Theodore "T-Bag" Bagwell is the most notorious member of the Fox River Eight, and a major villain of the series.
Theodore Bagwell was born on 8 August 1959. According to Bellick his father had sexually assaulted his Down syndrome-afflicted sister, who later gave birth to Theodore. (1x6) Theodore's advanced vocabulary is due to his father, who made him read entire encyclopedias and dictionaries in his youth, stating that this would make him "President of the United States" one day and lead him to a better life. Ever since his youth, Bagwell was constantly in and out of jail, often for vandalism and torturing animals. While in fourth grade, he attempted to set his teacher's house on fire and was sentenced to juvenile hall. During this time he became a member of the Alliance for Purity, a fictional white supremacist group.
Prior to incarceration, Bagwell eluded the authorities and pursued a relationship with a single mother named Susan Hollander, who had two children of her own from a previous marriage. To Susan and her children, he presented himself as a charming and polite man, and the whole Hollander family adored him. Upon seeing that he was a wanted murderer and rapist on the television show America's Most Wanted, she notified the police. Bagwell was sentenced to life in prison for six counts each of kidnapping, rape and murder at Donaldson Prison in Alabama.
T-Bag quickly became the leader of the Alliance for Purity inside Donaldson, and under his leadership the gang became so powerful inside the prison that the warden disbanded it and sent T-Bag to Fox River. Upon seeing that there were no Alliance for Purity members at Fox River, he started a new chapter of the gang; its growth granted him significant influence within the prison. He has no qualms about seeking sexual gratification from other inmates, often preying upon younger men.
Upon the arrival of Michael Scofield at Fox River, T-Bag wanted to ensnare him as his personal playmate, but was unsuccessful. During a race riot his "special friend" was amongst those who were fatally wounded. Believing Scofield had done it, T-Bag sought revenge but was stopped by John Abruzzi.
During a second riot, T-Bag learns of the hole that Michael had made in the wall while in Michael and Sucre's cell, and threatens to tell the other inmates if Michael and the others don't include him in their escape. Despite their unanimous disgust for T-Bag, the others have no choice but to agree. However, when the group discovered that they had one too many for a successful escape, the recently converted John Abruzzi gives T-Bag an ultimatum: back out of the escape or die. In response T-Bag slashed Abruzzi's throat. T-Bag made a second attempt on Abruzzi's life but was stopped by C-Note, who reminded him that Abruzzi was providing their transportation.
Later, when Scofield, Lincoln Burrows and Sucre are locked up the Segregated Housing Unit (aka SHU, a dark room where prisoners are locked up for committing unsuitable behavior), T-Bag saves Scofield's escape plan from being discovered by the authorities. As Scofield and Sucre were put in the SHU, the cell was up for grabs to the highest bidder by the doings of a corrupt Correctional Officer, Geary. The bidder complained about the leaking toilet seat when Geary had agreed to have it fixed (behind the seat lay Scofield's dug up escape). T-Bag discovered this and notified C-Note and Westmoreland about the upcoming takeover of Scofield's cell. T-Bag soon helps devise a plan (which includes a game of poker in the kitchen), which earns them the money to put on a bigger bid for the cell.
On the night of the escape, T-Bag broke out from Fox River with Scofield and the six other inmates. To ensure his safety, T-Bag handcuffs himself to Michael. His cuffed hand is later severed by Abruzzi with an axe in an abandoned tool shed. T-Bag is left behind, later managing to catch up with the other escapees, in Tooele, Utah. (Season 2)
Left on his own, T-Bag begins to search for a way to reattach his hand. He finds a small clinic, and forces Dr. Marvin Gudat, a veterinarian, to reattach his hand without any anesthetic. Even though Gudat tries to persuade him to seek help elsewhere, as he is unable to provide the services that Bagwell needs, he eventually stitched his hand back together, as T-Bag threatened to kill him if he did not help him. After his hand is re-attached, he kills Dr. Gudat via a lethal injection, steals his clothing and his car, bleaches his hair blonde, and heads for Utah. His ultimate aim became acquiring the D. B. Cooper money hidden by Charles Westmoreland, which Michael, Lincoln, Sucre,Tweener, and C-Note were all looking for as well. (2x2)
Along the way, T-Bag's character as a villain in the series is emphasized by his deceit and crimes. He avoids arrest by planting his stolen car keys into another man, followed by his intent to sexually assault a teen girl that he met at a motel pool. The incident caused a between him and the girl's father, which he won, by presumably killing him. (2x4) Stealing the man's car, he eventually arrives in Tooele, Utah in the next episode before Lincoln and Michael, and steals the map for the site where Westmoreland's money is buried, along with Tweener. However, when he is captured by Lincoln and Michael, he proceeds to memorize and eat the map, forcing Lincoln and Michael to include him in their search for the money. The next two episodes follow the group as they are subsequently joined by C-Note and Sucre, and the dig for Westmoreland's money. However, the situation is escalated when T-Bag forces them to take the occupants hostage. After they retrieve the money, T-Bag fools his comrades by switching the bag of money with a bag with magazines in it, after Sucre had demanded to be given the total sum of the money.
After hiding the five million dollars in a locker at a train station, T-Bag goes to find Susan, at the home that she once lived in, but is apprehended by Brad Bellick and Roy Geary instead. The Hollander had hastily fled the home with her children, as soon as she heard that T-Bag was out of prison. (2x9) They proceed to torture him to discover the location of the five million dollars and eventually, forces the key out of him, after he had swallowed it. Before leaving, Bellick calls the police and leaves T-Bag tied to a radiator. (2x10)
A desperate T-Bag manages to tear himself free by severing off his newly attached hand. By using his tracking device he had placed inside the bag of money, T-Bag tracks the money to a high class hotel room, occupied by Geary and several prostitutes. Before leaving with the money, T-Bag kills Geary and frames Bellick for the murder. This results in Bellick's arrest in the following episode. (2x11)
In Pratt, Kansas, T-Bag is seen with the prosthetic hand of a war veteran who he met at a bar. He later deceives a US Postal Worker named Denise, flirting with her and taking her out to lunch, so that she would give him the forwarding address of Susan Hollander. However, after Denise sees his wanted poster, she is seen lying on the floor as T-Bag exits the post office. T-Bag heads for Susan Hollander's home in Ness City, Kansas and invites himself inside. (2x13)
After T-Bag goes inside, Susan tells T-Bag that she never told the children what he was, T-Bag told Susan that they had a clean slate thanks to this. as the kids come home from school and are happy to see T-Bag and give him a hug. Apparently Susan had told the children that he found had a job in the oil business and lost his hand, T-Bag told the children that he got "$1,000,000 for every single digit that was missing". When they were all watching television, Susan tries all sorts of excuses to get to the kitchen in order to get a gun that was hidden in a drawer. When Susan finally succeeds in getting to the kitchen, it appears that T-Bag already had the gun in his possession and told her that he was disappointed, Zach took his skateboard and attacked T-Bag, when they attempted to run away, T-Bag assured that nobody is going anywhere. (2x14)
He takes them to his childhood home in Alabama, where he reveals that they are his "salvation" and that he wants to rebuild his home, and become part of their family. Susan rebuffs him, however, saying that she is not able to love him. T-Bag is heartbroken by her rejection and finally leaves them, calling the police to release them from his home. (2x17)
The next part of T-Bag's storyline concerns his decision to travel to Thailand. (2x18) After taking the identity from a therapist he deliberately kills, T-Bag buys a ticket to Bangkok and boarded a stop-over flight from Chicago, which coincidentally was the same plane Bellick is flying in. T-Bag recognizes Bellick at Mexico City International Airport, and is forced to hide, consequently losing his money in the luggage carousel. (2x19) He then grapples with a security guard in an attempt to retrieve the money, but fails to overpower him or retrieve the money. He runs away as security footage of him fleeing is transmitted on a Mexican news station.
After narrowly avoiding Sucre and Bellick, T-Bag travels to the titular country; Panama. While there, he hires a sex-worker that he met on the streets, and requests that she wears a wig that is a similar style as Susan Hollander's hair. After an hour, the escort tells him that he must pay her before she began another act, as she is paid by the hour. However, T-Bag insists that she continue, repeatedly telling her that he will pay her later, and she must go on. After she continues to refuse, she begins to insult him, and his interest in Susan. He grabs her throat, and she later dead found in the bloody bathtub of the hotel room by the maid, with her killer nowhere However, Agent Kim sends an agent to Panama in order to have T-Bag help lead them to Lincoln and Michael, who are also in Panama. (2x20)
Kim's plot fails, however, and T-Bag finds himself being chased by Bellick, Sucre and Michael. (2x21) He escapes Bellick by shooting him in the leg, but is captured soon after by Sucre and Michael. T-Bag escapes once again by stabbing Sucre in the chest with a screwdriver but is followed by Michael to an abandoned house. After Michael refuses T-Bag's truce (feeling responsible for everyone T-Bag has killed since escaping from prison), the two fight. Michael ultimately apprehends Bagwell by viciously impaling his remaining hand to the floor with a knife found in the room, and leaving him for the Panamanian police to discover. He then arrested by the police, and transferred to a Panamanian cell, where Bellick is also imprisoned. T-Bag is last seen screaming in a Panamanian jail, a man from the Company leaving him imprisoned.T-Bag is the fifth member of the Fox River Eight to be apprehended by authorities. (2x22)
Imprisoned in Sona along with Michael, Bellick, and Mahone, T-Bag is once again able to charm his way to an easier prison life than most, ingratiating himself to Lechero, a drug lord who is the most powerful man inside. Michael soon blackmails T-Bag about his pedophiliac past, in order to gain access to Lechero's cell phone. T-Bag gets Michael the cellphone, but when it is put back Lechero notices that it had been moved. In order to deflect suspicion, T-Bag gets Lechero to question the loyalty of his right hand man, Sammy, who has been openly hostile to T-Bag. Lechero is successfully manipulated into enlisting T-Bag as his personal spy, increasing T-Bag's position in the prison hierarchy.
T-Bag then gains the trust of Lechero's head drug smuggler and dealer, Nieves, only to then kill him by suffocating him with a plastic bag. He also covers up his murder by making it look like a drug overdose, and as a result replaces Nieves on Lechero's crew in the prison. He also protects Sister Mary Francis when the guards enter Sona, developing a liking for her in the process. When she steals Lechero's money, he diverts blame from her on to him and is punished for it by Lechero.
Later, when James Whistler is accused of murder and set to be killed, T-Bag attempts to 'help' Michael by asking him to frame his rival Sammy for the murder but Michael refuses to go through with it. When Chris and Hansen were caught trying to escape Sona twice, T-Bag became suspicious and figured out that Michael was trying to escape. He blackmails his way onto the team but, along with Bellick and Lechero, is tricked by Michael and captured to allow the others to escape.
After the escape, he is tortured till he says Fernando Sucre knows everything that happened about the escape. He finds the bird book that Whistler dropped and puts it into his pocket. He then is taken back to Sona and forms an ambitious plan to kill Lechero. He tricks Lechero into supplying $50,000 for an "escape" and then smothers him in front of a shocked Bellick. T-Bag then goes to the masses and hands out part of the $50,000 to all the cons. He begins the chant "all cons are equal" and ingratiates himself with everybody, leaving T-Bag as the new ruler of Sona.
With a fourth season sanctioned, it is expected that T-Bag will return as a regular character and resume his story where it left off, where he is pulling all of the strings behind Sona.
As Sister Mary Francis gives him money to travel, much to her dismay he instead heads to San Diego in order to enact revenge on Scofield for betraying him on the escape. Armed with the late Whistler's bird book/codebook, Bagwell is confident it will bring him to his goal. But his drivers steal T-Bag's money and abandon him in the desert with their overweight companion. He is eventually forced to kill and eat his companion in order to survive until people on ATVs find him. As Whistler's book tells him what to do he realizes that Michael is in Los Angeles, he gets on the first bus towards him. T-Bag has assumed one of James Whistler's identities, "Cole Pfeiffer" and is now an Executive Sales Rep at a Company called Gate.
T-Bag attempts to carry on his charade as the "top salesman in the Northeast" for Gate Corporation, while spending most of his time at Gate trying to decipher the contents of Whistler's bird book. Eventually, another sales manager exposes him as a fraud, and he quickly flees the Gate building before being arrested. While packing up his belongings at his apartment, he is surprised by Gretchen Morgan, holding him at gunpoint demanding to know who he is. Gretchen ties him up and interrogates him for his role in obtaining Scylla.
After that, he takes Trishanne (the secretary from Gate Corporation) hostage to lure Michael and company to him. He holds Bellick, Michael and Mahone at gunpoint, but Mahone escapes. T-Bag wants Michael to figure out the contents of the birdbook and it's relevance to Scylla, which he believes is worth millions of dollars. They eventually discover the book contains blueprints to the Gate Corporation building, including a path to the spot within the building where Scylla can be decrypted. While forcing Michael at gunpoint into the secret compartment, T-Bag is surprised by Mahone, who along with Michael, capture T-Bag and lock him in a utility room to await capture. However, after Gretchen gets to be included on the plan, T-Bag is released and also included in on the plan too since he already had taken on the identity of "Cole Pfeiffer". He gets allied with Gretchen to betray Michael and his team so they can sell Scylla to Mr. Feng. After that, T-Bag left Michael, Sucre, and then Bellick and Lincoln to enter in his office and go under it, and start breaking into The Company's building where Bellick ends up dying. Later, T-Bag is told by his Boss to give a conference to some guests, and he tells a story honoring Bellick. Because of that conference that T-Bag gave, Gate earned a large sum of money, so Mr. White offers Bagwell a trip in a yacht, but T-Bag deny that offer, he decides to keep working on Scylla's steal.
Once the Scylla stealing begins, he and Gretchen must keep the appearances but they can't and kidnap people in Gate. after Scylla is stolen Gretchen betrays T-Bag, and so do Don with Michael's team.Self obligates Bagwell to work with him, and they threat Gretchen's sister and daughter, so Gretchen gets obligated to work with Don too. As she helps Don to find a buyer for Scylla Bagwell keeps Gretchen's family kidnapped on the house. Then, a "Bible seller" rings, and T-Bag, believing he's an agent from the company tries to kill him, but Gretchen's sister encourages him not to do it. Then T-Bag releases Gretchen family and then when he is about releasing the Bible seller and escaping, the man results to really be an agent from the Company, and knocks out T-Bag, and takes him to the Company's building to be interrogated.
He is interrogated by Mr. T, and then after that joins the team for Scylla's recovering with Mahone, Self, Gretchen and Lincoln, but he becomes a secret informant to the General Krantz. His team starts to follow the steps of whoever had Scylla, who results to be Lincoln and Michael's mother. T-Bag warns the general that Christina seemed to be the actual owner of Scylla, and Lincoln wasn't telling that to him. Lincoln's team gets to Vincent Sandinsky and was about interrogating him when the general arrives,rebukes Lincoln and congratulates T-Bag. Later, he's told to kill Vincent Sandinsky as a proof of loyalty. After that, when Sara is kidnapped and the general is going to meet Michael, get Scylla and kill him, T-Bag is allowed to abuse Sara, but Michael arrives just in time and stops him. the general rebukes T-Bag and wants to kill him when Sucre calls to Sara's phone, T-Bag answers and plans a meeting with him. However, T-Bag is taken and interrogated by Sucre and C-Note about the general's whereabouts. When everything is finished and Michael, Lincoln, Sucre, Mahone and C-Note are exonerated T-Bag asks for mercy and release, but the team denies it, and T-Bag is sent back to Fox River.
Prison Break: The Final Break
In the Final Break, T-Bag was asked by Lincoln to set the fire alarm and in return, he demands $5000 wired into his account. During the break-out, he founds that Lincoln did not wire the money so, he tells the FBI Agent about Michael's plan.
After Mahone told the FBI Agent about the break-out, they replaced Michael to a dummy that parachuted out of a plane. Michael crept into the chapel on foot and met Sara where she escaped from the prison while Michael has to face electrocution. It is later revealed that T-Bag was setup, again. He was charged for aiding and abetting a prison escape for informing about the parachute.
As seen in the final episode, T-Bag is sent to the Fox River State Penitentiary, to serve his time, which possibly up to life.
He later breaks out of Fox River again during a replacement run for his prosthetic arm. He sets out on a mission of vengeance on two men that raped his mother. He succeeds in killing Wayne Garrett and his girlfriend then later finds Rodney Johnson and throws him into a rock crusher.He then went to see his mother where he is re-captured by the marshalls but is allowed to tell his mother that "he got them."
Theodore Bagwell is seen as cunning, charming, charasmatic and very, very smart. These qualities explain his ability to attract women that he meets. Robert Knepper, the portraying actor of the character, explains that, "T-Bag's not crazy. He knows exactly what he's doing. He's not going to make himself stupid", and "I never play him like a stereotypical racist or redneck. He's actually quite cunning and smart."
Theodore's personality often goes through different stages throughout the seasons, for example, in "Eagles and Angles" he consumes the identity of 'Cole Pheiffer', a respected salesman for GATE, even being assigned his own office, and later on starts wishing he could stay as Cole Pheiffer, stating that he was trapped in his own identity. When Gretchen and himself plan on robbing Syclla, Gregory White notices the silenced machine-guns under his desk, promting Gretchen to take the place hostage, as White was in the process if calling the police, therefore blowing their cover. As Gretchen walked out with the machine-gun in hand, Bagwell repeated, "No, No, No." and yells at her, saying "What now?!", Showing his reluctance to undergo the task. Most likely due to him having to now abandon his 'Cole Pheiffer' alias.
When getting captured by Miriam Holtz shortly after the hostage-taking, he has a short conversation with her, asking, her if she knew who he was from the start. She says that she read his file, and he responds by sadly saying, "What if you hadn't? What if you never knew I was Theodore Bagwell, the convict? Would you have believed I was Cole Pfeiffer? Stellar salesman. Talented speaker?"
Theodore often showed reluctance to undertake harmful tasks, for example, when he was ordered to kill a 'Bible Salesman', he immediately thought he was Company after seeing his ring. He is ordered by Don Self to kill him, but let's him go after being convinced that he was just an innocent preacher. Also letting Gretchen's family go free. Only to be knocked out after, revealing that the 'Bible Salesman' was actually a Company Agent.
Later on, he opposes Lincoln killing Gretchen, his main reasing being, "She's got a kid!", despite the fact that Gretchen tried to kill him a few days earlier.
- T-Bag is known to eat or swallow very unusual things such as handcuff key, a map, a locker key and even a Mexican man he killed (he was starving at the time).
- T-Bag is the only main character, who killed another main character (Lechero).
- Since T-Bag is back in Fox River, he will die later there in the future.
- T-Bag is probably unaware of Michael Scofield's death.
- T-Bag is the only character who appears in Pobeg, Breakout Kings, Prison Break and Prison Break - The Conspiracy (Game).
- Although T-Bag's nickname is a combination of the first letter from his first name and the first three letters of his last, it may also be a reference to the sexual act of "Tea Bagging" (as it is mostly performed as a dominance act, it could very well reflect on T-Bag's dominant position within Fox River).
- T-Bag has met all the main characters except L. J. Burrows, Veronica Donovan, Paul Kellerman and Sophia Lugo.
- Paul Kellerman is aware of him.
- In Prison Break - The Conspiracy (Game), T-Bag is said to be 46 years old.
- In the Classified FBI Files he's said to be 37 years old.
- Bagwell (disambiguation) for other uses of "Bagwell".