Prison Break Wiki
Prison Break Wiki

"By the Skin and the Teeth" is the fifteenth episode of the first season of Prison Break and the fifteenth episode overall. It was written by Nick Santora and directed by Kevin Hooks. It was first aired on March 27, 2006. The episode takes place on Lincoln Burrows' execution day on May 11th and covers the events which follow on May 12th. Two days after this episode was aired, the series was picked up by Fox for a second season.[1]


In Fox River

Lincoln's execution does not go as planned; everything is ready to go as he is strapped to the electric chair, but the warden receives instructions from the judge that the case is to be delayed two weeks. Someone slipped autopsy files into the judge's office, claiming that the body of Terrence Steadman, who Lincoln supposedly killed was someone else. Two files were sent to the judge at the last moment: one an autopsy report of the deceased noting he had a healthy appendix; the other a report that the deceased had had his appendix removed.

Due to the inherent contradiction, the judge orders a reprieve while the evidence is re-examined. However, upon re-examination, it is revealed that the teeth taken from the body that was dug out from Terrence Steadman's grave matched the dental records of Terrence Steadman.

Moments before the execution was to take place, Lincoln saw someone resembling his father watching the execution from behind a window as a guard covers his head. Confused over whether or not he really saw his father, Lincoln asks the warden who the man in the viewing room was. The warden responds, "He's from the Headline Press... William Prall." Lincoln later has a dream and wakes up remembering that Prall was his father's favorite baseball player and realizes that the man in the viewing room was his father.

Now with the two week extension, Michael reforms his escape plan. However, this time it requires the team to go through the psych ward. The biggest flaw of the plan was that he had to go above ground part of the way. They all agree it's suicide. Regardless, Michael obtains a guard's uniform from his Sucre's cousin, Manche, who works in the laundry department and proceeds to explore these pipes at night.

After Michael returns from scouting through the pipes, he hides from a prison guard walking nearby. Leaning backwards, Michael connects his back with a hot water pipe and burns a part of his back. Although he made no sound during the burning, the uniform now has a hole in it. Returning to his cell, Michael forces Sucre to rip the uniform from his back. Michael is rendered unconscious by the pain. As the warden questions Sucre's involvement in Michael's burnt back, Sara also inquires Michael as to how he got that burn. Both are unsuccessful at getting an answer.

The episode concludes with Dr. Tancredi telling nurse Katie that a piece of fibre that she had removed from Michael's skin during the operation, came from a guard's uniform. Michael, back in his prison cell, discovers in the mirror that a part of his tattoo has been burnt off. The map that detailed his route from the psych ward to the infirmary that is vital to the escape is now gone. Haywire remembers it but Michael does not. 

Paul Kellerman

Agents Kellerman and Brinker examines the security footage from outside the judge's office, trying to find out who had dropped off the evidence anonymously. The man is careful not to be seen by the security cameras, however, a reflection of his face appears on the judge's door. Brinker recognizes the man.


  1. Fox Broadcasting Company, "'Prison Break' Continues its Run Break-out Hit Picked Up For Second Season On Fox". The Futon Critic. March 27, 2006. Retrieved on December 23, 2006.


  • This is the second time that John Abruzzi doesn't appear.
  • This marks the first appearance of Aldo Burrows, who appears briefly.
  • Taking place around May 11th/12th, it is odd that there is a large amount of snow visible on the ground. However, Chicago has reported about one in four Mays with snow since 1885, so the weather is not completely unheard of.
  • This episode premiered, ironically enough on Sara's birthday in the United Kingdom.