Hard Time: Episode #214.
Tag: The Mutant X team goes undercover in a prison to investigate the recent unexplained deaths of several inmates. [Transcript]
Cast & Crew: Written by Al Septien and Turi Meyer; Directed by Oley Sassone
Christopher Lee Clements....Kearns
Patrick Hagarty....Prison guard
Gary Hudson....Warden John Wallington
Layton Morrison....Dennis "Denny" Logan
Paul Mota....Rich gambler
Allan Royal....Dr. Nigel Rigas
Kevin Rushton....Terry McMullen
Official Synopsis: Brennan (Victor Webster) and Jesse (Forbes March) approach a deserted warehouse in search of an old friend of Brennan’s, Dennis (Layton Morrison) better known as “Denny,” who broke out of Hillview State Penitentiary. When Brennan leaves Jesse to investigate, Denny creeps up on Jesse and smashes him in the face. Stunned, Jesse suddenly notices that Denny’s body is completely covered with cuts and bruises. Hearing the commotion, Brennan comes running and is also shocked by Denny’s abrasions. Denny moves to hug his old pal Brennan, but at the last minute knees him in the gut and punches him. Sirens in the distance cause Denny to turn and run, but a truck suddenly comes out of nowhere and strikes him dead. Shocked and infuriated about the abnormal violent nature of his now deceased friend, Brennan, insists that something happened to Denny while in prison. He informs Adam (John Shea) that there have been 14 fatalities at Hillview in the last 6 months and that the Department of Corrections looked into it, but found no misconduct. A man on a mission, Brennan insists that Adam find a way to get him into Hillview to investigate. Meanwhile at Hillview, Dr. Rigas (Allan Royal) meets with Warden Wallington (Gary Hudson) to inform him that Dennis was killed earlier that morning. Obviously upset, Dr Rigas insists that he never intended for his work to be used in this manner. Wallington, however, is adamant that these men are getting what they deserve. Back at Sanctuary, Brennan confides to Emma (Lauren Lee Smith) that he had set Denny up with the diamond heist job that landed him in Hillview, therefore he feels responsible for his death. Adam enters and tells Brennan and Jesse that they will both be admitted on armed robbery charges and that Emma is going to pass herself off as Dr. Nigel Rigas’ new trainee. Brennan is infuriated that Jesse and Emma are tagging along, but Adam insists that they do it as a team or not at all. Brennan and Jesse are not inside the prison for five minutes when Jesse is threatened by inmate McMullen (Kevin Rushton). Meanwhile, Dr. Rigas insists to Emma that he does not want a trainee, but she’s able to use flattery to convince him otherwise. Later, a fight breaks out between Jesse and McMullen. As Brennan intercedes, Wallington watches from the side. Finally he sends guards in to break it up and McMullen is hauled off to solitary confinement. Dr. Rigas steps out for a bit and Emma uses the opportunity to search his office. She contacts Adam just as she finds a floor safe filled with bottles of the steroid ST1277, which increases aggression. Adam orders her to send him a sample to analyze immediately. Meanwhile after lights out, Jesse phases through the bars of the cell and sets out to find Emma. He reaches the basement of the prison and is horrified by what he stumbles upon – a fight pit and a cheering crowd of gamblers betting on McMullen and another prisoner. McMullen beats the other inmate until he falls dead and is then ushered back into his cage while Wallington proclaims “We have a new champion!” Jesse quickly finds Emma and informs her of what he’s just witnessed. Back at the cell Guard Kearns (Christopher Lee Clements) tells Brennan that the Warden wants to see him. He then pulls the covers off Jesse’s bed only to find that he is gone. While Jesse and Emma speak to Adam and Shalimar (Victoria Pratt), the alarm at the prison sounds and Emma sees “prisoner missing” flash across the computer screen. Rigas and Kearns enter the office and Jesse is hauled back to his cell where he soon learns that Brennan’s been taken to solitary. Rigas enters the cell Brennan is being held in and injects him with a green liquid. Brennan tries to resist, but convulses and drops to the ground. At the same moment, Emma gets a telempathic hit from Brennan and knows he’s in trouble. Rigas insists he wants out when Wallington informs him that Brennan will be McMullen’s next competition, but McMullen hands him an envelope stuffed with cash. Meanwhile, Adam assures Emma that he’s working on a neutralizer that should be ready before Brennan’s fight. When Jesse returns to the cell, Brennan immediately turns on him. Narrowly escaping, Jesse knows that Brennan will be killed in the ring. Determined to save his friend’s life, Jesse sneaks into McMullen’s cell. McMullen punches him, but Jesse masses out making his body like a brick wall. The guards arrive and find Jesse and McMullen, who’s squirming on the floor in pain. With McMullen out of commission, Wallington orders for Jesse to take his place. Meanwhile, Rigas enters the office and Emma hits him with a psionic blast and orders him to put Adam and Shalimar’s name on the invite list for the fight. That night, Adam, Shalimar and Emma sit in the audience and watch as an enraged Brennan shoots Jesse with tesla coils. Noticing Shalimar in the crowd, Jesse scales the wall closes to her. She tries to pass the neutralizer off to him, but Brennan pulls him back to the ring. Seeing the injector lying on the ground, Jesse phases out and goes after it. When he phases back in Brennan unleashes a series of punches on him, but Jesse injects him with the pen and Brennan convulses before returning to normal. Emma hits Wallington with a powerful blast and the team then flees the prison. Back at Sanctuary, the team learns that Rigas and Wallington are now in FBI custody and Brennan thanks Jesse for saving his life.
Jesse: You robbed banks, you stole cars, any crimes you didn’t commit?
Brennan: Uh, yeah. I didn’t wear docksiders and chinos to prep school every day.
Brennan: Look, I’m not proud of what we did, okay? At least we didn’t hurt anybody.
Jesse: Tell that to the people you robbed.
Brennan: No, physically, smartass.
Jesse: Jail changes people.
Brennan: What would you know about that?
Dr. Nigel Rigas: My work wasn’t meant to be used this way.
Warden John Wallington: You can’t rehabilitate these animals. I know, I’ve been dealing with them for 20 years.
Dr. Rigas: So what do we do? Just forget these men?
Warden Wallington: These men are getting what they deserve.
Dr. Rigas: While we make money off them.
Warden Wallington: I’ll be glad to cut your profits if that’ll ease your conscience, doctor.
Dr. Rigas: No, no. That’s not my problem.
Warden Wallington: I didn’t think so. We put our lives on the line every day by being in the same cages with these animals. Let’s just call it compensation for work no one else wants to do, shall we?
Brennan: I feel responsible for Denny’s death.
Emma: No, you’re not. Jesse told me what happened.
Brennan: No. You see, a few years back, some guys and I were planning a diamond heist, right? It was gonna be worth a hell of a lot of cash. You know, something came up for me, and Denny opened the job. And I found out later that it was all a setup and everybody was arrested. Now if I hadn’t talked Denny into doing it, then he wouldn’t have gone to Hillview and he’d still be alive today.
Emma: Denny made the choices he made. You can’t blame yourself.
Brennan: Adam, he’s gonna get eaten alive in there.
Jesse: What are you talking about? You’ve seen me kick some major ass in my time.
Brennan: That’s exactly the kind of attitude that’s gonna get you killed.
Jesse: Look, I’ve taken care of myself in tougher situations than that.
Brennan: To survive in there, you blend in. You don’t get noticed. Personally, I don’t think you’re capable of doing it.
Adam: Guys, guys, guys.
Brennan: No, Adam, I’ve been to jail. I know what to expect. Hillview scares the hell out of me.
Jesse: So I’ll be there to watch your back.
Brennan: Jess, you can’t be Mr. Molecular in there.
Adam: All right, that’s true. You can’t use your powers publicly, because you’d risk exposing Mutant X. He knows that.
Brennan: That, and you’re from the suburbs, man. This job is all about the street.
Jesse: Give me a break!
Adam: All right, so that’s why you have to teach him what he needs to know.
Brennan: Come on, Adam.
Adam: No, no. There’s no discussion here. You guys go as a team, or you don’t go at all.
Brennan: Okay, fine. You know what? We’re going in, we’re playing by my rules. You’re not gonna know what I’m talking about until we get in there.
Jesse: It’s hell. You’ve made your point.
Brennan: So you beginning to get the picture or what?
Jesse: Beware of boys with big sticks. That’s an easy rule to remember.
Jesse: What the hell are we doing this for, anyway? Just a bunch of lowlife crminals.
Brennan: Okay, you know, that’s exactly why I didn’t want you here in the first place.
Jesse: Okay, you were right, I should have kept my cool. I’m sorry.
Brennan: You shouldn’t have come in here.
Jesse: Yeah, I know. But we’ll get you out of here, and Adam will fix you up. What are you doing?
Brennan: Making sure you never screw up again. *Brennan shoots, Jesse phases* I knew you wouldn’t be able to handle it. Sick and tired of having to watch your back!
Jesse: Brennan, what?
Brennan: So much weaker after you use your powers. I’ll be so glad when I don’t have to look at your pathetic face anymore! You’re dead, Jess, you hear me? You’re dead!
Jesse: I’ve gotta stop the fight. I’ll take McMullen’s place.
Emma: Jesse, that is crazy! Brennan’s gonna do everything he can to try and kill you.
Jesse: That’s a chance I’m gonna have to take. I got him into this. I’m getting him out.
Jesse: How much do you remember from when you were amped up?
Brennan: Not much. Everything’s all hazy like when you wake up from a dream.
Jesse: ‘Cause you said some things.
Brennan: I don’t remember saying anything. I’ll tell you what I do remember, though, man, you put up one hell of a fight. You can definitely hold your own in any situation. And I’m sorry, and I apologize for giving you all that attitude before.
Jesse: Ah, no you’re not.
Jesse: You’re not sorry. You gotta give me a hard time. That’s your job.
Brennan: Yeah, well.
Jesse: Hey, I forgive you.
Brennan: Thanks, man. Thanks for bringing me back, pal.
Jesse: Hey, forget about it. I look out for my friends.
Brennan: That’s a good thing.
Trivia & Nitpicks: This was a frightening episode, because let’s face it. The last thing Brennan needs is more testosterone.
Brennan took the credit for moving his crew up from petty theft to armed robbery in “Shock of the New,” but apparently, that bank job wasn’t the first one he’d been offered.
Brennan says Jesse is weaker after using his powers.
New ability: Jesse phases his fingers into the lock of McMullen’s cell, and then turns them to open it. Not sure that it makes sense that phased fingers could turn a solid lock, but it’s still a neat trick.
Emma dons her “Crime of the New Century” glasses again to pretend to be a graduate student.
Brennan says that the non-violent Denny "wouldn’t hurt a fly," yet he’s been placed in Hillview State Penitentiary, which Adam says is reserved for the state’s “most dangerous criminals.” How well does Brennan know Denny, anyway?
Emma reports that Denny’s autopsy bloodwork was negative for street drugs. Later, Adam finds that his dopamine, serotonin, and epinephrine levels are increased...that finding alone would have raised flags for possible drug use.
Brennan pulls up a list of 14 men killed while in Hillview Penitentiary. Among the names are First Assistant art director Sean McLoughlin, First Assistant Art Director Jae Pak, Production Designer John Blackie, Construction Manager Ron Lightfoot, Property Master Jim Murrin, Property Master Geoff Murrin, and of course, Dennis Logan.
Despite the fact that Hillview is a maximum security prison in which Warden Wallington “knows everything that goes on in his prison,” Emma is able to search Dr. Rigas’s office and Jesse phases into Dr. Rigas’s office and Terry McMullen’s solitary confinement cell without security cameras picking it up. And even where there is definite camera surveillance, as in Brennan’s cell, it’s clear that no one is watching the tapes, since no one comes running when Jesse phases in.
Brennan tells Jesse that he’s been to jail. Since he will claim in “Divided Loyalties” that he never got caught for his criminal actions, is he talking about juvenile detention? Or maybe the incident he mentions in “Once Around,” where he missed doing real time when he was falsely accused?
Brennan and Jesse go into Hillview under armed robbery charges–Adam makes long rap sheets for each of them. So why are the boys surprised to find that Brennan’s is already in the computer in “Divided Loyalties”?
Perhaps feeling that he has something to prove to Brennan, Jesse uncharacteristically acts like an idiot in this episode, acting first and thinking about the consequences later. He hasn’t done that since “Blood Ties.”
Emma tells Kearns that she’s been waiting for him to escort Jesse back for two hours. That’s a lie that should never work in a high security prison, since the prison records should easily show that no one scheduled her to talk to Jesse in the first place.
When Jesse sneaks in to watch the first McMullen fight, the audience is exclusively male. So isn't it lucky for Mutant X that the invitation list for the Brennan-Jesse bout includes some women? Otherwise, Shalimar and Emma would have stuck out like sore thumbs.
When Rigas goes to get a vial of ST1277 to inject Brennan, wouldn't he notice that one of the vials is missing?
As Jesse’s preparing to get Brennan out of solitary, one of the etchings on the cell wall behind him reads “No Exit.”
The mirror tactic Jesse uses to determine whether there are guards coming will be replicated by Shalimar in “The Taking of Crows.”
When Kearns finds Jesse outside of McMullen’s cell just after he’d locked him back in his own, it should spread a general alarm about the security of the prison. After all, Warden Wallington’s already edgy about inmate security after Denny escaped.
Since Jesse wasn’t around when Brenann was dosed with the steroid, how does he know that he’s supposed to pretend to convulse after being injected?
The Warden assumes that Brennan’s electricity must be a side effect of the drug. An increase in steroids causing electricity to shoot from your hands? Hm...no.
Brennan, who remembered his every action when he was under the influence of Lorna Templeton’s pheromone, asserts that he doesn’t recall what he said when he was amped up. Yet during the fight, he was aware enough to not reveal Shalimar and Adam when he recognized them at the match. Yeah, we don’t believe him either.
Even after poor Jesse was beaten to a pulp, Shalimar doesn’t stop to help him haul Brennan out of the cage after she tears the wall down. How rude.
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