Prison Break recap: 'The Liar'
“I’m getting too old for this s—” is what Michael might be thinking right about now.
After escaping Fox River, Sona, and countless other prisons between seasons 4 and 5, our expert prison breaker still can’t crack Ogygia. Having already failed upon his arrival, Michael once again comes up short with his latest escape attempt. In the moment, it seems surprising that he and his comrades are caught, but on a show called Prison Break, was the prison break really going to happen in episode 3?
That being said, the miniseries structure has helped streamline the storytelling and plot, lending true suspense to Michael’s urgent mission to finally exit the increasingly deteriorating Ogygia and the falling city surrounding it. With Ramal sure to be pissed and rebel forces taking over Yemen, the pressure to get free will only increase. Plus, we need Michael and Lincoln to be reunited; Lincoln has probably hugged his brother’s jacket to death, so time to get him the real thing!
While it’s not an in-person reunion, the brothers are connected via paper airplane at the opening of “The Liar.” Fresh off some tattoo reflecting, Michael, a.k.a “Bubblegum Man,” sends a message in flight to some kids outside of the prison. In exchange for a stick of gum, the kid who outran Lincoln last episode returns to the scene, this time unable to get away. Lincoln, a.k.a. “Tic Tac Man,” one-ups his brother and gives the kid a whole box of mints to keep the communications coming. Sheba and C-Note get their Sherlock and Watson on, eventually decoding the message and surmising it indicates a location where they should meet Michael post-escape.
Before heading to find the spot on the map, Sheba wants out again. And once again, Lincoln pulls her back in with his never-ending wads of cash. He promises to pay for everyone’s plane tickets out of the country, including the school girls they saved. I keep smelling chemistry between these two! The location turns out to be an auto shop that Michael bought to be his HQ. It’s been four years, but all of his plans are still there, and they indicate he was going to bring Ramal with him. “Who the hell are we breaking out?” asks C-Note. “Is it Michael Scofield or Kaniel Outis?” Hey, you’d still be playing cards in Fox River if it wasn’t for him! Actually, your sentence might have been up by now; I can’t say for sure. Sorry, C-Note.
The clock is ticking for Michael at Ogygia, and he’s struggling to keep his team together. Whip’s panic is the least of Michael’s concerns, considering Ramal has been free for about five minutes and is already trying to hang the “infidels,” with Sid up first. Charging in outraged, Michael defies Ramal’s order and is about to let Sid down when a guard steps in to declare that no killing will be allowed. What a guy. I don’t remember Bellick drawing that line.
Speaking of killing, we get our first proper introduction to the woman and man who tried to kill Lincoln and Sara in episode 1. Their names are Van Gogh (Steve Mouzakis) and
Root Beer A&W (Marina Benedict). I wish I were joking. As they look through their recon on Sara, A&W wonders why they are “pulling punches” on the former Mrs. Scofield. “You’ll get use to Poseidon’s game,” shares Van Gogh. “It’s all chess. It’s a performance.” The plan is to get Michael to reach out to Sara, who happens to walk by at that very moment. Checking in on her new husband, she decides they should go stay with Jacob’s parents. He responds by flirting with facts about faces. That isn’t creepy. And right on cue, T-Bag is back. Of course, he decides the best place to catch up with Sara is in the women’s bathroom — classic T-Bag. He insists that he comes in peace and wants answers like she does, but she’s not swayed, getting as far away from him as possible. Probably a smart move.
After the ruckus with Ramal and the whole trying-to-kill-his-fellow-inmates business, the guards have lined up the prisoners for a lesson on order. Whip is getting another education, though, from Cross, a former Army man who was in solitary next to Michael. He’s taking a page from the Jacob book, questioning Michael’s character and motives, trying to convince Whip that he’s being used. It seems to work, since Whip begins to show doubt in his friend, wondering if Michael’s been changed by four long years in solitary. “All these years we’ve been working together — you’ve been able to trust me the whole time,” contests Michael. He says they’re just baiting Ramal along until the last moment. That should calm things down between the comrades, but instead, a fight breaks out between them. As the guards come to break them up, Michael gracefully slides the watch off one guard’s wrist. With Whip and Michael separated, Ramal comes over to check on the man he knows as Kaniel Outis.
Meanwhile, in the streets of Yemen, which don’t seem much safer than Ogygia, Lincoln makes a deal to secure passports for him and his brother. The documents will be ready tonight, so he and Sheba will retrieve those and C-Note will take the “Sheikh of Light” to take care of his important job. I’m just going to say it now: Splitting up is never a good idea. And… it turns out to be a terrible idea. Upon arriving to pick up the passports, the duo is ambushed by a group led by the creepy guy who previously harassed Sheba.
Noticing a weird glitch on her phone and worried it might have been hacked, Sara skips the big boys like Best Buy and goes to good ole JEP’s Electronics to get a replacement and have the old one looked at. Busy traffic day at JEP’s, as right behind Sara are Van Gogh and A&W. Doing the classic “turn the open sign to closed” gambit, they rough up the employee, who might be Jep or Jep Jr. or just someone else not named Jep. The trick is on them, though! Sara has been spying on them from across the street. After an unsuccessful chase, they assume Sara jumped off a roof into a dumpster. That would be a vintage running-from-bad-guys move, but this time, she just decided to hide. It worked out well, as she overhears them discussing Poseidon.
Michael has to face some skeptical cohorts upon returning to his cell. This causes him to finally give them (and us) a little more info on his mission. Originally sent in by people in the government to free Ramal, Michael and Whip were betrayed. “Which means we’re getting out without Ramal, and each of you is crucial to that plan,” declares Michael, noting hacker junkie Ja’s skills will be needed on the outside. Then, the guards come in on a warpath looking for the stolen watch. They toss the team’s cell and find no trace of it. A lockdown is ordered until the watch is found, which plays right into Michael’s plan. Ramal will be locked in his cell, while they are locked in theirs — but they happen to have an exit.
Lincoln awakens from being knocked out, locked alone in a room. Outside the door, Sheba is being interrogated by one-lens guy, who is pretty bitter that she isn’t into him. She rightfully is disgusted by him since he previously attempted to rape her. “Please untie me… so I can take your other eye,” she defiantly says. Going full Hulk, Lincoln busts down the door and saves the day, putting a beating on one-lens guy. Carrying Sheba to safety, he calls C-Note to meet at the rendezvous point.
As the family arrives at Jacob’s parents’ house, Sara gets a call from the dedicated JEP’s employee, divulging that her thumbprint was used to hack her phone. She flashes back to her visit to Kellerman’s office, when he was so persistent about her drinking from a glass. This leads her to make a rock-bottom decision: partnering up with T-Bag. He wants to know if she’s willing to go the distance to do what needs to be done. “I am the distance,” she declares, ordering him to go talk to Kellerman. And I doubt that just means having a friendly conversation.
Back at Ogygia, we’re at the 15-minute countdown ’til the big escape. Whip is trying to bury the hatchet, telling Michael, “You’re like a brother to me.” Michael wrongly replies, “I’m not much of a brother.” I mean, the whole “fake your death” thing wasn’t cool, but you did ruin your entire life to break Lincoln out of prison, Michael. We also learn that Michael recruited Whip from a prison, and they worked for the CIA. “It was about you and me, and having each other’s back,” recalls Whip, who is still worried solitary turned Michael into Kaniel Outis. Meanwhile, Ramal is inviting his whole crew along on the break. Terrible guest etiquette — you don’t invite others along for a trip you didn’t organize. His wishful plans are thwarted when guards toss his cell and find the watch on him. Take that Whip and Jacob; don’t ever question Michael’s allegiances!
The most crucial element of the plan is taking place outside of the prison. C-Note and the Sheikh of Light are working on turning the power off. Unsure of what to pull, C-Note smashes the entire board, which does the trick. Michael and crew are going for it. The outage also enables Ramal and Cross’ separate groups to overtake the guards and head for Michael’s cell.
There are still guards on the roof, so the team is waiting in the vent. The delay allows Cross and his brother to arrive and pull Sid down into the cell. Then, Ramal shows up and shoot’s Cross’ brother. With the heat on, Michael, Whip, and Ja head for the roof. They might have made it, but the chaos in the below cell alerts the guards to the escape attempt, leading to Michael and the boys being busted. C-Note makes it to Ogygia just in time to see Michael being led back inside.
Ramal and Michael are reunited in solitary, with the terrorist threatening the man who betrayed him. Michael looks as defeated as ever, falling to the ground. He turns on Ja’s almost dead phone to record an emotional goodbye to Sara. “I love you,” he cries. “You’ll see I loved you. I never stopped loving you. This whole lie was for you.” His one plea is that his tombstone not read Kaniel Outis. As the phone goes dead, he proclaims, “Because that’s never who I was.”
What did you think? Were you surprised Michael didn’t make it out? How many credit cards has Lincoln maxed out?