This is quoted from an U.S. TV series.

Warden: Brad.

Brad (Captain): Any updates?

Warden: None. They were last seen at that cemetery in Oswego.

Brad: They'll get them. They'll get them.

Warden: It's been handed over to the FBI.

Brad: Well, that doesn't mean we can't work it.

Warden: It does, actually. You and I have been pulled off the pursuit.

Brad: Why?

Warden: We're going to find out shortly. We have to report to the DOC headquarters. I will meet you there.

Brad: Sir, we can get these guys. Just give me a couple more days and I swear I'll get them.

Warden: Brad! We've got to go.

  • Prison Break? ;p
    – Em1
    Commented Mar 29, 2012 at 6:41

3 Answers 3


The 'it' refers to the case, the investigation. The FBI pulled rank and took the case away from them. Now it is out of Brad and Warden's jurisdiction. As Warden says, they have been pulled off the pursuit (case, investigation).

To answer the question, these two can no longer work the case, meaning they can't pursue the criminal or continue the investigation.

  • So "work" here is used as "b: contrive, arrange <we can work it so that you can take your vacation> (M-W.com)", am I right?
    – BnAR7
    Commented Mar 29, 2012 at 1:37
  • @BnAR7: No - it's more like the sense of to work your garden - to work on looking after the case. Plus of course, the case is a "job" that they work on. Commented Mar 29, 2012 at 2:12

"Work it" is being used in a colloquial manner here. "Work it" has a similar meaning to how one would say "do it". In this case, it refers to how Brad believes he and the Warden can still "work" on the case, even though the FBI have taken it into their responsibility.

But think of "work it" as having a meaning like that of "do it."


In addition to Bidella's answer, the correct form of 'work it' in this case would be 'work on it'. Work it is only used in informal conversation, and has context-specific meaning.

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