While the mystery of Michael Scofield was the driving force behind the first episode of the Prison Break revival, the series’ most central character wasn’t seen until the final moments. That changes in a big way in “Kaniel Outis.” In the episode named after his new mysterious identity, Michael and his new circumstances take center stage.
Even though many hints and references are made throughout the hour, much is still left unknown about what has happened to Michael and why he left his family. If this were a new show, viewers might question Michael’s priorities and loyalty, but we know that similar to Vin Diesel in Fast & Furious, Michael is all about family, so there must be some method to his madness.
As the episode ends with the emergence of a shocking alliance, season 5’s second installment begins by introducing a new figure. The streets of Yemen are being taken over by rebels trying to free their leader, Abu Ramal, a straight-up bad dude who, coincidentally or not, is also in Ogygia.
The action shifts inside the prison, where we meet Michael’s new cellmates. They all could be cool guys, but no one can replace Sucre! This is our first time in their cell, and they’re already making a break for it. Michael and Whip (Augustus Prew) are going up into the vent while the others play lookout. Making their way through the small space, Whip makes reference to “past ones,” possibly suggesting this isn’t their first rodeo together. “Nothing is easy on this one,” replies Michael. Once on the roof, they wait for the lights to go out, which was suppose to happen seven days ago. “I can’t wait another four years,” says an antsy Whip. “It was suppose to be one week. Poseidon has left us here to die.” Hmmm, who is this Poseidon character? I’m thinking we might need to keep that name in mind. The escape won’t be happening tonight — not a surprise, since it’s only episode 2. That would be like Al Pacino becoming The Godfather 20 minutes into the first movie. Luckily, as usual, Michael has another plan in motion.
Back at their hotel, C-Note is giving Lincoln (and us) the rundown on Kaniel Outis. “Call him Michael,” requests Linc.
Kaniel Michael was charged with committing crimes against the government and only recently was released from solitary confinement for a failed escape attempt upon his arrival at Ogygia. This helpful information dump is interrupted when they spot a shadow outside their door. It’s a kid who immediately books it, and Lincoln follows in hot pursuit through the crowded streets. Aided by his hometown advantage, the kid eventually loses his tail. The good news is that he left something behind — one of Michael’s signature origami swans. Written on it is, “Find the Sheikh of Light and I will be free.”
Confused by Michael’s message, the guys seek help, with C-Note insisting they need to get Sheba (Inbar Lavi) back. She has her own family issues, as she unsuccessfully tries to persuade her father to leave the country. Despite her strong anti-Outis feelings, Sheba relents when Lincoln pulls out a wad of cash. Important question: Where the heck did this guy get so much money? Literally, last episode he was being chased by some knuckleheads because he owed $100,000. Sheba demonstrates some true detective skills right away, pulling back a piece of tape and spotting a code that is actually a telephone number. No one answers, but the voicemail is for the Director of Electrical Works. The man has been missing since he went looking for his daughter in the suburbs, which serves as the front line of the war. Not wanting to take the risk, Sheba is out again… until the never-ending supply of money pulls her back in.
Her presumed-dead husband might be imprisoned in Yemen, and her new husband in the hospital with a gunshot wound, but that doesn’t stop Sara from her usual routine, including taking MJ to school. I think the kid could take the day off! As she says goodbye, Lincoln sends her the video of Michael from Ogygia. Sitting in her car, she’s an emotional wreck watching the footage. The beautiful moment is ruined by a call from “noted economist” Jacob.
After Sara assures him that he wasn’t the reason for the home invasion, she goes to the Department of State for answers. And guess who is there to help her? KELLERMAN! Who better for a woman who was once presumed dead to go to for help getting to the bottom of a dead guy being alive than a dead guy who is alive? Don’t worry, that last sentence checks out. “You’ve lived so many lives, I don’t even know who you are,” she quips, heading for the exit before he convinces her to stay. Kellerman was once a cold-blooded killer, but now he’s an environmentalist, so bothered by Sara’s water bottle that he makes her drink from a glass. He’s also supposedly a family man. Giving her the rundown on Outis, he dares to suggest that Michael could be the one who orchestrated this. “It would take a genius… like Michael,” he says. Later, he sends her video from four years ago of Michael shooting a high-ranking CIA officer. She’s still not buying it, believing the situation to be similar to when Lincoln was set up for killing the vice president’s brother back before the series began.
We’ve briefly met Whip, who got that nickname for being Michael’s “ace in the hole,” but it’s time to get to know Michael’s other cellmates: Ja and Sid. Ja is quite the character. He’s the classic archetype of a renowned identity thief who is a drug addict and smuggled a phone into prison so he can watch Queen perform “We Are the Champions.” Then, there’s Sid, the unfortunate victim of anti-LGBT laws in his home country. He’s worried that being gay will get him killed by a group of soon-to-be-released-from-solitary prisoners. It was Sid’s responsibility to get the lights turned off. “Sometimes my friend, I can’t tell which is bigger: your plans or your lies,” Sid says to Michael. A bold statement when you couldn’t even do the one thing asked of you!
Speaking of people questioning Michael’s character, Sara has gone to seek Jacob’s advice and, unsurprisingly, her new husband doesn’t have a problem disparaging his predecessor. He explains game theory in comparison to Michael: “a cold rational focus on winning, even if it’s at everyone else’s expense.” I don’t appreciate his words about Michael; Jacob is proving to be a real Royal Pains in my ass.
Having returned to his cell, Michael gets his MacGyver on, using a slice of gum, a battery, a sock, a shirt, and a water can to burn himself so he can be taken to the infirmary. Unfortunately for him, he’s not getting Dr. Sara Tancredi-level treatment; instead, he’s whipped by a guard. As he lies on the floor, needing a doctor more than ever, another guard takes mercy on him and provides him with pills. It turns out, though, Michael didn’t swallow the pills. He wants to trade them to Ja for a credit card number and phone. What for? Call Lincoln? Sara? Nope, he wants to order a pizza! I can’t blame him; pizza always makes me feel better too.
Sheba, Lincoln, and C-Note have made it into the suburbs after Lincoln flashed some more cash. This guy is a human ATM. The ISIL territory is as scary as advertised: The city is in ruins, portraits of Ramal are painted on buildings, and men hang in the streets. Things almost take an even darker turn when the trio are pulled over and Sheba is harassed by someone from her past, who is now an ISIL soldier. Sheba doesn’t back down, and the man is ultimately called away on other terrorist business.
Making their way through the dangerous region, they eventually find the “Sheikh of Light.” He won’t leave without his daughter, who is stuck in a nearby building with her students. As soldiers begin to search the area, Lincoln decides that he will be a distraction and get the girls. I feel like those two jobs should be done by separate people, but what do I know? I’ve never broken out of a prison. Once Lincoln frees the girls, Prison Break turns into Fast & Furious: Yemen Drift, as Lincoln, in his stolen truck, and Sheba, with C-Note and the light guy in her car, speed toward the government checkpoint with the bad guys in high-speed pursuit. They end up making it out, and speaking of making out, Sheba throws a fond look at Lincoln. I smell possible romance! So who is this light guy? Well, he’s Sid’s father, and he was tasked with arranging a blackout at Ogygia. As previously mentioned, it was supposed to go down a week ago, with a signal being sent 24 hours beforehand. “This city may not have 24 hours,” says C-Note. Well, not with that attitude.
Always surrounded by men, more specifically criminal men, Sara is having some much-needed girl talk with a fellow school mom. She’s talking about Michael, which raises the question of whether she told her pal the whole story. Because that’s a lot to dump on someone. The gab session ends when MJ is a no-show. Panicked, Sara begins to run around looking for him. Thankfully, he’s all good, just hanging out on the playground with a pizza guy. Bad news: no pizza, not even a slice. Instead, an origami with the message, “Hide everyone. A storm is coming.”
You wouldn’t think things could get worse at Ogygia, but Michael’s crew is on edge since Ramal and his followers are about to be released from solitary. In more positive news, the lights flash, meaning the escape is on for tomorrow. Then, exactly at that moment, Ramal appears. The whole prison is at a standstill waiting to see what will happen next. The terrorist leader walks to straight to Michael. While everyone assumes Ramal will execute all foreigners and sinners, the two embrace, with Ramal whispering, “You’ve found a way out for us?” Michael replies, “Yes, tomorrow night.” Ruh roh, maybe we should be worried about Michael’s motivations. Somewhere, Jacob is smiling.
What did you think? What’s Michael’s deal? How many liquor stores did Lincoln knock over before the trip to Yemen?