Cafeteria. Said tells his group that they must be happy for whichever one of them is chosen. Arif is all Gripy McSulk: "Especially if it's you." He apologizes, but says he has children, and if there's one way to get my goat, it's to play the "I have children" card. Don't do the crime if you can't do the time, squalling brats or no. Later, after dark, Said prays. Arif opens his eyes to look at him for a moment, but then closes them again. The next day, in the cafeteria, Arif gets into a scuffle with one of the other Muslims, which Said breaks up. McManus gets involved, then leads Said away and tells him that he's the one Devlin picked (out of the final Muslim candidates from all the prisons, I expect). Said's face is a perfect conflict of emotions. McManus says that Ramadan starts Thursday, whenever that is, and that Devlin will be holding a press conference. He goes on that he should congratulate Said, but that the whole thing doesn't sit right with him. You know, McManus makes every situation so all about him that I've finally figured out with whom he should get together: Phoebe Halliwell. The two of them would be so self-involved that they'd probably never get around to reproducing, and I think I can safely say that in that case, everyone would be a winner.
ANY-way. Press conference. Devlin speechifies about Ramadan, and how he's happy to bestow clemency on a prisoner. He says that Said has been an outspoken critic of his administration, but an outstanding member of the prison population, and I think even the general public would know that Said was THE RINGLEADER OF THE RIOT, so this is an extra-large crock of shit, but at least it's setting up a rousing finale. Said, dressed in a rather smart suit, shakes Devlin's hand as he breathes, "Finally we meet, face to face." Uh, Devlin? When someone intones that sentence with that kind of menace, you might want to duck and cover. Just a thought. A reporter asks Said how he feels, and he says he's joyless. I'm pretty sure that's beyond the social etiquette of this situation, like telling someone who's asked how you are about your latest hemorrhoid flare-up. And by the way, can you legally refuse a pardon? Do you really have any say in it? Said goes on that his brothers remain behind, oppressed, and not just the Muslims. Devlin's face screams, "PLEASE tell me this isn't a live feed." All of Em City watches as Said says that freedom is a meal he's being served, "and I am Muslim, and Allah does not allow me to swallow certain things. Allah does not allow me to take scraps from the hands of a man such as this. A man who is corrupt and immoral." He builds for the finish as he says that Devlin gave an order that killed eight people, and I'm glad he remembers the riot, even if no one else does. "And so, Governor Devlin, because even the cost of freedom can be too high, I REFUSE. YOUR. PARDON!" GOOOOOOOAL! The Em City reaction is mostly jubilant, although some of them sit in stunned silence. Devlin spits, "Cocksucker." Sorry, PP, but you lost that one in a unanimous decision. Stick to the flyweight bouts. And although I think Said's decision was kind of dumb, it was at least in character -- he needed to be faced with a real and important choice as a way of renewing his faith, I think. Said is returned to Em City to receive an embrace from Arif, a warm handshake from Hill, and a lot of chanting of his name. As he walks on, he and McManus exchange a grin, and out of respect for their scene earlier, I won't tell you that McManus again looks like a tool, even though you and I both know the truth.