And as y'all know, I am not necessarily the biggest fan of Lincoln or of Dominic Purcell's acting, but he just owned the scene here. It's some seriously layered, nuanced work, and it doesn't beat you over the head all, "Look! I'm acting! See my fantastic effort!" and it goes a long way toward redeeming a lot of the season's prior work, because it shows the difference between a guy who's fighting to keep a handle on his emotions, and one who's trying to suffocate them so he won't mind dying for all the wrong reasons.
We then cut to Brinker going over a speech with Vice President Reynolds, pointing to a spot on the paper and saying, "Here is where you turn to anger." Madame Vice President says, "Trust me, that won't be a problem." Brinker then lays out the strategy: relentlessly paint Lincoln in a bad light so he'll be put to the death. Madame Vice President asks where they are with Gov. Tancredi, and Brinker assures her that he won't be a problem, owing to his own political aspirations.
Back in an office of the future ("In the future, we will all have abundant natural light instead of fluorescent bulbs that make us look jaundiced"), Veronica is fretting about how the papers have already judged Lincoln and found him guilty. Michael snaps, "He was into someone for ninety grand. What'd he need that kind of money for? Drugs? Bribes? Forget about what you want to be true and look at this objectively." Veronica points out that Michael could stand to take his own advice. Michael smugs that he is. Veronica's had enough. She tells him, "I promised I wouldn't say anything, but I'm getting tired of you talking about him like he's some guy from the neighborhood. He's your brother --" Michael points out that he knows that, and he knows that Linc helped Veronica out with her dad back in the day, but he's obviously a sleazeball now. Veronica asks, "Do you know what the ninety grand was for?" Michael snots, "I think I do." Veronica snaps, "You." This actually gets Michael's attention. Veronica explains, "The money you got when you were eighteen from your mother's life insurance? The money that paid for your degree, that got you this job, that bought you your loft? Your mother never had life insurance. That money came from Lincoln." Michael doesn't quite believe her. He asks how, and Veronica explains, "He borrowed it. He knew it'd be tough to pay it back, but that didn't matter, because he thought you deserved it. He also knew you'd never accept it if you thought it came from him. Michael, you are where you are because of your brother." Michael prefers to see it from a different angle: "You're telling me he is where he is because of me."