Prison Break continues this Friday, but only for a few weeks longer. Yes, after four seasons, it's time for Michael and Linc to finally catch their breath... or perhaps take a final one.
What's coming up as the action resumes with a two-hour return (8 pm/ET, Fox)? For one thing, there's the matter of the brothers' big and seemingly bad mama (played by Kathleen Quinlan).
"She plays a big part in the last few episodes," series cocreator Matt Olmstead shares. "A lot of secrets are revealed, and Michael and Lincoln are certainly shook in terms of who they are, where they came from. At a certain point, they're wondering if this is the truth or are they being divided and conquered, so to speak."
The maternal meddling is followed by a mother of a twist. "We have a big surprise reveal," says Olmstead, barely able to contain his excitement. "I won't tell you who it is, but a returning character comes in late in the game, when the wheels are coming off, and he or she is either there to save the day or to hijack the whole thing for his or her own benefit."
That unexpected return, says Olmstead, "pays off very nicely."
Of course, Prison Break being Prison Break, a few bodies will drop before Episode 22 fades to black. And one of them is of such significance, the show's bosses had to fight Fox to take the life in question ...
Sarah Wayne Callies and Wentworth Miller by Bill Matlock/Fox
Prison Break fans, prepare to seriously lose your heads. Sarah Wayne Callies whose rather ugly contract dispute with producers led to her apparent decapitation last October is returning next season. Full-time. As Dr. Sara Tancredi. Head and all. Seriously.How? Why? When? WTF?! All legitimate questions. Good thing I just hung up with Mr. Answer Man (aka executive producer Matt Olmstead). So... I take it that wasn't Sara's head in that box....Matt Olmstead: Yeah, that wasn't.But initially it was supposed to be her head. What changed?Olmstead: What changed was.... once we realized that the emotional hook of Season 3 was going to be the death of Sara, when we didn't get the actress to do it, as soon as we wrote it and shot it, we realized that there was actually a way she could still be alive. Lincoln glanced at the head in the box for a split second. That could've been anyone. He wasn't about to pull it up from the hair and inspect it closely. And then we were fairly care...
Sarah Wayne Callies by Jeremy Cowart/Fox
If you're still in denial about the horrific turn of events on tonight's Prison Break, well, stop reading, 'cause a stone-cold reality check is coming your way: That was definitely Sara Tancredi's decapitated head staring up at Lincoln from that box. No ifs, ands or red herrings about it. Michael's long-suffering soul mate is dead and she ain't comin' back. Breathe in. Breathe out. Breathe in. Breathe out. And now prepare yourself for another sobering piece of news. Yes, my friends, it gets worse. The sad truth is, it didn't have to end this way. It wasn't supposed to end this way. As Prison Break executive producer Matt Olmstead explains in this exclusive interview, the violent nature of Sara's death was the culmination of long and fruitless negotiations between the show and new-mom Sarah Wayne Callies. It's enough to make your head spin. (Sorry. Poor taste.) Stick around after the Q&A for Callies' response. And then feel free to assign blame wherever you feel it's warranted. ...