EPISODE 108 “The Old Head”

Airdate: 2005-10-24

Michael’s voice carries us through the bowels of the prison, into a pipe through which Westmoreland’s cat darts and up to the grassy prison yard where we see the escape team assembled. ” Seventeen days from now, they strap my brother to an electric chair… for a crime he didn’t commit. I’m here to make sure that doesn’t happen.” Michael , Sucre and Abruzzi sit on the bleachers while Michael details the specifics of the escape plan. “Our cell, over there, that’s New York City. And the infirmary, our exit point, that’s California. And the pipes beneath our feet, the ones that connect the two, that’s…” Surce speaks up, “Route 66.” Abruzzi wants to how they are going to make their break at night with Lincoln locked in solitary. Michael tells them that they’re going to meet in “St. Louis,” which according to the blueprints is an old storage building that rests right on top of the steam pipes they plan to use in their escape. Michael needs Abruzzi to get them into that storage building on P.I. for the next phase of the plan. Abruzzi tells Michael that P.I. isn’t allowed in that building and they’ll need a reason to be in there. All escape talk immediately ceases when T-Bag walks up and threatens to expose the plan if he’s not included. Before the conversation can continue, Sucre, Abruzzi and Michael file back into the prison. Abruzzi and Sucre both tell Michael that they refuse to include T-Bag, but Michael says not to worry. Having killed Bob during the riot, T-Bag has already sealed his fate.Shauna Hudson, Officer Bob’s widow, sits in Pope’s office. Pope details the various insurance payouts to which she is entitled. But Shauna doesn’t want compensation; she wants justice. She asks if they know who killed Bob. Pope offers little hope. “We have some leads. I can assure you none of us will rest until we find out what happened.” Shauna looks through Bob’s wallet and finds that a photo of their daughter is missing. Pope looks towards a distraught Bellick, who offers to escort Shauna to her car. Once Shauna is beyond earshot, Pope gives Bellick the order to do whatever he needs to do in order to catch the inmate who killed one of their own.

Back in Chicago after a grueling trip to Washington, D.C., Nick unloads file boxes from the trunk of his car. He assures a frightened and dazed Veronica that the phone call they received on the street corner in Washington was nothing more than a scare-tactic. Lucasz, Veronica’s handyman, sees Nick again and asks if he’s bothering Veronica. She tells him no, and Lucasz offers to help Nick with the boxes. “Those boxes contain seven years of criminal appellate work. If there’s a precedent in there somewhere that can help us suspend Lincoln’s execution…we’re gonna find it,” Nick says as Lucasz pulls the hand truck across the street. Once inside the apartment building, Lucasz unlocks Veronica’s apartment door and opens it. A massive fireball explodes out the front door, destroying Veronica’s apartment.

Michael stands at the fence, looking at the restricted building to which he needs access. Abruzzi approaches with a proposal to solve their problem. They need to burn the place down. Abruzzi explains, “Few years ago, the chapel burned down. DOC realized they had some toxic issues. Asbestos. Contractors wouldn’t touch the place with a ten foot pole. So they put the inmates on it.” The inmates could spend all the time they needed without worry that the guards would interfere. T-Bag walks up behind them, Cherry clutching his pocket. T-Bag smacks Cherry’s hand away and asks Abruzzi if his P.I. card is on its way. T-Bag thinks that Michael and Abruzzi are slow-walking him, believing once Bellick discovers that T-Bag killed Bob, T-Bag will be out of the picture. T-Bag reminds them that if he gets pinched for Bob’s murder, then he’s going to sing about Michael’s plan.

LJ faces Lincoln through the cage in the visitation room. LJ recalls a bittersweet memory from fifth grade, when Lincoln came home to find his glass coffee table broken. LJ denied that he broke it. Lincoln told LJ that he never cared about the table; he just didn’t want LJ lying to him. Lincoln smiles and says he remembers too. LJ returns the smile and admits to breaking the table. LJ tells him that if there’s anything that Lincoln needs to get off his chest, he can. Lincoln intuits that this is LJ’s way of asking about Terrence Steadman. Lincoln admits that he was planning on doing something wrong that night, but he never killed Steadman. Lincoln also tells LJ that Veronica is working hard on the case and there’s a reporter visiting him today who also believes he’s innocent. There’s reason for hope that Lincoln’s execution will be delayed. “You gotta have faith, kid,” Lincoln tells him.

As fire fighters and rescue workers congregate outside Veronica’s apartment, Kellerman and Hale survey the aftermath of the fire. The phone on the dashboard rings; it’s the Garlic Cutter asking for an update. Kellerman assures her that Nick and Veronica are dead. “Good. Now move onto the second thing,” she cryptically says. Hale steps in, “If you could see what we’re looking at…believe me, Burrows is going to get the message.” The Garlic Cutter is not satisfied; she orders them to continue.

Across the cell block, Michael and Sucre watch Bellick tear apart a cell looking for evidence of Bob’s murder. “He’s gonna toss every cell on the block until he finds the killer. He tosses this one, he’s gonna find the hole back there in a heartbeat,” Sucre worries. They look down at T-Bag who also has a watchful eye following the movements of the C.O.s. They know they need to turn him in, but if they do, T-Bag is going to blow everything. Sucre shakes his head. “We’re screwed either way, aren’t we?”

On P.I. detail, Sucre, Lincoln, Michael and Abruzzi carry freshly bundled towels towards the restricted storage room. The men toss the towels on a shelf and Michael quickly turns to a door marked, “NO INMATES BEYOND THIS POINT.” Michael looks around, the coast is clear.

Michael opens the door, and instead of finding an empty storage room, he is face to face with an angry C.O. Stolte who raises his shotgun and barks, “What the hell are you doing here?” Michael replies, “I thought this was storage.” Stolte shouts to them as they back out of the small room, “It look like storage to you, you idiot!?”

Across the yard in the gardening shed, Sucre explodes, “A freakin’ break room? Are you kidding me?” Abruzzi asks Michael if there’s a backup plan and Michael tells him that there isn’t. “It’s the only way out and we gotta get back in there.” At the window, Lincoln looks out at the guard’s room and sees Westmoreland exit with a plastic pan full of dishes. Sucre asks if the guard’s room is so off limits, why is Westmoreland is allowed in? Lincoln explains that he’s earned the title of “trustee” by having a spotless record for almost 30 years. Michael knows the only way to get into the guard’s room is through Westmoreland.

Later, Michael finds Westmoreland in the yard. He asks Westmoreland if he’s had any luck finding Marilyn, who ran away during the start of the riot. “Still MIA,” he tells Michael. Michael finally extends a formal invitation to break out with them. Westmoreland replies, “Cause you still think I’m D.B. Cooper?” Michael sits down next to Westmoreland and lays out some facts. Westmoreland was caught boosting a car in Arizona, ten states away from where he lived, and only ten miles away from the Mexican border. Two days prior to that, someone made a phone call to his wife from a motel in Portland which coincidentally was ten miles from the airport out of which flight 305 was hijacked by the infamous D.B. Cooper. Seven hours after the hijacking, records show Charles Westmoreland was treated for a busted knee at a free clinic in Brigham City, Utah. The only way someone could make it from Portland to Brigham City in that time is in an airplane. Michael adds, it’s public record that DB Cooper jumped out of that 727 about an hour after take off. Jumping from a plane at ten thousand feet with 1.5 million dollars in cash and a hastily packed parachute might lead to a pretty rough landing. Rough enough to shatter some bones and more specifically Westmoreland’s left knee. Michael continues, speculating that D.B. Cooper would have had a car waiting for him when he landed. According to DMV records in 1971, Charles Westmoreland was the owner of a ‘65 Chevy Nova. As it turns out, a ‘65 Chevy Nova with the registration number scraped off was found abandoned with a blown gasket along the Arizona border, only a couple miles from where Westmoreland accidentally hit that woman. Westmoreland nods, acknowledging that while most of Michael’s research might be correct, “how could I have hijacked a plane in Portland on November 24, when I was in Folsom finishing up a thirty day drunk and disorderly? Day that plane was hijacked, I was incarcerated, kid.” Michael sits, stunned at this news.

On the side of a distant rural road, a bruised and bloodied Nick cleans his wounds. Veronica stands overlooking a lake, clearly shaken. Veronica wants to go to the police, but Nick insists what they’re up against is bigger than the police. Going to the police would just signal their location and status to their pursuers. He knows somewhere safe where they can lay low for a few days.

In his cell, Sucre hatches a plan for how to burn down the break room. He tells Michael to take some rubber cement that he’s using to build the Pope’s Taj Mahal and coat the bottom of a coffee pot with it. The rubber cement, when placed on the burner of a coffee maker, it will catch fire. But Michael knows there’s no getting inside without Westmoreland on board and Michael tells Sucre that Westmoreland doesn’t want anything to do with the plan. Sucre replies, “Then what’s he want? He’s gotta want something. Everybody wants something .”

Inside the bowels of the prison, Michael places a can of tuna on the ground in an attempt to lure Marilyn towards him.

Michael crosses the yard towards Westmoreland whose eyes light up when he sees Marilyn tucked inside Michael’s jacket. But Westmoreland immediately suspects that Michael is expecting something in return. Michael explains, “All I need you to do is bring in a certain coffee pot into the guard’s room at a certain time and turn the burner on.” But Westmoreland can’t oblige. He’s gone 32 years without a spot on his record and doesn’t want to do anything to put that clean record in jeopardy.

In the infirmary, Michael gets his shot from Sara. Sensing her tension and discomfort, Michael asks why Sara is at work in the wake of the riots. Sara brushes off his attempt to connect with her, saying only that she couldn’t find a replacement. Michael tells Sara that she shouldn’t feel like she owes him anything, but she disagrees. She is grateful, but she does have one question. How did Michael get to the crawlspace above the Sick Bay? She knows P.I. was never assigned to work there. The smile fades from Michael’s face. Instead of responding Michael snaps, “We’re done here, right?” She asks for answers but Michael walks off.

A smiling reporter for The Headline Press introduces herself as Sue Parsons and sits down with Lincoln inside in visitation. Lincoln appreciates her looking into his case. Sue begins by asking a few basic questions. Her seemingly harmless, genuine demeanor quickly darkens. She remarks in a menacing tone, “You have a son named Lincoln, Jr.?” Lincoln tenses as she continues, “I have a source who tells me if you accept what happened and stop fighting your execution, your son will be left out of this. If not, I hope you said goodbye to him when he left this morning.” Lincoln senses that something is wrong. He jumps to his feet, but Sue continues, “One Burrows is gonna die. Up to you which one.” Lincoln pleads to the C.O.s to stop Sue, but she slips out with a warning glance at Lincoln.

The doorbell of LJ’s suburban house rings and he heads to open it. He looks out the front door. Hale stands on the porch. He introduces himself to LJ as “Officer Hale with Juvenile Court” and explains that he needs to inspect the home to make sure it’s on par with the conditions of his parole. LJ says his parents aren’t home, but they will be soon. Hale nods as he walks inside. Adrian and Lisa enter the back gate of the yard, carrying groceries into the house. Inside, LJ asks to see Hale’s credentials, but when Hale hears LJ’s parents enter the back door, he quickly pulls out a gun with a silencer and points it at LJ. Lisa calls out for LJ and picks up the phone, but Hale puts a finger to his lips, keeping LJ quiet. When Lisa walks through the hallway, she sees LJ scared and Hale in the corner. “Drop the phone lady. This is the only warning I’m giving you.” Hale spins to point the gun at Lisa. LJ throws a bottle and it breaks the glass of a nearby wall hanging. Hale ducks to avoid the shattering glass, giving Lisa and LJ opportunity to scatter. Lisa huddles behind the kitchen counter, still clutching the cordless phone. She dials 911 and waits desperately for an answer. In the basement, LJ knocks out a window and climbs outside. Hale creeps up behind Lisa, gun drawn. As LJ turns to run, Kellerman’s voice halts him. LJ flips open his cell phone and Kellerman assures him that he can fire a bullet before LJ dials two numbers. Suddenly Adrian rounds the corner and ambushes Kellerman with a baseball bat. Kellerman drops to the ground and Adrian tells LJ to run. Kellerman quickly rolls over and shoots Adrian in the chest. LJ runs back to the house and finds his mother face down in the doorway. He has no choice but to run.

In a Chicago alleyway, a barefoot LJ stumbles in terror, eyes red from crying and panic on his face. His cell phone rings. In a daze, he answers to hear Kellerman’s voice ask, “Where are you going, LJ?” Kellerman tells LJ that he wants LJ’s cooperation right now. LJ threatens to go to the police, but Kellerman tells him that might not be such a good idea since LJ’s prints are on the weapon. Still in LJ’s house, Kellerman applies LJ’s fingerprints that he lifted using an adhesive strip to the handle of the gun. Hale crouches near Lisa’s body, using a pair of LJ’s shoes to make footprints on the floor. LJ says no one is going to believe it, but Kellerman responds, “When they catch you — and they will catch you — they’ll try you as an adult, you know that right? We can protect you, LJ. Right now, we’re the only hope you’ve got.” LJ hangs up the phone and runs down the street.

Bellick finds Westmoreland in his cell. “You got Marilyn back,” he grumbles. Bellick lights up a cigarette and then sits down in Westmoreland’s cell. He tells Westmoreland that over the years, they have formed a sort of kinship and that he’s always treated Westmoreland fairly. Westmoreland acknowledges that he’s appreciative of the respect. Bellick continues, nearly breaking down, “I’ve known Bob since he was 18. I got him this job. You can imagine how responsible I feel.” Westmoreland anticipates Bellick’s next question and tells Bellick that he can’t help him. If a con snitches, he “isn’t long for this world.” “If you don’t tell me who killed Bob before I leave this cell, our friendship goes with it,” Bellick warns. Westmoreland just bows his head. Bellick stands up. On his way out, he leans over and pets Marilyn. Farther down the tier, T-Bag and Trokey see Bellick leave. Trokey comments to T-Bag, “Westmoreland knows. And his jaw ain’t that strong.” Trokey walks back into his cell. When T-Bag turns around, he sees Abruzzi glaring down from the upper levels.

Alone, after hours in her office, Sara studies Michael’s files when Nurse Katie enters. “You stalker,” she says through a smile to Sara. Sara replies that she’s not stalking him, she just doesn’t understand how a man of Michael’s background landed in Fox River. Katie asks Sara why she’s so concerned with Michael. She ought to know from her experience that these cons are never what they seem. Sara replies, “He’s the one guy in here I think I can get through to.” Katie leaves, but Sara continues examining Michael’s file.

Just inside the exterior prison gates, Pope explains to Lincoln what happened to LJ’s family. “I’m sorry Burrows. Both of them were dead before the paramedics got there.” Lincoln asks about LJ. Pope tells him, “He’s missing. Police are treating him as a fugitive.” Lincoln asks to call LJ, but Pope has to deny the request. Lincoln explodes, frustrated that he can’t help his son. As Pope walks off, Lincoln looks down the main entry of the prison. A truck brings in a delivery in through a wide, slow-moving gate. Lincoln eyes the armed C.O.s who guard the door, then look past them, outside the walls – to freedom.

Inmates gather around Westmoreland’s cell, whispering and looking inside. Westmoreland returns from the showers and pushes past the crowd into his cell. There, he discovers Marilyn dead on his bunk. He lifts her into his arms and looks out the cell door to lock eyes with Bellick, who is tossing a bunk across the cell. Bellick just stares right back at him.

T-Bag strolls into Trokey’s cell with a simple question of allegiance. “We family, right?” Trokey answers, “Yes, we are.” T-Bag confides that he feels the heat of Bellick closing in and it’s only a matter of time before someone opens his mouth about Bob. T-Bag asks Trokey if he would take the fall for the murder, citing that his record is better than T-Bag’s, so maybe the punishment wouldn’t be so harsh. But Trokey says he can’t step forward, he won’t go down for murdering a hack, family or no family.

Westmoreland enters the guard’s break room with a plastic tub of clean dishes. He removes a coffee pot and sets it on top of the coffee maker. Then he wanders over to the guard’s lockers and opens up Bellick’s. Inside, he takes one cigarette out of a pack and sits down to smoke it. He looks up towards the wall where he sees a giant plaque housing photos of “Fox River Penitentiary Corrections Officer of the Month.” Bellick’s photo stares back at him. Westmoreland glares at the photo as he reaches for a lighter.

Outside on yard P.I., Michael slings a bag of concrete over his shoulder and hefts it to Lincoln who is mixing cement. “I need out. I gotta find him,” Lincoln says through his teeth. Michael promises they’ll find LJ as soon as they get out of Fox River. Lincoln questions when that will be. After all, Michael can’t get access to the necessary room. Michael does his best to keep Lincoln calm before a guard breaks up their chat. When Michael walks away, Lincoln looks up towards the service entrance again. He sizes up the guards standing nearby and waits for his chance to make a break for the gate. When C.O. Patterson turns his back to talk to a truck driver, Lincoln makes his move. Michael grabs a bag of concrete and turns back; Lincoln is gone.

Crouching behind a utility box, Lincoln watches the C.O.s for his chance to flee. Just as he stands to make his move, Michael grabs him and tackles him from behind, “You go out there, they will gun you down!” Michael is furious at what his brother almost tried. Lincoln doesn’t care anymore. He’s desperate. “Think about what you’re doing. You can’t help him if you’re dead.” The brothers are moments away from a fistfight when Patterson breaks them up. Before the C.O. can take disciplinary action on the two, alarms sound around the prison and a giant plume of gray smoke rises from the guard’s break room.

Westmoreland strolls the yard and Michael crosses from another direction. “Thanks,” Michael says. But Westmoreland smiles. “I didn’t do it for you.”

Pope watches over a fire inspector searching through the ash. “Found the source,” he tells Pope and presents him with a cigarette. Pope stares at the cigarette and looks over to Bellick with an accusatory eye. Before he can begin yelling at Bellick, a C.O. tells Bellick he has a visitor. It’s Cherry; he’s shaking like a leaf. “What do you want?” yells Bellick. Cherry gulps. “I know who killed Bob, sir.”

Bellick storms into gen pop with a team of C.O.s behind him. They beeline towards Trokey and T-Bag, the latter of whose face registers alarm before Bellick makes a sharp turn into Trokey’s cell. Bellick flips up Trokey’s mattress and finds the photo of Bob’s daughter. Trokey is quick to defend himself, “I have NO idea how that got there.” The C.O.s grab Trokey and begin dragging him away. Trokey screams back to T-Bag, “You set me up!” T-Bag plays innocent, even feigning outrage at Trokey’s accusation. T-Bag tousles Cherry’s hair and ducks back into his cell. Cherry lingers outside a look of self-loathing on his face.

Nick opens the door to a rustic cabin. As he and Veronica enter, the daylight pours in, illuminating the dust on the furniture and the spider webs on the wall. Nick explains that this was his father’s cabin. He had wanted a place that was completely “off the map.” No phones. A generator for electricity. A well for water. Nick assures Veronica that they are safe here.

Sucre, Abruzzi, Michael and Lincoln walk out for P.I. duty. On the other side of the fence, T-Bag jogs over, demanding to be part of the job. Abruzzi leans toward the C.O. accompanying them and says, “I don’t think so.” With the fall guy for Bob’s death now established, T-Bag is fearless. “Ah, John. You can’t be serious. Not after that long illustrious history we shared together. All those nights in New York City, in California, in St. Louis. They were good times, weren’t they, John?” Michael shoots a look at T-Bag, aware that he intends to deliver on his promise to blow the plan. Michael quickly turns to Abruzzi. Abruzzi turns to the C.O..

They march into the burned out break room. T-Bag follows behind in his own blue P.I. jumpsuit. Bellick, still smarting from the implication that he is to blame for the fire, dishes out his orders. “All I gotta say is, this room’s your only priority now. It better be brand-spankin-new when you’re done. And if you’re thinking about getting cute, trying to trunk one of those tools out of here, Brady’s got the outlines of every single piece of hardware in there.” Bellick and the C.O.s exit. Michael waits a beat before sending the men into action. They pull back the burned carpet to reveal a drain a few inches in diameter that Michael insists, “Goes down four feet. Connects to the mainline below. All we gotta do is widen it…and we have ourselves an onramp to Route 66.” The men grab sledgehammers as Michael lays down a canvas tarp to muffle the noise. Sucre stands guard. Lincoln’s hammer swings over his head and crashes to the floor.

At night, LJ is tucked against a wall, cold and tired. LJ relives the moment with Kellerman in the backyard, ” Nine. One. One. Send. You really think you can push four buttons… before I push one?” But LJ wasn’t calling for help, he was pressing the photo button on his cell phone. Saved to his camera phone, is a picture of Kellerman. LJ looks at the man who murdered his family, then closes the phone.

In well-appointed office, Hale and Kellerman stand before the desk of the Garlic Cutter. She hands Kellerman a newspaper, and asks Kellerman to summarize he lead article, ” Evidently there was an explosion in a Gold Coast apartment this morning. Gas line. Everyone inside was killed instantly,” he tells her. When she asks about LJ, Kellerman lies, “He’s in custody.” A hint of trepidation shows on Hale’s face. The Garlic Cutter continues, “Now that it’s yesterday’s news, we can put it behind us, can’t we? Move on to the next chapter of our lives. You’re not just doing this for me. Or my brother.” A door at the side of the room opens, another Secret Service Agent enters and addresses the Garlic Cutter, “They’re ready for you Madam Vice President.” She stands, looks at Hale and Kellerman. She says, “You’re doing it for your country.” She exits into the other room. She stands behind a podium where camera flashes and eager reporters consume her attention.

The sounds of popping flashbulbs intermixes with the crashing of sledgehammers as the P.I. group gets closer to Route 66.

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Posted in Season 1.

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