The Final Break

Previously, on Prison Break: Everyone got a Get Out of Jail Free card and we fast-forwarded four years so that we could learn that Michael is now occupied with trying to break out of that Great Prison in the Sky.

And now -- whoosh! We're back to the period immediately after exoneration. The episode opens with a beautiful shot of blue water, and then the camera swoops at a crazy angle until we're on a pier over the water and looking at Michael from behind as he looks down at the water. Linc -- who is looking as natty as Michael in a sport coat and actual non-jean pants -- comes over to ask, "You ready?" Michael turns to him with "I didn't think I'd be this nervous. Now or never." Linc turns to follow Michael and we see that, bless his heart, he's in a shirt that's unbuttoned to the navel. At least he's brought his semi-formal pecs for the occasion.

As Michael walks down the pier, Sucre joins him with an "All right, Papi, let's do this. She's over there." Sucre has a goatee now -- does this mean that the evil, alternate-version Sucre is the one who will be appearing in today's festivities? Goatees can mean nothing else.

The three men head over to an old man who has more hair on his head than the three of them combined, and it turns out he's a minister. Dr. Sara -- who is wearing a fabulous maxidress -- is waiting down by the water, holding a single calla lily. She hands it off to Lincoln, who holds it like it's about to explode. And after thirty seconds of generic "We are gathered here today ..." platitudes from the hired padre, Michael and Dr. Sara are married. Hurrah! They are cellmates in the prison of love! Sentenced to life.

The reception is a little more rocking, with lots of salsa music, in a beachside cafe. Sucre is shaking his groove thing, Michael and Linc are laughing, and then Michael's laughing as Sucre whirls Dr. Sara around on the beach. And then, the good times are interrupted by a phlanx of cop cars. A bunch of guys in suits come around with an arrest warrant. No sooner are the words "arrest warrant" spoken than both Michael and Linc begin shouting about how they were exonerated weeks ago. The federal agent who crashed this party is all, "It's not for you guys at all. It's for Sara Tancredi -- she's being charged with the murder of Christina [Scofield] Hampton."

I check the DVD playing time: Michael and Dr. Sara had approximately two minutes and thirty seconds of a great, complication-free life together before this latest development. They just cannot catch a break, can they?

And then Dr. Sara's whisked off, leaving Michael, Linc and Sucre gobsmacked. We get a brief "Prison Break" title card, and then we're off the beach and back at a condo with the boys, plus some attack lawyer Kellerman sent down for the occasion. The lawyer, however, is no good at actually getting U.S. law to be honored in this case. And then he passes on the bleak news that apparently, angry law enforcement types are setting up Dr. Sara, on account of them being all pissed off about the exonerations. I am now wondering why these folks didn't get the hell out of the U.S. immediately after getting those papers signed. Because, really. What in their prior experiences with the law-enforcement institutions across the U.S. inspired anything resembling trust in a fair system of justice?

So Dr. Sara's now in prison, and going by the fantastic hair and skin all these women have, it's pretty obvious she's been transferred to Foxy River. As it turns out, owing to a series of contrivances, the woman who has not yet been formally convicted of anything is thrown into genpop at a prison, instead of being held in a jail to await trial. As if this weren't already the worst honeymoon ever, Lori Petty's swung by to say hello. She's looking very ... well, I realize she's supposed to be a butch gang leader type, but honestly, she reminds me more of the girls in my grad school program who were doing their coursework in the rhetoric of gender construction and going to Disappear Fear concerts.

Anyway, a blonde guard comes over and is all, "Don't let them intimidate you. This jail/prison hybrid thing is B.S. Come on, the other one's practically empty. You can ride it out 'til your court date there." Dr. Sara trustingly follows the guard to an empty room. Oh, wait -- I spoke too soon. It's an empty office and it's a bunch of lady guards who are apparently pissed off over Bellick and his compadres losing their jobs. So they beat her up, in the name of solidarity for prison guards everywhere. It's not an episode of Prison Break if some woman isn't getting brutalized, is it?

And once Dr. Sara's back in her original bunk, along comes Lori Petty. I keep expecting her to namecheck Donna Haraway, but instead she observes, "Looks like that welcome wagon ran over your face." Oh, prison wit. You never fail to amuse with your piquant blend of observational humor and mordancy. We learn that Lori Petty will be playing the part of "Daddy" in the prison, she's got her eye on Dr. Sara, and Dr. Sara wants no part of Daddy's family. And also that Gretchen is watching everything with interest.

Over on the boys' side, T-Bag is still sucking up to General Von Baldy in the desperate attempt to get him to "spread around a little cash." Von Baldy's not terribly interested in a partnership; in fact, he has bigger fish to fry. Now that he's seen the news about Dr. Sara, he's got revenge on his mind. We see him meeting with his lawyer, saying, "I'm never going to get out of this prison alive. I know that. But I want to bring my enemy down with me. I want her dead." He passes over the clipping of Dr. Sara's arrest with "$100,000 dead" written on it. The lawyer, Daniels, points out, "It's going to require capital. Capital you no longer have." Von Baldy orders Daniels to raid the rainy-day fund and "get that to our friend in the sister cells across the compound." We then see a series of furtive handshake transactions until Gretchen's reading the clipping. I'd be more worried for Dr. Sara but a) we already know she's going to be okay, and b) I'm more interested in learning how Gretchen's managed to keep up her fabulous manicure in prison. That girl should supplement her paid-mercenary work by selling personal grooming secrets.

We then cut to the Foxy River mess hall, where everyone's getting their dinners. Dr. Sara looks for someplace to eat -- she's being watched unseen by some guard -- and when she goes to sit down next to a mountain of a woman, Gretchen warns her off with, "Bad move. Last time someone touched [Skittelz], they got a cracked kneecap." And that is how Dr. Sara ends up sitting across from Gretchen. But she's not in the mood to talk to Gretchen. Gretchen, however, is undaunted, explaining Daddy's family structure while Dr. Sara retches. As it turns out, Dr. Sara's having throat contractions. She tells the guard she's got strychnine poisoning, but the short-haired guard blithely says, "That's that government cheese. You get used to it." Dr. Sara, whose throat is closing up, would beg to differ if she could still speak. She gasps out, "If I don't get to the hospital in the next 15 minutes, I will die and my baby will die. Please." Daddy pops up to ask if the guard can't let her go see the doctor. That was apparently the magic word.

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