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So this is what happens when I go on vacation! That’ll teach me to enjoy a lovely beachfront Thanksgiving. Sheesh. Good news: Michael’s wacky hare-brained schemes totally worked and he didn’t even drop dead trying! His ragtag band of criminals totally came through! Hooray! Bad news: Oh, the bad news. So very very bad. 2.12 Selfless. So surely that episode title is not a pun of any kind, right? Nah. So anyway, you’ll recall that last week’s Mission: Implausible went just swimmingly, with Michael dragging his hypothalamic hamartoma right into the Company’s Holy of Holies, standing face to face with the Ionic Air Purifier/Sharper Image surround-sound speaker known as Scylla. General Baldy catches him in the act and summons his minions, and wow, I bet that’s an awkward elevator ride, huh? Also, I ask again, wtf with David Baker? We’re just letting that whole thing drop, I guess? Anyway, so the elevator dings behind Michael, and Baldy steps dramatically through the elevator doors all “Muahaha, I caught you, you silly genius!” and Michael just sort of idly looks up like, “oh, hey, I’m kind of in the middle of something here, can you come back later?” Baldy does have two heavily armed thugs, but of course Michael has two things Baldy didn’t count on: a) THREE armed minions of his own, and b) all six cards needed to access Syclla. See, when they got here they only had those five, but then all Michael had to do was turn on the little camera and the General brought the sixth one right to them! Heh. Wah wah waahhh! (wacky trumpet sound) I hope they don’t take out all that smartypants when they take out that tumor.
Booberella and Self are still tied up in the “safe”house/trap Gretchen set up for them with Feng. And I’m not sure how much of this is a distraction and how much of it is genuine, but Booberella just starts sobbing that Self is the worst partner she’s ever had, leaving her with that one-handed freak and crazy bitch and then leading her here, and by the way, she tells Feng, the people Gretchen and T-Bag are planning on stealing Scylla from? They have their own plan to keep them from getting it! She’s got Feng’s attention now, and Self has him distracted enough to sneak a key out of his pocket and uncuff himself. A short, sweet gunfight ensues resulting in a bunch of dead Chinese gangsters, including Feng, who is shot down by Booberella before he can kill Self. Self seems strangely annoyed at this, all “Meh! We needed him!” but Booberella is like, he was about to shoot you, asshole! You’re welcome! He tells her to go take care of Bagwell and Gretchen while he handles this mess.
And speaking of the one-handed freak and the crazy bitch, they’re still just sitting around Cole’s office with a poorly concealed duffel bag of automatic weapons, waiting to jump on Michael et al when they emerge and steal Scylla. T-Bag is getting antsy, and he gets antsier when Mr. White decides to come in and introduce himself to Cole’s lovely guest who’s been loitering around suspiciously often lately. “Susan Anthony” is charmed to meet Mr. White, but for some reason she and T-Bag haven’t rehearsed a cover story and it becomes apparent that something is decidedly fishy. By the time he leaves, Gretchen knows he suspects something and it’s time for drastic measures. T-Bag is charmingly reluctant to resort to violence but has no choice but to follow once Gretchen marches out with a huge assault rifle and herds all the employees into Mr. White’s office. He plays along with the “nobody’s gonna get hurt” hostage talk, but is hilariously, visibly annoyed with Gretchen as he grudgingly locks Gate’s front doors. “Now what??” he screeches, rolling his eyes and literally throwing his hands up in the air. Heh.
So Mahone, Linc and Sucre get the upper hand and have the General at gunpoint, at which point he gives up his card. He’s pretty dumbfounded to see that Michael really does have copies of the other cards, and he stares as Michael uses his trusty MacBook to open the secret compartment containing the actual hard drive that is Scylla. Tchoop! A little drawer pops open and there it is. “Bet you’re wishing you’d framed someone else right about now,” Linc snorts, and oh right, wow, that’s how this whole freaking thing started, huh? The Vice President’s brother’s fake death! It’s been a long road, folks. Michael puts Scylla into his cute red backpack and they pile into the elevator, calling the General over so it can scan his eyeball and take them up to his office. His now-unarmed thugs can stay down there, but Baldy’s coming upstairs with them. They all make themselves comfy in his office as Michael calls to check on Sara. Why the hell would he do that, you might be asking? Well, Sara has a pretty important mission of her own, and of course it’s no coincidence that we last saw her sitting on a bench, clutching the secret manila envelope provided by Gretchen, watching Lisa walk by with her entourage. She grins and says she needs five more minutes.
Michael doesn’t bother explaining anything, just sits in Baldy’s chair and waits, fiddling around with Scylla and scribbling on a sheet of paper. He’s hilariously fidgety, bouncing in the big office chair like a 10-year-old waiting for his mom to pick him up from the principal’s office. “Is that the desk you sat at when you told Wyatt to kill my son?” Mahone wonders bitterly, and again I’m like, oh right, this General guy is a real bastard, huh? Baldy wonders how exactly they think they’re getting out of there, since the whole building is locked down and all. Michael not only doesn’t respond, he doesn’t even look up from his scribbling. Sucre pours himself a couple of fingers of whiskey from the General’s old-school Mad Men style executive wet bar.
Booberella arrives at Gate and sees that something is decidedly amiss. She unlocks the front doors and sneaks in unnoticed by T-Bag and Gretchen, who are busy quibbling about that whole “now what?” issue T-Bag raised earlier. Gretchen tells him to suck it up for ten more minutes so they can get their money. Ha. Yeah, that’s not going to work, because Michael won’t actually be springing into the Gate office, holding Scylla with a big red bow on top. In fact, he’s still relaxing in the General’s nice leather chair waiting for Sara to call back. Linc says something about Scylla, how all this seems like overkill just to protect a few phone numbers, and the General scoffs loudly. Who told them that’s what Scylla was? Their dad? “Careful,” Linc warns, bristling at the mention of Aldo, but Baldy is a button-pusher of the highest caliber and knows he’s hit a nerve. In his desk is a photo of a younger Aldo Burrows with a younger but no less bald Baldy, but whatever, we already knew he worked for the company, right? Except the General thinks it’s kind of hilarious that Aldo told them he was a data analyst. “There’s so much you don’t know about the Company,” he tells Linc. “About Scylla. About your dad. About your mother.” Ding ding ding! Button pushed! Linc goes all LINC SMASH, grabbing Baldy by his designer lapels before Mahone talks him down.
Self updates his boss, the mustachioed Homeland Security guy who wanted to shut down Self’s little treasure hunt at the beginning of the season. Self says his men are down there right now, and as soon as he has confirmation they’ve got Scylla he’ll bring it back here himself. Herb says nope, take it straight to the Senator’s office, he’ll have the Attorney General waiting. It’s too dangerous to veer from the plan. Self is antsy.
Michael is also antsy. And kind of seizurey. “What is it that you all want?” Baldy finally asks, exasperated. He tells Sucre to just say the word and his little girl’s education is paid for. Button pusher! Mahone says he can’t just throw cash at them, but he says “Pam needs you now, Alex, you’re both still grieving,” and damn, what a piece of work this sneaky bastard is. But Mahone, lest we forget, is a complete fucking badass. He doesn’t even flinch; in fact he interrupts to ridicule the General’s desperation. <3 Badass Mahone. Michael says what they want is the Company in ruins and the General in prison. That does sound like a bit too much to ask, but hey, dream big, Michael. The Company's whole security team is scrambling around the building, and a handful of them are positioned in front of the office door with one of those battering-ram door-breaky-inny things SWAT teams use.
Meanwhile, at her Eagles and Angels luncheon, Lisa is schmoozing politely when a suspiciously clumsy waiter dumps an entire entrÃ©e into her lap. She excuses herself to clean up in the ladies’ room, where she looks in the mirror to find Sara right behind her with a gun to her head. “Shhh!” Sara mouths awesomely at her reflection.
Baldy is just about done making offers. He moves to walk out the office door but Linc threatens him with his gun. “And then what, you jump out the 19th floor window? You kill me, you lose your leverage.” And right on cue, Michael’s phone rings. Speaking of leverage…”It’s for you,” Michael says, putting the phone on speaker. “It’s me,” we hear Lisa say. She says Sara will kill her unless he lets Michael and the others go. Baldy hesitates. “Dad?” Lisa pleads pitifully. Dun! Those of you who saw that coming a mile away can pat yourselves on the back, cause I totally didn’t, even though it’s pretty damn obvious in retrospect. Obviously his is the info Gretchen had for them and it looks like it might pay off. Well played, Prison Break. “You son of a bitch!” Baldy hisses, annoyed that he’s been checked and mated once again by this twitchy little smartypants. The General thinks he knows enough about Sara to know she won’t kill anyone, but Michael says yeah, maybe three months ago, but this whole thing has changed her like it’s changed all of them. He holds up the paper he’s been scribbling on and says this is why: it’s a list of people who have died because of the Company, and someone who’s better at Photoshop than I am can probably read it better, but I think he forgot a few. I guess Bellick doesn’t technically count, but Abruzzi and Tweener get shoutouts! “Do you really think your daughter’s life is worth any more than theirs?” Michael asks, and the General is forced to relent. He leads them out of the office and past the bewildered guards, unharmed.
T-Bag and Gretchen are still bickering like an old married couple. T-Bag says Michael either found another way out or they’re caught or dead, either way, what the hell do they do now? Theodore Bagwell’s wanted for murder and now Cole Pfeiffer is a hostage taker. Booberella sneaks into Mr. White’s office where they’ve herded all the employees and tries to sneak them out, two at a time, while the bad guys are distracted. “I’m leaving,” declares poor, stupid, doomed Mr. White, who stupidly, stupidly marches across the office – you know, the one that’s made entirely of glass – over the objections of Agent Booberella. Gretchen of course begins indiscriminately blasting the bejeezus out of everything, eventually plugging him in the gut after about 30 rounds. Booberella shouts for them to drop their weapons but they shoot their way out the front door. Damn, Mr. White, what the hell?
Lisa, meanwhile, is trying to bond with Sara. “I can’t imagine what you’ve been through.” Oh, shut up. “You need to realize that Scofield and Burrows are bad men,” she says, and Sara actually smirks. Heh. Her entourage is getting concerned, but after some gentle prodding from Sara’s gun she shouts through the door that she’s fine, just soaking her skirt, nothing to see here. Sara is a total badass, sticking to her guns literally and figuratively through all the girly guilty mindgames Lisa tries on her. The General leads Team Justice out to the armored car they had waiting for Scylla, warning Michael that they have people in the FBI, Secret Service, everywhere – he’ll never see them coming. Michael reminds him that once Scylla is in the right hands it will all be out in the open and then everyone will see them coming. Baldy’s parting shot is a doozy: he tells Linc Aldo wasn’t a pencil pusher, he was an executioner, and now the men he trained will be coming after them. Youch.
In the parking garage, T-Bag is still furious with Gretchen, saying he could have talked to Mr. White. Aw, poor T-Bag, he found himself a vocation and a mentor, then watched his crazy partner blow holes in his torso before he got his first paycheck. They wipe their guns down and throw them away, at which point Gretchen turns another gun on an exhausted and freaked out T-Bag. “You CAN’T be serious,” he says, incredulously and hilariously. He’s the only thing linking her to that crime scene, so she has no choice. Agent Booberella’s car screeches through before Gretchen can pull the trigger, sending Gretchen running. She corners T-Bag and taking him into custody.
Lisa’s posse eventually breaks into the ladies’ room to find her bound and gagged. She says Sara can’t have gotten far. We see the good doctor paying off the clumsy waiter and scurrying off. Michael et al take the armored vehicle to the airport. He and Linc take the red backpack inside while Sucre and Mahone run off to lay low and wait to hear from him. Of course the Company has them in their sights. They follow Michael and Linc and the $125 million backpack through the airport. Once Michael spots them, he texts Mahone, “NOW,” and he and Linc stand in the security line. Mahone calls the police, saying he’s an off duty cop who just saw something in the airport that they’re definitely going to want to check out. The head company thug confronts Michael and Linc, demanding they hand over the bag or else. He says Michael should know by now they’ll do pretty much anything to get Scylla, including shooting them both right there in public. Michael hands over the bag with a sad puppy dog face, saying this isn’t over, but before Thuggy can even turn around, he’s being approached by 6-8 uniformed military personnel of some kind, asking the gentleman holding the suspicious backpack to please come with them. Ha! Oh, show. Whenever I start to doubt you, you pull out seventeen clever twists in a row and I’m all yours again. And it’s not even finished! They take Thuggy into one of the security rooms and ask him to empty his bag, which he is understandably reluctant to do, but when he finally does, guess what? It’s a copy of All’s Well That Ends Well. Double ha! Oh man, the General is so going to have your ass for being too gloaty to actually look inside the bag. Awesome. (Also, spoiler alert: Not looking inside of stuff before you take it is kind of a theme tonight.)
Meanwhile, Self calls Mahone, who confirms that yeah, they’ve got it. Sucre pulls Scylla out from where it’s been hidden under his waistband all this time. Agent Booberella is waiting in a scrapyard somewhere, presumably to meet up with Self. T-Bag is handcuffed in the back of her car. “So you knew who I was the whole time?” he asks her. Yeah, she read his file. “But what if you hadn’t?” he asks pitifully. “Would you have believed I was Cole Pfeiffer? Stellar salesman? Talented speaker?” Oh, poor T-Bag, and yay Robert Knepper making me feel sorry for him. I hope they paid you well for that crappy Transporter movie, Robert Knepper! Buy yourself something nice! She says he had a lot of people fooled until he pulled a machine gun on them. He figures what they said at Gate was true – we’re all prisoners of our own identities, living in prisons of our own creation. Or, you know, some of us kind of forfeit our chances at a bright future in seminar sales by being a psychopath pervert who murders people in cold blood. That’s another perspective.
Okay, so whew, yay everything’s fine! Self shows up to collect Scylla and everyone’s happy and the music swells and he hands them their release papers in a big manila envelope, and it looks pretty thin to me, but what do I know about Homeland Security transfer papers? They should all be proud of their service to their country, and he’s totally going to call an ambulance for that whole pesky tumor thingy Michael has going on, and yay! At this point I’m still not sure what’s going to go wrong, although the stupid Fox promo monkeys have given me a pretty decent idea. All I’m thinking is that Michael Rapaport is kind of phoning it in here with all these cheesy speeches. (Note: He is not.)
Baldy is slouched despondently in his big smooshy chair. “What are your orders?” Thuggy asks. “I don’t know,” the big scary General mumbles pitifully.
So Self pulls up at the scrapyard where Agent Booberella is waiting for him. He shows her Scylla, and she oohs and ahhs over it for a few seconds. He sees T-Bag and she tells him Gretchen got away, and he asks her if they said anything else about it, like who else might have bid on it. Because you know. He wants to get as many indictments out of this as he can, he says, not very convincingly. She says Bagwell will talk once they offer him a deal.
The mood is not especially festive in the Warehouse of Mission Accomplished. Everyone’s antsy, looking at watches and noticing it’s been longer than the promised half hour but the alleged convoy of awesome Victory Vans (presumably Hummer Limos equipped with overpriced champagne) have not yet arrived. At Sara’s request, Michael calls Self to check on that ambulance, and oh dear. It rings and rings. Now why wouldn’t he answer? Oh, because it’s not a working number. Creeping dread visibly washes over the A Team.
So hey, what’s up with that? Surely it’s a misunderstanding! Perhaps Booberella is a double agent! “You did really good on this one,” Self is telling her. “Aha!” you may think to yourself, when she casually asks to take a closer look at Scylla. “It is obvious that she is trying to sabotage his mission and steal Scylla for herself, but good will triumph over evil!” Self reaches into the car. “I’m sorry,” he says, and god dammit, here it comes, just like that. He turns around and shoots her in the gut. Damn! Like, he didn’t just put her out of her misery because she knew too much, he’s going to make her bleed out and breathe her own blood and lie there dying miserably for possibly hours. Dude! When someone turns out evil on this show, they turn out really fucking evil.
Finally, Michael the Genius decides to take a look inside the Manila Envelope of American Justice. Oh man. He didn’t even bother forging any papers. He didn’t even print out TPS reports or steal some Homeland Security stationery or anything. It’s blank printer paper. Everyone just stares. Ugh, heartbreaking.
Damn you, show! I felt guilty after this episode, because you know, these fictional characters only exist because I and others like me continue to watch. If we’d stopped watching earlier, they wouldn’t have to be fucked over so royally every few weeks. If we’d stopped watching after season 2, Sara and Michael could have spent this Thanksgiving over at Bruce Bennett’s house with Sucre and Maricruzzzz and little baby whatever-her-name-is and Bellick and Pam and Alex and Cameron Mahone! Oh god, I’m so sorry for continuing to ruin your lives so thoroughly, people who don’t exist!
Sigh. So it looks like Self will be hitting up T-Bag and Gretchen for another buyer, since Booberella killed the old one. And what, is Sara going to have to watch a few instructional videos on YouTube and do Michael’s surgery herself? In the back of a stolen car, hiding from cops AND Company? Oh man. This is gonna be rough.