Prison Break, there is no need to be jealous of Lost! You don't have to spend an entire episode on flashbacks where we find out the freaky little connections between characters. It smells like a season-stretching, plot-stalling maneuver.
However, to those of you writing these characters' biographies, here's what you need to know: Dr. Sara used to be a dope fiend until some kid's death in the street -- which she could have prevented if she hadn't been channeling Jennifer Connolly in Requiem for a Dream -- scared her straight. She then met Bellick in N.A., he hipped her to the job post at Fox River, and asked her out in a scene that actually made me feel sorry for the poor guy. (And for that, Prison Break powers that be, I will never forgive you.)
Meanwhile, we learn that T-Bag was nabbed while he was going through an exploratory phase -- i.e. dating full-grown women. Sucre got sent to the pokey thanks to a fiendish combination of a high-maintenance woman, a back-stabbing cousin, and more class issues than Gosford Park. And C-Note got the second-rawest deal out of the bunch: the former army supplies sergeant (and bootlegger) followed his conscience and reported some prisoner abuse while he was over in the sandbox, got drummed out of the Army, then turned to a life of crime to support the family. Oh, C-Note, yours is such a tragic story.
But the rawest deal belongs to Lincoln. Not only is he into someone for $90K, it turns out that money funded Michael's education and the pre-felonious Michael is something of an insufferable prick. To erase the debtâ¦well, you know. And once Veronica righteously smacks Michael around a little, we see him prepping his big plan.
Next up: an episode where Team Escarpara has to keep pressing buttons on a computer every few minutes or else polar bears eat them.
I would normally start out this recap with something like, "Previously, on Prison Break…" except this episode is even more "previously" than the previous ones, as it consists solely of flashbacks into many of the main characters' lives prior to their arrival at Fox River.
Whether any of the information in this episode will come in handy is anyone's guess. Speaking personally, I think it's filler and a lazy way to cram in a lot of characterization before cranking the plot gears and pointing the show toward the inevitable May sweeps escape. Also, I am irked that the writers didn't see fit to give a little sugar to Westmoreland. However, I realize that others of you feel differently about flashback episodes, so on with the recap…
Three years ago: we see a sleeping Linc's face, and hear Michael ask him if he had a rough night. Linc tells him he lost his keys. Michael contemptuously tosses a set down to his seated brother, but the whole effect is ruined by the earmuffs he's wearing. Dork! Personally, I'm curious as to how it is Linc managed to pass out in his own doorway without suffering either hypothermia or a trip downtown courtesy of the police, but I suppose that realism would have cost us the opportunity to see Michael shine off his brother's offer for lunch. Linc is all, "I have to talk to you about something," but Michael is adamant that he's too busy. However, he does have a few moments to say disgustedly, "I heard you got fired a few weeks ago. What was it this time?" Linc gives him a forlorn look before asking, "You really want to know? Or are you just enjoying the view from the high horse?" Michael snots back, "You know what I'd like? To not have to be the older brother to my older brother." I'd like you not to wear pop-on earmuffs, but we can't always get what we want, can we, Michael?
After Michael stalks off, Linc lets himself into his apartment. It's very nicely decorated for someone who's supposedly down on his luck. When Linc walks into his living room, he sees that he's got company. And Crab didn't even let Linc in? That is just cold. Linc tells Crab he'll get him the $90,000 he owes him, and Crab tells him that debt's already been paid. Linc wants to know who the benefactor was, and some dude in a baseball cap walks over and says, "Someone who likes to do people favors." Perhaps the biggest favor Bo could have done was bring Linc inside earlier. Linc looks like he's thinking this too.
We cut to a bar, the kind of place where the décor is much more interesting and original than the hordes of suit-wearing patrons knocking back their scotch on the rocks. One of Michael's coworkers asks him who he'd rather boff: Vice-President Caroline Reynolds (whom we see live on Fox News; make of that what you will) or "Kathy in HR." Michael replies, "I'll take whatever's behind door number three." The coworker presses for an actual answer, and Veronica slides up to say, "The chick in HR. Michael never cared much for blondes." Michael actually gives Veronica an honest smile and says hi; she asks how he is. They make a little small talk -- the coworker drifts off without even trying to introduce himself, and Michael doesn't even notice -- and then Veronica asks how Lincoln is. Michael's all, "You guys haven't talked?" Veronica tells him it's been a few years, lightly adding, "He kind of dropped off the radar." She asks again and Michael gropes for an answer before smiling ruefully, concluding, "He's Linc," then knocking back his drink. It's too bad that it looks like whiskey, because how awesome would it be if Michael was unabashedly into girl drinks with props, like mai tais with pineapple spears and plastic monkeys hanging off the side?
Meanwhile, Linc is busy telling Bo he's philosophically opposed to killing. Bo inquires as to whether Linc's philosophically opposed to dying. As they're talking, we hear a guy logging the details of Linc's appearance, down to the missing button on his leather jacket and the stain on the left knee of his jean. Bo argues that Linc will actually be doing the world a favor by killing this guy, and he'll be free of a $90,000 debt as well. Bo adds, "Keep me from finding out if there's someone in your life you will do something for." Linc looks grim, but the sudden sag of his jaw broadcasts his answer.