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Michael J. Scofield is the main protagonist and principal character of the series. When his older brother, Lincoln Burrows, was sentenced to death for a crime he didn't commit, Michael created an elaborate plan to break him out. He obtained a jail sentence by robbing a bank to be incarcerated in Fox River State Penitentiary, the first step of his prison break plan.
- 1 Background
- 2 Education & Experience
- 3 Honors and Awards
- 4 Planning the Escape
- 5 Season 1
- 6 Season 2
- 7 Season 3
- 8 Season 4
- 9 Post Faked Death
- 10 Season 5
- 11 Characteristics
- 12 Abilities
- 13 Relationships
- 14 Appearances
- 15 Killed
- 16 Infamous Quotes
- 17 See Also
- 18 Trivia
- 19 References
Michael was born on October 8, 1974. After his father, Aldo Burrows, deserted the family before his birth, Michael took up his mother's maiden name as his surname to start a new life because she told him that his father was an alcoholic and drug user (which was later proved untrue). (1x4) When Michael was 11 and Lincoln, his older brother, was 15, their mother (then aged 31) supposedly died of a brain aneurysm brought on by a brain tumor (she is later found to be alive), though it was initially thought to be liver cancer. Lincoln became his guardian and tried his best to take care of him. Having lost both their parents, Lincoln descended into a deep life of crime. However, Lincoln worked hard to prevent Michael from taking his own path and suffering the same fate. This became one of Michael's reasons for hatching an escape plan to help his brother.(1x5, 1x16)
Following the death of his mother, he and Lincoln moved in with the family of Lincoln's friend, Veronica Donovan. This situation was short-lived. Afterward, Michael and Lincoln both traveled in and out of different foster home situations. Though they were usually kept together, there were periods when circumstances required them to be placed separately. One such instance occurred when Lincoln did a six-month sentence stretch in juvenile hall on an assault charge when Michael was 11. Michael was placed with an abusive foster father in the Pershing section of Chicago; who routinely locked Michael and his other charges in a small storage shed. Six months into Michael's stay, his foster father was found dead in his home, a victim of a violent attack: killed by Aldo, where he rescued Michael. For better or worse, young Michael repressed all memory of what had occurred and could not help police in their investigation. To this day, the murder investigation itself remains unsolved.
When Michael would wake up in the mornings not knowing where his brother was, there would be an origami crane next to his bed, a sign his brother was watching out for him.
In Morton East High School in Cicero, Illinois, Michael took an elective survey class in Arts and Crafts, which had a large section devoted to the Japanese art of origami. He was immediately drawn to the precision and patience that the practice required. This fascinated him to the extent that he began constructing several cranes out of any material he could find. His habit of making paper cranes carried over into his adulthood.
Michael was a gifted student and finished his secondary education at Morton East High School with an impeccable record; He graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Degree and a Master of Science (M.S.) Degree in Civil Engineering from Loyola University in Chicago. After which, he became successful as a structural engineer at the prestigious architecture firm of Middleton, Maxwell and Schaum in downtown Chicago. Michael says that he has no religion, as he had no time to think about it before getting into jail (1x1). However, in truth, he was raised Catholic, as he goes to confession in New Mexico and tells the priest it is his first confession in a long time. (2x11)
Education & Experience
- Loyola University, Chicago, Chicago, IL M.S. in Civil Engineering
- Earned Magna Cum Laude distinction for graduating with a grade point average in the top five percent of his class (3.98).
- Studied under professional engineers Eduardo Rivera, Megan Costa, and Ravi Rajendra.
- Calloway/Drushal, Chicago, IL Intern: Assisted partners Peter Calloway and Jeff Drugshal with various aspects of managing their architecture firm for four consecutive summers. Duties included:
- Applied creative and analytical problems solving skills to multiple advanced building systems.
- Developed schematics for sustainable designs in developing urban communities.
- Spearheaded low-income renewal project through corporate outreach initiatives.
Honors and Awards
- Phi Beta Kappa elected to the nation's oldest academic fraternity in the first year of eligibility.
- Dean's List: Achieved Dean's List honors (by earning a grade point average of 3.5 or better) every semester, both undergraduate and graduate.
- Percival Stern Award: Received award from the Engineering Department honoring "most promising young structural engineer" upon undergraduate graduation.
- Chicago Youth Outreach Mentor, Chicago, IL: Mentored over 50 inner-city children during five years of involvement with the program.
- Food For Kids, Chicago, IL: Helped find this service that provides free breakfasts to all schoolchildren in the Morgan Park area of Chicago.
Planning the Escape
Three years before Lincoln was imprisoned at Fox River State Penitentiary in Joliet, Michael and Lincoln's relationships had grown strained because of their differing lives. Michael, proud and triumphant, looked down on his brother and both viewed and thought Lincoln as irresponsible. Michael became tired of "playing the older brother to (his) older brother." After Lincoln was arrested for Terrence Steadman's murder, Michael initially thought Lincoln was guilty. However, upon discovering that his brother had taken a $90,000 debt to pay for his education, Michael realized that Lincoln was not the man he thought he was. Michael's discovery of his misperception of his brother and his brother's sacrifice for him prompts him to change; he apologizes to his brother and decides to help Lincoln, remembering how Lincoln had always looked after him when he was a child, Michael swore to do the same; the reason why Michael would go to such extreme lengths to save his brother from his death sentence.
Michael begins to investigate his case full-time. His feeling of guilt and familial obligation caused him to devote full-time to it. However, all the evidence pointed to Lincoln as the murderer of Steadman. Over the next three years, Michael reviewed Lincoln's case countless times but found he couldn't help his brother via any legal means. After Lincoln's last appeals were denied, Michael decided to take matters into his own hands. Coincidentally, Michael's firm had been responsible for retrofitting Fox River. In this prison, Lincoln is incarcerated and being held until his execution. Retrieving the blueprints of the facility, which the firm, and Michael himself, had access to, from this information Michael spent a year creating an elaborate plan to break out his brother. (1x16)
Over four months, Michael had specific sections of the prison tattooed onto his upper body by the tattoo artist Syd (1x1), hidden within gothic imagery of battling angels and demons. His chest features an image of a devil slaying an angel. It contains blueprints of the prison's underground tunnels and passageways. His back has the angel attacking and killing the demon and hides an overhead view of the prison. His right arm has an image of the demons. They left the impression of the angels and numerous clues and reminders (e.g., chemical formulae, phone numbers, and names of necessary parts he must procure within the prison). His arm also contains the image of a Native American "Moaning Man" tattoo (though there are no explanations provided for this tattoo). Michael also analyzed every detail of the prison and the people inside; inmates he needed to recruit for his plan and prison staff members he needed to manipulate, to form relationships with to use them.
After urging his brother to swear that he is innocent, he pays a visit to Syd, who finished tattooing Michael's design onto his body. That night he returned to his apartment near the Chicago River and tore off the newspaper clippings and destroyed his computer.
- 1x1) The opening scene of the series shows Michael's final preparation of his plan to infiltrate Fox River; the tattooist is applying the finishing touches to Michael's tattoo. To get into Fox River, Michael staged an armed bank robbery; in which he attempted to steal over half a million dollars from the downtown Chicago branch of United Savings Bank, pled no contest at his trial, and requested that he be sent to the Level 1 prison facility nearest to his Chicago home to serve his time. That facility was Fox River. Michael began his sentence on April 11, exactly a month before Lincoln was set to be executed. His inmate number was 94941. (
Once in Fox River, he scrutinized every detail regarding the prison and its inhabitants. Given Michael's educational background, inmates and correctional officers alike focused a great deal of attention on Michael and were very interested in what Michael was all about; they would often wonder why a man of Michael's credentials would have thrown such a privileged life away to end up in state prison. What was even more intriguing were his habits, as he was often seen conversing discreetly with his brother, Lincoln, both during Prison Industry time and Chapel time; and the fact that he tended to execute a highly defined stare around Fox River's boundaries immediately from the point he got incarcerated as well as being called personally on command by the prison's warden, Henry Pope.
Michael put his plan into action while overcoming various obstacles. He began by having specific objectives he must accomplish to build an escape route out of prison. One the way, Michael needed to recruit several people to aid in the escape: his cellmate Fernando Sucre to help him dig, mob henchman John Abruzzi to get him on Prison Industries ("PI" - which is the maintenance crew) and provide air transport once they escaped, and Charles Westmoreland, who he believed to be "D.B. Cooper" and can help finance their lives as fugitives with his hidden $1.5 million in cash (later revealed to be $5 million).
Michael also had to fake type 1 diabetes, which gave him daily access to the infirmary (the escapees' exit point from the prison) and allowed him to build a relationship with Doctor Sara Tancredi, who happens to be the daughter of Frank Tancredi, the Governor of Illinois. After agreeing to help Warden Pope finish his Taj Mahal replica in his office, Michael also forms a friendship with Pope.
However, not everything went according to plan. More people join the escape team than Michael had speculated. This, coupled with other obstacles Michael faces, forces him to reformulate the planned time and time again. These obstacles begin when Abruzzi cuts two of Michael's toes off. This mafia boss wants to extract the info about Otto Fibonacci from Michael. When Michael refused to divulge the information or crack for Abruzzi, he struck a deal: Abruzzi would supply an escape plane in exchange for Fibonacci's address. In addition to this, a portion of a section of Michael's tattooed blueprint on his back is burned off and lost after coming into contact with a steaming hot piece of metal as he hid from a guard (1x15), compromising the plan, and eventually landing him in Solitary Confinement for a while (when he refused to disclose information as to how he received the burn), dealing a severe blow to his motivation and morale. He later stages "brief insanity" to gain access to the jail's Psych Ward premises to gain contact with one of its insane inhabitants gifted with a photographic memory, to re-acquire the portion of the tattooed blueprint. These, however, are only a few setbacks he faced in his attempt to break his brother out of prison, and so Michael's calm facade also began to wear off.
Michael's relationships with Warden Pope and Sara deepened over time, but he eventually (and regretfully - demonstrated when he threatened the warden in his office) manipulated both of them in the end to save his brother's life; most prominently with Sara, who was part of Michael's secondary plan. When his original plan failed, Michael pleaded with Sara to talk to her father. Also, he later relied on their relationship when he fails to steal the key to the infirmary from her. She finds out about his motive for being in the infirmary. Michael revealed his escape plan and asked Sara to leave the infirmary door unlocked on the night of the escape. Sara decides to help Michael and does so and, with the aid of an unlocked infirmary door, Michael finally succeeded in helping his brother escape from Fox River through the window of the infirmary and ran over the walls of Fox River with his brother in the nick of time, but also aided in the escape of six other prisoners. However, Michael and the others were left stranded at the airfield after the plane took off before their arrival.
- C-Note, and Abruzzi to his hidden cache in Oswego and obtains a fresh change of clothes. Furthermore, Michael retrieves a backpack that contained money, a mobile phone, pre-paid phone cards, and fake passports. Michael and Lincoln travel together, after the fugitives separate to accomplish each of their individual goals. The story continues to follow Michael, his brother and other escapees as they try to evade the authorities pursuing them. Away from the prison, the level of intricacy of Michael's plan is demonstrated once again; before his incarceration at Fox River, Michael prepared an alternate escape route outside the prison if he and his brother fail to board Abruzzi's getaway plane. This becomes useful as Michael leads his brother, Sucre,
Unfortunately for Michael, an FBI Agent named Alexander Mahone realized that Scofield was the operation's mastermind and was intrigued by Michael's meticulous intellect. Mahone becomes Michael's nemesis. In short order, Mahone discovers the meanings of three of his tattoos and almost catches him at the graveyard when he discovers the meaning of "Ripe Chance Woods". Later, Michael and Lincoln plan to stage another minor prison-break to liberate and retrieve L.J. Burrows from the Cook County Courthouse before the teenager's hearing; in which he is on trial for the double murder of Lisa and Adrian Rix. (2x2) Their plan is foiled after Agent Mahone deciphered their code to LJ. In addition to their failure, Lincoln takes a bullet which forced them to go to the home of Nika Volek. After retrieving their car, Michael and Lincoln set off the explosives that Michael had previously installed in their car in an attempt to fool the authorities that they are dead.
Mahone continues to track Michael's process, as the two leave Illinois to go to Utah, Michael and Lincoln having decided to head to Tooele, Utah in order to find and retrieve Westmoreland's hidden money. After escaping from Brad Bellick and Roy Geary and leaving Nika on the side of a road (2x4), Michael and Lincoln reach Tooele, Utah. There, they are subsequently reunited with four of the other escapees: Sucre, C-Note, T-Bag and Tweener, who join them.
It is here Michael and Lincoln separate for the first time, when Lincoln decides to find and go after his son, LJ, who has been suddenly released from prison. After some time, Michael, Sucre, T-Bag and C-Note finally locate Westmoreland's money. Although Michael and Sucre had planned to trick their comrades, T-Bag ends up with the money after he fooled them. Nevertheless, even after failing to retrieve the money, Michael continues to execute his plan to meet with the people smuggling coyote at the 'Bolshoi Booze' location. Prior to leaving for 'Bolshoi Booze', Michael saves Sucre's life after he falls into the river (2x8) (which he repays in kind when he rescues Michael from the coyote). (2x11)
Aware of Mahone's diligence and knowledge of his plan, Michael blackmails Mahone by using the information he found out about Oscar Shales as leverage; if Mahone lets he and his family disappear, he will keep the secret safe. Despite this, Mahone gets closer to Michael as he locates the rendezvous point between him and Sara in New Mexico. (2x12) Michael meets up with Sara at the location, which he encoded in his messages to her inside the origami cranes. Sara is reluctant to escape to Panama with him. They are found and pursued by Mahone, but Michael later traps Mahone inside an abandoned factory. After Sara leaves Michael thinking she had declined his invitation to Panama (the fact was that Paul Kellerman had captured her), Michael, unaware, moves forward with his plan and goes to meet the coyote, who has the location of an escape plane to Mexico. Michael is reunited with Lincoln, Sucre, and his father, Aldo Burrows.
As his past actions begin to take a toll on him, Michael goes to a church where he confesses his wrongdoings. In his confession, Michael mentions a man who he saw bled to death. (2x11) This relates to a story that Michael later tells. (2x12) In a flashback sequence, it is revealed that this man was his foster father, who was killed by Aldo, his biological father. After a problematic meeting with the coyote, Michael reunites with Sucre, Lincoln, and his father at the "Bolshoi Booze" location. As they head to the location of the escape plane, Aldo attempts to explain to Michael. However, Mahone is able to follow the family and Aldo is killed by Mahone after being wounded by him in a gunfight. Before Aldo died in Michael's arms, he told Lincoln and Michael that he loved them and to find Sara who he believes may save Lincoln. Michael and Lincoln decide not to go to Panama, and decide to confront "The Company" and the conspiracy, and bid farewell to Sucre, who alights the getaway plane to Mexico. Later, while attempting to call Sara, their car is hit by Mahone and the brothers are (briefly) recaptured.
Border Patrol agents apprehend the brothers before Mahone can kill them. Later, Michael and Lincoln are aided in their escape by Kellerman, who turns against The Company in the act of self-preservation. Kellerman helps them escape by arranging for an escape route (deceiving Agent William Kim and Mahone into thinking that he will create an opportunity to kill them without attracting attention), then shooting Mahone and running off with them. Kellerman, Michael and Lincoln teamed up to take down President Caroline Reynolds, who had each of their lives ruined. (2x13) Kellerman takes them to Steadman, the man Lincoln is accused of murdering. Steadman's suicide forces Michael, Lincoln and Kellerman to find Sara since she holds the key to unlocking information that can expose the conspiracy. After Sara joins them, Michael, Lincoln and Kellerman head to Chicago, where Sara's father has hidden the information. On the way, Michael and Sara express their feelings for each other: Sara tells Michael that she has fallen in love with him, and Michael reveals that he feels the same.
With the help of the former Fox River Warden Pope, Michael and Sara succeed in getting the USB flash drive in Frank's private locker. After leaving Kellerman behind, Lincoln, Michael and Sara soon found that the recorded conversation on the USB drive could not be used as evidence due to its modified time-stamp. They decide to blackmail Reynolds instead. When this also fails, Michael and Lincoln are forced to escape to Panama but are forced to leave Sara behind after she is arrested. (2x20) Upon discovering that T-Bag is in Panama City, Michael decides to go and capture him, which he successfully does. However, when Michael returns to his boat with Westmoreland's money to find Lincoln missing, he receives a call from Mahone, who demands the boat and the money in exchange for Lincoln's life. Michael outsmarts Magone and escapes with Lincoln. At his new boat, Michael and Lincoln are reunited with Sara, who tells them that Lincoln has been exonerated after Kellerman's testimony.
Their happiness is short-lived when Kim arrives and threatens to kill Lincoln and take Michael to Penitenciaría Federal de Sona (Sona Federal Penitentiary), which causes Sara to shoot him. As the three flee from the scene with the police pursuing them, Michael and Sara separate from Lincoln and end up surrounded in a small isolated shack. After expressing their love for each other, they leave the shack. Unbeknownst to Sara, Michael confesses to Kim's killing and is arrested in her place. Michael is then imprisoned at Sona.
In the season premiere, Michael witnesses a brutal duel between inmates, the usual manner of settling disputes at Sona. He unintentionally makes an enemy of one of the most influential and powerful inmates at Sona, a drug lord named Lechero. Lincoln soon informs him that The Company needs him to break somebody out of Sona. They also have taken Sara and LJ hostage to ensure the brothers' cooperation. He began to look for Whistler, only to find that he had a bounty on his head; whoever kills him will receive amnesty from the mayor of Panama City. As a result, Whistler had gone into hiding in the sewers. Michael eventually finds him, but Mahone locates Whistler and attempts to kill him for the bounty. Still, Michael successfully persuades Lechero to remove the bounty on his head after he assists him by restoring water to the prison, with help from a juvenile inmate Luis "McGrady" Gallego.
The Company gives Michael a one-week ultimatum for breaking out Whistler. With seven days to bust Whistler out of prison, Michael tried to take matters into his own hands. He turned his attention to obtaining the use of Lechero's cell phone, which he could accomplish by blackmailing T-Bag about his past sexual predatory activities. After T-Bag gets Michael the phone, Michael uses it to contact Sara and receive a coded message about her location. He relays this information to Linc, who unsuccessfully attempts to rescue Sara and LJ. Sara was then brutally killed as a result, but her death was still unknown to Michael.
Michael then purposely uses a piece of jewelry to short out the power, causing Lechero to call on Michael's engineering skills to fix it. Michael restores electricity to the prison and a previously broken electric fence. It is revealed that Michael repaired the net so that the electricity will superheat a chemical that Sucre (who was hired as the new gravedigger) sprays on it, as the heated chemical can melt steel.
Later, Michael spies on Sona's guards. The sun glare temporarily blinds one guard at 3:13 p.m. The other sometimes watch sports on a television in the lookout tower. The second one sees Michael due to his scope's lens glare. After a small raid takes place, the prisoners are rounded up in the yard. Captain Hurtado questions Michael to the point that he unholsters his pistol and puts it to Michael's head. Hurtado is about to shoot Michael, but Whistler manages to intervene on Michael's behalf and takes responsibility for the incident, claiming that he was observing the birds pictured in his book.
Michael is desperate about the vigilance of the guards when Mahone helps him; he talks about a coffee cup he managed to have in prison. As the guards are drinking, walking from their respective guard posts, both drink from identical coffee cups. Michael surmised and concluded that they could have that guard if the trio could get to the cup and drug one of the guard's coffee. As the escape plan continues, Michael finally learns of Sara's death, which has a devastating impact. In a moment of weakness, he seems to challenge Whistler to a deadly duel, but Michael reveals this to be only a diversion for the flight. However, the escape ultimately fails.
When the Company decides to rescue Whistler themselves by storming Sona, Michael foils their plans and attempt to rescue Whistler. Still, he was suspected of such an operation. He is held responsible for both escape attempts and was escorted out of Sona to be kept in solitary, interrogated. He eventually relented and told them about Whistler, who revealed that Gretchen Morgan is in charge of the operation. Later, Michael finds out the officers that were with Gretchen have been killed. Michael and Whistler are returned to Sona. It was then when they turned to a new escape plan, with the help of Lechero, and that is through an underground tunnel.
Later in the tunnels with Mahone, Whistler, and Lechero, he says they need braces to hold up the escape tunnel. Then, when part of the tunnel is about to fall, Michael puts a little piece of metal in to hold it up. Their escape plan was jeopardized with Sammy taking over Sona prison and investigating their escape. However, Sammy was killed after the tunnel fell upon him. It is subsequently revealed that it was Michael's trap, which he prepared earlier by removing that little metal piece. McGrady joined the team in the escape. Later, Michael, Whistler, Mahone, and McGrady escape from Sona after using Lechero, T-Bag, and Bellick as decoys.
Afterward, Michael and Lincoln continue their plan to rescue LJ and Sophia Lugo. When a shootout begins at a museum in Panama, Michael grabs the gun from Linc's car and has Gretchen in his sights, but she escapes when police start to shoot at her. Michael successfully tricks Gretchen into giving LJ and Sofia back safely. Later on, outside the hospital, LJ gave him the same origami rose that Michael had given to Sara on her birthday. Fuelled by revenge, he bids farewell to his family as he goes on a solo mission to hunt down Gretchen.
In the end, Michael was seen driving along the Panamanian coast on his way to take action against Gretchen and The Company.
- Los Angeles and is waiting to intercept Whistler and Gretchen while they're on a mission; preparing to avenge Sara's death. However, as he has Gretchen and Whistler at gunpoint, and is about to shoot Gretchen, she reveals to him that she had lied about killing Sara: Michael finds out Sara may still be alive. Unsure whether or not to believe her, Michael contacts Lincoln and then Bruce Bennett by phone. Michael asks Lincoln what he actually saw that night in the garage with the head in the box. He also finds out that Sona was burnt down a few days ago and that Sucre, T-Bag and Bellick escaped. After that he heads off to a meeting with Mahone and Whistler and finds out Whistler is a freelancer working with the Department of Homeland Security in order to obtain Scylla. Whistler is then assassinated by Wyatt Mathewson; a hired assassin. Michael flees and calls Bruce wondering if Sara is still alive but is then apprehended by the LAPD. The season starts off approximately three weeks later, with Michael back in the U.S. Michael has tracked down Gretchen and Whistler to
Michael is then taken to DHS Headquarters where he meets Agent Donald "Don" Self, an DHS Agent who was working with Aldo and Whistler to obtain Scylla. Self then tells Michael that in Panama, his brother has been arrested. Self tells Lincoln and Michael that they can either bring down The Company by helping Self find and get Scylla (which is said to be a key card that stores every bit of information about The Company - essentially their "little black book") or go to jail - and that both of them face major time. They refuse and both of the brothers are bailed out by Bruce. Bruce then takes Lincoln and Michael to a house where they find Sara. Michael and she joyfully reunite. Later on, Michael gives back the rose he made for Sara in Fox River.
Wyatt eventually hunts them down and locates them, and tries to assassinate them at Sara's safe house. Wyatt opens fire at Lincoln with Michael and Sara in the house. They all escape, realizing The Company will not stop until they're all dead. Michael and everyone decide to take Self's offer, and so Michael phones Self and tells him they're in. They are joined by Mahone, Sucre and Bellick in their mission. To blend in with the crowds, Michael gets his tattoos removed via laser surgery.
Throughout the season, Michael was seen to be experiencing health problems, getting nosebleeds and suddenly clutching his head in pain, and passing out. He hides these from Lincoln and Sara until he experiences a bloody nose that he could not hide from Lincoln. Michael tells his brother, "It's not a big deal." and Lincoln replies, "It was a big deal when you were thirteen...". Michael's condition is one his mother also shared. During his mother's
Scylla finally within reach
childhood, she also had frequent nosebleeds that stopped after a few months, but reappeared when she was older, shortly before she died at the age of 31 of a brain aneurysm. Michael was experiencing nosebleeds for the first time since he was 13 and is about to turn 31. Eventually, Michael is no longer able to hide his sickness as he collapses in the warehouse. Sara takes Michael to the hospital where the doctors diagnoses him with a hypothalamic hamartoma - he is revealed to have a tumor on his temporal lobe, and Michael is advised that surgery is required right away or else he might die.
Unwilling to go into surgery until they get Scylla, Michael receives temporary treatment from Sara and goes onwards with their plans to break into The Company. Although the group eventually succeeds in getting Scylla, Self betrays them and takes it for himself to try and sell it. Michael, however, had taken a small piece of Scylla and Self needs that piece to make Scylla complete. Self goes back to find Michael and shoots the warehouse and a gas tanker to try and force them out. Fortunately, Lincoln was not in the warehouse at the time, and upon discovering Self's car outside, he finds Self at the top of a building and knocks him unconscious. They bring Self in and are about to get Scylla when Gretchen holds the group at gunpoint, allowing Self and herself to escape. Everyone except Mahone head to the hotel Self and Gretchen are staying at. Michael tampers with the ladder outside so that when Self tries to escape, it comes loose and Self falls to the ground. Michael takes this opportunity to grab Scylla from an unconscious Self, but as he is running away, his nose starts to bleed profusely. He begins losing his balance and blacks out, falling to the ground. Self then catches up and takes back Scylla. As he is preparing to shoot Michael, Company agents appear and start shooting at Self. Self jumps into Gretchen's van and they escape. The Company agents lift an unconscious Michael into their van and drive away, with Lincoln running after them.
Michael is then found in a hospital bed, connected to many machines. A hand rests on his, and it is revealed that this is General Jonathan Krantz. Lincoln visits The Company HQ and asks General Krantz to allow him to see his brother. The General leads Lincoln to Michael, assuring him that Michael is under the best medical care and that The Company's technology is years ahead of those currently provided to the general public. He also tells Lincoln that the only way they will operate and save Michael is if Lincoln brings Scylla back. In addition, General Krantz gives Lincoln a folder labelled "TOMBSTONE II", telling him that it is "added incentive." With Mahone arrested by FBI agent's Agent Felicia Lang and Agent Mark Wheeler, it was now up to Lincoln, Sucre, and Sara to retrieve Scylla from Self and Gretchen and to save Michael.
With Sara by his side, Michael wakes up disoriented and weak. He asks her which hospital he is in, but Sara merely assures him he does not need to worry about it and that there are good doctors here to treat him. While Lincoln and Sucre go after Scylla, Sara stays with Michael and watches over him while he undergoes surgery with help from The Company. However, the procedure that the Company doctors use on Michael is nothing like anything Sara has seen before. General Krantz tells her that while the procedure is experimental, it has been used once before on a patient who ended up living a long and happy life. Because of the surgery, all of Michael's senses become active at the same time, causing him to have his life flash before his eyes. He suddenly sees himself back in his old cell at Fox River, with Westmoreland greeting him. While conversing with Westmoreland and trying to figure out the truth behind Scylla in his subconscious, the Michael in surgery is dying and begins to flatline. The Company doctor injects an unknown serum into Michael as Sara panics and rushes to Michael's side, telling him not to give up. After finally realizing what Scylla really is and hearing Sara's voice, Michael wakes up.
Later on, Michael tells Sara that he had a dream about Scylla, and he explains that Scylla is not actually The Company's little black book, but knowledge regarding a chemical combination that can produce energy equivalent to that of the sun's. Lincoln visits Michael shortly after, who is shocked to find out that Lincoln is willing to work with The Company to retrieve Scylla. He attempts to convince Lincoln to stop what he is doing and that The Company cannot be trusted, but Lincoln gives Michael the "TOMBSTONE II" folder and reveals to him that their mother used to work for The Company before she died, and that he is just "following the family business."
Michael and Sara are seen exiting a pizza restaurant when a Company assassin tries to kill them. They escape. They then bribe a truck driver to let them hitchhike with him, fearing police. He calls Lincoln and, on the phone, Lincoln says he will stop at nothing to get Scylla. Michael replies saying he will stop at nothing to stop Lincoln from succeeding in getting Scylla and reveals that their mother; Christina Rose Scofield, is alive. An undercover cop/Company agent stops the truck and searches for Michael and Sara. He pretends he does not see anything and he murders the truck driver, telling Christina that he has them. Michael and Sara try to call Lincoln, but they lose the signal and the back lifter is stuck so they smash a vending machine to open the lift and they escape with the guy chasing after them. Michael kills him and takes a note from him asking who sent him. The guy's last words were, "Not Krantz." He then dies.
Michael and Sara stay at one of Sara's old friend, Deb, with whom she went to med school, who is out of town. Michael and Sara check the note they took from their abductor. It reads: I10R4AZMS=I-10 near route 4 in Arizona Michael Scofield. The backside reads B2348ROCKWELL1630VS, which they do not understand. Michael texts Lincoln to meet up with him, but instead Mahone comes. Mahone asks if Michael can explain his plan against The Company and Michael refuses to, since Mahone is working with The Company. Michael learns that Christina ordered their abductor to bring them to her, but not kill them. This provides greater incentive to Michael to want to take down The Company. They head to Rockwell Avenue, where they find a car, gun, money,a cellphone and directions to a location they need to go. They head to an airport and check through a flight log list for the initials VS; they discover the name Vincent Sandisky. They abduct Sandisky and a car chase ensues. They are captured and Christina orders Michael and Sara to be killed. They are about to be executed, until the Company agents are killed by Lincoln, Mahone, and Self. Lincoln advises Michael to leave, but he refuses. Lincoln takes Sandisky with him as a hostage. Michael and Sara however, took Sandisky's cellphone which reveals he and Christina used to be lovers.
Michael called Lincoln and informed him that Sandisky knew everything. Lincoln advised him to leave Miami, but Michael still refused. Michael called Christina and wanted to meet with her to make an arrangement if he got Scylla. She agreed, and, along with her men, headed to the warehouse where Michael and Sara were. They search the warehouse and Michael put baggies filled with chemicals inside Christina's SUV and put the air conditioning on, setting it to full. When Christina and her men returned to the car, she started it and when the heat hit the bags, the chemicals evaporated, suffocating the occupants. Michael and Sara took this opportunity to abduct Christina and tie her up and put her in the trunk. When she regained consciousness, and she revealed to Michael that Lincoln is not his brother. His real parents, who were Company agents, were killed. Aldo adopted Lincoln when he was three (the writer of the episode, Karyn Uscher, revealed on the episode audio commentary that this is a lie - Lincoln really is Michael's biological brother). She never loved Lincoln like she loved Michael. Michael said Lincoln was a brother more than she was a mother: She left, he stayed, he fed him, kept him off the streets and kept him in school. Christina did not want Michael to keep saving Lincoln. Michael demanded to know where Lincoln is, and she did not answer until Michael attempted to torture her. She revealed the location at an Energy Conference. Michael left, leaving Sara to watch Christina. Michael met Lincoln at the Energy Conference where the Indian Prime Minister's son, Navee Banjeeran, is assassinated by Christina's men. Lincoln and Michael reunited, whereby Michael revealed to Lincoln that Christina set them up. The police then pursued them. Shortly after, it is revealed to Michael that Sara was pregnant with Michael's child.
Michael is forced to save Lincoln from the clutches of his mother, or save Sara from the clutches of The Company. He managed to save both and hands Scylla to Kellerman. Michael is forced to try to kill his mother, but, running out of bullets, Sara shoots Christina, saving Michael.
Post Faked Death
In the epilogue of the series set years later, Michael's friends and family visit a memorial to Michael on a beach
somewhere in Panama.
The events leading up to this are clarified in "The Final Break,"Three weeks before mike and Sara wedding, he got a call from a man known as Poseidon to go work for him or else he put Sara and lincoln in prison but Michael declined. Where, after Sara, his new wife, was arrested on their wedding day by FBI Agent Todd Wheatley for the murder of Christina, Michael, seeing Sara would soon end up dead from either the vengeful COs (for having left the door open for Michael earlier at Fox River) or the imprisoned General Krantz's bounty of $100,000 on Sara's head, and after learning she was poisoned and nearly killed, decides he must break her out, and constructed a plan to do so, once again enlisting Lincoln, Sucre and Mahone's help. Michael faced another government conspiracy - this one centered on him as the FBI and other law enforcement officials, unhappy with Michael and his allies' exoneration, hoped to get any evidence to incriminate and re-imprison Michael. Despite Mahone being pressured to report Michael's activities on the escape in exchange for reinstatement to the FBI, Michael kept the plan going, and he and Lincoln enlisted the aid of T-Bag in the escape. When Michael had Mahone, who was purposely misleading the agents, deliberately divulged Michael's plot to parachute into the prison and rescue Sara, Michael's trust in him eventually leads to Michael giving Mahone a piece of paper and a DVD which he says to give to Sara, in the event of his death. With Wheatley and the other armed officers distracted with the dummy parachute plan, Michael snuck out from under Wheatley's car and ran into the prison, where he finally met Sara. Having figured T-Bag would reveal the plan, Michael and Sara escaped through the underground passageway beneath the administrative building, though it is at the last door, which is electronically locked, they discover a roadblock.
Knowing that this was a possibility from the beginning, Michael asked Sara to run as soon as the door opens and leave him behind, since the only way to open the door is to manually cause a power surge that will certainly kill him - it is revealed that Michael planned to sacrifice himself in order to allow Sara to escape from prison. Sara refused to leave if Michael cannot go with her, but he emphasized that there was no other way, touching her stomach, where their baby was, he said "I am going with you". In one final act of sacrifice, Michael caused the surge, and the fuse box exploded in a shower of sparks: seemingly killing Michael. Sara then ran out, with Lincoln, Sucre, and Mahone waiting with a van just outside. Stunned, Sara was unable to describe to Lincoln what just happened. Mahone revealed that he knew of Michael's plan from a previous discussion, and simply told Lincoln, "He's gone." (Lincoln was prepared to run back into the prison to find Michael and refused to believe he was dead). They got into the van and drove away, still shocked over Michael's fate. In the end, Michael had indeed succeeded in rescuing her; embarrassing and landing the government in a world of trouble in the process.
Mahone finally gave Sara the paper and the DVD which Michael left for her. The paper was revealed to be a medical exam which Michael recently underwent; with bloodwork revealing that the brain tumor was not removed (The Company had only slowed it down) and it had returned, and that his condition was terminal. Finally, Lincoln and Sara sail out to sea, and view the DVD. It is a prerecorded message in which Michael explained his motivation for sacrificing himself; Michael said it would prevent him from having any regrets. Michael told Sara and Lincoln that he loves them, and asked them to watch over each other and his child. The video, and the entire series, culminates in Michael's final proclamation: that they are all, finally, "free."
His recorded date of death was November 4, 2005 - eight months had passed since he set his plan into motion (the date in which he committed his original bank robbery was March 9, 2005) and freeing Sara. However, Season 5 retconned this date to November 4, 2010.
- One year later Jacob ends up recruiting David Martin to work with Michael to break people out of prison.
Seven years later, Michael is incarcerated in Ogygia Prison, using the alias Kaniel Outis. He had been sent to Ogygia by Poseidon to break out Abu Ramal. For the past several years, Scofield had been working in 21 Void with Whip, breaking out of prisons in Colombia and Egypt.
As ISIL approach Ogygia, Michael breaks out with Whip, Ramal, Ja, and Sid, determined to make it back home to the United States and be reunited with Sara and his son. With Whip and Lincoln's help, Michael is able to defeat Jacob and bring him to justice for his crimes. In doing so, he resumes his normal life with Sara and Michael Jr.
Michael is described as "always scanning the surroundings," and "has the silky voice of a sociopath (and) the resigned stance of a long-distance runner" and projected a confident determination that confounded his fellow prisoners, as, being close to Abruzzi or T-Bag or Bellick, he could not afford to be vulnerable. Later, following the escape, Michael, now off with his brother, around whom Michael was willing to show his weaker side as he's not as strong as most people assume.
Michael has been clinically diagnosed with low latent inhibition, a condition in which his mind is more receptive to stimuli in the surrounding environment due to his unfortunate experience of being locked up in a pitch-black room for a long time in his childhood. As a result of this condition, he cannot block out peripheral information and must process it all. A psychiatrist once describes that if this trait is not matched with a tremendous mental ability like Michael's, it leads to insanity. Even his enemies admire Michael's brilliance, as shown in Season 2 when Mahone repeatedly praises Michael's intellect after successfully escaping from two jails (Fox River & Sona). He's even invited to join The Company.
Michael has little or no sense of self-worth due to childhood neglect and trauma. It has made him acutely aware of all suffering. Michael's drive to make significant sacrifices to assist others is explained by his inability to filter out other people's pain, which makes him very empathic.
Michael is a person who stands up for morals and justice. He will be devastated if he inadvertently or directly harms or kills people, regardless of the circumstances. Furthermore, he felt very guilty when, in the course of fleeing Foxriver, he was compelled to release a dangerous criminal like T-Bag.
Michael's enhanced creativity allowed him to design a tattoo with a hidden blueprint of Fox River Penitentiary that ordinary people couldn't discern. Over four months, Michael had specific sections of the prison tattooed onto his upper body, hidden within gothic imagery. Each part of his tattoo had to be precise, which provoked the tattooist's comment to Mahone about Michael being a "detail Nazi" and that the tattoo was "some sort of inside joke" that only he got.
Michael was also shown to be meticulous and well-prepared in executing his escape plan. Furthermore, he is also a skilled improviser. Tossed into Sona, he devised a failsafe escape strategy. He also ensure dangerous criminals like T-Bag and Lechero stays behind the bar while he and the necessary people escaped together. After he escapes Sona and brings down the Company, Michael orchestrates a plan to break Sara out of prison in a relatively short amount of time.
- Genius-level intellect/Master tactician: Michael's most well-known trait is his immense intelligence. He is capable of planning every thing down to the second. He is a creative genius, as proclaimed by his psychiatrist. Michael is capable of creating plans that are generally impossible to execute such as breaking out of prisons, not just one, but multiple. He also took down hidden corrupt organizations such as The Company, and even underground criminal masterminds like Poseidon. He can prepare for every contingency to the point of obsession. While he is more comfortable with being prepared, he had also practiced improvisation, quick thinking and wits, such as creating new tactics when his first escape plan failed in Sona. Not only this, he is also quite a gifted student. He graduated top of his class with Magna Cum Laude as well as having a Master's Degree in Civil Engineering. He is diagnosed with low latent inhibition which allows him to observe his external environment better.
- Master Escape artist: Having escaped several prisons, Michael is very skilled in assessing the layout, system and blueprints of prisons and exploiting them to his own advantage. His skill attracted even his own rivals such as Alexander Mahone and the Company who even hired him to break one of his men. He was also blackmailed by Poseidon into breaking certain people out of prisons in exchange for his family's safety.
- Expert Engineer: Michael is very knowledgeable in the field of structural engineering, being his career. This is a great advantage for breaking out of prisons as it allowed him to properly understand blueprints and be knowledgeable in the applications of science.
- Expert Artist: He is also an excellent artist, being able to artistically draw several of his plans into artworks that only he can understand.
- Expert Investigator: Michael also proved to be a great investigator as he singlehandedly deduced that Charles Westmoreland is D.B Cooper, he also managed to find the location of Otto Fibonacci and figured out that Alexander Mahone had murdered Oscar Shales. He also managed to track down Whistler and Gretchen Morgan back to the U.S while he was hunting them down.
- Heightened Senses: Having been diagnosed with low latent inhibition, Michael is adept at scanning his surroundings and noticing things that most people wouldn't.
- Master Manipulator/Master of Deception: Despite sometimes feeling guilty for manipulating innocent people such as the Warden Henry Pope and Sara Tancredi, he is excellent at charming his way through things. He managed to persuade John Abruzzi into giving him a plane and managed to outsmart T-Bag and Bellick multiple times.
- Skilled hand-to-hand combatant: While Michael isn't as good as Lincoln Burrows or Alexander Mahone, Michael is quite a skilled fighter. He managed to land a punch to Abruzzi while he was being attacked, as well as knocking out the fake Copper Green easily. He also managed to defend himself spectacularly against one of Lechero's men in Sona due to following Mahone's advice by kicking the kneecap. He also managed to go toe-to-toe against Cyclops and Poseidon.
- Indomitable Will/High Pain tolerance: Michael has a strong mental fortitude and incredibly high pain tolerance. He is able to keep calm in extreme situations, rarely ever losing his temper. Michael can also withstand pain such as Abruzzi cutting off his toes and taking a severe beatdown from Agent Kim. Michael rarely loses faith and persists even when things seem impossible to overcome.
Here's a list of direct kills by Michael Scofield.
This are all the indirect kills by Michael Scofield.
- "Be the change you want to see in the world" - The simple statement of what Michael accomplishes over the series.
- "Not if you designed the place, it isn't" - Michael's declaration that Fox River isn't impossible to escape from.
- "Just have a little faith" -Michael to Lincoln
- "Well, if you're watching this, I'm glad, because it means you're safe. And that's all I ever wanted. I wish I could be there with you, but as you probably know now, I wouldn't have had much time anyway. So I made my choice and I don't regret it. Anyway, not too long from now, there's going to be another little Scofield running around. And Linc, I want you to promise me, no matter what, they're going to grow up knowing their uncle is never far away. And Sara, I want you to promise me that you're going to keep an eye on Linc. As you may have noticed, he has a tendency to get into trouble. You know, we spend so much of our lives not saying the things we want to say, the things we should say. We speak in code. And we send little messages. Origami. So now, plainly, simply, I want to say that I love you both very much. And I want you to promise me that you're going to tell my child...that you're going to tell my child how much they're loved, every day. And remind them how lucky they are to be free. Because we are. We're free now. Finally. We're free." - Michael's prerecorded message, viewed after his death.
- It has been stated that Michael was born on October 10 1974. The bloopers says that he has been born on October 9 1978 and another one says that he has been in 1976 and the videogame stated that he was born on July 2 1972.
- Michael and Lincoln appear in every episode of all the seasons.
- Michael is the only member who is both one of the Fox River Eight and the Sona Four.
- Michael is the only member of his immediate family that did not work for The Company. (His father Aldo formerly worked for them, his mother Christina worked for The Company until her death, and Lincoln temporarily worked for the company in order to help Michael receive medical treatment).
- Michael and Lechero are both indirect responsible for their deaths. Lechero used World to kill Michael, but when Mahone finished World off, Sophia Lugo did take a letter out his pants. Which did lead to Scylla. Michael was responsible for Lechero's death, since Michael used Lechero as a part of his plan. Lechero was shot by a sniper, but survived and was eventually killed by T-Bag.
- Michael is responsible for James Whistler death. Whistler gave Brad Bellick a letter, which he gave to both World and Michael. Since World died, Sophia Lugo used it to get a Birds Guidebook. This led to the Scylla. Michael however did break out Whistler (along with Mahone and McGrady).
- In the episode 'Sweet Caroline', Michael is wearing the same clothes or style as his father Aldo Burrows.
- Michael's spastic seizures during Season 4 seem to resemble 24 character Jack Bauer, who also suffered from spastic seizures during Season 7.
- Michael is, to no surprise, the character with the most aliases in the series.
|Family||Aldo Burrows · Christina Scofield · Lincoln Burrows · Nika Volek · L.J. Burrows|
|Accomplice||Sara Tancredi · Henry Pope · Coyote · Paul Kellerman · Chaco · Dejesus · Cooper Green · Jane Phillips · Derrick Sweeney|
Terrence Steadman · Syd
|Others||Alexander Mahone · Chuck · Pam Mahone · Wayne Merrick · Brad Bellick|
|Notable inmates in Sona