Prison Break

Season 4 Episode 7

Five The Hard Way

Aired Monday 8:00 PM Oct 06, 2008 on FOX
out of 10
User Rating
468 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Lincoln, Sara, Sucre and Roland travel to Las Vegas in order to retrieve the next card.
Gretchen recruits T-Bag.
Wyatt has plans for Self.

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  • Overall, the last step in the main plot, with some funny scenes, a nice twist and a step forward to the last step towards Scylla.

    Another card caught and some development. Let's start with Mahone, he had his own time to escape and be a detective, nothing thrilling. Then we have Don Self and his own filler time too, solved for now, then we had two main events, one is copy the card, and another is about the GATE.

    The card situation was better and interesting; they stretched the situation but was funny to see Sucre in that position and the twist. Lincoln conversation with Sara was nicely done. The ending of that plot was interesting.

    As expected, T-bag made one more friendship, which is predictable, like the end of this episode, where you already know that he will not go back Fox River. Speaking of this, Mahone escaping T-bag was a little joke. He escaped to save Michael, but it's strange how he discovered everything so fast, too improvised. Didn´t like the ending, I don´t understand what is special about a phone call of Gretchen.

    Overall, the last step in the main plot, with some funny scenes, a nice twist and a step forward to the last step towards Scylla.

    Presentation Phase - » (9/10) Complication Phase - » (8/10)

    Climax Phase - » (9/10), Ending - » (7/10) Details/Progress (To point A to B) -» (10/10)

    Time and Scene Management - » (9/10)

    Plot Details/Holes- » (8/10)

    Suspense/Tension - » (7/10)

    Surprises/Shocks/Twists - » (8/10)*2.moreless
  • Now then. Now then, now then...

    Now then. I've been mulling over exactly what to write in this particular paragraph since about 10.30 on Thursday night, when Gretchen demanded T-Bag's release and the screen cut to black on the seventh new episode of Prison Break in a row (don't get too excited about that guys… no new ep next week). First of all, I'll get the plaudits out of the way. 'Five The Hard Way' is, for the most part, an exceptionally well-written episode. It picks up the overall narrative pace dramatically, and expertly marries the A story, retrieving the Scylla cards, with one of the B stories, T-Bag's infiltration of GATE. It's good to see the show's biggest hitters thrown together once more, and the actors pull it off admirably: when Michael is held captive by T-Bag, the chemistry between the two threatens to burn a hole in your television set. There's the added bonus, of course, of this providing the viewer with some answers relating to the importance of GATE (and also, as a bi-product, Michael's illness), and by episode's end, separate strands start to be drawn together in a highly satisfying way. There's Gretchen too, of course, who thankfully hasn't mellowed in her post-Company escape and is as psychotic a crazy **** as she ever was (take for your two examples the cold determination in her eyes as she severs the throat of the GATE employee, or the malicious glee with which she cuts open Theodore's arm). And let's not forget Don Self and The General, which plays out just perfectly: the scene in the Company big-wig's office, in particular, is wonderfully thrilling. I'm warming more and more to Mr. Self with each week and am starting to be of the belief that he could be one of the show's most memorable characters. All good stuff then, and a recipe for edge-of-your-seat success… and then they went to Vegas. Don't get me wrong, I have no problem with the change of locale, or indeed the blatant exploitation of their presence in that locale (were all those long, lingering shots of the city really necessary?), nor do I take umbrage with Roland's little life of petty gambling crime. What I'm not too sure of is poor, poor Jude Ciccollella. While it was good to see Mike from 24 back on our screens again in some form, someone needs to fire his agent for putting him forward for the role of 'pervy homo/bizarre pimp daddy' pronto.

    Right. Let's cut to the chase. A large proportion of this narrative made me uncomfortable… and at first, I couldn't quite put my finger on why. There's the sleaze element to begin: the manner with which the director chooses to portray Jude's apparent sexual interest in Sucre. Now, one could make accusations of stereotypical representation here; that the show is reinforcing the notion that gay automatically equals 'fornicate, fornicate, fornicate'. But then, the narratalogical context should also be considered. The objective is to woo him and, significantly, this had already been attempted with Sara. Her flirtation, while far more subtle than Sucre removing his top, flexing his muscles and the camera zooming in on his bum, was sexual objectification nevertheless and therefore places the gay element on an equal footing. Then there's Sucre's hesitation, nay revulsion, at the notion of pretending to be a homo Perfectly in keeping with his character, I say, and also none of the other characters even batted an eyelid. So… all clear, right? Wrong. Then they entered the bedroom and everything really started to fall apart. Having set up the notion of Sucre playing 'boy toy' to the gay man, they include the remark 'this is Vegas… any kind of pleasure is acceptable here' (or words to that effect), implying somehow that this sort of desire wouldn't be acceptable elsewhere. Not a good move, guys but equally, not the worst they make. No, their error is in the thread's pay-off, the sudden, inexplicably bizarre revelation that actually, this guy has a wife, can't pleasure anyone due to an accident and wants Sucre to insert his manly man penis into her for gratification. What the holy mother of f**k? Let me just get my head around that again… Jude took one look at Sucre, thought 'oh, my wife would love to be penetrated by that guy who keeps looking at me suggestively and is probably a raging homo suggestively looked at him in response and offered him some money to get jiggy (thinking that Sucre would believe he would be getting jiggy with him), and then threw the revelation of heterosexual lovin' on an apparently homosexual man?! What? None of this makes any sense whatsoever… and furthermore, it's excessively misogynistic. "Oh yeah, I can't do the manly thing and insert something in one of her holes, which obviously she needs in order to get by, I mean come on, how can she live without having an erect penis shoved up her every day?, so come on in, enjoy the fun, f**k my woman." Honestly, if the girl is so sexually frustrated and deprived, can't she go find HERSELF some fun? Isn't she capable of winning the hearts of ex-con Mexicans who have women they supposedly loved dearly twenty minutes ago and have a child with?! (Yeah writers, dropped the ball on this character, didn't you?) Or is it just that 'sick, depraved' Jude enjoys picking up men he believes to be homo Does he want to watch? Who knows?

    Certainly not the writers, one expects. The fact is, this narrataillogical U-turn stinks of being backed into a corner and feeling the need to make a hasty retreat. Heaven forbid the guy might actually have been gay and, even worse, woe of woes, that Sucre may have had do a little bit of entertaining while the card was downloading, which, let's admit and all breathe a collective, heterosexist sigh of relief, would only have been for a matter of minutes anyway (it would've constituted what, say, a small peck on the lips and maybe a bit of an ass-grab? I think I'd be willing to do that with a woman if it meant my freedom…) We couldn't have that, no, so instead we have a penis-less codger with a stunning wife who must have c**k or else she'll explode. Or something. Pimp daddy Cicollella, giving his woman just what she needs. And Sucre is more than happy to give it to her: the glee with which the line 'you want me to bang your wife?' is delivered is decidedly telling: not only does it reek of rampaging, testosterone-fuelled sexism but it's treated as the moment with which the audience can relax from their supposed 'unease' with the dreaded notion of homosexuality and thank the Lord we're back to good, wholesome, heterosexual intercourse. What a f*****g relief. This almost ruined the episode for me in all honesty, and you might think that's going a bit overboard. But think about it… a man being instructed to f** someone's wife by her husband is considered more 'wholesome', if you will, than the notion of two consenting same-sex adults going at it. It's a minute detail in an episode chocked full of plot movement goodness but it's one that still rankles with me now. And I'm sorry, but I can't consciously overlook it. Bye bye 1.5 points.moreless
  • We learn what may be wrong with Michael

    In this episode of Prison Break, the following happens. The team get word of where T–bag might be, but it's a trap and he's there ready and waiting for them. Alex manages to escape, but T-bag still has some of the team including Michael. He takes them back to the apartment where he was been staying. Gretchen is there too, but she is staying out of sight. Lincoln tells Sara about Michael's nose bleed and that their mother had a type of brain tumour, which eventually killed her. Alex heads to where the ankle monitors say they are but when he gets there they have gone and the monitors are on the table. A piece of paper on the floor, says GATE, most likely left as a clue by Michael. Michael and T-bag find the hidden tunnel in GATE. Alex turns up and they lock him up down there. As they leave the building they find a phone ringing and they are told to realise t-bag to be able to get the rest of the blue prints of GATE. When Michael is handed the phone he realises that it is in fact Gretchen on the other end of the phone.moreless
  • Vegas!

    The fun continues as part of the unholy crew heads vegas. Indeed, Linc, Sucre, Sara and Roland are in quest of a 5th card in vegas. Meanwhile the others concentrates in the break-in part. The story is broken in 2 and both are equal awesome. Vegas is fun. sucre priceless. The whole way the got the card was hilarious. Michael, Mahone and Bellick has to deal with T-Bag and it is the beginning of another Scofield-Bagwell partnership and the most amazing thing is that it still works. Gretchen-Bagwell works great too. The big revelation is the blueprints from Whistler`s bird book. That break in promises memorable moments for sure. Michael leaving the message for Mahone who comes in rescue, all great. Meanwhile, Roland screw everything by loosing his gadget. How annoying is the guy? The cliffhanger is great as Michael learns that T-Bag is not alone, he has Gretchen with him.moreless
  • PB as fun as it gets.

    Season 4 seems to pick up big time. First couple of episodes were pretty good, except perhaps for the painful Sara scenes in Eagles and Angels..that was seriously odd. Things are looking much better now. This was so far the best episode of the season, with so much going on. I`m happy they quit the whole Sara crying/whinning stuff and are using her in a more efficient way now. For instance in the previous episode, she was pretty fun at the horse racing and we saw that charming Sara again here, which is much better than what we saw in the first couple of episodes..specially Eagles and Angels.

    No doubt the Gretchen-T-Bag association is pure gold, great interaction. Great to see T-Bag as entertaining as ever, which was not necessarily the case for most of Season 3. And it`s also great to see such efficient use of Mahone this season, he`s been fantastic like always.

    Sucre`s scenes with the card holder were hilarious. He`s been in the background along with Bellick this season and it was refreshing to see him "take one for the team. " :D Roland however is pretty annoying. I know this is how the character is supposed to be but I don`t think the actor is doing a great job anyway.

    Lot`s of things were revealed, mainly the place (part of it) where the break in will take place and it looks like it will be one hell of a ride. Cliffhanger was great (not as great as the Gretchen-Bagwell one tho), looking forward to the Michael-Gretchen reunion.moreless
Charles Emmett

Charles Emmett

Casino Detective

Guest Star

Amanda Tosch

Amanda Tosch


Guest Star

Hector Atreyu Ruiz

Hector Atreyu Ruiz


Guest Star

Cress Williams

Cress Williams


Recurring Role

Shannon Lucio

Shannon Lucio


Recurring Role

Jude Ciccolella

Jude Ciccolella

Howard Scuderi

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (2)

  • QUOTES (15)

    • Michael: This is not a game, Theodore. You need to tell me who you've been talking to.
      T-Bag slaps Michael
      T-Bag: I don't need to do a damn thing. That's the benefit of being the man with the gun.

    • General: (to Wyatt) I shouldn't have to remind you, killing a federal agent is a complicated job, even in our line of work.

    • Gretchen: (to T-Bag) If I didn't think you were valuable, you'd be dead.

    • Gretchen: (to T-Bag) I am going to get Scylla, and it will either by with you, or through you.

    • T-Bag: (to Michael) You and me and a dark hole, feels like old times, eh, pretty?

    • General: (to Self) Tell me, Donald, how did you play this moment out in your head? Did you picture yourself, chest out, jaw squared, ready to demand answers? Did you, at any time in your fantasy, imagine you would be this nervous?

    • Mahone: T-Bag's a psychopath, but he's a psychopath with a plan. He obviously needs something from Michael, and as long as Michael doesn't give it to him, he'll keep breathing.

    • Lincoln: We're going to Vegas.
      Roland: Aw, yeah! I call shotgun!

    • T-Bag: Scylla! How about that? Does that ring a bell?
      Gretchen: What do you know about Scylla?

    • Michael: (to T-Bag) You've got the gun pointed at the one person who can help you. So why don't you stop wasting my time?

    • Michael: Hey, um...promise me something, will you?
      Sara: Yeah.
      Michael: Can you get me Carrot Top's autograph? Cause I just think that would make this whole thing worthwhile.
      Sara: (laughs) Be safe.

    • Self: I've been a part of hundreds of operations during my career and I'll tell you one thing: I've never been on the top of someone else's hit list.
      Mahone: What are you talking about?
      Self: What am I talking about? If this Company hit man Wyatt can find me once, it's only a matter of time until he creeps up in the back of my rearview mirror again.
      Mahone: That's not true. 'Cause you'll never see him coming at all if he's coming after you.
      Self: Yeah. That's comforting.

    • Mahone: I've tracked down rapists, killers, even former military, but a structural engineer from Illinois was able to get to me. Wanna know how?
      Self: Yeah, I wanna know.
      Mahone: He stopped running. He got aggressive. He took the game to me. That's your play. That's your only play.

    • T-Bag: The last time a pretty little filly like yourself knocked me senseless and tied me to a chair, I had to pay for it.
      Gretchen: You still might.

    • Wyatt: My fee just doubled, by the way.

  • NOTES (1)

    • Original International Air Dates:
      UK: October 7, 2008 on Sky One
      Latin America: November 11, 2008 on FX
      Belgium: November 16, 2008 on 2BE
      Norway: November 20, 2008 on TV3
      Sweden: December 1, 2008 on TV3
      Australia: December 3, 2008 on Channel 7/Prime
      Spain: February 23, 2009 on FOX TV Spain
      Germany: May 14, 2009 on RTL
      Poland: October 18, 2009 on Polsat
      Finland: January 5, 2010 on MTV3
      Slovakia: July 30, 2010 on JOJ
      Czech Republic: August 25, 2012 on FANDA


    • Michael: Can you get me Carrot Top's autograph?

      Carrot Top is a famous comedian who headlines at the Luxor Hotel in Las Vegas.