Waaaaade (Williams) in the water, children!
Attention Fox Promo Monkeys: stop it with the “OMG somebody is totally gonna die!!!” teasers. We figure it out who it is in the first ten minutes and the rest of the episode is one big deathwatch. It’s very distracting. Anyway, something weird and gross goes on between Gretchen and Baldy, and I still don’t really know what her deal is. Mahone wearily exacts his revenge while the rest of the boys drop down into the secret passage in Cole Pfeiffer’s closet, and Sara doesn’t really do anything at all. You know, I was totally fine with the whole “she wasn’t dead after all, d’oh!” thing, cause this show is a total sausagefest and I liked her a lot in season two when she was all clever and spunky and outwitting Kellerman. (Sigh. Kellerman.) But why go through all that trouble if you’re not going to give her a plotline? Somebody get on that.2.09 Greatness Achieved. So anyway. Roland died ratting the boys out, but they got Wyatt out of the deal so we’ll call it even. The mood is somber in the Warehouse of Justice. Linc is trying to get Wyatt to call Baldy and say he killed everybody, but his torture method is just punches to the face, and Wyatt is like “Fisticuffs? You call that torture? Bitch please.” Michael says that it won’t matter; Baldy will hear that Wyatt is in distress and know he’s lying. Linc punches him some more anyway, because punching is just something Linc likes to do. And also cause Wyatt’s a punk, of course. That probably makes it more fun. Mahone is standing in the corner looking at his metaphorical vengeance watch and metaphorically foaming at the mouth.
Meanwhile, the Corporate Legion of Doom is arranging emergency evacuation of Scylla, the big secret location of which they know has been compromised, thanks to last week’s opposite-of-subtle attempt to snag the General’s card. Lisa, via some good old-fashioned clunky expositional dialogue, tells Baldy it’s going to take three days to move Scylla’s “delicate” data, whatever that means, and also she thinks it’s a bad idea to put it in the “Raven Rock bunker.” Baldy says the safest place is the one the boys don’t know about. They’re also waiting to hear from Wyatt, who is totally tardy and not answering his phone. Baldy orders them to assemble a press release to make it impossible for Michael and Linc to show their faces anywhere in town, which, I would have thought that whole “Fox River 8/Most Wanted Felons EVAR” thing that just happened a few months ago would have accomplished that, but they seem to be bopping around LA with no problem, so whatever.
Self notes that they’re not making much progress with Wyatt, and suggests they try talking to him. He emphatically presents a metal briefcase. Presumably this is relevant, because a) each cast member gets a 2-second reaction shot, and b) it’s the big “dun!” moment that ends the cold open and goes to credits. Dun! Business accessory!
Sara’s entire plotline this week involves her moral indignation at torture/vengeance, because she’s a doctor. She gets a handful of dialogue and one righteous stormout, and that’s really it for this episode. Sorry, Sara. You’re the least ridiculous character on this show and I’m sure they’ll give you something to do eventually. Anyway, she tells Wyatt he probably doesn’t want to find out what’s in Self’s magic briefcase (mysterious orange glowy thing?) and unless he cooperates he’s as good as dead. He’s like, ptthbt, “dead,” I’ve had worse. Self tells everybody that Roland has been “reconfigured” and laid to rest, to which Linc says good riddance. Bellick, who is just getting started in terms of ironic foreshadowing, is all “come on, the guy died!” Linc says he died a punk, which is hard to argue with.
Michael has the blueprint spread out on the table. He shows them where they’ll be scurrying around through the boiler room at Gate, and then there’s this big X that probably represents an impasse of some kind but he has no idea what it actually is. Good plan! Self stays behind with bloody Wyatt, morally conflicted Sara, and chomping-at-the-bit Mahone.
You can tell by the confidence on everyone’s faces that absolutely nothing can go wrong with this plan.
T-Bag lets everybody else into Cole Pfeiffer’s magic closet. It’s like the Narnia wardrobe, only the alternate universe you end up in is much darker and dirtier and totally lacking in either thinly veiled Christian allegory or Turkish Delight. Cole Pfeiffer is confronted by his boss, who hasn’t been around to witness the ongoing pissing contest between Andy and T-Bag, so he finds Andy’s resignation letter puzzling but not necessarily suspicious. Mr. White can’t get ahold of poor, dead, garotted, almost certainly dismembered Andy, and Cole naturally shares his boss’s concern for the dead guy who was totally on to T-Bag’s bullshit from practically the first second and who was murdered right in front of him. T-Bag calls Gretchen to let her know Mr. White is sniffing around, and she’s all, yeah, keep me posted on that, can’t talk now, I have a Thing. He says if he gets caught, he’s not going alone – they’re going down together like traffic and weather. Which is funny and also a great Fountains of Wayne CD.
Sara is babysitting Wyatt, whose phone keeps ringing. He reminds her that the longer he goes without answering, the more danger they’re in. He tries to cut a deal with her, playing on her doctor guilt, and she looks sort of tempted.
“Sure, he’s a hired killer, but that Kellerman guy sure came through for me in the end, so who knows?”
Mahone is still all antsy and desperate in the corner, looking pretty much exactly like he did when he was a hopeless, sweaty detoxing junkie. All of a sudden he jumps up like “aw, this is bullshit!” and sets off toward Wyatt’s cage, but Self manages to restrain him before he can kill their potentially valuable hostage. Mahone is sobbing but Self talks him down. Oh, and okay, so remember the Rachael Ray grinny lady Self has a photo of on his desk? And he listened to that one inane grocery store voicemail that one time? Well it turns out she’s his dead wife, and she was pregnant, so he says he does understand how angry Mahone is, losing a kid and whatnot. Mahone could split hairs there but he still has a wife so he decides to let it go.
And okay, see, all this ironic foreshadowing from Bellick wouldn’t be so hamfisted if the damn promo guy hadn’t spoiled it for me and told me someone was going to die this week. So the guy saying stuff like “I never cared about anything that much, look at what I’ve done with my life,” etc., is a pretty safe bet, and the whole rest of the episode is Bellick Deathwatch 2008. Or is it a curveball? Are they being all tricksy? Dun! Anyway, they’re all in Whistler’s secret passage and Michael tells them they’re headed up this ladder, towards this whooshing noise no one can identify, and ultimately to some unknown impasse, on the other side of which is the LA headquarters of Muahahaha, Inc.
Sara, who’s gotten a cute haircut and some lovely auburn highlights over the break, is listening to Wyatt wax poetic about how he’s just like Mahone. Which he kind of is, really, the only difference is I like Mahone. The point is that both of them have done terrible things because the Company had them by the balls. But he knows people, and if Sara can help him out, he can make sure she and Michael are safe and this will all be over. Don’t buy it, Sara, what are the odds of meeting two trustworthy honorable assassins in the space of a few months? “It is over,” she says.
So it turns out our mystery impediment is one of the main conduits of the LA water supply. Eleventy kabillion gallons of water rush through it every second, or something, so they can’t just put on their floaties and wade through. They can’t risk tunneling too close to the surface, so they can’t go over it. They’re gonna have to dig.
“Detective, I assure you that all this sweating and stammering and maniacal fidgeting is due to the stress of losing a beloved colleague.”
Back at Gate, T-Bag is being politely grilled by a detective regarding his missing colleague. Apparently his resignation letter was faxed from a number other than his home fax, because Andy lived in 1994 when people had fax machines in their homes and used them for correspondence. Send an email from a library or something, Gretchen, sheesh, what the hell kind of criminal mastermind are you? Anyway, someone saw a woman driving his car earlier, and T-Bag suggests that the deceased may have been “dipping his snout into a different trough.” Gross. While they’re chatting, loud, suspicious booms are echoing up from where Michael et al are thwacking at concrete with sledgehammers. Robert Knepper is cracking me up, he’s so twitchy he’s gesticulating wildly and spinning around in his office chair and it’s kind of hilarious. Anyway, the detective has detected that Andy and Cole didn’t like each other especially much, and T-Bag explains (via a colorful narrative about his childhood cat, Rufus, a solid feline all around) that the only thing he ever did to earn Andy’s animosity was be The New Guy. Poor Cole, just trying to do his job, while also participating in an elaborate conspiracy between escaped cons and Homeland Security to steal data from a secret nefarious corporation, just like the rest of us. I should add that T-Bag cackles inappropriately and generally looks like a total fucking nutcase.
Self is farting around on one of those new black aluminum MacBooks, and my 5-year-old iBook G4 sighs a little. Wow, cool secret briefcase, Self. He’s explaining to Sara that he learned this trick from one of his Homeland Security buddies, and you know he’s talking about Homeland Security because they’re the only people who call anyone “Enemy Combatants.” He’s using audio editing software, and hey, see, who needs Roland and his bowling shirts anyway if Agent Self is so techno-savvy? Mahone has been completely silent, apart from that one outburst of grief, but he very calmly asks Self if that ambulance they used for the attempted card heist is still out back. Then he calmly walks out of the room. Sara and Self make “whaaa??” faces at each other.
The boys are thwacking at concrete, and Bellick gives Sucre some charming good-natured ribbing. “I got almost a decade on you and you don’t see me suckin air!” “I got shot, Brad.” “Oh yeah.” Ha. Oh Bellick, you are charming and have learned much over this journey and that heart you wished for? Why, you’ve had it all along! Anyway, they are making zero progress with the digging, and Michael fumes very quietly that it’s solid granite down there, they couldn’t get through with a jackhammer. They can’t go over it, they can’t go under it, “but maybe we can go through it!” Michael announces theatrically. He has Sucre unscrew this giant pipe, which looks kind of structurally relevant to me, but hey, I’m not the fictional engineer around here. He sends Bellick and Linc up to the surface on one of his mysterious errands, and they sweatily stumble out of Cole Pfeiffer’s closet just as Mr. White and Mr. Detective are reviewing Andy’s travel records. T-Bag’s all “oh, I hired some guys out of pocket to put up new shelving in my closet, where they have been working with the door closed for our entire conversation.” Mr. White and The Worst Detective In The World are like, sure, that’s totally plausible, you sweaty, twitchy one-handed freak. We’ll just gloss right over that. The best part about this scene is that Bellick, playing the part, hilariously and gratuitously calls Linc “Manuel.” Heh.
Self swaggers in to Wyatt’s cage with a big grin. He says they’re finished talking, but Wyatt isn’t! Self takes out a little mp3 player or digital recorder or something and presses play: it’s Wyatt’s voice, saying “They are all dead. It’s over.” Self, that clever bastard, has cobbled it together from bits of conversation they’ve recorded. You know, like that South Park episode right after Isaac Hayes left when they just hilariously slapped old soundbites together and made Chef sound like a crazy person. Anyway, Self just wanted to gloat and take Wyatt’s phone. Before he leaves, he turns Wyatt over to Mahone, and Sara marches out in a huff of righteous Hippocratic indignation.
“Yeah, I’ll take it from here.”
And with good reason, really, because Mahone then produces a defibrillator stolen from the ambulance, plus a car battery. Ouch. Apparently his kid was shot twice, once in the stomach, then, minutes later, in the forehead. Presumably so that Pam could watch him suffer horribly while he grilled her about Mahone. And so yeah, that’s pretty fucked up. Knock yourself out with the vengeance torture, Alex. Incidentally, William Fichtner is such a good actor that he can make cheesy dialogue like “you too will suffer!” sound good. Anyway, Mahone has his own favor to ask Wyatt, also a phone call, only this one will be an apology to his wife. And any fear or pain in Wyatt’s voice is not a hindrance here; in fact, it’s kind of the whole point!
Self calls the General just in time, a few seconds after the press release is submitted for his approval. Self plays the tape and the General totally buys it – after all, most of his phone conversations with Wyatt have followed the same “one-sided monotonous mumblings, hang up before waiting for a response” pattern. So yay, press releases go in the trash! And Gretchen shows up at the door pointing a gun at everybody. Didn’t she already do this? Anyway, she says “the access code to the covert entrance is still both your daughters’ birthdays,” and the General shoos everybody away so they can have some alone time.
Bellick and Linc are at the LA water plant, disabling the supply, and Bellick might as well be wearing a T-shirt that says “Ask Me About My Impending Demise!” He asks Linc about LJ, and like, oh right, LJ! Linc mumbles that he’s a smart kid and can take care of himself. He’s grown up a lot since all that kidnapping, huh? Bellick rather endearingly says his dad died when he was young, but he was a good dad. Linc’s all “let’s just get this done.” See the Las Vegas episode re: Linc = kind of a dick. They fry the manual override and Michael and Sucre hear the whooshing dying down. Oh, they also somehow have that giant pipe suspended like a battering ram, and Michael is drawing a circle that same diameter on the side of the water main. They have about an hour to do 90 minutes worth of work, but this entire show is about getting a month’s worth of work done in a week, and a day’s worth of work in an hour, so I think they can handle it. Michael gets all weak and trembly, then has one of his flashy headaches and has some kind of seizure and Sucre, understandably, freaks out. Maybe if you’re going to be alone underground with someone for awhile you should tell the other guy there’s a decent chance you have a brain tumor, you know, just in case. Once he’s recovered, Sucre confesses that he does know something’s up with Michael, but Michael’s not up for sharing. They have work to do, and it turns out that the guy who just got shot in the gut like 24 hours ago is the stronger one at the moment.
Hey, you guys, remember when the General was this mysterious guy who never spoke? Yeah, I’m pretty sure I liked him better that way. He’s been doing a whole lot of exposition lately, and he continues, telling Gretchen that, as she knows, when he met her she was a 20-year old girl who’d been rejected by the police academy for failing the psych exam. But Baldy found her sociopathic tendencies charming and took her under his big gross disturbing wing. Calling her his “little bulldog,” he explains that they had to torture her about Whistler’s Scylla plan, nothing personal, no hard feelings, right? Then he calls her “my girl,” slowly takes her gun away, and smashes his face into hers in this weird gross disturbing gesture I am forced to refer to as a “kiss.” So he’s her former sugar daddy? Or her actual daddy, which has also been alluded to? Or, dare I suggest it, both? The point is, iiiiwwwww.
Oh, Mahone. So he’s got Wyatt tied up and is shoving a 5-inch hypodermic needle right down into his fingertip. Like, way down. And apparently this is like the super extra most pain sensitive place ever. Wyatt’s testicles disagree but remain silent. Anyway, he’s got Wyatt hooked up to the heart monitor from the ambulance so if Wyatt dares to like, actually start to die from the pain, the battery will shock his heart back into consciousness. They teach you some cool shit at the FBI! So eventually Mahone convinces Wyatt that he might as well just do what Mahone wants. He calls Pam, puts the phone in front of Wyatt, and makes her say he’s sorry. She doesn’t look like she feels a whole lot better, and neither does Mahone really.
T-Bag has an idea that will kill two birds with one stone: He bullies Booberella into doctoring his fake sales records to show Andy’s name, thereby sullying the reputation of a smarmy but perfectly nice dead guy to get the cops off his back, and as a bonus, T-Bag himself is off the hook for Cole Pfeiffer’s faked sales reports, so he can keep his cool new job if this whole multimillion dollar data heist thing doesn’t work out! Genius. He’s all, “Mr. White, I’m so sorry to have to tell you this, but check it out, Andy’s sales figures were totally wonky. Looks like he was secretly a crook. Probably why he took off without explanation. So sad.” He actually literally says the words “placate the po-po.” Awesome.
“It’s not a tooomah! No, wait, it almost certainly is.”
Sucre has blowtorched a pipe-sized hole into the water main, and Michael, who’s still weak and wobbly, tells him to make another identical one on the other side. Presumably the idea is to thread the giant pipe through it before the water comes back on, giving them a cool little tunnel into the Company. When the blowtorch runs out of juice, Michael helps him sledgehammer the rest of the whole, even though MichaelVision shows us that he can barely see straight. Linc and Bellick arrive with about ten minutes left, and, as the bulkier gentlemen, volunteer to step inside the water main to help thread the pipe through. Oh no, I wonder if something will happen to one of them, and which one it will happen to!
“How’s Emmie?” Baldy asks Gretchen, and iww, wait! Is that the kid we know Gretchen’s sister is raising? The one who’s actually Gretchen’s? Iwwww! She says she didn’t come here to listen to him pretend to care about her. She already pretended to care about her for like ten minutes just a few days ago, so that’s taken care of. She says she’s a free agent, she could work for anybody, so what’s his offer? He shows her how the Laos dress rehearsal went just swimmingly, so things are about to get awesome. He wants her, not his other hot maybe-kind-of girlfriend Lisa, by his side as his Number Two. Huh huh.
Mahone takes bloody Wyatt out to the wharf, marching him to the water’s edge with the gun Pam brought him. Wyatt’s hands are tied to a cement block. “You and I are the same, Alex,” Wyatt starts. “We’ve both done things…” **splooooosh!** Mahone, awesomely, doesn’t even let him get any further into that speech, and he doesn’t have any dramatic last monologue for him, and he doesn’t even use the gun. He just shoves him over the edge mid-sentence. Glug glug. Wyatt go byebye. Thank goodness Prison Break enforces a strict one-drowning-death-per-episode policy!
I don’t have a joke, I just thought this crane shot was gorgeous.
So okay, Gretchen and Lisa seem to be fighting over the affections of big wrinkly bald gross General, and that’s just disturbing. All the Cardholders come back in and after he tells everyone Gretchen is cool, Lisa is pleased to announce that they can have Scylla moved tomorrow. But now that Michael and Linc are gone – Gretchen seems to believe this new information – there’s no need. Baldy’s like, eh, let’s do it anyway, just in case.
Bellick and Linc have the pipe almost all the way across, but the brace they have it resting on gives out before they can pull it all the way through to the other side. They hear the water come whooshing down, so they’re just about out of time, oh, and by the way, they just put TWO GIANT HOLES in this water main, so if they don’t get the pipe through they’re going to have some serious leaking issues. So I bet you totally didn’t see this coming, but Bellick decides to save everybody at the last moment, over the surprisingly emotional objections of Michael, and more surprisingly, the previously dicky Linc. And no, it’s not a red herring, he really does go inside the pipe to push it through, seconds before the water comes rushing over him. Aw. It’s rather touching really. Sucre sort of half-heartedly wonders where the water comes out, maybe it’ll just be like a fun waterslide and he’ll plop out into the ocean. Whee! But no, Michael says he’s gone. This show does like to bring people back from the dead, but until then, RIP Brad Bellick, cat-strangling sadist-turned-self-sacrificing hero. You came a long way, baby, but you redeemed yourself in the end and all I can think of is that your mom will be sad. Also, a round of applause please for Wade Williams, who was consistently awesome. Well done, sir.
Did you see what I did there? Did you see how I got through that whole thing without a single reference to the election? This is the only thing you will read all year that doesn’t mention the election, so enjoy it now. Wait, dammit, I just mentioned it, huh? Ah well, it was a valiant effort nonetheless.
Let us all take this opportunity to have an imaginary Brad Bellick highlight reel go through our heads in slow motion like those death montages they have at the Oscars. (Wyatt doesn’t get one.) Thanks for your patience with my whole “real life” thing interfering with the promptness and/or existence of my recaps, and I’ll see you here next week!