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We last left our hero Michael Scofield feeling pretty smug about himself. He’d just broken through his cell wall undetected and his escape plan was coming together nicely. Unfortunately, unbeknownst to him, the evil Secret Service agents – at the behest of the evil Granny in her Montana hideaway (The UnaGranny?) – had secured a transfer request for Michael. This would, of course, foil all of his ridiculous plans. So, it made perfect sense to open this week’s episode with a flashback of Michael getting a lame tattoo that said, “English, Fitz, Percy.” I’m sure this would make absolute perfect sense later on, like Enter From Pothole or some such convolution. I’m waiting for Michael to start singing “Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme,” because that means, of course, “PASsAGE by the ROSE bushes gives me more TiME.” Wouldn’t surprise me a bit.
As always, there were several different story lines woven throughout the show, making my job somewhat difficult. So bear with me… Warden Pope, the world’s nicest maximum security prison warden, figured into this episode almost as much as Michael. He first appeared arguing with the Secret Service punks about Michael’s transfer. You see, the Warden really needs his Popsicle stick Taj Mahal completed and Michael is the only one capable of doing so. The warden didn’t suffer 3 months of brain freezes and green tongues for nothing – there was no way he was going to let Michael leave his prison. So the Secret Service guys (I’d abbreviate them “SS guys,” but even bigger asshats already used that abbreviation in the past) revealed their trump card: Blackmail. The government men had some photos and documents from 1989 in Toledo, which caused Warden Pope to turn sheet-white. We know that Mrs. Pope knows about Toledo, but apparently not the whole story – the one with the dead kid. Let’s hope there was no sex involved. Although that would shut up the Oz crowd who continue to complain about Prison Break.Out in the yard, with the prisoners at recess (again), Michael, Abruzzi, and Sucre were able to create circumstances to gain some alone time in a warehouse. Amazingly, death row inmate Lincoln was also able to break a shovel at the same time and join the boys. Not only was he holding an obviously deadly weapon, he was free to roam into the warehouse as well. The NHL doesn’t even allow on-ice players to hold broken lumber for more than a second. I expected Lincoln to get at least 2 minutes in the penalty box. He didn’t, and the four would-be escapees discussed the current situation in private. Abruzzi and Sucre were getting antsy but Michael held them all together with the cryptic question, “English, Fitz, or Percy – which one to take out?!” Just then, Michael removed his shirt to reveal not his giant tattoo, but a Frank Gorshin (RIP) Riddler unitard. ZOW! BLAM! POW!
That last bit didn’t actually happen, but Michael was greeted with a real zow-blam-pow moment when he returned to his cell. Warden Pope was keeping it real, sitting on the can in there with a hangdog look on his face. The blackmail had worked and Pope held in his hands the transfer papers for Michael to be shipped off to Statesville Prison the next morning. Faced with such a ruinous situation, Michael reached for that last hope of all hardened criminals: sympathetic compassion. “But Warden,” Michael whined, “Lincoln Burroughs is my brother and I love him and I want to be near him for his final three weeks of life and don’t I have just the prettiest blue eyes…Ã¢â‚¬? He almost got him with that last bit, but Pope was adamant – the transfer request was out of his hands and he couldn’t do anything about it. Speaking of his blue eyes, in a flashback sequence with Michael and Lincoln as youngsters, the kid they cast as a five year old had dark brown eyes. Didn’t they know that half their audience is horny women who find Wentworth Miller attractive – especially his piercing stare? I’m being silly, I know, but the casting director really blew it with this kid.
Outside the prison, the brothers’ lawyer Veronica was meeting with Nick, the idealistic Project Justice do-gooder. They were reviewing the tape of Lincoln murdering the Vice President’s brother and the evidence was pretty cut and dry. There was Lincoln, walking across the parking garage with a gun, shooting the gun, and then rifling through the glove compartment. If Nick werenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t just trying to get into Veronica’s pants, he’d have given up right there. But, as we all know, men will pretty much do anything to score so he continued to pretend to care. He saw what he viewed as some inconsistencies on the tape like how the walking angles and gunshot recoil were “off.” Fortunately, Nick knew “a guy” who could do some forensic video analysis. Sounds like a job for “(a) Comic Book Guy.”
Over at Fox Run Prison, Michael and Abruzzi were still arguing over “English, Fitz, or Percy.” Who were these guys and why were Michael and Abruzzi arguing about them? Jazz drummers? Cat breeders? The real names of J-Unit, B-Side, and sg-dub? Fed up with Abruzzi, Michael cornered Westmoreland and asked him how he could gum up the legal works and at least delay his transfer. Apparently a prisoner can do so, via an “interloculotory injunction” (or something). So that’s what Michael did – he injuncted his interloculotory and Bellick delivered it to Warden Pope. According to Westmoreland, this legal motion could tie up his transfer for months, if not years. Satisfied, Michael returned to his cell to make his first attempt at walking his escape route through the bowels of the prison. Before slipping behind the toilet, Sucre hung laundry to hide the hole. Once through the wall, Michael was able to freely walk down the catwalk behind all the cells. No wonder our prisons are so overcrowded – there was a ton of wasted space behind the back of the cells. Next week on Extreme Makeover Prison Edition, Ty Pennington builds 700 new cells behind the old ones allowing 1400 more prisoners to live at Fox Run! (And then Teabag’s thugs shove Ty’s megaphone so far up his ass that when he farts, you can hear it in Cleveland! Extreme!)
As Michael continued to explore his future escape route, Abruzzi and his band of ne’er-do-wells were walking out in the yard. Then, suddenly, they attacked a guard and punched him out. I wondered… Was this guard’s name English, Fitz, or Percy? The show didn’t divulge that, but in the melee that ensued after the attack, someone was able to press a piece of pliable foam over a key on the guardÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s keychain to create a mold. Wow, that was quite a trick. We all know prison guards like to have gigantic key chains dangling from their sides with enough keys on it to give them scoliosis. How this guy, in the heat of a pig pile, was able to mold one key in particular is beyond me – but what do I know? I wouldn’t mind a mold of Alicia Keys, I suppose – and I’d be willing to wrestle her if necessary. Abruzzi secreted away the little foam mold and no one was aware of the deed (Back in his cell, his roomie melted a My Pretty Pony hairbrush handle down to fill the mold and voila, a perfect hard plastic key). Michael, still creepy crawling through the inner workings of the prison, was about to turn back to his cell when – oh my! A janitor appeared to enjoy a quick smoke break. Instead of the Riddler, now it was time for Michael to display his Spiderman skills as he silently and invisibly climbed up above and wedged himself in the ceiling directly above the smoking janitor. Michael was visibly nervous and scared of getting caught – his sweat beaded on his forehead and face and the acrid cigarette smoke swirled into his nostrils. At that point, Prison Break got all CSI on our asses as the camera zoomed in on one bead of Michael-sweat and then followed it in slow motion through the air and down towards the janitor’s head, and…
… It just missed as he stubbed out his butt and went back to work. Phew. Imagine if that shit was in 3-D? That would have been totally awesome! After that close call, Michael scampered back into his cell and declared that he knew how to escape to the roof. (Still no clue as to how he’ll get Lincoln and Abruzzi out, but it’s a long season, folks.) Meanwhile, Veronica and Nick were viewing the surveillance tape with “the guy” who was amazed at the quality of video tampering. The video itself was clean but the sound signatures were amiss. The gunshot was “dead” and had no oscillations on his little gunshot-oscillation-o-meter thing. Unfortunately, as this wasn’t the original tape, “the guy” would refuse to testify on the stand regarding his findings. No problem – Veronica and Nick would just go to the police evidence locker and score the original. No problem at all. Concurrently, the world’s nicest warden was shooting the breeze with convicted armed robber Michael while the two discussed Michael’s legal ploy. The warden knew he was full of crap but didn’t care – Michael was churning out a totally badass Popsicle stick Taj Mahal and as this was the greatest anniversary gift he’d ever be giving his wife, he was more than willing to be complicit – blackmail or not. And when I say “complicit,” I mean COM-PLI-CIT.” Michael convinced Pope that he needed to hold a just-glued-in support stick because of the axial force blah, blah, blah. But Pope had to go home for no particular reason. What to do… What to do… Oh, I know, how about leave that convicted armed robber in the office alone? Surrrrrrre, that makes sense. And that’s just what Pope did.
Of course, the second Pope left, Michael let go of the all-important Popsicle support beam and switched shoes with the warden’s freshly shined ones. Then he switched the ledger books in the safe and stole the checks before returning to his cell, escaped behind the giant poster, crawled through the sewer pipe, beckoned the gods during a thunderstorm, buried money in a stone wall, then spirited away to Mexico to await his friend Morgan Freeman for a couple years. Oh… Wait. I accidentally changed channels to TBS and saw that scene for the 6,802nd time they’ve shown it in the last few years. Michael DID poke around the office a bit, checked on the secretary who was busy with some Jungle Fever, and then used the plastic key to unlock a door from the other side. So yeah, that guy who made the mold was DAMN good. Who knows what Michael was up to, but I’m sure it had something to do with a y’know, Prison Break. By the way, it was 5:05 (without the cool tick-tock tick-tock of 24).
Pope returned home and greeted his wife with a loving kiss. He didn’t seem to have any pressing business so one must really question why he left the convicted armed robber back in his office. I thought Pope just wanted to get laid and that’s why he “had” to leave, but unfortunately for him, it was Secret Servicis Interruptus as those two jerkoffs were lounging in his study. They put the screws on Pope about his Toledo transgressions. (But really, who hasn’t had a few of them in that town? I mean, what else is there to do in Toledo other than transgress?) Pope countered that he had to follow the legal protocol of the interloculotory injunction, but the Service guys weren’t hearing it. The Toledo incident involved a dead kid and Pope had something to do with it – something that could sink his whole career and life. We later learned the dead kid was Pope’s son and he chose his 2nd (and current) wife over the kid and – oh who cares. The Secret Service had him by the balls and as a result, Pope shredded Michael’s legal request and the transfer was definitely going to go through. Oh well, this was a good show while it lasted.
Over at the ever-lax Fox Run Prison, Michael sauntered back to his cell and entered just before the gates closed. Is that how prison works? You have to scurry back into your cell? Unaccompanied? Anyhow, once in the cell, Michael immediately checked is watch (5:15 tick-tock tick-tock) and removed the toilet. Was this it? He was going to escape now?! Apparently – as he wound his way up to the roof and surveyed the scene. Downstairs, it was bed check time and Bellick was only a few cells away! Being a veteran TV watcher, I knew that Michael would magically appear in his bed by the time it mattered, but the tension was still enjoyable. Bellick bellowed the prisoner’s names, “Rose! Hill! Check. Chamerda! Borgatti! Check.” “Sucre! Scofield! Scofield! Scofield!” Wow, he didn’t appear in his bed as we all thought he would. Well done, Prison Break, well done. Sucre looked as though he was going to shit his pants, but kept his yap shut. Bellick yelled, “We got a runner!” and then tweeted on his little Boy Scout whistle like a lifeguard at a kiddie pool. It THAT how it’s done? Man, that was weak. Club kids blow their candy whistles louder than Bellick during an escape. Which reminds me, Bellick could really use a good roll, if you know what I’m saying.
Michael was still up on the prison roof, doing his best Gollum/Smeagol impression to escape the glare of the searchlights. He then simply sat and smiled and checked his watch and noted the road in front of him. It wasn’t Percy Road… It wasn’t English Street… But it WAS Fitz Street! Aha! Mystery solved, even if it was totally dumb. The writers are really stretching out this whole cryptic tattoo clues thing. I still like that angle, I just wish it were cleverer than it is. Smeagol/Michael then hopped around a bit more, never too concerned that there was a full-on search for him going on all around. He just kept happily checking his watch and smiling. Warden Pope was now back at the prison with Tommy Lee Jones, who commanded his troops to, “Search every courthouse, every henhouse and every outhouse.” Oops, the TV changed to USA that time instead of TBS. Sorry about that. Anyway, as Pope and Bellick rushed to the wardenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s office to plan the search, they opened the door and Ã¢â‚¬” there was Michael magically behind the Taj Mahal! Maybe he had built a Star Trek transporter Mahal! This show rules! Actually, remember that plastic key he inserted previously? Well, he did that to escape out the back door of the office, getting back to his cell, and then broke out of his cell, to the roof, then back through some ductwork into the wardenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s office. Slick. He played dumb and was escorted back to his cell.
LetÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not forget about Veronica and Nick, our intrepid investigators. They made their way down to the police station to get their hands on the original surveillance tape. Too bad for them that a Kathy Bates look-alike (but uglier!) stymied their efforts and then told them that, Ã¢â‚¬Å“A freak accident flooded that evidence room, destroying the original anyway.Ã¢â‚¬? Goddamn these Secret Service guys! The two returned to her apartment to find her door ajar, but nothing seemingly amiss. But lo, their copy of the tape was missing from its super secret hiding spot. GodDAMN these Secret Service guys! Or was it Nick all along? Duhn-dunh-dunnnnhhhh.
The high from MichaelÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s successful test run was quickly scuttled when the warden broke the news that his transfer was still going to happen the very next morning. So Michael and Sucre reminisced about the escape that would have been, and in a very sweet moment, Michael left Sucre one of his origami ducks and gave him a good screw. The bench screw from the premiere episode, you sick bastard. Then Bellick escorted Michael Ã¢â‚¬” ever so slowly Ã¢â‚¬” out the door and down the road to the prison gate. A maudlin acoustic song began playing about Ã¢â‚¬Å“BrothersÃ¢â‚¬? and all the prisoners lined up to watch Michael go. Geez, youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d think no one ever got transferred before. Warden Pope gazed upon the sad scene from his office several floors above and then, just as our handsome hero was about to get on the bus, Pope appeared by his side and nixed the transfer. I guess he figured out how to use the Taj Ma-Transporter too.
Finally, as weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve come to expect now at the end of every show, we were whisked off to bucolic Montana where the evil garlic/pepper-chopping old bag lives. She was on the phone in the kitchen again, expressing her extreme displeasure with the Secret Service agents and their foiled plans. (For the record, she has apparently finished making her giant salad and was now grabbing some bottled water from the fridge this week.) She stated, Ã¢â‚¬Å“ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s time to stop beating around the bush and go after the bush.Ã¢â‚¬? Her attempt at turning a clever phrase didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t work for the nefarious duo so she spelled it out a bit more clearly: Ã¢â‚¬Å“Have Lincoln killed before his date with the electric chair.Ã¢â‚¬?
Then she went outside and yelled Ã¢â‚¬Å“Tatonka O-Wa-CheeÃ¢â‚¬? before hopping on her horse and chasing down some buffalo with Kevin Costner.
Damn, TNT that time. Won’t happen again, I promise.