Between bouts of twitching and looking all bug-eyed, Haywire can't seem to stop staring at Michael's tattoos. To get rid of the unwanted attention, Michael devises an elaborate plan that involves Abruzzi and toothpasteâ¦and ultimately banging his head against his cell bars until he bleeds and blaming the crazy guy for his injury. Genius. Lincoln seems to be more and more apprehensive about meeting his death in the electric chair (go figure), so he's greatly relieved to hear that Veronica has officially taken up the cause as his lawyer. Lucky for him he hasn't been watching Veronica at work like we have. At Linc's suggestion, Veronica pleads his case to the anti-death penalty group Project Justice. In keeping with Veronica's track record, the meeting is not successful. Fortunately, she manages to win over an attractive junior lawyer named Nick who agrees to help out on his own time. In short order, Veronica and Nick uncover some suspects for the frame-up, including Big Oil (apparently the V.P.'s brother was into alternative energy) and a gunrunner named Bo who had threatened to kill LJ. Sucre gets a visit from Hector, who politely announces that he'll be taking the conjugals with Maricruz from now on, thank you. Predictably, this helps Sucre warm up to Michael's escape plan, and soon enough he's back in the old cell, calling Michael his Papi (uh, literally). Warden Pope tries to get Bellick to lighten up on Michael, with predictable results (i.e. some bloody toe-stump stomping). Meanwhile, Agents Hale and Kellerman somehow catch wise to the fact that Linc has a brother in prison, and at the urging of the Martha Stewart of the Western Frontier, they come up with a solution. Namely, Michael's going to get transferred tomorrow. Well, sure, if they want to be boring about it. Oh! And Michael makes progress on his great escape, mostly by concocting a chemical formula to make what appears to be bathtub Guinness. And without Haywire around making googly eyes at his tats and otherwise cramping his style, he also manages to bust through his cell wall, thanks to some well-timed warbling by Sucre. Success! Too bad about that whole getting-transferred-tomorrow thing.
We start off this week's episode with last week's previouslies. No lie, it's exactly the same "previously on" footage we got last week, but with one miniscule "meet your new cellie" clip introducing Haywire. It even cliffhangers at the point where Abruzzi is about to have Michael's toes cut off. Will he?1 Well, yeah, he will. And did. Last week. Look for Brett Ratner to bring just this kind of expert attention to detail to X-Men 3 (stinking up theatres in 2006!).
We open the episode in earnest with Lincoln lying in his artfully lit cell on death row. (But the toes! What happened with the toes?! Don't leave me hanging!) Lincoln's restful sleep, where he's only marginally less animated than normal, is interrupted by Bellick and his gang of nameless COs. We know Bellick has a name because Linc keeps yelling it over and over. The guards haul Linc out of his cell and drag him down the hall into yet another starkly lit room. Man, when Michael designed this place, he did not fuck around with the mood lighting. Very fourth-season West Wing. This room features an electric chair, which understandably freaks Lincoln out a bit.
In what is so clearly not a dream sequence, Linc struggles and argues in vain that he's got a month left. The guards strap him down, do that sponge on the head thing so Linc won't go all Bad Death of Eduard Delacroix on us, blindfold the poor bastard, and get ready to pull the switch. Before they do, Not Dream Bellick leans over his hyperventilating captive: "Make your peace, Lincoln." The switch is pulled, the electricity goes bzzz, aaaaaaand dream. Unexpected! So it seems that Linc's not as enthused about dying as we might have expected. That's some penetrating insight right there.
Back at the No-Tell Prison Cell, Michael is hard at work, digging at the grout around the cinderblocks behind the sink. His head's on a swivel, but he's working pretty brazenly for a guy with a cellmate who never sleeps. Ah, but we soon find out why that is, as Michael quickly puts the fixtures back into place just in time for the guards to return Haywire to the cell. And...can I ask what's up with half the characters on this show having G.I. Joe names? Haywire, Maytag, C-Note...I keep waiting for them to join Alpine and Bazooka on a mission to capture the Baroness.
Michael splashes some water on the chiseled face for which Eric Roberts was no match and tests the can-I-trust-the-crazy waters: "Haywire, you ever thought of breaking out?" Haywire scoffs, "What the hell would I do out there?" He runs down a laundry list of hassles, including halfway houses, psych visits, and parole officers. None of which, I might add, he'd really have to worry about if he, you know, broke out and became a fugitive from justice. He'd like to know why Michael's so curious, though. "This guy was talking about it in the yard yesterday," Michael untruthitudes, "I didn't know what to say." Haywire suggests Michael rat the guy out to Bellick in exchange for preferential treatment. Michael mentally checks his cellmate off the list of people he can safely spill his plans to, disappointed that he won't be able to wear the "I'm Planning An Escape, Ask Me How" sandwich board he just acquired.