*Cough* “Dude, you wanna hit this?”
Oh man. This episode gave me a stomachache. Things look bad for pretty much everybody by the end of the hour. They pull off the super cool snorkel escape but encounter a number of obstacles, up to and including the fact that Whistler totally fucks them over. That boombox gunfire comes in handy though. Plus, Papa McGrady saves the day!3.12 Hell or High Water. Okay, first things first: in the Previouslies, they remind us that a few episodes ago Linc and Sucre rented a shack in the middle of the jungle, then recorded gunfire on a boombox Sucre apparently swiped from a 1984 Run DMC video. And never mentioned it again. It’s been bugging me ever since, so I’m glad to see it will be revisited. Anyway, we pick up where we left off, with the power shutting down at Sona, and our merry band of thieves all lined up in their tunnel with 30 seconds until the backup generator makes them all sitting ducks. T-Mac is last in line and I fear for his wellbeing. Lechero pops his giant bald head out first, followed by T-Bag and Bellick. But Michael holds back. T-Mac is antsy, but Michael’s all “trust me, stay where you are.” And vroom! The generator kicks in, the lights come back on, and Lechero, Bellick, and T-Bag are stuck in the middle of no man’s land with all the lights on and every gun in the place pointed at them. The guards yell for them to stop, but Lechero doesn’t listen and gets plugged in the chest. Bellick and T-Bag are pissing their proverbial pants, and possibly their literal ones as well. They surrender.
Meanwhile, Sucre is still in one of the little interview rooms at the entrance to the prison, being told he’s got a warrant out for his arrest. When the alarms start going off, the guard has to handcuff him to a file cabinet so he can go check out yet another breakout attempt. The whole prison is freaking out, and guards are converging on Bellick and T-Bag left and right. Gretchen, in one of those big white unmarked vans used exclusively by janitorial companies and kidnappers, hears everything on a police scanner. Sofia and LJ are tied up in the back. Retchin says this better work, for everyone’s sake. What she doesn’t know is that Whistler is in fact still in Sona- specifically, he’s huddled just underground with Michael, Mahone, and T-Mac. As Bellick and T-Bag are prodded along by machine guns, Bellick wonders aloud where Michael is. T-Bag shushes him, saying if Michael doesn’t get caught they might still have a chance. Lechero, on account of the giant hole in his sternum, is not part of this conversation. He’s still conscious, though, and gets dragged off after them.
Whistler freaks out, saying the guards know about the escape now, and dude, what the hell? What’s your plan now? But Michael’s all “This IS the plan!” Crouching in the dirt in close quarters with three other men who haven’t showered in weeks? That’s a crappy plan. But no, Michael really does know what he’s doing, apparently. Mahone figures out that Michael lied to Lechero about how long they had to get across.
Linc is running through the jungle and stops to call Sucre, but the guard has returned and won’t let him answer. Linc leaves a frantic voicemail saying they’re counting on him – if he’s not there, they’re dead. Sucre stares helplessly as his phone buzzes on the guard’s desk. He hands it to another guard to put with Sucre’s “personal effects,” which is never a good euphemism for “the stuff in your pockets.” Regular people just have “stuff.” Only prisoners, patients and corpses have Personal Effects. Anyway, they take everything away, and the guy tells Sucre there was an attempted escape, but they got caught, and one of them got shot. He does not get specific and Sucre frets.
Linc gets a call from T-Mac’s papa. Aww. Linc tells him where to find a getaway vehicle he’s hidden away, then confirms that he’ll be on the 312.
Back at Sona, the new General/Colonel guy (a lot of turnover in that position, huh?) asks the prisoners how they got there. Bellick lasts approximately .4 seconds before he squeals: “A tunnel! Under Lechero’s room!” T-Bag rolls his eyes. They lead the guards down to the cellar just as Michael’s assuring Whistler that it’s almost time, just a matter of seconds. He waits till the coast is clear then says “let’s go” just as the guards shoot the lock and burst through the tunnel door.
“What the hell was I thinking, and why do people keep listening to me?”
Michael pops out right between two Jeeps and Whistler follows. T-Mac listens anxiously as the guards approach the tunnel. Michael and Whistler lay low, hiding under the Jeeps. Mahone is next, cool as a goddamn cucumber. Welcome back, Agent Badass. T-Mac and I are both very nervous but he makes it out just in time. Bellick can’t stop squealing though – he gets pistol-whipped and says it was Scofield who did this, they can check the prisoner count. Sure enough, they’re four short.
Those four are making their way across no man’s land under the Jeeps. One of the guys tells the General they haven’t seen anybody. Because they haven’t looked under the Jeeps, on account of they weren’t there until after the prisoners broke out, see? But they probably should have looked anyway. The General looks over and sees the fence pried open, in the spot where Gravedigger Sucre sprayed it down with that magic steel-eating goo. They won’t be finding anybody in Sona. They’re long gone.
And sure enough, morning has broken as Michael et al run through the jungle. Armed guards aren’t far behind them. Linc’s bus hijackees are describing him to some cops, and yeah, not especially inconspicuous, our Linc. I’ve been wondering who would fall, break their ankle, then heroically tell everyone else to leave him there because he’ll just slow them down. Turns out it’s Whistler, and since they’re almost at the beach, Michael and Mahone help him along. They emerge from the jungle around the same time as Linc, and start digging up the Cooler Of Salvation he buried with Sofia a few episodes ago. Whistler is frantic – there’s no way they’re just going to swap him for LJ, they’re going to kill everybody and he doesn’t want Sofia in the crossfire. Shut up, Whistler. Finally they unearth four tiny little oxygen tanks – Whistler bitches about Michael maybe having considered a boat, but they need to be invisible when the guards catch up with them, not sitting ducks ten yards out to sea. There are only four tanks and Linc’s all “tough shit for Mahone!” but Michael tosses him one and says he’ll share with Linc. Aww. They bury their shoes to get ready for their swim, and Gretchen calls. This time she gets to hear Whistler’s voice and tells Linc they have 20 minutes to meet her and the hostages in Panama City. Linc has a plastic baggie to keep his phone dry, and Whistler realizes he needs to put his bird book in there too. But it’s gone. As in, the thing with the coordinates he’s supposed to be handing over in exchange for Sofia. It seems to have fallen out while they were rolling around under jeeps. D’oh. He panics like a little girl, but they have to get going. Mahone humbly asks if Linc could please put this raggedy little photo of his adorable kid in the bag with the phone, but Linc just says “screw you, Mahone.” Now, I know Mahone killed their dad and their friends and tried to kill them several times, but these are extenuating circumstances, maybe you could give the guy a break? Michael did!
Michael and T-Mac: worst synchronized swimmers ever.
T-Mac is hesitant. He doesn’t swim all that well. Michael says he’ll share a tank with him, ten seconds apiece. It’ll be fine. They all run into the surf, with that “dun! Dun dun! Dun! Dun dun!” theme playing all portentously. The Sona guys break out on to the beach but the escapees are all out of sight. Not a boat on the horizon. We get some underwater shots, and they make me very nervous but they’re also incredibly pretty. Also, once again, Mahone looks vaguely bored, like this is exactly the sort of thing he does all the time. I love him so much. The guys are still on the beach, and the leader of the search party says he wants every car on every coastal road stopped. He calls in to the General to say he needs more men, and Sucre’s all “so hey, you guys look like you have a lot on your hands here, so how bout I just get out of your hair?” But nope, he is to stay put until everything’s under control. And now we see why he’s so antsy – everybody surfaces near a buoy and holds on for dear life. “Where is he?” Linc panics. They are waaaaaay the hell out there and Sucre and his alleged boat are nowhere to be seen.
Papa McGrady shows up at a marina and sees that “312″ is still docked neatly in its little boat-hole. I guess they call that a “slip,” huh? I like “boat-hole” better. He asks the marina guy about it and he says it was reserved but nobody ever showed up. Come on, Papa McGrady! Time to be a hero!
Aw, crap. The Sona guys find the buried Cooler of Escape Shoes. They know the guys are in the water and the leader calls for the Coast Guard.
T-Mac is having trouble holding on to the buoy. He says his legs are cramping up, and dammit, Michael, why didn’t you tell him not to eat 30 minutes before swimming? Everybody knows that! Sucre is still handcuffed to a file cabinet and Michael keeps saying how Sucre wouldn’t just leave them stranded out there, and everyone’s panicking and this show gives me heartburn. Back in the kidnapping van, Retchin says she should have heard something by now. Her driver says Linc will come through if he wants his kid back. She says that might not be an option now. LJ has been fiddling with his duct tape restraints, and you’d think a multinational conspiracy would have like, flexicuffs or something, but the point is he’s holding his wrists together tightly, and the camera lingers on them in a way that suggests he might have gotten them loose and is waiting to make his move. Gretchen gets out of the van and screeches off in her car.
The guys are barely hanging on when Mahone sees a boat on the horizon, but it’s not giving the signal like Sucre’s supposed to. T-Mac thinks it’s the Coast Guard, and they’re dead meat, but nope! It’s Papa McGrady, being the hero I knew he could be! Papa McGrady saves the day! Badass.
As they drag themselves into the boat, Whistler thanks Michael for his help in case he doesn’t have a chance to again. T-Mac has a touching reunion with Mac Daddy, who tells Linc he knew they were coming from the southwest so he just took a chance. Nice aim! They take off for Phase Two of Operation Save Everyone’s Ass.
A threeeee hour tooour!
Bellick is, for the third or fourth time in the last week or so, getting the everliving snot knocked out of him. The Sona guards don’t believe that he doesn’t know where Michael’s headed, and T-Bag, whose everliving snot is still entirely intact, fails to leap to his defense. Once they realize they’ve beat the shit out of Bellick with no results, and Lechero, still clutching his bullet wound, is no better off, they decide they have only one option left, and that option is a skinny stumpy little pervert. You’re gonna love waterboarding, T-Bag! It’s like boogie boarding only nightmarish and terrifying! As they’re dragging him across no man’s land, he manages to fall in the exact right place to see Whistler’s bird book lying in the sand under a Jeep. He pockets it. Crap. No matter what, T-Bag always manages to accidentally acquire some leverage.
The boys pour out of the boat and get clean dry clothes from the back of the getaway SUV Mac Daddy drove to the marina. Aw, I bet T-Mac is going to miss his jersey! Those things are expensive, you know. Linc thanks him for saving them from certain nasty death, and he thanks Linc for getting him his boy back. T-Mac heartbreakingly thanks Michael, and Michael heartbreakingly says “go be with your family, Luis.” Aw.
Linc et al, aka The Funniest Carpool Ever, are speeding down a dirt road. Retchin calls Linc and asks where he is. He says downtown Panama. She disagrees. He looks up and sees a scary black car his rearview mirror, following them. Retchin watches a GPS screen from her car, and her guys tell her they’re on his tail. The guys try to figure out how they found them, and Michael realizes one of them is bugged. Suddenly he remembers the stopwatch Retchin gave Whistler. Michael tosses it angrily out of the window. “I didn’t know!” Whistler swears. Hmm. They’ve been pretty good at making me change my mind back and forth about Whistler like three, four times an episode.
Linc smashes his bigass 1989 Suburban into one of their nice fancy black cars and forces it off the road. The other car comes up from behind and Linc crashes through a fence onto a dirt road. He stops and we see that they’re at Linc and Sucre’s love shack they rented in the middle of nowhere. They all run in just in time for the bad guys to start firing on them. They’re pretty severely outgunned, though.
T-Bag is being “questioned” in one of the rooms near Sucre. He doesn’t know anything, but he’s still being a smartass about it. The General wants all the info he can get on the guys who escaped. He then scolds Sucre’s guard for leaving him here all this time when they have more important things to take care of. The guy sheepishly unlocks his handcuffs.
Gretchen pulls up at the Love Shack and starts firing, but notices something is up after a few seconds. “All that gunfire and they only hit your car three times?” She enters the cabin and comes face to face with, of course, the comically large Run DMC boombox. The boys are long gone, driving off in yet another getaway vehicle, this time some awesome early 80s Impala or something. Whistler again opines that they’re doing this all wrong – they’re not just going to hand over Sofia and LJ, they’ll kill everybody they can. Michael says he’s outvoted and they stick with the plan.
Stumpy Pervertâ„¢ Brand Refried Beans: Unsavory, but long overdue.
At Sona, one of the guards tells T-Bag to take off his pants, which is something no one should ever encourage, ever. “If I’d have known you boys partied like this at Sona, I never would have tried to escape,” he snarks. Heh. You wascally wapist! They give Sucre back his stuff, but T-Bag is still in the hot seat, so to speak. The guy brings in a box of what looks like jumper cables, and I think we can all do the math on this one: Pantsless T-Bag + jumper cables = unpleasant but well-deserved. I mean, I was looking forward to the waterboarding but this is much more appropriate. Good call, Sona torture guy. “Come on, hombre!” T-Bag pleads, laughing nervously. “No need to refry my beans!” Which, okay, ha. You’re still my very favorite fictional wascally wapist! He starts panicking as the guy closes in on him with the scary sparky cables. “I don’t know anything!” he shrieks, then suddenly sees Sucre through the window. “But he does! He knows everything!” Sucre is allllmost out the door when they call him back.
Linc et al arrive at some warehousey place that he says is where they’re going to make the exchange, on their terms. Retchin calls him and commends him on his boombox trick. “Where’d you get that from, Home Alone?” Heh. Linc says she fell for it, didn’t she? He tells her to meet them at an “abandoned warehouse,” which, see last week’s comment re: abandoned warehouses being unusually numerous in the Prison Break universe. He says she’s not calling the shots anymore; as long as he’s got Whistler she does what he says. Michael wonders aloud if this will really work. Linc, unconvincingly, says sure it will. Michael hopes it works out for T-Mac too, but as we now see, T-Mac and Daddy Mac are about to pull up to one of the roadblocks they’ve set up along the coastal roads. “We have to turn back, Papa!” T-Mac panics. “I can’t go back to Sona!” Papa McGrady keeps driving though, and I have to wonder, would a place like Sona even have like, current photographs of their prisoners? I don’t recall Michael or Mahone standing for a mugshot.
Speaking of mugshots, the General is interrogating Sucre, who maintains that he, Jorge Rivera, humble gravedigger, has no idea who Michael Scofield is. Someone hands the General the info on the escapees he asked for, and he says “sure you don’t want to change your story, Fernando?” He shows Sucre his own Wanted poster. Gulp.
Mahone finds a piece of metal for Whistler to use as a brace on his broken ankle. Check old Alex out, being all polite and kind and shit! Michael and Linc look out the window for Gretchen. “You know, Linc,” Michael says somberly, “you did great.” Subtext: “I really wish you hadn’t inadvertently gotten my perfectly innocent girlfriend hacked to pieces, but I understand you were kind of in a tight spot, so nice job keeping us alive.” Mahone interrupts this tender moment: “Since I don’t have a horse in this race, I guess this is where I say goodbye.” Nooo! But you are so awesome! That will leave a huge gaping Mahone-shaped hole of awesomeness in this show, and I’m still recovering from the Kellerman-shaped one. He turns around but Linc pulls out his gun. “You think I’m just gonna let you walk out of here after what you did to us? What you did to our dad?” “No,” Mahone sighs. “You shot my dad in the back,” Linc exposits, and hey, yeah, I forgot about that part. That is pretty shitty, Alex. But Linc is going to give him the opportunity he never gave old Aldo. “Turn around,” he says. Whistler watches with vague bemusement, and Michael looks on, steely-eyed.
So he murdered your dad in cold blood and participated in the international conspiracy that led you to this predicament in the first place. That was like, three weeks ago or something! Bygones, man!
“Linc, think about what you’re doing,” Michael pleads. Mahone turns around. “I was told to choose between your family and mine,” he says evenly. “Those were my options. I chose mine.” Linc is unmoved. “Go to hell,” he says, and cocks the gun, but before he pulls the trigger they hear the sound of breaking glass. Whistler has taken advantage of this little soap opera moment to make his escape. On an ankle that’s totally fine, incidentally. You tricksy little bitch! They run after him, so Mahone is able to get away, much to Linc’s chagrin. The perfectly ambulatory Whistler steals some nice man’s truck and takes off, leaving the brothers in the dust, hostageless. Well, shit.
So okay, I guess there could be a non-evil explanation for Whistler faking a broken ankle from all the way from the jungle to the buoy and the boat and the cabin and several getaway vehicles. And having the bugged stopwatch. And running away. But I can’t think of one, can you? So yeah, now we have to worry about goddamn everybody! Sucre, T-Mac, Daddy Mac, LJ, Sofia, the brothers – everybody looks pretty fucked right about now. Only one episode left in this run, so maybe they’ll give at least a few of our guys a break next week, and tell us what the hell is up with Whistler already, before we go back on indefinite hiatus.