Warning: Spoiler alert! Do not proceed if you haven’t watched Tuesday’s episode of Prison Break.
Prison Break staged a heartfelt reunion -- and it was well worth the wait.
On Tuesday’s episode, titled “Wine Dark Sea,” a dying Michael Scofield (Wentworth Miller) -- his body poisoned with antifreeze -- was cured by the only doctor capable of doing so, his true love, Sara Tancredi-Scofield (Sarah Wayne Callies), who flew from Ithaca, New York, to Greece to help save him. Placing their anticipated reunion in the seventh episode of the season, under life-and-death circumstances no less, was the first step in giving Michael and Sara the happy ending that they (and the fans) have sought.
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“She’s obviously the endgame for [Michael],” creator and executive producer Paul T. Scheuring tells ET of the former couple’s emotional moment, which includes Michael seeing photos of his son, Michael Jr., for the first time. “If we only had him reunite with her in the ninth episode [and] after all these years of Prison Break, we only see them in the same place for one episode, I felt like that was too late.”
“One of the strongest parts of the series is seeing Michael and Sara together, working their way through the challenges and working as a team and sharing that bond of love,” he continues. “It really was important for me to bring her up -- their reunion -- early enough in the season that the audience would get multiple episodes of these two together, but also at the same time, deep enough in the season that it feels like, ‘Wow, they’re finally together.’”
The “absence” of the couple in the first six episodes “really set the table” for their “moment [in episode seven] when they finally reunite,” Scheuring notes.
That’s not to say Michael and Sara connecting for the first time in years won’t be without its challenges. There is that pesky obstacle of Poseidon, who Michael confirms is indeed Sara’s husband, Jacob Ness (Mark Feuerstein).
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“There’s so much water under the bridge. So much that has transpired. Can they trust each other? Can they rekindle that thing that was so special between them, or have the last seven years broken things so irrevocably that they don’t know each other anymore? I think that’s good -- you want those kinds of tensions,” Scheuring says, adding that life isn’t going to be about “the fuzzy-wuzzies” in the short term.
“You want our characters to be under fire together because that makes them bond and that puts their reunion at risk,” he adds. “That’s what audiences respond to since time immemorial – a couple in love, but with all the world raiding against them.”
Scheuring also spoke of Michael’s state of mind in the moment he's finally able to put a visual image to his son.
“There are two different types of love: the romantic love of a partner and an entirely different love of a father for his son," he says. "On some level, the second one is more freighted with responsibility. In him beholding his son for the first time, he’s over the moon that the boy is thriving and alive and beautiful, but he also hasn’t been there for him. He also knows [his son] is in the arms of the villain, so it compounds the fact that he hasn’t been there for the last seven years of this boy’s life and it heightens a sense of fear in him that he may lose this boy before he ever reunites with him."
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“It’s a very, very loaded moment. On a lot of different levels, his heart is both expanding and shattering -- and that was the idea: to really see what’s been stewing inside this guy for the last seven years,” Scheuring explains. “Wentworth does a really good job of playing that confusion, that elation [and] all the conflicting thoughts that are going on in his head when he beholds Sara, beholds his son and in turn, beholds Jacob, who is the arch-villain in their midst.”
When asked if he’s thought about what Michael as a father would look like, Scheuring chuckled at the thought.
“That’s really a season six question, and who knows if there will be a season six,” he admits. “But there’s a two-fold duality going on there. Michael at once is a lone wolf and he’s a guy who has his own agenda, but to become a part of a family unit, that doesn’t fly so well. You have to be there. He’s an extraordinarily loyal guy, as evidenced by the lengths he goes to get his brother out of prison. You can only imagine that he would be equally loyal to his son. Perhaps you’re finding some subject matter for what the plot of season six is.”
“There’s no way in hell, going forward, that Michael will step out on his kid or Sara on his own volition. Something will have to come between them,” Scheuring promises.
Prison Break airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Fox.