The first few minutes of the episode were awesome! Lechero, T-Bag and Bellick head up into No Man's Land and begin jogging across it, and mere seconds later, the backup generators kick in and they are caught! Haaaaa! Scofield set them up on purpose!
Actually, the whole episode was really entertaining, but I'm telling you, those first few moments when it sinks in just how much of a scheming brainiac Michael is...oh, I'm going to be chasing that high for the rest of the series.
Anyway, Lechero keeps running despite being told to stop, so he's gut-shot and begins dying very slowly. Bellick spends the rest of the episode alternately sniveling and bleeding after the guards try to beat some answers out of him (good luck with that one), and T-Bag gets smacked around too. For a moment, it looks like he might finally get what's coming to him in an extremely painful way, but T-Bag happens to notice Sucre juuuuust about to leave the police office after a long night. So do the cops. So our poor papi is now on the short end of a long beating. One hopes he's so busy thinking, "Ow, ow, ow, owwwww" that he won't stew on how he regrets helping out here.
Okay! But back to the escape...Michael times it all perfectly and the cons just happen to race out as the convict count is going on. They sprint through the woods and down to the sea, and Linc meets them there. Then, they dig up air tanks and swim underwater to a buoy, and Michael is just the kind of selfless bad-ass who can A) share his tank with Splenda and B) basically carry the guy out to the buoy. Then things aren't looking so good for the escapees as the boat piloted by Sucre doesn't show up (for obvious reasons), but then Splenda's dad comes by in a boat and fishes them all out of the drink. We get a really nice sequence where they're all just silently hanging out on the boat, just drained by the events of the last 24 hours.
Anyway, everyone's officially escaped, and in nice clean clothes. Splenda and his dad take off. Everyone reluctantly carpools. Susan B. harshes their vibe further by trying to run their car off the road, but Lincoln manages some tricky driving and they decamp to an abandoned warehouse. There's a nice brotherly bonding moment, and then Whistler and Mahone have to mess it up by existing, because Mahone's good-bye reminds Linc that, oh, yeah, he meant to kill him. While Michael talks his brother out of this, Whistler makes his escape. So the episode ends in frustration for the brothers, as Mahone scampers one way, Whistler goes the other, and the brothers are still not reunited with L.J. However, I'm not particularly frustrated -- the whole thing kicked all kinds of ass and I feel confident the finale will continue the streak.
"We only have 30 seconds -- go!" So says Michael to the escapees in front of him, and Lechero, T-Bag, and Bellick promptly do the hustle. The guys in the back of the line are getting nervous, but Michael's just sitting tight and checking his watch. When Splenda frets, "We have to go now! We're running out of time!" Michael tells him to sit tight and trust him.
We cut to the first three escapees jogging across No Man's Land, and then the backup generators kick on. All three men immediately halt. No, wait -- only two did. Lechero decides to run for it again and gets gut-shot for his trouble. This puts the fear into Bellick and T-Bag. The latter's eyes are like saucers, and he makes a nice, discreet hand gesture to Bellick indicating that the former prison guard needs to drop to his knees with his hands up. We zoom over to see Michael confirming that the guards have the inmates in custody, and then he lowers the tunnel's lid back into place so it's not detectable. Mahone asks what happened and Michael burns a hole in the tunnel wall with the intensity of the Blue Steel as he says, "They got caught."
Immediately outside the prison gates, Captain Mullet is responding to the prison klaxons by handcuffing Sucre to a nearby file cabinet. Sucre asks what's going on, but Captain Mullet declines to share. Oh, Sucre, this is not going to be your episode, is it?
T-Bag and Bellick are walked over to Lechero's prone figure and approximately a hundred different guards and Jeeps have descended on the scene. Michael checks this out, keeping his counsel. Somewhere out in the bushes, Susan B. listens to the police radio ("We have an escape in progress!") and snaps, "This sure as hell better work out...for everyone's sake." She and her van's driver turn to look back at L.J. and Sofia. Sofia looks frankly shocked to have her hands duct-taped. L.J. has his eyes closed, no doubt tired because this routine has gotten really old.
We cut to T-Bag and Bellick looking genuinely shocked and dismayed. It's a nice reaction -- I like how it suggests that both of them unconsciously assumed Michael's escape would have worked. And speaking to that point: Bellick asks where Scofield is, and T-Bag replies, "If he doesn't get caught, he can fix this mess."
Or, you know, not. Michael has just broken it to the edgy Mahone and Whistler that letting T-Bag, Lechero, and Bellick get caught was his plan. Subtext: do not mess with Michael. Mahone better hope Michael will let bygones be bygones, or else he's going to have to go back on the crazy mind-bending drugs to deal with the paranoia-induced fallout of knowing that Michael's coming for him.
Whistler doesn't quite get it yet: "How was them getting caught your plan?" Mahone says, "You told them they had thirty seconds to get across, the generator kicked in sooner." Michael hides his grin as he says, "I must have miscalculated." Oooh, I love Evil Genius Michael -- not only does he plan for the serial killer, the drug lord, and his personal bully to remain incarcerated, he refuses to tip his hand to everyone else that he's so ruthless. Mahone is definitely going to need heavy drugs to deal with knowing that Michael's out there. Everyone continues to freak out, but Michael's checking to see where the cops have parked their jeeps.