EPISODE 109 “Tweener”

Airdate: 2005-10-31

Water courses down Michael’s bare arm over a tattoo of an angel. Michael looks up when he hears a meek voice from the neighboring shower head pleading, “Help me.” The voice belongs to Cherry, the young scared inmate whom T-Bag has been controlling since his arrival. Before Michael can respond, T-Bag enters the shower room and signals for Cherry to move along. T-Bag takes Cherry’s place next to Michael, apologizing for his cellmate’s gregariousness. Michael tells T-Bag to give the kid a break. T-Bag hastens to remind Michael that he has no business meddling in his affairs, “Not when I’m so fully invested in your affairs.” Michael grits his teeth. “What’s between you and him, is between you and him,” Michael says as he walks out of the showers. He passes Cherry on his way out. “You’ve got to help me,” Cherry pleads. Michael ignores him.

“You’ve got to help me,” Lincoln begs Pope as he stands shackled in the warden’s office. Lincoln is desperate to find his son and actually asks Pope to allow him out of prison, under supervision, in order to track LJ down. The request stuns Pope, but Lincoln keeps pressing. The warden can grant furloughs in the case of a family emergency. Pope informs him that this situation does not qualify as a family emergency; his son is the primary suspect in a double homicide.

Michael walks up to the guard’s break room in his blue P.I. jumpsuit. He passes T-Bag out front who inventories supplies, clipboard in hand. Bellick is inside barking orders at Sucre, accusing him of being lazy. Bellick points to his many pictures on the Employee of the Month plaque as evidence of the success that hard work will bring. When Bellick exits, T-Bag gives the all clear signal by knocking on the front door. Abruzzi, Sucre and Michael grab their sledge hammers and continue hammering away at the concrete surrounding the drainpipe. Sucre notes that if the guards find the rubble, they’re busted. Michael replies, “That’s why we need to get rid of it, one piece at a time.”

In the yard, the gang stands at different positions, dropping handfuls of concrete and mashing it into the ground with their feet. The yard inmates look up when a Department of Corrections bus enters the sallyport. A twisted smile creeps over T-Bag’s face as he zeroes in on the inmates filing off the bus. “Freshmen.”

The prisoners on the bus take in their new surroundings. A young, tough-looking inmate, Tweener, steps of the bus. He squares his shoulders and warns the nervous looking inmate in front of him to put on his jail face. “These crabs see you puckerin’, they gonna bitchify you in a heartbeat.” T-Bag makes a satisfied sound and walks off, Michael follows seconds later. C-Note walks to where Michael stood. He bends over and examines a chunk of concrete that Michael had just dropped.

Returning to the cell block, Sucre grins at Michael. “Looks like I gotta find something else to call you now… you ain’t a fish no more. You ain’t the newest con in the tank… no… more…” Sucre trails off as the inmates look up to the second tier in shock. They see Cherry, bed sheets tied around his neck, climbing over the railing. He’s ready to jump. Before Michael can do anything but shout, “NO!” Cherry throws himself off the tier. Michael turns away from the sight of Cherry’s dangling body.

Michael sits behind Lincoln in the chapel, plagued with guilt over Cherry’s suicide. Lincoln tells him that there was nothing he could do; once T-Bag got to him, Cherry’s fate was sealed. Michael disagrees. “That’s not how she raised us. A man’s down, you give him a hand.” Michael is inconsolable. The escape is his priority, but he wrestles with the question, “At what price?” Lincoln tries to focus Michael back on the task at hand. “My son is out there with a bull’s eye on his back. Do whatever you can to get us out of here…please,” Lincoln begs.

In the kitchen of Nick’s father’s remote cabin hideout, Veronica searches for coffee in the cabinets, but most of them are bare. She opens the final cabinet and sees a false back, slightly ajar. She slowly pulls it open to reveal a sizable stash of handguns. Nick walks up behind her and immediately senses her suspicion. He tells her that she needs to stop looking at him like he’s one of the bad guys. After all, Nick notes before storming out of the room, he’s putting his life on the line for Lincoln, who unlike his father, is “a scumbag criminal who just happens to be in prison for the one crime he didn’t commit.”

In the yard, C-Note walks the fence line, hunting for more evidence of what Michael’s up to. He scans the yard and finds Michael, covertly dropping fragments of concrete on the ground. Tweener arrives at the fence next to C-Note. “Y’all mind if I lamp with y’all, Cuzzo?” he asks. C-Note is not interested in fraternizing with this punk and barks at him to go somewhere else. Tweener tries his best to fit in, but the black inmates force him to leave. T-Bag stands in the distance, admiring Tweener’s “spunk.”

Abruzzi also ditches concrete rubble, dropping it into a drain when Bellick suddenly calls out to him. The men speak through the fence. Bellick gruffly informs Abruzzi that his monthly bribe from Philly Falzone hasn’t come yet. Abruzzi is at a loss as to why the payments would have stopped. Bellick looks Abruzzi in the eye, “I’m going back into the office at the end of the day. Checking my balance again. If it’s not where it’s supposed to be… all these privileges you got? They’re gone.”

Abruzzi gets on the phone in the yard, looking to set things straight with Philly. The man at the other end tells Abruzzi that Philly is busy and will have to call him later. Before Abruzzi can argue, the man hangs up. Abruzzi slams the phone down, too. Since when does anyone hang up on him?

Veronica finds Nick dressing in the bedroom and apologizes for her earlier behavior. Nick tells her that the pressure is getting to them and while they’re safe in the cabin, they won’t find any exculpatory evidence there. Nick tells Veronica his plan. “Man gets murdered, the first person they talk to when they want to find out who his real enemies were… the wife.” Nick wants to go back to Chicago and have lunch with Terrence Steadman’s widow, Leslie.

Still having heard nothing from LJ, Lincoln’s frustrations take over in P.I.. He swings his hammer with rage, as if he wants to break out of Fox River right now. Abruzzi steps in and tells him to slow it down or the guards will hear. Sucre slides in the door and tells them that guards are coming. The men move quickly to conceal the hole. They cover the floor with carpeting, then place a table over the hole. C.O. Patterson walks in, demanding the gang to leave. Confused, the gang hands over their tools and heads outside. Patterson sends them around a corner without explanation. He then sneaks in Becky, Pope’s assistant. Becky giggles, “We’re so bad.”

Patterson hoists Becky onto the table. As their tryst escalates, the table inches closer to the hole.

Around the corner, the guys watch Patterson and Becky exit the guard’s room. The only question now is, “Did he find the hole?”

Michael squats down and takes a look at how close one of the table legs is to the hole. “Another inch and he would have found it. We need to find something to cover this hole, ASAP.”

Abruzzi sits in visitation with his nervous and non-plussed business manager, Knowlton. Knowlton has some bad news: Abruzzi is broke. Philly has liquidated all of Abruzzi’s assets, the only money Abruzzi has left is thirty-thousand dollars in his wife’s account. Disheartened, Abruzzi heads back to gen pop. On his way out he passes Gus, who doesn’t acknowledge Abruzzi’s presence. Abruzzi watches Gus greet Philly Falzone with a hug. Philly casts a dismissive glance Abruzzi’s way before inviting Gus to have a seat. The visitation gate closes and Abruzzi is led away.

On the phone in her office, Sara speaks with a claims adjuster for Michael’s medical insurance company. Sara explains that Michael’s insurance from his last job hasn’t lapsed, so the state is trying to get the company to pay for the incident with Michael’s toes. The adjuster reviews Michael’s file and finds that the only deductible he has met is his psych deductible. Sara furrows her brow. “Sorry, psych as in psychiatric?”

Abruzzi stalks towards Gus in the yard. He doesn’t remember giving Gus permission to call Philly. Gus has some information that comes as a surprise to Abruzzi. “There’s been a restructuring. Came down from Philly himself. You didn’t deliver Fibonacci. So I’m the man in here now.” Abruzzi makes a move to set Gus straight, but Gus’ new group of thugs holds Abruzzi back. Gus informs his old boss, “You’re yesterday’s news, John.”

Tweener strolls into gen pop, still walking tall even though no one wants anything to do with him. He tries to talk to a large Aryan brother who rejects him with the condemnation, “You’re a disgrace to your skin.” Then he punches Tweener in the chest. Before the incident can escalate, T-Bag jumps in to keep the peace. “He just slipped,” T-Bag calls out as he holds back the Aryan Brothers. T-Bag helps Tweener to his feet, then asks his name. Michael warily watches this interaction from the tier.

Lincoln, still unsure of LJ’s whereabouts, paces in his cell. C.O. Scheuring has come to drop off Lincoln’s meal and Lincoln takes the moment to beg Scheuring to make a phone call. Scheuring tells Lincoln that he can’t help. Lincoln pleads with Scheuring, grabbing the C.O.’s hand through the slot in the door. Lincoln asks, “What if it was your son?”

LJ moves through the streets, barefoot. He ducks around a corner and looks at the picture of Kellerman on his cell phone. He sends the photo to his e-mail address just as the phone shows he has an incoming call. The caller ID reads INMATE. Lincoln clutches a phone receiver as C.O. Scheuring stands nearby. After assuring LJ that he knows he’s innocent, Lincoln tells his son to call Veronica. LJ already tried, but her number was disconnected. Lincoln tells him to call Nick Savrinn. Just then, Kellerman and Hale’s sedan pulls up only a few yards from LJ’s hiding spot. Kellerman jumps out and pursues LJ on foot. LJ takes off, leaving Lincoln hanging and assuming the worst.

LJ sprints down the city streets with Kellerman close on his heels while Hale slowly circles in the car. LJ runs into a nearby parking lot and quickly ducks under an SUV. Unaware of LJ’s exact location, Kellerman decides to rile LJ’s emotions. “Hear that?” Kellerman cocks his gun as he walks through the lot. “Know what it means? You could ask your Mom, but… I think you might have some trouble getting an answer out of her right about now.” LJ fights to remain quiet despite Kellerman’s cruel provocations and rolls under the cars to get away. LJ’s phone vibrates. Kellerman and Hale key in on the sound, but a man at the entrance of the lot honks his horn, distracting them. When Kellerman drops down and looks under the car, LJ is nowhere to be found.

Nick and Veronica move through a classy restaurant looking for Leslie Steadman. Nick sees a cell phone lying in the open on a table and palms it. “Just getting connected, that’s all.” Nick spots Leslie and walks to her table. Nick introduces himself and Veronica, using false names. He tells Leslie that they are part of the National Victims’ Rights Association and uses that guise to ask Leslie who else might have killed Terrence. Leslie replies, “If we talked about who had motive to kill Terrance, we’d be here all day. Look around. Half the people in this place were shareholders in his company. Every one of them sat at my husband’s memorial and every one of them was thinking the same thing — thank God he’s gone.” Then Leslie offhandedly reveals rumors of a possible indictment against Terrence. “Do the math. CEO of a corporation gets indicted for fraud, investors start losing money. A lot of money,” Leslie says, coldly. “We’re talking billions of dollars… People have killed for a lot less.”

Tweener stumbles through the yard. He’s been completely isolated by the other inmates and they just knock him around as he walks by. He sits on the bleachers and T-Bag moves in. “Not so good of a position you find yourself in, is it? Whites don’t want you. Blacks don’t want you. You’re just caught in the middle, aren’t you? A regular Tweener.” T-Bag then puts his hand on Tweener’s knee. Tweener jumps up and warns T-Bag, “You come near me again, I’m going to kill you.” T-Bag licks his lips. “Then you’re gonna have to, little man.”

T-Bag taunts Tweener all the way back into gen pop, “Best sleep with one eye open, girlie!” Michael steps in, suggesting to T-Bag, “Maybe you ought to leave the kid alone.” As T-Bag nods towards the toilet in Michael’s cell, he reminds Michael to mind his business. Michael has no choice but to back down.

Sara sits in the office of Dr. David George Brighton, Michael’s psychiatrist. Sara tells him she feels that she can get through to Michael, and that she would like to understand more about how his mind works. “Michael suffered from a couple of things. One was a condition called low-latent inhibition,” Brighton tells her. He explains that the condition causes people to take simple objects, such as a lamp, and see more than just the lamp. They fixate on every piece, from the cord to the bulb. “If someone with a low IQ has low latent inhibition, it almost always results in mental illness. If someone with a high IQ has it, it almost always results in creative genius,” he adds. Brighton continues to explain that Michael also had almost no sense of self-worth because of the death of his parents. The low self-worth paired with the low-latent inhibition made Michael more attuned to the suffering and pain around him, which caused him to feel that he needed to help everyone. Sara says that she had no idea about any of this. Brighton replies, “Then maybe you don’t know Michael Scofield.”

At night, T-Bag sings through the darkness, “Tweener, I’m coming for you…” Tweener sits pressed against the wall, crying softly. Michael watches from his cell on the second tier.

As Nick and Veronica arrive back at the cabin, Nick checks his messages with the stolen phone. “Lincoln’s son LJ left me a message, he’s in trouble.”

Veronica calls LJ on his cell phone. LJ begs her to come get him, but she says she can’t, she’s not in Chicago. LJ looks around the corner and sees Hale and Kellerman pull up. “How the hell do they know where I am?” Veronica tells him, “I need you to come to us; we’re in Lake Mercer.” Hale and Kellerman use a surveillance device to listen to the entire conversation from the car. Though Hale wants to apprehend LJ right now, Kellerman decides they will follow him to Lake Mercer. “A bird in the hand just became three,” he gloats. They pull away, leaving LJ alone in the streets.

Abruzzi, in his cell, removes a light bulb from a fixture. He looks over it for a moment, and then smashes it with his finger. He holds up the jagged remaining piece and examines it.

Gus lies asleep in his bunk. Abruzzi perches above Gus, and then slowly presses the shattered bulb down over Gus’ left eye. Gus asks what Abruzzi is doing. He replies, “Delivering yesterday’s news.” Abruzzi presses down firmly on the bulb. Gus screams.

LJ buys a ticket at the bus stop and turns to board the bus. On the way out, he steals a pair of shoes from the bag of a man sleeping nearby.

Michael dumps another handful of rocks in the yard as he watches T-Bag and his goons tease Tweener. Sara walks up behind Michael from the other side of the fence and tells him, “I just want you to know that if you need someone to talk to Michael, you’re not alone in here. It’s part of my job, you know, to counsel patients. Help them with their problems.” She studies Michael carefully, but he remains distant and measured. Sara tells him that she “sort of backed into some information” about Michael, and subtly reveals she’s aware of his need to help others. She reminds him that he did a lot of charity work and asks what could have happened to land him in Fox River. Michael, with an edge of bitterness replies, “The guy you’re talking about died the moment I stepped inside these walls.” Sara walks away, still without the connection she’d been hoping for.

A bus approaches the Lake Mercer station. Hale and Kellerman exit their car with guns drawn. They board the bus, showing their badges. They make their way down the aisle, still following their tracking device, but LJ is nowhere to be seen. They open the bathroom door and find LJ’s phone. Kellerman flips open the phone to see the photo of himself and lets out a bitter, defeated laugh.

Another bus pulls into a station at New Glarus. LJ steps off the bus and finds Veronica and Nick. He slowly walks to Veronica and she wraps her arms around him. In flashback, LJ stands at the street corner after Veronica tells him to go to Lake Mercer. Veronica then frantically sends him a text message. “DUMP THE PHONE, THEY’RE TRACKING YOU. WE’RE IN NEW GLARUS.” Back in the present, LJ holds Veronica tight.

The inability to locate LJ driving him mad, Lincoln paces in his cell. C.O. Mack walks into Lincoln’s cell with papers he says are “communication from your attorney.” Lincoln signs for it and tears into the envelope when the C.O.s leave. He flips until he finds a Post-It note which has “Notes from Mrs. Weatman’s 6th grade Biology class” written on it. Lincoln immediately moves his finger across the paper, tracing the right column of the text. He makes out the sentence:











Lincoln looks off, the tension in him melting at this news.

Michael, Sucre and T-Bag walk to their P.I. duty. T-Bag grins as he ogles Tweener who is heading back into the prison. T-Bag announces that he’s happy he’s going to be back in the real world soon and, “… the fact that I’m gonna get me a final piece of tail certainly don’t hurt either.” Once they’re inside the guard’s room, Michael quickly grabs a crowbar and smashes T-Bags knee. T-Bag collapses to the ground, howling in pain. As T-Bag grabs his knee and whimpers, Michael lays down the law. “It ends right now, you hear me?” Michael warns, but T-Bag is resilient and calls out for the guards. Michael calls T-Bag’s bluff; he’s sure T-Bag won’t talk because he wants out just as much as everyone else. Michael is right in T-Bag’s face, practically challenging him to sing. A C.O. enters and asks if there’s a problem. Michael stares T-Bag down until T-Bag tells the C.O. that he only thought they were missing some tools. After the C.O. leaves, Michael makes it clear to T-Bag that he’s in charge. “You and I may be stuck in this little dance together. But I’m calling the shots now. First shot is that kid out there, you don’t touch him. Ever. We understand each other?” T-Bag, his wings clipped, simply nods.

Before they can get back to work, Bellick marches into the guard’s room and stands directly on the hole. Miraculously, he doesn’t fall in. “Abruzzi, you and me need to have a conversation,” he says. When Bellick leaves, Michael pulls back the carpet to reveal that the Employee of the Month plaque is covering the hole. Michael looks up to Sucre, who winks.

“I warned you,” Bellick tells Abruzzi. Abruzzi asks for more time, but Bellick rejects the offer and walks off.

Later, T-Bag limps through the yard. Tweener calls out an insult to T-Bag. T-Bag looks at Tweener, then at Michael and Sucre across the yard. T-Bag walks on. Tweener jumps to his feet and mouths off with confidence, thinking that he’s the reason T-Bag didn’t make a move. Michael and Sucre exchange smiles, but the good mood is short-lived. “Uh oh, we got a problem,” Sucre says. A new group of P.I. grunts are moving toward the guard room, tools in hand. Abruzzi sees it too. He begins shouting to Bellick through the fence, “Bellick! What are they doing? That’s P.I., I run it.” Bellick pauses a moment and looks at Abruzzi, “Not anymore you don’t.” The inmates continue on toward the guard’s room. Gus, with a bandage over his eye and gauze wrapped around his head, leads them. Off Michael, realizing the ramifications of another group in charge of P.I..

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Posted in Season 1.

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