And we’re off! To the races, and also to jail. Mahone gets got, but do the Superfriends let him rot in jail or risk their mission to save him? Okay, you can probably guess the answer to that. But wow, a busy day for Team Justice! Two Missions: Implausible in one episode, and we still haven’t seen any of them sleep or eat anything this entire season. Get these people a nap and some some Thai delivery, for heaven’s sake! The future of the Laotian economy depends on it!
Where have I seen this before?
4.06 Blow Out. So we start off in the middle of a card heist they planned offscreen, and this one’s going down at the racetrack. I guess there’s only so many ways to shoot a “people research things, write on whiteboards and go ‘aha!’” scene. Sara’s all done up like a girl. “Don’t get used to it,” she mutters as she passes a smirking Michael, but truthfully I prefer the white hoodie/giant purse look she usually rocks. Michael, incidentally, is wearing a floppy fisherman hat just like Mahone wore in the season premiere, and I like to imagine it is in fact the same hat, and on a cutting-room floor somewhere is a touching scene wherein Mahone tearfully tells Michael to take good care of it. Anyway, everyone’s in the crowd, each with their own role in another Prison Break patented Mission: Implausible. Bellick’s role is to place a bet and then make a complete ass of himself, which, you know. He can handle that. Linc is lurking around the um. The place where the horses hang out before they go to the gates. Backstage. Sucre distracts the security guy and Linc just kind of hops over the fence. I should point out here that Linc is the absolute very last person you’d mistake for a jockey. Seriously, there are jockeys milling about and he makes them look like Oompa Loompas. Those horses must be terrified. Linc watches the starting gates and furrows his super manly brow at the little doohickey Michael gave him.
“Seriously, it looks way better on me. I have the bone structure to pull it off, and it would go great with that grey sweatshirt I wore for two entire seasons.”
Meanwhile, Sara and her feminine wiles help Michael and Mahone sneak into the manager’s office while he’s out placating Bellick. They stick the Data Sucker Upper under his desk and sneak back out. Cardholder #4 is some high roller with special rich person seats, so they can’t just walk up to him, and presumably whatever Linc is up to is designed to get him into the manager’s office. I don’t know exactly what’s happening, but the upshot is that they have farted around with Gate #8, which causes Cardholder #4′s horse to lose before the race even starts. Cardholder #4 is all “Dammit, I’m going to speak to the manager!” just like they counted on. Implausible, people, not impossible! Sara flirts with a security guard who shoos her away, and like, who the hell tells a hot girl to stop touching him? Oh right, a gay guy, so don’t feel bad, Sara. Mahone sneaks in to grab the Data Sucker Upper but is cornered on his way out. He throws an ill-advised punch at a cop and is arrested. With the Data Sucker Upper in his pocket. D’oh.
Meanwhile, in Riverside, a disheveled, beaten and probably foul-smelling Gretchen bangs on the door of a pleasant suburban McMansion. “Hey, Sis,” she says to the pretty mom who answers the door, and particular exposition tactic drives me bonkers, because damn, people, you’re writers, surely you can think of a slightly less hamfisted way to get that information across! Has any nonfictional person ever called their sister “Sis”? Again, that’s not necessarily rhetorical, I’m genuinely curious.
T-Bag the homicidal escaped convict Cole Pfeiffer the star salesman has um, tea bagged (I am so sorry for both the pun and any unpleasant mental images it may evoke) every page in the bird book, revealing a whole new set of clues. Andy, who has officially stopped trying to hide his contempt, stops by just to let him know that his sales records appear to be as phony as his creepy rubber hand, and they’re on to him.
Mahone, by which I mean, Frank Zwan, who is totally Frank Zwan and not the Alex Mahone with all the outstanding warrants, is booked into an LA jail. Among his Personal Effects is one Data Sucker Upper. Oh right, and that ankle bracelet. Hard to look innocent with one of those, huh. He tries to reason with the officer but damn, everybody’s touchy today. They fingerprint him, so it’s only a matter of time before his cover is blown.
Linc calls Self to see if he can get Mahone (and the Sucker Upper) out and he says he’ll do what he can. He notices some dude at his computer and is all “…the hell?” He seems to buy the guy’s story about being from IT, but what we know and Self doesn’t is that the General has taken a sudden interest in his activities. So he’s suspicious, but not quite suspicious enough.
Sara has become Exposition Girl at the Conference Table of Justice. Apparently Cardholder #5 owns a huge agriculture conglomerate with huge holdings in – I’ll give you six guesses – Ding! Laos. The inflation there means this guy is making a metric shit-ton of money.
Not so fun on the receiving end of the torture stick, is it?
Gretchen steps out of the shower and takes a few moments to collect herself, quickly regaining her Icy Bitch composure. Sis shoos her little girl away so she can have a moment with Crazy Auntie Gretchen, who stammers that her car broke down, which totally explains her showing up out of nowhere, bruised and beaten and smelling like death. That’s some serious car trouble. She quickly changes the subject to ask If Sis still has the owl she sent from Germany. Sis fetches it and Gretchen unceremoniously smashes it open to retrieve a gun, ammo, money and fake IDs. Cool trick, hideously ugly ceramic owl! Sis uses her brain bone to figure out that this probably means Gretchen does not in fact work for the IRS. When Sis asks who she does work for, she responds “as of now? Myself.” Cool, we could use a crazy bitch to help with the Wyatt situation, although Kellerman set the bar pretty high for the whole “rogue agents with compelling backstories seeking revenge on their former employers” thing.
Wyatt and Baldy are going over Self’s file when the IT guy from earlier comes in to brief them: Turns out Self’s got a nice firewall set up, so his files won’t be easy to dig through without attracting attention. Wyatt’s all, whatever, Dilbert, I’ll take care of it like a real man.
Mahone sees Self talking to the booking officer and damn, the guy’s really hung up on the whole “he punched a cop in the face” thing. Which, okay, cops take care of other cops, but really? That’s more important than helping Homeland Security? Obviously he wants the terrorists to win, and also, he’s on his period. Self does some impressive rank-pulling and totally wins the pissing contest, but it’s still not quite good enough. They’ll release Mahone’s stuff to Self, but Mahone stays locked up. I mean Frank. Mahone does not like this new development, since he was totally arrested in the line of duty, and it’s only a matter of time before they run his prints. The Superfriends are divided about whether or not to spend time and energy getting Mahone out – he’s part of the team, but also, they have shit to do. Sucre: “So if I get popped tomorrow you guys are gonna just forget about me?” Linc: “Yeah.” Bellick points out that the second they figure out who Mahone really is, they’ll see he’s not actually being held in custody like his paperwork says, then they’ll figure out the rest of them aren’t either. Michael thinks about it for awhile but ultimately sides with Linc. Sara makes a face that suggests she disagrees, and Michael may come a-knockin’ but the SS Minnow won’t be a-rockin’ tonight.
Wyatt lurks in the parking garage, taking me and Self by surprise. I don’t guess Self knows about Wyatt, does he? Shouldn’t they maybe tell him to keep an eye out for this assassin who kills little boys and is thisclose to finding all of them? Anyway, he says he’s an associate of General Krantz, which is not nearly as catchy as Baldy. Wyatt wonders why Self is so curious about the General, and Self quickly covers that he’s Homeland Security and it’s his job to protect people who make attractive terrorist targets. Wyatt is all, oh, in that case perhaps you would like to share what specific threat Baldy is under? Self is clearly shitting bees but holds it together well enough to haughtily declare that he doesn’t normally reveal classified information to mysterious civilians who corner him in parking garages. Wyatt is like, thanks but no thanks, pal, we like our privacy. The “you do NOT want to fuck with me” subtext is unspoken but comes across loud and clear. Wyatt notices the LAPD 11th precinct parking tag on Self’s dashboard. Well crap.
Back at the Batcave, Self turns over the Data Sucker Upper to Michael and asks him how well he knows Mahone. Michael says he knows Mahone wants to take the Company down just as bad as the rest of them, or worse. Self reminds him that he’s a huge liability, and that if Wyatt can find him, he can find Mahone. Self says he can’t get him out, but he can get to him. He kindly offers to “get rid of that angle” if Michael thinks Mahone is the chatty type and might jeopardize the mission.
“Hmm, we could save Mahone…or we could leave him in jail and his floppy hat will be mine, all mine! Muahaha!”
Speaking of that angle, the desk officer is telling Mahone he might be able to make him a deal if he’ll spill the beans about whatever he and his younger, floppy-hatted friend were really up to at the track. Mahone thinks pretty hard about his unique relationship with Michael, and his poor bereaved wife, but says nothing.
The A-Team decides to start working on a plan for Cardholder #5. Of course he has a huge elaborate security system that will trigger an alarm if it’s breached, but also if the power is cut. So they’re just going to have to double the power and blow it out instead. Bellick wants to be clear on what his role is and what exactly is going to happen – after all, we’ve established that if you get caught, you get caught, “tough titties.” Ha. Bellick’s complete lack of tact amuses me. Sucre agrees, but Roland says Mahone’s a Fed, you really think he’s not going to make a deal? Linc, despite the fact that he agreed with this sentiment a few minutes ago, tells him to shut up. Linc just likes telling Roland to shut up. The bottom line is that no matter what, they simply cannot break him out of a police station, so they’d best get back to the task at hand.
T-Bag is trying to decipher the cool invisible messages Whistler left for himself. So okay, here’s a question: if Whistler was trying to steal Scylla, and Gretchen was working with Whistler, does that mean Gretchen is a good guy? Or was Whistler a double-agent? Huh? Anyway, T-Bag is counting paces in his office, trying to find whatever Whistler meant by “8×10,” and hey, this storage closet seems to fit those measurements.
Michael takes his crisis of conscience to Sara. Are they really going to just leave Mahone in jail? Sara, who is the smartest person in the room most of the time, says that she doesn’t know what Mahone would do if the roles were reversed, but she does know that he’s a federal agent and he’d finish what he started. So maybe they should think less about who hurt whose feelings and more about what’s best for the mission.
Menacing glare or sly come-hither stare? You decide!
And speaking of Mahone, Wyatt has followed Self’s parking tag to the 11th Precinct. He checks the visitor’s log and sees that Don Self visited Frank Zwan earlier. Bingo! The desk guy says Frank can’t have any visitors right now cause he’s about to be arraigned, but Wyatt makes it a point to glare menacingly through the bars. Nice menacing glare, Cress Williams. The desk guy tells him which courthouse to go to, you know, “for moral support.” And by “moral,” he means “merciless,” and by “support,” he means “slaughter.”
Mahone calls Michael and tells him Wyatt tracked him down, and don’t bother trying to help, it’s over for him. His goose, she is cooked. Poor Mahone’s goose has been cooked so many times it’s almost certainly burnt beyond recognition. He’s on like his third or fourth goose. He says earnestly that he won’t rat them out, but he begs Michael to kill Wyatt for him, then call Pam and tell her he’s dead. Michael promises, and Mahone is relieved and resigned to his fate, but Michael is obviously troubled.
Gretchen is on the phone, saying “I’m his wife. I’m still in shock. I’ll be there this afternoon.” Sis doesn’t even wait for her to hang up before asking “who are you?” Gretchen blows off Sis’s attempts at any heartfelt conversation and just says she has to go. “So you’re not here to take her?” Sis asks tearfully. “If I was capable of being her mother, I wouldn’t have given you custody.” Dun! Gretchen’s Compelling Backstoryâ„¢ gets compellingier! Gretchen, who has completely ignored the child until now, tells little Emily she loves her. She kisses her on the forehead, and it looks for all the world like she’s taking a bite out of it.
Self has some sort of backstory too, incidentally. Or maybe he just has a boring wife who looks like Rachael Ray with a cheesier, nose-scrunchier grin, and no, I did not think such a thing was possible. So far she’s just some nice lady who left him a voicemail from the grocery store. She’s making pork chops, you guys! Fascinating!
So the Black SUV of Justice pulls up to some kind of power supply/substation thingy somewhere in downtown LA. Linc helps Michael attach jumper cables to the innards, presumably to go through with their “we can’t cut the power so let’s double it” plan for Cardholder #5. Meanwhile, Mahone is scooted into a courtroom with a bunch of other pathetically morose petty criminals. His eyes dart around, looking for Wyatt. The background music is a distractingly hilarious hybrid of the Prison Break theme and the theme from The People’s Court. Like, complete with those bongo sounds. Wyatt finally walks in and makes “dude, you do not even KNOW how freaking dead you are” eyes at Mahone before calmly taking a seat.
T-Bag is still poking around that storage closet, banging on walls, looking for hollow spots, when Andy barges in saying he’s found a few more inconsistencies in Mr. Pfeiffer’s records, and his entire sales history is kind of starting to look a lot like fraud. Booberella, whose cleavage has taken the day off for Rosh Hashanah, watches anxiously as Andy tells T-Bag to be in his office in ten minutes to explain everything, otherwise he’s calling the authorities. Ruh roh. T-Bag has an unpleasant history with Authorities in general. He jumps up, hurriedly wiping surfaces down, and I guess that’s one advantage of the whole rubber hand thing, is 50% fewer fingerprints. And he’s outta there!
Gretchen is at the coroner’s office, identifying her husband Gary Miller, AKA James Whistler, from autopsy photos. The perfectly nice coroner guy tells her he can’t release Mr. Miller’s personal items without proof that they were married, so she punches him in the face and slams his head into his desk a couple of times. Well, that would be an alternative method, sure. She digs around in file cabinets till she finds Whistler’s stuff, specifically, his phone. He’s got a voicemail but it’s just the apartment lady confirming his place is ready, so who knows if that’s important or not, I can never tell with this show.
Mahone is slumped over in the courtroom watching Wyatt glare menacingly when Sara walks through the door. Dun! She’s all businessy and gorgeous and she marches right up to the prosecution table and says she’s representing Mr. Zwan, so she’s gonna need his jacket. See, that’s what those fancy lawyer types call a folder. Sara is good at pretending! She could totally be one of those interchangeable supermodel ADAs on Law & Order: Original Recipe. Incidentally, couldn’t they find a reason for Sara to pretend to be, you know, a doctor? Seems like that would come in handy at some point. She looks at Mahone, who looks at Sucre, who’s also in the courtroom. He’s on the phone, counting down, “5…4…3…2…” as Wyatt calmly stands up and walks toward Mahone, who I guess he’s just going to assassinate right then and there? Anyway, Sucre gets to “1″ and Linc nods to Michael, who pulls a switch on their newly rigged electrical supply thingy, and pow! The power surge causes every lightbulb in the courtroom to splode all over the place. When the smoke clears, Sara, Sucre, and Mahone are gone.
This would be the titular Blow Out.
Wyatt manages to catch up with them in the confusion, and retrieves his “gun hidden in a newspaper hidden in a trashcan,” which is standard equipment for hired killers. He’s really close to the SUV of Justice, looking right at Mahone, but there are cops everywhere and he can’t do anything but point a finger-gun at him and go “ptcheeew!” It’s scarier than it sounds. Mahone thanks the A-Team, saying he doesn’t know why they helped him but he doesn’t care. They all wordlessly acknowledge his gratitude and walk off to resume Justice. Sara hands him the fingerprint card for Frank Zwan, which she stole from his file, so yay, they won’t ever know who he was.
Mahone, who got Wyatt’s number from the motel clerk last week, calls him up and says he got his message. Pam says Wyatt wants him to turn himself in, so hey, where should they meet, get this all over with? Wyatt is no dummy, however. He says it’s nowhere near over, and they have a lot to talk about, what with him finding Sara and Mahone in LA at the same time. Mahone’s like, yeah, whatever, you will get yours, Hot Mumbly Black Kellerman, you can be sure of that! On his way back into the Batcave, Mahone for some reason crumples up Wyatt’s number and throws it in the trash, and Roland for some reason retrieves it, all sneaky-like. You’re the only one left without a Compelling Backstoryâ„¢, Short Round. I’ve got my eye on you.
I’m sure you have a perfectly good explanation for those shifty eyes, Guy Who Showed Up Out Of Nowhere Who We Know Nothing About.
T-Bag runs around his fancyass apartment, wiping fingerprints down and generally getting the hell out of Dodge, when he turns and runs head-on into Gretchen’s fist. He drops to the floor, and she places one of her sexy but almost certainly impractical peep-toe stilettos on his face. “Who the hell are you?” she growls. (Advice: Don’t say “Cole Pfeiffer” unless you want black patent leather in your temporal lobe.)
Next week looks fun, cause we get to go to Vegas, and that’s like, the world capital of capers and heists and Missions: Implausible. Also, I remember Wentworth Miller talking about shooting in Vegas when I had that conference call interview where I just sat there and listened to him answer other people’s questions but didn’t have time to ask my own, which were awesome questions, by the way. Sigh. Anyway, somebody needs to kill Wyatt real quick, because if he found Mahone, surely he won’t have too much trouble finding the Warehouse of Justice. I kind of hope it’s Gretchen. Also, Roland: Company spy, red herring, or just your garden variety computer geek stoner who likes to dig around in people’s garbage? Discuss!