of season five thus far for these reasons.

That being said, I would be remiss if I didn’t express my sadness and disappointment that we haven’t seen Sucre since his brief appearance in the first episode. I’ve mentioned before that he’s my favorite character after Michael, so I was hoping to see a lot of him this season. I’m confident he’ll make an appearance later in the season, but I’m an impatient fangirl who wants her Sucre fix now! Perhaps he’ll show up next week to save the day.

Honorable Events Worth Mentioning:
  • In the beginning of the episode, when Michael is writing his letter to the kids, it seems as if he’s copying his tattoos onto the paper.
  • Van Gough has a bandage on his ear.
  • We get our first glimpse into how Michael ended up in this situation. Michael mentions that himself and his other cellmates came to Yemen for foreign relations reasons, but were betrayed.
  • The donation from “Outis” to Dr. Whitcombe was in the sum of $1 million... now how would Michael have access to that kind of money from a prison in Yemen?
  • This is the first time we get the name of whoever is behind all of this: Poseidon.


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