Prison Break/Pilot

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Prison Break Episode 1.jpg
Season 1, Episode 1
Airdate August 29, 2005
Production Number 1AKJ79
Written by Paul T. Scheuring
Directed by Brett Ratner
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Prison BreakSeason One

Pilot is the first episode of the first season of Prison Break, and the first episode overall. It sets the tone for the whole show as Michael Scofield commits a crime to go to jail to break his brother out.

Starring: Dominic Purcell (Lincoln Burrows), Wentworth Miller (Michael Scofield), Robin Tunney (Veronica Donovan), Amaury Nolasco (Fernando Sucre), Marshall Allman (L.J. Burrows), Peter Stormare (John Abruzzi), Wade Williams (Captain Brad Bellick)

And: Sarah Wayne Callies (Dr. Sara Tancredi)

Guest Starring: Rockmond Dunbar (C-Note), Jessalyn Gilsig (Lisa Rix), Muse Watson (Charles Westmoreland), Paul Adelstein (Special Agent Paul Kellerman), Camille Guaty (Maricruz Delgado), Chelcie Ross (Bishop McMorrow), Laura Scott Wade (Sid, Tattoo Artist)

And: Stacy Keach (Warden Henry Pope)

Co-Starring: Danny McCarthy (Hale), Rolando Boyce (Cop), Cheryl Lynn Bruce (Judge), Nicolas Iovino (Brian), Ora Jones (Wendy), Rich Komenich (Maggio), Christian Stolte (C.O. #1), Phillip Edward Van Lear (C.O. #2), Jay Whittaker (Sweatsuit), Peggy Roeder (Teller), Gianni Russo (Smallhouse), Philip Rayburn Smith (Adrian Rix), Anthony Starke (Sebastian), Jeff Parker (Tsili), Alan Wilder (Prison Chaplain), Dan Maxwell (Cronie #1), David Pacheco (Speaking Prisoner #1), Darnell Jackson (Speaking Prisoner #2), Billy Chase (Speaking Prisoner #3)

Uncredited: Mac Brandt (C.O. Mac), Brandon DeShazer (Young Inmate), Matt Pletcher (Corrections Officer), Gary Sedlock (White Goatee Inmate), James Zahn (Inmate)


Plot Overview

After Michael Scofield's brother, Lincoln Burrows, is sent to death row for killing the Vice President's brother, Michael intentionally robs a bank with a weapon in order to be sent to the same prison to help his brother escape 60 days before he will be executed. Michael is a structural engineer working for a company that had access to the blueprints of the prison and he designs an elaborate tattoo covering his entire torso that contains the blueprints both for the actual structures and also for key elements of his escape plan.


This episode first aired as hour one of a two hour premiere along with the second episode on Monday, August 29, 2005 at 8:00PM. It aired again on Thursday, September 1, 2005.

  • Ratings for the encore airing: households: 4.0/7, #11; adults 18-49: 2.3, #8

Arc Advancement


  • Michael is incarcerated in Fox River prison, the first step in his elaborate plan.


  • Michael's nephew, L.J. is caught with 20 pounds of pot in his backpack by the Chicago Police.
  • Veronica is stalling on marrying her fiancé.



The Show

  • The newspaper articles Michael rips from his window are all relevant to plot elements of this and the following episode.
    • Lincoln Burrows' Final Appeal Denied
      Execution Will Proceed as Scheduled
    • Governor's Daughter Wins Humanitarian Award
      "She is attempting to lobby local and state government reps to bring the program back."
    • Life Sentence for Mob Boss Abruzzi
    • 'D.B. Cooper' Myth Still Alive Despite Conviction
    • Scientists...
      Insulin R...
      Americans are...
      protein. Is this li...
      Extra sugar can cause insulin...
      cells. Now scientists have an a...
      An insulin-blocking molec...
      PUGNAc causes cells to stop...
      insulin, according to the m...
      study published last week in the
      Journal of Medicine.
    • Yearbook picture of Sara Tancredi, with the following caption:
      Phi Beta Kappa, Spanish Club
      "Be the change you want to see in the world" - Ghandi
    • Killer of VP's Brother Scheduled to Die May 11
  • Loyola does not have a structural engineering program.
  • PUGNAc is an actual chemical compound that effectively creates insulin resistance, albeit one that cannot be easily procured and is prohibitively expensive.

Behind the Scenes

Allusions and References

Memorable Moments


  • Sucre: "Welcome to Prisneyland, Fish."