Michael's ushered back into Pope's office. He stands there, looking faintly smug, while Pope tells him, "I want you to be absolutely honest with me. Dr. Tancredi found this [burnt crunchy bit of uniform] embedded in your flesh when she was treating you. Apparently it came from a guard's uniform. Have you been assaulted by an officer? I need an answer. This is not about sticking to the inmates' code anymore, this is about officer misconduct." To his credit, Michael actually looks really unhappy. Pope twists the knife a little more with, "This is my responsibility. You wouldn't want to see me lose my job now, would you?" Michael scrambles for a way out of this, saying sincerely, "Of course not! You have been very good to me and my brother --" Pope cuts him off with, "I need to know where you got that burn, right now. Otherwise, your ass is going to solitary, you understand? Your choice."
Michael makes his choice off-camera, because the next thing we see is him struggling like crazy, screaming, "Don't do this! Don't do this!" as the guards wrestle him down the hall and throw him into a cell. Perhaps it's just me, but I wonder if maybe a cell of one's own wouldn't be a welcome diversion from the whole no-privacy prison area. I mean, when you're not trying to escape from prison, it might be, anyway.
Linc quickly twigs to the fact that Michael's but a cell or two away, and whispers into the drainpipe. Michael looks around, trying to figure out if he's hearing real voices or just the ones in his head. He finally figures out that he can use the drainpipe as a party line -- and boy, that must get old for inmates who aren't invited to join the conversation -- and leans down to say, "We're in a lot of trouble now. Pope asked some questions that I couldn't answer. He's got proof that I was where I wasn't supposed to be. He doesn't know it, but sooner or later, he's going to put the whole thing together. There's no way out of this." Linc tells him there is. What, via the Reading Rainbow? Lincoln tells Michael to have faith. Michael is on the verge of tears as he tells Lincoln, "I put my blood into this, and it's coming apart."