You can't spell "Team Escarpara" without T-Bag and C-Note. Since Michael spends much of this episode in crafts class, the non-tattooed, un-SHU'd contingent has to take over the heavy lifting. They have to make sure someone from the Team gets Michael and Sucre's cell, which the guards are putting up for "auction." Raising the money involves getting beaten up (C-Note), handing over a precious pocket watch with a daughter's picture (Westmoreland), and playing a high-stakes game of prison poker (C-Note and T-Bag). When Geary the pilfering CO pockets the capital, Team Escarpara then engineers a way to frame him for Michael's burn, thus A) firing Geary, and B) springing Michael from the Whack Shack.
Speaking of Michael's adventures in the mental health system, thanks to some strategic finger-work, he soon has Haywire off the meds and high on life again. Haywire supplies artwork detailing the missing piece of the tattoo, and then Michael out-manipulates him so that Haywire won't be coming with Team Escarpara. (However, the team does get a new member in Sucre's cousin, Captain Calories.)
In conspiracy updates: Brinker verbally bitch-slaps Kellerman around and tells him he's uninvited from the scheme. Kellerman promptly swings the VP around to his side by pointing out to her that Brinker's setting the VP up to take the fall if anything happens to Lincoln. And in the last five minutes of the episode, something does: he's in a car accident.
Meanwhile, Nick and Veronizzzzzzzzzzzzâ¦sorry. Dozed off. Apparently Nick's about to sell Veronica down a river. Yawn.
Well, it's Sobell's birthday, so what better gift to give her than a week where she no longer has to just willingly suspend disbelief, but lure it into a dark alley where she knee-caps it, kicks it in the head, and takes its wallet just so that it doesn't get any ideas about ratting her out to the cops? I'm assuming my husbandly duties and pinch-hitting for her while she celebrates her 19th birthday. So long as this episode doesn't feature excessive amounts of vomiting, things should go just fine.
We begin right where the last episode left off, with Michael trying to refresh Haywire's memory: "I have a tattoo? And you're one of those dudes who can see the patterns in anything? And also freakishly smart? And crazy as a shithouse rat? Why don't you recall the tattoo without also remembering that I framed you for assaulting me in my cell?" Haywire is all, "Are you the guy who stole my toothpaste?" Indeed! The guy who stole your toothpaste! And not the guy who framed you for assault -- we can't stress that part enough.
Just then, the penal system's equivalent of Nurse Ratched waddles over with paper cups of medication, which Haywire receives gratefully. Michael proves to be a more finicky psych ward patient; "No, thank you," he demurs, apparently forgetting that he's in prison and free will ain't exactly on the menu. After telling the nurse he'd prefer to talk to Dr. Tancredi about whether or not he has to take a mild sedative, he helpfully adds, "I'm feeling better." "That's great," the nurse snaps back. "Now take the pill." Haywire chimes in, "Take 'em. They're good." He's cuckoo for Quaaludes, apparently. Still not grasping that he isn't just stuck in a day spa with really indifferent service, Michael resists, and the nurse hollers for reinforcements. Not that she needs them -- she's just messing with Michael's head.
Inside the former HQ for Team Escarpara, Geary (the sticky-fingered CO) is tossing the cell just in case there's anything of value he can pilfer. Bellick comes over and cheerily says, "Scofield went J-cat?" Geary sagely opines that he saw the crackup coming from Day One. Bellick is practically giddy at the idea of Michael over in the Whack Shack. Geary is practically giddy for reasons of his own: "Middle cell, middle tier. Prime piece of real estate. You thinkin' what I'm thinkin'? We can promise to keep it a single for a few months, auction it off." Damn, you can't even escape real estate speculators in jail!
Back in the Whack Shack, an orderly -- think Scatman Crothers after six straight months with Bowflex -- explains to Michael that there's more than one way to get a pill into one's digestive tract, should someone be unwilling to swallow. That convinces Michael to down his pills, saving us all the riveting "Look out, Tummy, here it comes" scene. After popping open Michael's mouth to see that the pill is well and truly swallowed, the orderlies disperse just as Michael removes the pill from where he's been stashing it between his cheek and gums. Why, that sneaky sneak who sneaks! On the bright side, Michael was able to carry out an elaborate plan of deception without having to first get a full-body tattoo this time.