Prison Break
Odd Man Out

Episode Report Card
Sobell: B | 1 USERS: B-
Well, now you've done it, T-Bag
In a hurry? Read the recaplet for a nutshell description!

The episode begins in flashback. Michael's in a suit and tie, and he's about to be interviewed for a job. The office is the kind of place we all thought we'd be working in after the Dot-Com Revolution: gleaming hardwood floors, excruciatingly well-designed furniture, a boss with a good haircut and hipster doofus eyeglass frames. Anyway, the boss congratulates Michael on his résumé and Michael smirks just a little before saying thanks. The boss lobs a softball: "Tell me why you chose to pursue a career in engineering." Michael does not answer, "Because some day, I might have to break my deadbeat brother out of prison." Instead he tries to smile and says, "I've always been interested in structure...geometry." What I find interesting about his answer is how he's trying to gesture as he talks. It's a marked change from his very self-contained, closed-off body language at the prison. It also suggests that there's a huge gulf between what goes on in Michael's head and what he lets out.

Michael laces his fingers together and explains that he's fascinated by how things fit together. Then he strokes an arty -- if phallic -- skyscraper model and natters on a little about the happy marriage of form and function. Hipster doofus boss guy asks, "What about the future? Where do you see yourself in five years?" Michael does not answer, "Breaking my deadbeat brother out of prison."

We zip to Fox Hills, just in case any of the viewers don't realize that...well, Michael certainly didn't see himself skulking through the most antiseptic sewer pipes ever to grace a prison, yet here he is. Michael continues wending his way through the wide, dry, clean pipes. We flash back yet again to Michael's belongings being checked in by CO Stickyfingers. Michael then continues down the clean, well-lighted pipes and tosses a suit coat button into a chamber. Its click tells him that verily, he has stumbled upon a giant, clean, well-lit compartment. Of course. Doesn't every prison have these, in addition to the large, well-lit, unsupervised corridors behind every cell?

Anyway, we find out that Michael hid a trash bag and a length of rope in his suit lining. I can see where neither the rustle of plastic nor the lumpy coil in a suit jacket would have attracted attention. Within short order, Michael's put his suit in the bag and tied the end closed with the rope. Then he stares up at the opening for a while. That's right, Michael -- play to your strengths.

Aboveground, T-Bag's on the phone, asking someone, "That baby boy all growed up yet? ...Oh, he's gonna raise hell in the next few years... Takes after his mama." I don't know what I find more improbable: that T-Bag's got friends or loved ones who regularly give him updates on their children, or that T-Bag's actually thinking of children in the context of letting them live to adulthood. And now we get to the portion of the phone call where T-Bag alludes to his imminent escape and does some convenient foreshadowing with, "Things are getting pretty tense, like they're fixing to collide." Coming from a man who instigated a deadly riot, things must be getting very tense indeed.

Linc and Michael are walking over to whatever menial PI chore they're about to do, and Michael's telling Linc that he's found the access to the infirmary, but he'll need time to make it work. So he's planning to skip PI tomorrow, the better to solve the problem: "How do I ascend a 20-foot vertical drainpipe without a ladder?" Michael, if you could only levitate, this wouldn't even be an issue. Linc's all, "You can't skip! You'll get detention!" Michael snaps, "I don't have a choice, do I?" Not about that, no. But you could say no to the watch cap. Michael appeases Linc with, "Once we get through the pipes in the guards' room, it'll be a whole lot easier. I can come and go without using the door, and with Westmoreland as lookout, we'll have one more man available for digging." Linc is not so keen on Westmoreland: "All seven of us can't get over that wall in 18 minutes. You said it yourself: it's impossible...I'm tell you, one of us has got to take a hike." Just then, C-Note pops up and drawls, "Mind if I share that with the rest of the class?" What is this world coming to when you can't conspire in private in prison anymore?

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Prison Break




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