Lost fans, don’t despair – a three week hiatus isn’t all that difficult to withstand. You’re already 33% through it. In fact, after the heart-stopping Prison Break double episodes that aired before the baseball playoffs break, my heart almost welcomed the respite. But I was also eager to see how quickly and how well the show would pick it up again. Unfortunately, I’ll admit up front, the latest episode on offer wasn’t one of the better efforts – the impossibilities are mounting up and the plot is revealing itself at a snail’s pace. That said, it’s still one of the better hours on television these days and I’m still totally digging it.
The show did its best to recap the season in about 11 seconds, noting that Lincoln Burroughs was scheduled to die in 17 days. I’m still confused about a) how this will go on for 22 episodes and b) how they will handle a second season, which the show just signed on for. Then again, we had those same (legitimate) concerns over 24 as well, and that turned out fine. I hope and pray they come up with some casting as delightful as Edgar and Chloe.After the quick recap, the show jumped off with Michael out in the prison yard (AGAIN) talking to his escape buddies Abruzzi and Sucre. He explained that their cell was New York City and the way out, through the infirmary, was California. The pipes they’d be walking in between the buildings were therefore Route 66. Cute story, Michael, but Mr. Know-It-All should have put a US map tattoo on his thigh or something. Route 66′s eastern terminus was in Chicago – Michael’s hometown. Abruzzi didn’t care about that oversight; he was far more concerned about how he was going to join the escape at all. Aha, Michael had that sorted out – the gang would need to dig an “on-ramp” through the floor of a storage building situated between the cells and the infirmary into the escape pipe. All that would require is a reason for the work detail crew to be in the building, unsupervised, with digging implements. And all that in less than 17 days – no problem!
What was a problem was T-Bag, the racist gay rapist pedophile murderer guy with the NC-17 nickname. Since he knows about the escape plan, he is now a huge liability. He also wants to know about the developing plans and how he’s going to join the crew for the big night. T-Bag does have the boys by the balls, so to speak, and he knows it. Everyone hates T-Bag, but no one can piss him off – lest he sing to the guards about the hole in Michael’s cell wall. Damn, a real Catch-22… I guess you could call this a Major Major Major Major problem. (That’s right, I’m going with highbrow literary references on you this week. Gotta do something to keep those crazy Laguna commenters away, right?)
T-Bag had other problems, namely the fact that he murdered poor Bob the guard in cold blood during the insanity of the legendary Fox River Prison Riot of Yesterday. While it appeared most prisoners and guards had forgotten about the long ago rampaging riot, poor Bob’s wife was crying in the Warden’s office about her dead husband. It really got to Warden Pope when the wife mentioned that the picture of their daughter was missing from his wallet. He instructed Bellick to get the killer at all costs so they could bring him to justice. Now would be a good time to mention a few things… Why are the prisoners still allowed to roam freely and have recess a mere day after a murderous riot? Especially T-Bag, who started the whole damn thing? Didn’t any cameras catch the murder on videotape? Well, I guess the prisoners had a good night of quiet or something and everything was more or less forgotten about the famous Fox River Prison Riot of Yesterday.
Outside the prison walls and back in Chicago, lawyers Nick and Veronica were discussing the anonymous death threat they received at a nondescript pay phone in Washington DC. Y’know, the one that named them specifically and proved that their every move was being watched by someone evil and powerful? Well, Nick didn’t seem all that concerned, as if he receives such threats every week or so. This conversation obviously pained poor Veronica, as her facial concavity was more disturbing than ever before. Must. Stop. Staring. Veronica lives in a nice apartment building with the world’s nicest superintendent. This guy, who reminded me of Lennie from “Of Mice and Men,” wheeled Veronica’s luggage up to her door as a favor and even went so far as to unlock the door for her and enter the premises. Well, maybe his eyeball and a couple toenails entered the room as a fiery bomb exploded as Lennie turned the key and nudged the door ajar. Thus giving real supers everywhere all the more reason to be the lazy bums they already are. Thanks a lot, Prison Break.
Over in jail, Abruzzi suggested that a fire would be their best bet at working a PI detail in the storage building to which they needed access. Michael thought about it and agreed – they’d only need to start said fire. Again, while they were discussing their plans, T-Bag sauntered up, this time with his boy-toy in tow. This kid looks like the love child of Thom Yorke and Seth Green – which kind of bugs me out because I love Radiohead and think Seth Green is actually pretty funny. They brushed off Bagger and he again threatened to “sing” about their escape. Couldn’t Michael use the murder of Bob as leverage somehow?
Remember Lincoln’s dumb kid LJ that we tried to forget about several episodes ago? He’s back, sharing a moment with his doomed father. LJ even admitted to breaking a coffee table a few years prior, but even that heartfelt confession didn’t sway Lincoln to cop to the murder of the Vice President’s brother. Lincoln displayed a positive attitude regarding his precarious position, noting that his lawyers were working on his issue and a reporter was even meeting with him to expose his story. Whoopdedoo, on this show all the reporters are from Fox News – so I can’t imagine they’d ever do a story that contradicted official government statements. (Ooooh, literary references AND political zingers! Now we’re totally rid of the Laguna Crew!)
Bellick went about shaking down each prisoner’s cell looking for the picture of Bob’s daughter – as though that would be all the evidence needed to implicate the murderer. Of course, a shakedown meant that the guards may find the giant escape hole in Michael’s cell (though I thought by bolting the toilet back in, the hole would be covered) but they still felt that they couldn’t rat out T-Bag. Oddly, during the lockdown/shakedown, the prisoners were all let out onto recess (AGAIN) where the work detail of Abruzzi, Michael, Sucre, and Lincoln made their way over to the storage shed they needed to breech. Michael burst through the door only to find a shotgun pointed at his head! Oh no! The “Storage building” had been converted to the Correctional Officer’s break room! Hoo boy, that’s INTENSE.
Amazingly, even though a death row inmate had just burst through the guard’s break room with 3 other prisoners, they were all allowed to slink back to the general population out on recess. It was decided that the good natured old man with the cat (every prison has one!) would have to be brought onboard for the escape. You see, he was “in” with the guards and had access to their break room on his own special work detail. Michael immediately set to buttering him up with an impressive recall of Westmoreland’s crime history. There had been a rumor that he was actually DB Cooper, and Michael spelled out the convoluted, but plausible, reasons why he agreed with the theory. Michael recalled dates, timelines, cities, and flight numbers – all without help from his tattoo! He can’t remember to get a screw from the bleachers to use on the only toilet in his cell, but he can remember that flight 264 flew from Portland, OR to Santa Fe, NM at 8:31 PM 20 years ago? I guess we can assume our Michael is one of those idiot savants. Sadly, Westmoreland had a rock solid alibi for not being DB Cooper and wanted no part of helping any escape plan. He was just too close to parole and he’d been too good for too long. Damn.
The show jumped around all the different plotlines, hence this recap is a bit scattered as well. I’ll button one story up right now though – Nick and Veronica escaped the bomb blast with a few flesh wounds and tattered Pirates of the Caribbean sleeves. That Lenny superintendent guy absorbed about 99.9% of the blast and died instantly. Nick whisked Veronica away from the city and into the woods to some cabin his dad put together. The cabin is “off the grid” and no one knows about it, so they’d be safe from whoever was trying to kill them. If this is all just a creative plot for Nick to bang Veronica, I must say, I’m impressed! The Secret Service guys did show up at Veronica’s apartment later to check on the damage, saw the body bag, assumed it was their intended target(s), and were satisfied that their job was done. Now that that’s out of the way…
…We can get back to the prison for some more of what we watch TV for – escapism! *Rimshot!* Dunderheaded Sucre had a plan for starting the fire in the guard break room; they’d coat the bottom of a coffee pot with rubber cement, have Westmoreland bring it in, and wait for the show! Michael complimented Sucre on his idea, but balked because Westmoreland was adamant about not helping out. But… What does every straight prisoner want more than anything besides his freedom? That’s right… Pussy! Westmoreland had lost his, so Michael retreated behind the walls and happened to come across his missing cat. The cat had, of course, run away in the confusion of the Great Fox River Prison Riot of Yesterday. (Upon re-reading, that is just soooo Vonnegut!)
It didn’t take long before Michael found the cat and was able to corral it. His plan was to return it to Westmoreland and use it as a sort of “nice bribe” in order for a return favor. Westmoreland was very appreciative of the return of his missing cat, but still wouldn’t budge. God… You know… You get a guy a little pussy and you’d think the least he could do is bring a coffee pot with rubber cement on it to the break room. Nope, not this guy – he simply thanked Michael and bid him adieu. Already pissed off about the old man, Michael made his way up to Dr. Tancredi for his insulin shot. She thanked him for saving her life during the now long forgotten riot, but pressed him on the lie she caught him in. The one about having been in the prison duct/ceiling system on a work detail previously. That didn’t go over too well, as Michael merely glared at her with his steely eyes, rolled down his sleeve, and got the hell out of there. You’d think for such a quick thinker, he’d have come up with some excuse. But his action more or less screamed, “Damnit! You caught me! I’m trying to escape and I’ve become familiar with the whole interstitial workings of the entire prison! By the way, wanna make out?”
Catching up with the Burroughses, Lincoln was giving his exclusive interview to reporter Sue Parsons. I didn’t quite catch which paper she worked for, but who cares – she seemed to be a nice enough lady and she was helping our wrongly accused Lincoln! After a few softballs, Ms. Parsons’ tone changed and she suddenly turned evil. She told Lincoln to, “Give it up and accept it and just die!” Wow. She then reached up and quickly tore her human mask off revealing her true identity – Sue Parsons was the Succubus! AaaAAaaAAAaaRRrrrRRggGGhhhHH! Ok, not really, but it seemed like it as she continued, “If you don’t just accept it, your son is going to get it. One Burroughs is going to die!” Mwuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuuuuuuuuuh. She then got up and walked right out of the Federal prison, despite Lincoln’s screaming protests. Yet another situation that simply would not and could not happen (I’ve been kind and skipped over several others thus far – I know it gets tiresome.)
Surely this Succubus reporter lady was bluffing, right? Um, no. If we’ve learned anything, it’s that the two Secret Service guys are the most prolific assassins since, like, forever. In fact, one of them was immediately at LJ’s door scamming his way into the house. LJ was a little skeptical about the visit and asked for some identification – which he got in the form of a 9mm gun pointed at his tender young head. Bear in mind that these two guys have already committed several murders, undetected, on behalf of the US Government. Hmmmm, CTU, are you watching? Looks like two guys you should hire immediately now that Jack Bauer is hiding out in Mexico and all.
As LJ was staring down the barrel of the gun, his mom and step dad arrived home and caused disruption. It was all very exciting as LJ avoided certain death and escaped to the basement. Him mom, unfortunately, wasn’t so lucky and took a couple shots to the dome. LJ snuck outside and down an alleyway only to run into – evil Secret Service Agent Kellerman who also was kind enough to show some “Identification.” A random tumbleweed blew by as a crow screeched in the distance. Sweat beaded on LJ’s brow as he reached for his weapon – a cell phone. The scene had it all – The Good (LJ), The Bad (Kellerman), and The Ugly (LJ’s dead and bleeding mom, not 3 feet away).
“Nine one one send, do you think you’ll hit four buttons before I hit one,” Kellerman wittily grumbled as he reached for his gun. Good point. Then, just when all was lost, the step dad appeared and bashed Kellerman over the head with a 2×4! Gosh, some step-parents will do just about anything to win over their ungrateful step kids. Even martyr themselves apparently, as Kellerman put two bullets in LJ’s step dad’s heart. LJ was able to escape somehow, but was now running the streets of Chicago in his bare feet. Kellerman called LJ on his cell phone and essentially boasted that he’d be caught and framed for the murders, tried as an adult, and all that good stuff. Framed for the murders? Yes, because the agents were busily putting LJ’s prints on the gun and leaving his shoes nearby. Sigh, CSI has ruined this stuff for us; for we know even the most backwater forensic scientists would find some inconsistency with the scene. That, or they’d find it curious that a government issued cellphone call was placed to LJ’s phone around the time of the murders. Trying to suspend disbelief, really, I am!
Meanwhile, up at the prison, Bellick was now on Westmoreland’s case about the murder of Bob. He even turned on the waterworks in an effort to crack the old man. Please, the dude has been on the inside for 30 years – you think some crocodile tears are going to sway him? Ha! Westmoreland stuck to the prisoner’s code and refused to rat out T-Bag. A dejected Bellick slunk out of Westmoreland’s cell with one final thought: “It would be a shame if something were to happen to your cat.” Ooooh, the cat. Now that’s what I call a real pussy threat, y’know?
Up in the infirmary, the kindly African-American nurse caught Dr. Tancredi reviewing Michael’s case file for the umpteenth time. The doctor claimed that she was simply curious about Michael – she couldn’t “figure him out.” The nurse, who knew better, simply smiled and reminded Tancredi that Michael was a criminal. Ever the idealist, Tancredi thought out loud, “I think I can make a difference in his life.” Gee, doc, he DID save you from a brutal gang-rape and assured murder… It’s the least a girl could do. The whole wise-black-nurse-innocent-white-girl-in-love-with-the-wrong-guy thing called to my mind the relationship between Matchett and Portia, who simply couldn’t get over her fixation on mean old Eddie. (How’s that for totally obscure literary reference? First person to prove they read that book gets special mention next recap! Ain’t no WAY the Lagunerds are still with us now!)
Out in the yard, Warden Pope has told Lincoln the bad news: His ex-wife and her husband had been murdered and his son was now a fugitive and the prime suspect. Lincoln was understandably upset and knew something was amiss. He begged to be allowed to call his son, but the warden was firm – “No! You cannot be allowed to do that! If you do, you will be charged with aiding and abetting a fugitive!” Um… So? Lincoln is scheduled to DIE in 16 days now for the pre-meditated murder of the Vice President of the United States’s brother. Then Westmoreland found his beloved cat dead on his mattress. Not quite a severed horse head, but it’ll do, I suppose.
Shit started going really fast at this point, so bear with me. T-Bag, sensing that the guards were putting the screws to poor old Westmoreland and that he’d soon squeal on him, asked him cell-mate to take the murder rap for him. Of course he said no, but what’s important here is that we learned his name is Chokey. Hmmm, gay T-Bag… Presumably gay Chokey… Joke is right there for me to find… What is it? Three weeks off and man am I rusty. While Chokey was denying the offer of the T-bag (Geeze, I know I’m SO missing the obvious here), Westmoreland entered the guard break room with the fresh angering thought of the not-so-fresh pussy that stunk up his bunk foremost on his mind. He had free reign of the place, so he snuck one of Bellick’s cigarettes, sat down, and enjoyed a smoke.
Out in the yard, brothers Michael and Lincoln were discussing the recent murder of his family. Boy was Lincoln steamed! He had had enough of Michael’s dithering plans and decided he wanted to escape NOW! Just as Lincoln was about to do something completely stupid, huge plumes of fire and smoke rose from the guard room! Westmoreland had done it! All would be fine now – well, except for the dead ex-wife, dead stepfather, framed fugitive son, date with death in 16 days, Dr. Tancredi catching on, T-Bag ready to spill the beans, the shakedown that was about to find the escape route, the lawyers stuck in an Evil Dead cabin in the middle of nowhere, and OH MY GOD! The Popsicle stick Taj Mahal wasn’t done and the warden’s anniversary was fast approaching! The horror.
Later, the craziness just kept on comin,’ as a fire marshal pointed to Bellick’s brand of cigarettes as the culprit for the fire. Just as the warden was about to read him the riot act (which would have been in poor taste if the recent riot hadn’t been so quickly forgotten; RIP Bob!) T-Bags’ boy SethThomGreenYorke showed up to rat out the murderer. Finally, we’d be rid of one of the most offensive characters on TV – if only because T-Bag promotes the idea that pedophiles are also gay.
Except that the kid ratted out Chokey, not T-Bag! Choke on THAT! Bellick found the picture of Bob’s daughter under Chokey’s mattress and that was all it took to wrap him up and drag him away. With Fox River Prison’s system of justice, I fully expect Ivan Denisovich to be seen wandering the halls any day now. (Ok, Ok, I promise – no more literary stuff. But I did keep them all pretty much high school level, right?)
The fire did allow Abruzzi, Michael, Sucre, and Lincoln to get on the work detail to clean up the building. Of course, T-Bag once again noticed the four hi-ho’ing off to work and demanded he get in on the fun. Amazingly, with the snap of Abruzzi’s fingers, T-Bag was given some coveralls and the proper clearance to join the crew. They were then left alone in the room with all sorts of sledgehammers, pickaxes, and other deadly implements – because that’s how they do. A day after a giant riot started by T-Bag during which a guard, Bob, was killed while transporting Lincoln Burroughs back to his cell. So on one hand, the prison has an unheard of laissez-faire attitude while on the other, a completely arcane system of injustice. Oh Prison Break, you beguiling mistress, I love you.
In the final scenes, LJ Burroughs was huddled in a phone booth, terrified, wet, and shoeless. Ah, but he did have his cell phone. While Kellerman was correct in that LJ couldn’t have hit four buttons before being shot, he was able to hit one button – to take a photo! Of course, as is the case with cell phone cameras, his picture totally sucked and we couldn’t make out if it was a picture Kellerman about to kill him or one of a Jehovah’s Witness about to offer the latest issue of Watchtower. Oh well.
And finally, the two Secret Service dickheads were seen sitting in a rather well-appointed office talking to a woman – hey, it’s the Montana garlic/pepper chopping woman of episodes past! The evil lady directing their misdeeds and murders! What would she be up to this week – chopping a nice basil chiffinade perhaps? The camera slowly panned across the room towards the mysterious woman and HOLY CRAP! SHE’S the Vice President! She’s ultimately responsible for the murder of her own brother! She’s Patricia Wettig! Is she still married to Elliot after all their problems? What does this all mean?
Don’t know, as we didn’t really learn much this episode other than that there will be no more Chokey Chokey for T-Bags because Westmoreland gave up the pussy to Bellick. That, and camera phones still suck.