B-Side’s recent spate of 80′s hair band-inspired titles obviously influenced my Prison Break title this week. At least my title is better than the show’s real title, which was simply, “Part 2.” I’m all for minimalism, but “Part 2″? Weak. However, my disappointment was immediately remedied by the show itself: It began with a totally rockin’ recap of last week’s riotous action; set to the same generic metal track that T-Bag rhythmically beat Lincoln Burroughs up to last episode. And shit, this episode had better have been good – because Fox will be showing the baseball playoffs instead for the next few weeks just like they used to do during 24; they’re screwing us fans and airing something completely the opposite of Prison Break. Baseball: boring, slow paced, and non-violent… Lame.
I can’t stress enough how awesomely the show seamlessly melds the recap into new footage each week. It’s a little hard to explain, but more shows should adopt the Prison Break method. In fact, it’s often hard to tell exactly when the switch occurs, but before you know what hits you, you’re viewing previously unseen drama. Since last week ended with the prison in the midst of a full-scale riot, this week began with equally exciting action. Gee, perhaps I should stop tossing this show’s salad and get around to describing it, eh?
It’s a little hard to describe the sheer mayhem of a prison riot. Helicopters were flying overhead, the National Guard was amassing on the grounds, and Warden Pope and CO Bellick were fuming over the breakdown. Also, remember the rookie guard Bob was chained up in Michael’s cell with none other than sicko T-Bag lording over him. Oh, and the only female in the facility, Dr. Tancredi, was shrieking in terror as some not-so-infirm prisoners were this close to breaking through a door in order to get their grubby paws (and other appendages) on her. Unbeknownst to her, however, her favorite prisoner (Michael) was crawling across the roof at that very moment to save her – sharpshooters, helicopters, and logic be damned. Also, Lincoln Burroughs was about to be murdered by some hulking beast of a man in the bowels of the prison – at the request of the evil old lady in Montana via the Secret Service dicks through the suburban dad at Navy Pier in Chicago. Got all that? Good, cause I didn’t even touch on Nick and Veronica who were flying to Washington DC where they’d have to find the route marker at the Capitol’s reflecting pool, then make contact with a spy and… wow, I almost just made The Amazing Race Family Edition cool and exciting. But that would be impossible.
Almost immediately the big lug lead Lincoln through a series of tunnels and back passageways in his duplicitous effort to link up the brothers. Lincoln, being a dipshit, followed this guy into what appeared to be the most out of the way boiler room in the prison. Straight up Freddy Krueger lair. If not Freddy, then at least Mario and Luigi were surely hiding out behind some piping. Then BOOM! Giant thug began strangling Lincoln with some piano wire. Everyone in this prison has a shiv of some sort except the guy “hired” to do the US Government’s dirty work – typical bureaucracy. Lincoln, being the badass dipshit he is, was able to struggle and fight his way out of the death grip, even resorting to the old kick to the balls trick. He escaped with a cut neck and a serious case of steam burns.
Up at the apparent Open House in Michael’s cell, T-Bag licked his perverted chops as Bob the bloody and beaten guard was pleading his case; “I didn’t see anything, I swear!” Sucre and T-Bag didn’t believe he’d keep quiet though. After all, Bob wasn’t named Sergeant Shultz and Michael wasn’t off on some completely improbable, undetected escape with his intent being to bag the only hot chick in town – errr, actually that’s exactly what was going on. HOOOOOOO-GAAAAAAAAAN!
At key points during the hour, the show would switch to the more mundane storyline of Nick and Veronica’s little jaunt to DC. It actually offered my heart a little respite from the nonstop prison action, so it wasn’t all bad. And besides, I’ve come to enjoy watching Robin Tunney (Veronica) and trying to figure out what’s wrong with her face. She has an odd quality about her – meaning the left side of her face is sideways and/or off-kilter somehow. Oh sure, they try to put her hair over her indent at times, and she is always leaning to her “good side,” but I’m not fooled. And I’m fascinated by it. I want to touch her flounder face… and so does Nick. He’s flying all the way to DC with her in an effort to meet his contact that can help him figure out who placed the anonymous phone call that began the chain of events to frame Lincoln Burroughs. He is so horny for her that he entertains her crazy conspiracy theories about how the murder victim (the VP’s brother) had created a prototype engine that would have rendered the our county’s need for oil obsolete. Therefore, goes the thought, some oily villain murdered the president of the revolutionary company in order to stymie any eco-development. Because, apparently, that makes sense somehow.
Back in Illinois at Fox River Prison, the prisoners had now fully taken over the place. Dr. Tancredi was inches away from certain rape/torture/death, as the prisoners had just about broken the door down. Michael was crawling through the air ducts on his covert way to save the doctor. At this point, the Governor arrived at the prison and immediately inquired, “Where’s my daughter?!” He was obviously a bit distraught about her being stuck in the overrun prison and was looking for answers. This being a Fox Monday night show (like 24), fake Fox news vans were also in attendance (as if there’s such a thing as “real” Fox News?) giving a report on the riot. It would have been AWESOME if Geraldo Rivera came bursting through the crowd to save Dr. Tancredi.
Unfortunately, with Geraldo fake-saving old women in New Orleans (or perhaps getting fake shot at in Afghanistan or Iraq), no one was quite up to the task of saving the doctor. In fact, the prisoners came up with the idea of “smoking her out,” which they attempted by lighting some papers on fire and throwing it through the hole in the door’s window. This was a pretty weak attempt because the little fire would have just burnt itself out in a minute or two. However, Dr. Tancredi decided to try to stomp out the flames and got a little too close to the door. Oops, a giant arm reached through the door and grabbed her! She was doomed!
Speaking of doomed, Bob the guard was now alone with T-Bag as Sucre had slipped into the walls to continue working on breaking down the wall into the drainage pipe system. Bag was going through the guard’s wallet and happened upon a little picture of the Bob’s daughter. “Awww, pretty little girl in a prom dress,” he hissed. “You know what they say about prom dresses, don’t you Bob? Hmmm? You just know she didn’t come straight home that night, right?” He went on to upset the guard further by dropping more insinuations about his little girl getting laid on her prom night. T-Bag then started tonguing the picture and being generally disgusting. Man, this guy is the horniest guy on the planet. Every week he’s getting all hot and bothered about someone or other; Michael, his first sex slave, his second sex slave, Bob the beaten guard, and now Bob’s daughter. And his name is T-Bag. You can’t tell me this show isn’t awesome.
Over at the infirmary, with the doctor now in the grips of a rather large prisoner fully intent on having his way with her, going so far as to stick his Gene Simmons-like tongue in her ear, it looked like all hope was lost. But lo! Just then Michael appeared from the ceiling above and offered his hand to Dr. Tancredi and begged her to trust him. Hmmm, lets see… giant scary dude with his arm around my throat and tongue in my ear or scrawny little diabetic dude who went to Harvard? The doctor actually thought about it for awhile and finally went with Michael, just in the nick of time. Phew.
“Nick of time…” What does that remind me of? Oh yeah, Nick and Veronica – they had landed in DC and caught a bit of the news report from Fox River. Boy, that was a throwaway scene. Another one was of LJ, Lincoln’s son, who was also watching the news at home. His mother asked him to turn off the news and come along with her and whom I assume is his stepfather. Um, helloooo? The boy’s dad and uncle are in the prison and don’t you think he should try to watch the news to see what’s going on? Apparently not (although I do firmly agree with disallowing impressionable youth from watching Fox News in particular). Then LJ and the stepdad got into a fight – but really, who gives a crap?
The real fight was going down in the prison boiler room as now the gigantor assassin was wielding a giant pipe and fully intending on introducing it to Lincoln’s medulla oblongata. But, as we all know from every bad action movie, the bigger they are, the slower they swing weapons, as Lincoln deftly avoided the deathblow, stepped aside, and tossed the thug over the railing to his death. The only thing missing was the vat of molten iron like in Terminator 2. That, and the final breath attempt at a confession/admission. Wait… give the show a second… yes! There we go! Lincoln bent down next to the guy’s mouth and implored him, “Who sent you to kill me! Why did you do this?!”
“Gurglegurglegurgle shhththththhehd, “ came the reply. Clichés ain’t just for Vin Diesel y’know. Over in cellblock A, T-Bag was now sufficiently worked up to go for Bob’s hot, sweaty body. With the little girl’s picture clenched in his mouth, he made his move – but was met with Abruzzi instead. In the first of what would turn out to be far too many times, Abruzzi got right up in T-Bags’ grill and told him to “knock it off.” Abruzzi enjoys getting very close to the other sweaty prisoners. You just know he’s called “Close Talker” behind his back.
After threatening T-Bag to stay away from Bob, Abruzzi went through the hole in the wall and found Sucre chanting incantations as he drilled the devil’s face. Abruzzi, clearly puzzled as to why Sucre was egg-beating a devil face on a wall, sought to figure it all out – by getting right up in Sucre’s face. It’s just weird, trust me. Sucre explained the “Hooker Law” (sic) and the two of them then excitedly took turns drilling the holes.
Michael, meanwhile, was secreting Dr. Tancredi away from the infirmary through the ceiling. When she asked for a short rest, Michael used his charms to calm the doctor and even flirt a bit. This guy is good; She just nearly got raped and killed and now they were stuck in the ceiling, it was over 100 degrees, and they had no way of knowing if they’d be safe or not in the immediate future. But no matter, when you have piercing eyes like Michael Scofield, nothing stops your game. Not even the creepy prisoner who poked his nappy head up through a ceiling tile in an effort to find and get at the doctor. A swift kick to his head and the two were again on their way through the ceiling.
Of course, the Governor did not know that his daughter was moderately safe at this point and ordered the SWAT team to go into the prison, Warden Pope’s hesitation be damned. Actually, I think his hesitation was only because he was worried the full force SWAT action would possibly destroy his beloved Popsicle stick Taj Mahal. Because really, why else would he argue with the Governor? Especially when his daughter was now confronted with the very same large prisoner with only little Michael to save her. “You gonna keep that pretty nurse all to yourself,” he asked Michael. At that, Michael leapt up on the guy’s back and administered the Ric Flair sleeper hold. I’d have preferred a cool figure 4 leg lock, but I’ll take what the show gives me. Tancredi, being a doctor and a referee, lifted the prisoners arm once (lifeless), twice (lifeless), three times… and he held it up every so weakly… (copygodd, that was for you).
What really happened was the little rat prisoner from the infirmary appeared and tried to pry Michael off the monster. Dr. Tancredi stepped up and kicked the smaller attacker in the knee, apparently breaking his leg. Again, totally badass. The two then made their way to a safer location near an exit… at the same time, Abruzzi and Sucre broke through the wall and T-Bag licked the picture of Bob’s daughter. Yup, he was back at it, telling Bob, “me and your daughter goin’ to the prom…” and then lasciviously licked the picture again. Oh don’t tell me you haven’t done that before. Don’t judge the Bag.
Phew, again, this show is tiring in the sense that there’s so much great action going on all over the place. With Michael and the doctor finally alone, they shared a tender moment before she was to be let free into the yard. Too bad the sharpshooters had other ideas as a laser target appeared on Michael’s forehead at the worst possible moment. I mean, when I was 16, I was about to make-out with this chick in my car (well, my dad’s station wagon) for the first time and I was so excited and… and then a car came down the street shining it’s headlights on us, totally ruining the moment. That sucked. But having a sharpshooter’s laser aimed at your forehead while you share a tender moment? That really sucks. Michael pushed the doctor to safety/freedom, fell to the floor, and the large attacker who had been pursuing them all along took a bullet to the chest right behind him. Nice work, so-called “sharpshooter!”
Time for a Nick and Veronica interlude… they were chilling in a parking garage in Georgetown when a clunky van appeared and Nick stated, “That’s my man.” Indeed, his former college buddy had apparently sunken back into his drug abusing ways… you see, it was Anthony – Blossom’s brother who, as we all remember, was a recovering drug addict on the hit NBC sitcom. Didn’t Joey teach him anything? Apparently not, as he seems to be down on his luck. But he was able to tell Nick that the phone call in question came from a payphone at 11th and Constitution in DC. Hmmm, that’s not going to help at all. Or is it? Turns out that phone is right next to the Federal Energy Commission building. Seems like this oil interest story may have legs after all. Just then, the payphone rang and the caller knew Veronica AND Nick! As if that weren’t creepy enough, the mystery caller told them, “As of now, both of you are dead!” Boy, talk about a bummer of a phone call – then again, they should have known. I mean, putting a public phone in Washington DC up to your face and mouth? Of course you’re signing your life away by doing that! Hello SARS!
Finally, up at the prison, things looked to be winding down. Well, the prisoners were still somehow fighting (despite it being over 100 degrees and lacking any water inside) but the SWAT teams were about to take care of things. The Governor and his daughter were reunited, but he only yelled at her for insisting on working at the prison rather than expressing relief or happiness at her well-being. Michael found his way back to the cell and then met up with Lincoln, exchanging brotherly hugs. Abruzzi and Sucre emerged from the wall and admonished T-Bag for threatening the guard again. T-Bag’s intent was to kill Bob because he knew far too much and would rat out the escape plans. However, Michael insisted he leave him alone and all would be well.
So T-Bag did leave him alone – for about 20 seconds. In a flash, he stabbed the guard and tossed him over the railing to his death. Just like that. Shit… this show STILL surprises at times. Shortly thereafter, the riot ended and order was restored. Outside, Dr. Tancredi was putting together some puzzle pieces and figuring that Michael knows way more about the prison then he rightly should – but she kept her thoughts to herself.
In the final scene, Michael was shown pontificating by himself and presumably trying to figure out how to reign back in his unraveling escape plans. Either that, or whether Dr. Tancredi opts for the landing strip, bald look, or full on bush. What do you think?