Prison Break 4.14: "Just Business"

I must admit to being completely shocked by the events of this episode. The only plot element that I might have guessed, if pressed, would have been T-Bag's decision to seek redemption. Nearly everything else was a stunning reminder that the writers for "Prison Break" haven't lost their mojo yet.

The first half of the episode lulled me into a false sense of security. I never thought that Michael and the Escape Squad would be able to retrieve and keep Scylla, but I thought Mahone's connections would give the team an opportunity to make a better deal for their own survival. With the Company on the heels of Scylla, that seemed to be a safe assumption. I never considered, even for a moment, that the General would regain control of the situation.

Now we see the intended purpose of Michael's medical condition, and I heartily approve. The General once taunted Lincoln with knowledge of their father's true activities as part of the Company, and now it looks like that will mesh with Lincoln's new mission to recover Scylla in exchange for Michael's life. At this point, I have no expectation that this particular status quo will last beyond a couple of episodes. Fortunes are shifting far too quickly for that to be the case.

What I like about Lincoln's sudden rise to group leadership is that it plays on the strengths he displayed in the third season. As much of an interlude as the third season feels like in retrospect, it now feels like a necessary prelude to the current season, especially in terms of character development and motivation. This may be Michael's story in the end, but Lincoln's personal journey is just as important.

I doubt Mahone will remain in custody for long; his former allies have been questionable for quite some time, after all, and there's no telling where they will choose to take him. For that matter, if Lincoln makes his deal with the General, it might include getting Mahone back for the team. Now that the two of them are on better terms, Lincoln might find Mahone's intellect to be a valuable asset. He's seen enough from Mahone to know he's a match for Michael on any day.

T-Bag was once a character without a purpose, but his plot thread this season has been nothing short of compelling. T-Bag is the worst of the worst, yet it's hard not to appreciate the tragedy of his attempt at another chance for a new life. Does he deserve that chance, after all that he has done? That's hard to say, but he's damn lucky he didn't find redemption through a bullet between the eyes.

Two more episodes remain before the winter hiatus, and according to most sources, the remaining order of six episodes is still on the production schedule. The interesting rumor is that FOX might commission two additional episodes to wrap up the series, should they choose not to renew. At this point, I think that would be the perfect endgame scenario. The series beat the odds this season, after all, and it's far better to go out with a bang.


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