EXCLUSIVE: Wentworth Miller and 'Prison Break' Boss on Why the Finale Isn't 'Happily Ever After'
By Philiana Ng
Warning: Spoiler alert! Do not proceed if you haven't watched Tuesday's season finale of Prison Break.
Did Michael Scofield get his happily ever after?
At the end of Tuesday's Prison Break finale, Michael (Wentworth Miller) revealed to his archnemesis, Jacob (Mark Feuerstein), that he has always been the one calling the shots -- successfully reframing Jacob for the murder he committed and originally framed Michael for.
It all worked out in the end, of course, with Michael reuniting with his love, Sara (Sarah Wayne Callies), and their son, Mike (Christian Michael Cooper), finally free of the shackles of prison. But did they finally achieve their happy ending -- one that has been years in the making?
"Depends on your definition of 'happy,'" Miller writes in an email to ET. "Is he reunited with his loved ones? Yes. Is he at peace? With everything he's done and the man he's become? I don't know. That might not be available to him. Not after what he's been through."
As creator Paul T. Scheuring revealed, the final scene where Michael has a hint of a smile on his face as he looks longingly at Sara, his son, his brother Lincoln (Dominic Purcell) and Sheba (Inbar Lavi), had a different -- slightly darker -- intention.
"As scripted, it was supposed to be a bit more ambiguous at the end where Michael is looking over his shoulder and you realize while life is apparently bucolic, he’s carried something with him ever since, which is a paranoia that he’ll never get over," Scheuring tells ET. "It also insinuates that somewhere out there in the world, there’s another challenge confronting him or waiting for him. So, no, this is not happily ever after."
Though the finale had everything fans could possibly want (i.e. a dramatic death -- R.I.P. Whip!, epic bait and switches), one key element that seemed to be missing was a final moment between Michael and Sara. (One could look to episode seven, where the two first reunited in Greece, as serving that purpose.)
"The whole episode was too fast really for them to sit down and commiserate," Scheuring explains, elaborating on why that scene with the couple never came to pass in the finale. "There’s plenty of time to do that after the season, so it was really a function of momentum.”
Even so, Miller and Scheuring agree that Michael and Sara's relationship, as well as being parents together for the first time, will be intact -- and it's going to take an outside force to threaten that for good.
"Absent. Til this point," Miller writes, in reference to Michael as a father. "Michael's been a kick-ass brother but as a father, he's a blank slate. But I think he'll get the hang of it. Eventually. Then one day his son will come to him and he'll be like, 'Dad? Can I get a tattoo?' I'd love to see the look on Michael's face."
“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," Scheuring says. “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."
Meanwhile, the future for Lincoln and Sheba, who had a clear connection ever since they teamed up in Yemen, is less etched in stone.
"In Lincoln’s case, the insinuation is there’s potential for something with Sheba but they really don’t know each other. They were running around in a giant adventure across the Middle East and the world, and they barely had time to have a cup of coffee. It’s far from wedding bells," Scheuring explains. "But I would say Inbar Lavi is sensational. She’s one of my favorite parts of the season; I could see her coming back if the show ever came back."
With the Prison Break season now over, Miller reflected on revisiting Michael, revealing the most satisfying part about playing the character again for nine more episodes.
"Exploring his dark side," Miller writes. "In the original series, no matter how many people died or lives were ruined because of wheels he set in motion, I felt like there was this underlying insistence that Michael was still a hero. Not an anti-hero but a hero. One of the good guys. In the reboot, the gloves are off. I think we took a much more realistic look at who Michael is and what he's done. And the toll it's taken. On everyone."
The 44-year-old actor also noted that getting to showcase different shades to Michael and being more vulnerable this time around was a refreshing quality.
"He's been damaged, no question. But he's still on his feet," Miller says of his beloved character's seven years away. "I think that's one of the reasons the show appeals. I think we're drawn to stories where someone suffers enormously, and struggles through great odds, and comes out the other side. Battered but not broken. It's inspiring."
As for whether there's a chance Prison Break could return for a sixth season, Scheuring wouldn't commit. (Fox Co-Chairman Dana Walden revealed on May 15 that they "would definitely consider doing more episodes," though "there's nothing in the works right now.")
“I can’t even give a percentage to it because the prerequisite is a top-notch story. It really has to be high-end and until that story materializes, there’s zero percent chance," he admits. "We’re not going to just redo it to do it again. We want the audience to feel like it’s of high standard."
"Right now we don’t have another story," Schering adds. "It’s really hard to come up with a new, original prison story because [of] the conceit -- on some level, we have to break out of prison. There’s a desire on a lot of different participants’ parts, but until that idea comes, there is no season six.”