WHY MAN WITH TELESCOPE LOOK AT LINC GIANT HEAD?
Hey, you guys remember that show Prison Break? Something about steely-eyed glares and lots of schematics hung on walls and giant monosyllabic oafs and a really whole lot of dead people? Me neither, it turns out! It seems like a really long time since the last two eps aired (during my Christmas/New Year’s/Birthday/Dead Computer For Two Weeks break), and apparently I don’t remember these things very well when I’m not writing about them. Because oh right, Gretchen is presumably in jail? And Silas Adams died before he could do anything awesome, and Sucre took off, and Sara saved Michael from guys in suits on go karts with machine guns (really!) and the Justice League has followed Scylla to Miami now, and they’ve all been given nice tie-less suits, so the vibe is even more “Burn Notice if Burn Notice took itself very, very seriously” than before. And Mahone’s back! Yay! But the real gamechanger is the identity of the mysterious Scylla buyer: It’s none other than Christina Rose herself – the mom, not the boat – and she’s proposing a regime change for the Evil Company of Evil, LLC. Welcome to the home stretch!4.17 The Mother Lode. Linc, Mahone, T-Bag and Self are sitting around their swanky Miami Vicey apartment. Their clumsy attempt at retrieving Scylla has only served to annoy the General, who has sent each of them a photo meant to scare them into compliance. T-Bag has a Momma in a wheelchair in a home somewhere, did we even know that? Baldy knows, and he also knows where LJ is, and Pam, and Self’s wife, who I really thought was already dead, so what’s the story there? Anyway, they’re running out of family members to use as leverage. Next time it’ll have to be creepy surveillance photos of Self’s drycleaner or Mahone’s accountant or something. Linc reminds us that they did find a weird key on Silas Adams’ body that they’re looking into. Baldy is still on his Comically Tiny Phone, and I laugh every time I see it, because while I adored mine till the day it died, I am a girl and can get away with a phone that looks like it came in a cereal box, and it is by no means the sort of thing you’d want to use to order hits on 9-year-olds or any other nefarious business. Anyway, Linc is furious to hear that Michael has escaped. Again. Really, you’re surprised? Has Linc never seen this show? The point is, Linc took this job in order to keep Michael safe, and Michael refused to play along. And on top of that, Michael is still mad at Linc for taking the deal in the first place – you know, the one he took in order to prevent Michael’s brain from exploding – because Michael is just so goddamn noble that sometimes he has to act like a total asshole.
“Oh, I’m sorry, does your high horse want some pizza too while you’re up there?”
In the parking lot of a pizza joint somewhere, Michael mutters a halfass apology to Sara, who is no doubt thinking the only reason she’s putting up with this emo bullshit is that she has literally no one else left in the entire world, otherwise he and his sanctimonious bullshit could just McGyver their way back to Miami all by themselves. Then of course they get shot at, because cars on Prison Break can’t last more than a few episodes without getting shot at, hitting a pedestrian, and/or getting sploded. They lose the shooter in a boatyard or something. In Miami, Mahone has traced the manufacturer of Silas Adams’ key, which leads him to a database, which tells him that there are two locks for it, one in Little Havana and one by the ocean, presumably at Mom’s house. Which is cool, except of course Christina Rose, The Mom Not The Boat, has minions to keep her informed when someone’s snooping around in her super secret database. Her main henchman also tells her Michael’s on the lam, again, and headed to Miami. Kathleen Quinlan looks lovely, incidentally, and her ambiguously evil badass mama is pretty convincing.
Michael and Sara managed to hitch a ride away from imminent danger but now they’re just standing around a truck stop trying to figure out the “headed to Miami” part. Michael reluctantly calls Linc, who tells Michael “I had it all worked out and you blew it!” Linc doesn’t want to help Baldy but it’s the only way to get his life back. Michael says there has to be another way. Linc thinks Michael should grow the hell up and get over himself already, and think for two seconds about what’s best for Sara and his family. Linc’s determined to get Scylla back to the General, but Michael says he’ll do everything he can to stop him, because he has principles, or something. Shut up, Michael. So now everybody’s mad at everybody just in time for Michael to say “OK, gotta run from the cops real quick, oh by the way, Mom’s not nearly as dead as we thought she was, see you in a couple days!” They hop into the trailer of a Dallas-bound 18-wheeler. I have decided to believe they have some quick offscreen adrenaline sex before we see them next, because otherwise the sight of them sitting among cases of bottled water, glumly eating junk food and discussing Michael’s Mommy Issues and inconvenient bouts of moral indignation/self-righteous prickery, would just be really really sad. Michael reminds us that his mom did have the same kind of cancer he did, and that Company doctors operated on her too. So maybe she got the same trip to the same heavily guarded cabin in the woods, only she wasn’t clever enough to McGyver her way out of the mind-melty personality-sucking Company recruitment injection like Michael did.
HOW LINC CAN BE IN PICTURE AND HOUSE AT SAME TIME?
Linc and Mahone arrive at Mom’s house, put the special key in the patio door, and ta da! Well, that was a whole lot easier than last time. Of course Mom knew they were coming and the house is empty, but propped neatly on an otherwise empty table is a photo of Lil’ Linc and Pregnant Mom. This is when Mahone puts things together for poor, slow, lumbering Linc: They know Mom once worked for the Company, they know the Scylla buy was probably an inside job, and the buyer knew Linc was coming and had access to old family photos. Linc’s brain-gears creak audibly as he realizes this probably means that not only is mom really still alive, but she’s probably in Miami, with Scylla.
Baldy is cruising in his big scary limo with one Oren, you know, the Cardholder guy with the safe they drilled into without anybody noticing, while Sucre pretended to use a shop vac for a suspiciously large ink stain in the office next door? Good times. Anyway, Baldy just thinks Michael is the bee’s knees, and if they’d managed to recruit him it would be like having 30 more years of Christina. Oren is all “yeah, that’s great, oops look at the time, I’m going to hurriedly exit the vehicle in the middle of nowhere real quick if you don’t mind.” Baldy’s seatbelt is rigged and he’s desperately trying to cut himself loose when BOOM, another innocent car sploded.
The much less awesome half of the Fantastic Four, T-Bag and Self, are at the other magic lock location in Little Havana. It’s an inconspicuous little church with a conspicuously antsy little priest. Self’s undercover skills are hampered by his “cop-stink,” so it’s T-Bag who goes in, all “I’m totally a professor of um. Whatever field of study would convince you to let me snoop around.” He spots a weird-looking lock that their weird-looking key would fit into, but the priest won’t let him in to the sanctuary, on account of only the pure of soul can enter, and the priest can tell by holding T-Bag’s non-synthetic hand that his soul is like those black cancer lungs they show you pictures of when you’re 12 to scare you away from smoking, only after they’ve been set on fire and jumped up and down on a few times. T-Bag is hilariously fake-offended, all “well I never!” but a couple of menacing thugs emerge from the sanctuary and scare him off. Which, to be fair, may be something that happens in Little Havana churches all the time for all I know. Everything I know about Little Havana I learned from Miami Vice.
“I don’t actually have the ability to detect purity of soul with my hands, I’ve just seen your face on the news like seven thousand times since your incredibly high profile prison break.”
Mahone sits with Linc dusting the mysterious photo for prints. He finds none, which confirms that Mom left it on purpose for Linc to find. Linc is lucky he’s partnered with the smart guy, because Mahone helps him figure out what she was trying to tell him. Mahone’s all, okay, What’s Wrong With This Picture? Linc, who never misses an issue of Highlights, is good at this game, and notices that the car they’re standing in front of is the wrong model year for Mom to be pregnant with Michael. So that somehow leads Mahone to decide that the license plate is a message: MLK 441 = the intersection of MLK boulevard and Highway 441. Mom hasn’t been watching this show either, or else she’d know that Linc would never have ever gotten that on his own, not in a zillion years. T-Bag and Self walk in just in time to get barked at by Linc as he’s on his way out the door to loiter around an intersection waiting for a secret meeting with his dead mom. Self’s like “are you fucking kidding me with this? Linc’s dead mom? Really?” and says that if she does have Scylla she’s not going to hand it right over just because Linc used to live in her uterus. Linc figures it’s worth a shot; maybe she doesn’t do business the same way the General does.
Michael and Sara are truckin’ along, eating truck stop food while Michael reminisces. It was Mom and her cruel Mom gift of a birdhouse making kit that helped Michael realize that making stuff was what he loved to do. Which is neat, but maybe if she’d given him the Millennium Falcon like he wanted he’d be an astronaut or a Jedi or something instead of a thrice-escaped prisoner with a huge pile of bodies in his wake. Way to go, Mom. Anyway, the truck gets pulled over by a cop, who’s totally just a regular cop and is in no way suspicious. The truck driver I guess knows by now that people who give you a hundred bucks to ride amongst bottled water cases are the sorts of people you don’t want to tell cops about, so he tries to shoo him off, but the totally legitimate cop peeks inside and sees a shadow of a shoe. Now, somehow, he is 100% certain that this shoe shadow is Michael and Sara. So sure that not only does he not call for backup to keep them at gunpoint in the back, he doesn’t even bother checking, just shoots the nice truck driver man and hijacks the whole deal. Somehow, this makes more sense than say, going inside, handcuffing them and putting them in the cop car. Or just killing them. I guess they want Michael and Sara to think they’re still safe? Regardless, they now find themselves in a weirdly contrived situation in which they must escape from a speeding 18-wheeler, which is exactly the sort of McGyvery shit that Michael positively cannot wait to pull. He rigs some strappy things up and manages to push the side door open and they go tumbling out, running for their lives yet again.
“Hey, remember when I got that Oscar nomination for Apollo 13? You’d think I’d be getting more work, huh?”
Christina Rose, The Mom Not The Boat, is on the phone, annoyed with Oren, aka Cardholder/General Blowy Uppy guy. Seems Baldy didn’t get Blowed Up Real Good enough: She just got word that he’s alive. D’oh. Oren says he can get it done right, but Mom thinks it’s time to pull the plug on whatever mysterious plan they’re working. She asks him to put her on speakerphone, which doesn’t raise his suspicions for some reason, but she thanks him for his service and gives the signal (super secret code word: “Now!”) for the driver to shoot him in the chest a few times. Later, when Baldy calls, she’s all “Oh, how nice to hear from you, Jonathan, I assume this means you have retrieved Scylla and have not at all been blown up in any way that has nothing at all to do with me.” He says no, he doesn’t have Scylla, and by the way, he looked into it, and she doesn’t seem to be in Johannesburg like she’s been telling him. Also, the whole thing with being blown up, and the fact that Oren was found dead shortly after the splosion attempt, has him thinking they need to have a little sit-down. She says no thanks, why don’t you and your boring daughter and psycho girlfriend find Scylla yourselves? Oh, that’s a long story, Mom, someone will fill you in later.
Linc loiters around the mystery intersection for a few minutes until someone pokes his head out of a fancypants restaurant door and calls him by name, then shows him to a table with a little “Reserved: L Burrows” card on it. Mom sneaks up and affectionately says he hasn’t changed a bit, which I guess is the kind of trite bullshit you have to say when you’re meeting with the son you abandoned 23 years ago to work for an evil conglomerate which ultimately framed him for murder and tried to kill him and his brother eleventy billion times. Mom says she’s sure he has a lot of questions, but he’s only got one: Where’s Scylla? She says it’s safe and that’s all she can tell him now, and he’s like, okay then, we’re done here. She convinces him to hear her out, but he’s still hung up on the whole “abandoned us in favor of Muahahaha, Inc. thus scarring us for life and also almost killing us repeatedly” thing. She says Linc doesn’t really know what the Company is; he only knows what the General made it, bloodthirsty and war hungry. It wasn’t always like that, and it doesn’t have to be. If she were in charge it wouldn’t be evil at all! There would be company picnics and Wacky Tie Fridays and really great health insurance and ergonomic chairs, and the frequency of boardroom assassinations would drop dramatically. “I could sit here all day explaining why I did what I did,” she says, then fails to do anything of the sort. She just says she couldn’t protect the boys then, but she can now if he’ll let her. Linc says the easiest way back to his son is through Scylla and Baldy and that’s all he cares about. But what if Baldy were out of the picture? Once he’s gone, nobody cares about Linc or Michael anymore. She just needs two days. Linc’s poor brainbone hurts SO MUCH from all this thinking and considering and whatnot, but he agrees, then goes outside to quietly freak out.
“Um! Chicken Police! Or Something! Do not be alarmed or look too closely at my cool shiny badge!”
The other 75% of Team Justice barges into the Little Havana church with Self’s incredibly useful Homeland Security badge. It really helps that no one knows exactly what falls under Homeland Security, so they can say they’re investigating an animal cruelty charge even though if you think about it for ten seconds there’s no way that’s remotely plausible. This is why I love William Fichtner: Because he can say stuff like “If there aren’t any chickens, there aren’t any chickens, but we’re not going to know that until we take a look around” with a straight face and I totally believe him. The priest forbids them to enter the sanctuary but when they go in anyway he decides to pull a gun on them. T-Bag sees it coming and manages to wrestle the gun away and tell him that’s not a very heavenly thing to do. Ha, Mom, your security system for your priceless world-changing doohickey is a priest who loses a two-second fight with a one-handed pervert. Nice. Mahone unlocks the door and finds weapons and security badges but no Scylla. The priest tells T-Bag he doesn’t know anything about what’s in the room, just that a guy asked to rent it and once he had a woman with him. Well that narrows it down. One of the thugs from earlier pulls a gun on T-Bag and Mahone, but Self’s itchy trigger finger comes in handy this time and he shoots the thug and the priest. (There’s a joke in there somewhere: A thug, a priest and a pervert walk into a church…) Anyway, Michael and Sara find an abandoned um. Motel? School? Business of some kind? People abandon things an awful lot in the Prison Break universe. Anyway, this particular cluster of abandoned structures is just perfect for a chase scene, the end result of which is Michael thwacking the bad guy in the head with a big chunk of Abandoned Building. (Things without which Prison Break could not exist: cell phone conversations, car crashes, abandoned buildings, cryptic handwritten notes, blue sweatshirts.) Michael digs in his wallet and finds – wait for it – a cryptic handwritten note! “7/31 I10R4AZMS 8/1 B2348ROCKWELL1630VS,” it reads, cryptically. So July 31st, Interstate 10 from Arizona to Missisippi, August 1st, something something, we’ll find out soon enough. “The General should know by now not to mess with us!” Michael taunts the dying baddie. “The General didn’t send me!” he gasps, then stubbornly dies without elaborating. Jerk.
“Hey, isn’t this the same Abandoned Structure we used to hide from Kim back in Panama? How did it get to the Arizona desert? Weird!”
Self, T-Bag and Mahone head back to their swanky 1986 lair, where Linc is waiting. He declares that they’re laying low for 2 days while Christina Rose, The Mom Not The Boat, gets Baldy out of the way. Mahone, who I must remind everyone is almost always right about everything, isn’t buying it. The fake IDs/security badges and other up-to-no-good documents they found at the church are dated two days from now; that can’t be a coincidence. Linc wants to give her a chance to explain herself, but Mahone, who, again, is always right, says that if she told him to stay away, that was a warning, and he should take it seriously. Linc is all LINC ASK MOMMY FIRST and heads back down to the restaurant where they met before. So now Linc and his big bald bullseye head are just bobbing around in plain view, and of course a sniper has him in his sights. Mom’s main henchman is on the phone with the sniper, and tells Christina Rose, The Mom Not The Boat, that Linc might be more of a threat than they gave him credit for – he found the house, after all, and his pals cleaned out the stash at the church. “I told him to stay away,” she laments. They have a clean shot. “Take it!” she whispers theatrically. Dun!
So let’s see. I guess there’s no real way she can still be a good guy, right? I mean, surely they won’t kill off Linc, but they also probably can’t find a way to turn that last scene into some elaborate misdirection. Or can they? If she sent the cop guy after Michael and Sara, just to fetch them and escort them to Miami, that could explain why he didn’t just shoot them or handcuff them or whatever (it was a totally different guy that actually shot at them, so it’s technically plausible). But I keep coming back to the sniper thing, not to mention the “Mahone’s always right” thing. What do you guys think? What are they going to do with their last 4 episodes? And could it please involve Kellerman somehow?