Why Prison Break's Big Death Had To Happen, According To The Creator

kellerman prison break death

Spoilers below for the latest episode of Prison Break.

When it was announced that Prison Break would be returning to Fox for another season, fans knew better than to think we could go all nine episodes without watching one of the big original characters get killed off. Such a somewhat tragic event happened in "The Prisoner's Dilemma," when Paul Adelstein's smooth-talking and repentant Paul Kellerman bled his last drop. And all before he could tell everybody what he knows, too. Creator Paul Scheuring's reasoning for Kellerman's demise is s clean and simple as the motivations of Prison Break's elite.

I always have wanted blood. If you kill characters, then when you have action sequences, you think the other characters might die, too. It naturally fills those sequences with more stakes, because the audience knows we're willing to kill people. So I knew that at least two characters had to die this season. Kellerman was a good first one to go, because in some ways, he was finding out [the secret behind Scofield]. He was getting too close to the truth on the government side. Once you start finding out the truth, and you're starting to kick out exposition that's too early in the narrative, you can't sustain that. You gotta die! When you know too much too early, you die.

As it has often gone with massive body-dropping conspiracies, an infinitesimally small number of people can actually know how all the pieces fit together, and once that number starts to get larger in any shape or fashion, the victim count also rises. And with Michael busy with his big reunion with Lincoln over in Yemen, there probably wasn't anyone in the U.S. with hands deeper in the cookie jar of information than Paul Kellerman. Working with the State Department, at least when not getting accused of being Poseidon, Kellerman definitely had avenues to information that our central crew would love to have around on a daily basis. And it's that kind of knowledge-heavy access that sealed his fate in creator Paul Scheuring's eyes.

While some fans might want some kind of deeper meaning behind this, it'll be hard to find. After all, audiences went two seasons under the impression that Kellerman had been killed off by Company henchmen, although that unresolved cliffhanger led to his return for the then-series finale, when his redeeming jump to the "good guys" was revealed. In that sense, he was arguably the most expendable member of the returning cast, and here's hoping he left some more clues behind for Sara/T-Bag to work with.

prison break kellerman shot death

And if Paul Scheuring is to be believed in saying "at least two characters had to die this season," Kellerman won't even be the only major character biting the dust. Considering both Sara and Michael have "died" in the past, only to come back under mysterious circumstances, one would assume Lincoln could take a bullet and complete the Prison Break death trifecta, only to return in a future season. Or perhaps Sucre or C-Note, who haven't yet popped up as much as viewers may have hoped.

Perhaps the biggest question of all, though, is who Poseidon actually is. The end of the episode dropped that twist involving Sara's husband Jacob actually being involved with the mercenaries that killed Kellerman. (Find out what Sarah Wayne Callies' thought about that twist.) But does that mean Jacob is actually the big bad? Here's what else Scheuring told THR.

It looks pretty damning for him. But if you're an astute viewer you might think, 'But you're showing me the face of the antagonist in episode four?' That's about all I'll say about that.

Blarg! I guess we'll have to just keep watching Prison Break to figure it out. Find it Tuesday nights on Fox at 9:00 p.m. ET, and head to our midseason premiere schedule and our summer TV guide to see what's coming to the small screen soon.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native and an Assistant Managing Editor with a focus on TV and features. His humble origin story with CinemaBlend began all the way back in the pre-streaming era, circa 2009, as a freelancing DVD reviewer and TV recapper.  Nick leapfrogged over to the small screen to cover more and more television news and interviews, eventually taking over the section for the current era and covering topics like Yellowstone, The Walking Dead and horror. Born in Louisiana and currently living in Texas — Who Dat Nation over America’s Team all day, all night — Nick spent several years in the hospitality industry, and also worked as a 911 operator. If you ever happened to hear his music or read his comics/short stories, you have his sympathy.