Get it, because it was really quiet, and also they drilled a lot of holes? Get it? Huh?
Anyway, this is what we find ourselves with this week. Their break-in plan turns out to be pretty cool, which is one of my favorite themes in this show: 1) Impossible task is proposed; 2) Michael formulates a secret plan; 3) Plan is revealed only when it actually unfolds; 4) I go “Wow! Neat!” They weren’t kidding about the “quiet” part of the title either – a good chunk of this episode is completely dialog-free. Oh, and Michael totally doesn’t go to the doctor, of course. It’s just a tumor after all. Walk it off, Michael!4.11 Quiet Riot We begin with Sucre and Mahone carefully, quietly drilling a hole in the Great Wall of Scylla. It’s just big enough for Sucre to thread a long bendy tiny camera through. Actually, it looks a whole lot like the endoscope I had shoved down my throat not too long ago, which seemed terrifying until the nice lady gave me all that Versed and the whole world became incredibly nice. Anyway, now Michael can see what he’s dealing with. And later on they can all take turns checking each other for stomach ulcers. Why does almost everything I say about this show sound dirty in some vague undefinable way?
T-Bag is sucking up to his wacky odd couple partner in crime Gretchen. He’s having a conversation with her through Cole Pfeiffer’s bedroom door, telling her “he doesn’t deserve it, after what he did to you!” The “he” is General Baldy, and the “it” that he doesn’t deserve is Gretchen in a Naughty Schoolgirl outfit, you know, the kind that wouldn’t be out of place in a store full of, um, Marital Aids, Intimate Novelties and other Adult Content. She looks pretty hot, in that Adult Content sort of way. After some requisite ogling, (“Ah was born on a mountainside!” he exclaims. “Just keep both hands on the camera” she snarls.) T-Bag snaps some photos on her cellphone as she drapes herself half-heartedly and sort-of-sexily all over the bed.
Back at the warehouse, Sara tells Michael the doctor can see him today at 3, and Michael’s all “No! You can’t make me! You’re not my real mom!” Sara, again, the smartest person in the room, patiently reminds Michael that this particular doctor knows who they are and they have his word he won’t turn them in. If he just collapses somewhere, it’s hit or miss who treats him in the ER, and it doesn’t make much sense to take that chance. Linc grunts in agreement. Meanwhile, Sucre is reminiscing to a surprisingly patient Mahone that the last time he drilled a hole in a wall it was with an eggbeater in Fox River. Aww. “I can’t believe it’s all coming to an end,” he says, blissfully unaware that there are eleven more episodes to go. Poor Sucre is still grieving his big teddy bear pal Brad, and now he’s worried about Michael. Mahone says Michael’s sick, sure, but one thing that will definitely be bad for his health is prison, so put on your big girl panties and get to work!
Linc tells Sara that Michael won’t go to the hospital unless he’s sure he has a solid plan, and they should have the General’s card soon. Sara wonders if they can trust Gretchen. “With the card? Absolutely.” Says Linc. “Anything else? Nope.” Meanwhile, Lisa is filling Baldy in: she’s got eight guards to bring Scylla to an armored car, which will have a Secret Service escort to the Air Force base. Oh, and once it’s in the air, it’ll be escorted by three F18s. Jesus Christ. Actually, I doubt even Jesus Christ would get that kind of security. Baldy’s Comically Tiny Phone buzzes, and guess who sent him a photo? It’s Gretchen, all sexy-like, with the caption “Our old room. 1pm.” Gross. He grins and gets up to leave, all “Okay then, glad you got this under control, I got a Thing, see you in a an hour.” Lisa knows it’s Gretchen and she isn’t happy about it. Also, ha, an hour? Shouldn’t you at least pretend it’s going to take longer than that? I liked this guy so much better before he opened his mouth.
This is the face of a man who’s glad he asked his doctor about Controlled-Release Cialisâ„¢ For Daily Use, just like that guy on TV sitting in a bathtub in the middle of a field for no reason. Also: gross.
Sara’s done some research on Michael’s particular brand of brain surgery, and it turns out it’s the extra fun kind where they have to keep you awake while they’re poking around in there to make sure they don’t slice out anything important. Oh, and they also have to screw a giant metal brace into your skull to keep it in one place. Why, that sounds like a delightful way to spend an afternoon! Michael listens, but Linc is all “Iwww! Brains! Gross!” Self interrupts the lecture, hauling in boxes of Michael’s requested break-in supplies. No one’s told Self about the whole tumor thing, by the way, so when Self asks if he’s feeling okay everyone’s like “Fine! He’s fine! It’s not a toomah!” Mahone and Sucre are back with the video, and they have 4 hours to figure out how to break through a steel-reinforced concrete wall, then a glass wall, without touching the floor or making a sound. One thing David Baker’s plans didn’t tell him – and by the way, where the hell is David Baker? – was that there is in fact a single camera present, but it’s only activated when one of the heat/sound/pressure sensors is triggered. So about this wall – they’re gonna need a serious electromagnetic field to deal with the steel fibers. Michael’s zoning out a little so Mahone picks up the slack and says they’ll need a couple of car batteries. Sucre’s all over that! It’s kind of his Thing. Mahone is awesome again now that he’s gotten his vengeance out of the way.
Gretchen is waiting for Baldy in “their old room.” Gross. “What took you so long?” she purrs. “You know how I get when I’m hungry.” Double gross on the rocks with a gross chaser! She proceeds to seductively remove his jacket, and just as she’s surreptitiously patting it down, he says “I didn’t bring it with me.” D’oh! Walking around in those platform Mary Janes, in front of T-Bag no less, all for nought! Anyway, he knows she was after the card. “I never thought that at the age of 63 I could still have my heart broken.” Aw, poor gross jowly lecherous evil mastermind. If she’d waited a little while she would have had a card of her own, he says. Before she can apologize he’s got a gun on her. He demands to know who she’s selling it to, but she just pleads, “I’m the mother of your child!” Iww, I knew it! She calls him Jonathan, which I guess is information we didn’t have before, and says she loves him, but even though all the blood has been pharmaceutically rushed away from his brain, he knows she’s full of shit. He lowers the gun and says if he ever sees her again, he’ll kill her. Way to hold up your end of the bargain, Gretchen. We know where to go if we need someone whipped or garotted, but we can’t trust you to pick any pockets.
So T-Bag, you’ll recall, is on to Booberella. She’s in with Self and he knows it, but he needs a little more proof. He tries offering her money to take her jacket off, but he gets to $1k without a bite, which proves to him that she isn’t the money-hungry little skank she’s pretending to be, and she’s probably hiding something under her huge blazer. Mr. White calls him in to let him know that his little speech yesterday made them $35k in one afternoon. T-Bag is visibly proud, in spite of himself, and I am reminded of little baby T-Bag, the smart kid stuck in that serial-killer-factory of a hillbilly shack he shared with his crazy serial-killer-factory of a dad. Poor Teddy, never had a chance, but maybe this is it! White says there’s this cruise he usually goes on, usually takes in $50k in commission in a week, but this year he thinks Cole’s the man for the job. Oh, but it leaves this afternoon. T-Bag weighs it out in his mind: $50k sure thing, or $125million, much less sure and with no shuffleboard or free all-night buffet. It’s a tough call and the various emotions bubbling just below the surface, like being proud of himself for the very first time ever, are heartbreaking, but he turns down the offer. Oh, Theodore. I have a feeling you’re going to regret that. Also, Robert Knepper. If I ever have a zillion dollars, I will pay Robert Knepper and William Fichtner to just sit around my house emoting at my command. “You! Give me ‘proud but ashamed but conflicted and tempted and trying to hide all of it’! And you, I want ‘grieving but determined and pensive but focused!’”
Wild guess: Which one of these people has the brain tumor?
And speaking of Mahone, they’re trying to figure out how to fool the temperature sensors into letting them cross the room without sounding the alarm, and Mahone says liquid nitrogen should cancel out any body heat. Sara runs off to fetch some, and Mahone has a little heart-to-heart with Michael about a colleague who had liver cancer, and like Michael, the hardest part for him was leaving his work behind. “Lemme guess,” Michael says, in the most self-aware dialog in the history of this show, “he had a ragtag band of criminals ready to pick up the slack.” Ha! And I’ll forgive Michael here for being kind of a dick to Mahone when he’s being all sincere and chummy, because in addition to the brain tumor and threat of prison, that was really funny coming from stoic steely-eyed Michael. It’s funny cause it’s true! Mahone thinks so too, and he promises Michael they won’t let him down.
T-Bag tells Gretchen that he’s sure Booberella is with the Feds. She agrees it’s a complication and he mocks her understatement, asking if her failure to get the General’s card counts as a “setback.” Poor little Teddy Bagwell comes to the surface again as he tells her how much he’s giving up for this – “I have a job! I get mail! people call me ‘sir’!” She says T-Bag wouldn’t last in this world, but he says Cole Pfeiffer would. Meanwhile, Feng, the Chinese gangster who’s their buyer, is loading giant pallets of cash into a van. $125million takes up an awful lot of cubic footage, huh, but I guess these kinds of transactions don’t really go down in the form of a money order or a Target gift card.
Sucre, Mahone and Linc are being all manly and crafty, using power tools and bolts and um, umbrellas, to put together their break-in kit. Michael meets with Self outside, who tells him that Gretchen couldn’t get the card. They need that card, dammit, and every scenario Michael’s come up with ends with a gun to someone’s head and that is not acceptable. Self does have something for Michael from Gretchen though. It’s in a small manila envelope and we don’t get to see it yet. Self’s phone rings – it’s Booberella letting him know that Feng just showed up. Meanwhile, Gretchen explains to Feng that they’ve hit a little bump in the road, so to ensure the item’s safe recovery, they need his help. Booberella, are your ears burning?
You don’t give the Heimlich for a hypothalamic tumor! What the hell kind of doctor are you?
Sara interrupts Michael’s brooding to tell him it’s time to go. He shows her the photo(?) Gretchen sent and says that if they all die and he survives because he “called in sick” he doesn’t know how he’s going to live with himself. And apparently he won’t find out, because he marches back into the warehouse and tells Linc he’s going with them. In the car outside the Gate building, Sara – poor, long-suffering Sara, who deserves about eighty bubble baths and a less high-maintenance boyfriend who gives her Tha Bizness much more often – sighs heavily and reluctantly injects him with an anti-convulsant med, which she says should control his seizures for three hours or so. Sucre, who is stereotypically and adorably Catholic, is praying furiously. Michael tells him it’ll all go as planned, but Sucre mutters that he’s not praying for himself. Aww.
The General, who apparently has been visited by the Continuity Fairy, asks Lisa why she’s not at her Eagles and Angels luncheon, it being the second Tuesday of the month and all. Informative exposition, Baldy! So that first card theft was a month ago. How time flies when you’re living in a warehouse and cheating death regularly! Oh, and she was right about Gretchen, he says, presenting the elusive sixth card, and he wants Scylla moved now. She runs off to fetch the other Cardholders.
The four remaining Superfriends barge into T-Bag’s closet with giant boxes of crap. Those are some serious damn shelving units you’re installing there, Cole. He calls Gretchen to let her know “the game is afoot,” and she says there’s another interested buyer who’s prepared to give them $200mil. She’s set up a safehouse where they can meet to make sure he’s legit, and she gives him the address. Booberella, eavesdropping as is the right of any underpaid employee with a multiline phone, dutifully jots it down. Oh dear. Meanwhile, Sara and her humorously gigantic purse are sitting on a bench outside the building. Her purse, by the way, contains both the manila envelope from Gretchen and a shiny handgun. Down in the secret Company labyrinth, Michael gathers his band of merry thieves and makes sure everyone knows what they need to do, because from here on out, they need absolute silence.
And silence it is! Several solid minutes of dialog-free tinkering and drilling and assembling ensue. Linc secures cables, Mahone climbs a ladder and drills holes high up the wall, Sucre measures out a 3-footish square of cement. Their makeshift electromagnetic field disrupts the integrity of the wall somehow – something about magnetizing the steel fibers so they’re left with plain old cement to chip away? Where’s Mr. Wizard when you need him? I’m not entirely sure what happens, but it’s a really cool idea and it works. Yay science! Everybody peers through the crumbled wall at their Holy Grail. Michael assembles a ladder type scaffolding, which they shove through the big hole and suspend a few feet off the ground with the cables Linc threaded through the wall. Sucre climbs through, adding planks to the ladder until it’s a little Suspension Bridge to Nowhere. He uses a blast of the liquid nitrogen to negate his body heat and keep the temperature sensor happy. Of course at one point he slips, but he acrobatically catches the nitrogen tank just in time.
That is some seriously graceful shit right there. Way to do your own stunts, Amaury! Also, nice arms, grr.
Self and Booberella show up at the address she overheard Gretchen give T-Bag. So they’re showing up here to meet up with the kind of person who pays $200mil for stolen data, from an assassin and a serial killer, no less, and they’re doing it with no backup. Surely nothing can go wrong with this plan. So they go inside, guns drawn, sweeping room by room, but they don’t find T-Bag, Gretchen or this alleged buyer. What they do find is the original buyer, Feng, and a whole gang of armed thugs. No way they could have seen that coming! Oh no, wait, I mean, how could they possibly not have seen that coming? Gretchen and T-Bag get a message from Feng that he’s got the troublemakers in custody, and they just hang around in Cole’s office waiting to ambush Michael when he emerges.
Lisa tells Baldy their jet has been cleared for takeoff, so it’s time to move Scylla; you know, that thing Michael is carefully, silently inching toward on a suspended ladder at this very moment. Oh, and here’s another thing nobody could have seen coming: Michael has a seizure at the worst possible time. He recovers, gives a thumbs-up to the three faces anxiously (silently!) poking their heads through the hole in the wall, and makes it to the glass enclosure. He sticks a couple of handles on it, cuts a circle with a glasscutter, blasts it with the nitrogen to make it nice and brittle, and pushes the circular chunk right out, placing it neatly on the floor in front of him. That would be the interior floor, the one without the weight sensors. Upstairs, oblivious for now, Baldy is telling Lisa to go ahead and have her police luncheon while they wait for the rest of the Cardholders. Now is not the time to hurt any cops’ feelings, so she heads out. She and her sizeable entourage walk right by Sara’s bench.
No! Don’t pick it up! Have you learned nothing from Indiana Jones??
So here’s Michael, standing right in front of this mythical thing we’ve been chasing all season. He looks like he can’t help thinking it’s pretty cool. And everything has gone perfectly, all according to plan! Whew! Glad that’s over! He examines it, lifting it off its pedestal, immediately setting off the alarm, alerting the General, and turning on the camera. Baldy stares at the screen, watching Michael just standing right in front of the super secretest mysterious thing ever, trying to figure out how to make off with it. He yells into his Comically Tiny Phone that he needs a team downstairs, now! He marches angrily into the elevator – presumably the one that opens up right behind where Michael is currently standing – and harrumphs emphatically as the doors close. Dun!
So close and yet so far, Michael. I liked their little construction project, it wasn’t even all that implausible! I mean, well, not completely ridiculous anyway, and there were some cute touches like the silencers on the power tools and Mahone’s debris-catching umbrellas. Also, it looked cool, which is important. So yeah, I have no idea what happens now. We have a half a season left, what the hell are they going to do with that? Did I miss something about that manila envelope or do we really still not know what’s in it? Who is Gretchen trying to screw over: Michael, T-Bag, or Baldy? Does somebody else have to die? I’m going with “probably” on that last one. One thing I do know is that next week’s episode is called “Selfless.” I’m just saying.