, played by Peter Stormare
, is a fictional character
from the American television series Prison Break
. He was a principal character of the series, introduced in the pilot
as a privileged prisoner at Fox River State Penitentiary
. Similar to Theodore Bagwell
, he is less of antagonist than an unwanted ally to the main characters, although he does hinder Veronica Donovan
in her investigation in later episodes.
Prior to his incarceration, Abruzzi was the boss of the Chicago Mafia
, also referenced in the series as the Don of the Abruzzi crime family. He was convicted and sentenced based on the witness testimony of Otto Fibonacci
, who saw Abruzzi order two men shot and killed. After he was imprisoned, Abruzzi planned to exact his revenge on Fibonacci, who entered into the witness protection program by the government, while Abruzzi was sentenced to 120 years without parole. As a former Chicago mob boss, Abruzzi came to enjoy celebrity status amongst the prisoner population at Fox River. He took control of Prison Industry, an internal work program for the convicts, and was both highly respected and feared by the rest of the cons inside Fox River's walls, as well as influencing almost every corner of Fox River. His mobster status also allowed him to enjoy a certain extent of autonomy and freedom inside the prison's walls, especially from the head of the internal correctional officers Captain Brad Bellick, who was on the payroll of Abruzzi's associates.
Peter Stormare, Abruzzi's portrayer, was a member of the regular cast and was featured in every episode before his character's injury in the thirteenth episode of the first season, "End of the Tunnel
". After his return to the series six episodes later in "The Key
", Stormare became a recurring guest star, appearing in the final four episodes of the first season and in the first, second and fourth episodes of the second season. The character was later killed off in the fourth episode of the second season, "First Down
". He later appeared in a brief flashback in the episode "Fin Del Camino
In the pilot episode, Abruzzi is approached by Michael Scofield with a request for PI membership. Abruzzi at first dismisses the newcomer, but gives him his full attention after he learns that Michael somehow knows where Fibonacci is hiding. Although Michael claimed that he would give up the information in exchange for help with his escape plan, Abruzzi was hesitant to trust him and soon decided on a more violent approach: cutting two of Michael's toes off trying to extract Fibonacci's location from him. Even that failed to get Michael to talk and Abruzzi realized that he was not going to be easy to crack, so he decided to keep his enemy close and teamed up with Michael to break out of prison.
Although their alliance is initally unstable, with both men being wary of each other, Abruzzi and Michael learn to get along as the season progresses. By the time of the episode “The Old Head”, they co-operate without friction. Abruzzi’s status as head of PI proves invalueble to Michael’s escape plan, as the escape team is able to use work on PI to build an escape tunnel. For some time, the escape plan is threthened when Abruzzi’s associate on the outside, Philly Falzone cut off Abruzzi's cash stream and took his prison privilgies from him as payback for failing to find Fibonacci. Together, Michael and Abruzzi decided to frame Falzone in the episode “Sleight of Hand”, after which Abruzzi was able to restore his control of PI.
When fellow escapee T-Bag became an obstacle, Abruzzi had one his men on the outside kidnap T-Bag's cousin. The job went bad, resulting in the death of the cousin as well as his young son. Abruzzi was deeply shaken over the death of the toddler and turned to religion as an outlet for his pain, causing him to spare T-Bag’s life even though he had intended to kill him. This proved to be a big mistake, as T-Bag immediately took the opportunity to slash Abruzzi's throat. He was evacuated from Fox River by helicopter to receive treatment for his injuries.
Abruzzi would survive and returned about two weeks later in the episode ”The Key”. Upon his return he appeared to have become extremely religious and very friendly; it was soon discovered to be a ploy, as Abruzzi ruthlessly planned to kill most of the team and arranged to kidnap Veronica Donovan to force Fibonacci's location out of Michael. After the escape, Abruzzi exacted revenge upon T-Bag, cutting off one of his hands with an axe. Abruzzi was one of the group of five who was forced to run on foot after his plane left them behind.
The next morning, Abruzzi and the other escapees continuing to evade the authorities. They stole a car and continued on to Oswego
to find Michael's hidden cache in the cemetery where they found a change of clothing. The fugitives went their separate ways soon after this. Abruzzi soon had a loving reunion with his family and planned to escape to Sardinia, but his need to kill Fibonacci drove him into a trap set by the FBI. Choosing death rather than going back to prison Abruzzi stated ”I kneel only to God. I don’t se him here” and provoked the agents to open fire, riddling his body with bullets.
Abruzzi became the first member of the Fox River Eight to be taken down by the authorities and the second main character to be killed off in the series.