Sweet Caroline is the 41st episode of Prison Break and is the 19th episode of second season. It is also the 3rd episode before the season finale. First broadcast on March 5, 2007, the episode was written by Karyn Usher and directed by Dwight Little. The episode's premise features the confrontation between the protagonist, Michael Scofield, and Caroline Reynolds, a major recurring character who was instrumental in framing Lincoln Burrows for her brother's murder. This episode is also one of the few episodes in the second season where the entire regular cast is featured.
As Benjamin Miles "C-Note" Franklin (Rockmond Dunbar) was suspended by the hangman's knot, a prison guard caught sight of him, opened his cell, and held him, while a second guard cut the rope.
At the holding facility infirmary, C-Note begs the guard to allow him to use the phone, assuring him that the lives of his loved ones are in danger. The guard eventually agrees, and C-Note speaks to Agent Lang (Barbara Eve Harris), asking her for Agent Mahone. Lang transfers the call to Agent Wheeler (Jason Davis). C-Note urgently tells Wheeler to tell Mahone "I'll do whatever you want, but don't hurt them."
In an interrogation room, C-Note speaks to Agent Wheeler. Brandishing a small tape recorder, Wheeler assures C-Note's safety as he tells him, "Give me Mahone, and I'll give you your life back."
In Chicago, Illinois by the Grand Carlisle Hotel, US President Caroline Reynolds (Patricia Wettig) travels down Beaumont Avenue via a motorcade. She disembarks, while Paul Kellerman (Paul Adelstein) watches her through the crosshairs of his sniper rifle.
Michael Scofield (Wentworth Miller), Lincoln Burrows (Dominic Purcell), and Sara Tancredi (Sarah Wayne Callies) conclude their meeting with Cooper Green and assure him that there is nothing more that he can do for the fugitive group. Lincoln announces that he will approach his old friend from his days at the dock, Derrick Sweeney, to assist in their escape plan. Michael endeavors to procure a full presidential pardon from Reynolds; he tells Lincoln and Sara that he loves them both as he departs. Lincoln leaves as well, leaving Sara alone.
F.B.I. Agent Alexander Mahone (William Fichtner) flashes his badge at the maid, who gives him the key to Sara's suite. He opens the door, looks around, and leaves, while Sara silently stays hidden under the bed. Sara attempts to leave, as Mahone appears at the doorway and points his gun at her. He demands to know where Michael is. When Sara denies knowing, Mahone verbally recaps to her all the times Sara met with Michael since the escape, assuring her that he is aware of her knowledge of Michael's whereabouts.
Mahone and Sara remain in the hotel suite. Mahone reveals his pills and consumes one. Sara tells Mahone that she knows a junkie when she sees one, and asks Mahone which drug he is taking. Mahone replies, "Do you want one?" as he tosses her one pill. When Sara recognizes the pill, she tells Mahone that benzodiazepines, such as the 20 milligrams of midazolam Mahone takes daily, are heavy tranquilizers, and that he is destroying himself. They speak of their problems further as Sara urgently tells Mahone that he needs help. The two have a short scuffle when Sara's mobile phone rings, and Sara uses the opportunity to grab Mahone's gun. She retrieves her phone and leaves the suite. Mahone reveals that he kept the gun unloaded, and calls Agent Lang whom he had already contacted so that she could follow Sara, who will presumably lead them to Michael Scofield.
At Mexico City International Airport, T-Bag (Robert Knepper) anxiously waits at a luggage carousel for the bag containing Charles Westmoreland's five million dollars. T-Bag spots Brad Bellick (Wade Williams) and slinks away, attempting to find his luggage at the outdoor section of the carousel. A luggage handler spots T-Bag and attempts to stop him. The two struggle, but T-Bag is forced to run as an alarm is sounded.
Fernando Sucre (Amaury Nolasco) is at his aunt's home, with Maricruz Delgado (Camille Guaty), as he sees a newscast on television featuring T-Bag running away from a luggage carousel. He reasons that T-Bag must have been trying to retrieve the bag filled with five million dollars, and he tells Maricruz that he intends to collect it. She replies that it is not necessary. The two kiss, and Sucre leaves.
He later returns, wandering through the house alone calling out, until he is cornered by Bellick, holding a T-20Z taser and a pair of handcuffs. He says that Maricruz and his aunt are away, collecting food for "the Snuffleupagus". Bellick escorts a handcuffed Sucre out of his aunt's home, telling him of the circumstances surrounding Haywire's death, informing him of the one hundred thousand dollar rewards on their heads. Sucre then informs Bellick that the five million dollars is nearby, and that he will reveal the location if he agrees to free him in the end. Bellick listens to Sucre's claim with great intrigue.
At the shipyard, Lincoln makes contact with his friend Derrick Sweeney. Lincoln writes his favor on a piece of paper, telling Derrick that he needs it done "today." Derrick agrees, despite asserting that he did not want trouble. Sweeney later gives Lincoln three tickets, as well as a little money and two beers, telling him "Good luck."
During the Presidential rally, Kellerman continues to take aim, as Michael shakes hands with the President. He is quickly apprehended, as the President finds a crumpled note in her hand that states, "We have the tape."
The suited men who apprehend Michael bring him in handcuffs to a kitchen and make him sit on the only chair in view. Agent William Kim (Reggie Lee) appears, ordering his men to confiscate all cameras in the area, and order them to leave him alone with Michael. Kim attempts to interrogate Michael, demanding Lincoln's location, which Michael does not reveal beyond "a place you will never find him." Kim takes the opportunity to acquaint Michael with his history of enrollment at a military academy.
Michael Scofield coughs up blood as President Reynolds appears and tells Agent Kim that she wishes to remain alone with Michael. Kim begrudgingly leaves. Michael tells Caroline about the tape; he tells the President that twenty different copies in twenty different locations have been hidden, and that the tape will be revealed to the public unless she grants Burrows and himself a full Presidential Pardon. Michael allows her to speak to Lincoln Burrows as he reveals to her the contents of the tape.
As they listen to the tape, it is revealed that Reynolds and her brother Terrence Steadman (Jeff Perry) spoke vaguely about the faking of his death and the framing of Burrows, but most shocking of all, the recording insinuated an incestuous relationship between Reynolds and Steadman. Shocked, the President manages to ask Michael if her brother's suicide was quick and painless. Michael accurately relays to her the circumstances of Steadman's suicide.
Reynolds informs Michael of the vastness of The Company; she calls herself a pawn, insisting that it is out of her control. She likens The Company to a "cancer" consuming America. Nevertheless, Michael demands a presidential pardon "today," and that it be transmitted verbally on the news, while Michael is allowed to leave the area. Reynolds reluctantly agrees to Michael's terms.
Reynolds meets Agent Kim, and demands that he release Michael; shocked, he refuses. Reynolds reminds him that she is the Commander in Chief while Kim is a "corporate lackey". A visible schism emerges between Caroline and Kim's suited men, as Michael is allowed to walk out the door. He waits at a nearby street corner, Third and Racine, for Sara. They are in contact by phone, as he happily tells her that their pardon plan is a success. Michael meets Lincoln as well, and informs him of the apparent success of their plan, as the two watch the television, awaiting the presidential news conference.
Agent Kim enters a limousine, where he converses with a suited gentlemen referred to as "Pad Man." Kim informs him of the situation with Caroline; that she normally played ball with the Company but now intends to pardon the brothers. "Pad Man" listens as he holds a file with the name "SONA" emblazoned on it.
Kim stops Caroline before she enters the media room, assuring her that "we know your secret too". President Reynolds speaks to the media, informing them of a very important announcement. Rather than pardoning the brothers, she tells the media that she has "a very malignant form of cancer", and that she will be resigning from the race and the presidency, effective immediately. Furious, Linc throws a bottle, as the two brothers realize that their only course of action left is to disappear forever.
- At the campaign rally, banners can be seen promoting Reynolds's campaign website, Reynolds-Again.com. This website, much like Europeangoldfinch.net, exists in the real world and can accordingly be viewed as an Easter egg.