When it began, Prison Break was one of the most exciting and tension-filled TV shows around. Season one and two were filled with great characters and well-thought-out and impressive storylines, even if seasons three, four and five did get a bit big for their boots and go downhill somewhat.
So with those series highs and lows in mind, we’ve ranked the five best episodes in the history the show based on their IMDb, and kicked things off with the five considered to be the worst.
10 BEST: Riots Drills And The Devil (Part Two) (9.2)
The first of an incredible two-part festival of non-stop action and tension comes right in the middle of the first season of Prison Break.
The prison riot has broken out and violence is around every corner, with each character encountering their own issues. But Michael only really cares about saving Sara, leaving Linc to get into his own uniquely difficult situations.
9 WORST: The Sunshine State (7.8)
On the other end of the quality spectrum is an episode taken from the other end of the show’s release schedule. The sixteenth episode of season four centers on a story and idea that is almost unrecognizably different from something like ‘Go’.
Most of those characters are dead, and their escape from prison is long in the past and has been replaced by a huge, global conspiracy fronted by… Michael’s mom?
8 BEST: Tonight (9.2)
We’re slowly making our way towards the final escape at the end of season one, but Bellick has added a new problem that’ll delay everything all over again.
Luckily, DB managed to hit him in the back of the head and leave him at the bottom of the hole, only to be stabbed himself and begin the setup for his tragic death in the season one finale.
7 WORST: Phaecia (7.7)
The only episode on this list from the rebooted and revitalized fifth season of Prison Break is this one; ‘Phaecia’.
The fifth season was very hit and miss, with some episodes towards the start ending up really boring and monotonous, and then the ending suddenly creeping up out of nowhere to deliver tension and excitement akin to season two.
6 BEST: Riots, Drills And The Devil (Part One) (9.3)
Part one of the incredible prison riot two part episode is even more exciting than its conclusion. Michael pretty much caused it all by himself just to give himself a bit more time to get through the wall.
However, they really weren’t expecting T Bag to capture CO Bob Hudson (Michael Cudlitz from The Walking Dead) and keep him prisoner in their cell. They missed a trick with that character, though, because he was cool, but T-Bag stabbed him in the back and killed him in the second part.
5 WORST: S.O.B. (7.7)
The first episode in which we see Michael meet his previously-dead mother is still quite an exciting one, if not exactly what we were all expecting.
We find out that Linc is apparently adopted and then we see Christina escape, but, like all of the other season four episodes, they just lack that spark of the show in its early days.
4 BEST: Flight (9.4)
It’s very difficult to create something as edge-of-your-seat tense as ‘Flight’, the final episode of Prison Break’s first season.
The close calls and tragic deaths are enough to get anyone’s heart racing, but that open-air chase right at the end that allows the crew to taste fresh air for the first time in years is in equal parts liberating and terrifying. The cliff-hanger ending is one of the finest episodes of television has ever created.
3 WORST: The Mother Lode (7.7)
The whole crew are still on their hunt for the Scylla keys, and Linc finally comes face to face with his mother, who he had previously thought had been dead for many years.
The storyline is interesting enough, but it lacks the originality and excitement of that first season, and it feels worlds away from that original story.
2 BEST: Go (9.5)
The one fool-proof way of being even more excited than you were when watching the final episode of Prison Break season one, is to watch the penultimate episode of Prison Break season one.
We all know we’re almost there, but it all hangs in the balance: will Sara leave the door open and become an accessory for a guy who is using her in order to save Lincoln’s life?
1 WORST: VS. (7.6)
The worst episode of Prison Break still lands a rather impressive 7.6 average. The reason behind that is, of course, because it’s still a great show.
The one true problem is simply that it was so good in its early days, that comparing its twilight years to the first set of episodes just makes the ending seem so much worse than it is.