Prison Break recap of episode 308: Bang and Burn

by guest contributor Masheka Wood

Previously on Prison Break: Michael finally finds out Sarah’s dead, starts a chicken-foot fight against Whistler for a distraction, and watches his first Sona escape attempt go completely F.U.B.A.R. Lechero (a.k.a. Norman the Milkman) gets stripped of power, a newly released Mahone gets squirrelly without his vein-candy, and we discover Susan B. Anthony (a.k.a. Gretchen) is in cahoots with Whistler.

And now for the recap of the fall season finale, in which …

‘Don’t Fear The Reaper’ (a great Spanish version) plays over a montage of various prisoners doing prison-y stuff like weight-lifting, drug-smoking and corpse-covering. Ahh, life in Penitenciaría Federal de Sona!

During visitation, Linc informs Michael that Company operative Susan has given them four more days to bust out—and that Susan plans to kill them as soon as they’re free. Michael doesn’t care; he’s still pissed that Lincoln waited so long to tell him about Sara’s beheading. As far as Michael is concerned, Linc used Michael like the Company used them both. Damn, that’s cold! And kind of weird because, as many fans have noted, Michael constantly uses others for his gain. Guess it hurts more when your bro does it. As Michael leaves the outdoor visitation area, a welder installs reinforced steel bars to prevent any other window escapes.

Meanwhile, General ‘Pad Man’ (so-called because his fear of listening devices often leads him prefer writing pads to speech), the Company boss from season 2, pays Susan a visit at her hotel. He orders a “bang or burn” operation ASAP. If the mission fails, he’ll make her past rape and torture as a prisoner of war “look like a massage.” Shaken, Susan visits Whistler and notifies him of the new plan. She also tells him to kill Michael—at which prospect Whistler has the decency to look sick.

Back in Sona, Lechero sneaks over to talk clandestinely to Michael through the bars. Michael needs him to persuade the colonel to delay reinforcing the prison windows, or the new escape plan is useless. Lechero reminds him that he no longer has the influence he once had but has another idea.

Later, Sammy, Lechero’s right-hand man, speaks with Lechero and says that they need more allies to maintain rule over Sona. but Lechero doesn’t trust anyone, especially now.

On side note, Lechero (as played by Robert Wisdom) is a very interesting significant character, a black man who holds a position of great power while under incarceration for avenging his mother’s rape by her wealthy employer.

Cut to the apartment of Whistler’s girlfriend, Sofia. She gets a call from the owner of an apartment building that Whistler rented. The landlord needs clearance to fix a broken pipe in the apartment. Sofia is suspicious yet unaware that her phone is being monitored by a Company operative.

Whistler inspects his bird watching book which has notes on Mahone. He burns the page. Michael checks in on Whistler, and Whistler nervously eyes his watch – ninety minutes until the operation. Michael notices Whistler’s nervousness and asks him about the woman who visited him earlier. Unbeknownst to Michael she’s the same Susan who beheaded Sara, but Whistler just says she’s Company. Company, Company, Company. How many shows have a shadowy government conspiracy group called the Company? Prison Break has one. So does Heroes. Come to think of it, I don’t completely trust the Dunder-Mifflin Company from The Office.

Meanwhile, Mahone is in full withdrawal in the hotel room he’s holed up in. His former FBI colleague Lang comes to visit. Mahone recounts how he killed Shales (the serial killer he trailed before Michael), popped pills to control the subsequent hallucinations, was incarcerated sans medication, and forced to resort to heroin. He begs Lang to get him drugs so he can be ‘well’ enough to testify.

Michael and Whistler make small talk. Everyone’s favorite white supremacist child molester T-Bag comes by with info from Lechero: a map of Lechero’s quarters with the time of 4pm. It might seem strange that a hardcore racist like T-Bag would work for Lechero, a black man—but T-Bag’s need to brownnose outweighs his hatred of brown people, at least for now.

Whistler surreptitiously eyes his newly acquired shank and follows Michael.

Sofia goes to Whistler’s apartment and discovers shredded documents and a passport with his photo and the alias “Gary Miller”. Suddenly Susan (!) enters and orders Sofia to stop snooping around. Sexual tension abounds as Susan gets this close to Sofia and takes the passport. Does she like women?

Michael and Whistler get to Lechero’s place and find another door with a keypad. Whistler prepares to pull out his shiv and perforate a distracted Michael when Lechero suddenly appears and opens the coded locked door. It leads to an obstructed tunnel that connects Sona’s cell blocks A and B. They can’t dig out—but maybe they can dig up.

Meanwhile Sammy stops by Lechero’s storage room to get rum for his friends and almost catches Whistler and Michael.

Mahone’s former Internal Affairs nemesis, Sullins, comes to Mahone’s room for testimony, only to find Lang gone and Mahone completely disheveled.

In the tunnel again. Whistler acts fishy and claustrophobic. Michael calls him on it. It’s almost 5. After their recent close call with Sammy and his buddies, Michael asks Lechero for his cell phone to call Linc, but Lechero refuses.

Meanwhile Linc and Sucre meet with a dude to rent a cabin in the woods. Get this: the owner of the cabin not only tries to get more money out of Linc, but he also insults Sucre by insinuating that he’s a marijuana grower just because he’s Puerto Rican. Nice. And Linc plays along! Sucre is not amused but the show wants us to be. Is there some Puerto Rico/Panama animosity I don’t know about?

When they’re away from the prejudiced cabin owner, Linc and Sucre take a giant boom box and microphone into the woods and record a series of gunshots…for some reason. What is this, Home Alone?

Back in Sona’s courtyard, Michael asks MacReady, the young basketballer, to have his visiting father relay a coded warning to Linc by phone.

While MacReady talks with his father, Sofia visits Whistler. He makes her promise not to be around Lincoln today and tells her that he loves her. She mentions the call from his landlord (though not the passport) but Whistler feigns ignorance.

Three Company goons that are keeping tabs on Sucre and Linc see Sofia approach. Head Goon (referring to Sucre as “The Mexican”. He’s PUERTO RICAN, DAMMIT!!) relays the info to Susan, who gives orders to kill them all. Linc calls Lechero’s cell for Michael, unaware of the approaching threat. Unfortunately Sammy answers the phone call and is suspicious when Lechero tells him to buzz off. The Company operatives advance on Sofia, but Linc and Sucre and take them down.

In the courtroom, Mahone, addled with heroin withdrawal, gives a whacked-out, wrist-cutting testimony that makes him look like a paranoid freak in the eyes of the panel. Forgive me, but it’s both sad and hilarious. Lang arrives too late and it looks like poor, sweaty Mahone will be sent back to Sona.

Whistler’s in an abandoned hallway, eyeing the ceiling. Michael joins him, very suspicious. Before Michael can grill Whistler, T-Bag interrupts with a summons from Lechero. When the two are alone, Lechero angrily gives his cell phone to Michael to confer with Linc. The brothers suddenly realize the Company doesn’t need them anymore.

On cue, an armed helicopter flies overhead and lays waste to Sona’s guards. Whistler takes advantage of the confusion and climbs up to the roof for the rendezvous. Michael is close behind. They trade blows on the prison roof, but Whistler is clearly the better fighter. The copter drops a rope line to carry Whistler away. He grabs for the line, but before he can make his escape, Michael grabs Whistler’s waist and hangs on for dear life. The bad guys try to shoot Michael off of Whistler but can’t get a clear shot. Finally the two drop back on the roof. Whistler climbs down to the hallway and strips off his shirt so he won’t be identified as one of the two escapees.

Michael goes back to his cell to do the same. He peels off his shirt and thousands of Wentworth Miller worshippers around the country swoon over Scofield flesh. As for me, I’m thinking “Finally we see the exposition tattoos again!” I know the makeup hours involved in applying a fake full-torso tattoo must be a pain in the ass for Wenty (yeah, that’s what I’m calling him now), but how many times can you show his character wearing a long sleeved shirt in what is supposed to be extreme Panama heat?

Anyways, Michael tries to blend in with the melee as the soldiers storm Sona. The prisoners are led out into the courtyard to kneel on the ground, hands behind their heads. An older military commander we’ve never seen before approaches Michael and surmises that after two escape attempts in as many days, the best thing to do would be to remove Michael. Um, okay. The episode ends with armed soldiers leading Michael beyond Sona’s gates while Lechero and Whistler look on with trepidation.