EPISODE 104 “Cute Poison”

Airdate: 2005-09-12

Asleep in his darkened cell, Lincoln jerks awake as the fluorescent lights snap on and the cell door slams open. Bellick storms into the cell with a crowd of C.O.s behind him. The C.O.s wrestle Lincoln off his cot as Bellick barks, “On your feet.” Lincoln struggles against the guards, demanding to know what’s happening. His questions are ignored by the guards, who rush him into a long, sterile corridor toward a metal door.The door opens to reveal an execution chamber. Faceless onlookers watch Lincoln impassively through a glass window. Lincoln’s eyes grow huge as he sees the prepped electric chair. He looks again to Bellick, insisting “I’ve got a month left!” But the C.O.s force Lincoln into the chair and strap down his arms and legs. One C.O. wets Lincoln’s forehead with a sponge while another places a metal halo on his head. Lincoln fights to keep from hyperventilating, begging Bellick for mercy. Bellick leans towards Lincoln and murmurs, “Make your peace.” He pulls a black hood over Lincoln’s face and gives the signal to two C.O.s who pull the control switch. Lincoln’s body begins to shake.

Lincoln wakes up in his cell, still shaking. He sits up, haunted. His head sinks into his hands.

Michael crouches next to the toilet in his cell. He’s managed to pull it out about a foot from the wall and he uses his homemade allen wrench to scrape out the concrete between the cinder blocks. “Open on forty!” an unseen C.O. shouts out. Michael quickly pushes the toilet back to the wall as his cell door opens and Haywire returns. Michael’s new cellmate hops onto the top bunk and Michael asks, “Haywire, you ever thought about breaking out?” Haywire scoffs at the idea. On the outside, he’d face a barrage of halfway houses, psych visits, meds, parole officers, urine tests, and trying to keep a job. Haywire advises Michael that anyone who has suspicions of an escape plan should tell Bellick. “He’ll make life easier for you if…” Haywire trails off, distracted by Michael’s tattoos. “What are they of?” he asks. Michael quickly grabs a long sleeve shirt and covers his skin, telling Haywire curtly, “They’re just tattoos.” A C.O. calls into the cell, “It’s candy time, Haywire.” Haywire walks to the bars where a doctor hands him a cup of meds. Haywire swallows, then opens his mouth and moves his tongue around to prove that he took the pills. As soon as the doctor and the C.O. leave, Haywire pushes past Michael to the toilet and forces himself to vomit up the pills. Michael notes that maybe he’s being given those pills for a reason. Haywire replies, “Yeah, to keep me in their invisible freakin’ handcuffs.” Haywire steps towards Michael. “Seriously, though. Those tattoos. They’re beautiful. Mind if I, you know, see the whole thing?” Michael says yes, he does, and moves towards the opening door as inmates are released for yard time.

Outside, Michael crosses toward Sucre. Before Michael can say a word, Sucre brushes past, saying, “I’m not even talking to you.” Michael’s eyes turn and follow Sucre out, and then lock on Haywire, who stands by himself, staring at Michael’s torso. Michael turns away from Haywire, and rolls up his sleeve. He examines a tattoo on his forearm. It’s an overturned jug spilling liquid down a drain. The jug’s label reads, “CUTE POISON.” As Michael studies the tattoo, he flashes back to his old apartment where a web of documents are affixed to his wall. With a red marker he writes “CUTE POISON” across a page containing a complex chemical equation. Back in the yard, Abruzzi finds Michael and searches his face, suspicious. “What’s the problem?” Abruzzi asks. He pushes further to find out why Michael looks so tortured, Michael nods towards Haywire, who still stares at Michael’s torso. “That’s my new cellmate. He doesn’t sleep.” Which means, Michael tells Abruzzi, there is no digging. Abruzzi tells Michael that either he takes care of his problem, or Abruzzi is going to take care of Michael.

“It’s really coming together, isn’t it?” Warden Pope asks Michael as they survey Michael’s progress on the massive Taj Mahal model. Michael tells Pope that there’s still plenty to do, but they should be ready in time for Pope’s anniversary. Pope, grateful, says he wishes he could pay Michael for his help. Michael mentions that he would appreciate a cellmate transfer, if possible. Pope shakes his head. Bellick is in charge all cell transfers and unless there are extreme circumstances such as violence or sexual predation, the prison is too crowded to accommodate transfer requests. The door to Pope’s main office opens and Becky, Pope’s assistant, walks in closing the door behind her. “Warden, sorry, but your wife is here.” Caught off-guard, Pope slides out of the Taj Mahal room, careful that his wife doesn’t catch a glimpse of her anniversarypresent-to-be.

Pope tries to hurry his wife, Judy, out of the office, but she pauses and studies him. “You’re acting funny. What’s going on in there?” She motions towards the room housing the Taj. Pope tries to placate her, but this only piques her interest further. “This isn’t Toledo all over again, is it?” Pope is wounded by her vague insinuation. She takes a step towards the door, but Michael opens it before she can get any closer. “Warden, I’m not going to be able to cooperate. I’d get killed if I did. Johnson’s still deciding.” A look of relief on his face, Pope orders Michael back to his cell.

Lincoln enters the Attorney/Client visiting room, his hands and ankles shackled. Veronica stands at the table, waiting for him. “What are you doing?” he asks. “I’m your attorney,” she replies carefully. “If that’s all right with you.” Lincoln is hesitant. The last time they spoke she called him a liar and suspected that the judge who sentenced him to death “got it right.” Veronica explains that things have changed. She sits down and tells him that Leticia Barris corroborated his story. Unfortunately, Leticia is missing, and Veronica suspects that the Secret Service is involved. Lincoln knows that Veronica can’t do this alone, especially with government agencies working against them. He points her to Project Justice, a law firm that deals exclusively with death row cases. Lincoln has sent copies of his casework to a man there named Ben Forsik and Veronica agrees to follow up with him. Lincoln pauses, then asks about Sebastian. Veronica tells him that the engagement is off. Lincoln tells her that he’s sorry, to which Veronica coyly replies, “At least say it like you mean it.” Veronica gets up and heads for the door. Lincoln thanks her for coming to help. She offers a smile. “You can thank me when I get you out of here.”

Sucre is in the yard, leaning on the payphones. “Baby, it’s me. You there? Hello?” Another inmate, Trokey, steps up behind Sucre. “If she is, she obviously don’t want to talk to you.” Sucre tries to focus on his message, calmly urging Maricruz to come and see him.

Michael walks away from the showers with a towel wrapped around his waist. While his back is turned, Haywire approaches, his fixation on Michael’s tattoo now a full-fledged obsession. “It’s a pattern.” Michael turns quickly, his eyes focused. “What did you say?” Haywire repeats himself, and Michael tells him he’s seeing things. Michael covers his back with a towel and quickly walks off.

In private conference in Pope’s office, Pope attacks Bellick’s cell transfer decision. “Putting him in with Haywire is a low blow, Deputy.” Bellick responds that as long as he stays on his meds, Haywire is as harmless as a kitten. He also remind Pope that if Michael starts getting preferential treatment, it might ruin the Pope’s credibility with other inmates. While Pope intends to recommend Bellick to succeed him upon his retirement, Bellick has got to learn the value of rehabilitation.

Anticipating a long overdue visit with Maricruz, Sucre enters visitation with a spring in his step. A C.O. cuts him off and ushers him into a secure room. Sucre asks why he’s not going to open visitation, but the C.O. just says, “Ask your visitor.” Sucre turns and sees Hector stroll towards the cage. Sucre and Hector sit with glass, metal and no shortage of animosity between them. “What are you doing here? Where’s Maricruz?” Sucre asks. Hector coolly tells him that Maricruz isn’t going to be coming around to see him anymore. “She’s with me now.” Sucre loses control, shouting threats in angry Spanish from the cage enclosing him. A C.O. rushes in to restrain him. Hector backs away from the glass, smirking. “You’re just proving my point, man.”

Michael strides into the prison’s Toxic Control Center and flips a carton of cigarettes to the inmate trustee, Choppy. Choppy nods his head in the direction of the chemical supplies and warns Michael, “Make it quick.” Back among the shelves of bottles and buckets, Michael finds a bottle of masonry cleaner. He flashes back to his apartment where he studies a chemistry textbook. Two bold titles read, “Copper Sulfate” and “Phosphoric Acid.” Back in the Control Center, Michael slips the bottle of masonry cleaner into a sock sewn inside his jacket. He looks up as he hears Choppy’s voice, raised unnaturally, calling out, “Yeah, uhh, he’s right in here.” Choppy’s talking to Bellick, who finds Michael in the store room and informs him, “You’re in a restricted area.” Michael tries to cover by saying he’s looking for fertilizer, but Bellick asks why he’s in the masonry section. Bellick searches Michael for contraband, barely missing the hidden bottle. “Oh by way, how’s the foot?” Bellick asks as he jams his boot down on Michael’s injured foot. Michael drops to the floor and Bellick gets in his face, “Don’t ever go around me to the Pope again.” Bellick lifts Michael up and forces him out of the Control Center.

Michael finishes brushing his teeth in his cell. He turns around and states, “You know what Haywire? I don’t think we’re going to work out. And since I was here first, I think you should go.” Haywire sits on his bunk, clutching a pillow. “I crapped my pants once in junior high.” Michael’s eyes roll as Haywire continues his bizarre personal story. Michael scans Haywire’s belongings, a brush, toothbrush, and toothpaste. He turns and makes sure that Haywire’s attention is elsewhere, then quickly steals Haywire’s toothpaste. He stands over the toilet and squeezes much of the toothpaste out. Having finished recounting his embarrassing tale, Haywire insists that now it’s Michael’s turn to share a secret. Michael again tells him that the tattoos don’t mean anything.

Abruzzi leans up against the front of Michael’s cell. “Making any progress in there?” he asks. Michael’s answer is no, both to the digging and to his relationship with Haywire. Michael says he knows what to do, but Abruzzi, growing increasingly patient, doesn’t think Michael has the guts.

In the yard, Sucre charges toward the phones – they’re all occupied. Sucre approaches Trokey who’s mid-conversation and demands that he wrap up his call. Trokey blows Sucre off and Sucre hangs up Trokey’s call. Trokey makes a move towards Sucre, but backs down when Sucre holds his ground. “I thought so,” Sucre mutters as he begins to dial. Maricruz, on her cell phone, picks up. Sucre immediately asks about her and Hector. But Maricruz has a question of her own, “When were you going to tell me that Rita Saldana has been visiting?” She tells Sucre that Hector told her about Rita, which only makes Sucre more furious. He begs her not to listen to Hector’s lies, but Maricruz is torn. Just as Sucre starts to calm her down, and reassure her that he’ll be out in sixteen months, Hector walks up behind Maricruz. “I’m sorry, I have to go,” she says quickly as she hangs up on Sucre.

Veronica sits inside the Project Justice offices, across from Ben Forsik and Nick Savrinn. Ben tells Veronica that unless she’s uncovered any new evidence that she can provide them with, she’s probably wasting her time. Nick tries to ask her a follow-up question, but Ben cuts him off. Project Justice receives thousands of cases and they have to be selective about what they work on because they have limited help. Veronica says that she will do all of the leg work; Veronica just wants Nick and Ben to point her in the right direction. Ben apologizes, but says that he just doesn’t have the man power to take on her case. Veronica, dejected, gets up and leaves.

Hale sits in his car. He watches in the rear view mirror as Veronica exits the Project Justice building and walks to her car. He calls Kellerman, who is going through items in Veronica’s home. Hale tells him he has about thirty minutes to find something before Veronica returns. Kellerman says, “I’m not going to nearly need that much time. I’ve turned up quite a bit already.” Kellerman’s gloved hand raises a photo from Veronica’s graduation day. She’s flanked by Lincoln and Michael.

Haywire arranges his things in the cell and notices his toothpaste has gone missing. When he asks Michael about it, Michael answers simply that he hasn’t seen it.

In his new cell, Sucre lies on his bunk, looking longingly up at a photo of him and Maricruz.

As Michael sleeps, Haywire uses a razor blade to methodically slice open Michael’s shirt and tear away the fabric, exposing his tattoo. Michael jerks awake and springs back, issuing a menacing warning for Haywire to get away from him. Haywire is transfixed as he whispers, “The tattoos, there’s a maze.” Michael repeats his threat for Haywire to stay back, but Haywire claims the tattoo is pulling him in. Michael issues one more stern warning and Haywire pulls back, muttering to himself, “It’s a maze. The man’s got a maze on his skin. But why would he do that? Why would he have a maze on his skin?”

The next day, Michael tells Abruzzi he needs help getting a bottle of drain line root control. “Sooner than later.”

Officer Phil Weston walks out of the police station where Veronica is waiting for him; she wants to ask him a few questions. She confirms that Weston was the first officer to respond at Lincoln’s apartment on the night of Steadman’s murder. Veronica asks what exactly he saw that night at Lincoln’s apartment. Weston states he found Lincoln in the bathroom washing a pair of bloody pants. Veronica immediately cites a discrepancy. In his report, Weston said that he said he saw Lincoln merely standing in the bathroom. “You later testified that you actually saw him washing the pants. Which is it?” Weston brushes it off. “Does it matter?” Considering how heavily his testimony factored in the verdict, Veronica insists it does. Weston grows defensive and walks off. As Veronica walks to her car, a voice calls out to her. It’s Nick Savrinn from Project Justice. He tells her that while his boss didn’t think Lincoln’s case was worth looking into, he thinks otherwise.

Michael sits on a bench in the yard, aware that Haywire is standing a good distance behind him, watching and sketching in a notepad. Abruzzi sits down next to Michael. In Abruzzi’s hand is a bottle of root control, and behind the bottle is a nasty looking knife. “There’s a quicker way to take care of your problem,” Abruzzi tells Michael. Michael reaches for the bottle. “There’s smarter ways too,” Michael replies.

In his cell, Michael packs two toothpaste tubes, one with root control the other with the masonry cleaner. He flashes back to his apartment, where he tests the chemicals. When they are combined, the chemicals react violently. In his cell, Michael finishes packing the chemicals in.

Veronica and Nick sit outside at a café. Nick tells her, ” What stood out for me was that most death penalty cases take ten years to exhaust all appeals. Lincoln got there in three.” Veronica wonders who might have pushed the appeal through to be rejected so quickly, but Nick says that’s not what interests him. It’s why it was pushed through so quickly. Perhaps the answer lies in who Terrence Steadman was and who his enemies might have been. Steadman was successfully pushing alternative energy. So the oil companies, the Saudis, even our own governement could have wanted him dead. Veronica asks why Nick took up investigating death row cases. Nick explains that his own father did time for a crime he didn’t commit. He knows that when the government gets you in their crosshairs, you stand very little chance of getting out.

Sucre rushes across the yard to catch up with Michael. “I want back in!” he begs. Michael tells Sucre that it’s not that easy with Haywire around, but Michael has a plan to fix the situation. Sucre asks for details. Michael replies, “Let’s just say somebody’s gonna get hurt.”

Kellerman and Hale drive through Chicago, explaining to a cell phone propped on the dashboard how they missed the fact that Michael and Lincoln are brothers. Irritation laces the Garlic Cutter’s voice as she pieces together their discoveries. “Alright, Scofield had no priors and a full time job as an engineer. Then he goes and robs a bank, discharging a gun in the process. At sentencing he maneuvers his way to Fox River… where his brother’s scheduled to die in less than a month.” Things like this are never a coincidence. The Garlic Cutter orders them to take Michael out of the picture.

Michael strolls back in his cell to see Haywire huddled over the bottom bunk. Haywire has spread out a series of sketches that are identical to the images on Michael’s tattoos. “It’s a pathway…where does it lead?” Haywire asks as he lunges for Michael. Michael forces him back and turns back to the bars. He grabs hold of the cell door, rears his head back and bashes it into the metal bars. He steels himself, then slams his head again as Haywire stands behind him, stunned. Michael calls out, “Officer! I need an officer!” Two C.O.s move in. They see Michael’s injuries and move in on Haywire. When Haywire refuses to step back, the officers spray him with pepper spray and drag him from the cell. Michael steps out to watch him being taken away, blood from his self-inflicted wound trickling from his forehead.

Michael’s cell door opens, Sucre is waiting with belongings in hand. Bellick steps between them, “So, the gang’s all back together again. Well, ain’t that swell.” Sucre is excited to be back and after an awkward attempt at a multi-step handshake, they settle on a hug before Sucre gets down to business. “So, when do we get started?”

In the infirmary, Michael waits for Sara to step away, then moves to the drainage grate on the floor. He takes the two tubes of toothpaste out of his pockets and gives them a squeeze, expelling the chemicals into the drain where they immediately start reacting. Dr. Tancredi returns and asks about the cut on his head, but doesn’t believe his reply about “catching an elbow playing basketball.” She tells him that he’s going to get killed in the yard. Michael just smiles. “I’ll make you a bet. When I get out of here, alive, I’ll take you to dinner.” Sara ignores him. “Or lunch. Or coffee, even.” Sara offers him a grim warning. “Michael, this charm act could be exactly what’s getting you into trouble out in the yard.” In the grates below, the chemicals are hissing, beginning to corrode the pipe.

Nick and Veronica meet with Lincoln, going over the details of the night of his arrest for the murder of Terrence Steadman. Lincoln relives the events. He remembers that when he returned home after fleeing the crime scene, he splashed water on his face before noticing something strange in the bathtub. He turned to find a pair of his own pants, soaked in blood under the running water. He didn’t have any time to react before cops stormed in and placed him under arrest. Veronica asks Lincoln if he was washing the pants to remove Steadman’s blood like the arresting officer claims. Lincoln swears he never touched them; his hands were wet from splashing water on his face. As if this testimony wasn’t shaky enough, Nick reminds Lincoln that his prints were all over the gun the cops found. Lincoln again swears that he’s innocent, that the gun he had intended to use but never fired was still missing after he dumped it in a storm drain somewhere on the way home. The gun the prosecutors used must have been a plant. “And the fingerprints?” Nick wants to know how Lincoln’s prints were all over the gun. Lincoln remembers a man named Bo (the white capped associate of Crab Simmons whom Leticia previously described to Veronica) who had him handle a few different guns before he picked the one he had the night of the murder. It was all a set up from the beginning. Lincoln urges them to believe him. He had to do what Bo told him, Lincoln reveals, not only to clear a debt, but because they threatened to kill LJ.

Nick voices the dismal prospects Lincoln’s case holds as they leave the prison. The only evidence that sounds promising for Lincoln is the surveillance tape from the night of the murder. “Well if Lincoln’s telling the truth, then the tape’s lying. I think we’d better go have a look and decide for ourselves.”

Sucre keeps a lookout with a mirror while Michael gets to work unscrewing the toilet. Sucre asks why he needs to spend so much time in the infirmary. “Once we get through this wall, that’s just the start. There’s still a whole lot of real estate between here and the walls. Infirmary just happens to be the closest building to those walls.” Michael has dug out enough concrete between the cinder blocks to kick through the wall, but in order to do it, he needs Sucre to make some noise to cover the sound of Michael’s kicking. Sucre begins singing. Within moments, it riles up the other inmates and they all start screaming. Lincoln in his cell is again. jolted awake, this time by the sound of Sucre singing. Having more than enough noise cover, Michael kicks on the cinder blocks, and breaks through to the other side. The floor alarm goes off and Bellick enters, shouting a warning. “Next inmate that opens his mouth goes to the hole!” Sucre checks the catwalks again. “We’re good.” Michael pokes his head into the hole and for the first time, sees the prison bowels.

Hale is eating dinner at home with his family, when the doorbell rings. It’s Kellerman, “I just wanted to stop by and tell you in person. Problem solved.” He hands Hale a copy of Michael’s newly authorized transfer order. “Michael Scofield is getting shipped out…tomorrow.”

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Posted in Season 1.

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