Last time on Prison Break, it looked like Lincoln was going to be electrocuted for sure. It was all very tense. And for the first few minutes of this episode, it's still very tense, with Lincoln getting strapped into the chair, and him hyperventilating, and the COs inexplicably not putting a hood on him --
Well, scratch that. They don't put a hood on him because how else would Lincoln be able to look into the witness stands and see his dad? Apparently, Mr. Burrows was invited to the execution courtesy of Mr. P. Lot Contrivance.
So then there's a last-second reprieve because some hinky autopsy report's showed up, and Linc is unstrapped from the chair (no word on whether he actually needed that adult diaper), and he's got two weeks before they do this whole drill again.
Everyone immediately sets to work: Veronica and Nick are on the autopsy report and they get the body exhumed; Michael decides he's going to re-route the escape through the psych ward -- charmingly nicknamed the Wack Shack -- and spends a lot of time getting into the same old tense situations; Madame Vice President, Mistress of Evil, runs around generally being evil.
Unfortunately, over the course of his little perambulations through the psych ward, Michael ends up burning his back, thus losing the map through the place. And as Dr. Sara is picking bits and pieces of burnt crunchy bits off his skin, she notices that she's actually handling a guard uniform.
So now we're looking at the big conspiracy on the outside, the possibility that Mr. Burrows is actually connected to this conspiracy somehow, a whole new escape plan, and a newly-suspicious Dr. Sara.
Previously on Prison Break: Lincoln's prospects for escape narrowed somewhat.
When the episode begins, Linc looks back at Michael and Veronica, then turns to face Ol' Sparky. We get a shot of the ugly, institutional-looking clock. I guess one of those clocks where it's the Elvis with the swinging legs would be inappropriately kitschy. It's two minutes to midnight. Bellick is standing immediately below the clock, looking somber. Pope is standing next to him, looking haggard. Two guards are busy strapping Lincoln into the chair, and as the liquid from the restraining cap pours over him, he begins to hyperventilate. Dr. Sara looks up. We see Linc straining against the chair, getting progressively more panicky. The guards fasten a thick strap under his chin, then screw a wing nut onto a bolt at the top of his cap. A minute has elapsed; there is one minute to go. Pope nods grimly to Bellick, who pulls back the curtain on the witness area. We see Michael and Veronica sitting in the front row. Veronica cringes. Michael reels; his face is stricken.
Linc is breathing hard and heavy now. Both Michael and Veronica are tearing up. Dr. Sara looks agonized; Pope kindly tells her she can leave. She does, and the camera lingers on Michael's face in the glass. We then switch to Lincoln. He's looking in the gallery of observers, and his eyes fly open. There's a nondescript man -- middle-aged white guy, gray hair, tan jacket -- and as he takes off his blue baseball gap, Linc gasps through his restrained jaws, "Ahd." Dad. He then begins breathing Michael's name. On the other side of the glass, Michael realizes this and leans forward, desperately trying to figure out what Lincoln's trying to tell him. Unfortunately, while Linc's able to mouth "Michael," he does not manage to convey his muttered, "Turn around." The man -- Papa Burrows, I presume? -- is still watching. His face is solemn, but not so dread-filled as everyone else's. Michael mouths, "What?" in the tiniest, most discreet way. Lincoln really wants Michael to turn around, but that's just not happening. Then the guards finally drop the hood over Lincoln's face and Michael crumples all over again at losing sight of his brother's face.
Pope checks his watch and some dude's about to flip the switch when the phone lights up. Instead of diving for it immediately, everyone stares at the magical talking box what lights up. Then the camera shoots over the observation area. Michael jumps to his feet, asking, "What's going on?" Veronica's clueless. (Surprise!) We then get a very dramatic shot of Michael set off against the black curtain; the camera pulls in tight on his face as he asks, "What's happening?" Half of the members of the First Church of Wentworth Miller answer, "I'm having a religious experience, that's what's happening." Seriously. I don't know if Miller's sending the camera crew balloon bouquets or what, but he's the beneficiary of some extremely good camera angles. We get another arty shot -- Michael half in shadow, his reflection bouncing off the window -- and he asks, "What the hell's going on in there?"
When we switch to the exterior of the prison, it's snowing. It's very quiet, and we switch to the silent anteroom where Michael and Veronica are waiting. Pope comes in and says, "I can't tell you how sorry I am that you had to go through all this." Veronica looks wrecked, and clearly we're supposed to believe that Pope's coming in to pay condolences except, hi, this is the four-minute mark in a show that lives for attempting to psych its audience out (note: "attempting") and there is uplifting music, so it's no great surprise that Lincoln's about to come shuffling in.