Aug. 29, 2005
60 min.
FOX TV Network

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Prison Break

Due to a political conspiracy an innocent man is sent to death row and his only hope is his brother who makes it his mission to deliberately get himself sent to the same prison in order to break the both of them out from the inside out.

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Michael Scofield Prison Break
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Michael Scofield

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  Played by:
Wentworth MillerWentworth Miller
Wentworth Earl Miller III (born June 2, 1972) is an American actor, model, screenwriter and producer. ...

Character Bio

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Michael J. Scofield first appeared in the series pilot as a man who stages a bank robbery in order to get sent into the prison where his older brother, Lincoln Burrows (Dominic Purcell), is being held until his execution. The premise of Prison Break revolves around the two brothers and Michael's plan to assist Lincoln escape his death sentence. As the principal character, Michael has been featured in every episode of the series. Although both Lincoln and Michael are the protagonists of the series, Michael has been featured more extensively than Lincoln, especially in the first season and the third.


In the flashback episode of the first season, Brother's Keeper, Michael finds out about Lincoln's $90,000 debt to pay for his education, however, Michael starts to see his brother differently. His feeling of guilt and familial obligation causes him to devote all his time to his brother's case. After he cannot help his brother via any legal means and Lincoln's last appeals are denied, Michael decides to take matters into his own hands.

Michael has been clinically diagnosed with low latent inhibition, a condition in which his brain is more open to incoming stimuli in the surrounding environment. As a result of this condition he is unable to block out peripheral information and instead processes every aspect and detail of any given stimulus. This, combined with a high IQ, as a psychiatrist explains in the episode "Tweener", theoretically makes him a creative genius. His intelligence is well noticed even by his enemies with Mahone during season 2 making various comments about Michael's intelligence even holding a certain admiration to him as told in the episode "Otis" In "The Art of the Deal" after successfully breaking out of 2 prisons (Fox River & Sona) he is even offered a place in The Company. Michael also has absolutely no sense of "self-worth". This particular attribute is apparently the product of his detrimental experience during childhood, where, as a child, his abusive foster father would often have him locked up inside a closet; and by doing so, Michael's eyes begin to adjust to the darkened environment, allowing him to scan objects around him which he can use for his own convenience. Due to a feeling of abandonment and abuse during childhood, Michael has absolutely no sense of self-worth. With the low latent inhibition, this has made him become very attuned to all the suffering around him. As a result of being unable to block out other people's suffering, he is extremely empathetic and altruistic towards other people's emotions; he is more concerned with other people's welfare than his own. However, Michael often is outwardly taciturn and stoic, rarely allowing the dangerous element he's frequently surrounded by to penetrate his thoughts.

Scofield has a very strong moral sense and is cool and reasonable. He knows that if he or his allies turn to kill rather than subdue their enemies, they will gradually lose themselves and eventually everything. Brad Bellick, Theodore "T-bag" Bagwell, Alexander Mahone, James Whistler and overall Gretchen Morgan, all people with much blood on their hands are only alive or survived as long as they did because Michael spared them.

Michael's enhanced creative ability allows him to design a tattoo with a hidden blueprint of Fox River Penitentiary that normal people cannot discern. Over the course of four months, Michael had specific sections of the prison tattooed onto his upper body, hidden within gothic imagery.

As shown in each episode of the first season, Michael is meticulous and well-prepared as he uses his knowledge and intellect to achieve each step of his escape plan. The first three episodes of the second season demonstrate again the level of intricacy of Michael's plan. Prior to his incarceration at Fox River, Michael prepared an alternate escape route outside the prison in the event that he and his brother fail to board Abruzzi's getaway plane. His hidden cache in Oswego proves to be useful in "Manhunt".

However, in season three and Prison break:The Final Break it is shown Michael has developed, if not born with, improvisation techniques. Tossed into Sona, he develops an escape plan, which ultimately fails. The failure leads to another escape plan which Michael realizes is a threat to his and Lincoln's safety, and stops it. After he escapes Sona and brings down the company Michael orchestrates from the outside a plan to break Sara out of Prison in a relatively short amount of time. The plan is successful but costs him his life in the process.

Episode Screenshots

04x15 - Going Under
Season 4, Episode 15
03x06 - Photo Finish
Season 3, Episode 06
03x13 - The Art of the Deal
Season 3, Episode 13
04x04 - Eagles and Angels
Season 4, Episode 04
[More Episodes]

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