Excuse me while I catch my breath after watching the latest episode of Prison Break. Eschewing most of the slower and quieter storylines for the week, the show focused almost exclusively on the action inside the prison. And yes, for those of you who just had that fleeting thought of, “Heh-heh, ‘action’ in ‘prison,’ heh-heh, ooooooh-yeah this is gonna be goooooood heh-heh” well, I really have no joke for you. Because good ol’ T-Bag was released back into the general population, and he had a hard-on, and well, he was looking for “action.” Inside the prison. In other words, there’s no joke to be made ’cause it happened. Sigh.
Actually, that opening paragraph sort of captures the difficulty of recapping the show this week – it was almost all action and excitement without much plot or character development. Sure there were several instances of forehead-slapping stupidity, but for the most part, not much dialogue and no Popsicle Taj Mahals and worst of all – no salad tossing granny in Montana. (Shout out to reader bdos88 for the apt use of “salad tossing.”) That said, the show kicked ass. Fights, riots, near rapes, brutal beatings, stabbings, chokings, possible murder, and a trip to Washington DC! Yes, folks, Washington DC. This show is edgy.Last week, the Salad Tossing Granny essentially ordered the jerkoff Secret Service guys to make sure Lincoln Burroughs was killed in prison before his date with the electric chair. Yes, it still totally bothers me that the state of Illinois does not use the electric chair, but whatever. That’s me and my OCD and I needn’t burden you with it… Back to the show. The Secret Service guys were enjoying the festivities at Chicago’s famous Navy Pier in their black suits and sunglasses. For guys who specialize in secrecy, you’d think they’d opt for outfits that fit in with the crowd a bit better, but not these guys. They crept up on a nice suburban soccer dad who was enjoying the day with his kids. The dad was visibly shaken by their appearance, but had no choice but to hear them out. They needed him to “take care of something” at the prison and if he didn’t comply, the police would find a nice chunk of heroin in the glove compartment of his minivan, effectively ruining his comfortable life. Later, the nice guy spoke with a mystery man at Fox Run Prison who stated, “Lincoln Burroughs is as good as dead.” Well, yeah dude, he’s on death row with less than a month to live… Pussiest. Death threat. Ever.
The only other storyline that took place outside the prison this week was the ongoing saga of lawyers Veronica and Nick and their noble attempt to expose the truth behind Lincoln’s frame job. You’ll recall that the best evidence they had, a copy of the surveillance video showing the shooting, mysteriously disappeared from Veronica’s apartment. She blamed Nick – accusing him of being in cahoots with the vast conspiracy out to silence her and kill Lincoln. Nick’s repeated phone calls were avoided, so he appeared at her home to confront her. We were treated to a clue (perhaps) when Veronica was watching some footage and in the background the audio track said, “… environmentally friendly, logistically feasible, and viable new fuel source…” Remember that the murdered VP’s brother was the CEO of some eco-friendly energy firm. Man, if this storyline plays out, and he was murdered by some governmental oil concern, I fully expect gangs of unemployed 20-somethings in anti-WTO shirts to don their bandanas and goggles and set about smashing up Starbucks franchises from Miami to Seattle while chanting, “Free Mumia!”
Although the show dragged it out, I’ll wrap up the lawyer storyline off the bat: Veronica avoided Nick some more; Nick surprised her at the prison as he was meeting with Lincoln when she arrived. He somehow convinced Lincoln to attain his services without Veronica’s knowledge in less than a day, and even got clearance to meet with his death row client that very same day. I’m not lawyer, but damn, that seems pretty impossible. Anyway, Nick had some compelling circumstantial evidence – a phone call placed to the police notifying them of the murder emanated from Washington DC – not Chicago as one would expect. Duhn-duhn-duhhhhhnnn. Veronica and Nick made up and agreed to fly off to DC to pursue the lead. Again, I still think this Nick character is just trying to get into Veronica’s pants. And we all know the “out of state” rule – time for Nick to cash in his chips in DC. Go get ‘er, tiger!
Inside the confining walls of Fox Run Prison, our hero Michael Scofield was busy scurrying around the HUGE space behind the walls of the cells. He was running through his escape scenario again and appeared to be measuring some distances after checking one of his tattoos. Unfortunately for him, while he was doing his Boy Scout orienteering pacing exercises in the bowels of the prison, the guards called for a surprise bed check. Michael’s roommate Sucre paced the cell in a panic and made a perfunctory attempt to put some pillows into Michael’s bed. Uh-oh.
When the guard came by the cell, Sucre was sweating bullets and Michael was still lollygagging behind the wall. “Scofield, show some skin!” Just then, as if by magic, Michael was in bed where he belonged and all was well. And this time, he was nowhere near the Taj Ma-Transporter. Boy, that Americans with Disabilities Act has gone too far – now they are hiring blind and deaf prison guards?! After that close call, Michael was still all business. He explained to Sucre that he needed to bust through a concrete wall within one day to stay on his rigid breakout schedule. The bed checks were becoming a major nuisance… How dare they do that to him! Sucre thought about it for a moment and came up with a crazy plan – in fact, it was so crazy it just may work! If the prison was forced to lockdown, there’d be no more need for random bed checks… But how to create a lockdown situation?
The next day we were treated to another gritty hip-hop montage of the black inmates working out in the yard. After failing to give us the equally stereotypical salsa band ditty while the Latinos bet on cockfights, the show instead showed us a chance meeting between Michael and the lovely Dr. Tancredi. She gave him grief for not coming clean on his familial relationship with Lincoln, but immediately succumbed to his steely blue-eyed stare. Dr. Tancredi, of course, is also the daughter of the governor of Illinois who is a death penalty proponent. She apologized for his politics but promised to schedule Lincoln’s appointments adjacent to Michael’s, so the two of them could at least see each other for a brief moment each week leading up to the time when her father would be ultimately responsible for Lincoln’s unjust, sizzling death. Awww, how sweet.
Next, Michael’s kidnapping gay racist rapist nemesis, T-Bag, was released from the infirmary. I have always loved his “prison name,” as to “teabag” someone is a rather lewd act. I thought it was great that this show was so bold as to name a prominent character after such a thing – I mean, I’ve been expecting his henchmen to be named “Cleveland Steamer” and “Rusty Trombone,” but no such luck (so far). Sadly, FOX “explained” his name by revealing his birth name: Theodore Bagwell – what a huge letdown. Though, I guess by this crafty writing, they could call someone “Dickhead,” and then reveal that his name is actually, Dick Head. Go for it FOX! T-Bag the character is rather confounding – first of all, he kidnapped, raped, and killed children, according to the first episode. In prison hierarchy, he’d be a dead man – but not here. Here, he’s a leader and inspires awe from the racist skinhead faction as well as the gay gang. When he returned to the cellblock, he was even cheered and given a half gay, half racist chest bump. Upon reaching his cell, he was given a “present.” Why, it’s the perfect gift for a racist predatory rapist in prison! A pretty young boy named Seth! Creepy.
[At this point, you should get up and go run around your cubicle or house until your pulse rate is at its maximum. Then, sit back down and read the rest of the recap as fast as you can. This will increase your enjoyment ten-fold, I promise.]
After getting one of those old-school metal eggbeaters from another prisoner, Michael “escaped” his cell again, climbed up the walls, and pulled out some wiring from a fuse box. His intent was to kill the air conditioning and fans and, because it was already so sweltering, this would cause a prisoner rebellion, which would result in a lockdown. Damn this Michael – good looking AND smart! His actions had immediate results, as T-Bag was the first to freak out from the heat. While his boy Seth fed him nuts like the way we all envision Cleopatra ate grapes, he snapped. For some reason the cells were all open so T-Bag and his crew confronted the guards – all two of them. After some back and forth, the guard threw water in T-Bag’s face. “Oh no you di’in’t,” said the Bagger, “Oh yes I di-id,” came the head bobbing reply. “You been served!” Then, the last thing anyone wants to hear in prison: “It’s on!”
And “on” it was, as now the whole cellblock was advancing on the dumbass guard who thought it would be a good idea to provoke someone like T-Bag. This commotion was just what Michael needed, as he and Sucre went through their hole and into the walls. Meanwhile, we had a little riot goin’ on out in the cellblock. The guards retreated to a little cage and ordered a lockdown. Unfortunately, half the prisoners weren’t even in their cells but were instead trying to get at the guards. And they were doing a very good job of it too – by shaking the little cage they were hiding in, they were able to loosen some nuts and bolts – I’m not really doing this scene (or this episode) justice here as it was all very fast paced and exciting, trust me. Head guard Bellick appeared and shared a tender moment with T-Bag. First, T-Bag called him out for being a cop wannabe making minimum wage (Snap!) so Bellick countered just how prison psychologists train them to: “Shut up T-Bag you inbred child of a retard. That’s right, I’ve read your files – your dad raped your mongoloid sister and nine months later out popped little Teddy!” (Burn!)
Wow, that was deliciously nasty. After watching this season of Surreal Life with Omarosa and Janice Dickinson calling each other names, I’m going to have to give the “Insulter of the Year” Award to Bellick on Prison Break. Kudos, you prick. Unsurprisingly, the insult only fueled Bags’ anger as he and his cronies went absolutely berserk on the cage protecting the guards. So berserk, in fact, that they broke through it just as the guards escaped behind a more secure door. But once inside the cage, T-Bag was able to unlock all the cellblock’s cells and … What’s this? A full set of keys on the ground! In the fervor, a rookie guard dropped his keychain and now the prisoners had the run of the asylum. Grrrreeeaaaat.
The next thing we knew, Lincoln Burroughs was being escorted back to his cell (after meeting with Nick/Veronica) by another rookie guard. Of course, with a full-scale riot now in effect, his trip wouldn’t be as boring as usual. Rounding a corner, there appeared goddamn T-Bag and some friends. T-Bag, sizing up the young guard, simply asked Lincoln to step aside and let him at it. Lincoln, being the innocent galoot he is, decided that he’d try to protect the guard. In fact, the guard was scared so shitless, he simply let death row inmate Lincoln to unlock his cuffs himself, as he stood there petrified.
(While all this was going on, Sucre and Michael happily discussed escape plans safely away from the mayhem. This week’s ridiculous tattoo clue was that of a devil head, which Michael then projected onto the concrete wall. You see, behind the devil head projection was the sewer tunnel that they would use to ultimately escape. And, you see, the points of the devil’s horns and beard as well as his nose formed the necessary quincunx diagram for them to drill with the aforementioned special equipped egg beater, drilling at the optimal points to render the walls’ tensile strength weak enough to topple. I mean, duh! Who didn’t see that one coming?)
[If your heartrate has slowed back down to normal, do some jumping jacks... Shit is about to GO OFF!]
Up in the infirmary, the good doctor was treating several inmates for heat exhaustion and other various ailments. When word of the riot reached the patients, they too decided to act out against authority. One particularly large gentleman choked out the one guard on duty, then attempted to do the same to Dr. Tancredi. She acted swiftly, though, by stabbing him in the hand and escaping into the relative safety of the office.
After a quick commercial, we returned to what I thought was Headbanger’s Ball (yes, it’s back on MTV2 by the way, often hosted by my boy Jamey Jasta) as Lincoln went sick on T-Bag and crew. With a little thrash-lite in the background and a pretty cool strobe/stop motion effect, the fight was produced most excellently, I must say – even if it did look like an Agnostic Front video from ten years ago. Beaten by sheer numbers, Lincoln was knocked out and left lying on the ground, as the guard was T-Bag’s true desire. He dragged the guard out in front of the rioters to massive cheers – even the blacks cheered him on, which I found simply ridiculous. They HATED this racist asshole a few episodes ago. T-Bag was fully intent on raping the poor young guard, and threw him into the closest available cell. By tossing his ragdoll body into the cell, he slammed him up against the toilet at the rear – which easily fell off the wall, exposing a large hole into the interstitial spaces of the prison. Holy Shit! Even the son of retarded incest knew… “They’re breaking out!”
Seriously, as corny as this reads and as much as we knew the cell he was going into was Michael’s, it was all still totally badass. Just before T-Bag was about to yell out the secret to the masses, Abruzzi appeared and shut him up. Of course, this meant T would have to be let in on the plans and… and… the half-beaten guard is also now privy to the hole in the wall. If that weren’t enough, the mini riot up in the infirmary was now a full on attempt to get to the doctor, as the prisoners were doing their damndest to break through the door to get at her.
Oh my god, what could possibly happen next? Some handsome hulking dude picked Lincoln up off the floor and offered to help him find Michael in all the mess. Before female viewers who have a penchant for the meathead look could get their panties too wet, it turned out that this was the hitman ordered to kill Lincoln! And now he had a groggy Lincoln and there’s no one around!
Then Michael and Sucre returned to their cell to find a half-dead guard, a T-Bag, and Abruzzi standing there with a riot going on outside. Michael’s a cool dude and all, but sheesh, that’s a hard situation to come correct in, you know? After barely absorbing the situation, he heard that Dr. Tancredi was trapped and about to be killed up in the infirmary! So he ordered everyone to keep the guard alive and that he’d be right back. He slipped back through his hole in a ridiculous effort to save the doctor somehow.
Lincoln is about to be killed off by some thug. T-Bag and a guard now know about the hole behind the toilet. There’s a full-scale riot going on. The doctor is about to be killed by angry felons. Michael is going to try to rescue her. And Veronica is going to DC with Nick. Can you believe that? With Nick?
And then we got this:
Which is kind of stupid when you realize the show is technically “to be continued” every week.
That’s right. I used the word “quincunx.” My Harper’s subscription is paying dividends.