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Prisoner X

Teleplay by: Rick Husky and Laurence Frank
Story by: Rick Husky
Directed by: Richard Compton
Transcribed by: Becky

~~~~~~~~~~ Disclaimer ~~~~~~~~~~

I do not own the characters in this story, nor do I own any rights to the television show The Sentinel. They were created by Danny Bilson and Paul DeMeo and belong to them, Pet Fly Productions, UPN, and Paramount. This is not a novelization or a script. It is simply a transcript of the episode. It also includes descriptions of the settings, action scenes and camera movements where needed. If you notice anything that is transcribed incorrectly, please let me know and I will post an update.

Lead cast: Richard Burgi (James Ellison), Garett Maggart (Blair Sandburg), Bruce A. Young (Simon Banks).

Guest cast (in order of credits): Ben Jurand (Turner), Fay Hauser (Dr. Wilder), Brent Stait (Miller), Stephen E. Miller (Pope Burnett), Andrew Bryniarski (Vinson), Lorena Gale (Maggie Chandler), Roger Barnes (Warden Hanlon), Michael Andaluz (Liotta), Lisa Schrage (Kelly Temple), Jason Diablo (Camacho), Ron Sauve (Ray Douglas).

Summary: After his high-school friend is mysteriously killed trying to escape prison, Ellison goes undercover as an inmate to find out why model prisoners are turning up dead. (Source: Stefan's Sentinel Episode Guide)

This episode was originally broadcast on January 14, 1998.
Last updated: 7/8/01


~Opening theme plays as credits roll. Opening monologue by Blair Sandburg: "In the jungles of Peru the fight for survival heightened his senses. Now, Detective James Ellison is a sentinel in the fight for justice. Seeing before others see. Sensing what others can't. An ever-vigilant watchman in the war against crime."~

~~~~~~~~~~ Act I ~~~~~~~~~~

~Loft. Day. Jim is watching a football game on TV. Blair is in the kitchen.~

Jim: Oh, no, no, no, not another fumble. Come on, my six-year-old niece can do better than that.

Blair: It is only a game.

Jim: It's the modern-day equivalent of the gladiatorial battle. I mean, you're the anthropologist.

Blair: With, uh, painkillers, time-outs and product endorsements.

There's a knock on door on the door.

Jim: (pointing toward the door) Could you get that? (talking to the TV) All right, here we go.

Blair heads over to the door and opens it. A woman (Kelly) stands on the other side.

Blair: Hi.

Kelly: Hi.

Jim: (turns around) Hey, Kelly...what brings you here? (chuckling)

Jim hugs Kelly, then pulls back at her lack of happy response.

Jim: What's going on?

Kelly: Matt... Matt's dead.

Jim: What?

Kelly: I'm sorry. I didn't know who else to come to.

Jim: What happened?

Kelly: Some prison official said that Matt was shot trying to escape.

Jim: I just saw Matt like a month and a half ago. He had three months left to go. Why would he try to escape?

Kelly: I don't know.

Jim: Oh, my god. Um... All right... Let me go get changed.

Kelly: Okay.

~Cut to Major Crimes hallway. Still day. Jim and Blair walking toward bullpen.~

Blair: Okay, wait a minute, let me get this straight. One of your best friends from high school is now in prison for harvesting weed?

They enter the bullpen.

Jim: Not one of the smartest guys you ever want to meet. I mean, he did a really stupid thing. The guy had a gambling problem so he tried to work his way out of it by selling pot. Not too bright, huh?

Blair: Nope.

They enter Simon's office. A woman (Chandler) is there as well.

Jim: Excuse me, sir.

Simon: I've invited someone to sit in. Maggie Chandler, this is Detective Jim Ellison.

Jim: Nice to meet you.

Simon: Blair Sandburg -- he's a consultant to the department. Maggie was an Assistant DA when helped a certain rookie I know stumble through more than one minefield. Now she's with the State Board of Corrections.

Chandler: Tell me what you know.

Jim: I have reason to believe an inmate was murdered at the Starkville facility and the authorities there are trying to cover it up.

Chandler: Matthew Temple.

Simon: You're familiar with the case?

Chandler: It struck as odd that a model prisoner whose sentence had already been reduced would attempt an escape three months before parole.

Jim: The doctor's report says that he was shot in the act. We recovered the body and performed our own autopsy. The ME confirmed the bullet wound, but determined a different cause of death.

Chandler: Are you positive?

Jim: The prisoner had ruptured kidneys and fractured jaw and ribs... Basically, he died of a massive brain hemorrhage.

Chandler: Meaning?

Jim: Meaning that he was shot in the back after he was beaten to death.

Chandler: I'm afraid this may just be the tip of the iceberg. There's been a high incidence of serious injuries and fatalities to the inmates at Starkville.

Simon: You have any evidence to back that up?

Chandler: Dr. Spenser at the prison contacted me. He was going to give me some files. He died on his way to our meeting in a car accident.

Blair: That's a hell of a coincidence, huh?

Chandler: After that, we sent someone undercover. A detective with the state police went in as a guard. He was stabbed by a prisoner before he could find anything.

Jim: I want to go inside, sir.

Simon: Out of the question.

Jim: Not as a guard, sir -- as a prisoner.

Simon: It's too dangerous.

Chandler: Simon, we could transfer out anyone who might recognize Detective Ellison -- any previous arrests...

Simon: That's not it! What if the authorities are involved? They'll find out who he is...

Chandler: They won't. We'll keep what we're doing in this room. No one else will know.

Simon: You really want this?

Jim nods.

Simon: All right.

~Cut to Jim and Blair a bit later walking through bullpen.~

Blair: I could go in as your backup.

Jim: Oh, forget it, Chief. You don't want to go near this place.

Blair: Yeah, I know I don't want to go near it...

Jim: Besides, Simon already has my backup -- some new recruit from Detroit. He's clean. Nobody in the jail's going to know him. He's gonna be teaching a creative writing course that I'll take as part of my cover.

They go into hallway.

Blair: I don't like it, man. I mean, what if something happens to your senses? He's not gonna know what to do.

Jim: I'm gonna have to take my chances. Now if you go anywhere near that place, I'm gonna have to use your head as a football.

~Cut to Starkville prison. Day. New prisoners (Jim included) all in bright orange coveralls and chains are lined up in the yard. A guard walks down in front of the prisoners.~

Guard: On the line! Eyes front! You! Look alive! This is Warden Hanlon. Man has something he wants to say to you.

Hanlon: Okay, gentlemen... It's no secret that you screwed up. That's why you're here. As for me, I don't care what you did. You already stood before a judge. Now, I'm here to give you a chance to get your lives back together. The choice is yours. (walks off)

Guard: (walking in front of line of prisoners) Did you all get that? I own your asses. I'm your mother. I'm your father. I'm your god. When you close your eyes, you'll see me. When you open your eyes, you'll see me. I decide where you go, when you sleep, and when you get visitors. Has anybody got a problem with that?

~Cut to inside prison. Prisoners going through the "admittance" area with medical stuff. Jim (in a towel) stands before a woman doctor (Wilder) and hands her a folder.~

Wilder: Hepatitis?

Jim shakes his head.

Wilder: Tuberculosis?

Jim shakes his head again.

Wilder: Syphilis?

Jim: No, thank you.

Wilder: Any history of heart problems?

Jim: No, but, of your former guests said there were some decent people to be found if you looked. A Dr. Spenser for one?

Wilder: Well, Dr. Spenser's no longer with us, but I'm his replacement.

Jim: Ah... well, you seem nice enough, Doc.

Wilder looks out of the small window of the office area to see one of the guards watching. Jim follows her gaze.

Wilder: Next.

~Cut to Jim being led down a corridor of cells. Still day. Jim carries a pile of stuff. Lots of prisoners in corridor, all watching. Guard points him into a cell.~

Guard: Here's yours, right here, Curtis.

Jim: Home sweet home, huh?

Guard: Sense of humor... You'll need it. (walks a bit away) He's all yours, Turner. (leaves)

Jim puts his stuff on the top bunk. Turner comes into cell.

Turner: What do you think you're doing?

Jim: I'm getting a bunk.

Turner: That's mine.

Jim: No problem. (moves stuff to bottom bunk)

Turner: I put down 16 years in here. You just don't walk into my crib and act all comfortable, punk.

Jim: The name's Curtis.

Turner: You got a name when I give you one.

Brief staredown.

Jim: Look, man, I don't have a beef with you.

Turner: You get in my face...we go to war.

~Cut to night in prison. Jim's in his bunk. He starts to listen, hearing voices of inmates and other noises.~

Inmate: Man, I got 15 years on the back of my hand.

Inmate 2: When I see my lady, you know, you know what I'm going to do?

Inmate 3: I'll trade you a blunt for some of that Jim jones juice.

Cell door clangs open.

Guard: Let's go, Frazer. You're on the list.

Frazer: No. I don't want to go, man.

Guard: You don't get a choice, Frazer. Move!

Frazer: No, man, please, please.

~Cut to metal working shop next day. Jim, Turner, and Carmacho, as well as others are there. Jim carries a big piece of metal to one table behind Camacho. Camacho gets Turner's attention.~

Turner: What's up, Camacho?

Camacho: You hear what happened to Frazer last night?

Turner: No, man, what'd that fool go and do now?

Camacho: He hung himself in his cell.

Jim: That's not what I heard.

Turner: Who's talking to you?

Jim: I heard the screws drag his ass from his cell, kicking and screaming.

Turner: Take some advice, punk... Don't hear.

They all go back to work. Jim sees a work order being put up on a board. He zooms in to read it -- Orangewood Hardware, dated November 1997.

~Cut to a workout room. Vinson (a really big inmate) is lifting free weights. Another inmate stands above him, spotting him. Jim walks in, looking around.~

Inmate: Come on, Vinson. One more. Push it. Come on, come on.

Vinson finishes and sits up. He looks over to see Jim looking at him. Jim turns away. Vinson stands up.

Vinson: What are you looking at? (walks over to Jim) Punk!

Jim: I'm just looking to do some time on the weights.

Vinson: You stare at me like that again...I'm going to put your eyes out. (walks off)

~Cut to Turner and Jim's cell. Night. Both of them are in their bunks.~

Turner: Yo, your back with Vinson.

Jim: I got no problem with him. I'll take him out as quick as I took out that cop.

Turner: You took out a cop? I thought I was stupid.

Jim: What are you in for?

Turner: Held up a liquor store. Dude was in the wrong place, man. So was I.

Jim: When are you getting out?

Turner: Every year at my parole hearing, they trot out his widow. Long as she can find me here.

Jim starts to listen again. He hears distant and distorted yelling. He gets up and looks out of the window and looks across the yard to a window on the opposite side. Turner sits up to see what he's doing. He can see the backs of people, all yelling and watching something.

A guard comes by and clangs on the bars. Jim turns, then sits back on his bunk.

Guard: Lights out. Shut it down. (walks off)

Jim: What's "the list"?

Turner: Don't go there, man. Leave it alone.

Jim: Or what? Or I'll end up on a rope like Frazer?

~~~~~~~~~~ Act II ~~~~~~~~~~

~Prison. Next day. Main yard. Jim and Turner walking and talking.~

Turner: The Aryan brotherhood runs this dump.

Jim: You must have seen a lot come and go. Who are you aligned with here?

Turner: I'm aligned with myself.

Jim: You know a guy who come through a while back named Matty Temple?

Turner: What's it to you, man?

Jim: I knew him on the outside.

Turner: What's up with all these questions? It's going to get you in trouble.

Bullhorn: Break time is now over. Return to your assigned work stations. Kitchen personnel, meet in the dining room.

Prisoners start to head back inside. Jim looks out the fence to see big slabs of frozen meat being put into a van.

~Cut to metal working shop. Several inmates (including Vinson and Jim) at work. Head guard and Hanlon enter. Jim listens to conversation.~

Guard: Sullivan's depot was happy with the roof molding, sir.

Hanlon: Good work. Next order mark it up eight percent, same as the, uh, Orangewood account. How are their gutters coming along?

Guard: We're one day behind in the metal workshop, maybe two, sir.

Hanlon: You're making me look bad. Now do I have to come down and do it myself?

Guard: No, sir, I'll push production.

Hanlon: You see to it.

Guard: Yes, sir.

Hanlon leaves.

Inmate (Miller) comes up to head guard.

Miller: I'm going to need more welding rods.

Head guard steps to the door of a storage area.

Guard: Turn away.

Miller turns away. Jim zooms in to watch guard tapping in a security code on the door panel. Then guard goes inside. Jim looks at a tag hanging from a shelf which is blowing in the wind that comes for a large covered vent. He looks at vent.

A clanking noise from the shops draws his attention and he looks back to see another inmate (Liotta) has dropped a long piece of metal on the floor. Vinson stomps over to Liotta.

Vinson: Move it, Liotta. You're slowing us down. Squid breath, I'm talking to you. Why don't you just suck it up and pull your weight like the rest of us?

Liotta: I'm sorry. I'm trying.

Vinson: Not hard enough. (knock Liotta to ground)

Jim: Hey! (goes to help Liotta up)

Vinson: Back off, boy scout!

Jim: I'm just trying to keep things moving along, all right?

Vinson: Do I look like I need some help? I'm talking to you. What's your name?

Jim: I don't want a beef with you or anybody else.

Vinson: You already got one.

Guard comes over to stop them.

Guard: You two... Dance on your own time. On mine, you turn out product.

A buzzer sounds. Liotta leaves the workshop quickly. Jim follows him into the hallway.

Jim: Are you all right?

Liotta: Yeah. Thanks for your help, but I'm a dead man. Vinson keeps saying it's a matter of time.

Jim: What's his deal?

They start walking down the hallway.

Liotta: I was a trusty in the infirmary. I sold overstock pills to dealers outside.

Jim: He wanted a piece of the action.

Liotta: Yeah. But it wasn't mine to give. I had to say no. Why am I telling you this for?

They stop at the next intersecting hallway.

Jim: Who signed the requisition for the overstock?

Liotta: What's with the "Q and A", man?

Jim: I'm trying to save your ass here.

Liotta: Well, forget about it. It's too late. (hurries off)

~Cut to a prison classroom. Blair pauses at the door way, then goes in, going past all the desks to the front of the room. Jim is at one of the desks.~

Blair: Good morning, gentlemen.

Jim looks up, surprised.

Blair: I'm the new creative writing teacher. My name is Blair Sandburg. As you all know, this is a writing class. And as writers, we tell stories. So who out there wants to tell me a story?


Blair: Anybody? (looks at Jim who was trying to hide behind his hand) How about you, sir? Want to tell me a story?

Jim points at himself.

Blair: Yeah.

Jim: I was born, I killed a cop, I went to prison. The end.

The other inmates whistles and applaud.

~Cut to a bit later as inmates file out of classroom. Jim is the last to get up. Blair meets him as he stands after the others leave. They start toward the door slowly.~

Jim: What the hell are you doing here?

Blair: Your guy from Detroit had an emergency appendectomy, so I volunteered. Banks said no, of course, so I got Maggie Chandler to talk him into it. So here I am. I'm your new contact.

Jim: All right, look for the laundry bag from cell block "B" marked "Curtis." You got that?

Blair: Okay.

Guard looks into the room.

Guard: Beat it. School's over.

Jim: Thanks for the tip.

Blair: No problem.

Jim leaves. Guard looks at Blair a moment before leaving as well.

~Cut to prison hallway. Miller is pushing a laundry cart down the hall.~

Miller: Laundry! Laundry!

Inmates add their laundry bags to the cart. Inside his cell, Jim writes a quick note on a piece of paper, stuffs it in the bag. He takes it into the hallway as Miller approaches, then adds his bag to the cart. Miller looks at him a moment, then goes on.

~Cut to Dr. Wilder walking down a hallway. Blair comes into the hallway after her and joins her.~

Blair: Dr. Wilder?

Wilder: Yes?

Blair: Hi, my name is Blair Sandburg, the new creative writing teacher. I thought I'd introduce myself.

Wilder: Oh, so you're new here at Starkville.

Blair: Uh, yeah, actually, this is my first day. What about you?

Wilder: Mm-hmm. Oh, I've been here about a month.

Blair: Look, I was wondering if we could get coffee sometime. You could show me the ropes.

A distance behind Blair, a guard appears (the same one that from the classroom). Wilder looks at him, then back at Blair.

Wilder: I don't socialize at work. Excuse me. (goes back down hallway)

Blair looks back to see the guard, then looks after Wilder, then back again.

~Cut to Miller pushing the laundry cart into a big laundry room. The only other inmate leaves just after Miller does. Blair comes in and finds the cart, then finds the bag marked "Curtis." He opens it and gets Jim's note.~

~Cut to Blair in a car (not the Volvo) outside the prison somewhere talking on a cellphone to Simon (at his office). Day. He has Jim's note.~

Blair: Okay, Jim saw trucks taking frozen meat from the kitchen and hardware items are sold retail. Stuff the prisoners are working on. He thinks there's some black market going on. You know, I could go check out some of their delivery routes.

Simon: No, that sounds like detective work. Do I need to remind you that you are there to receive Jim's dispatches. That is all I signed you on for. All right? (hangs up)

Blair watches as a van (the one with the frozen meat in it) leaves the prison yard. He starts up his car and follows it.

~Cut to the van parked at the back of a restaurant. Still day. Blair is watching as money exchanges hands.~

Man #1: Here you go. Three sides of beef.

Man #2: Looks like it's all here.

Man #1: Pleasure doing business with you.

Meat is unloaded.

A person walking catches Blair's eye and he sees Dr. Wilder going by toward the restaurant.

~Cut to Blair following a restaurant worker through a restaurant. He follows her to the back, then sees Dr. Wilder. He stops the worker and takes the menu.~

Blair: Uh, thanks.

She nods and leaves.

Blair: Dr. Wilder.

Dr. Wilder looks up from where she is sitting at a table alone.

Wilder: Sandburg, right?

Blair: Yeah, how you doing? I prefer Blair though. It's the only place open besides the Dairy King.

Wilder: They roll up the sidewalks in this town at 6:00. You'll get used to it.

Blair: You know what? I hate eating alone. You mind if I join you?

Wilder shrugs and Blair sits down across from her.

Wilder: Good. It's good to get outside those walls once in a while, isn't it?

Wilder: Truth is, you never really get away from it. This is a real company town.

Blair: I know what you mean. You wouldn't imagine where the place gets its beef from.

Wilder just looks at Blair. Outside the window, a red van pulls to stop and two men -- prison guard -- get out.

Wilder: I'm sorry I'm so jumpy.

Blair: What are you jumpy about?

Wilder: I shouldn't be getting into this.

Blair: Sounds like you need someone to talk to.

Long pause.

Wilder: I treat some injuries... from beatings -- bad beatings. And knife wounds. And I'm not talking about homemade shivs. These are wounds from hunting knives.

Blair: You got any idea what's going on?

Wilder: No. The inmates won't talk to me.

Blair: Do you keep files? Records?

Wilder: Who are you?

Blair: Just a friend. You know -- someone you can talk to.

~Cut to later outside restaurant. Night outside now. Blair and Wilder walk to Wilder's car. The red van is still there. People are loading up into it.~

Wilder: The guy driving the van? Douglas? He's a prison guard.

Blair: Yeah, I recognize him. Maybe he's moonlighting or something.

Wilder: I see these vans every week.

Blair: The same ones?

Wilder: Yes. I don't know where they go.

Blair: I'll tell you what. I'm giving you my cell phone number. You call me anytime. I'll be in touch.

Red van pulls out. Another van follows it. Blair heads back to his car to follow both of them.

~Cut to vans at security gate of prison. Douglas (prison guard from classroom) is driving red van.~

Guard at gate: Hold on, Douglas.

~Cut to inside prison hallway. Jim walks into hallway. Several inmates meandering around. Jim starts to listen in to conversations.~

Camacho: I'm telling you, Turner, I heard these hacks talking, man. My name's on the list.

Turner: Stay cool, Camacho.

Jim walks down to Turner and Camacho.

Camacho: Later, Turner. (walks off)

Jim: What's going on with him?

Turner: I recall giving you advice about asking questions.

Jim: It's the "list," isn't it?

Turner: Back off. Hear what I'm saying? You got no idea.

Jim picks up on Vinson talking to a few his buddies.

Vinson: Liotta... he goes down! I'm going to get that little squid-breath right now. (goes past his buddies) Excuse me.

Vinson gets a towel-wrapped shiv from another inmate, then unwraps it and holds it in one hand. He then walks past Jim. Liotta enters hallway and stops as he sees Vinson walking toward him.

Vinson: This is my world, Curtis.

Liotta turns and runs. Vinson chases after him, grabbing him.

Vinson: Liotta, come here! Hey! Where you going? Get back here!

Jim: Liotta!

Vinson shoves Liotta into another room. Jim goes down hall after Vinson. Another inmate stands in Jim's way. Jim takes him out with a hit to his face, knocking him aside. There's a muffled scream from the room. Jim enters room to see Vinson cleaning the bloody knife on a towel, then dropping it to the ground. Jim goes up to Liotta, laying on the ground, looking very dead, a wound in his chest. He checks anyway, but it's too late. Miller comes up to Jim.

Miller: (whispering) You don't want any part of this. I know who you are...a cop.

~~~~~~~~~~ Act III ~~~~~~~~~~

~Same scene a bit later as guards are clearing the room. Jim and Miller walk out together. Miller hauls Jim aside to talk to him.~

Miller: I'm the guy you didn't count on. I'm the one who slipped under the radar. Name's Tig Miller.

Jim: I don't know you.

Miller: You busted my kid brother, Danny Ray Miller. A shootout. I was in the courtroom, front row. Every day I wanted to kill you.

Guard: Lockdown! Move it out!

Jim: What do you want?

Miller: I want out of here.

Jim: What are you in for?

Miller: Nothing big -- fraud, counterfeit, forgery.

Jim: All right, I'll see what I can do.

Miller: If you don't, every con in this place will know who you are.

Guard: I said, lockdown. Now, move, damn it. Lock them up.

~Cut to Vinson still in the room. Two of the guards grab him and shove him against a shelf of towels.~

Vinson: What are you doing?

Guard: If you had a problem with Liotta, why didn't you come to me?

Vinson: It was personal.

Guard: Wrong answer. See, we have a system in place to deal with conflict resolution. What makes you think we won't charge you with his murder?

Vinson: He was a con. Life is cheap.

Guard: We decide who lives and who dies.

~Cut to Jim being put into his cell. Turner is already there.~

Turner: The prize bull's going to feast on you, man. Be smart. Play the game or you'll be next.

Jim: What do you mean, "next"? What's up with you?

Turner: What's up with you?

Jim: What did Camacho do?

Turner: Nothing.

Jim: Then why is he on the list?

Turner: Who said he was?

Jim: Nobody. You can see it in his eyes.

~Cut to Blair in his car outside the prison. Night. Rainy. Wilder pulls up next to him in her car. They roll down their windows to talk to each other.~

Wilder: Thanks for meeting me, Blair.

Blair: Oh, it's no problem.

Wilder: I think an inmate was murdered today.

Blair: What? What happened?

Wilder: All I know is there's a dead body and they won't let me touch the paperwork.

Blair: Did you find anything on the other cases?

Wilder: Oh. A few files. (hands him some files) But all the serious injuries that I treated -- those files are missing.

Blair: What about Dr. Spenser? The one who died in the car accident -- did you see his files?

Wilder: No, but I'll look again.

Blair: We need to find out if he saw the same injuries that you did. Maybe that way we can link the evidence.

Wilder: Who are you?

Blair: Just a friend. Just like I said.

~Cut to Jim in his cell. Still night. He hears a cell door open, then Camacho's voice.~

Camacho: Hey, man. What do you want?

Guard: Get up, Camacho. You're coming with us.

Camacho: No. No way, I ain't going.

Jim gets up and gets a small shaving mirror, using it to see in the reflection what's happening in the hallway. He sees Camacho with two guards.

Guard: I said, get up, punk! You're coming with us whether you like it or not. This is it for you, punk!

Camacho: Get your hands off me, man. I can walk on my own.

As they pass, Jim pulls back inside, then watches some more with the mirror.

~Cut to Blair in his car outside the prison. Still night. Still rainy. He's asleep and doesn't hear the cellphone ring until after a few times. Finally he answers it.~

Blair: Simon?

Simon: (in his office) Sandburg, where the hell have you been?

Blair: I hooked up with a new doctor at the prison. There's been a number of unaccounted for injuries she's trying to document. She said someone was killed earlier.

Simon: Whoa, whoa, whoa. Someone was killed? Did she say by who? Was it another inmate? A guard?

Blair: Nah, she didn't have a clue, but she thinks they're trying to cover it up.

Simon: Look, it's too late to pull you out. I'm gonna leave you in there, but you stick to teaching. You could be jeopardizing yourself, not to mention Jim.

Blair: Yeah, I hear you, Simon. I'll talk to you later, all right? (hangs up)

~Cut to Jim in his cell. He zooms in to look into window of building opposite yard again.~

~Cut to inside opposite building where a huge crowd of people are standing around a metal fence that surrounds a smaller area where the guards push Camacho. Vinson is already inside.~

Guard: Get in there.

Vinson: Come on, punk.

Warden Hanlon is there. People are cheering. Bets are being placed. Vinson and Camacho fights. Vinson kills Camacho, then raises his arms in victory.

Vinson: Yeah!

~Cut back to Jim. He pulls away from the window and just stands there, looking shocked.~

~Cut to Dr. Wilder looking through files in a filing cabinet. Still night. She finds Dr. Spenser's accidental death report, then closes cabinet. She then gathers her stuff and leaves the office, heading down the hallway. A guard -- Douglas -- steps into view and she stops.~

Douglas: What you got there, Doc?

~~~~~~~~~~ Act IV ~~~~~~~~~~

~Prison hallway. Day. Miller is going down hall with laundry cart. Jim is in his cell writing a note -- "Been ID'd. Pull me ASAP."~

Miller: Laundry! Laundry!

Miller comes up to Jim's cell and sees that Jim is writing something.

Miller: Laundry man. Let's go.

Jim hurriedly stuffs note in bag and brings bag to Miller, putting it in the cart.

Miller: You got what I need, cop?

Jim: It's coming.

Miller: You got till tomorrow or you're dead. (leaves)

~Cut to Blair entering the hallway outside the laundry area. Two guards enter the next hallway and start talking. Blair ducks around a corner to hide.~

Guard #1: Hey, Ray, come here. You working this weekend?

Guard #2: Yeah. I got to.

~Cut to laundry room. Miller finds Jim's bag and opens it. He finds note and reads it. He sets note aside and pulls out a rolled-up notebook. He then proceeds to write a new note. Outside, he can hear a guard coming. He finishes the new note, stuffs the old note in his mouth, then rips the new note out and puts it into Jim's laundry bag."~

~Cut to hallway outside. Guard goes in a door leading off in another direction. Miller comes out of laundry room. Blair watches him go, then heads inside. He finds Jim's laundry bag, then digs out the note inside, then reads it.~

Blair:"Making progress. Stay tuned. P.S. The food sucks here."

~Cut to outside yard area of prison. Day. Turner sits on a set of risers, reading a book. Jim goes over to join him.~

Jim: I know what's going down here, Turner.

Turner: What do you know?

Jim: I know Camacho died in a fight last night with Vinson in a gym in front of an audience.

Turner: Guess his number was up.

Jim: Meaning his number on the list?

Turner: Who are you, man? Ever since you got here, you've been asking questions. Way too many questions. Just like this prison guard six months ago. Poking his nose around till he got shanked. Want to know why? (stands up_ He was a cop. Yo, Curtis, you a cop? If you ain't, I got nothing to say to you. If you are, maybe I can help.

Jim: Why would you do that?

Turner: So you can put in a good word for me at the parole board.

Jim: I might be able to. No guarantees.

Turner: What do you need?

Jim: I need evidence on the killings. Matty Temple, Doc Spenser. You in?

Turner: No guarantees. (walks off)

Jim walks around the yard and looks out the fence, then at the clock on the prison wall -- 11:30 a.m.

~Cut to Simon standing in a parking lot in town. Still day. Blair pulls up in his car, then gets out, joining Simon.~

Blair: Hey, Simon, what are you doing here?

Simon: I was a little bit nervous about leaving you on your own. Thought you might need supervision. What do you hear from Jim?

Blair: Check it out. See for yourself. (hands him the note)

Simon reads it and they both chuckle.

Simon: You see him today?

Blair: No. They canceled my class. Something about they needed more space to process in new prisoners.

Simon: Canceled the class? I don't like that. Whole purpose of the class was so you'd have visual contact with Jim.

Blair: I don't like it either, but you know what, I did see Dr. Wilder. She said she might be able to get Dr. Spenser's old files. Maybe that'll be enough and we can pull him. How long did Maggie say it would it take to get him out?

Simon: Hour, maybe less.

Blair: What do you want to do?

Simon: If Jim says he's okay, he's okay. Give him another 24 hours.

~Cut to prison yard. Still day. Sometime later. Jim is still pacing. He stops at fence to look out again.~

Jim: Come on, Simon, where are you?

Jim hears Vinson talking to another inmate.

Vinson: He doesn't leave the yard alive, Cooper. You got it?

Jim walks the opposite direction, heading toward the inside. Vinson and Cooper parallel him. Then Turner and a bunch of other guys appear and surround Jim.

Vinson: What's up, Turner? Bro? Me and Mr. "Courtesy" here need to have a little talk about him getting in my business with Liotta.

Turner: Looks like we got him first.

Vinson: Yeah, right.

Inmate: Let's go, Vinson.

Some of Turner's men shove Vinson back while Turner and others hustle Jim inside.

Vinson: Another time. Soon.

Inside, Turner stops Jim and holds him against the wall as he talks to others.

Turner: Thanks, man.

Inmate: We're square, man. He's all yours. Good luck.

Rest of inmates leave.

Turner: Keep moving. We're on our own.

Jim and Turner start to walk down hallway.

Turner: Thought about what you said. About the parole board. You straight?

Jim: Absolutely. You can count on it.

Turner: Here's what you got. High rollers driving in ten grand a pop to bet on the fights. Nobody who comes is going to say a word 'cause they're all accessories to violent crime.

Jim: What about Matty Temple?

Turner: Vinson killed him in the ring. He was going to rat on the fights. Right now you got a bigger problem than making a case. Vinson's coming for you. You gotta get your people to pull you out.

Jim: I put out the word. Something must have gone wrong. I got to get out on my own somehow.

Turner: You're crazy, man.

Jim: Check it out. There's this open shaft behind the metal shop. Where do it go?

Turner: Steam plant.

Jim: And after that, where?

Turner: You're stuck. No way out. Unless... I worked a crew that laid pipe down there. There's dozens of these tunnels and shafts all around the steam plant. You find the right tunnel, it's a straight run to the river.

Jim: Thanks, man. (walks off)

~Cut to later. Night. Jim is going down prison hallway. Miller appears, grabbing him.~

Miller: You going somewhere without me, cop?

Jim: I'm working on it. Now get out of here.

Miller: You're taking off. Well, I'm going with you.

Jim: (pushes him against the wall) Listen to me, Miller. You just stay cool. I told you I'd take care of you. (keeps walking)

Miller: Yeah, you try leaving me here, I will go right to the warden, man. I will rat you out.

Jim: All right. You screw up and we're both dead. Now let's go.

They keep going.

~Cut to Jim and Miller entering metal workshop. Jim types in the code, opening the door.~

Miller: How'd you get the code, man?

~Cut to guard monitoring station. Jim and Miller show up on the security monitors as an alarm rings.~

Groder: Yeah. This is Groder. We got two inmates in the tool shed.

~Cut to Jim and Miller. Jim is searching the shelves.~

Jim: Get the flashlight and the wire cutters.

Miller gets them. Jim opens the hatch and climbs down inside. Miller follows him. They both go down into the steam tunnels. Jim looks one way, then the other.

Jim: This way.

They walk down corridor until they reach a chained gate.

Jim: You got those wire cutters?

Miller hands Jim the wire cutters, then holds the flashlight as Jim cuts through the chain. The chain breaks. Jim opens the gate just as two guards come into the tunnel from the entrance back where they'd come from.

Guard: Don't move! Hold it right there!

The head guard (Burnette) and another guard (Douglas) appear on the other side of Jim and Miller.

Burnette: That's far enough.

Miller: Mr. Burnette. Mr. Burnette, sir, there's some... something I got to tell you about this guy.

Burnette: Save it. Get out of here.

Miller: What?

Burnette: The river's that way. Go on, before I change my mind.

Miller looks back at Jim who is being held by a guard. Then he looks at Burnette. He hesitates a moment, then takes off toward the river. As he runs, Douglas shoots him in the back. Miller falls to the ground.

Burnette: (to Jim) You're going to work a little harder to die.

~~~~~~~~~~ Act V ~~~~~~~~~~

~Jim in solitary. Turner is pushed inside and the door closed again. Turner sits in the opposite corner.~

Jim: Vinson figure out you helped me.

Turner: Yeah.

Jim: What happens now?

Turner: Same as Miller. Same as Camacho. Animals to the slaughter. I guess in the end it don't matter what you do.

Jim: Why did you help me?

Turner: To get out of here quicker. I ain't a hero. I missed the redemption train a long time ago.

Jim: It comes through every now and again.

Turner: I should have never messed with you, man. I should have cut your ass the minute you rolled up into my cell.

Jim: Well, it doesn't matter what you did, man. It matters what you do now.

Turner: Now I'm going to pay...with my blood.

~Cut to Hanlon walking down hallway of prison, not near cells. Day. Burnette joins him.~

Burnette: The teacher's been suspended from his duties.

Hanlon: Good. It looks like we've contained our little employee uprising.

Burnette: What about the doctor?

Hanlon: Keep her around for the fight. Vinson may need a little patching up. I hear Curtis has some stones. After it's over, get rid of her.

~Cut to Simon getting into Blair's car. Day. Simon has a radio earphone on.~

Simon: You get Jim's latest drop?

Blair: No. They canceled my class Permanently.

Simon: What?! I don't know. They caught onto something. Think they put you and Jim together?

Blair: No, no way. They probably connected me and the doctor.

Simon: Where is she now?

Blair: They said she called in sick with the flu, but I went by her apartment -- she's not there.

Simon: Oh, this is no good. (hits dial on phone, then talks into radio piece) Yeah, this is Captain Simon Banks. I need to talk to Maggie Chandler. San Francisco? Well, no, I need to talk to her now. No, tomorrow will not do! A policeman's life is at stake!

~Cut to Vinson in the fighting ring. Night. Burnette is collecting bets as Vinson yells and plays to the clamoring crowd.~

Vinson: Yeah, baby! Yeah! Who's the man?! Who's the man?!

Jim is led into the area and shoved into the fenced off ring.

Vinson: Yeah, you're dead! Come on, baby! Come on.

They start to fight. Vinson gets in a couple good punches and kicks before Jim starts to retaliate.

~Cut to outside. Simon and Blair with a SWAT van. An officer hands Simon a large envelope. Simon opens it.~

Simon: We got the search warrant.

Officer goes back to van. Simon and Blair get into Simon's car.

~Cut back to fighting area. More betting. Jim and Vinson still fighting. Vinson seems to be winning. Jim is stunned, but still gets int good hits.~

Vinson: Come here! Who's sweating bullets now? Yeah!

Crowd is booing Jim and cheering Vinson.

Vinson: Come here! (slams Jim to the ground) Who's the man? (picks Jim up) Come here! Get up! Get over here!

Vinson hits Jim a few more times, then Jim nails him in the stomach, then kicks across Vinson's head. Vinson falls to the side and crawls over to the fence as the crowd boos. Douglas is standing just on the other side.

Vinson: Give me the pepper spray.

Vinson goes back to Jim who is waiting for him, then sprays the pepper spray in his face. Jim's sight goes blurry and he squints, trying to see.

Vinson: (laughing) How do you like me now, baby? You couldn't leave well enough alone.

Jim uses his hearing to track where Vinson is. He ducks as Vinson throws a kick up at him, then rises up and punches Vinson, knocking him out. Jim punches him a cuple times on the ground fro good measure.

Hanlon: Get up, you bastard! Get up! Get him out of there! Get him the hell out of there!

Crowd is booing. Guards come in and drag Vinson out.

Guard: All right. Let's go. Here we go. Watch out. Coming through.

Turner is shoved into the fighting area.

Douglas: Get in here! (hands Jim and Turner each a long hunting knife, then leaves)

Jim and Turner start to walk around each other. Turner takes a swipe at Jim. Jim moves away, shaking his head.

Jim: I'm not going to fight you.

Turner: If we won't fight, they'll kill us. (swipes at Jim again) I told you, man, I ain't no hero.

Jim: It's over. It's over! (throws aside his knife)

Hanlon: Stick him.

Turner grabs Jim and holds the knife above him. Jim just stands there. Turner hesitates. Crowd is yelling. Turner slowly lowers knife and drops it.

Outside the fighting area, a guard runs up to Hanlon with a walkie-talkie.

Guard: Warden Hanlon?

Hanlon: What?

Guard: Some trouble at the gate, sir.

Hanlon: (into walkie) Hanlon.

Guard: (over walkie) The police are here with a warrant.

Hanlon: What? Where?!

Guard: (over walkie) Right outside.

Hanlon turns to leave. The SWAT guys come in just then, taking them all by surprise, disarming guards and such. Inside the fighting area, Jim disarms the guard in front of him.

SWAT leader: Drop your weapon! I said, drop your weapon!

Simon comes in, heading for the fighting area, going inside.

Simon: Ellison! You all right?

Jim: Glad to see you, sir. Just get me the hell out of here.

Blair can be seen at the entrance to the fighting area.

Jim: (walks over to Turner) I'll see you at the parole board.

Turner: No guarantees.

Jim: I know. (they exchange a handshake)

Turner leaves, passing Blair and Wilder who follow a few moments later.

Simon: They're going to do time in the same institution that they helped supervise. I know it doesn't make up for Matty, Jim.

Jim: I was losing it, Simon. All the was just eating away at me.

Simon: Come on, let's get you out of here.

Jim: I think I'm going to take a little walk. Sit out in the open somewhere. Any place without walls, huh?

Jim walks off in the opposite direction, leaving the ring by the second entrance. Simon goes the other way.

~ The End ~