TV Article

Government Waste

On ''Prison Break,'' Lincoln takes on a fed hitman, and Mahone and Kellerman consider disobeying orders

SON PROTECTION FACTOR Lincoln refused to let the bad guy get to LJ
SON PROTECTION FACTOR Lincoln refused to let the bad guy get to LJ

''Prison Break'': The feds' weaknesses

You saw it coming last week: Like a coyote caught in a steel trap, T-Bag was ready to lose an appendage to save his life, even if his life may only be safe for so long. Did he actually have to bite his hand off, or just use his teeth to remove the stitches? T-Bag better find another veterinarian really soon, because that stump where his hand used to be is going to get really nasty really soon. And I don't think he should have been hitting that champagne in Geary's hotel room. Wouldn't the combination of his blood loss and the alcohol make him even more cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs than he already is?

Meanwhile, Michael got a little nasty, adding petty theft and shoving an old shopkeeper into some coolers to his list of misdeeds. Hurting the old man made Michael feel characteristically guilty about everything that had gone wrong since he started his quest to save Lincoln, and he needed to atone. His confession to the priest was at once revealing and puzzling. I wonder who a young Michael saw die, and if it has anything to do with the fact that he apparently saw his father when he was 10 years old and never told Lincoln about it. (Last episode Jane said Aldo hadn't seen Michael since he was 10 years old, but Lincoln believed Michael and Aldo had never met. Jane can't be pulling that age out of nowhere. And both Aldo and Michael have now confirmed that they've met, using rather ominous tones.)

Michael has seen a lot of bad things in his life, even in the present. When his contact for the plane to Panama correctly suspected that Michael didn't have his promised medical-grade nitro, Michael found himself staring down the barrel of a gun. The poor escapees — all of this tension must be exhausting. I ride a roller coaster and I'm ready for a nap. If Michael and company ever make it to Panama, they are going to do nothing but lie around for months.

Getting his relaxing in sooner rather than later was former corrupt guard Geary. But his bathrobe-wearing, prostitute-buying salad days couldn't last. At least he went out in a bloody, horrible way. Poor Bellick is in plain old boring trouble. He is a bit of a lame duck, since it seems impossible that he could win in any foreseeable scenario. He's not in the position to do anything about the escapees; he's been off Michael's trail for a while; and now he has aroused the suspicions of the local police after giving the hospital an obviously fake ''I got jumped'' story and then revealing that he recognized Geary's brutally murdered body. (What EMT would let him pull down the sheet on the corpse, by the way?) If Bellick goes to prison, the poetic justice might just be too much for me.

Speaking of justice, how about that justice Jane gave the hired hand sent to take out the Burrows men? Nice shot. Linc didn't do too badly either. His spidey sense was tingling when he heard the gunman's shell hit the stone floor, and then he got all convict on that shooter's ass. When it comes to protecting his son, Lincoln is Ramboesque. And his skills with a knife impressed the equally lethal Jane, who totally gave Lincoln the sexy eyes when he left Papa Burrows' compound. Man, the ladies love Linc. First Veronica Donovan, then the older vixen whose house was built over Charles Westmoreland's millions, and now this perfectly ponytailed gunwoman. I'd say he's a lucky guy, but you know, he's not that lucky overall.

And Michael is none too lucky either. No matter how guilty he feels, he's not even the winner of the crime-upgrade contest. That win goes to Sucre, a nonviolent stickup kid who has now shot a serious thug. Fortunately for the guy Sucre shot (and really for Sucre, who would have been 10 times more wanted if that guy had died), he was dealing with the nicest criminal ever. Of course Michael let those guys go! Michael couldn't watch another man bleed out even if the man did deserve it. It's his gift, and it's his curse.

Just like how Mahone's gift-curse is that he is a crazy killing machine. Mahone has killed so many people at this point; can he really turn his life around now? He can't help Michael as long as his own family is alive. But can he go back to family life if he fulfills his promise to kill the Fox River escapees? No way. And if he fails? He's dead. Mahone is either going to take the escapees' side or pull an Inspector Javert and kill himself. (My apologies for the spoiler if you haven't read or watched Les Misérables.)

But Mahone can't go out without getting some revenge. He seems especially interested in hurting Mr. Kim, now that he's been taunted by him. And who is this Kim guy anyway? Yes, he's part of the evil company and the new government's plot, but who is he really? He couldn't have gotten to his high villainous position by avoiding field work and delegating all of his murders. His creepy killer skills are bound to reveal themselves soon, especially if Kim is betrayed by Kellerman, who could show a weak side with Sara.

Sara's key (the one that fell off Governor Tancredi's body) may lead to the hiding spot of a flash drive that holds an NSA-recorded phone conversation of Terrence Steadman's. (Wouldn't it be great if the phone call was boring? Just him shooting the breeze about how dull it is in that big house all alone, or talking about how he can't eat corn on the cob now that his sister had a dentist remove all of his real teeth.)

After some fairly mild torture (at least compared to Bellick's torture of T-Bag), Kellerman pleaded with Sara to be smart ''for once in your life.'' Really, he's right. She should wise up. She has done a lot of stupid things: letting those guys out of jail, becoming BFF with a Narcotics Anonymous impostor after knowing him for a hot minute, talking to her dad's friend on a cell phone after he so obviously sent a gunman to her pay phone. But you still have to feel for Sara, because as good as she was with Michael's word jumbles, she's not a seasoned criminal or a seasoned investigator. Of course she's going to make stupid decisions sometimes.

So what do you think? Will Sara hand the key over to Kellerman? Will he let her go regardless? What happened the last time Aldo and Michael met? And will a champagne-drunk T-Bag buy a gold-plated hand with his millions?

Originally posted Nov 14, 2006