Tonight on Prison Break (Fox, 9/8c), “Whip” can only share in the audience’s befuddlement, having witnessed ISIL bigwig Abu Ramal emerge from solitary confinement at Ogygia to immediately embrace escape artist Michael Scofield.
Or is Michael (gulp) in fact no more? Has Kaniel Outis taken over?
Augustus Prew spoke with TVLine about Whip’s adverse reaction to Michael’s unsavory alliance, how his character fits into the escape plan and… wait, what is Whip’s real name, anyway?
TVLINE | You actually filmed all of Prison Break before Pure Genius, right?
I did, yeah. It was one of the craziest summers ever. I booked them both in the same week, and we were a bit “naughty.” We told Pure Genius I was going to do Prison Break, and we told Prison Break I was going to do Pure Genius, with the hope that they would both get scared and figure it out — and fortunately they did. The timing just happened to worked out. I did the pilot for Pure Genius, and then I went straight to Vancouver and started on Prison Break, and then we went to Morocco and did that whole leg, and then back to Vancouver. Then I was back in L.A. a week and we started on Pure Genius.
TVLINE | So you did do some of Prison Break‘s Morocco location shoot. I wasn’t sure.
Oh yes. That actually was my favorite part of it. Lots of fun in Morocco!
TVLINE | Abu Ramal has just been sprung from solitary, and the first thing he does is make a beeline for Michael and they hug it out like bros. What is Whip thinking, seeing Michael embrace this notorious terrorist?
I think Whip is thinking exactly what the audience is thinking; he becomes the audience’s eyes and ears in this episode. Without giving too much away about Michael and Whip’s relationship, you find out that they have been doing this for a long time now, and they have become each other’s family. And now Whip is having to figure out whether Michael has turned, or whether the government turned on them. He just doesn’t know who to trust. Has Michael actually become Kaniel Outis? Is Michael Scofield no more? Whip is grappling with what every character is grappling with, except he is the one who would know — and the fact that he doesn’t should be very worrying for everyone else.
TVLINE | My understanding from this week’s dialogue is that Whip and Michael were doing ops for the CIA or something…?
There’s a speech I give pretty soon within this episode where you out that they’ve been breaking people out of prisons for the CIA, and Abu Ramal was one of those people. But they have since realized that the CIA has decided to leave them there [in Ogygia]. They have no idea why they have been left in this prison to die, but they have. They were supposed to be in this prison for a week, and it’s now four years later. So something has very badly gone wrong. Whip is someone who has never had a family, really, he’s not someone who trusts people freely. Prison is kind of all he really knows.
TVLINE | So even the thought that Michael might be screwing him over has him wigging out this week.
It’s got him completely twisted, exactly. And it’s a while until we find out if we can trust Michael or not.
TVLINE | Michael of course is all about manipulating people to exploit specific skill sets. First of all, does Whip have a real name? And secondly, what does he bring to the table?
Whip has a real name but I’m not going to tell you it — the reveal is too good! Whip was a name made up by Michael, because he’s his “whip hand.” Whip has a very short temper, and Michael knows that he can use Whip to maintain order within the prison. You haven’t seen Whip “turn” yet, but when you do it’s like, Oh my God. This is a person not to mess with, ever. Whip’s role for Michael is to be a confidante — they look out for each other — but mainly Whip is what Michael can’t be. Michael is not able to get violent with people. He can pretend to be, but he will never directly do it, I don’t think. That is not Michael Scofield, but that is Whip.
TVLINE | I have to say, their escape plan — climbing into the ceiling, crawling over to the roof and popping open that grating — seems a bit too simple. Does it maybe not go off so easily?
[Laughs] That escape plan they have tried every week for the past four years. There is something that is supposed to happen that has never happened — the lights are supposed to go out. But even if they do go out, they still have to jump over the fence, go over the roof…. It’s a whole thing. There are clues of it in Michael’s tattoos, as always, but I don’t know whether that plan is ever going to happen. Something is telling me I don’t think it will ever get off to a good start. So yes, they end up having to think on their feet, and it’s pretty crazy what happens!