Don't ask us how, but Fox has pulled a rabbit out of a hat with their return to the world of Prison Break.
Over the course of the first three episodes, we've been given a second chance at seeing Scofield and Burrows live on the edge as a new conspiracy unfolds around them. With nearly no mention of seasons 3 and 4, this new storyline ups the ante and puts the characters right back in the center of the action as Michael's mysterious death becomes a fading memory. Leaning heavily into the themes and shooting style of the first two years of Prison Break, it's really a testament to true creativity that they figured out an excellent way to pull us back in. Other shows that have tried this have failed. This short extension of the Fox show may pave the way for even more programs to make a comeback.
Switching from the routine domestic setting of the previous version of Prison Break, the use of the Middle East and a plot that involves the modern context of terrorist forces, this return is relevant if not sometimes mildly too fast for its own good. No matter what, The Liar continues to build up to a boil over point inside the city walls and the gates of the prison. Much like the original season of Prison Break, the tension is palpable while Scofield once again uses his masterful logic and engineering mind to find a way to freedom. Yet, even at episode 3, we still don't even know what's behind his latest imprisonment. If they don't start to let us in on some secrets, this may begin to reflect the dreadful X-Files reunion.
Limiting the callbacks to former seasons makes the story seem fresh and exciting. Yes, it definitely has the feel of year one, but the introduction of a brand new set of characters is extremely effective when trying to do something like this. We only get small doses of the people we already know, with T-Bag finally getting some more deserved screen time in The Liar. Purcell seems to still be struggling to find footing as Burrows while Callies slips right back into playing Sarah Tancredi.
Episode 3 is a prime example of the best of Prison Break. The drama is high. The writing is solid. And the play between Michael and his newfound crew of prisoners doesn't seem forced or misaligned. For long time fans, this is a love letter to how strongly the pilot season kicked off. Hopefully, they can keep this up.