There are television shows that will live on forever in the eyes and hearts of fans around the world, and one such example of that is Prison Break. We can go back and forth on whether or not we believe it was able to sustain its momentum throughout the entire run of the show, but either way, it will be popular in its own right for a long time to come.
The first season, in particular, received shining reviews pretty much universally, and we’re going to try and uncover why that is. From the main characters to the intricacies of the storylines, there’s a lot to love. Let’s take a look!
10Linc’s Ticking Time Bomb
We all knew that Lincoln Burrows was something of a ticking time bomb in the first season, to the point where many of us just didn’t know whether or not he was going to be able to avoid the chair.
He was being sentenced for a murder that he didn’t commit, and at times, there were a few points where it legitimately seemed like his number was up. It was tense television to watch at the best of times, and at the worst of them, we all legitimately felt very, very attached to the story.
9 The Intimidating Abruzzi
We all always had that sneaking suspicion that John Abruzzi was a bad guy – and by suspicion, we mean factual evidence. Still, it was hard not to root for the guy. He was despicable at times and really weird at others, but the role was acted to perfection and that always helps to make something come to life.
Abruzzi had family values and while that ultimately didn’t matter as his need for revenge caused him to perish in the second season, in the first, we always wanted to see what he’d do next.
8 The Riot
Fans of the show could probably tell that a riot was just moments away from breaking out at quite literally any moment, and eventually, that came to fruition, courtesy of Michael’s desire to get his plot moving even further.
There was a lot to love about the storyline and a lot to hate, too, with most of the things to hate being in relation to T-Bag who really did come into his own in this episode. Still, looking back, it was a vital part of the show’s core storyline narrative.
7 Michael’s Planning
From going into the prison with blueprints tattooed onto his body all the way through to the final escape itself, it is nearly impossible not to love the way this guy went about his business.
He did an awful lot for his brother and we’d imagine Linc can never repay him for that, but instead of looking through all of the other episodes and seasons in order to figure out how it ended up, we’d much rather just enjoy basking in the glory of what he was able to achieve in the first season itself.
6 The Escape
The entire episode to round off the season where they wound up escaping was nothing short of remarkable. The drama was at a whole other level and while some may argue it was a bit unrealistic, we absolutely adored it.
The pressure of not knowing whether the escape would actually be pulled off was great, even though, again, you could argue it was obvious the entire time that they’d get out. Suspense is what makes great television more often than not, and that was certainly the case here for PB.
5 T-Bag’s Rise To Prominence
Theodore “T-Bag” Bagwell was not a nice man, but the bizarre charm of his character ensured that we would continue to track his every move in the show with a great deal of intrigue.
That might not have been the best idea in the eyes of the masses, but it wasn’t really the point. Every truly good story needs a wonderful bad guy, and boy oh boy was he a wonderful bad guy! Everything he stood for was detestable and whenever he was put in a place, it was a great time to be alive.
4 Bellick At His Best
Brad Bellick became a shadow of himself as the series went on, but during Season 1, you could make the argument that he was the main villain alongside the likes of T-Bag. He attempted to thwart Michael at every single turn, and more often than not, he actually succeeded.
There were certainly times in which he looked like nothing more than a bumbling buffoon, but such is the nature and drama of TV. He had a heroic death later on in the show (spoiler alert), but for a long time, the pinnacle of his powers came in the first set of episodes.
3 Revealing The Company
The Company served as the thorn in the side of Michael and Linc throughout the course of the entire show, and that’s putting it a little bit lightly in our humble opinion.
For the first season, we didn’t actually know all too much about them or what it was they wanted to try and do, which was why it was interesting to see revelations being made piece by piece. The thought that some people believe this sort of thing actually exists is also quite scary – and the idea of it is even freakier.
2 Prison Life
There are some harsh realities that people need to face when it comes to life behind bars, and getting the chance to experience that reality was fascinating. We aren’t trying to suggest that there hadn’t been any other form of prison television drama for us to enjoy over the years, but there was something about Prison Break that felt incredibly raw.
The experiences of all of the characters made us yearn for more, and the first season continued to throw up surprises – as well as a few ‘out there’ storylines.
1 Sara & Michael
Michael went to the infirmary because he needed to be there, but then, in his own words, it was because he wanted to be there. They’ve been through a series of trials and tribulations over the years, but the first season saw a really great relationship blossom between Sara and Michael.
We always knew it was going to be difficult for him upon realizing that Sara was going to be in a lot of trouble for associating with him, but we allowed ourselves to get put through that emotional rollercoaster.