So here is the thing that amuses me about this show: Scofield takes one to the kisser, yet there's never a mark on him. Someone else gets sliced with the sharp edge of an envelope; he's sporting a gash for all of sweeps.
I bring up this observation because this is the second episode in a row in which Michael is punched in the face, yet he is still model-pretty. How does Michael come to be beaten up again? Here's how...
He spends the episode running a series of crude yet ingenious field tests to determine if the guards have any blind spots and when those lapses in coverage might occur. In order to observe the guards, Michael has stolen a pair of binoculars from another inmate and snapped them in half; he takes one piece, and Whistler shares the other with Mahone. When the light glints off the lens of Michael's improvised telescope, the guard in the tower confuses it for a rifle scope, everyone storms Sona, and Michael 'fesses up to having the lens. When he can't explain why he was watching the guard, the punches begin. Whistler jumps in with an explanation, wildly improvising that it wasn't Michael doing the watching, but Whistler, because he's desperate to continue identifying the avian fauna around Sona. This is how Michael sees that Whistler's got the bird book back.
Meanwhile, Mahone's officially a junkie now, and he's started a tab with T-Bag. This is not going to end well. However, when he's not off emulating a Darren Aronofsky antihero, Mahone's actually proving useful in that he manages to ID a blind spot that the would-be escapees can use when they make their bold daybreak escape in an episode or two.
Speaking of T-Bag...trust him to end up getting a little hetero action in a prison filled with men. When the soldiers descend, T-Bag is given the job of hiding Lechero's stash and his mistress. He does so by channeling his inner eighth-grader and cramming into the closet with Sister Magdalen. Faster than you can say "smooth talker," T-Bag's found himself a solution to the Madonna-whore complex in one person. It's too bad she's still Lechero's mistress, but given that Lechero can't pay her anymore, we'll see if she starts seeing other hoods.
One final Sona note: there's a new guy in Sona who thinks he knows Whistler from diplomatic circles. When New Guy blurts this out in front of Mahone and Michael, Whistler realizes that nobody is buying his humble-fisherman act.
Finally, on the outside...Linc and Sofia tool around looking for the perfect pick-up spot for the planned jail break. And they show off a whole lot of chemistry while they're doing it. Is that wrong? Wrong is Sucre agreeing to be a drug mule into Sona. Wrong is not Linc and Sofia totally sizzling together.
Night has fallen over Sona, and the prison is quiet. I bet it would be -- all it takes is Lechero or Sammy having a poor night's sleep because someone can't keep the snoring down, and someone wakes up to the sensation of a chicken foot being crammed down his throat. Or perhaps some of the bad-asses tried sleep-killing and that's put the fear into any insomniacs.
Amend that: all the insomniacs but one. Michael been tossing bits of chocolate into no-man's land, leading the world's most adorable rat further into a lighted patch on the ground. We get a minute to marvel at the winsome vermin -- its fur so clean and shiny! Its little pink nose wriggling in delight as it holds the chocolate in its wee tidy hands! Its shoe-button black eyes positively sparkling in a way that suggests it's but a moment away from introducing itself as Papillion, The Rat Who Befriends Prisoners...and then we see its little red insides as the guards spy it and shoot it for sport.
Michael looks appalled. I would like to think that's because he shares my unfortunate habit of anthropomorphizing anything, but I suspect it's because he's like, Crap. I will not get two feet into that yard before I'm taken out. Anyway, let's pause and give Scofield big ups for devising a low-cost assessment test in admittedly tough field conditions.
Day breaks over Sona, and we see inmates going about their business and providing handy foreshadowing for later: one guy snoozes next to a pair of binoculars, another heats something up in his microwave, more dudes play cards. As the guards open the gate, a lone paper cup comes fluttering in on the wind. Sometimes there's so much beauty in the world I feel like I can't take it. Mahone comes over and picks up the cup. He looks like hell -- you're telling me there's no way the man's managed to find a comb in Sona? Come on, throw us a bone here! And not because Mahone tying one in his hair is the next quarter-turn on his downward spiral.
Mahone heads over to the brooding Michael and says, "J.P. Morgan had a formula for success: rise early, work hard...strike oil." Michael rolls his eyes. He sighs that he's just trying to get some water. Mahone dryly notes, "As a devoted student of your work and skills, I really looked forward to progress on your plan, Michael." Scofield snaps, "I'm looking forward to you getting off my back." Before this can deteriorate into outright hair-pulling, the two are distracted by the arrival of a new inmate. He is dressed like something out of the J. Crew catalog. Eh, that's only a temporary state.