Let’s get this out of the way right off the bat: Prison Break is no longer a relevant name for this show. But since "Hey, kids! Let’s tackle a massive multiheaded conspiracy that has tentacles in every aspect of human society and is able to make the purportedly dead return and the theoretically untouchable bite it and which is undoubtedly planning to rain death and destruction down upon all we hold dear unless we, a hardy band of escapees on the run, can stop it! (Featuring the Adorable Adventures of Terrible T-Bag!)" is far too long a title, we’ll stick with the one we’ve got.
The spoilers rioted and burned down Sona!
Here’s the status of our players: Linc, Sofia and LJ are in Panama living the good life. Mahone and Whistler are with Gretchen, working for The Company. Michael is tracking Gretchen et al, looking for revenge for poor Sarah’s beheading. Sucre and Bellick are in Sona, where T-Bag is the new King of the Yard. Got it? Good — because it’s all about to change.
Michael finds Gretchen and Whistler while they’re pulling some job for the Company, stealing a data card of some sort from people we can’t bother to care about too much because they’re soon dead. Michael wants Gretchen and Whistler to bite it, too, but Gretchen spills that the head in a box that traumatized us last year didn’t actually belong to Sarah. Michael wants to find her, and Whistler says he’ll help, as long as Michael helps Whistler steal the secrets of Scylla — the Little Black Digital Book that contains all The Company’s secrets. Why the Company would keep all of its secrets in one place is beyond me. What kind of amateurs are running this global conspiracy? Well, they do manage to plug Whistler and steal back the card Whistler copied from them, so I guess they’ve got some skills. And the General who is running this seems to at least imply that he wants Gretchen dead, although I won’t believe any obituaries until I see the autopsy. Michael flees to scene fro Chicago, where Sarah was last seen. He promptly gets arrested.
In Panama, a Company stooge goes after Linc, who kills said stooge. Instead of running, Linc submits to arrest. Meanwhile, Bellick and Sucre, who escaped Sona when the inmates rioted and burned the place down (we’ll put that down to T-Bag’s leadership), sneak back into the country, meet up with Bellick’s mom (hee!) and get to Maricruz’s hospital just as she gives birth to Sucre’s daughter. Of course, Maricruz’s sister turns Sucre in, so it sucks to be them, too. Mahone decides to go back to his family, but a Company heavy gets there first and (presumably) kills his wife and kid.
But all this activity seems to be in the service of Getting the Band Back Together, with the help of a Homeland Security agent named Don Self who wants to take The Company down but doesn’t know who to trust. Initially, the Brothers Burrows decline, but then The Company shoots at them, and Michael finds out Sarah didn’t have a particularly good time at Camp Company, and oh it’s ON. Self introduces Roland, the Obligatory Cocky Computer Geek, who they must work with to find Scylla, then decode it. If they do that, Self promises our heroes their freedom. If they try to escape, he’ll murdelize them all.
Step one: Get Scylla, which involves copying the data from a card one Mr. Tuxman is holding. There’s planning, and the Inevitable Setback, and plan B, and success, which turns out to not be success at all. See, The Company apparently read my rant a few paragraphs up and realized how stupid it would be to keep all their info in one place. Using Sarah’s keen knowledge of Homer’s Odyssey, Michael figures out Scylla must be broken into six pieces. (Ah, the benefits of a classical education.)
But what about that lovable scamp T-Bag? Well, he and Sancho hire a couple of coyotes to take them across the border in style. Because if you can’t trust a couple of human smugglers, who can you trust? Nobody, apparently, because the coyotes beat the crap out of T-Bag and Sancho, steal all the money and abandon them in the desert to die. After a lovely walk in the desert, Sancho gets a bit peckish and tries to see what T-bag diet would do for his figure. T-Bag defends himself, Sancho dies, and T-Bag is the one finding out if everything really tastes like chicken. He is eventually discovered by a couple of ATV-riding surfer-dude types, so take him to San Diego. T-bag uses Whistler’s bird book to find a stash of info about the decoder box needed to crack Scylla and heads off to LA. Think he’ll meet up with his old friends?
Highlights, thoughts and odds and ends
- I really have to hand it to the writers for just going for it, you know? This plot is so over-the-top Perils-of-Pauline ridiculous that it would be impossible to stomach if we ever thought about it, but the show goes forward at such a breakneck pace that we never have time to let any of the "wait, WHAT?" elements sink in. Heck, even a prison riot and fire that freed the worst criminals in Panama was summed up in a throwaway line like it hardly mattered.
- It’s the little things that make me happy. I loved the "Dude, really? Party foul!" look on Doomed Bit Player Number 2’s face before Whistler shot him.
- How many people believed Gretchen was really dead? Anyone? I didn’t think so.
- I like this new Company bad guy. He’s got potential.
- Bellick was great when he was waving to his mom, who was picking up her escaped-fugitive, illegal-border-crosser son in an ancient station wagon. Hee!
- Actually, Bellick just rocks in general, in his poor, pathetic, comic-relief way. Remember when he was a vicious bad-ass? Apparently he doesn’t. Best Bellickism — complaining he "pulled a groin" when impersonating a purse-snatcher.
- Alas, poor Whistler, but you look pretty darn dead. It’s a shame — you were a hottie.
- Ah, Mahone. I love William Fitchner in general, but I was particularly impressed with the way he turned inward, hardly even noticing anyone in Super Secret Spy Central after his family was killed (allegedly). Then he snaps to and hands Linc his ass by running down how to find the driver, reminding them all that he’s a force to be reckoned with.
- I love how incredulous T-Bag was when the coyotes jumped him. Wait, didn’t you hear me talk about how brilliant and charismatic I am? At least he still has the Bird Book, and therefore the key to Michael and The Company.
- I’m glad that Sarah and Michael found each other again, and yeah, sure it was an epic romance and blah blah blah, but can we get past the kissing and go back to the part where there’s a massive conspiracy to take down? Thanks. (I was starting to channel the kid from Princess Bride — "They’re kissing again. Do we have to [see] the kissing parts?"
- That said, I did like this bit of banter after Michael hands Sarah the origami flower: Sarah: "Is that what this was about? Getting me my rose back?" Michael: "Yeah, I guess I’m done now. I can retire."
- Why oh why did Michael turn down the sedatives for the tattoo removal procedure? Eek.
- Sick joke of the week: ATV Dude: "What’s wrong, man — eat some bad Mexican?" T-Bag: "Something like that." Ba-dum-dum!
- Michael’s crippling headaches were joined by a suspicious nosebleed at the end of the episode. I immediately started contemplating alien implants. oops — wrong show.
- The Company is planning something that will involve the cost of 10,000 people. What is it? Will our heroes stop it?
What did you think of the return of Michael, Linc and the rest? Is it all you hoped and dreamed it would be? Do you like the new Company man? What is The Company planning? Are you looking forward to Gretchen coming back to exact vengeance? Who’s the biggest bad-ass on the show now?