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    Michael 

Michael Scofield

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/MichaelScofield_885.jpg
"If you think I'm gonna leave my brother behind, you have massively underestimated me."
Played By: Wentworth Miller

"Preparation will only take you so far. After that you got to take a few leaps of faith."

The younger brother of Lincoln Burrows and a successful structural engineer. When Lincoln is sentenced to death, Michael purposefully gets himself thrown in prison so he can carry out an elaborate break-out plan. After the break-out, Michael and Lincoln are tracked by the Company and try to expose the truth behind the conspiracy.


  • Abusive Parents: When Lincoln's in juvie, Michael is put in care of a very abusive man who keeps him locked up and beats him up until Aldo saves him by killing the man.
  • The Ace: He single-handedly engineered an incredibly daring and improbable escape, after all. Even with the inevitable setbacks in the initial break, he's always able to think of a fallback plan, and the other conspirators acknowledge that they couldn't have gotten anywhere without him.
  • Agony of the Feet: When he holds steadfast in refusing to tell Abruzzi the location of Otto Fibonacci, the mobster cuts off one of his toes with garden shears.
  • Arch-Enemy:
    • Season 1: Bellick was his main enemy, the greatest antagonist within Fox River whom he had to frequently navigate around.
    • Season 2: Alex Mahone was Michael's intellectual equal with an added dose of ruthlessness. They had an interesting cat-and-mouse game going on.
    • Season 3: Sammy, Lechero's right-hand man, was a rival to Michael, especially since Lechero was at times a begrudging ally to the latter.
    • Season 4: The General himself is Michael's Arch-Enemy, when they start interacting face-to-face.
    • Resurrection: Poseidon or his real face (Jacob, the man Sara married and betrayed Michael for, a few years previously).
    • Through the entire series, however, T-Bag is Michael's main enemy. As T-Bag puts it, they have a "blood feud".
  • Artistic License – Biology: Averted. The amputation of his toe, his response to it, and the medical care rendered are all realistically depicted. He would, however, not be walking around so easily immediately afterward. It would take several weeks for the injury to heal and his body to adapt to the missing toe.
  • The Atoner: Michael gradually grows to feel a tremendous amount of guilt for all the collateral damage he's caused in getting Lincoln out. He especially feels personal responsibility for releasing T-Bag back into the world.
  • Badass Bookworm: As part of being the 'good brother', Michael studied hard and went to college.
  • Bald of Awesome: He's usually shaved bald, like his brother.
  • Batman Gambit: He successfully pulls these off frequently.
  • Better to Die than Be Killed: Sort of. He was dying anyway, so he performs a Heroic Sacrifice to allow Sara to escape from the prison.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Michael is a pleasant, if slightly quiet, guy to hang around with...but underestimating him as a potential danger won't get you far, as many of the show's villains find out.
  • Brains and Brawn: The Brains to Lincoln's Brawn.
  • Broken Ace: He's handsome, unflappably cool, and an extremely smart and accomplished structural engineer to boot. But he's also an orphan who spent most of his childhood in a series of abusive foster homes, and he's estranged from his troubled brother—the only family he has left—at the start of the series. According to Word of God, this is why he's so prone to self-sacrifice: he has very little sense of self-worth, and genuinely cares more about others than about himself.
  • Byronic Hero: A moody, stoic chessmaster who pits people against each other and plans out every contingency.
  • The Chessmaster: A defining trait of his character is his manipulative abilities. Many characters usually end up doing his bidding by accident. He's actually said to see the world as pieces rather than entire objects, which was diagnosed as low-latent inhibition.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: It's a diagnosed example of this, as Sara eventually finds out.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Took a level in this from Mahone.
  • Crazy-Prepared: He never goes around without a plan.
  • The Determinator: Michael's determination and refusal to halt in the face of overwhelming odds is a defining trait of his character.
  • Deadly Nosebleed: In season 4, when he's revealed to have the same hypothalamic hamartoma condition his mother had.
  • Deadpan Snarker: In a more subtle and constrained way then the likes of T-Bag, but all the same.
  • Dying Moment of Awesome: He rips a wire apart with his bare hands, getting electrocuted in the process.
  • Faking the Dead: As of Season 5.
  • Gambit Roulette: There's a lot of luck and chance involved in his plan to save his brother.
  • Guile Hero: Michael isn't the best fighter in the show, so he escapes situations using his wits. A good example would be when he outsmarts Sammy by tricking him into using Michael's escape tunnel in SONA. He'd rigged the tunnel to cave in.
  • Gray Eyes: Of the number 2 or number 5 variety. They do lend a certain cold detachment to his personality.
  • The Hero Dies: Apparently dies at the end of season four, but season five shows he was just Faking the Dead.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Both times for Sara: first he takes the blame for Kim's death and gets thrown in Sona, and then he ends up being forced to electrocute himself to free her from prison.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Has two: Lincoln and Sucre.
  • Honor Before Reason: He was genuinely willing to throw his life away to rescue Lincoln from Fox River, despite knowing that his plan was an extreme long-shot that easily could have gone wrong. He knew that he couldn't live with himself if he let his brother stay in prison, and that was enough reason to risk everything to free him.
  • Icy Blue Eyes: His tend to be either this or an even creepier white-gray
  • In Love with the Mark: Researches Sara in order to get close to her and manipulate her for use in the escape, but ends up developing genuine feelings for her, and even admits to as much at the end of the first season.
  • Madness Mantra: During his time in solitary at Fox River it was "I put my blood into this."
  • Manipulative Bastard: He may be the hero of the story, but he's not above backstabbing and manipulating for the sake of the ones he loves.
  • Mr. Fanservice: He's easy on the eyes, and shirtless scenes where he's using his strategic tattoos definitely doubles as fanservice.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: When he thinks about all the people who lost their lives in order for him to free Linc.
  • Nerves of Steel: He doesn't back down and remains firm when confronted with threats from people like Abruzzi and General Krantz.
  • Not So Invincible After All: After his increasingly hyperbolic survival in every dangerous event, he ends up getting killed by an illness, of all things, at the end of Season 4. Ultimately subverted when it's revealed that he's still alive in Season 5.
  • Not So Stoic: As the series progresses.
  • Parental Abandonment: His father. It later turns out Daddy Had a Good Reason for Abandoning You.
  • Pretty Boy: Which even earns him the nickname "Pretty", from T-Bag.
  • The Protagonist: The story follows his attempts to save his brother. He's on the posters, y'know.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The shrewd intellectual blue to Lincoln’s impulsive red.
  • Tattoo as Character Type: His detailed full bodied tattoo of structured architecture and religious imagery. The intricacy makes sense for a man who is in complete control, the architecture shows both his background as an engineer and as the ‘architect’ of the plan. The religious imagery of warrior angels plays right into his martyr complex, and concepts of forgiveness and brotherly sacrifice.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: As of the second season, with Sara. Due to being on the run, there's not much time for him to drop by (it doesn't help that she's wanted too).
  • The Stoic: Seriously this guy only shows any feeling around a handful of people and only then after a few near-death experiences.
  • Tattooed Crook: The plot hinges on his tattoo of the prison's systems, disguised as architectural tattoos.
  • Technical Pacifist: Generally avoids outright violence, but won't hesitate to let his friends get violent with his enemies, and he frequently blackmails and threatens people with threats of violence.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Prior to his decision to break out Lincoln, Michael was an engineer with no combat experience of any kind.
  • Troubled, but Cute: Though he's really a perfectly upstanding citizen, he plays this image up in Fox River to attract Sara. It works.
  • Xanatos Speed Chess: When his plans end up going in unexpected directions, Michael falls back on this.
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    Lincoln 

Lincoln "Linc" Burrows

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/LincolnBurrows_4690.jpg
"The innocent people in your life, you have to keep them innocent. If that means walking away from them, that's what you gotta do."
Played By: Dominic Purcell

"I've never given a damn about what people thought of me. Never. Last couple of days - got to admit, you know... Lee Harvey Oswald, John Wilkes Booth... Lincoln Burrows. I'm going to go down in history with these freaks. [pauses] Bitch of it all is - I didn't do it."

The older brother of Michael Scofield, Lincoln is a small-time thug who is wrongfully sentenced to death for the murder of the Vice President's brother. Michael breaks him out of prison, and from then on they work to expose the truth behind the conspiracy.


  • Anti-Hero : Michael goes through a hell of a lot to save him, but Lincoln is a petty criminal and (it's hinted) sometime hit man. As of Season Five (you think he'd learn!) Burrows has returned to his old life of crime.
  • Bald of Awesome: Like Michael, he's shaved bald.
  • Berserk Button: Threatening his little brother or his son LJ is the fastest way to get Lincoln to snap.
  • Big Guy: His nickname in prison was ‘Linc the Sink’ as in he’ll come at you with anything but the kitchen sink. Basically while Michael solves problems with planning and manipulation, Lincoln barrels through them with violence and threats at gun point. Amoung the Fox River 8 he is only matched in physical size by C-note, and is notably more hot-headed.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: Though he is the biggest toughest guy of the main gang, he tends to be quite a positive and energetic guy when times aren’t too stressful.
  • Break the Badass: Pre-series he was a regular street thug. Through the series though he is framed for murder, put on death row, two of his e’s are murdered, his son is framed for murder, and his brother wrecks his own live in order to break him out of prison. Thats season 1.
  • The Brute: Physically imposing, quick to violence, and generally not likely to fully think things through. Multiple characters refer to him as some variation of Michael’s attack dog.
  • Cool Uncle: Implied to have become this for Michael and Sara's son.
  • Deal with the Devil: In the second half of season 4, when he agrees to work for The Company in exchange for Michael getting surgery.
  • Frameup: He's the victim of one. Note that he actually was going to kill the guy in question, but the victim was already dead. So he's framed for a crime he intended to commit.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Unlike the cool and collected Michael, he's the first to fly off the handle, especially when his son is involved.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Michael. After the fourth season, with Alex as well.
  • Hot-Blooded: Is short tempered and often resorts to slamming people into walls and pulling guns when he doesn’t get his way.
  • Knight In Sour Armor: Initially, at least, he was quite skeptical about Michael's plan.
  • Jerkass: Can come across as this to others
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Can be gruff and standoffish, and pre-series he wasn’t the warmest guy, but nearly everything he does is to keep Michael and LJ safe and happy.
  • The Lancer: To Michael, particularly in seasons 2 and 4.
  • Meet Cute: He meets Sofia when he threatens her with a gun and steals Whistler's bird book from her. They end up together.
  • Near-Death Experience: Halfway through the first season, he's strapped to the electric chair and was almost sentenced to death, but was saved at the last minute by the information Aldo delivers to the judge.
  • Nerves of Steel: Can keep a stoic expression even with a gun pointed at him.
  • Not So Different: He and Michael are initially shown to be as different as night and day, but both of them are—in their own ways—extremely selfless, and very protective of the people they love. Despite his checkered past, Lincoln was fully willing to donate thousands of dollars to Michael so that he could get an education, and he chose to let Michael believe that it was life insurance from their mother. Michael escape plan is (partly) his way of paying him back for all he's done for him.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Sometimes, involuntarily, Purcell fell into this.
  • Parental Abandonment: His father.
  • Papa Wolf: For LJ.
  • Promotion to Parent: After his mother dies, he's all that Michael's got left.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The red to Michael's blue.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: With Veronica, in the first season only though.
  • Troubled, but Cute: He had a troubled childhood and was often in and out of both juvie and jail, but many women find him attractive.
  • The Unfavorite: Christina directly states that Michael was the preferred son, due to being her actual biological son, and Lincoln being adopted. Word of God later confirmed this was a lie, but Christina's preference was still real.
  • Your Cheating Heart: His relationship with Veronica ended because he got Lisa pregnant, implying that he slept with Lisa while he was still dating Veronica.

    Veronica 

Veronica Donovan

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/VeronicaDonovan_3093.jpg
"You two have the most dysfunctional idea of love I've ever seen. What, he beats you up to keep you off the streets, so you get yourself thrown into Fox River with him? To what... save him?"
Played By: Robin Tunney

"This is desperation, Michael. You're grabbing at straws. You're in denial."

A successful attorney and Lincoln's ex-girlfriend. She works to uncover the conspiracy surrounding Lincoln's imprisonment.


  • Aborted Arc: Her role was supposed to be much bigger, but it's dropped in season 2 when the actress and the producers couldn't think of another plotline for her to follow.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Her attraction to Lincoln.
  • Brainy Brunette: Very intelligent, as evidenced by being one of the few who figured out the conspiracy.
  • Boom, Headshot!: Is killed this way by one of Terrance Steadman's guards.
  • Childhood Friend: Has known Michael and Lincoln for quite a long time.
  • Determinator: Refuses to let go of the conspiracy and is determined to bring the perpetrators to justice. It gets her killed.
  • Disposable Fiancé: She has one at the beginning, and quickly breaks up with him due to having feelings for Lincoln.
  • Hello, Attorney!: A competent, attractive attorney.
  • Innocent Blue Eyes: By far one of the most naive and optimistic characters of the series, with Robin Tunney's wide blue eyes to match.
  • Nice Girl: Kind and understanding, and gentle with Lincoln.
  • Oh, Crap!: Her reaction when she realizes she's about to be killed.
  • Raven Hair, Ivory Skin: Dark-haired and pale.
  • Sacrificial Lion: Is killed in the first episode of season 2. It really hammers home that even though the brothers are out of prison, things will only get worse from here on out, to them and the people they love.
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog: Her efforts to exonerate Lincoln end up completely pointless and gets killed without accomplishing anything.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: A do-good, straight-laced attorney to Lincoln's aggressive criminal. Even though they are no longer together, she obviously still cares for him, even though he already has a kid.
  • Stupid Good: She is trying desperately to expose the company and exonerate Lincoln, but in doing so she often trusts people she shouldn’t, and puts herself into dangerous situations without even realising it. This eventually results in her death when she waltzes into Terrance Steadman's home with zero backup plan.
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: Truly seems to think that she will be able to exonerate Lincoln through legal channels and media exposure.

    L.J. 

Lincoln "LJ" Burrows Jr.

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/LJBurrows_9942.jpg
"You think I give a damn about justice? I just want to do to them what they did to me."
Played By: Marshall Allman

Gretchen: "What's so funny?"
LJ: "You, thinking you can outsmart my uncle."

The son of Lincoln Burrows and Lisa Rix. He has a difficult relationship with his parents, but comes to realize the truth after being attacked by company agents.


  • Break the Cutie: He was just a troubled kid at the start of the show, but then Kellerman frames him for him mothers murder, and he finds himself on the run with very few people to turn to. Season 1 really puts LJ through hell.
  • The Bus Came Back: Is Put on a Bus during season two to get him out of the way of both danger and the plot, but returns for season three after being abducted to force Michael into breaking Whistler out.
  • Butt-Monkey: Seems to constantly be pursued and apprehended.
  • Demoted to Extra: On the third season, until he's Put on a Bus on the fourth season.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Same case as his father (see above).
  • Frameup: Both times by Paul Kellerman.
  • Heroic BSoD: After the death of his mother and her boyfriend, and being framed for the crime by Paul.
  • Hot-Blooded: Just like his father, he tends to fly off the handle easily.
  • Innocent Blue Eyes: Is an innocent character in nearly every sense of the world and sports blue eyes as bright as his father's.
  • In-Series Nickname: "LJ", which comes from Lincoln Jr. He's nicknamed this by everyone to avoid confusion with his father.
  • Like Father, Like Son: Shares various traits with his father, referred to a lot in the series.
  • Mistaken for Murderer: In the first season, he is framed by Paul and Danny for the murder of his mother Lisa and her boyfriend, both who were killed by them.
  • Morality Pet: To his dad. LJ is often used as a passing motivation to keep Linc in check when things get tough.
  • Nice Guy: A nice, innocent kid with only Age-Appropriate Angst.
  • Put on a Bus: Mid season 2 when he and Lincoln meet up with Aldo and his associates, LJ decides to stay with them and get some stability. He is barely seen afterwards, until season 3.
  • Tag Along Kid: Before he Took a Level in Badass LJ’s story mostly consisted of other people worrying about where he was and if he was in danger while in the middle of vital escape plans.
  • Took a Level in Badass: After a while on the run.
  • Trauma Conga Line: First his father kills the Vice President's brother and is put on death row, then it turns out his father was framed, then his mother and stepfather are killed and he is framed for it. He is then pursued across the country by the man who killed them. He meets up with Veronica, but is then arrested for the murders and attempted murder of the Kellermans. He finally reunites with his father, but they are once again parted due to the company's man hunt. Poor kid can’t catch a break.
  • You Killed My Father: He's not forgiving Paul for killing his mother anytime soon.
  • You Will Know What to Do: Linc (when he and Michael go to break LJ out) tells him "On the third, look out for Otis Wright." and when LJ goes "huh?" Linc answers "You'll know what to do". Luckily, LJ did know. Unfortunately, so did Mahone.

    Sucre 

Fernando Sucre

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/FernandoSucre_2301.jpg
"Welcome to Prisneyland, Fish."
Played By: Amaury Nolasco

"Didn't Fox River teach you anything man? 'Cause the same rules apply out here. It doesn't make a difference if you're guilty or innocent. It's who survives."

A petty thief and Michael's cellmate. Sucre is deeply devoted to his girlfriend Maricruz Delgado, and eventually joins the break-out crew so he can be with her.


  • Bald of Awesome: Like his best friend Michael, he's bald for the whole series.
  • Butt-Monkey: Poor Sucre constantly has to deal with things never going the way he wants, including his Hope Spot where he finally seems to get away on the plane Michael arranged to have, and he spend most of the series trying and failing to reunite with his girlfriend.
  • The Ditz: Poor Sucre is not the brightest of sparks in the brain department, but he makes up for it in heart. When he’s Michael's cellmate it has the added benefit of making him the Audience Surrogate.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Sucre goes through absolute hell. He's imprisoned, humiliated, beaten up, comes close to death a dozen times, watches close friends die and travels across the United States while chased by the FBI.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: With Brad, after their stay at Sona.
  • Foreign-Language Tirade: Whenever he gets too angry he will start yelling in Spanish. Special note to when Hector tells him he's with Maricruz.
  • Gratuitous Spanish: Frequently says the odd curse or exclamation in Spanish while in stressful situations.
  • Happily Married: Eventually, with Maricruz.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Michael due to them being cellmates and Michael breaking him out. In season 5 he even calls Michael his brother.
  • The Lancer: To Michael in season 1, and to Lincoln in season 3.
  • Life of the Party: He's the only one of the group dancing at Michael and Sara's secret wedding.
  • Never Speak Ill of the Dead: After Brad's death, he won't forgive anyone who says anything bad about him.
  • Nice Guy: Probably the most unambiguously kind-hearted character on the show.
  • Shipper on Deck: For Michael/Sara.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: With Maricruz. The plot constantly keeps them apart.
  • Took a Level in Badass: After breaking out of Fox River.
  • Tragic Hero: Didn't steal much and only did so for Maricruz, but got thrown in Fox River because his cousin wanted to be with her.
  • Wild Card: He pretends to be this in season two, making off with the money by holding others at gunpoint. The next episode reveals that this was all planned by him and Michael so that they'd have to split the money in fewer portions. Not that they counted on T-Bag switching the bags...
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: His constant attempts to be reunited with Maricruz are thwarted, time and time again.

    T-Bag 

Theodore "T-Bag" Bagwell

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/TheodoreBagwell_9375.jpg
"Don't be frightened. Teddy's home."
Played By: Robert Knepper

"I am not the animal you think you see before you. I am the laws of karma all come down wrong."

A vicious and highly intelligent white supremacist gang leader serving multiple life sentences. T-Bag manages to worm his way into the break-out team and serves his own purposes, frequently changing allegiances.


  • Abusive Parents: His father abused him sexually.
  • Affably Evil: With his snappy humour, endearing charisma and quick smile, T-Bag has to be the most likeable paedophilic racist Serial Killer on TV.
  • Ain't Too Proud to Beg: When it comes down to it, Teddy's will sell his dignity to survive.
  • Animal Motifs : It's downplayed, but Robert Knepper has stated he based his walk and hairstyle on a rooster.
  • Arch-Enemy: He's Michael's main enemy through the entire series. According to T-Bag himself, they have a "blood feud".
  • Artistic License – Biology: After suffering the amputation of his left hand, T-Bag would be in absolutely no condition to continue to evade capture, no matter how much of a Determinator he is. The shock and pain would in all probability cause him to go into immediate shock, and the loss of blood would kill him in short order. There's a reason that the traumatic amputation of a hand or a foot, much less an entire arm or leg, is considered an immediate and life-threatening medical emergency.
  • Ax-Crazy: When he loses it, he lapses into 'vicious wounded animal' mode. Hell, he's dangerous to be around in general too just in case he changes his mood.
  • Anything That Moves: Seriously, be it male or female, young or old, willing or not...
  • Badass Gay: Bi, actually, but still counts.
  • Badass Moustache: Grows a mustache in the fourth season to assume the role of Cole Pfeiffer, but retains his usual conniving qualities.
  • Beard of Evil: Sports one from time to time.
  • Becoming the Mask: As Cole Pfeiffer.
  • Berserk Button: Flips out when Bellick brings up his backstory during lockdown.
  • Bi the Way: Starts off exploiting male prisoners, but also gets into a relationship with a woman.
  • Break Out Character: T-Bag was initially intended to be around for two episodes as a guest star. The character was so popular that he became an Ascended Extra soon.
  • Butt-Monkey: Not that he doesn't deserve it, but many horrible things happen to him.
  • The Charmer: His silver tongue gets him out of many dangers.
  • Child by Rape: He is the result of his father raping his mentally disabled sister.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: It'd probably be faster to list the character he hasn't betrayed so far.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Part of what makes him so dangerous is his willingness to do what it takes to win.
  • Depraved Bisexual: Displays violent sexually predatory behaviour towards young vulnerable men in prison, but also kidnaps and attempts to ‘makes lives’ with women in the outside world.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: He loves his mother, who is kept in a nursing home. In season 4 the Company uses her wellbeing to blackmail Bagwell into cooperating with them, and in Breakout Kings he escapes from prison to protect her from several abusive orderlies.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Before his imprisonment in Fox River, he started a relationship with Susan, a divorced mother with two children. He genuinely loved them, but it only lasted until she discovered that he was also a vicious, wanted criminal. In season 2, he kidnaps them to force them to be the perfect family together, but when this doesn't work out he lets them go because he couldn't bring himself to hurt them.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: He begs for the lives of Gretchen's daughter and sister despite everything she'd done to him.
    • He shows flashes of this throughout the series. In Sona, when a fleeing man is gunned down by the guards, it's notable that T-Bag is the only one of the witnesses who looks away when the guards open fire, it's plain he has no desire to watch. Also in Sona, there are several times during the brutal fights between the prisoners that he either doesn't look or walks away.
  • Evil Genius: For his lack of formal education, he's quite an intelligent man, putting his intellect to good use to lead a prison syndicate, among other things.
  • Fingore: Abruzzi hacks off T-Bag's hand in the finale of season 1. He threatens a veterinarian to reattach it, but he willingly detaches it later on when he's faced with a Life-or-Limb Decision.
  • Freudian Excuse: His dad raped his down-syndrome sister, producing T-Bag. Not to mention what stuff he did to his son, which included both physical and sexual abuse.
  • Good Feels Good: Actually enjoys being a regular office worker as Cole Pfeiffer.
  • Handicapped Badass: After John cuts his left hand. He gets patched up for some time, but his efforts to re-attach fail and he ends up using a prosthetic hand.
  • Hidden Depths: Despite coming off as a generic white supremacist rapist, he's extremely intelligent, cunning, and resourceful, and was so from a young age.
  • I Have You Now, My Pretty: The most prominent case of this was with Sara in season 4.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: Uh...yeah. Season 4. He didn't enjoy it, though.
  • In-Series Nickname: Like most inmates, he gets a nickname in prison: "T-Bag". Over the course of the seasons, however, he begins to go increasingly by 'Teddy'.
  • Joker Immunity: Despite being a Villain Protagonist with tons of awful deeds to his name, but he's also one of the most popular characters in the show and thus manages to wriggle out of situations lesser characters could ever dream of surviving so he can stay on the show.
  • Kavorka Man: Robert Knepper isn't exactly ugly, but Teddy does manage to seduce others despite being a one-handed fugitive who doesn't exactly have time for showers.
  • Large Ham: One of the biggest ones in the series. He devours scenery like a starving BRIAN BLESSED. The Japanese dub raises this Up to Eleven, as he's voiced by Norio Wakamoto there.
  • Lean and Mean: Teddy is very thin and sharp-featured, in addition to being one of the series' most dangerous villains.
  • Made of Iron: Mid-escape he has his hand amputated in a barn. He manages to ice the hand, get it reattached, and is then kidnapped and cuffed to a radiator so he bites out his own stitches and removes his hand to escape.
  • Manipulative Bastard: He's good at fooling people into trusting him.
  • The One That Got Away: Views his old flame Susan as this.
  • Pet the Dog: Has a few moments, though he's usually causing equal grief as he is relief to his victims, such as deciding to let Susan and her family go... after taking them hostage, as well as letting Gretchen's sister and daughter go against Self's orders... also after keeping them hostage.
  • Photographic Memory: Claims to have it, and proves it after eating the map to Westmoreland's money in season two in order to force the brothers to cooperate with him.
  • Pintsize Powerhouse: A curious example. Though his actor is about 5'10", a wanted poster in the second season identifies T-Bag as being only 5'5" and still manages to beat or kill nearly any opponent in a one-on-one fight.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: He's openly racist in prison, being the leader of an Aryan Brotherhood type group. As the show progresses, however, he does seem to ditch this attitude possibly because he doesn't need it to survive in prison anymore. He even has a relationship with a Panamanian lady named Carmelita.
  • Prison Rape: Did this to Seth (and probably others before him), and attempted it on Tweener.
  • Rape as Backstory: His father was abusive both physically and sexually.
  • Rape as Drama: In his backstory he was raped by his father.
  • Sharp-Dressed Man: While posing as Cole Pfeiffer in season 4.
  • Southern-Fried Genius: With his strong accent and Large Ham tendencies, many underestimate the highly intelligent and quick-witted man that he is.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Variously with Michael and others, even other villains, largely due to his Chronic Backstabbing Disorder.
  • Token Evil Teammate: Whenever he ends up on Michael's team through Enemy Mine circumstances or other, he ends up as this.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Michael always gets one over on him.
  • Villain Protagonist: He's definitely the worst of the Fox River Eight.
  • Wicked Cultured: He appears and often sounds like some redneck hick, but T-Bag is surprisingly well spoken and eloquent.
    • In his childhood his father would make him study the dictionary recite lists of synonyms to impress his friends.
  • Wild Card: You never entirely know if T-Bag is going to be terrorizing the heroes or helping them.
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    Abruzzi 

John Abruzzi

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/JohnAbruzzi_1936.jpg
"Does not a warm handshake feel better than a cold... shank?"
Played By: Peter Stormare

"I kneel only to God. I don't see him here."

An infamous mobster who Michael needs to fund parts of the escape. He becomes something of a co-leader of the break-out team with Michael, but begins to lose the mob connections that made him valuable.


  • Absentee Actor: Had his throat slit by T-Bag and was in the hospital for six episodes because of Peter Stormare's obligations to shoot some weird Volkswagon commercials.
  • The Atoner: For a short while after he experiences an attack of guilt when his henchman inadvertently kills a young boy.
  • Back for the Dead: Doesn't appear for a while after he splits up with the rest of the fugitives, and dies a few episodes later.
  • Badass in a Nice Suit: After breaking out.
  • Defiant to the End: He goes out guns blazing.
  • The Don: He's the leader of a Mafia crew in Chicago. While he has been incarcerated, he still largely commands them from prison.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: He is killed a few episodes into Season 2, in a trap laid by Agent Mahone.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: He loves his wife and kids, meeting up with them immediately after escaping.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: He's a mafia don, but killing kids is a big no-no to him and his crew.
  • Face Death with Dignity: Dies unflinchingly when he realizes he's in a trap.
  • Faux Affably Evil: He clearly tries to be an affable smooth talker, but Abruzzi's demeanour often comes of more predatory and greasy than helpful.
  • Happily Married: Has a good relationship with his wife. However, his determination to get revenge against Fibonacci overpowers his love for her and their children.
  • Heel–Face Revolving Door: Throughout Season 1.
  • Heel–Faith Turn: : Tries to do right after having a religious conversion in prison, including not killing T-Bag when he has the chance.
  • Important Haircut: Cuts his hair as soon as he returns to Fox River from Chicago.
  • Made of Iron: He survives his throat being slashed by T-Bag.
  • The Mafia: Is a high ranking member of the Italian Mob.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Has Veronica followed so that he has leverage over Michael and Lincoln.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Has a breakdown while being swamped with guilt over his actions, notably the accidental murder of a child by one of his men acting on his orders.
  • Near-Death Experience: He experiences one when T-Bag slits his throat. He has to be quickly evacuated to an emergency hospital, where he eventually makes a recovery before he's transferred back to Fox River.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: Peter Stormare wanted to leave the show, so Abruzzi was killed off quickly at the beginning of season 2.
  • Sacrificial Lion: He's the first of the Fox River Eight to die in order to reveal that Mahone is out to kill the fugitives, not capture them.
  • Sharp-Dressed Man: After escaping.
  • What the Hell Is That Accent?: He slips in and out of about a dozen different accents. Understandably, since he's an Italian-American character played by a Swedish actor.
  • Wild Card: He's perfectly willing to betray members of the group to tie up loose ends and has one of his men follow around Veronica for leverage.
  • Wouldn't Hurt a Child: He's horrified when his men accidentally shoot T-Bag's cousin's kid nephew. This motivates Abruzzi to let T-Bag live after he tries to kill Bagwell since he considers his grief penance enough, but it only ends up getting Abruzzi a slashed throat.

    C-Note 

Benjamin Miles "C-Note" Franklin

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/BenjaminMilesFranklin_4649.jpg
"I served my country and my country served me up."
Played By: Rockmund Dunbar

"What's up, snowflake?"

An expert smuggler and ex-serviceman who joins the break-out team in hopes of seeing his family again.


  • Big Damn Heroes: When he saves his daughter, a waitress and everyone else at a restaurant from an armed thief.
    • He and Sucre pull this off, saving Michael, Lincoln, Sara, and Sofia from certain death at the hands of General Krantz in "Killing Your Number"
  • Black Dude Dies First: Averted - he's the only member of the Fox River Eight to be acquitted of all charges and allowed to live with his family in peace.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Most prominently in season 1. He doesn't have time to snark anymore when he's on the run.
  • Driven to Suicide: Mahone is forced by the Company to kill all of the Fox River 8, and after C-Note is caught, Alex sends him a rope and tells him that if he commits suicide, he'd look after his family, otherwise Kacee would go back to jail and Dede to the foster system.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: After being separated from his family and nearly forced to kill himself, he's acquitted and given a chance to live in witness protection with his family in return for testifying against Mahone. Subverted in season four when he reveals that Internal Affairs failed to hold up their end of the bargain with Mahone in Panama.
  • Friend in the Black Market: The most useful smuggler in Fox River.
  • Happily Married: To Kacee.
  • He Knows Too Much: Why he's kicked out of the army. Fortunately, he keeps his life.
  • Hidden Depths: First introduced as a dangerous, threatening criminal, but it's later revealed that he was a loyal and intelligent soldier and a loving husband and father.
  • Honor Before Reason: The reason that gets him kicked out of the army is that he's too honorable to keep silent about the Cold-Blooded Torture going on there.
  • Interrupted Suicide: The guards find him just in time to save him.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Comes across as very intimidating and dangerous, but he is very loyal to his family and he was once a soldier who was discharged due to his disagreeing with the militaries use of torture on captives.
  • Meaningful Name: He has the same name as Founding Father Benjamin Franklin, who is portraited on the $100 bill, and he obtains items and substances for other Fox River inmates for $100. This earned him the nickname "C-Note".
  • Out of Focus: He's Put on a Bus for season 3 and most of season 4.
  • Papa Wolf: When Westmoreland pokes into his business and asks who Dede is, C-Note states he never wants to hear that name again. Westmoreland immediately knows it's his daughter.
  • Put on a Bus: Gets immunity and put into witness protection towards the end of season 2 and up until the final episodes, when The Bus Came Back.
  • Scary Black Man: Plays this up in prison, especially during the race riots, but is really a loving husband and doting father.
  • The Scrounger: He can get anything you want for $100.
  • The Sixth Ranger: He's the last person to "invite himself" onto the escape team by threatening to reveal their plan to the guards, and like T-Bag is unaffiliated with anyone else.
  • Wouldn't Hurt a Child: He calls Abruzzi out for holding a hunter's young daughter as hostage for him to drop his gun and give them the keys to his car.

    Bellick 

Capt. Bradley "Brad" Bellick

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/BradBellick_8768.jpg
"There isn’t any flying under my radar."
Played By: Wade Williams

"You're in the old man's back pocket, are you? I got news for you fish, he may run this place during the day, but I run it during the night."

The corrupt captain of the Fox River correctional officers. After the break-out, he's fired from his position but stays on Michael's trail.


  • Aborted Arc: Maybe not an arc, more of a Noodle Incident, but we never did find out why he was at a 12-step meeting.
  • Anti-Hero: On the fourth season.
  • The Artifact: Pushes this in season 2 but is definitely this from season 3 onward. He was initially slated to leave the series after season 1, but Wade Williams' excellent performance ensured he would stay on.
  • Artistic License – Law: In the second season, Bellick would not have been in charge of, or even participating in, the manhunt for the fugitives. He's a prison guard, not a law enforcement officer, and has absolutely no authority outside of the prison. The entire manhunt would have been handled by local and state police.
  • Badass Decay: Starts off a physically capable, shrewd, and tough bully, but after his Humiliation Conga, he becomes almost something of The Heart to the group and loses most of his tougher qualities.
  • Bad Cop/Incompetent Cop: In the first two seasons (although he's fired after the events in the first season finale.)
  • Break Out Character: Was a rather flat bully character in the first season, but was still popular as a Love to Hate Jerkass and featured was a prominent feature every season until his death in season four.
  • Bound and Gagged: During the break out of Fox River.
  • The Bully: Goes out of his way to harass and bully inmates, especially Michael, who he takes a particular hatred to to the point of stomping on his foot after he gets his toe cut off.
  • Butt-Monkey: From Season 2 onwards, but most prominently in season 3, when his extremely low status forces him to pathetically jockey for shoes and ounces of water while others mock and attack him.
  • The Captain: His position at Fox River.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Makes some really stupid moves, but is also smart enough to be able to track the movements of some of the fugitives, enough to briefly get the money from T-Bag. He's also able to win a fight to the death in Sona with some underhanded and ingenious tricks.
  • Dirty Cop: Deeply corrupt and doesn't feel bad about it in the least.
  • Dirty Coward: Although he recovers from it in a rather magnificent way.
  • Dying Moment of Awesome: Voluntarily drowns to save the others. His death deeply affects the remaining members of the team, and they are very insistent on him having a proper funeral.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Despite his Jerkass behavior, he genuinely loves his mother, particularly since his father died when he was just a kid.
  • Evil Is Petty: Kills off Westmoreland's beloved pet cat just because he won't give up information.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: With Sucre, after their stay at Sona.
  • Frameup: T-Bag frames him twice: the first for the murder of Roy Geary, and the second for the murder of a prostitute in Panama.
  • The Heart: In season four he proves to be the squeamish about violence, is shaken after he helps kill Lincoln kill a mook, and is the only one who criticizes Lincoln for not caring about Roland's death.
  • Heel–Face Turn: In season 3, by virtue of also being a prisoner, he ends up wanting to team up with Michael. It comes into full force in season 4 as he is actively part of the team to destory the company.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: In season 4 he drowns in order to protect the rest of the team and ensure their plan can succeed.
  • Hidden Depths: Though he started off looking nothing but a bully guard always one step behind Michael, he was savvy enough to track T-Bag down and assist Mahone, and he saves sincere love for his mother.
  • Humiliation Conga: After spending the first two seasons being an unequivocal antagonist, he's thrown in Sona for season three, where he's apparently raped, stripped of clothes and shoes, put on latrine duty, mocked and harassed, and denied food and water, leaving him to beg for scraps from former victims T-Bag and Michael, who brush him off.
  • Interrupted Suicide: After failing to stop Michael escaping the county, and losing his job as a result, he heads home, with his shotgun tucked into his coat. He goes into his bedroom and prepares to kill himself, before his mother comes to the door and mentions the massive bounties on the Fox River Eight. *Cue Idea Bulb*
  • Jerkass: In the first season. then cue Character Development and being incarcerated in Sona, which leads to him falling into Jerk with a Heart of Gold.
  • Kick the Dog: Numerous times throughout Season 1, especially the part where he killed Westmoreland's pet cat and sent Tweener into the cell of sex criminal Avocado.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: After being a total jerkass in season 1, he falls hard in season 3, where he becomes the ultimate whipping boy and drowns in season 4.
  • Lovable Coward: He frequently suggests fleeing or abandoning the mission until he becomes a permanent fixture of the team.
  • Mean Character, Nice Actor: During interviews, Williams has said that one of his concerns when taking the role was not wanting his daughter to see him portraying such an unlikable character.
  • Mistaken for Murderer: He's framed twice by T-Bag.
  • Momma's Boy: Lives with his mother and even asks her to wire him and Geary money when they're chasing Michael. She also meets him in the middle of nowhere to pick him up after he and Sucre leave Sona.
    • Subverted when he requests to be placed in Fox River, saying that he wants to be close to his mother, while in reality he's hoping to take advantage of being in the same prisons as his old coworkers and buddies.
  • Oh, Crap!: When his threatening message to Geary surfaces after the latter's murder.
  • He also has this reaction when he's incarcerated at Fox River, but is told that instead of being placed in protective incarceration, the new Warden has ordered he be placed in the general prison population.
  • Sixth Ranger: After being either antagonist or Butt-Monkey for the first seasons, he eventually becomes a member of the team.
  • Smug Snake: Spends season one smugly holding his authority over the characters.
  • Took a Level in Badass: He only seems strong in Fox River, where he has power over the intimates. His Humiliation Conga in season three strips him to nothing more than a feeble inmate begging for scraps, but by the end of the season he's able to fight his way into regaining a foothold, something that continues into season four.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: After Sona.
  • Villainous Crush: Is attracted to Sara when he first meets her and asks her on a date, though she rebuffs him, something that may have contributed to his hatred of Michael, who Sara is interested in.
  • Wild Card: In season 2, after Geary betrays him. It lasts until Mahone hires him to find Haywire.

    Sara 

Dr. Sara Tancredi

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/SaraTancredi_3258.jpg
"I believe in being part of the solution, not the problem."
"Michael Scofield, are you asking me to sail off into the sunset with you?"

The disgraced daughter of the governor Frank Tancredi and a doctor at Fox River. She quickly develops a connection with Michael, and ends up joining him in exposing the Company.


  • Action Survivor: To the point where she graduates to Action Girl.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: She ends up falling for Michael, one of the convicts (although he was a particularely nice one). She even lampshades this with a bit of self-deprecation.
  • Aloof Dark-Haired Girl: Can be quite emotionally cold. In season 1 this is due to professionalism, but later it is a result of torture related PTSD.
  • Pregnant Badass: In the movie. She is trapped in a womens prison facing frequent violence while in her first or second trimester of pregancy.
  • Broken Bird: Was once a promising doctor, but drug addiction ruined her career as a regular doctor. When she went to work at Fox River things were looking up until she was involved in the escape, at which point she relapsed and then joined Michael on the run. After that she gets tortured twice, and by season 4 she is very emotionally fragile.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture:
    • Paul Kellerman tortures her in the second season to get Michael's location.
    • Underwent this again in the third season, this time around by Gretchen.
  • Decapitation Presentation: By Gretchen in the third season, although it was faked.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: Despite being one of the most important characters, she's rather unceremoniously killed off at the beginning of season three as a warning to Lincoln and Michael after they try to free her and LJ. The fact that we don't even see her face due to a body double being used for an absent Callies makes this even more egregious, not to mention that it seems absolutely stupid for her captors to kill her instead of just harming her considering Michael wasn't even close to breaking Whistler out yet.
  • Drugs Are Bad: She was previously a junkie. After a lot of Character Development, she affirms this.
  • Faking the Dead: All along season 3 after she escapes from Gretchen, who then pretends to have killed her.
  • Fallen Princess: From the second season onwards.
  • Forced to Watch: Gretchen kills Michelle Taylor, the girl who was helping Sara escape, in front of her and forces her to watch as she dies.
  • Hello, Nurse!: Is a young and attractive nurse, thus leading to some understandable positive attention from the inmates. Which comes back hard when the riot breaks out and a mob of prisoners comes to rape and likely kill her.
  • Heroic BSoD: When her father dies.
  • Honey Trap: In season 4 she has to use her looks a lot to manipulate men in various schemes.
  • Hospital Hottie: She's pretty attractive, and a licensed doctor. Being in a prison, this almost gets her raped during a major riot.
  • I Have Your Wife: She holds Lisa Tabak hostage to coerce the General.
  • The Lost Lenore: It's strongly implied that Michael has become this to her.
  • Mafia Princess: Sort of; she's the daughter of the governor, but she's the complete opposite than what one would expect from that.
  • The Medic: A trained and once certified doctor, Sara frequently patches up Michael and other characters.
  • Nice Girl: Is generally kind and friendly to everyone she meets.
  • Not Quite Dead: Apparently Killed Off for Real in season three, only to return in the fourth season with a Hand Wave that her death was faked.
  • Raven Hair, Ivory Skin: Has dark hair and pale skin — irresistible to Michael, who is said to love brunettes.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": It's common debate between fans if her name's spelled "Sara" or "Sarah", despite it already been confirmed as the former rather than the latter.
  • Spoiled Sweet: Has some aspects of this.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: As of the second season, with Michael. Due to him being on the run, there's not much time for Michael to drop by (it doesn't help that she's wanted too).
  • Took a Level in Badass: Though she had shades of this in season one when she manages to defend herself while being holed up during the riot, she really breaks out in season two, managing to survive while on the run from everyone trying to kill her, including freeing herself from Kellerman's attempting drowning, attacking him with an iron, and jumping out of a window onto a car before later stitching her own wounds in a public bathroom. In the season two finale she even kills Agent Kim while he has the brothers at gunpoint.

    Kellerman 

Paul Kellerman

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/PaulKellerman_5594.jpg
"I am going to do something, I have to do something, that a lot of people are going to think is horrible."
Played By: Paul Adelstein

"Certain number of bodies you can sweep under the rug. President's rug is getting so full you can barely stand on it."

A Secret Service agent acting as the brutal right hand of Vice President Reynolds. Their friendship begins to fade as she climbs the political ladder, leading him to become increasingly conflicted.


  • Abusive Parents: His father and mother.
  • All Love Is Unrequited: He had a crush on Caroline, but she only had eyes for her brother.
  • Aloof Big Brother: He was a Knight Templar Big Brother until he turned 18, when he left his house and never went back for his sister. He hasn't seen her for years since then.
  • Ax-Crazy: Initially he had a propensity for flying off the handle in extremely violent ways, but he got better, somewhat.
  • Back for the Finale: After he's assumed to be killed off at the end of season two, he reappears in the finale.
  • Badass in a Nice Suit: He's always impeccably dressed while in the field, which doesn't hinder his strength.
  • Bodyguard Crush: On his Childhood Friend, the Vice-President of the US, Caroline Reynolds. She doesn't reciprocate, since she's carrying on an incestuous relationship with her brother Terrence Steadman. Terrence openly laughs at Kellerman over how Caroline doesn't care for him at all but he refuses to believe it. However, when Caroline cuts him off in season 2, it drives Kellerman to join the brothers.
  • Bond Villain Stupidity: Despite having a million faster and easier ways of killing Sara, he leaves her alone to drown in a bathtub and steps away to get ready to cut her body into pieces, giving her plenty of time to pull the bath's plug and escape.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: Does this to Sara early in season 2.
  • The Dragon: For Reynolds, at first.
  • Driven to Suicide: Tries to kill himself near the end of season two, but his gun jams. His sister convinces him that it's a sign, and sure enough, he has a change of heart and testifies on Sara's behalf, exonerating her.
  • Faking the Dead: Since the season two finale.
  • Go Out with a Smile: "In the French resistance it was considered a high honor to face a Nazi firing squad... meant you did your job. The highest honor was to smile when they shot you."
  • Heel–Face Turn: After betraying the company.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Danny Hale. Until he kills him, at least.
  • Humiliation Conga: But he gets better.
  • Interrupted Suicide: Attempts to kill himself in the second season, but the gun jams.
  • Manipulative Bastard
  • The Men in Black
  • Morality Pet: His sister, despite not having seen her in years.
  • Not Quite Dead: Season 4 reveals he's still alive all along.
  • Pet the Dog: He makes amends with Sara by testifying in her defence to save her from hard time. He does so knowing he'll get arrested for attempting to murder her and will likely be killed by the Company to shut him up.
  • Secret Identity: As Owen, a salesman, as LJ finds out the hard way.
  • Sharp-Dressed Man: Usually seen in a nice suit.
  • Smug Snake: Like his superior Kim, he always has a Smug Smile on his face.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: In season 2.
  • Torture Technician: Brings out of a variety of tools and methods to torture Sara with after capturing her.
  • Unlucky Childhood Friend: For Caroline Reynolds, according to Terrance.
  • Unperson: By Bill Kim's doing.
  • Wild Card: In season 2, he double-crosses Mahone and saves the brothers instead of killing them as planned and works with them to take revenge on Caroline. After Sara leaves him behind in revenge, he goes off on his own and nearly ruins the mission to get Caroline to pardon the brothers by assassinating her, but the plan falls through. After failing to commit suicide, he testifies on Sara's behalf, exonerating her and Lincoln.
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    Mahone 

Alexander "Alex" Mahone

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/AlexanderMahone_3390.jpg
"I don't want either of you. I JUST WANT MY LIFE BACK!"
Played By: William Fichtner

"There's one big difference between you and I, Michael. You just proved it. You can't kill. And that's what it's going to take to stop me because I don't have the same reservations. I can't. So whether it's today in Gila, or tomorrow in Albuquerque, or two months from now in Panama... I will get you. I don't have a choice."

A troubled FBI agent tasked with tracking down the Fox River Eight. He's secretly being blackmailed by the Company to kill the Fox River Eight, and is constantly looking for a way out.


  • Addiction Displacement: He replaces his medication with heroin in Sona, due to them being the next best thing. After a failed trial, he tries to quit and replaces his addiction by staring at a picture of his son provided by Lang every time he feels like he's losing it.
  • Amicably Divorced: With Pam in the series finale.
  • Anti-Villain
  • Arch-Enemy: To Michael before his Heel–Face Turn.
  • The Atoner: Spends season four working to atone from all the deaths and pain he caused from working with the Company, pairing up with Whistler to take it down.
  • Bad Cop/Incompetent Cop: Downplayed. He is by no means incompetent, and he is only a bad cop in the second season because the Company forces him to be so.
  • Berserk Button: Any insults or threats regarding Pam or his son Cameron will not be well received. Wyatt actually killing Cameron triggered something even worse.
  • Defective Detective: One of the smartest and savviest agents ever, but is divorced and veers into mental and emotional instability due to the pressures of working for the company and his abuse of medication.
  • Dirty Cop: He is forced by the company to become this, after his stress snaps and he kills Shales, the monster he had been hunting for years.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: After unwillingly working as an attack dog of the Company, being separated from his family, being a prisoner in Sona suffering from Sanity Slippage, and losing his beloved son who he spent years working to reunite with, he is eventually set free and pursues a relationship with Lang, who loves him.
  • Fair Cop: He's quite handsome and has his fair share of admiring fans.
  • Functional Addict: In Season Two. Not so much when he's trapped in Sona during Season Three and turns to heroin.
  • Genius Bruiser: While his major attribute is being extremely intelligent, he's actually one of the, if not the best fighters in the series. He bests even Big Guy Lincoln and can effortlessly plow through entire squads of mooks if necessary. If it wasn't for his psychological issues and woobie status he'd be the biggest badass in the series by far.
  • Going Cold Turkey: In Season 3, he's forced off his meds when he's thrown in Sona.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Eventually, when the Company loses interest in him on the third season, he begins to change for the better.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: to a lesser extend than most cases, but still counts, with Lincoln.
  • In-Series Nickname: He's called Alex so much by practically every character in the series (those who don't just call him Mahone, of course), one tends to forget his real name is actually Alexander.
  • Karma Houdini: Sure, he turns out into a nice guy after his Heel–Face Turn, but he also got away with killing Tweener and Aldo Burrows, although he's atoning for that and did lose his beloved son.
  • Wild Card: In season 3, before alligning himself to Whistler.
  • Worthy Opponent: To Michael, who usually outfoxes everyone, and is the only one who truly concerns him. Michael actually uses this to his advantage after he and Mahone become allies to outfox Christina Rose Scofield, who herself could outfox Michael, but didn't know Mahone, therefore having no idea how to outfox him.
  • You Killed My Father: He hunts down Wyatt who killed his son, and later tortures and kills him.

    Whistler 

James Whistler

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/JamesWhistler_9541.jpg
"Prior to this experience, I had the utmost respect for the law."
Played By: Chris Vance

"I assume we're doing more than just playing electrician?"

A 'fisherman' imprisoned in SONA. The Company wants him freed and alive for unknown purposes, so Gretchen forces the brothers to do the work for her.


  • Aborted Arc: The writer's strike seemed to essentially gut whatever his story was going to be, and it was quickly re-worked into the Scylla arc.
  • Affably Evil: A charismatic, witty prisoner who's also working for the Company.
  • Ambiguous Allegiance: All through season 3, the audience is left wondering which side does he really play for. It's finally resolved in the season finale; he works for the Company.
  • The Atoner: Though he starts off working for the Company and nearly gets everyone killed in order to escape, he's secretly working to take down the Company. It didn't last long before the plot Dropped a Bridge on Him.
  • Boom, Headshot!: Shot in the back of the head by Wyatt.
  • Butt-Monkey: Since he's neither a genius nor physically imposing, he's usually dependent on the other breakout team members.
  • Consummate Liar: Effortlessly lies to the group with the insistence that he's not working for the Company, and tricks them into thinking he has a torn ankle in order to escape to Gretchen.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Just look at his bird book!
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: Killed off rather abruptly by Wyatt in the fourth season premiere. See Aborted Arc above.
  • Enigmatic Minion: His agenda is unknown for most of season three. At the end, it's revealed he really does work for the Company, but the book he needed was actually a means to steal Scylla and take down the Company.
  • Killed Mid-Sentence: Killed by Wyatt while trying to convince Michael to steal Scylla.
  • Living MacGuffin: Finding him means an instant trial for anyone in SONA, so he's quite sought-after. Michael was put in SONA specifically to break him out and he's the key to Sara and LJ's freedom. Finding him was the hard part.
  • Sacrificial Lion: He's shot in the back of the head by Wyatt after escaping SONA in order to establish just how important Scylla is.

    Lechero 

Norman "Lechero" St John

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/NormanStJohn_9766.jpg
"Without rules we are nothing but savages."
Played By: Robert Wisdom

"I'd be glad to see you go down, Superstar."

The hot-tempered 'king' of SONA who sees Michael as a threat.


  • Horrible Judge of Character: He chooses T-Bag as a right-hand man. He ultimately dies by T-Bag's hands.
  • Jerkass: Frames Michael in order to set up a fight between him and a violent, dangerous prisoner, just because he's jealous of Michael's stardom and wants him dead.
  • Large Ham: Lechero shouts, rages, over-enunciates and is given to grandiose speeches.
  • Mercy Kill: Has T-Bag smother him after he's mortally wounded.
  • Sanity Slippage: After his mother's murder.
  • Scary Black Man: He became the king of Sona basically by being the most terrifying motherfucker in a terrifying prison.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: T-Bag mercy kills him only after manipulating him into giving away the location of his money.

    Gretchen 

Gretchen Morgan AKA Susan B. Anthony

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/GretchenMorgan_5761.jpg
"You push anything into a corner too far and the claws will come out."
Played By: Jodi Lyn O'Keefe

"I'm just a soldier in this war, Lincoln, just like you."

A ruthless company agent blackmailing Lincoln and Michael to break James Whistler out of SONA. After numerous failures, the Company tries to have her killed only for her to escape and begin working against them.


  • Affably Evil: She's as charismatic as she is antagonistic.
  • Aloof Big Sister: Sometimes seems to be this towards her sister Rita.
  • Aloof Dark-Haired Girl: A stoic and cold brunette.
  • Artistic License – Biology: In Season 4, when Wyatt is torturing her and not getting anywhere, he changes tactics and says he's going to expose her to smells (severed eyeballs, urine, rotting meat) that humans have been programmed by evolution to react badly to, resulting in panic, loss of control, anxiety, etc. He then leaves a bucket full of said items next to her, and leaves the room. The problem is, just like in visiting the elephant pen at the zoo and after awhile you just don't notice the stench, after about five minutes her olfactory nerve would have become desensitized and she just wouldn't smell the items anymore either. They try to avert it by having another guard come in after awhile and say he's going to "freshen up the urine", but it wouldn't work as he's just adding to an odor she already doesn't notice anymore.
  • Badass in Distress: At the beginning on season 4, while the company has her captive.
  • Bi the Way: The way she leans on towards Sofia while commenting on how beautiful she was leaves little to the imagination. Also, when she's in prison, she seduces a female guard in exchange for a favor.
  • Boyish Short Hair: In the movie.
  • Depraved Bisexual: If her behaviour around Sofia and Sara is anything to go by...
  • Dark Action Girl: A capable and dangerous fighter.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Emphasis on deadpan.
  • Femme Fatale: Her introduction is heavy on this and full of flirtation with Lincoln, but he doesn't bite.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Sort of; she doesn't work for the company anymore, but she's not liked with the good guys either. So, she sort of just works for herself. Still, you have to admit she did some changing in the movie when she allows Sara to leave without her, turning herself in so that Sara isn't caught.
  • May–December Romance: With the General (a man of 63), although 'romance' is perhaps not the best word. Their relationship is quite twisted; the General orders Gretchen to be tortured to death without any qualms, despite the two of them having been lovers previously and the fact that he has fathered her daughter. He still desires her, and temporarily compels her to rejoin him.
  • Morality Pet: Her daughter and sister.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Season 4 has her dress up in a naughty school girl outfit as means to seduce the General.
  • Psycho for Hire: She enjoys her job as an interrogator and occasional killer. To the point that Lincoln actually compares her to a mercenary.
  • Secret Identity: We learn her real name from Whistler halfway through season 3.
  • Smug Snake: Smugly lords over the brothers that she has their loved ones and isn't afraid to hurt them, and when the exchange of prisoners takes place, she smirks when making it clear that they'll be killed the moment they step out. This comes back to bite her when she's outwitted numerous times by Michael.
  • The Stoic: Has little emotion as she discusses a kidnapped LJ and is only slightly upset when revealing she beheaded Sara, though that last one might have to do with the fact that Gretchen actually faked beheading Sara.
  • Torture Technician: Knows plenty about it, as evidenced by knowing exactly where to paralyze LJ if need be.

    Sofia 

Sofia Lugo

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/SofiaLugo_9763.jpg
"This is why my friends don't visit Panama. You cops bother everyone!"
Played By: Danay Garcia

The innocent and devoted girlfriend of James Whistler who slowly finds out the truth behind his deception.


    Self 

Donald "Don" Self

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/DonSelf_5319.jpg
"Don’t mistake my patience for weakness."
Played By: Michael Rapaport

"You’re a whore, and your mother was a whore, and her mother, and your father used to turn tricks at a gas station, ‘cause he was a whore, too."

A Homeland Security agent, Self puts together the 'Scylla' team in an attempt to bring down the Company.


  • Acquired Situational Narcissism: Flush with the success of his previous manipulations, Self grows confident to an idiotic point. He refuses to listen to good advice, allows his greed to result in botching lucrative deals and ultimately loses everything due to his own arrogance and certainty.
  • The Alcoholic: He was this before his wife's accident.
  • Big Bad Friend: To the Scylla group. He doesn't care about bringing down the Company, he just wants to steal from them and make money off selling the Scylla card. He then operates as the resident Big Bad for a few episodes before the Company catches up with him.
  • Brooklyn Rage: He retains Michael Rapaport's heavy accent.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: He betrays Michael and the team, Trishanne/Miriam Hultz, Vikan the buyer for Scylla, the Representative... he just can't stop. He loves betraying people.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Has some shades of it, but becomes much more sarcastic after the reveal that he was Evil All Along.
  • Defiant to the End: Even when critically wounded, he still taunts the FBI agents that question him.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: He loves his wife dearly, and seems to be [[spoiler:committing such evil acts partly so he can better provide for her.
  • Evil All Along: It's revealed that from the very beginning he was using the Scylla team and constantly lying to them.
  • Evil Is Not a Toy: Self thinks that having the Scylla card will make him top dog and rich, but the Company quickly turns things around on him.
  • Evil Redhead: It's eventually revealed that he was Evil All Along.
  • Faking the Dead: To his superior; after the Face–Heel Turn, he calls him and pretends to be killed by Lincoln.
  • Fate Worse than Death: Self winds up pretty much in a vegetative state.
  • I Have Your Wife: He holds Gretchen's family hostage so that she gets him another buyer for Scylla. In return, the General holds his wife hostage.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: His alcoholism resulted in his wife ending up in a vegetative state, and his greedy manipulations eventually get her killed. Self ultimately winds up in a mute, vegetative state himself.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Big time. He successfully manipulates the entire Scylla team and numerous Homeland Security co-workers.
  • Smug Snake: Self gradually becomes more smug and self-assured after The Reveal that he was Evil All Along, but the General is still far out of his league.
  • Wild Card: In the second half of season 4, his allegiance can shift constantly depending on who's giving him a better offer.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Self is happy to hold Gretchen's daughter hostage to force her into helping him.

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