Paul Kellerman was introduced to the series as a Secret Service Special Agent in the series pilot but the actor was not listed as a regular cast member until the third episode. The character's role is most prominent in the series' conspiracy plot.
After graduating with honors from West Point Academy, Paul Kellerman served in Gulf War, achieving the rank of Major. Although he had a promising future in the military, he received a better offer from the federal government: a leadership position within the Secret Service. He was eventually assigned to Vice President Caroline Reynolds, who he has served for fifteen years. Due to his commitment to her plans, he became a key figure in conspiracy that framed Lincoln Burrows for murder. Officially, as revealed in episode "The Rat", he is no longer listed as a member of the Secret Service or even as an employee of the Federal Government. Kellerman is at least 35 years old.
Along with his partner Danny Hale, Kellerman had gone to great lengths to fulfil his duty for the Vice President. Kellerman believes that Reynolds is the best choice as the next president and that he is doing what's best for his country. It soon becomes apparent that he will kill anyone that threatens the conspiracy. To this end, Kellerman and the all the more reluctant Hale were instrumental in the plot that framed Lincoln Burrows. In accordance with Caroline Reynolds' orders in episode "The Old Head", they killed Lisa Rix and Adrian, who were LJ Burrows' mother and step-father, and attempted to kill LJ (Marshall Allman). In earlier episodes, they had also killed Leticia Barris whose late boyfriend was involved in the frameup. However, their attempt to kill Veronica (Robin Tunney) and Nick (Frank Grillo) was foiled.
Kellerman was eventually forced to kill Hale with a headshot after he caught Hale surrendering information to Veronica Donovan in episode "End of the Tunnel". Having earlier killed innocent people without remorse (in the case of Quinn even with a hint of sadistic glee), Kellerman was visibly upset about having to kill Hale, who had been a friend of his ever since their time in the academy together. It was ultimately his hurt feelings about Hale's betrayal that convinced him to ignore his friend's tearful pleas for his life and pull the trigger.
It is later revealed in episode "J-Cat", Kellerman lives under the name Owen Kravecki, a sales manager for a company that makes beef jerky. LJ discovered his alias and went to Kellerman's home with a gun to confront him. However, the police arrested LJ after he had tried to shoot Kellerman dead. The Company suspended him from duty after this, but Reynolds continued to keep Kellerman around anyway. When Kellerman and Reynolds discovered that The Company had a hidden agenda regarding Burrows, they conspired to secretly have him killed as quickly as possible. Kellerman forced the prison transport carrying Burrows off the road and attempted to suffocate him. His plan failed when Burrows' father arrived and knocked Kellerman unconscious.
His relationship with Vice President Reynolds is peculiar as he is very familiar with her when they are privately conducting their conversations. Kellerman genuinely cares for Reynolds as he continually supports her, especially after "The Company" threatened her in "Tonight". When Reynolds became President at the end of the season, Kellerman remained at her side.
Kellerman's first appearance in this season was in episode "Scan". Instead of directly involving himself in the manhunt for the "Fox River Eight", Kellerman decides to track Sara Tancredi, who he thinks will lead him to Michael Scofield and Lincoln Burrows. He telephones President Caroline Reynolds to inform her of the situation. Infiltrating an Narcotics Anonymous meeting attended by Sara, Kellerman identifies himself as a homosexual drug addict named "Lance". While he continues to report to President Reynolds in "Scan", Kellerman is disallowed from contacting her directly from the fifth episode onwards. Hence, a new character is introduced to act as Kellerman's supervisor - William Kim.
Although Kellerman dislikes Agent Kim, he continues to follow his orders. In "Buried", Kellerman's cover as Lance is compromised after Sara's father, Frank Tancredi (John Heard), spots him at the White House. While Kim arranges for both Sara and her father to be killed, Kellerman reconfigures his strategy and targets L. J. Burrows instead. After this fails, Kellerman returns to the coded messages Sara received. In addition, Kellerman's storyline converges with the storyline of Alexander Mahone (William Fichtner) in "Unearthed", where it is revealed that Mahone is blackmailed to work for Kellerman and "The Company".
In the next three episodes, Kellerman tracks Sara down with the help of Mahone. After Sara changes her mind about leaving michael, he confronts her, kidnaps her, ties her up and tortures her for the location of her fathers package. Kellerman proceeds to drown after her lack of co-operation but she narrowly escapes. Failing for the second time, Paul lies to Kim that Sara is dead, Kim request for visual confirmation, under pressure - Paul stalls him saying it's not a good time right now.
Suspicious and annoyed, Kim authorizes a total disavowal of Kellerman and erasure of all records pertaining to him. In the final episode of 2006 in the United States, "The Killing Box", Kellerman, in a move of self-preservation, shoots Mahone, thus helping both Michael and Lincoln escape. He also offers to help them to take down President Reynolds and reveal the conspiracy.
The next part of the character's storyline revolves around him and the two protagonists as they work together to find evidence that may help to exonerate Lincoln and destroy "The Company". The episode "John Doe" marks the first time Adelstein has worked directly with the two actors who play the protagonists of the series. When their attempt to capture Terrence Steadman (Jeff Perry) fails after his suicide, Kellerman, Michael and Lincoln contact Sara via a television broadcast. Sara joins the trio in the episode, "Chicago". After the protagonists retrieve the USB drive which holds a recorded conversation between Reynolds and Steadman two weeks after his supposed murder, Kellerman is left on his own.Following this, Kellerman decides to target the woman who had betrayed him, President Caroline Reynolds. In the eighteenth episode, he obtains a sniper rifle and makes a final visit to his sister, who he has not seen for fifteen years. Towards the end of the episode, Kellerman is shown getting ready to assassinate the President, forming one of the cliffhangers of the episode. However, Kellerman, even though having a clear shot, leaves when he sees Michael arrested by the Secret Service. He is then shown watching the President's press conference, where she unexpectedly announces she is resigning due to a "malignant form of cancer".
With nothing to lose, Kellerman dresses himself in his Army uniform and prepares to commit suicide. His pistol jams, however, and he calls his sister Kristine, who convinces him he can start life again with a clean slate. Kellerman then comes forward to testify at Sara's trial for aiding and abetting. Kellerman confesses to the entire conspiracy, proving it with documents. His testimony exonerates Lincoln and Sara, but Kellerman is then arrested.
Later, the driver stops his prisoner transport vehicle under a bridge. Kellerman tells the cop with him that "In the French Resistance, it was considered as high an honor to smile when facing a firing squad." He then said "the highest honor was to smile when they shot you".
Kellerman before his "death".
Several masked gunmen open the doors, and Kellerman looks at them and tells them "Took you long enough." The masked gunmen shoot into the van.
Kellerman first appears in the first episode in a flashback. After Michael and the others arrived back at their safe house they began debating over what they should do with Scylla. Michael suggested that it should be destroyed. Mahone objected the idea saying that they could still negotiate with the General. Sarah intervened saying the General would retaliate against them even if they gave Scylla to him. Michael proposed that they could either crush it, incinerate it, or throw in the ocean (Lincoln appreciated all the ideas). They took a vote and they agreed to destroy Scylla. Suddendly Michael's phone rings: Kellerman is revealed to be the caller and is still alive, Michael is shocked and asks Kellerman how he is alive and asks how he made it out,the former Secret Service agent replies that the rumors of his death were exaggerated and that he was freed by the group started by his father, the Anti-Company movement. His prison guard was the one who was shot to death.He went on to say that there was a way they could all be free; by giving Scylla to a United Nations attache that would be in Miami that day at 5:00pm. Michael questioned why he should trust Kellerman and he told him not to trust him, but to trust the people at the UN. When Michael arrived at Kellerman's location Michael played him by keeping part of the Scylla device.
Kellerman questioned his motives and Michael couldn't believe Kellerman was telling the truth. The UN attache returned the part of Scylla Michael gave him and said Michel either had the device or he didn't. Kellerman tried coaxing him into giving him the piece of Scylla. He told him that if he had the piece to give it to him so they could be done with everything that happened. He then said if he didn't that was fine, but to tell him now so they could hurry up and run for their lives. Michael gave him the piece of Scylla and Kellerman kept his word and let them go free.
Four years later, Paul is seen as a US Congressman, running for president, and is greeted by a grief-stricken Allison Hale, Daniel Hale's wife. She says, "Remember me, Paul? I'm Danny Hale's Widow." Kellerman replies, "Of course, Allison." and tells her that he was a true American hero. Allison angrily spits in his face and is escorted away by his guards. Kellerman assured the press he's okay and enters his limo, feeling remorseful for his past actions and realising he could never fully escape his past.
Prison Break:The Final Break+
When Sara Tancredi was convicted of the murder of Christina Hampton (formerly Christina Scofield) the brothers were constantly watched by federal agents. Kellerman decided to send a government lawyer to help them. He's mentioned twice by the brothers: during the party with the FBI where Michael said: "Call Agent Kellerman in Washington we were exonerated" or when Lincoln taunts the lawyer about "Why Kellerman had sent you if you could do nothing?"
Throughout the series Kellerman is depicted as someone who believes what he is doing for the good of the country. In one of the first season episodes he remarks to President Reynolds that everything he has done has been for her, her family and most importantly this country. Furthermore according to Paul Adelstein, who portrays Paul Kellerman, the character's moral compass told him that Reynolds was the best leader for the country, and that anything or anyone who jeopardizes her position must be eliminated, "He is a patriot, if a misguided one."
- Kellerman's real name is 'Owen Kravecki', though his career as a member of the Secret Service has him use the alias 'Paul Kellerman'.
- Kellerman did briefly meet Brad Bellick in the episode The Key. This is the only episode that the two characters have seen each other.
- L.J. never knew Paul Kellerman turned against The Secret Service and The Company to help Michael and Lincoln.
- Kellerman has a scar on his chest: Sara burnt him using an iron.
- Kellerman lives in Chicago.
- The pin upsidedown on Kellerman's lapel, and the patch on the left sleeve of his Uniform, he was a member of US Army Special Forces (Green Berets), was a commisioned officer holding the rank of Major, had a combat tour with the 2nd Battalion 75th Ranger Regiment, and his Beret Flash is that of the 7th Special Forces Group headquatered at Eglin AFB in Florida. Fin del Camino
- Kellerman's Ring in the episode Fin del Camino is that of the 101st Airborne Division.
- The medal's Kellerman on his desk before his attempted suicide as they appear on screen are The Silver Star, The Purple Heart, The Armed Forces Expiditionary Medal, an Army Achievement Medal, The Bronze Star and an Navy & Marine Corps Commedation Medal. Fin del Camino
- Kellerman is the first male main character to kill a female on-screen. The other is Theodore Bagwell.
Behind the Scenes
The character was initially conceived to be a merely stereotypical villain. However creator Paul Scheuring comments that the complexity Adelstein has added to Kellerman's character have convinced the writers to make the character more of a regular and a fulcrum of the second season’s second half.
Paul Adelstein initially auditioned for the role of Lincoln Burrows. Scheuring said the Burrows character needed to possess heart and yet be a physically imposing presence in prison. However, Adelstein portrayed a vulnerability that sufficiently impressed the directors to hire Adelstein for Kellerman's role.
Before the season finale aired, Adelstein said in a TV Guide article that, "There's a cliff-hanger to Kellerman's story line in the finale, and I think there will be some passionate discussion about exactly what happened. It's not really ambiguous, but it's still open to various interpretations."According to issue #4 of the Official Prison Break Magazine, writer and co-producer Karyn Usher discussed Paul Kellerman. When asked about his fate, she replied "...this is Prison Break, and I wouldn't be surprised if Kellerman appeared again."
An easter egg on the Season Two DVD release, in part a slideshow of all the characters that had been killed on the show, did not include Kellerman.
Nick Santora said in an interview that he couldn't reveal anything about Kellerman's current state and possible comeback: "That’s not how it works. It’s not up to Paul Adelstein… He is under contract to a show, they own his services. As for confirming his death, I cannot confirm or deny that. Sorry but I am not allowed to do that, could cost me my job."