As the countdown to the premiere of the final eight episodes of Breaking Bad draws to an end, the countdown to the end of the Walter White/Heisenberg saga begins. And, naturally, after becoming one of the most tightly-woven crime sagas in recent memory, questions and speculation as to what fate awaits Vince Gilligan’s creations and whether or not it will live up to the already high expectations of the show’s devoted fanbase have already begun to run wild.
As you would expect, the pressure to deliver a series finale – especially one that is tied to such a convincing and ambitious tale of an ordinary man turned meth-dealing monster – is daunting, to say the least. Gilligan is certainly well aware he’s managing the fans’ expectations with the needs of the story but, most importantly, because the Breaking Bad storyline has been so singular and focused during its entire run, there’s very little wiggle room for him in regard to sticking the landing – lest the entire run lose a bit of its considerable luster.
While at the premiere of season 5.2, Cranston, Gilligan and Walt Jr. himself, RJ Mitte all chatted with Zap2it to discuss just what their thoughts were on the finale. They all seemed fairly upbeat and optimistic about where the series will eventually end up, describing the climax to Walt’s story as “…an inevitable action that had to come.”
Needless to say, although being vague, such a statement does help assuage any fear that Walter will wake up to realize the precipitous rise and ultimate downfall of his unlikely criminal empire was all a dream, or that his proprietary blend of chemicals would somehow lead to the zombie apocalypse (to reference one humorous theory that probably appealed to some higher-ups in terms of its incomparable sense of corporate synergy) and will wind up being the Groan Heard Across America in September.
Unsurprisingly, Gilligan put his writing staff to work knowing full well what challenges were ahead of them. He also made the best of the unconventional break in the final season, which saw the 16-episode run spread out over two summers and granted the writers a considerable amount of time to make sure everything worked and that the story was as good as it could possibly be.
“That really haunted me for over a year straight, because for over a year we’ve been breaking these final eight episodes. We were lucky to have that amount of lead-time…Having said that, we knew it was ours to screw up with that much lead-time. If we didn’t get it right it was nobody’s fault but ours. So the big thought that kept going through my mind was let’s make this as good as we can make it. Let’s just bust our asses and make it as satisfying as possible.”
Meanwhile, Cranston said he thought the ending was “very appropriate” and that “You watch this – there’s no apologies. Vince was able to write to the ending that he wanted, and we’re very pleased with that.”
Mitte seconded his fictional father by saying, “It is an amazing ending. It is an amazing, amazing play-out…I really want people to see it and have the same reaction that I had.”
Sure, they’re all (thankfully) playing coy as to what the actual ending of the series will turn out to be, and their use of the words “inevitable” and “appropriate” can be read a myriad different ways (e.g., Walt dying, Walt going into WITSEC or Walt becoming the father of Frankie Muniz). Either way, the ending to Breaking Bad will likely be something fans and critics will be discussing for a long time to come.
Follow along as Screen Rant covers the finale eight episodes of Breaking Bad starting Sunday, August 11 @9pm on AMC.