'Prison Break': Are you my mother?

Jodilynokeefe_prisonbreak_s4_240 The midseason finale of Prison Break gives us plenty to chew over while we spend the long cold winter bereft of Breakouts. Key questions: Is The Company evil or not? What's the deal with Michael and Linc's mom? How many double-crosses did Gretchen really think she could pull off? And why the hell wasn't Self the one who end up gut-shot and abandoned in a parking lot?

Once again, the Breakouts are scattered across the country, dealing with their own issues and making their own mistakes. Michael is holed up in a lovely country estate in the middle of nowhere, surrounded, if the lead thug is to be believed, by three varieties of mountain lions. Sure, why not. A friendly shrink tells Michael that his mom is actually alive and well and working for The Company, and The Company is bent on saving the world, not destroying it. Scylla will change everything, and if Michael joins The Company, he'll run the whole shebang with his long-lost mom. Michael is unwilling to listen.

But the shrink keeps pressing, at least in part because The General is demanding results. In an ideal world, Michael will come to The Company with his own free will. If that's not an option, there's a spiffy little chemical cocktail that will make him pliable -- and eat his brain. When time gets short, The General orders the shrink to inject Michael. If he doesn't wake up? Oh well...

But Michael has his own plans -- although the thugs tell him there are no weapons, they forget that they're talking to a man who broke out of prison using tattoos and common household items. And looky here, there's a household item that might come in handy! Apparently industrial-strength drain cleaner added to a water heater leads to a perfectly timed explosion, and Michael makes a run for it. The thugs chase him, but just as it looks like Michael's trapped, Sarah comes barreling in to save him. See, The General's daughter objected to the whole idea of a chemical lobotomy and other unpleasantness, so she told Sarah where to find her man. Now they're back together, but they have to deal with the news that Michael's mom is very much alive.

Breakouts Team B

Linc, Gretchen, Self and T-Bag are in Miami , tracking the guy who took Scylla. Gretchen applauds The General's strategy -- make a bunch of enemies work together and you pretty much guarantee they won't be plotting against you. That doesn't mean they're not plotting against each other... Linc is doing his stoic bad-ass routine, which involves lots of split-second violence. It's nice, but it lacks finesse. Self and T-Bag band together and decide that Self should be in charge. Linc bristles, but since Gretchen doesn't care. It looks like things are going Self's way... until Mahone walks in. The balance of power swings back to Linc.

That doesn't mean the scheming stops. Gretchen tries her feminine wiles on Linc, which fails. Gretchen figures out who stole Scylla and goes off alone to meet him. She negotiates -- I'll turn over my team, help you escape from The Company... blah blah betrayalcakes. Then she tells the Breakouts that she's found the ultimate boss and leads the team into an ambush.

Now here's where I get confused: Self is seriously pissed that Gretchen turned on them, so he starts spouting insults: You're a whore! Your mom was a whore! Your dad turned tricks at truck stops! Nyahh! And for some reason, those tender words cause Gretchen to change alliances AGAIN -- she shoots the other guy's goons, because... being called a whore makes her think of her daughter? If anything she should have shot Self right then. ANYway, Scylla guy reacts to Gretchen's betrayal of her betrayal by shooting her in the gut. Linc kills Scylla guy, and then the team gathers around gut-shot Gretchen. Self wants Linc to kill her -- she'll give us up! T-Bag turns better angel -- she has a daughter! Linc decides to let her live, but has stern words about what will happen if she rats on them. So now Gretchen is out of the show and Self is still alive and whining? Do not want!

Back at Breakouts B-Team HQ, Scylla boy's phone rings. Linc answers: Whoever you are, I'm coming after you. The woman on the other end listens, impassive. Who was that? Her companion asks. My son, she replies.

Highlights, thoughts and odds and ends

  • The whole deal is apparently that The General wants Michael to join The Company and have Michael save and/or take over the world with his mom. This seems... convoluted, to say the least. Especially when you realize that Mama is actually the one who engineered the double-cross about Scylla. What the heck is going on?
  • Michael is resistant to the shrink's arguments, refusing to believe his mom is alive. "She left you and your brother to protect you!" the shrink says. "From the dangers of photosynthesis work?" Michael scoffs. Heh.
  • I loved the old photo album with pictures of L'il Mike and Linc as robots. Even better was the House Thug handing Michael a roll of aluminum warp and telling him he could make himself a new tinfoil hat.
  • Seriously, where does Self get off trying to be in charge? He's such an ass! Please, won't someone kill him soon?
  • Self tells Linc that he and T-Bag have taken a vote about leadership. "This being Florida,   you came up a little short." Then there's a noise outside, and Mahone walks in. "Uh-oh, looks like there's been a recount," Gretchen drawls. Hee!

So what did you think? How is this season holding up at the midpoint? Are you in love with the new direction, or does it leave you scratching your head? Talk!