EPISODE 119 “The Key”

Airdate: 2006-04-24

Smoke. Wreckage. Battered and twisted, the Department of Corrections van lays on its side next to the deserted roadway. Smoke wafts by as we discover the motionless form of Lincoln, bloody and unconscious, lying next to the wreck. For a moment, it’s almost peaceful. Then, Lincoln gasps for air and opens his eyes. A few more labored breaths as his blurred vision slowly reveals what has happened.

Obviously in pain, Lincoln turns his head and sees the headlights of a single car come to a stop on the roadway above.

Lincoln tries to focus on the hazy figure of a man slowly walking from the car. The man walks directly to Lincoln. The man then kneels down next to Lincoln, revealing that it’s Agent Paul Kellerman. Lincoln can only wheeze. Kellerman removes a pair of leather gloves from his pocket, and begins telling Lincoln a story. “I used to have a St. Bernard. Big, loyal. Got cancer when it was twelve. So we had to put it down. You think it’d be this big dramatic event, but it was peaceful. One minute he was breathing and the next he wasn’t.” Kellerman covers Lincoln’s mouth with the gloves, then sinks a knee into Lincoln’s chest. Lincoln struggles as best he can, but with the handcuffs still around his wrists and the trauma from the crash, he’s too weak to fight off Agent Kellerman.

As Lincoln squirms under Kellerman, fighting to stay alive, another car pulls to a stop along the side of the road. A man shouts as he gets out of the car, “Hey, do you need me to call 911?” Kellerman takes his hand off Lincoln’s face as the would-be Good Samaritan approaches. Lincoln gulps for air. The Samaritan, his face concealed by a baseball cap, continues to comment on the condition of the van as he removes a fire extinguisher from his trunk. Kellerman’s face sinks, he doesn’t have time for this. Kellerman stands and reaches for the gun tucked in his waistband. The Samaritan walks past Kellerman, toward Lincoln. Kellerman tries to draw his gun, but before he can-BAM! With a vicious swing of the fire extinguisher, the Samaritan lands a brutal blow to the side of Kellerman’s head. Lincoln, losing consciousness, looks up to see the Samaritan dragging him away from the wreck. Kellerman lies in the ditch, unconscious from the blow.

Sucre steps out into the daylight of the Fox River Yard, free from doing his time in Ad Seg. He excitedly moves across the yard toward the handball courts, where Manche greets him with open arms. Michael embraces his cellmate, but T-Bag wants to get down to business. Michael tells them he was able to get what he needed and has completed the map. Michael now knows his way through the psych ward, but there’s still one obstacle that could keep them from getting into the infirmary. Instead of being able to come up through the floor of the infirmary, which was the original plan, the cons now have to make their way down a 30-foot hallway and through the infirmary door. All they need now are the keys to the infirmary. C-Note isn’t worried. He thinks all they’ll need to do is steal a set of keys from a C.O. Unfortunately, it won’t be that easy. Michael informs them that only the medical staff have keys to the infirmary. T-Bag wants to know how Michael plans on getting the keys. Michael response is, “Carefully.”

Westmoreland then steps away from the group. He’s staring at something. “Jesus, Mary, and Joseph,” he mutters in shock. The cons follow Westmorland’s gaze though the fence and see a Department of Corrections bus unloading Fox River’s newest guests. Packed in the middle of the shuffle is a familiar face. The face of John Abruzzi.

Back from the “dead,” John Abruzzi slowly walks in line, making eye contact with the escape crew. T-Bag’s jaw drops, as if he’s seen a ghost.

In the mess hall, Abruzzi sits alone at a table, praying over an open Bible. Michael walks up and greets him. John stands and embraces Michael as if he were a long lost friend. Wary, Michael asks John how he is. “Any day above ground is a blessing, thanks be to God,” is Abruzzi’s response as he invites Michael to sit with him. John says he’s surprised Michael is still there. Michael tells him there were a few setbacks. Michael cuts to the chase asking, “How does the idea of escaping sit with the new you?” John replies that the old sinner deserved to be in Fox River, but his new soul deserves to be free. Michael then wants to know if Abruzzi can still provide a plane. John’s cryptic response is, “Noah had his ark, did he not?”

T-Bag watches Michael and John from across the hall, he’s clearly nervous. He leans toward a rough looking inmate eating with him, “I’m gonna need a blade. Pronto.”

Pope paces his office, news of the hit and run on Lincoln’s transort is sinking in. Pope asks Bellick for the facts. Bellick confirms Lincoln is missing, two officers are dead, and one is in critical condition. Pope snaps nervously at Bellick, “Forty years in corrections and this is how they’re gonna remember me.” Bellick assures the Warden that no one has to know yet. Bellick wants four hours to try and get Lincoln back before they formally notify the Depart of Corrections. Pope is resistant. Bellick is worried that going by the book is going to get them all fired. He urges Pope not to go by the book this time. Pope looks intensely at Bellick, “Find him.”

A black Mustang drives through a junkyard. The car drives to a secluded corner and pulls in, out of sight. The mysterious man who helped Lincoln earlier gets out of the car and walks around to the passenger side. He opens the door and gently eases the still unconscious Lincoln out of the car.

Nick drops another box full of paper onto the coffee table of his apartment. Veronica sits before stacks of paper, flipping pages, “The records of every phone call to and from every contact stored in Quinn’s cell phone.” Nick tells her that finding something in all this paperwork will take forever, that it’s likely just a waste of time. Frustrated, Veronica wants to know what’s wrong him. She says it seems like he wants to quit. Nick assures her he doesn’t want to quit. Veronica then throws a stack of paper in his lap saying, “let’s get to it then.”

Michael waits outside one of the examination rooms in the infirmary. As Nurse Katie leaves the room, Michael catches the closing door and quickly locks the door from the inside. He then presses it shut. Dr. Tancredi approaches and says good morning to Michael. They each smile at each other as she reaches out to open the door. Finding it locked, she reaches into her pocket and takes out the key. Michael watches her unlock the door, taking note of which key she uses.

At the scene of the van accident, Police and EMT personnel do their thing while Sheriff Nate Ballard discusses the situation with Bellick. Ballard isn’t sure how long he can keep a lid on this thing. Bellick reminds the Sheriff they’ve known each other a long time. Then, a little too urgently, tells Ballard he needs this. Ballard concedes and tells Bellick he’ll be in constant contact. Bellick’s attention then turns to Kellerman, whose fresh head-wound is being attended to in the back of an ambulance. Bellick moves to Kellerman to ask a few questions of his own. Kellerman says his name is Roy Hawkings. Obviously in a hurry to leave, Kellerman stands and heads for his car. Bellick asks where he’s going. Kellerman says he’s late for a meeting in Aurora. Bellick asks where he was coming from. Kellerman, still woozy from the blow to the head, just wants to get out of there. He tells Bellick he was coming from Chicago. Bellick points out that he chose a pretty indirect route to get to Aurora. Kellerman shrugs and says he’s not from around here as he makes his way to his car. Once inside the car, Kellerman immediately reaches down and turns up the volume on his police scanner to track the progress of the search for Lincoln.

Michael sits shirtless on an examination table as Sara goes about cleaning the burn on his back. She turns and throws away the used gauze. As she turns back to Michael, their eyes meet. The moment is electric. Sara is caught off-guard as Michael slowly leans in and kisses her tenderly. She doesn’t pull away. Instead, she moves closer and the kiss heats up. She holds his face, their attraction too intense to ignore. Then slowly, Sarah pulls away. An awkward silence as Sarah takes a breath to compose herself. She looks into his eyes and asks, “What do you want from me, Michael?” Michael is clearly conflicted as to how he should answer. Then, he catches sight of the keychain hanging from Sara’s lab coat. He needs those keys, but he can’t deny his feelings for her. He asks her to wait for him. He tells her, “It won’t always be like this.” She steps away from him, realizing the truth of their situation. Finally, she says she can’t. Just then, an orderly walks into the room, oblivious to Michael and Sara’s encounter. Sara steadies herself, then hurries out of the room.

Tweener walks into his cell and the door closes behind him. He tucks into the corner of the cell as Avocado sits up on the upper bunk. Tweener tries to buy off Avocado, hoping to avoid what Avocado is about to do to him. But Avocado declines, saying, “You only got one thing I need.” Avocado then drops the sheet hung over the cell doors so no one can look in. Tweener realizes he’s in for a rough night.

The next day in the yard, Tweener sits against one of the massive prison walls. He’s feeling very trapped as the abuse is taking its toll. Michael approaches him carefully, and sits next to him. Michael tells Tweener he needs another bump and swipe, similar to when he got Michael’s watch back from Geary. But Tweener is angry. He was busted for the watch and that’s what led to him getting stuck in a cell with Avocado. Tweener tells Michael that if he wants something done, he has to do something in return. Tweener looks over to Avocado, who’s lounging in the yard, and mutters, “Kill that son of a bitch.” But Michael tells him that’s not something he can do. Tweener blurts out, “Screw Honus Wagner.” Michael doesn’t catch what Tweener is talking about. Tweener tells Michael that he stole a baseball card collection from another kid’s father to get some party cash. But there was a 1910 Honus Wagner card in that collection. It was worth three hundred thousand dollars, and that made the crime grand larceny. Tweener fights back tears as Michael’s head sinks.

Lincoln begins to regain consciousness in the cluttered junkyard garage. The man with him sees this and moves around the car to help him. Lincoln looks up at the figure standing over him. His eyes finally focus, allowing Lincoln to recognize the man. Wearily, Lincoln simply says, “Dad?” It’s an uncomfortable reunion. Lincoln wants to know what his father is doing there. His father tells him that he’s going to make sure Lincoln disappears for good this time. He goes on to explain that he worked for the Company. Lincoln wants some answers. He wants to know why his father left. His father tells him that the Company made it clear: if he wanted to rise in the ranks, he’d have to leave everything behind. This was to protect his family. Lincoln is skeptical. He tells Lincoln that he regrets his decision to leave everyday, but he couldn’t come back. That’s why the Company came after Lincoln, to flush out the father.

Michael, on one of the yard pay phones, begs Nika to trust him. Nika tells Michael that she can’t help unless he tells her what is going on. He can’t. Nika reminds Michael that she held up her end of their deal, a green card for the credit card. That’s all. Michael asks her for a new deal, but she doesn’t want him to be in anymore trouble than he already is. She says she doesn’t know why he’s in there, but she advises him to stop fighting. Michael asks her to think about it. Nika just says she’s sorry and hangs up.

Veronica highlights another page in a packet of documents, “There it is again, the 406 number. It’s on every listing.” Nick notes that more than two hundred businesses and another hundred residences in seventeen countries are calling that number. Veronica tracks the 406 area code on her computer, “This doesn’t make sense. All these people from all over the world, are calling this place in the middle of nowhere with a population of 42. Blackfoot, Montana.”

Terrence Steadman places his false teeth in his mouth and picks up a cordless phone. Inside a limo, thousands of miles away, the Vice President’s phone rings. She tells Terrence that if he wants to talk, he needs to set up a face to face meeting. But Terrence continues on, telling his sister that he’s seen her latest polls and that her numbers are dropping. The Vice President tries to hang up, but Terrence insists on carrying on the conversation. The Vice President tells her brother that the “only reason you’re still alive is because I won’t let them kill you.” Bitterly, Terrence fires back, “Yeah, I’m pretty clear on that. But the thing I can’t quite figure is, with the crap storm this thing’s become, why they haven’t killed you.” The Vice President waits a moment, then hangs up.

Michael walks the yard alone, his mind heavy with events of the day: Sara and the infirmary, Nika’s refusal to help. He leans his head against a chain link fence. When he looks up, he sees Sara and nurse Katie walking between buildings. Sara passes, making eye contact with Michael. She catches herself and bashfully turns her head away. Sucre then walks up and asks Michael if he’s figured out how to get the key to the infirmary. Michael says, “Not quite.” Sara takes one more look back at Michael. Sucre notices this and asks, “Are you workin’ a game on her, or what?” Michael, unsure himself, replies that he doesn’t know.

T-Bag shaves in his cell. He is startled when he sees the reflection of Abruzzi appear in his mirror. Abruzzi tells T-Bag he’s had time to think, “Not that you tried to kill me, but about how Jesus saved me.” He tells T-Bag that he hasn’t come to cause any more pain, that he’s ready to forgive T-Bag for what he did. T-Bag is nervous. He doesn’t trust Abruzzi. John offers his hand to shake as a peace offering. T-Bag wants to see John’s other hand. John’s response is, “After all you’ve done, the least I ask is that you don’t insult me.” John steps further into the cell. T-Bag cautiously approaches. Both men tentatively reach to shake hands. After a tense beat, they finally do. The two men call a truce and John walks away. T-Bag breathes a sigh of relief.

Pope storms down the stairs of the administration building with Bellick hot on his heels. Pope is furious that Lincoln is still on the run. Bellick promises Pope that the sheriff’s department has the area blocked off and that it’s only a matter of time until they find Lincoln. Warden Pope tells Bellick he has two more hours and then he must go to the media. He reminds Bellick that they have a killer on the loose and that there are some things that are more important than a career.

Bellick throws his jacket on and gets ready to head out to assist in the search for Lincoln. C.O. Stolte pulls him aside and tells him Tweener “really needs to talk.” Tweener begs Bellick to get him out of the cell with Avocado, but Bellick ignores him and walks off.

Back in his cell, Tweener sits on the lower bunk, fearfully looking up to where Avocado is. Avocado slides his massive body off the top bunk and starts to cuddle up next to Tweener. He tells Tweener to, “start relaxing. Hurt a lot less.” Tweener quietly asks if they can go up to Avocado’s bunk. Avocado likes the sound of that and stands to smooth the sheets. Tweener, now out of Avocado’s eyesight, pulls a razor blade from the metal frame above him. Tweener clenches his jaw, then slashes Avocado with the razor. Avocado cries out in pain.

In the prison parking lot, Sara digs through her purse looking for her car keys. When she gets to her car, Nika comes up from behind her and asks her if she’s the prison doctor. When Sara says yes, Nika asks if she knows Michael Scofield. Sara realizes Nika is Michael’s “wife.” Nike tells Sara that she wants to talk to her. She believes Michael is in some trouble and that he’s going to do something dangerous to get out of it.

At a nearby diner, Sara asks what Nika thinks Michael is going to do. Nika tells Sara that Michael has a deep need to help people, and he saved her from being sold by the men who smuggled her into the United States. Michael gave her an opportunity for a new life. Sara says that she wants to do whatever she can to help Michael, but to do that she needs to know more about what kind of trouble Michael is in. Nika gets flustered and thinks talking to Sara was a mistake. Nika stands and knocks her purse on the floor. Sara bends down to help pick up the purse. As Sara stands up again, she begs Nika for a way to contact her. Nika doesn’t think that’s a good idea. As Nika hurriedly leaves the diner, she asks Sara not tell Michael they spoke.

Lincoln, finally able to sit upright, doesn’t understand how his own death would stop his father. “Because I’m the one who leaked the information about EcoField. They could’ve covered up the scandal a thousand different ways, but they chose to fake Terrance Steadman’s death. And they chose you because they knew it would flush me out. They knew that any man with a son on death row who was innocent would have come forward.” But Lincoln coldly reminds his father that he didn’t come forward. Lincoln’s father tells him that millions of lives could have been saved, by sacrificing Lincoln. But he couldn’t watch his son die. Lincoln turns to his father, furious, telling him that LJ’s mother is dead, Michael is in Fox River and LJ is rotting in some jail, and all of it is his father’s fault. Lincoln’s father accepts the blame, but says there’s still a chance that they can make it right.

Outside the garage, one of the employees at the junkyard notices the black Mustang behind some plastic tarps.

T-Bag slithers across the floor of Gen Pop. Another inmate approaches and quickly hands him a shiv. He tucks the blade behind his back, then begins moving towards Abruzzi’s cell. John sits quietly reading on the bottom bunk. C-Note, swiftly moves in behind T-Bag and grabs T-Bag’s arm just as he was about to charge. C-Note spins T-Bag around and pulls him close and says, “That man in there, is our transportation out of here. Which means, if you go after him, that messes with my chances of me seeing my family. So I ain’t gonna let that happen.” T-Bag stands quietly, knowing C-Note is right. C-Note then tells T-Bag to give him the shank he’s holding. Reluctantly, T-Bag gives up the shank. C-Note calmly walks off as T-Bag slides away.

Back at the infirmary entrance, Sara digs through her purse. She can’t find her keys. An orderly has to let her in.

Nika sits with Michael in visitation. Michael apologizes to Nika for getting her involved. Nika says it’s okay as she takes his hand, subtly passing Sara’s keys to him. Michael thanks her as he stuffs the keys in his sock. Nika says that now they are even. Michael tells her she didn’t owe him anything. She says she owed him everything, but that’s over now. Nika stands to leave, and whispers to Michael, “The lady doctor, she cares for you.”

Bellick paces the hallway of the administration building. C.O. Patterson rushes in with a walkie-talkie, the Sheriff is looking for Bellick. Sheriff Ballard relays to Bellick that the junk yard owner spotted the black Mustang and they’re moving to check it out. Bellick says he’ll be right there.

Kellerman, listening in, puts down the police scanner and speeds away.

Lincoln’s father goes over their escape plan. He tells Lincoln there’s an unimproved road by the river. There’s a chance it hasn’t been blocked off yet. Just as they are about to get in the car, Lincoln sees Kellerman through the plastic hanging over the garage. Lincoln and his father hurry out the back on foot.

They crouch behind cars, trying to keep and eye on Kellerman as they make their way through the forest of discarded junk. Kellerman, gun drawn, is on the hunt. He moves slowly, deliberately as he seeks his target.

Now police cars flood into the compound. Staying low, Lincoln and his father double back, away from the main road. Kellerman also sees the police cars and quickly attaches a silencer to the barrel of his gun.

Bellick, shotgun in hand, now combs the rows or cars with Sheriff Ballard.

Lincoln’s father leads them to a way out of the yard, but Lincoln hesitates. Kellerman turns the corner, gun raised, and calls to Lincoln. Lincoln whispers to his father, “Get out of here.” Kellerman closes in with Linclon square in his gun sights. Kellerman orders Lincoln to turn around.

Lincoln then sees Bellick moving on the other side of the fence. He calls out, “Bellick! Don’t shoot!” Lincoln knows that Bellick’s punishment will be harsh, but at least he’ll be alive. Kellerman is forced to run for cover as the police move in on Lincoln. Lincoln painfully drops to his knees and the police restrain him. Lincoln’s father hurries away from the scene.

Michael huddles over his desk, trying to melt the plastic handle of his toothbrush so he can mold it into a key. Sucre enters the cell and asks if Michael heard about Avocado. Sucre tells him that Avocado was cut up pretty bad, but told people it was the bed frame. Sucre says that Tweener sliced him. Avocado is lying about the bed frame because he doesn’t want Tweener in the SHU. Once Avocado gets out of the infirmary, he’s going to kill Tweener.

Sara and nurse Katie tear the infirmary apart looking for the lost keys. Katie tells her to retrace her steps. Sara tells Katie she noticed them missing, right after lunch. Then she figures it out. Nika must have used her frantic exit as a diversion to get the keys out of Sara’s purse. Sara jumps up and finds a C.O., she tells him she needs to see the visitation log. She grabs the clipboard and scans the names. She finds Michael’s, then moves her finger across to find the name “NIKA VOLEK.” Obviously upset, she puts the clipboard down and leaves.

As Michael walks through the yard, John stops him says he needs to know where Fibonacci is. He explains that his conversion requires that he not only seek forgiveness, but also provide forgiveness for those who betrayed him. Michael remains quiet. John pleads with Michael, but Michael refuses. John says he understands and that he’ll be patient.

Having walked away from Michael, John then makes a phone call. A man on the other end answers. John tells the man, “You’re now officially on standby. You’ll have her there, you understand?” We now see John is talking to Nick Savrinn. Nick, replies with a heavy heart, “I’ll do my best.” In old Abruzzi fashion, he continues, “Good. Goose Park Airstrip. Find it on the map. Soon as I call, you have that bitch there ready and waiting.”

Michael finds Tweener at the bleachers. Michael tells Tweener to go to Ad Seg, but Tweener knows admitting what he did to Avocado would add time to his sentence and that he’s a dead man either way. Michael tells him that there might be another way out of Fox River, but he needs to know if he can trust Tweener. Tweener locks eyes with Michael. Tweener now knows there’s something bigger going on.

In the infirmary, Michael rolls up his sleeve as Sara walks in with his daily insulin injection. Michael tries small talking Sara, but he can tell things have changed. Katie walks in and tells Sara that she found her keys over by her inbox. Sara stares fiercely at Michael. Michael can’t look her in the eye. Katie adds, “There’s a maintenance guy waiting outside — said you wanted him to change the locks. Should I call him off?” Sara eyes Michael for any response, but then says to send him in. Sara asks Michael if there’s something wrong. Michael tries to cover by asking if she wants to talk about what happened earlier. But Sara coldly says she has a pretty good idea and sends Michael off. The maintenance man throws the old doorknob into his work box as Michael walks by, defeated.

Lincoln, still in pain, shuffles his cuffed legs out of the van and back into Fox River. Warden Pope stands waiting, then barks out, “I want him under twenty-four hour surveillance. He doesn’t sneeze without my knowing it.” When Lincoln pleads that someone tried to kill him. Pope tells him that finding Lincoln 8 miles away from the accident scene makes him believe otherwise. C.O.s march Lincoln back to Ad Seg.

Obviously in a good mood, Bellick sings to himself as he strolls into the yard. Tweener checks to see if anyone is listening, then calls for Bellick at the fence line. Tweener tells Bellick that he has information for him this time, but he wants guaranteed protection from Avocado as well as time taken off his sentence. Bellick laughs it off, figuring that Tweener is bluffing. Tweener continues to plead. Bellick gets serious and tells Tweener it’s his last chance to prove himself. Tweener leans in close to Bellick, “Scofield and his whole P.I. crew…they’re escaping.”

Bellick furiously tears apart the guard room. He grabs a sledge hammer and begins hitting the floor until he hits something that sounds hollow. Bellick drops the sledge hammer, then flips up the couch and tears up the carpet. He takes the sledge hammer and smashes it repeatedly into the hollow spot. Bits of concrete and plywood fly as Bellick furiously whacks away at the floor. Then, Bellick breaks through. His eyes are wide as he stares down at what he’s uncovered…Bellick has found the hole!

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Posted in Season 1.

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