"Cute Poison" is the fourth episode of the first season of Prison Break and the fourth episode overall. It first aired on September 12, 2005 in the United States. The episode is directed by Matt Earl Beesley and written by series producer Matt Olmstead. The words "Cute Poison" are one of Michael Scofield's tattoos on his body that serve as a reminder for an important part of his escape plan, which is featured in this episode.
Lincoln is roused from sleep in his cell when Bellick and other guards rush in and cuff him. Bellick informs him that it's time for his execution. As Lincoln struggles against the guards, he is taken out to the electric chair. Once he is strapped in and the guards pull down the lever that turns on the electric chair, Lincoln jumps and snaps open his eyes as he awakens from a dream while lying on his bed in the cell.
Meanwhile, back in Michael's cell, Michael asks his new cellmate if he ever thinks about breaking out. Haywire thinks it's a bad idea and suggests that if anyone is planning to break out, they should report it to officer Bellick. Haywire then starts to notice Michael's tattoos. When Haywire's doctor came to visit him, he is forced to take his pills for his "schizoaffective disorder with bipolar tendencies". After the doctor leaves, Haywire immediately vomits them back out into the sink. Haywire asks to look at Michael's whole tattoo but Michael refuses.
Out in the yard, Sucre passes Michael and has no desire to talk to him. After Sucre's refusal to return to be his cellmate, Michael peels his sleeve back just past his wrist to look at his tattoo. It shows a bottle with the words "CUTE POISON" on it. A flashback follows as Michael is at his apartment looking in a book and checking information on the internet. He gets up to write on his wall of information to add "CUTE POISON" with a red sharpie over the left side of a chemical formula. The deciphered Chemical Formula he wrote over was:
3H2SO4(aq) + Ca3(PO4)2(aq) + 6H2O(l) ↔ 2H3PO4(aq) + 3CaSO4(aq)·2H2O(l)
The sheet written describes an anhydrous phosphoric acid that is a white solid that melts at 42.35 °C which is a viscous liquid.
Back in the yard John Abruzzi approaches Michael and ask him what the problem is. Michael indicates to John about his problem - his new cellmate "Haywire". Abruzzi threatens Michael to quickly take care of his problem and get on with the escape plan.
As Michael works on the Taj Mahal model in Warden Pope's office with him looking on, Pope asks Michael how he could repay him for all the help he has given him. Michael promptly asks if his cellmate could be moved. Pope informs Michael that inmate transfer requests fall under deaf ears around the prison unless there is some sort of fight or sexual predation. Personality conflicts are not enough for a cell transfer. Pope's secretary, Becky, then comes into the room with Michael working, and warns him that his wife is at the front desk. Pope checks his watch and said she wasn't supposed to come until four o'clock. Pope tells Becky not to let her in under any circumstance. He doesn't want her to see the Taj-Mahal until their anniversary. Pope's wife wonders what's wrong and brings up Toledo. As she is about to walk into his office, Michael comes out to say, "Warden, I'm not going to be able to cooperate, I'd get killed if I did. Johnson's still deciding." Pope plays along and Michael returns to his cell. His wife is surprised and relieved. The warden and his wife leave.
In a meeting room, Lincoln meets with Veronica Donovan who says she wants to represent him as his attorney. Lincoln is surprised by her change of mind and that she has come to believe him. He mentions "Project Justice" to Veronica and says that they could help them out since they specialize in death penalty cases.
Michael is walking out of the shower, when Haywire sees his tattoos and mentions there's a pattern. Michael immediately wraps a towel around himself and insists that Haywire is seeing things.
After Sucre's message on Maricruz's phone went unanswered, Hector meets him at visitation hours. He tells him that he is Maricruz's new boyfriend. Sucre gets mad and starts yelling and swearing in Spanish. Hector then rebuts that Sucre's behaviour proves that he will always be the con that he is. In the yard, Sucre talks to Maricruz on the phone to ask her what's going on between them. Maricruz is confused and feels like her biological clock is ticking. Sucre is hung up on and becomes worried. Back in his cell, Sucre stares at a picture of him with Maricruz.
Pope believes rehabilitation is more effective than punishment and due to him recommending Officer Bellick when he retires Bellick is willing to take another look at Michael's cellmate. Michael is then shown in the Toxic Control Center delivering a carton of cigarettes to one of the guards. Michael searches around for MASONRY CLEANER bottle. It then shows chemical formulas of sheets back before he was in prison. Officer Bellick walks in and finds Michael in the Masonry section. Bellick then steps down on Michael's bad foot. Bellick warns Michael to never go around him to Pope.
Michael is then shown in his cell standing in front of the sink, telling Haywire that this is not going to work out. As Haywire is talking about some secret of his, Michael squeezes out his toothpaste into the sink. Later, Haywire asks about his toothpaste. Back in Michael's cell, Haywire tries to look at Michael's tattoos while he's sleeping. He sees a maze on the tattoos and starts to wonder what does it mean.
In the prison yard, Abruzzi meets Michael on the bench and hands him a bottle of Drain Line Root Control that Michael asked for. Abruzzi then says that he would recommend using a knife. Michael replies that there are smarter ways. In his cell, Michael is shown with the Masonry Cleaning bottle and the Drain Line Root Control bottle. A flashback follows as Michael mixes all the ingredients to induce a chemical reaction. Michael fills the empty toothpaste tubes with the contents from each bottle.
As Haywire is drawing out parts of Michael's tattoos, Sucre approaches Michael and tells him that he wants back in. Michael is happy to have him back. When Michael walks back in his cell, he sees Haywire's sketches of his tattoos. Upon seeing them, Michael bangs his head against the cell bars twice and then yells for an officer. The guards, seeing Michael's injury, think that Haywire attacked Michael and drag him out. Sucre then rejoins Michael back in his cell.
In the infirmary, Michael is shown squeezing out his toothpaste tubes into a drain. He sits back on his chair as Dr. Sara Tancredi comes in. As Sara treats his injury, she warns him that he is going to get killed in prison if he is not careful. Michael then responds with a bet, that if he gets out of prison alive that he will take her out for dinner, lunch or a cup of coffee. Sara replies that this charm act could be exactly why Michael is getting into trouble out in the yard.
Lincoln is shown in his meeting room with Nick and Veronica. He reveals that he never touched the pants and the gun. Lincoln relays that they must have got his fingerprints from the murder weapon from the night before as he was testing the weapons out.
Michael starts digging behind the sink as Sucre provides a look-out. When Michael realizes that breaking through the bricks is going to be heard, he asks Sucre to make some noise. Sucre starts to sing, which causes a ruckus among the prisoners. Michael successfully breaks through the bricks and crawls through the hole for the first time.
At "Project Justice", Veronica is meeting with Ben Forsik about having Barris to testify. Nick Savrinn, standing behind Forsik is interested in Veronica's case. Benjamin declines to help Veronica with her case. Veronica then meets with an officer who was the first to respond to a 911 call on the night that Lincoln supposedly killed Terrence Steadman. The officer tells her when he arrived at Lincoln's apartment, he went into the bathroom to see Lincoln washing out the bloody pants. When Veronica asks him if he actually saw Lincoln washing the pants, he gets agitated and again says yes. He then tells her to ask the police station if she has any further questions before stalking off. As Veronica is walking back to her car, Nick Savrinn walks up and introduces himself, and says that he wants to help. They have lunch as they talk about Lincoln's case. They bring up the topic of the government and Terrence Steadman's company's push on alternative energy, and oil companies. Nick reveals that his dad served 15 years for a crime he didn't commit.
From outside the building, Agent Hale watches Veronica as she exits the building and reports to Agent Kellerman, who is looking around in her apartment, that she is returning to her car.
The episode ends with Agent Kellerman telling Agent Hale that he has a transfer order for Michael Scofield to be shipped out of Fox River tomorrow.
- Cute Poison refers to Michael Scofield's tattoos on his body that serve as a reminder for an important part of his escape plan, which is featured in this episode.
- This marks the first appearance of Silas Weir Mitchell as Charles Patoshik.
- The song Sucre sings to aggravate the inmates is "Eres Tu" by Mocedades.