EPISODE 114 “The Rat”

Airdate: 2006-03-20

Michael and the escape team are still trapped in the prison utility room. Above them, the newly installed pipe is an impenetrable obstacle that separates Michael from his brother. T-Bag slowly saunters towards Michael, spinning a shiv in his right hand. He reminds the team that he’s serving life plus one. ” So if I get busted for attempted escape, I’ll throw in a homicide, no problem. That’s like a parking ticket to me.” Sucre tries to get T-Bag to stand down, but tensions run too high for rational thought. In the infirmary above, Lincoln bangs on the grate with a mop handle, making a loud and desperate attempt to get through to his brother.

Lincoln scrambles to replace the mop when he hears the approach of Dr. Sara Tancredi, who asks what he’s doing out of bed. Lincoln convinces her that he felt nauseous, so he went to the drain. But before she can respond, a C.O. enters and insists that Lincoln be handcuffed to the gurney. Lincoln doesn’t want to give the guard his wrists, knowing that if he is cuffed to the bed, there is no chance of escape. The C.O. slaps the cuffs on Lincoln.

The escapees in the utility room below panic at the sound of jingling keys. It can only be one thing.

Outside the utility room, a C.O. stands at the door hunting for the right key. He enters the room and scans it. He seems to find everything satisfactory until he spots a thin piece of pipe that broke while the escape crew attempted to pry the newly installed pipe from the ceiling. He picks it up, and inspects the edge, then looks upwards to the newly installed pipe. The escapees – hidden behind various shelves – look on with concern. T-Bag readies his shiv. The C.O. calls to another guard outside to come and check out what he’s found. The second C.O. doesn’t answer, so he moves into the hallway to find him. As soon as the room is clear, Westmoreland urges, “We gotta go, NOW!” He takes the rope from Sucre and they tie it to a nearby shelving unit. The men start sliding down the rope, and back into the drainage area below the utility room.

In the infirmary, Lincoln struggles against his cuffs, but he’s not going anywhere.

In the utility room, the C.O.s examine the pieces of the broken pipe. Under the grate in the floor they stand on, Michael dangles from the rope, watching the guards in a tense silence.

Captain Bellick barrels into the administration office and asks the other C.O.s if they want to head out to a local bar for a two-fer Tuesday. His happy hour plans are forgotten however, when he looks outside to the guards’ room and sees that the sheetrock outside hasn’t been moved yet. His expression darkens.

Sucre and the escape team race through the tunnels under the prison, as Bellick storms towards the guards’ room above ground.

Sucre pops out of the hole first, followed by C-Note, T-Bag and Michael. But Westmoreland has fallen behind.

Bellick grabs the door to the guards’ room but it doesn’t budge. On the other side, a crowbar Westmoreland slid through the handle acts as a sturdy barricade. The team urges Westmoreland to hurry up and get through the hole as the crowbar slips through the door handle. Michael forces Westmoreland to stay in the hole. They cover him quickly as the crowbar clangs to the ground.

Bellick storms in. “Why was this door locked?” Bellick demands. T-Bag is quick with an excuse about needing to keep it secure because of a draft. Bellick reams the cons for their slow work, telling them to wrap it up and get their asses back to the tier, “All four of you.” He stalks out, but halts a few feet down the hall. Something’s fishy.

Bellick barges back into the guards’ room, announcing, “You seem to be one light.” But Westmoreland pops into view. Bellick, though still suspicious, can only turn and leave. Alone and out of danger, the team takes its first breath of realization that the escape has failed.

In their cell, Sucre asks Michael if he thinks his brother knows they didn’t make it, but Michael is silent.

In the infirmary, Lincoln can only yank on the metal cuffs holding him to the gurney. He casts an urgent glance at the drainage grate beneath the sink.

The next morning, Warden Pope stands outside the prison walls fielding questions from reporters about Lincoln’s upcoming execution.

Still in hiding in Nick Savrinn’s apartment, LJ watches the news report about his father, fighting back tears.

Michael paces in his cell, Sucre sits on the top bunk. Michael tells Sucre that it’s sixteen hours until the execution and that there’s only one person left who can have any effect now.

Michael, in handcuffs, is walked into the infirmary. Through the glass he sees Sara, and in a room behind her, his brother. Michael and Lincoln make eye contact through the glass as Sara enters Michael’s room. “I need to see my brother, just to talk, for five minutes,” he begs. Sara says she’ll try, but the C.O. on guard tells her Michael must wait until final visitation. As Sara prepares his diabetes shot, Michael desperately blurts out, “Will you talk to your father for me?” Sara tells Michael that if she thought there was any chance that things would change if she talked to her father, she would do it. But because of her contentious relationship with her father, if Sara asks for clemency, there is no way Lincoln will get it. Lincoln walks through the infirmary in shackles, surrounded by C.O.s., Michael moves to the door to watch him go.

Nick and Veronica flank a heavy set court clerk, Lyle. They beg him to arrange a time for them to appeal to Judge Kessler for a stay. Lyle is stunned to learn that they believe Steadman to be alive and want to petition for an exhumation for the body in Steadman’s grave. Nick pleads with his law school buddy to put any political interests aside and do the right thing. Lyle succumbs, offering them fifteen minutes in the afternoon.

Sucre and Michael sit on the bleachers in the yard. Michael doesn’t think Lincoln knows what happened but Sucre tells him that he’s sure Lincoln knows that he tried. Michael says, “I promised I’d get him out of here.” T-Bag interrupts, “You promised a lot of people, Pretty.” Sucre steps in and T-Bag backs down, but not before warning Michael, “You owe me a ticket out of here, Pretty. And I will collect.”

In the line to return to gen pop, Westmoreland slides up next to Michael and offers his condolences for Lincoln. Westmoreland’s known a few guys to get the chair since he’s been at Fox River. “Once, ‘bout ten years ago, man got a few sparks in him, but not enough to do the job. Had to wait another three weeks while they redid the whole process.” Michael smiles when he hears this; the wheels in his head begin to turn. Without warning, Tweener pops up behind them, still pushing to be part of the gang. Michael heads off and Tweener asks Westmoreland what they were talking about. Westmoreland quietly says, “Nothing.”

Michael anxiously taps his fingers on the door of his cell while Sucre rests on the top bunk. Suddenly, Michael jumps to the back of the cell, “I’m going in.” Sucre is caught off guard and blurts out, “It’s daytime!” Michael just looks at Sucre, who climbs off the top bunk to hang the sheet. Michael pulls the toilet away from the wall, and grabs a concealed bag of tuna from under a notebook.

Inside the pipes under the prison, a rat walks up to a small pile of tuna. Michael’s hand shoots from the darkness and grabs the rat by its tail. Michael turns and moves quickly down another pipe.

Lincoln anxiously rubs his cuffed hands together. Sara, sitting on the bed next to him, puts her hand on his, and asks Lincoln if he has any questions about what is going to happen. Lincoln muses that little of what Sara has to say will do any good at midnight. Instead, he asks about his brother. Sara says Michael is eager to see Lincoln, but it can’t happen until final visitation. Sara adds that a doctor must be present during the execution, so she’ll be there at midnight. There’s a moment of silence, then Lincoln asks her to look out for Michael.

Sucre holds a mirror outside his cell and watches a C.O. approach. He taps three times on the metal bed frame just before the C.O. walks by. Seconds later, three metallic taps come from behind the toilet, signaling Sucre to pull the toilet from the wall so Michael can climb out from the catwalks. Michael springs out and begins taking the sheet down. Sucre asks, “What were you doing back there?” But Michael stays quiet.

Tweener sits across from Bellick, dipping French fries in his milkshake. Bellick laughs, and asks Tweener for the latest gossip in the yard. Bellick leans in close, waiting for news about Scofield, but all Tweener offers is info on some con trying to find a joint. Bellick grabs the hamburger from Tweener’s hands, reminding Tweener that his focus is Scofield. Tweener complains that Scofield won’t open up to him. Bellick says, “In that case, it’ll be one hundred dollars for the burgers.” If Tweener can’t come up with the money, Bellick’s going to have an auction to see which inmate will be Tweener’s new cellmate. Tweener, wracked with self-hatred and fear, finally confesses, “In the yard today, I did hear Scofield says somethin’.” He tells Bellick that he heard Michael say if something goes wrong with the electric chair, then Lincoln gets three more weeks to live. Bellick tells Tweener they’re square and sends Tweener back to gen pop.

Bellick storms down the prison hallways to the execution room. C.O. Geary is going over a preparation checklist when Bellick enters and tells him to run a test. Geary says they ran one this morning, but Bellick insists. Geary nods to another C.O. in a control room, who flips the switch. Nothing happens.

The cell doors slide open and the cons walk out into the main hall. Sucre asks if they’re still going through the infirmary, but Michael says he can’t corrode the pipe in the grate again. Sucre asks what the next plan is, but Michael isn’t concerned about escaping right now. He’s more concerned with his brother staying alive.

Bellick and Geary move through a narrow hallway in the belly of the prison to the source of the electric chair’s power. Bellick pops open the fuse panel door, and tucked inside is a rat’s carcass.

Lincoln sits in his cell, quietly praying and prepping himself for his final hours. His cell door slides open and a group of C.O.s move in. Lincoln asks to see his brother, and C.O. Stolte says he can see him in final visitation. Another C.O. moves to shackle Lincoln, but Stolte holds him back and tells Lincoln, ” It’s your last day, Linc. I’d prefer to keep you out of cuffs as much as possible, but I need some assurances.” Lincoln nods and gives his word that there won’t be need for restraints. Stolte takes out a small leather satchel.

Veronica stands in a courtroom before Judge Kessler. “From the outset, Your Honor, Mr. Burrows’ case has been tainted by a conspiracy characterized by destruction of evidence, distortion of truth and witness intimidation.” Opposing counsel Peter Tucci objects. He declares that Veronica has no proof behind her claims. Nick jumps in and offers that a video forensic analyst argued the authenticity of the parking garage surveillance video that showed Lincoln assassinating Terrence Steadman. Tucci again quickly interjects that of course, the tape no longer exists. Both Nick and Veronica battle Tucci’s every claim while Judge Kessler listens intently. Veronica tells the Judge that she saw Agent Kellerman shoot and kill her informant, Agent Danny Hale in an attempt to continue the cover up. Tucci presents a document to Judge Kessler, from the Secret Service, stating that there have never been agents with those names enlisted in the Secret Service. Finally, Judge Kessler is fed up with the bickering and declares, “Do either of you have any evidence that is admissible? Even just tangible? Your claims, if true, are terrifying. But anything, or anyone, that could verify your story is either gone, missing or dead.” He needs a few hours to consider both sides.

An electrician peels the dead rat out of the high voltage box for the electric chair. C.O. Geary asks if this is a regular occurrence, the electrician confirms, “Yeah, they’re attracted to heat when they’re cold. Plus, they got collapsible vertebrae or some deal. So they can squeeze through a crack yea big if they’re determined.” The electrician explains that if the rat’s tail touches metal while it’s chewing on the wires, it’s enough to short out the fuse. Bellick wants the fuse changed immediately, but the electrician says he has to notify the state and fill out paperwork. When Bellick tries to get the electrician to look the other way, the electrician resists and says they could all lose their jobs and be brought up on charges. Bellick tells him that only the three of them know. The electrician and Geary both reluctantly go along with Bellick’s plan.

In his cell, Michael checks his watch. Six hours until the execution. Bellick appears at Michael’s cell door and tells Michael that his brother is on the way to final visitation. Bellick watches Michael carefully. “You look surprised.” The lights flicker through the prison when the chair is tested again. Michael exits his cell, head down.

Stolte finishes shaving Lincoln’s head, and thanks him for keeping his word, “We’ll be moving you to final visitation soon.”

Michael paces in visitation, waiting for Lincoln. The door opens, and Lincoln shuffles in, his hands and feet shackled. While one C.O. removes the cuffs, C.O. Patterson attempts to discreetly hand Lincoln a sort of diaper and asks Lincoln to change into it. Lincoln refuses, then turns and smiles at Michael. The C.O.s leave and Lincoln tries to make the best of the situation by joking about his freshly shaved head. Michael starts asking about the appeal, but Lincoln just wants him to stay quiet and accept that the execution is going to happen. He doesn’t want to waste any more time on hoping something happens, and instead, just wants to share memories with his brother.

LJ stomps through Nick’s apartment, Veronica close on his heels. She’s telling him that he can’t go with her to see his father. There will be cops and security everywhere and LJ is still considered a fugitive. Nick’s cell phone rings; it’s Lyle with Judge Kessler’s ruling. Nick looks despondent and Veronica knows their appeal was denied. There’s a knock at the apartment door, Nick sends LJ to the back room and cautiously opens the door. It’s Sara. “Are you the attorneys for Lincoln Burrows?”

In final visitation, Lincoln and Michael play cards. Lincoln grabs a piece of blueberry pancake, but can barely stomach it. Veronica arrives and immediately embraces Lincoln. She reluctantly tells them that they lost the appeal. Veronica also reports that Sara came by and agreed to talk to her father, Governor Tancredi. Veronica tells Lincoln that she couldn’t bring LJ, but she calls LJ on her cell phone. She gives Lincoln the phone. Lincoln tells LJ that he wants him to stick close to Nick and Veronica. LJ tells his father, “I had a dream last night. You and me were working on a house, pounding nails. And in the dream it felt like we were both older. It was really clear, the whole dream. When I woke up, I knew that today wasn’t going to be the end. We’ll see each other again, Dad. I know it.” Lincoln closes his eyes as he cradles the phone.

In a stately government building, Sara urges Governor Tancredi to review the information she took from Nick and Sara. The governor reminds her, ” Being tough on crime and being pro-capital punishment is a philosophy I believe in. It’s also a philosophy I campaigned under and was elected for.” Sara, realizing she’s fighting a losing battle, bitterly shoves the case files to her father. She tells him, “I have to go back to Fox River. I have to be there when they kill this man. The least you could do is review his case. If it helps, pretend it didn’t come from me.”

Time is almost out in final visitation and Lincoln grimly contemplates that the world will remember him as an assassin. He quietly mutters, “I didn’t do it.” Then he explodes with anger, shaking the table and screaming, “I DIDN’T DO IT!” Warden Pope walks into the room, flanked by C.O.s, Lincoln’s time is up.

The C.O.s march a shackled Lincoln towards the room with the electric chair. C.O. Stolte rushes in with a cell phone and hands it to the Warden, “It’s the Governor!” The Pope listens carefully, then closes the phone. He stands before Lincoln and breaks the terrible news. “The Governor has reviewed your case, fully. He’s not granting clemency.” The execution will go forward.

The Governor stands in his office, overlooking the city. The Vice President creeps up behind him from the darkness, “You’ve done your country and your party a great service. It will not go unnoticed.”

Lincoln and the C.O.s walk over a thick yellow line painted on the floor, Bellick moves between Lincoln and the others and tells Michael and Veronica that they can’t go any farther. Veronica softly asks Bellick if she can have one last second with Lincoln, and he obliges. Veronica slowly moves to Lincoln, now crying, and hugs him. She whispers, “I’ve loved you since the first time I saw you.” She moves back behind the line, and Pope orders Michael’s cuffs to be removed. He hugs his brother one last time, and then retreats behind the line.

Lincoln’s life flashes back, his friends, his family, his loves. In a memory, Lincoln’s voice echoes, ” I came in here a man. Give me the strength to walk out of here a man.”

The door opens and Lincoln is faced with the electric chair.

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Posted in Season 1.

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