Prison Break

Season 1 Episode 1


Aired Monday 8:00 PM Aug 29, 2005 on FOX
out of 10
User Rating
1,682 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Michael Scofield, a structural engineer, attempts to rob a bank in order to get incarcerated at Fox River State Penitentiary, where his brother Lincoln Burrows, accused of murdering the Vice President's brother, is scheduled to be executed.
At Fox River, Michael approaches a number of inmates, all of whom play an important role in his plan to free his brother from the inside.
Meanwhile, Secret Service Agents Kellerman and Hale are determined to make sure the execution goes through as planned.
Lincoln's son, LJ, gets into trouble.moreless

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  • turcoyapurjorge

  • nice episode

    I like it so much
  • malo koci ali serija je za 10

    Sve ok
  • this was a good piliot

    in the beging of the show you get indtroduced to the charaters and the pliot of the show . in this pilot they introudce the some of the story behide the two brothers and how one brother michle wants to go save his other brother who he thinks who is being framed for murder and how he gets him self put into the same prison as his brother and is tring to get him self out. and tatoos the blue prints of the prison right on him this is a good ep i tought. for the first ep and introduces a really good show.moreless
  • Captivating story, mazy relationships, good acting and well-designed sets

    Intrigued and puzzled. Two words I consider well describe how you should feel after watching Prison Break's pilot. As a teenager films like The Great Escape and Escape from Alcatraz fascinated me. However when it first aired I didn't have any expectations as I had never heard of the show before. The first effect was intense, the second, this one, was even better.

    The very first minutes we're introduced to the protagonists : Michael Scolfield, his lawyer Veronica Donovan and his brother Lincoln Burrows. The last is in prison but he claims his innocence. The first believes him and has apparently a twisted plan to help his brother. The second knows them since childhood but she doesn't really know how to help them nor if she should trust them. This first episode arises so many questions that it's impossible to list them all. Is Michael a genius or out of his freaking mind ? Is Lincoln innocent or guilty ? What about the other characters ? Indeed some were introduced and it's obvious they'll be involved in some way with Michael and the puzzle he has apparently designed and is about to solve. But of course things quickly don't go as planned and it seems he'll have to deal with numerous problems and dangerous characters. So the story is really interesting and viewers enjoying mind games should really dig it.

    The acting is also quite good, but not flawless, and the performers manage to make most characters grow on us. In fact some of their connections reminded me of Lost because you don't really know their relationships or stories. The directing and production quality are also great and it really feels like Michael has found a new comfy home to make long time friends. But the best thing about it, knowing what happened next, is that the best is yet to come. So the surprising events that occurred in the pilot are just the tip of the iceberg. And once you have seen it the only thing you'll want to do is dive into an enigmatic realm of chaos and manipulation.moreless
Chelcie Ross

Chelcie Ross

Bishop McMorrow

Guest Star

Rolando A. Boyce

Rolando A. Boyce


Guest Star

Cheryl Lynn Bruce

Cheryl Lynn Bruce


Guest Star

Stacy Keach

Stacy Keach

Warden Henry Pope

Recurring Role

Laura Wade

Laura Wade


Recurring Role

Camille Guaty

Camille Guaty

Maricruz Delgado

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (18)

    • Stacy Keach (Warden Pope) spent six months in a British prison and modeled his character after the warden of that prison.

    • Michael's inmate number is 94941.

    • When Sid is done with the tattoo, Michael puts his shirt back on to leave.
      When you get a tattoo you actually have to keep a bandage on it for a few days because of blood and ink rejection. Anyway, his shirt would get stained from the ink.

    • This is the only episode where Wentworth Miller had to wear the entire tattoo.

    • When D.B. Cooper parachuted out of the plane he was carrying all 20 dollar bills, in this show he had 100's.

    • According to the papers Michael fills out and hands to officer Bellick his birth date is September 8, 1978. Which would make him 27 years old.

      His ID# is displayed as "A7468" and his back number is "94941"

      The only information on the form in which he didn't fill out - is his race; which has been left blank.

    • In the scene where Sucre is waiting for Maricruz, he looks at the clock and it is around 10:15. But when Maricruz enters the room, the time is set a few minutes back.

    • Wentworth Miller's character, Michael Scofield, is given the nickname 'Fish' in the prison. Wentworth Miller's first acting gig was in an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer in the episode Go Fish, playing Gage Petronzi, who turned into a fish.

    • Baylor University, the school where the character Veronica was said to go to school actually exists in Waco, Texas. The diploma was accurate. Baylor University has a Law School.

    • Originally, the character of Maricruz (Sucre's girlfriend) was played by Nadine Velazquez, until she was cast in "My Name Is Earl" and was replaced by Camille Guaty. The scene she filmed (the conjugal visit) was reshot exactly with the new actress.

    • Goof: When Michael first enters the prison when he walking towards Bellick for the first time, Michael doesn't have the tattoos on his arms and then again when he's talking to Sucre about passion.

    • The electric chair is not used as a primary instrument of execution in the State of Illinois where the series is set. Originally, the method of execution scripted for Lincoln's death was via lethal injection. For shock value, however, this was changed.

    • Many scenes are filmed in serial killer John Wayne Gacy's old cell.

    • The article states that "D.B. Cooper" escaped with a million and a half dollars. However, D.B. Cooper actually only made off with $200,000.

    • If you pause on the articles that Michael tears down at the beginning of the episode, you can see that all of them foreshadow the characters he meets and the various parts of his grand plan. There is an article on Abruzzi, D.B. Cooper, the anti-insulin drug PUGNAc as well as two articles on the governor's daughter, Dr. Tancredi.

    • It seems likely that the show takes place in Illinois. Not only is it shot at Joliet Prison which is located in Illinois, but the D.B. Cooper article that flashes on the screen at the beginning of the show suggests that as well:

      'D.B. Cooper' Myth Still Alive Despite Conviction
      John Muer, Correspondent

      Bloggers and self-proclaimed experts maintain to this day that the infamous skyjacker—who parachuted out of a 727 over a quarter century ago with a million and a half dollars—is still alive and out there enjoying his windfall to this very day, despite the fact that a man is serving out a life sentence for the crime in Illinois...
      Conspiracy theorists across the country refuse to put the D.B. Cooper myth to bed despite the

      out of a 727 in early 1972 with more than a million dollars in cash
      Some claim to know the true whereabouts of the still-missing cash. One thing's for certain however if 59-year-old Charles Westmoreland was rightly convicted of the crime, he'll likely never get to spend a penny of it, as he's currently serving a life sentence without possibility of parole for the two killings linked with the hijacking.

    • PUGNAc is a real chemical insulin blocker - but you can't buy it at your corner pharmacy. Purchased at a bulk chemical warehouse, one 5mg tablet of PUGNAc costs $125.

    • The two rules of the prison, according to the Bellick:

      1: You got nothing coming.
      2: See Rule 1.

  • QUOTES (63)

    • Abruzzi: Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.

    • Lincoln: I'm not asking you to love me, I already screwed that chance up long ago. I'm asking you to love yourself. You still can put the brakes on this thing.
      LJ: So, that's what fatherly advice is like? (LJ stands up)
      Lincoln: (looking at LJ) Where are you going?
      LJ: (to Lincoln) I got homework.
      Lincoln: They're putting me to death, L.J. In a month's time I'll be dead. You get that?
      LJ: You're already dead to me.

    • C-Note: What you need, man? Michael: PUGNAc. C-Note: I only speak English, white boy. Michael: It's an insulin blocker, standard over the counter variety, you can get at any pharmacy. C-Note: You can get it at medical then. Michael: I can't get it at medical. C-Note: Why not? Michael: Because they're already giving me insulin shots. C-Note (C-Note laughs): You're one mixed up cracker, you know that?

    • Hale: Bishop McMorrow is not in the fold. He's got a lot of influence with the Governor. They went to prep school together apparently. Look. The closer it gets, the more I'm worried that the bottom is going to fall out of this whole thing.
      Kellerman: Well maybe it's time we arranged a visit with the good Bishop then. Look, in one month, it'll all be over.

    • Sebastian: You wanna talk about it?
      Veronica: Eh, it's not worth talking about.
      Sebastian: If it's what keeping you up, it is.
      Veronica: It's just... It's nothing. Michael's case.
      Sebastian: You did the best you could.
      Veronica: Yeah, but he didn't. He just sort of rolled over. Didn't put up a fight. It's not like him....I'm sorry; I shouldn't be talking about him.
      Sebastian: Hey, if it's on your mind, it's on your mind right? Goodnight.

    • Lincoln: Getting outside these walls is just the beginning. You're gonna need money.
      Michael (Looking at Westmoreland): I'll have it.
      Lincoln: And people on the outside. People that can help you disappear.
      Michael: I've already got 'em. (Looking at Abruzzi) They just don't know it yet.

    • Michael (About Lincoln): Someone wants him dead, Veronica. Something more is going on here.
      Veronica: This is desperation, Michael. You're grabbing at straws. You're in denial.
      Michael: Maybe, but I can't watch him die.

    • Pope: The reason why I called you here. I noticed in your file, under occupation, you put down unemployed. That's not true now is it? I know you're a structural engineer, Scofield.

    • LJ: Uncle Mike?
      Michael: I didn't want you to come. Go home, LJ. I didn't want you to see this.

    • Wholesale: You keep handing out my jacket, I swear I'm gonna bust your grape.
      Sucre: Man, you couldn't bust a grape in Napa with a set of cleats on.

    • Inmate #1: Can a brother get some air conditioning up here, cuz? It's hotter than a crack ho's mouth, man.
      Inmate #2: To hell with the A.C., man. Give me the crack ho.

    • Lisa (to L.J.): Two pounds of pot!? What were you trying to do, set a record?
      (L.J. smiles)
      Lisa: It's not funny L.J., you could be going to jail.

    • Sara: You went to Loyola.
      Michael: You've been checking up on me.
      Sara: I like to get to know my patients. I went to Northwestern, graduated 2 years after you did.
      Michael: Maybe we've met before. You know, drunk, out at a bar somewhere.
      Sara: I would have remembered.
      Michael: That a compliment?
      Sara: No.

    • Veronica: I know what you're doin'. It's not the luck of the draw that you're in here with Lincoln. You forget I know you. Both of you. You two have the most dysfunctional idea of love I've ever seen. What, he beats you up to keep off the streets, so you get yourself tossed into Fox River with him? To what, save him?
      Michael: You want to do something? Find out who's trying to bury him.
      Veronica: Nobody's trying to bury him. The evidence was there.
      Michael: The evidence was cooked.

    • Michael: You're Charles Westmoreland, right?
      Westmoreland: Do I know you?
      Michael: Knew your wife, before she passed.
      Westmoreland: You knew Marla?
      Michael: You mean Anne?
      Westmoreland: How'd you know her?
      Michael: We taught together. In Boston.
      Westmoreland: East Farmington.
      Michael: You mean West Wilmington?
      Westmoreland: No more tests. I promise.

    • Sucre: Know what? Got more than 1 syllable, too much talking. That's me from now on - One syllable Sucre. Yes, no, love, hate, love…
      Michael: Give it time.
      Sucre: Are you kidding? I proposed to her. That doesn't take time. Si or no. One syllable, man. (Michael laughs)

    • Sara: The only way you're getting that insulin is if I'm administering it.
      Michael: Guess we'll be seeing a lot of each other then.
      Sara: I guess so.

    • Sara: Tattoo looks fresh. I guess being a diabetic, you don't mind needles.
      Michael: I'm Michael, by the way.
      Sara: Scofield, I read your report.
      Michael: And you are?
      Sara: Dr. Tancredi will do.
      Michael: Tancredi like the governor?

    • Michael: Try 'passion'.
      Sucre: Ooh, ooh, 'passion'. That's dope! How do you spell that? Is it p-a-s-h… (Michael shakes his head) No 'h'?

    • (Michael remembers a conversation he had with Lincoln a few months ago.)
      Lincoln: They denied the motion.
      Michael: Then do it again.
      Lincoln: I can't. That's it. May 11th, that's the date, man… that's the date they, you know… execute me.
      Michael: I know.
      Lincoln: I didn't kill that man, Michael.
      Michael: The evidence says you did.
      Lincoln: I don't care what the evidence says. I didn't kill him.
      Michael (tearing up): Swear to me.
      Lincoln: I swear to you, Michael.
      Michael: But how did they get it wrong then? The courts, the appeals…
      Lincoln: I don't know. I don't know. All I keep thinkin', lookin' back on it is, I was set up. And whoever it was that set me up wants me in the ground as quickly as possible.

    • Michael: I'm looking for someone. Guy named Lincoln Burrows.
      Wholesale: Linc the Sink?
      Michael: That's what they're callin' him now?
      Wholesale: Yeah, because he'll come at you with everything but the kitchen.

    • Michael: Who's the pet lover?
      Sucre: He'll deny it but he's D.B. Cooper. Parachuted out of a plane 30 years ago with a million and a half in cash.
      Michael: Doesn't look like the type.
      Sucre: Who does?

    • Bellick: We got 2 commandments and 2 only. The first commandment is you got nothin' comin'.
      Michael: What's the second commandment?
      Bellick: See commandment #1.
      Michael: Gotcha.

    • Michael: He's not gonna take this well.
      Veronica: Can you blame him? He's your nephew. He's beginning to get the idea that anybody he attaches himself to is gonna end up in prison. And he's not the only one who's starting to feel that way, Michael. (to guard) Will you give us a minute?
      Guard: One minute.
      Veronica: Don't you understand? You just put the book in that woman's hand and she's gonna lob it at you like a grenade. Justice and punishment are the same thing to her.
      Michael: I know.
      Veronica: Then will you please tell me what's going through your head?
      Michael: We've been over this.

    • Michael: The vault. Open it.
      Bank Clerk: We can't, the bank manager's not here.
      Michael: Where is he?
      Bank Clerk: It's lunchtime. He's at White Castle.
      Michael: White Castle?
      Bank Clerk: It's a fast food restaurant. They serve those little square burgers.
      Michael: I know what it is. (fires gun at ceiling)

    • Michael: You know, this would go a whole lot easier if you would just hire me.
      Abruzzi: What's this all about?
      Michael: Say you were able to get outside there walls, would you have the people in place to help you disappear forever?
      Abruzzi: Why do you care?
      Michael: Just curious.
      Abruzzi: Where's Fibonacci?
      Michael: That's not the way it works.

    • Kellerman: You're what, sixty-two years old now Your Excellency?
      Bishop McMurrow: That's correct.
      Kellerman: I assume then that you would be well versed in how our country's tax system works. Taking personal capital gains under the church tax shelter. That would be fraud, wouldn't it Your Excellency?
      Bishop McMurrow: I will not be cowed into forsaking my beliefs. Not by you or anyone else.
      Kellerman: Admirable. (gets up) Good day Your Excellency.
      Bishop McMurrow: (stands up) Mr. Kellerman, what is it about this case that the secret service is so interested in?
      Kellerman: The man killed the Vice President's brother.

    • Lincoln: Whatever you got going on, fill me in cause I'm in the dark here.
      Michael: Schappelle and Associates got the contract to retrofit this place in '99. Four million dollar contract, head partner couldn't crack it, so he subcontracted out. An under the table sort of deal with a former associate. That guy was one of the partners in my firm. It basically goes through the whole plan, crossed the T's, dotted the I's, grouted the tiles.

    • Veronica: Your Honor, we'd like to recess if we could. My client's a bit confused at the moment.
      Michael: I'm not, Your Honor. (Veronica looks at him.)
      Veronica: He is, Your Honor. (They both look at each other.)
      Judge: Perhaps you should heed your representation's advice; take some time to consider your response.
      Michael: I've already done that Your Honor. (Michael and Veronica look at each other again. Veronica looks confused. Michael looks back to the judge.)
      Judge: I'll retire to my chambers to determine sentencing. Courts recessed until 1:30.

    • Sucre: Why do you want to see Burrows so bad anyways?
      Michael: Because he's my brother.

    • Sucre (referring to Burrows): Man killed the Vice President's brother. In a month he's getting the chair, which means no one up this river is more dangerous than him, 'cause he's got nothin' to lose now. What are they going to do? Kill him twice?
      Michael: Is there a way I can get to him?
      Sucre: The only time those boys get out is for chapel and P.I.
      Michael: P.I. What's that?
      Sucre: Prison Industry. The guys that get along get to work painting, scrapping, making mattresses, you name it.

    • Captain Bellick: You talking out the side of your neck?
      Michael: Come again?
      Captain Bellick: I said, are you being a smartass?
      Michael: Just trying to fly low, avoid the radar, boss. Do my time and get out.

    • Officer: Okay people, step inside the door. Keep the line moving. Let's go. We ain't got all day to get this done. Keep it moving. Move it.
      Captain Bellick: Name and back number.
      Michael: Scofield, Michael. 94941.

    • Lincoln: You've seen the blueprints.
      Michael: Better than that. (shows his tattoos) I've got them on me.
      Lincoln: Are you kidding me, am I supposed to see something here?
      Michael: Look closer. (blue prints show up)

    • Michael (to Lincoln): I'm not here on vacation, trust me.

    • Abruzzi (to Michael): Kudos, Fish. You've got spine.

    • Lisa (about L.J.): I figured he could use some fatherly advice before it's...
      Lincoln: Gone forever?
      Lisa: I didn't mean that.
      Lincoln: I know you didn't.

    • Michael: (about the miniature of Taj Mahal) The Taj. It would be a shame for the eighth wonder of the modern world to collapse because the stress isn't properly propagated.
      Warden Pope: Properly propagated?
      Michael: Properly propagated.

    • Kellerman: You have a habit of answering a question with a question.
      Bishop McMorrow: And you have a way of asking questions that beg more questions.

    • Veronica (about Lincoln): I loved him as much as you did.
      Michael: Past tense for you maybe. Not me.

    • LJ: I don't have a father.
      Lisa: It wasn't an immaculate conception, honey, trust me.

    • Warden Pope: Son, it's better for me to owe you one in here than it is for you to owe me one, I can promise you that.
      Michael: I'll take my chances.

    • Warden Pope: I can't help wondering what someone with your credentials is doing in a place like this.
      Michael: Took a wrong turn a few months back, I guess.
      Warden Pope: You make it sound like a traffic infraction, like all you did was turn the wrong way up a one-way street.
      Michael: Everyone turns up one sooner or later.

    • Sucre: No good, Fish. No one gets an audience with the Pope—not unless he's real interested in what you got going on.

    • Sucre (about the word Michael suggested for Sucre's love letter to his girlfriend): 'Passion', what were you thinking?
      Michael: Hey, you went for it.
      Sucre: She probably thinks I went sissy up in here.

    • Michael (to Lincoln): I'm getting you out of here.
      Lincoln: It's impossible.
      Michael: Not if you designed the place, it isn't.

    • Dr. Tancredi: I got news for you, Michael. "Trust me" means absolutely zero inside these walls.

    • Michael (about Dr. Tancredi): Wouldn't think you'd find the daughter of Frontier Justice Frank working in a prison-as a doctor, no less.
      Dr. Tancredi: I believe in being part of the solution, not the problem.
      Michael: Hm. Be the change you want to see in the world. (Sara looks up surprisedly) What?
      Dr. Tancredi: Nothing. That was just my senior quote.
      Michael: That was you? This whole time I was thinking it was Ghandi.
      Dr. Tancredi: (laughs) You're very funny.

    • Michael: Maybe you ought to hear what I got to say.
      Abruzzi: You got nothing I need.
      Michael: Wouldn't be too sure of that. (places a bird, made by folding paper, on the table)
      Abruzzi: My mistake—just what I need—a duck.

    • Sucre: I'm proposing to my girl, if you gotta know.
      Michael: In a letter?
      Sucre: You got a better way?
      Michael: Face to face works pretty good.

    • Sucre: What's another word for love?
      Michael: What's the context?
      Sucre: Oh, you know... yeah, "I love you so much, I ain't ever knockin' over a liquor store again" context...except you know, classy.

    • Sucre: I wouldn't get excited if I were you, Fish. You aint sniffin' none of P.I.
      Michael: Why is that?
      Sucre: Cause John Abruzzi runs it.
      Michael: "John Abruzzi" John Abruzzi?
      Sucre: "John Abruzzi" John Abruzzi.

    • Sucre (to Michael): I'm telling you, the guards have the dirtiest gang in this whole place. The only difference between us and them is the badge.

    • Sucre (to Michael): Welcome to Prisneyland, Fish.

    • Sucre (to Michael): Suggest you take a seat, Fish. Nothing to do up here but serve time-and nobody gonna serve it for you.

    • Captain Bellick: There isn't any flying under my radar.
      Michael: Good to know.

    • Captain Bellick: You a religious man, Scofield?
      Michael: Never really thought about it.
      Captain Bellick: Good. Because the Ten Commandments don't mean a box of piss in here.

    • Judge: The closest level one facility would be Fox River state penitentiary. As for the term of your sentence, I'm setting it five years. You'll be eligible for parole in half that time. Sentence to be carried out immediately.

    • Judge: Given your lack of prior criminal conduct, I am inclined to a probation. However, the fact that you discharged a deadly weapon during the commission of the crime suggests malice to me. For that reason, I find it incumbent that you see the inside of a prison cell, Mr. Scofield.

    • Veronica: I've known you my entire life, you don't have a violent bone in your body. And I know you didn't need the money.
      Michael: Veronica.
      Veronica: Why won't you let me help you?
      Michael: You've been good to me—my whole life—you have. But you've got to let me deal with this. Okay?

    • Judge: Rarely in a case of armed robbery do we hear a plea of no contest. Are you sure about this, Mr. Scofield?
      Michael: I'm sure, Your Honor.

    • Michael: I'm not playing games. Open it.
      Bank clerk: Sir, you have a half a million dollars cash in your bag, don't you think it would be better... (sound of police sirens gets louder)

    • Sid: Most guys, you know, for the first one, they start with something small. 'Mom', girlfriend's initials, something like that. Not you. You get a full set of sleeves, all in a couple of months. Takes guys a few years to get the ink you got.
      Michael: I don't have a few years. Wish to hell I did.

  • NOTES (6)

    • Lincoln is 35 when he's sent to Fox River.

    • This episode was nominated for a Eddie Award for Best Edited One-Hour Series for Commercial Television.

    • Several characters are named after presidents and politicians. Lincoln Burrows is named after President Abraham Lincoln. Michael Scofield and Benjamin Miles "C-Note" Franklin are named after politicians Edward Scofield and Benjamin Franklin. Agent Paul Kellerman may have been named after Roy Kellerman, the Secret Service agent who was riding in President John F. Kennedy's limousine at the time of his assassination.

    • Bellick's first name was originally Brian, but it was later changed to Brad.

    • This episode aired as the first part of a two-hour premiere event along with the second episode, "Allen."

    • The prison scenes in the show are shot at Joliet Prison, Joliet, Illinois, USA.


    • The name of the prison in the show, Fox River, shares the name of a river that runs through Western Chicago land, near the real prison filming location.

    • Abruzzi: Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer.

      This is a quote from the mob movie The Godfather II, although originally from Sun Tzu's The Art of War

    • Sucre: (to Michael seeing his first shanking) Welcome to Prisney-land, Fish. -It's meant ironically, with Disneyland being the original intended destination, not prison, in the greeting.