As night turns into day over Fox River Penitentiary, a hand meticulously works over a crypto-quote. Off-screen, FBI Agent Alexander Mahone asks, “The escapees — who were they?”
Another agent tells us; “Michael Scofield, structural engineer, five years for armed robbery. Benjamin Miles Franklin, former U.S. Army, eight years for possession of stolen goods. John Abruzzi, don of the crime family of the same name. Life without parole for conspiracy to commit murder. Charles “Haywire” Patoshik, sixty years for 2nd degree murder. Fernando Sucre, five years for aggravated robbery. David “Tweener” Apolskis, five years for grand larceny. Theodore “T-Bag” Bagwell. Life for six counts of kidnapping and murder. Lincoln Burrows. Scheduled to die next week for the murder of President Reynold’s brother.”
Mahone asks how long it’s been since they went over the wall? “8:00 p.m. last night.” Scofield and Burrows are brothers. And Scofield’s the mastermind of this thing? I want everything they have on him.
As Michael and the rest of the cons race through a dense forest, Bellick and his team of C.O.’s are fast upon their heels. The cons momentarily stop to catch their breath, when off screen, they hear a strange sound coming from beyond the tree-line. They walk a few feet and discover the noise is a passing train. The cons break towards it, with Lincoln leading the charge. With the C.O.’s still on their tails, Lincoln, Abruzzi and C-Note race in front of the train and just narrowly cross the tracks to escape on the other side. But Michael and Sucre are a few steps behind them. As they try to keep up, Sucre manages to jump up onto the side of the moving train and climb inside a boxcar. Bellick reaches the tree line and sees Michael grabbing onto the train. Raising his shotgun, he shouts, “Freeze! I will gun you down Scofield!” But Sucre quickly pulls Michael inside just as Bellick fires off a wild shot, hitting the side of the train. The pair then successfully jump off the other side of the train and make their escape. Frustrated, Bellick turns to another C.O., asking where the air units are. “Back on the ground refueling.” Bellick fumes.
Back at Fox River, Mahone prepares for a press conference. He straightens the cuffs of his suit jacket, staring into his hardened reflection in a mirror. Before he walks out, he grabs a pen. As camera flashes start to pop off in quick succession, Mahone enters the press conference and takes his position behind the podium. “I’d like to talk about John Wilkes Booth for a moment,” he tells the room of anxious reporters. “Abraham Lincoln’s killer. Twelve days. That’s how long it took to find him. He was a shrewd guy; he knew the land, how to use it to disappear. In his journal during this period he wrote that the shadow was his friend, the night his domain. He acknowledged that whatever neurosis drove the criminal to commit the original crime is compounded, magnified, by flight. By the sounds of dogs at his heels. Fear becomes paranoia, paranoia ultimately psychosis. I bring this up because in 140 years the fundamental mind of the escaped man has not changed. The escaped man is still human. He is still afraid. And he will stop at nothing in his attempt at flight. Fortunately for us, while our quarry has shadow and night as his ally, we have something far greater. Far more powerful than law enforcement had in those days. Television. I would encourage everybody who is watching – everyone in this country to take a look at these faces. These men are now the eight most wanted men in America.”
As the cons continue their flight, Sucre laments. “I thought I thought this out. Did you see all those guys back there?” Michael quickly chimes in to calm in. “Key is they’re back there.” “And how long do you think that is going to last,” Sucre retorts. “Yeah, especially since we don’t have a pot to piss in,” C-Note interjects. “Especially thanks to Abruzzi’s magically disappearing jet.” But Abruzzi won’t let him have the last word. “You were never gonna be on that plane brother.” C-Note turns to Michael, “and don’t think I don’t know where you’re going Scofield. Utah. When were you planning on telling us about the money?” Sucre asks “what money?” C-Note, “the 5 million Westmoreland planted in the desert in Utah.” But Michael tries to play off the question. “You don’t know what you are talking about.”
Back at Fox River, Mahone sidles up to Warden Pope. “Isn’t it a little early for the FBI to be getting involved?” Pope asks. Mahone assures him it’s still his (Pope’s) investigation until the cons cross state lines, at which point the matter becomes Federal, but he’s hoping to cut through all the red-tape so they can end this thing as quickly as possible. Pope agrees. Mahone asks Pope about Dr. Tancredi. Pope tells him there is nothing to tell but Mahone isn’t so sure. “From what I’m hearing she may have opened the door that let them get out.” Pope tells him he doesn’t discuss his staff. Mahone says maybe he should. “She may be the key to this thing. We need to speak with her.” Pope tells him, “right now Mr. Mahone, she is not going to speak to anyone.”
Dr. Sara Tancredi lies unconscious in a hospital bed, hooked up to a ventilator. From off-screen we hear two doctors discussing her condition; “IVs are hydrating her. We got her on a Naloxone infusion. We’ve done all we can from our end. It’s really up to her now. Either she fights and lives… or she quits and dies.” As we go inside Sara’s unconscious mind, we see quick flashbacks of her and Michael together in the infirmary. Flirtatious glances and touches. As the images suddenly spin faster and faster, Sara awakens, taking a huge breath.
T-Bag kneels over someone else’s campsite, going through their belongings. He grabs an old shirt and an igloo chest filled with ice when the tent nearby suddenly unzips and a man and his girlfriend come out. T-Bag quickly pulls a screwdriver on them, threatening; “Call the cops and I will put this thing right there in your eye.” The couple, scared, back offs and T-Bag uses the moment to grab the ice chest and go on his way.
Meanwhile back at the train tracks, cops with trained police dogs search underneath the stopped locomotive for possible stowaways. Nearby, Mahone and another agent go over photos of Scofield, taking interest in his intricate tattoos. “How long you think it would take to get something like that?” Mahone asks. “The tattoo artist must have spent a lot of time with him.” He tells Ives to find out who gave Scofield his ink just as Bellick walks by, clearly not in the mood to chat. Bellick tells Mahone he’s just about the cameras and the fame but Mahone assures him he is only using the press as a tool. “It’ll bring those men back.” Bellick tells him they don’t need him on the case. “We’re hot on these guys trail and it’s just a matter of time before we find them.” Mahone tells Bellick the problem of being on somebody’s trail is that you’re always behind your prey. “We’ll see about that,” Bellick mutters.
Back in Blackstone, Montana, Veronica pats down Terrance Steadman. He tells her he’s the furthest thing from a threat. Veronica takes out a camera and snaps a photograph of him. “It won’t do you any good,” he laments. “You don’t understand,” she says, “somebody is going to be executed for your murder and you’re just sitting here.” “I’m not the one who choose Lincoln Burrows as the fall guy,” Steadman retorts. “Who did? Your sister the President?” “You don’t understand. I’m a prisoner to all of this.” “You could have come forward,” she tells him. “You could have stopped this thing before it even got started.” “No I really am a prisoner, and now so are you. The moment you let the door shut behind you.” Veronica races over to the back door but finds it’s locked. As Steadman settles back in his chair; “Didn’t it strike you as curious that there is no security outside. The house locks from the outside. Glass is two inches thick and bullet proof. There is no getting out of here young woman.”
Michael and Lincoln sit on a dock, taking a short moment apart from the rest of the cons, who glare on from a distance with untrusting eyes. Lincoln wants to dump the rest of the cons but Mike tells him they already know about Utah. Lincoln says then ,”All the more reason to dump them now,” Michael tells him the Feds will know where we are going if they catch them. We just gotta make sure they keep afloat until we’re off in Utah, doing what we gotta do.” Lincoln asks Michael if he really thinks the money is going to be in Utah when they get there. Michael tells him there is no reason to think otherwise. “Westmoreland had no reason to lie.” First the money, then Mexico. A bunch of bumpy second class bus rides into Panama and they are golden. But Lincoln isn’t so sure. Michael tells him Abruzzi’s jet was only plan A. But they got everything they’ll need in storage. Michael turns his wrist, where we see a tattoo — Ripe Chance Woods — in black ink.
Back at FBI headquarters, Mahone talks to Michael’s tattoo artist Sid, who tells him that Michael designed the entire tattoo. “I always sort of had the feeling the whole thing was some sort of inside joke that only he was in on,” she says. This triggers an idea in Mahone, who asks Agent Foley what the road was they took in to the prison. Foley tells him English Boulevard. “And out in front of the prison, the two streets it intersects with.” Fitz and Percy. Mahone’s onto Michael’s plan.
While Michael and the cons try to figure out their next move, a little girl wanders up, asking what they are doing. C-Note tells her they are fishing. “With no poles?” she asks quizzically. Michael wants to know more importantly, what is she doing out there? Suddenly a man (her father), walks out of the brush, pointing a hunting rifle at the cons, “You’re those guys from Fox River. Don’t any of you move a freaking muscle,” he orders. C-Note tells him to relax but before they can even start to negotiate, Abruzzi grabs the hunter’s daughter and points his gun at her head. Abruzzi orders him to drop the rifle. But the hunter doesn’t oblige. Abruzzi cocks the gun. The hunter orders Abruzzi not to hurt her. Finally, the hunter lowers his gun and throws it down. “Good boy,” Abruzzi snarls, then orders Sucre to pick up the discarded weapon. Abruzzi releases the girl. The hunter tells them he won’t tell anybody about them. Michael asks for his car keys and the cons head out.
Sara sits in her hospital bed, listening to Mahone’s partner Agent Foley, who tells Sara that she is being considered an accessory to the escape. While Sara does her best to dodge Foley’s prying questions into the nature of her relationship with Michael, Foley informs her that seven other inmates got out with Scofield. As this sinks in on Sara…
T-Bag stands outside of a clinic for Dr. Marvin Gudat. Inside, Gudat tells T-Bag the clinic is closed. “That’s sort of the point,” T-Bag tells him, placing the ice chest on the reception counter. “I’m gonna need some work done. And I’m gonna need it done privately.” Gudat informs him that the clinic is not for humans – only animals. Frustrated, T-Bag raises his arm, exposing his missing hand. Gudat turns and immediately goes to the phone to call 911 but T-Bag quickly intercepts, holding the screwdriver-end to the doctor’s neck. “Nobody’s gonna be doing any calling here doctor.”
The cons make their escape in the hunter’s Grand Cherokee but C-Note’s still pissed about what transpired with the young girl and her father — he wants Abruzzi out of the car. Abruzzi tells him he had to do it. If he didn’t, they wouldn’t be on their way right now. C-Note asks where they are going. Michael says, “Oswego.” C-Note’s confused; “That’s east. My family is west.” Abruzzi tells him, “you don’t think they don’t know about your family. You don’t think they aren’t just waiting there for you to come running back home.” Sucre interjects, “what about NY?” My girl is pregnant.” Abruzzi tells him that now their love is their weakness. Michael assures them not to let that stop them. They just have to be smart now. C-Note asks where in Oswego? Michael tells them, “It’s not where Oswego is. It’s what’s in Oswego.”
Bellick is handed Michael’s pre-prison credit card statement from C.O. Patterson. “He spent a lot of money here in Will County,” Bellick tells him. “Why does a guy from Chicago come all the way out here and spend eight thousand?” Another C.O. runs up and informs Bellick that a hunter and his daughter just ran into five of the cons.
Mahone walks Michael’s old apartment, looking for a beat into Michael’s way of thinking; “Mother’s dead. Father’s a deadbeat. Don’t have anything in the world but your brother.” As he runs his hands along the wall, we start to see quick flashes of Michael prior to the escape, carefully going over the details of his breakout plan. “So you plan. And you scheme for months till you get it right. Every single element. And then you destroy all the evidence,” Mahone says. He turns and walks over to the window that overlooks the murky waters of Chicago river below. “I want divers down in the river.”
Back in Blackfoot, Montana, Veronica tries to get cell phone reception but Terrance tells her they are too far in the woods. Unconvinced, she works the phone but soon feels the cold steel of a pistol pushed into the back of her head. “Don’t,” Terrance demands.
Bellick talks to the hunter, who confirms that the cons took his 1978 Grand Cherokee. Bellick asks what direction the cons went. “Oswego,” the hunter tells him. Bellick calls out for Michael’s credit card statements that Patterson has. On the statement he sees several Oswego businesses including Allen’s Self Storage in Oswego, Illinois. “Of course. Where is he going to put all the crap he’s going to need to disappear. We’re going to Oswego boys!” Bellick grumbles.
Nurse Katie pays Sara a visit in the hospital. “You look disappointed,” she tells Sara. “I thought you were going to be my father,” Sara says. Katie tells Sara she needs to apologize — they threatened her job if she didn’t talk about what happened back at the prison with she and Michael. Sara tells her, “the one thing she learned when walking the steps, is that you don’t outsource the blame over what’s happening in your own backyard.” “You’re not the first correctional worker who fell for a con,” Katie confesses. Sara tells her, “He never cared,” while miles away…
Sucre asks Michael what he’s thinking about. “Mistakes,” he laments. Sucre tells him he had to do it. “Not like I did. I ruined her life.” Sucre shrugs, “There is nothing you can do about it now.” Michael says, “That’s not true.”
Back in Blackfoot, Montana. Veronica chides Terrance, “What are you going to do Terrance, shoot me. You kill me, you’re stuck with me.” He tells her he gave up his family, his teeth. He eats percocet all day just to dull the pain of his existence. Veronica pulls out her cell as Terrance raises the gun. “Don’t,” he warns her. On the phone we hear an operator, “Blackfoot Sheriff’s department.” “Hello my name is Veronica Donovan. I need you to send a car to the end of one light road.” The operator asks if she is calling to report a crime. “I am. By the President of the United States.”
Dr. Gudat tells T-Bag he needs a specialist for his hand. T-Bag tells him his hand has been in that box for hours and is dying. T-Bag threatens his life, and the life of Mrs. Gudat. The doctor says he can promise him nothing. “The story of my life,” T-Bag laments. I’ll have to put you under.” “Do I really look that stupid?” “Nobody can undergo a procedure like this without anesthetic.” “I ain’t nobody,” T-Bag informs him.
Agent Ives tells Mahone that Schweitzer was the maker of the toilet that Michael moved in his cell. Allen bolt was the fitting. “It’s all here isn’t it,” Mahone says impressed. He asks if there is a place in the vicinity that goes by Ripe Chance Woods. Ives tells him they’re looking into it and that the D.O.C. is moving in on a storage facility in Oswego. They roll out.
Michael opens up the large door of a storage unit as Bellick and Co. pull up. Bellick tells his men, “If they are in there, then we got em’ boxed in.” Mahone and Ives pull up too but Bellick is quick to remind him that this is his collar.
As Bellick, Patterson and Company make their way towards Michael’s storage unit, inside, Michael tells the other cons to close the door.
Mahone asks if there is any word on Ripe Chance Woods. Ives tells him there is no place by that name in this country or in any country for that matter.
Inside the storage unit, Michael hands out shovels to the guys. As they walk back towards the unit door, we see Bellick and Company approaching from outside. As they raise the door, we reveal the storage locker is empty. Michael set them up to go to that location and Bellick is fuming.
Michael and the rest of the cons walk across a cemetery lot. They carefully look around for any spectators, then take their shovels and break ground on a plot.
As Bellick and the guys return to their cars Mahone steps out of his SUV. He calls out to a Correctional Officer who turns. But it’s not the officer Mahone is interested in – it’s his name badge which says RIVERS. Mahone realizes Ripe Chance Woods isn’t a place – but a name. He orders Ives to check census records for the county as far back as they go.
As the cons make headway on a large hole, C-note voices his concern that somebody is going to see them. Just then, Michael hits something. He retrieves several buried garbage bags from the hole. C-note tells him, “You are one sick Cat.”
Using Agent Ives PDA, which is on a county census records website, Mahone’s found what he wants. “We gotta go to the cemetery.”
Michael dumps out the contents of the bags, which he tells the guys were supposed to be a weeks worth of clothes for he and Lincoln. “But I figured you all need just as much help as we do.” Michael tells them they have to stop being cons and start being civilians. As the cons change out of their clothes Michael tosses Lincoln a bookbag filled with fake id’s, passports, money, prepaid phone cards and car keys. Lincoln asks what the car keys are for. “To a car that is waiting a couple 100 yards from here.” Lincoln asks if the car is for the two of them or for all of the cons. Michael tells him just the two of them. Linc asks if the other cons know this? “Not yet.” As the cons finish filling in the grave, Mahone’s black SUV pulls up. Sucre motions for them to get out of there.
Mahone parks next to where Michael and the cons were just digging. As the cons watch from a safe distance, Mahone walks over to the freshly filled grave and looks at the headstone. R.I.P E. CHANCE WOODS on the marker.
C-Note voices what all of the cons are thinking, “How did he (Mahone) know?” As the cons race off across the cemetery, Michael stays back a few seconds longer, intrigued by Mahone’s ability. Mahone takes out his pen and pops a secret compartment on the top – retrieving a small white pill from inside that he immediately swallows. He then stands, and pulls his gun, he’s knows the guys can’t have gotten too far.
Michael and the cons race out of the cemetery and onto a busy city street, where in their new clothes, they now blend in with the general population. As they weave in and out of the crowd, a hand suddenly grabs Michael from behind. He spins around to find a fifteen- year-old kid, “Do you know what time it is, sir?”
Back at Terrance’s place, Veronica is still trying to convince him to give himself up. “I can’t go outside. They’ll kill me,” he tells her. As Veronica assures Terrance he can have his old life back her cell rings. It’s Lincoln. She tells him she saw him the news and that he needs to turn himself in. “I found Steadman. He’s alive. You’re going to be exonerated.” But Lincoln’s doesn’t understand, “what do you mean you found Steadman?” Suddenly there’s a knock at Terrance’s front door. “It’s the police, Lincoln.” As several ominous men in dark suits enter the house, one of them beckons for Veronica to put the phone down and tells Steadman to take a few steps back. One of the suits pulls a gun and points it directly at Veronica. As Veronica steps back, her eyes wide with horror, she mumbles, “oh my god.” Shots ring out. On the other end of the line Lincoln has heard everything – he crumbles to the floor, broken, as Michael tries to console him.
As Veronica’s body is taken out of the house in several luggage bags, one of the suits turns to Terrance. “All calls from inside the house get directly routed to us.” He wants to know where Terrance got the gun. Terrance tells him he brought the gun in when he first got to Blackfoot. “Whatever for?” the suit asks. Terrance tells him to protect himself. “That’s what we’re here for. Remember?”
Sara goes through her purse that Nurse Katie brought. Inside, she discovers an origami bird. She opens the bird to reveal a note from Michael. There’s a plan to make all of this right.
Back at FBI headquarters, Agent Ives laments, “D.O.C is doing a sweep of Oswego but it looks like the guys have basically vanished.” But Mahone isn’t so sure. Ives doesn’t understand how Mahone can be so confident; “it’s not like these guys left a map where they were going.” “Actually they did,” Mahone assures him. “Scofield had the entire thing on his body. How to get out of that prison. How to disappear afterward. It’s all there. I promise you that it’s only a matter of time before we know everything that is in Scofield’s head. Where he plans to run. How he plans to get there. So that when the time comes that he does get there, we’ll be waiting for him.”