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Agamemnon "Aggie" Busmalis a.k.a. The Mole is a fictional character of the television series Oz, portrayed by Tom Mardirosian. He is also referenced in OZ: Behind These Walls: The Journal of Augustus Hill.
Prisoner 98B242. Convicted March 10, 1998 - Grand theft larceny, breaking and entering. Sentence: 10 years, up for parole in four.
Since early childhood, Agamemnon Busmalis had a strange fascination with digging. Outside of prison, he was known as "The Mole," having been an expert at digging tunnels to commit various robberies. He has never been with a woman sexually, and is a huge fan of the children's show Ms. Sally's Schoolyard. Every time the inmates are watching the show, Busmalis can be heard saying "This is the best Miss Sally ever." He is a childish old man, who has led a life as a loner and outcast. He was named after the mythological Greek king, Agamemnon.
Season 2 (1998)
Busmalis is caught robbing a bank via a tunnel, and is sent to Oz on convictions of grand larceny and breaking and entering.
For the most part, he isn't a discipline problem to the staff and is one of the more stable and friendly prisoners. In Oz's bleak world dealing with grim issues and reveling in evil taint, Busmalis is seen as comic relief in a way, but like all the prisoners of Oz, even he has his moments of darkness.
Busmalis decides that the pressure of Oz is too much for him. He has to escape. Thus he makes an effort to escape by way of digging. At first, the other inmates think he's crazy, but when he develops a reasonable plan by doing so, Bob Rebadow agrees to try to help him if he lets him escape with him. During this ordeal, the two inmates become good friends. Unfortunately, all their hard work would be for naught, as two Aryans (Mark Mack and another nameless one) catch them doing it and tell Rebadow and Busmalis that they will escape instead of them by using their CO connections to switch cells. Thus, Mack and the other Aryan escape through the tunnel at night. But the two old inmates had a surprise for them - they weakened all the support beams before moving out of their cell, thus the tunnel collapses on the two Aryans, burying them alive. Rebadow and Busmalis are interrogated, since the tunnel was found in what used to be their cell. In the end they get away scot free, by saying that the Aryans made them dig the tunnel and it collapsed by accident.
Season 3 (1999)
Busmalis finds the repercussions of his actions last year catch up to him. Officer Karl Metzger, the Aryan Correctional Officer whom Mark Mack used to switch cells with, ambushed him on work detail and strangled him to near death. Busmalis is in hospital for a while. He gets well, and Metzger would soon die violently; his throat was slit by the sharp fingernails of Tobias Beecher. Vernon Schillinger is as a result hostile toward Busmalis, and he spits in his food and bullies him upon news of Metzger's death. Other than that, Busmalis did not do much except for hang around with Rebadow, Beecher (the others), and Hill (who is a member of the homeboys). He was also forced to stay with the whites as the racial tension arose quickly. During this season, he would eventually try to start a campaign to protest the cancellation of Ms. Sally's Schoolyard, something that would go on for the next couple of years.
Season 4 (2000-2001)
It is revealed why Busmalis didn't do much in Season 3. During that entire time, he was busy digging another tunnel in the hospital storage room where his custodial equipment for work detail was stored. Since he was a low-risk prisoner, he was given a lot more freedom, and thus found it easy to dig behind everyone else's back. He receives an accomplice in Latino inmate Miguel Alvarez, who he helps set free from his bed restraints. The two escape in the middle of the night.
Busmalis tries to visit Whitney Allen's house (the actress who plays Ms. Sally on Ms. Sally's Schoolyard). It is there that he is caught by the police and returned to Oz. He is sent to solitary confinement for a while as punishment, but then released back into Emerald City later on; however, he is greeted with hostility by Rebadow, who is mad at him that he didn't let him go with him. Rebadow makes peace with Busmalis, but only so he can try to kill him. It is a failed attempt and causes Busmalis to doubt Rebadow's sanity and friendship. But when Rebadow apologizes for his behavior later on, he suffers a brain tumor. The two make up indefinitely when he returns to the hospital, where Busmalis sees him on work detail.
To add onto his happiness, Ms. Sally was going to visit him when she heard that he tried to visit her. But it turns out not to be her, but her secretary named Norma Clark. She forged letters and thought his were so sweet that she came to visit him when Whitney Allen wouldn't. It would not be her only visit, as she keeps visiting him over and over. The two eventually fall in love. Later in 2001, Busmalis proposes to her and she accepts. However, he plans for a wedding outside of Oz. He began digging another tunnel, this time inviting Rebadow with him. However, Omar White (locked up in solitary) sees him and rats him out to the authorities in order to get out of solitary, although it's likely that the authorities would have spotted the tunnel anyway.
Busmalis is given permission to marry Norma within Oz on the condition that he does not dig any more holes. Busmalis attempts to fill the tunnel to avoid detection, but busts a water pipe and the cell filled with exploding water. Busmalis is sent to solitary confinement. However, Rebadow manages to convince warden Leo Glynn of the truth (that Busmalis was filling the tunnel once Glynn allowed him to marry and therefore was not breaking Glynn's order), and thus Busmalis is released from solitary. Thus, he prepared for his wedding, but on that day, Norma never shows up.
When the authorities set up a basketball game against the inmates, Tim McManus appoints Busmalis as Jackson Vahue's teammate, since Vahue made a bet to McManus that he could take the best CO and Vahue would take the worst inmate and he'd still beat McManus. Surprisingly, he was right. Vahue and Busmalis ended up winning the basketball tournament against McManus.
Season 5 (2002)
Busmalis doesn't do much. He constantly supports Rebadow when his grandson's health is declining to the point of death. In the season finale, he receives a letter and a visit from his fiance Norma, who never showed up on their wedding day. He is ecstatic until he actually sees that she is pregnant. He leaves her alone, depressed, without talking to her.
He is, however, caught in the middle between a possible drug war between the gangsters and Latinos. In order to escape Burr Redding's wrath for selling drugs to Hill (who overdoses on them), Poet lied to Guerra (a Latino) saying that Redding wanted him dead, and so to keep the peace the two of them forced Busmalis (who had no motive or vested interest in this ordeal) to tell Redding that he saw an Italian, Salvatore DeSanto, sell the drugs to Hill. However, when Redding digs out the truth, Poet subtely tells Busmalis to tell Redding that it was Guerra. Thus, he lies once more, but that ordeal was of no consequence to him anytime after.
Season 6 (2003 - final season)
Busmalis decides to take part in the Macbeth play that they were setting up in Oz as part of the performing arts program. Norma constantly visits him, but he refuses to see her, still angry at her revelation, although he is concerned for her. Staff members and prisoners alike advise him to see her. Eventually, he decides to see her and she reveals that on her way to the wedding, she got caught in a snowstorm and decided while stranded that she couldn't handle a marriage to a man in prison. She called her ex-boyfriend to dig her out, they went to dinner and eventually had sex, resulting in a pregnancy. But Norma still could not forget about him and decided to come back. After she explains all, Busmalis decides to forgive her. They again decide to marry. This time, Norma eventually runs in hours late and they marry. Eventually he decides he wants a baby with Norma. He starts a campaign to be allowed to inseminate Norma artificially; however, the State refuses. During the hearing, Busmalis attacks a judge due to a rage. He is thrown into solitary confinement for an unknown period of time, but does not stay for long. When the prison becomes contaminated with a toxic substance, he is transferred out onto a bus with the rest of the population of Oz.
- Gary Richard Edgerton and Jeffrey P. Jones, The Essential HBO Reader (University Press of Kentucky, 2008), 54.
- Augustus Hill, OZ: Behind These Walls: The Journal of Augustus Hill (HarperEntertainment, 2003), 124.