On ''Prison Break,'' Michael gets the scandalous recording to Reynolds, who resigns instead of issuing the promised pardons; plus, Mahone may be in trouble again

By Kate Sullivan
Updated March 07, 2007 at 05:00 AM EST

”Prison Break”: The tape’s dirty secrets

C-Note lives! Phew. This show definitely needs to cut down on story lines, but not that way. On paper, C-Note and Sucre are the least dangerous of the escaped criminals. Of those still on the run, Linc is a convicted murderer; Michael was put away for an armed-robbery attempt; and T-Bag, well…It seems so imbalanced that C-Note and Sucre should be pursued and punished with the same vigor as those three.

T-Bag, however, deserves a brutal manhunt. Leaving a body count rivaling a strong high school basketball team’s in his wake, he has committed the most heinous crimes on the run. But he barely got a beating from that airport employee, who had a lot more meat on him than the wispy convict. Crazy gives T-Bag some kind of superpowers. He can outthink and outfight almost anyone. He’s going to need a thumping from someone as crazy as he; perhaps a guilt-ridden Michael or drug-addled and exhausted Mahone.

And how about Mahone’s drug addiction — he obviously has one — but did he reveal it to Sara by mistake and then use it? Or did he deliberately reveal it in order to string Sara, a recovering addict, along? I think it was the latter, since no one else had noticed his addiction before, not even those who work closely with him. (Granted, Sara would know better than they how to read the signs.) Either way, Mahone was brilliant yet again. After being made as an addict, he was careful to really act like one. His cadence got jumpy, and his dialogue got hilarious: ”Because the bass player dumped you in front of the whole sorority? Yeah, you and me got a lot in common.” He played into Sara’s view of him, fumbled with his gun, and allowed her to escape and lead his lackey toward the brothers.

Lackey No. 2 was being less obedient though. Wheeler, Mahone’s perpetually disgruntled subordinate, discovered that Mahone had threatened C-Note’s wife and daughter; then Wheeler tried to get the con to rat out Mahone. It seems C-Note could be the first of the Fox River boys to get a decent deal.

Michael, meanwhile, got a worse deal than he had expected. He took a thumping from Kim (though it still wasn’t as bad as Abruzzi chopping off Michael’s toe back in Fox River). Kim was understandably pissed off when Michael got cute with his answers. ”A place you will never find him” wasn’t as specific a reply as Kim had requested. So Kim decided to go against the action-movie grain and just kill Michael, then and there. (And I like to think that it wasn’t just his smarts that led him to point his gun but that he was also influenced by Michael’s hitting him with that soccer-mom car. Insult + injury = Getting hit with a lame car.) But alas, Kim was thwarted by the president, who insisted on speaking with Michael alone.

Like she could even pretend that she wasn’t interested in the tape after that; she tried to play coy, saying she’d had many conversations with her brother. Well, she obviously had a lot of damaging ones if she stopped her parade and delayed her speech two hours to have a private chat with Michael, who could have been killed and buried by the Company by the time she was thanking her hometown.

Michael walked out of his meeting with the president with his head held high, convinced that he and Linc were well on their way toward a pardon. After all, not only did the recording (date stamp be damned) clearly indicate that Steadman was alive after Linc had gone to appeals court; it also implied an incestuous relationship. (Ick, I hope they were at least half siblings or something.) Before the president heard the tape, Michael gave her a warning by saying, ”You might want to keep this in the family.” Apparently she did.

But Kim (after meeting with the mysteriously mute man and his ”SONA” folder) claimed that he and the Company also knew the president’s dirty, dirty little secrets. The president accepted this as fact very quickly — as she should have. The Company was relying on her to be their puppet; it’s likely they researched her thoroughly and had her phones tapped for ages. So instead of pardoning Michael and Linc, the president made a different kind of important announcement: She told Chicago she had cancer and was resigning.

I wonder if Kellerman, watching her speech live, looking longingly at her on the TV screen, immediately knew that his dream woman had been discarded by the Company the same way he had been by them and by her. Or maybe he believed her cancer story for just a moment. Hey, you never know. People have all kinds of false impressions. Bellick told Sucre that Haywire ”fell.”

So what do you think? Will Sucre trick and then elude Bellick at the airport? Will C-Note’s deal with Wheeler mean the end for Mahone? What does SONA mean? Who will be the one to finally capture T-Bag? And to the MiSa fans out there: Was Michael’s ”I love you both” more emotionally satisfying than his first ”Me too”? (Hey, at least he didn’t say ”ditto” either time, right?)