There are only three more episodes left of "Prison Break" before the makeshift finale (unless the strike ends soon), and things are really heating up in Panama. Figuratively as well as literally. This season long ago won the prize for "sweatiest television season," and by now it is just overkill. It's hot in Panama. We get the point.

"Under & Out" was actually one of the strongest episodes in a while, perhaps all season. "Prison Break" might be over the top and have the most confusing and nonsensical conspiracy storylines in the history of television, but it does have a few strengths. Two of those are the interplay between characters when they are all forced to work together and the ability to build dramatic tension. Both strengths were utilized effectively in "Under & Out."

Next time on 'Survivor'

With Sammy (Laurence Mason) out of the way, the dig is going quite smoothly. Seriously, Michael (Wentworth Miller) and company truly missed their calling because they are quite accomplished diggers. Primo tunnel, truly. The group has grown larger with the addition of every ones favorite CO/bounty hunter/ultimate fighter/crybaby Brad Bellick (Wade Williams) and the basketball loving McGrady (Carlo Alban). Honestly, did anyone really think that McGrady wouldn't eventually end up in the crew, despite what Michael kept saying?

So, they are right on schedule to dig themselves out. Then Mother Nature throws a tiny little curveball. Ok, maybe a big one. It starts raining and pouring (and somewhere the old man is snoring), and the tunneling inmates soon discover that their hole will collapse if the rain keeps up. Now, the tower guards are pretty incompetent, but they might notice if a gaping chasm suddenly appears in no man's land. That would be bad (in case anyone was wondering), so the boys start working double time.

Side note: the digging, complaining and sweating must have caused some delusions because suddenly a few of the inmates begin to think that they are competing on "Survivor" instead of breaking out of a hellish Panamanian prison. Alliances both likely and unlikely are formed as all contestants hope to win the million. It is no surprise that T-Bag (Robert Knepper) and Lechero (Robert Wisdom) join forces as they are by far the two most ruthless men in the group, although the jury is still out on Whistler (Chris Vance).

Linc and Suc's excellent adventure

Speaking of the old Whistle, he has a mini-crisis after Gretchen (Jodi Lyn O'Keefe) abducts Sofia (Danay Garcia) and demands that Whistler provide her with the coordinates she seeks, since he happens to know them. Michael worries that Whistler will betray him and give Gretchen what she wants, thus making the rest of them expendable. Fortunately for Michael and company, Whistler plays hardball with Gretchen and only gives her half the coordinates. He assures her that she will receive the other half when everyone makes it out safe and sound.

There is other action on the outside as well, and most of it concerns Lincoln (Dominic Purcell) and Sucre (Amaury Nolasco) working on some last-minute preparations for the escape. After all, it would be unfortunate if they didn't do their part and Michael and Whistler ended up getting shot right after emerging from the earth. Actually, that would be one hell of a plot twist.

Sucre runs into trouble as he is brought in by one of the guards to have a "talk." Apparently, there is an arrest warrant out for Sucre's alias Jorge Rivera, and he seems to be in a little bit of a pickle. Hmm, wonder who could have set him up? Considering it wasn't Lincoln or Sofia and everyone else is in prison, process of elimination leaves Gretchen. Now why would she go and do a thing like that? Not our Gretchen.

Lincoln has better luck and accomplishes his task. He hijacks a bus full of people (with a very small knife) and drives it straight into a telephone pole. This takes out the primary power in the prison and leaves the boys with a whopping 30 seconds to make it out into no man's land and through the fence before the generator turns on. With seven men in the party one can imagine that not all of them will make it in time. An educated guess would be that at least one will get caught. Or maybe shot. Seeing how trigger happy the Sona guards are it seems like shot is the safe bet.

And then…?

And that's where we end. Another signature "Prison Break" cliffhanger. It looks like the breakout will assuredly happen next week, and that provides loyal fans with some excitement. Once they actually break out of prison, all bets are off. If the strike ends shortly and the season is somehow completed in full, it will be interesting to see where the story goes from there. Who won't make it out of Sona? Will the escapees stay together after the breakout or go off on their own? What happens with Gretchen and The Company? And who is Whistler, really? Guess we'll start to get some answers in the next two weeks.

T-Bag quote of the night

"Welcome to the coalmine, canary" Just some friendly words of encouragement to Michael as Michael begins his digging shift.

What did you think of last night's episode? According to the preview for next week, at least one person will get left behind. Who do you think it will be? Comment and let us know!

Story by Derek Krebs
Starpulse contributing writer