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Benjamin Miles "C-Note" Franklin

Benjamin Miles "C-Note" Franklin, played by Rockmond Dunbar, is a fictional character from the American television series, Prison Break. The character was introduced as a prisoner in the pilot episode. The actor was promoted from a recurring guest star to a regular cast member midway through the first season.

Background

Franklin was a First Sergeant in the U.S. Army, stationed in Kuwait. While serving as a guard for a detention facility, he discovered illegal torture of several detainees and reported this to his commander. C-Note's commander dishonorably discharged him for his involvement in black market activities after C-Note refused to agree to keep quiet about the incident. With the shame of dishonorable discharge hanging over him, C-Note had great difficulty finding other jobs to support his wife Kacee and daughter Dede, so he resorted to criminal means. His brother-in-law, Darius Morgan (Mike Jones) was a truck driver and suggested that he could help transport stolen goods. Eventually, C-Note was caught and because he would not give up the identities of his friends, he was sent to Fox River State Penitentiary. He told his wife and daughter that he was getting shipped back to Iraq (as he had not even told them of his discharge from the Army). He begged his brother in law not to let them know he was going to be imprisoned.

Appearances

C-Note's first appearance in the series was as a recurring character in the pilot episode. After the thirteenth episode of the first season, the character was promoted to a main character.

Season 1

C-Note eventually started working in the prison kitchen and gained a reputation as the "prison pharmacist", being able to acquire any item or substance for other inmates for $100, or a "C-Note" (which, in conjunction with his namesake's appearance on the bill, spawned his nickname). He and Michael Scofield first crossed paths when Michael asks him to obtain some PUGNAc to allow Michael to feign diabetes and thus gain access to the infirmary (a critical aspect of his escape plan). C-Note was curious but Michael refused to tell him what it was for. In "Allen", C-Note refused to deal with Michael after seeing him associating with T-Bag, leader of a white supremacist group in the prison. He later reconsidered after seeing Michael apparently fighting one of T-Bag's men during a riot, though his curiosity was not diminished.

He later became suspicious of the PI crew when he realized that they were discarding pieces of concrete across the prison yard, from the hole they had been digging in the Break Room. After the PI head, John Abruzzi was briefly replaced by Gus Fiorello, C-Note bribed him to work in PI. He discovered the hole that Michael and crew had dug as part of the escape plan. When Abruzzi regained control of PI, C-Note threatened the crew to let him on board or he would tell the guards.

C-Note later became a respected member of the team when he helped the team out of several problems that nearly derailed the escape plan. He also befriended Charles Westmoreland as they both shared the same need to see their family again. One consequence of his joining the escape team, however, was C-Note being ostracized by other black inmates, ironically for the same reason C-Note had initially refused to deal with Michael: consorting with T-Bag, who had also joined the escape team. C-Note had two violent encounters with his former associates and only the escape prevented him from being killed.

After the "Fox River Eight's" escape, C-Note, Michael, Lincoln, Sucre and Abruzzi met bigger problems as their escape plane took off and left them stranded with numerous police on their trail.

Season 2

The next morning, C-Note, Michael, Lincoln, Sucre and Abruzzi continue to run from the authorities, narrowly running past a freight train to evade their pursuers. C-Note becomes the outspoken man of the fugitive group. He chastises Scofield for failing to openly disclose to the group the existence of Westmoreland's money in Tooele, Utah and he also demanded that Abruzzi be abandoned because he took a young girl hostage when her father recognized the five as the Fox River escapes. C-Note is focused on rejoining his family and the little trust he ever had for his fugitive comrades appears to be wearing thin. His wife and daughter were, up until the start of second season, unaware of his incarceration as he had managed to trick them into thinking he is still serving overseas in Iraq. They learned the truth when his escape made the news.

By episode 3 "Scan", C-Note contacted his wife by pay phone and she was quite upset with his lies and even doubted that he was ever in the US Military. C-Note promised to explain everything and that he would come into a lot of money soon. He said in 7 days, that they would meet at the "Rainbow Room" at the window where they had their picture. Eavesdropping FBI agents assumed they meant a city restaurant. C-Note later meets his daughter at school and asks her to tell her mother to turn the porch light on at 7 o'clock as an indication of her trust. By the episode's end, C-Note is skulking about near his family's home, while an FBI Agent Lang interviews his wife.

C-Note then proceeds to make his own play for Westmoreland's money by taking a train to Utah. Borrowing a laptop and notepad from the commuter sitting next to him, C-Note accesses an online military database run by the United States Army Signal Corps to find the site where the money is buried. Unfortunately, midway through Preston, Idaho, an attendant tells him that his ticket is not valid. C-Note attempts to reason with him, but the attendant calls for security. Out of options, C-Note is forced to bolt out a window, into a nearby river. He passes through Cache County, Utah and inquires about an RV for sale. He is told that it will cost $40,000. C-Note replies that he will be back in a couple of days with cash.

He is later seen hitchhiking when Sucre, driving past on his motorcycle, agrees to give him a ride. They arrive in Tooele and are reunited with Michael. They proceed to dig for the money. Unfortunately, a house had been built over the burial site. Though the fugitives were initially able to fool the residents into thinking they were maintenance men, they eventually got wise. C-Note loudly voiced his disapproval to Michael about taking innocent people hostage, and his old tensions with T-Bag also resurfaced. But these feelings later give way to excitement when they finally dig up the money. Unfortunately for C-Note, Sucre chooses this moment to double cross them all and demands the money from them while holding them at gun point. C-Note immediately leaves for his family after seeing that the money is gone. In the episode "Unearthed", he meets up with his old friends back in Chicago for help with executing his plan to reunite his family. He and his wife, Kacee, and daughter Dede finally have their reunion in an alley after a narrow escape from the federal agents.

In the episode "Disconnect", C-Note has a happy time with his family until his daughter complains of stomach problems. Kacee tells him that they don't have her medication, and they leave to find a pharmacy. While buying medication, the pharmacist recognizes Kacee, and on the pretence of needing change from the back room, calls the authorities. Kacee is arrested, but not before she drops the medication into the trash so C-Note could pick it up from there.

C-Note and his daughter return in "John Doe". C-Note is guilt-ridden over his wife's arrest, and tries to see if Kacee will be allowed bail. He plans for her to skip bail and rejoin him, and for the family to move to Alaska. However, Kacee's bail is denied.

In the episode "Chicago" C-Note and Dede are in a Benson, Minnesota diner when Dede becomes sick due to her lack of medication. C-Note prepares to leave when suddenly, a man holds up the diner with a gun. After C-Note stops the man from holding up the diner, a female customer the robber was planning to kill lets him leave despite knowing his wanted status. Despite this, Agent Mahone receives a report that C-Note was spotted at the diner, and that his daughter was sick. Mahone arrives in Minnesota, but C-Note manages to evade him by boarding a train. After C-Note nearly resorts to painful means at a free clinic to help his daughter, he calls Mahone and offers to turn himself in so that Dede will receive proper treatment, asking also that his wife be released. Mahone agrees, and in return, C-Note must give him information on Michael -- the website Europeangoldfinch.net, which C-Note overheard Michael telling Sucre about in Utah. When C-Note could not find Michael's location, Mahone forces C-Note to hang himself, under orders from Agent Kim, in exchange for his wife and daughter's well-being. The episode ends just as C-Note jumps off his cell bed with the noose around his neck, but he is saved by a guard in the next episode. In the prison infirmary, he phones the FBI and demands to speak to Mahone, but Agent Wheeler (Jason Davis), who happens to be investigating Mahone, answers the call instead. Wheeler says he can keep C-Note safe if he tells him what Mahone asked him to do.

A week later, Wheeler has C-Note released from prison and placed in the Witness Protection Program with his family in exchange for testifying against Mahone. This would be C-Note's last appearance. To date, C-Note is the only member of the Fox River Eight to successfully evade capture by the authorities. It is unknown if he will return to the show.

Characteristics

As one of the Fox River Eight escapees, C-Note's main specialty revolves around being able to smuggle any random material in and out of any given territory. Apparently, this was also notified by his commanding officer right before he was dishonorably discharged. And being formerly from the Army, he is arguably the only member who has formal self-defense training. He also has an observant side about him, as he is the only one whom Scofield reluctantly recruited for the escape to have figured out what Abruzzi's PI crew were conducting on the break room on his own. While he genuinely respects Scofield as the man who broke them out of jail, C-Note, like any other father, cares more for his family and going even as far as handing Michael out to Mahone in exchange for his family's safety as well as attempting a suicide. When Roy Geary smugly stole an object of sentimental value from Westmoreland (whom C-Note forced into handing over to keep the plan safe), his immediate expression was anger. It is very apparent that his anger is based more on the fact that Geary took something of great value from Westmoreland (who happens to be a fellow father much like C-Note) rather than the deception itself.

Production details

C-Note reporting the abuse of prisoners of war in Kuwait was inspired by the Abu Ghraib scandal.

References

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