So the next episode of Prison Break isn’t until January 22nd. And the last one was way back on November 27th! Surely you’ve forgotten something important in all those weeks! And two months is a long time to go without seeing hide nor hair of Wentworth Miller’s patented Steely-Eyed Resolve™. So to tide you over through this absurdly lengthy hiatus that’s all the rage with the network types these days, a (relatively) quick synopsis of what our favorite felons have been up to for the past thirteen episodes.
Episode 2.1: “Manhunt.” Agent Mahone of the FBI is getting a recap of season one. Eight prisoners have managed to escape from Fox River Penitentiary, including the guy everyone thinks killed the Vice President’s brother. D’oh! Last season we left our felonious pals with Bellick et al right on their heels. A fortunately timed freight train saves the day – everyone crosses the tracks just before the train rolls by. Everyone but Sucre and Michael, who actually jump the train and run through to emerge on the other side, because that’s how they roll. Plan A is all shot to hell, but putting a freight train between Bellick’s gun and your escaped felon ass is a step in the right direction. Agent Mahone reminds the press it took twelve days to catch John Wilkes Booth back in 1865. Which, yeah, it also took twelve days to get a postcard across town, and most Americans kept pots of urine under their beds, but okay, point taken. The mind of the man on the run has not changed, is what he’s getting at. Looking over your shoulder all the time takes its toll.
We get enough shots of Mahone’s pen to suspect it is one significant writing instrument, and it turns out he keeps a nice stash of tiny little pills inside. T-Bag and his gross, gross stump pilfer a camper’s ice chest to keep his gross, gross hand from rotting. Gross. An unfortunate veterinarian is enlisted to reattach it, to the extent that medical tools designed for spaying and neutering can do such a thing. Dr. Sara wakes up in a hospital bed after her subconscious reminds her about that totally hot inmate she left the infirmary door open for. Mahone already knows about this little oversight, and on top of that, he’s figured out that the whole plan is in Michael’s tattoos, demonstrating right out of the gate that he’s smarter than pretty much everyone else on this show. Naturally, this fact makes Bellick all bitchy about having him on the case. Mahone figures out that Michael has a storage facility in Oswego, which happens to be where the cons are headed in their stolen Jeep.
In the first of many totally awesome fakeouts, the feds open the storage unit to find precisely jack shit, as the cons are opening a similar door at a graveyard across town where Michael has buried some nice suits and other Fed-fleeing accoutrements. But wait! Mahone totally figures it out based on his blueprints of Michael’s tattoos. A bit too late, but not by much. Sara finds a little origami bird with a note from Michael telling her there’s a way to make all of this right. Poor dumb Veronica, you’ll recall, has tracked down the ostensibly dead but actually just toothless Terrance Steadman, who interrupts her lecture on responsibility to ask if she thought maybe it was a little too easy finding him and just walking right in to his super secret hideout. She smugly calls for help, then calls Linc to tell him she’s found Steadman. Linc’s still on the line when the “Sheriff’s Department” skulks in all menacing-like to save the day! Just kidding, they totally shoot her. RIP, Veronica. Live by the Stupid, die by the Stupid.
Episode 2.02: “Otis.” Mahone is securing borders over the phone as he stares, hard, at the birdbath in his backyard. You should get used to this birdbath staring thing. Civilian Michael is just ridiculous kinds of hot in his suit and baseball cap, the better to steal someone’s picnic with. Everybody’s still just hanging around figuring out what the hell to do next, since somebody threw a big ole Agent-Mahone-shaped monkey wrench into their great plan. Michael passes some money around and basically tells everyone they’re on their own now. Linc wants to swipe LJ from his competency hearing before they head out to Mexico. Sure, that should be no problem, it’s not like anyone’s looking for you or anything. Michael’s going to help, though, since he, along with LJ’s death row inmate dad, are, ironically, literally the only people LJ knows who haven’t died a horrible death lately. They’ll use the car Michael’s stashed in a garage, but they have to abandon it at a hardware store when they’re IDed buying their Get LJ Out Of Jail supplies. Somehow, T-Bag survives his anesthesia-free improvised microsurgery. The unfortunate Dr. Gudat does not. Welcome back to the free world, T-Bag!
At a Department of Corrections hearing, former CO Geary spills the beans about Bellick’s arrangement with Abruzzi and gets him good and fired. Pope’s all noble about it for some reason and resigns. Poor Pope, he feels like a schmuck for being nice to Michael and even smashes his pretty Taj Mahal. Bellick goes home to his Momma, gun ready to blow his head off, and his sad little life gives me the unfamiliar and alarming sensation of pitying the bastard. But Momma Bellick, just in time, shouts out that there’s a $100,000 reward per escapee, 300 for Linc. Sure, being a CO was his life, as he whined to the DOC, but bounty hunter is much more lucrative, while still affording the opportunity to knock people around and generally act like a complete asshat. Our boy has found his calling. Tweener hangs around bus stations all twitchy and paranoid until he realizes he looks pretty much like your average college student. A notice on a campus bulletin board leads him to a cute naïve little college girl who finds him charming and also happens to need someone to share a ride to Utah. Mahone tries to play Good Cop with LJ, who has had kind of a crappy couple months and isn’t in the mood for this bullshit, especially not from an agent of the same government that framed his dad, then killed his family, then framed him and killed both his lawyers. This alternate universe government is even crappier than the real one! Linc calls him posing as Nick and has some cryptic instructions for him, but Mahone knows what’s what and totally quashes Michael’s awesome elevator escape plan. Linc has to leave LJ behind to be carted off to Arizona, and as if that weren’t enough, Linc gets shot by some beat cop as he and Michael are making their escape. Not the best day for either of the Lincoln Burrowses.
Episode 2.03: “Scan.” Mahone and some CSI types are rooting around the charred remains of a vehicle. “You risk your life, break out of prison, only to end up dead at the bottom of a ditch,” someone exposits, and Mahone’s all “But which one was it?” Dun! But wait, we’re going back to Twelve Days Earlier. The feds are checking hospitals – they know Linc is doing some serious bleeding. Meanwhile Michael and Linc are bleeding uninvited on Nika’s front porch asking for help. Nika – the hottie who married Michael for a green card – apparently lives an astonishingly convenient distance from their spontaneous and poorly executed rescue attempt at LJ’s hearing. Fortuitous! Now Michael can dig the bullet out of Linc, using a surgical technique which involves vodka and cayenne pepper but amazingly does not result in a Bloody Mary. Michael goes back for the car in the hardware store parking lot, but it’s gone. Along with Michael’s awesome fake passports, which the feds have recovered from a “vagrant” who stole Michael’s goody bag just before the car got towed. Ruh-roh! They just miss Michael as he snags the keys from the tow lot and speeds off. He goes back to Nika’s, where he has just enough time to change out the license plates before he and Linc get the hell out of Dodge. Drunken asshole Bellick runs in to the dishonorably discharged Officer Geary working security at a convenience store. They punch each other for awhile but ultimately decide to team up and go after the cons; for the reward money, yes, but also because they really miss terrorizing the smug little bastards. They worm their way in to Fox River to shake down Sucre’s doughy cousin, the one who fell off the wall during the breakout, and remember when I felt sorry for Bellick? No? Me neither.
Meanwhile, Sucre finds out that Maricruzzzzzzzz. Whoops, sorry. Maricruz is marrying Hector this weekend! Noooo! He steals an El Camino and almost gets caught at a traffic stop, but manages to sneak off to another conveniently timed train. Dr. Sara is discharged from the hospital but immediately arrested. We see Kellerman skulking around, on the phone with Madame President, letting her know they’re bringing the Doc in and he’ll keep an eye on her. I’ll just bet you will, you magnificent bastard! Sara’s dad – you know, the one who’s the governor – bails her out, but goes out of his way to do it as dickily as possible. He instructs her to plead “not guilty” and put it all on the warden. She will go to recovery meetings every day. And, oh, by the way, he’s the new Vice President starting next week, and don’t bother showing up at the ceremony. Mahone’s right-hand woman Lang is listening in as C-Note calls his wife from a payphone, hoping she hasn’t seen the news the past few days. She has, but he swears he’ll explain everything if she just meets her in “the Rainbow Room” a week from today.
Michael, meanwhile, leaves a message on a prepaid voicemail system. The feds, who apparently have never seen this show, fall for the bait, tracking the cell phone signal. In case we haven’t seen this show either, Michael exposits that it’s not just the breakout that’s in the tattoos, it’s the whole plan, and Mahone seems to have figured that out. Michael has been consulting his barcode tattoo this whole time, incidentally, for road numbers and distances. Somewhere along the way he acquired some icky bags of limbs and blood and other biological material. He and Linc place the parts in the front seats of the car, which they’ve left on a rickety old bridge. Because he’s MacGyver, Michael has rigged the car to explode when the car radio is tuned to 103.7 (also on his barcode tattoo), so they turn on the radio, hit “scan” (hence the title!) and run like hell. Mahone et al roll up just in time for the kaboom. Sucre finally gets to New York to pester Maricruz on her wedding day, but d’oh! The wedding’s in Vegas. That’s why you don’t hang up on people, Sucre. He takes his pal’s motorcycle and heads off for Maricruzzzzz. In a church somewhere: “Hi. I’m Sara, and I’m an addict,” says Sara. “Hi, I’m Lance, and I’m an addict,” says KELLERMAN! Dun! Awesome. We’re back at the first scene now, looking at charred bits of metal and wondering which one it was. Mahone says “Shales” – as in Oscar Shales, whose mugshot he’s been thousand-yard-staring at occasionally – but quickly corrects himself: “Scoffield.” Mrs. C-Note turns on the porch light, a signal to let him know she got his little clue about the Rainbow Room. But Agent Lang is right there in the house: “so you have some information about your husband?” Poor Nika shows up with a car for Michael and Linc, and Michael promises to give her a ton of money for all her trouble. She looks at him for awhile like she might be disappointed that she never got to cash in on those conjugal visit privileges. Down the road, Bellick and Geary sit in a car, very pleased with themselves – they followed Nika straight to Michael.
Episode 2.04: “First Down.” Michael, Linc, and Nika are in the car being followed. Closely. Bumpers are touching. Of course it’s Bellick and Geary, who run them off the road and in to a tree. But it’s not just the reward money they want. Thanks to some effective bullying, Doughy Guy caved and now they know about Westmoreland’s money. They’re all going to Utah! Bellick congratulates himself for “tailing the tail,” and generally acts like a total pig. I throw up in my mouth a little. The first of many times. The blood in the sploded car was B-negative, some guy informs Mahone, just like Michael and Linc. But Mahone isn’t so sure. And whoa! Abruzzi! One of his minions is assuring him that his family will be on a ship to Sardinia tomorrow. He’s genuinely happy to see his wife and kids, hugging them and telling them it’s all over. T-Bag is in a filthy gas station bathroom, which seems appropriate. He’s poking at his reattached hand, trying to get it to feel or move or something. T-Bag obviously hasn’t watched enough Discovery Health Channel documentaries about reattachment surgery. He comes out to find cops crawling around his stolen car, but he just strides right up with his newly frosted hair, playing the part of the down-on-his-luck veteran so smoothly it reminds you, oh right, this guy is really good at making people think he’s not going to kill them. It’s kind of his thing. He’s planted the stolen keys on the nearest dirty hippie, so he’s free to saunter off as they drag the kid away. Geary’s tire has finally gone flat thanks Linc’s surreptitious placement of a shard of glass earlier, and he has to walk the three miles in to town to get a spare. Bellick leads the others to a shack of some kind in the woods.
Nika is not happy with Michael. She did everything he asked and then some, risked her life for ten grand, when he had five million sitting there all along. She pulls Bellick aside and tells him she wants to ruin Michael’s life like he ruined hers, and he agrees to give her 200 grand if she’ll get Michael to tell her where the money is. Abruzzi leaves his happy family behind after hearing a rumor that he has a shot at Fibonacci, because oh right, he’s a thug. Did I mention that Bellick is so, so gross? He’s done with Nika so he ties her up next to the boys. She tells Michael he was right, Bellick is putty in her hands, just tell her what to do next, etc. Double agent! Linc and I are both unsure, but Michael grins. And T-Bag. I can’t say enough about Robert Knepper this season. A kind stranger wants to give the poor injured veteran stranger weirdo a ride. With his teenage daughter in the car. What? Who does that? Anyway, T-Bag is so, so creepy. Nika’s playing double agent again, telling Bellick Michael & Linc are planning on trapping him. She wants to re-negotiate – one third of the money. Bellick wants a piece of her whenever he wants it and she says it’s a deal. There is kissing and perhaps even grinding. My eyes! Just, not enough yuck in the world, people. T-Bag’s ride has stopped for the night, and pretty Danielle is reading by the motel pool. He slithers up to her and creeps me right the fuck out. She’s smart though, running off to tell her dad as soon as he moves to put his arm around her. Her dad tells her to wait inside so he can take care of the perv. Poor, overworked Nika is giving Bellick a lap dance. See above re: iwww. She reaches for his gun but whoa! He’s too smart for that! No more games! He goes for Nika when he sees that his knife is missing, allowing Linc to grab him from behind and hold the aforementioned knife to his throat. They tie up Geary and Bellick, and Bellick, because he is the very embodiment of honor and integrity, lectures Michael about romancing Dr. Sara and forgetting about her once he got what he wanted. Nika makes faces. Meanwhile, Danielle sees her dad’s car driving up, all whew! Dad beat up the bad guy! But of course it’s T-Bag driving, wearing her dad’s damn hat. So! Creepy!
Dr. Sara and Lance are outside the NA meeting when Michael calls her. She doesn’t want to talk to him, but he just found out about her overdose and apologizes tearfully. Aw. “Lance” listens with some interest, especially when the call is dropped and she says “Michael?” Abruzzi pulls up to the Globe Motel, all business, gun in hand as he enters what he thinks is Fibonacci’s room. But nope. It’s a trap. Stupid Abruzzi. He goes out proud, refusing to back down, and it’s suicide by SWAT team for our favorite toe-snipping mobster. One down. Let’s just all be grateful I didn’t get a chance to make a Fibonacci sequence joke. Debra Jean, via the power of tequila, reveals that her suspicious phone calls have been to her dad, who doesn’t like the idea of her sharing a room with some frat boy. Or escaped felon, presumably. Tequila wins out over Dad, and Tweener is officially the first one of the Eight to Get Some. Go figure! Nika finally freaks out as Michael and Link are dropping her off, grabbing Bellick’s gun from Linc and ranting about how she deserves more than just being the girl Michael calls when he needs something, and she actually has a pretty good point. If she turns them in she gets 400 grand and it’s legal. But Linc never trusted her all the way and the gun isn’t loaded. He takes it back and they leave her there all pathetic. HQ is not thrilled with how Mahone handled the Abruzzi situation – he seems to have set it up so that there was only one possible outcome. Mahone pooh-poohs the very notion of impropriety. And yep! They confirm that the crash was staged, so Mahone knows Michael’s out there with a head start.
Episode 3.05: “Map 1213.” Michael and Linc are driving Geary’s car to the Double K Ranch outside of Tooele, Utah, where Westmoreland says he buried his cash. And guess which one-handed non-veteran pervert murderer happens to be strolling around downtown? Tweener and Debra Jean’s giggly afterglow is interrupted by a knock at the door: it’s a cop holding Tweener’s mugshot. He must be a total Viking in the sack, because she tells the cop she hasn’t seen the guy, then leaves Tweener in the room with her car keys, hinting that he should get the hell out of there post haste. Kellerman finds himself in a high-stakes pissing contest with one Agent Kim, who tells him that from now on, Kellerman will be going through him when he needs to contact Madame President. Kellerman no likey. Sara gets another origami swan in the mail. This one just has ten digits written on it – looks like a phone number – and she hides it in a book. After an NA meeting “Lance” offers to bake her a pie, and when it’s clear she’s not responding to flirtation, he quickly throws in a couple of lines about his partner Daniel being away. Damn he’s good! He gets her to feel stupid for thinking he was hitting on her, but now she’s totally on board with a fellow addict bringing baked goods to her apartment, as long as he’s gay. In lovely downtown Tooele Tweener is unfortunate enough to encounter T-Bag, who’s one step ahead of our boys – Michael discovers that the Double K map in the town assessor’s office has been torn out of the record book. They spot T-Bag and grill him in an alley but he swears the map was gone when he got there – Tweener got there first. Sara’s dad is dodging her calls on the advice of his trusted colleague Bennett. She’s trying to Make Amends with his voicemail when NotGay NotLance shows up with dinner.
Meanwhile, C-Note is jumping a train somewhere, and Sucre has tracked down Maricruz’s wedding in Vegas. Maricruz falls in to his arms and they ride off in to the sunset! No wait, her sister totally calls the cops and he’s off like a prom dress. The feds have fished Michael’s hard drive out of the river, which I really thought had to be a red herring but no, looks like Michael is capable of doing dumb stuff like everyone else. Mahone is very interested in all the DB Cooper related files. He’s also looking a bit rough around the edges, and meets an unsavory-looking gentleman in the alley outside. Apparently Mahone’s out of magic pills and this guy is where he usually gets them – turns out he was an informant on the Shales case. Tweener’s at Woody’s Garden Center, buying a shovel and being all shifty about what he’s doing with it. Not the best approach with small-town folk, even for people who aren’t the most wanted men in the country. Woody’s an asshole but he’s not stupid. Tweener gets a baseball bat to the head and is tied up in the back.
Michael walks in just then and can see something is seriously amiss. Woody’s on to Michael too, but he’s lucky enough to have a giant bulldog for a brother. Linc muscles Woody to the back and they valiantly rescue Tweener, who of course totally does not have the map. In fact, the map is currently in the trunk of Geary’s car, along with T-Bag, who commits it to memory as best he can and then eats the damn thing. Now he’s the only one who knows where the money is, so they’re pretty much at his mercy. Once they follow the map in T-Bag’s brain, which is probably a truly nasty place, they come to a huge housing development, presumably constructed on top of the erstwhile Double K. Rats. Sara’s dad and his Secret Service guys interrupt her chaste dinner date with her new friend Lance, who offers to leave, but instead just roots around her living room while Sara’s in the kitchen apologizing to Daddy. He finds the origami bird with the numbers on it and takes a cellphone picture. Jackpot! Except the phone number has been out of service for years. They’ve confirmed Sucre was spotted in Vegas and Mahone figures out they’re all heading to Utah – he tells the task force the same story Michael figured out about Westmoreland/DB Cooper. They’re going to Utah cause that’s where the money is. Mahone’s going to Utah too, but not before another good long stare at that damn birdbath. Meanwhile, Bennett’s in Tancredi’s office, telling him that his nomination might not be a slam dunk, and catalogs all the nasty unexplained deaths surrounding Lincoln’s case. It’s probably best that he doesn’t ask too many questions, Bennett says with much portent. As he leaves, we see that Tancredi was in the middle of finally, finally reading the file on Lincoln that Sara had given him. It’s starting to look pretty likely that if he manages to put two and two together, he’s toast.
Episode 2.06: Subdivision. Oh right, Haywire! Being batshit nuts has turned out to be quite an advantage, in terms of hiding in plain sight. Michael’s freaking out about how the hell they’re going to find the cash under all the McMansions, so T-Bag’s alleged photographic memory better get to work. They narrow it down and stake out the general area. Michael notes that out of the ring of older trees, two are shorter than the rest. He thinks that must mean they grew up in the shadow of something tall, like maybe the silo the money’s buried under! Where are all the incredibly hot steely-eyed genius engineers in my town? The straight ones? He figures they just have to dig through the concrete of that one garage right there. Linc comes up with a plan (Linc!) and sends Tweener back to Woody’s to gas up the car and get supplies. Even though they left Woody, who has recognized two of them, hogtied in the back of his store. Desperate times call for stupid measures, I guess. C-Note’s hitching a ride in the middle of Utah when Sucre fortuitously rides up on his stolen motorcycle. Cool. Mahone learns that Haywire’s been spotted in Wisconsin but he’s all “I’m kind of in the middle of catching the most famous fugitives ever and finding the most famous hidden treasure ever in the process, so someone else take care of the crazy person.” One of the Utah cops worked the Cooper case way back when and takes Mahone to see Jenkins, who’s the only person known to have laid a hand on any of the stolen bills. Turns out Cooper filled up his car twice in 12 hours, which gives them a search radius.
Sara gets another bird with another out-of-service number. Kellerman’s at the White House, where he and Agent Kim continue their dick-measuring contest in person. Figuratively. Kellerman’s pleased with himself about the origami bird and really thought he’d be briefing the President, but Kim’s all, yeah, about that. You go through me from now on, mmkay? Kellerman is so not mmkay. And this is cool: as Kellerman’s leaving in a huff, Governor/Almost Vice President Tancredi is coming in for a meeting with the President and recognizes him right away as the guy from Sara’s apartment. He says nothing but his face says “…the hell?” Tweener checks on Woody in the back of the store, saying it’s cool, they’re just going to get some stuff and get the hell out. Just then though, one of Woody’s friends comes in and notices something is amiss. He calls the Sheriff but Tweener smacks him in the face with a shovel before he can say anything. Linc cuts the power to the silo house, but not before T-Bag spots the female occupant and ogles. Michael’s all “Bad T-Bag! No killing!” so we’ll see how that turns out. Tweener comes back right on time with work clothes and shovels, and also that unfortunate news about the cops possibly showing up any minute. Michael knocks on the front door of the house, wearing those generic workman type coveralls, all “Electric company, diagnostics unit, blah blah we need to dig up your garage to get your lights back on.” She looks unsure, but T-Bag does that “aw shucks” southern boy voodoo on her and it totally works. They haven’t even started digging when Sucre and C-Note show up and it’s a happy Fox River Work Detail reunion. She’s a little suspicious of the two new guys and keeps checking on them, so T-Bag offers to go inside and distract her while they work. Oh yeah, this whole thing has “positive outcome” written all over it. Haywire wanders in to an old blind woman’s house and pretends to be her son long enough to get a bath and a sandwich out of it. She figures it out, though, and calls it in, as Haywire stares transfixed by a painting of Holland. He grabs a knife menacingly but it’s a total fakeout. The nice old lady is just fine, but her painting is missing.
Meanwhile, Mahone has made it to Woody’s – Debra Jean’s car was found around here and Woody is missing, so odds are they’re in the area. He can tell something’s happened inside and breaks in to find Woody and friend, who confirm that the cons are in town. T-Bag’s telling Jeanette, the lady of the house, all about his old girlfriend and how they’d take baths after the kids were in bed. I get the heebiest of jeebies. Also, we’re almost certainly meant to think he’s genuinely reminiscing here, however creepily. He’s got her totally placated but she makes the mistake of asking him a favor – that big strong quiet guy, would T-Bag ask him to come have a drink with her? T-Bag does not take kindly to rejection and his eyes go from dreamy to scary in half a second flat. He stares at an ice pick, hard. Sara gets a call from her dad, who’s kind of freaking out. He needs to talk to her, he’s discovered some disturbing facts, and also, Lance is not who she thinks he is, she needs to stay away. Kellerman happens to be right next to her. She’s all “huh?” but for some reason she doesn’t wait for an answer, just hangs up and shrugs at Lance. Dammit! Do not go all Veronica on us, Sara! Mahone totally nabs Tweener as he’s trying to buy gas, and asks him at gunpoint where the others are. The others are, in fact, about to be totally screwed – Michael goes inside to check on T-Bag but Jeanette has decided they need to be leaving now. Outside the window they see a cop car pull up, and T-Bag shoves a screwdriver to her throat. Way to keep a low profile, guys!
Next time: More cliffhangers! More nailbiting! More heebie jeebies! Plus, daddy issues, thousand-yard stares, shocking revelations and the Battle of the Magnificent Bastards.