Prison Break 4.7: "Five the Hard Way"

Somehow, the hunt for Scylla continues to be easier than anything Michael Scofield and the Escape Squad have ever done, yet the writers continue to make it damned entertaining. I'm also still convinced that this is designed to be the last season, since the battle against the Company is racing to a logical end.

Three main plot threads are covered in the episode, but two of them dominate. Michael's latest ordeal with T-Bag plays out in a believable fashion, especially when Gretchen's involvement is taken into account. T-Bag has enough potential for violence without someone propping him up, but Gretchen's amoral self-interest fuels the fire. I was worried that the writers would play up sympathy for Gretchen, but they're playing her as the ultimate wild card instead.

Michael had the chance to demonstrate his usual mental prowess along the way, both in terms of decoding the book (which makes me wonder how quickly he could have done it all along, given the chance) and setting up their rescue. In this situation, right from the beginning, he's banking on Mahone's equally formidable abilities. (In fact, Agent Self does the same; all in all, a good episode for Mahone!).

The caper in Vegas was a lot of fun, and it finally threw a complication into the too-easy card-copying gambit. The writers did a nice job of explaining why Lincoln would be too distracted to realize that Roland (I finally remember his name) was going to do something stupid. For that matter, once Lincoln explained the family medical history with Sara and Sucre had the best shocking bait-and-switch of his life, I doubt any of them gave a damn about Roland.

The upshot to that plot thread is that the final piece of the Scylla puzzle will not come as easily, and that gives the writers a little time to maneuver in terms of fleshing out the new blueprint, the connection to Gate, and how resolving the encryption on Scylla is going to work. I expect that if there's going to be a high profile death during this phase of the game, it will come during the mission to complete Scylla.

Agent Self's Mahone-inspired survival tactic may actually set the stage for how the Escape Squad will get into the Company stronghold. It was perhaps too easy for Self to push the General for an invitation into the club, but what better way to ensure that the good guys have the access they need? It's certainly no less believable than anything else this season!


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