Apoptosis that proceeds via the mitochondrial pathway involves mitochondrial outer membrane permeabilization (MOMP), responsible for the release of cytochrome c and other proteins of the mitochondrial intermembrane space. This essential step is controlled and mediated by proteins of the Bcl-2 family. The proapoptotic proteins Bax and Bak are required for MOMP, while the antiapoptotic Bcl-2 proteins, including Bcl-2, Bcl-xL, Mcl-1, and others, prevent MOMP. Different proapoptotic BH3-only proteins act to interfere with the function of the antiapoptotic Bcl-2 members and/or activate Bax and Bak. Here, we discuss an emerging view, proposed by Certo et al. in this issue of Cancer Cell, on how these interactions result in MOMP and apoptosis.