How the hell is Michael Scofield still alive on Prison Break? It’s the first question fans had after it was announced that star Wentworth Miller, who played Michael for four seasons of Fox’s hit show, would be returning to the role for a special event series. Fans might remember that Michael Scofield died in the Prison Break finale. And yet, here he is, back in the land of the living. (He’s also back in jail, but we’ll get to that later.) So seriously, how is Michael alive on Prison Break? Well, it looks like we’re going to have to wait a little while to find out.
The new Prison Break event series takes place seven years after the events of the original series. So, to understand how Michael is still alive, we have to understand how he died. The official end to Season 4 of Prison Break showed Sara, Lincoln, Sucre, and Michael Jr. visiting Michael’s grave and celebrating his life. Michael’s death was never actually televised, just hinted at, but it’s clear that his family believes him to be dead. In the original finale, it was implied that Michael died of a brain tumor, but in a two-episode special released only on DVD titled Prison Break: The Final Break, it was actually revealed that Michael didn’t die of natural causes. In the special, Michael sacrifices himself to break Sara out of prison (it’s a long story), and essentially electrocutes himself to save her and their child. But, as fans of Prison Break know, sometimes death isn’t permanent.
Michael’s death was never explicitly shown onscreen — we never saw a dead body. In theory, it’s possible that he survived the electrical blast that freed Sara. But even if he had survived, Michael was still living on borrowed time. Season 4 really emphasized the fact that his brain tumor was fatal and incurable. He narrowly escaped its clutches once, and only due to a fancy medical procedure from The Company, a shadowy political organization using him and his brother. In order to survive the tumor a second time, Michael would need elite medical help. In other words, the very expensive, secret kind of help. My best guest as to how he is still alive is that he was taken by some secret organization with the means to save him. They saved his life and also faked his death, ensuring his servitude. Whether this theory will come to fruition is up for debate.
We won’t know exactly how Michael is still alive on Prison Break until it is revealed on the special event series. That is, if it’s revealed at all. When asked whether fans would find out what happened to Michael during the seven years he’s been “dead” in a Reddit AMA, Prison Break Executive Producer Mike Horowitz said that fans shouldn’t be expecting any answers right away. “Not in the first episode. No, people are going to have to wait for a while,” he wrote. In classic Prison Break fashion, I’d expect any revelations on Michael’s survival to come in little hints sprinkled over the nine episodes.
We might never know exactly what happened to Michael Scofield, but one thing we do know: He is damn near impossible to kill, and that’s enough for me.