‘Breaking Bad’ Creator Vince Gilligan Unsure How Series Will End

Published 3 years ago by

Bryan Cranston as Walter White Breaking Bad AMC Breaking Bad Creator Vince Gilligan Unsure How Series Will End

Like it or not, come the end of its fifth season, Breaking Bad will be no more. And while series creator Vince Gilligan is determined to bow out gracefully, he is, understandably, somewhat at odds with just how to wrap up Walter White’s epic downward spiral.

Of course, ending such a beloved and critically acclaimed series comes with a notorious bag of challenges that frequently finds creatives at odds with the very audience that adores them. A fact Gilligan is all too aware.

“[It] keeps me awake at night. It gives me nightmares. The closer we get to the final episode, I assume the worse it’ll be. But that’s why we’re ending after 16. You want to go out with fans of the show still being fans. The best we can do is be disciplined and honest in our storytelling, and not go for the bells and whistles. Let the chips fall where they may.”

After some tense negotiations with AMC, Gilligan and Sony Pictures Television came to an agreement that would close the series out with a lengthened 16-episode fifth season. Through it all, there was the underlying belief that, whatever happened, Breaking Bad’s finale was on the horizon – which makes Gilligan’s disclosure that he still doesn’t know the final details somewhat unexpected.

“Wish I did,” Gilligan says. “I have certain hopes and dreams for how the characters will wind up, but I don’t have anything nailed down plot-wise.”

With luck, fans won’t take that as an admission that Gilligan is entering this climactic season flying blind. Historically, Breaking Bad has put on a clinic of tight, concise storytelling, which has never lacked purpose or a sense of destination – so it stands to reason that, for Gilligan and the writers assembled around him, not having anything “nailed down” is still far more concrete than the finished scripts of other programs.

For example, over the course of four seasons, fans have watched Walter White (Bryan Cranston) emerge from the grip of a terminal illness as a progressively hardened and pitiless person, who, in his quest to leave his wife and children in comfort and wealth, has, ironically, robbed them of the man they knew and loved. And, after witnessing the depths to which Walter has sunk – especially in the season 4 finale – the question remains: how much further down can he go?

Vince Gilligan Aaron Paul Breaking Bad AMC Breaking Bad Creator Vince Gilligan Unsure How Series Will End

'Breaking Bad' creator Vince Gilligan and Aaron Paul

Gilligan says the remainder of Walt’s journey will be about striking the perfect balance between being memorable and telling a good story:

“We don’t set out to make the show shocking…We’re telling a very dark story and we’re involved in a very dark world, and to paint it as anything less than unpleasant would be disingenuous. We’re looking to be showmen and women, trying to give the audience something to talk about the next day around the water cooler. But the ultimate goal isn’t to be gruesome or bloody — it’s to be dramatic.”

And while, after all the acclaim Breaking Bad and AMC’s other flagship series, Mad Men, have garnered, the network undoubtedly wishes the praise could go on forever, as Gilligan alludes, it is always best to go out on top.

“It’s been the best job I’ve ever had, and I suspect I’m going to look back on it with a great deal of nostalgia. But after 16 more episodes, it will be time to end it all. It was always intended to be a finite, closed-ended show. You have to know when to hold ‘em and when to fold ‘em.”


Breaking Bad season 5 is set to air sometime in 2012 on AMC.

Source: Today

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  1. I’m sure the ending won’t disappoint! He’s done a great job so far this is one of the best series out there!

  2. Whatever happened to the confession tape he made in the pilot? I always thought that was gonna come full circle, after he passes away maybe the police will expose him and after all the press and everything Skyler and Jr are wiped and decide to try to remember him as a good man so they plug in the ol’ video camera to watch old home movies and what do they see? Walt confirming everything but then mentioning it was for them.

    • If you remember in the pilot he destroys the tape

    • Im pretty sure he destroyed it in the first episode

  3. Have Walter walk into a deal gone bad and slo-mo a warehouse style building blow up. Next shot: close up of a dead Walter with drugs & money floating in the air. End. Done.

    • ^ Wow I mean we haven’t seen that done a thousand times over.

    • Genius

  4. I think the cancer should finally take him. And jesse should finally find peace and move far away.

  5. The most likely events will be that Walter takes over the meth trade in his town, but then dieing of his cancer, probably in the middle of the final season.

    • There would be no way for him to die in the middle of the season. That would make it the end of the season. He’s the protagonist.

  6. This has been one of my top favorite shows of all time. Hate to see it end next season but it’s been a wild ride, And we get a 16 ep final season! Bring it on! -I can’t wait.

  7. I also kind of think it should be cancer as well, but only after Walt kills Hank for finding out Walt’s secret, Jesse after he discovers the flowers (or whatever), along with his wife and kids being too disgusted to even think about him let alone be with him; dying alone (but the audience not actually seeing it).

    When I think of this show, I also think of The Shield. I loved that show’s ending, and think a similar approach could work well here.

  8. Here’s my two cents on how I think it may end.

    Walter will become more of a wicked man than ever before and ‘break bad’ to the fullest this season. We’ll probably see him do things even more shocking than shooting a drug dealer in the head or creating a bomb that blows off Gus’s face.

    I think he’s gonna become the biggest, baddest, Meth dealer in all of ABQ and in the meantime his cancer is gonna come back to hit him hard. I do not think that he should die from the cancer though. No, I think that Hank is going to uncover Walt’s secret, one way or another.

    It would be sick if the final scene of the series showed Hank shoot down Walter. Hank would only think Walter was dead, but go over to his body to make sure. As Hank would kneel down to make sure, Walter would quickly pull out his gun and shoot hank in the head and the show would immediately end.

    • there is now way vince gilligan and the creative forces behind brba would ever end the best television show ever on such a lame note…if heisenberg wanted to take someone out he would be the one who knocks

  9. I think it should end with Walt’s cancer taking his life. The last episode should have Walt in the hospital bed dying. Also at the same time though Hank is finally uncovering the truth and finding out that it was Walt. As he goes to reveal the whole thing it shows Walt dying in the hospital bed. Or something along those lines.

    No matter how it ends I’m sure it will be amazing. Sad to see it end, but can’t wait to see how it ends either.

  10. I love this show I’m their biggest fan I believe breaking bad everything with a show like this to end it it has to be epic original and beautiful cancer can’t be the reason cuz that’s what we’re looking for it has to be twisted screwed up and sad the obvious is cliche screw dat it has to be unexpected and mind blowing I have some great ideas but I would only talk to Vince about them so I guess they are wasted thoughts

  11. Honestly, I hope they do not kill Walter. Not because I don’t like, “sad endings”, but because it wouldn’t fit with the story. In my opinion, Breaking Bad is a simple Hero’s Journey tale. It is the best I have ever seen from a TV show, with enthralling cinematography and great acting. I may be too skeptical, but I do not think Breaking Bad will end as it should.

    Its final season should merely wrap up the remaining loose ends, including: Mike; Marie and Hank’s relationship; Hank’s injury and job; Beneky’s death and how it will affect Skylar’s opinion of Walter; and Walter Jr. finally learning of his father’s wrongdoings. In the end, Walter should come full circle; end up back with his family, without much money from his crimes, in a situation similar to his life before cancer. He may end up working with Gray Matter, and his relationship with Gretchen has yet to be resolved. I personally do not care much for the shady flashbacks to Walter’s past with Gretchen, and do not want much emphasis on this.

    Jesse should either settle down with Andrea and Brock and reconcile with his parents and brother, or be killed by Walter.

    • I completely agree that Walter’s death would be a profoundly lame way to end the show. I am hoping that all the p.r. floating about indicating that he will die in the final episode is just disinformation. The show is a hero’s journey. Not too unlike Omar on The Wire, Walter’s breaking bad has its own moral intricacies. Therefore, simply killing him off, or killing him and Hank off mutually in a parody of “good v. evil, middle class version” would be really, really, well, blah.

      Memo to Vince Gilligan: Remember the last episode of The Sopranos? And the nation’s response? Don’t let this happen to you!

      • No Walt should die because he has a terminal illness in the first episode and it’s been like 4 years so if he doesn’t die, the entire plot line wouldn’t make sense. That’s literally the point of the entire show: Walt dies and leaves his family with endless fortune.

    • Actually, if he lives, THAT wouldn’t fit the story. If you ACTUALLY pay attention to the ENTIRE POINT OF TGE METH OPERATION, Walt is doing it because he is GOING TO DIE FROM LUNG CANCER and SAVING MONEY TO LEAVE FOR HIS FAMILY WHEN HE DIES. If they ended the show before he died, the show would have no reason to end. If he does die, then that would be the entire purpose of the series.

  12. a couple of ideas that have been kicked around:

    1. skyler kills walt (this makes sense to me)
    2. walt & jesse get trapped in a house & are fumigated to death

  13. well was wondering why Walt dosen’t just make his own methylamine it’s not two hard for a supper sincetest like Walt and as far as a ending goes it be nice to see redemption buy his own reserch firm get his family back hire Jessy in sales and Mike for securty!

    • That literally was gibberish.

  14. My guess- Jesse takes over the trade, offs both Walter and Mike and becomes a Kingpin himself (Jesse has been learning both mens skill sets for a while)

  15. I thought Walt shot and killed Mike…

    • He did

    • The guy above posted that before that episode aired

  16. This is a bunch of B-S ! They could not agree on a contract because some wanted to much and others did not want to pay so instead of keeping a good thing going they “Fold Em”! This is a amazing show but will end up forgotten in 10 years because they did not keep it going long enough to make a big impact on people ! look at shows like the simpsons have aired tons of shows and I love it as much as I ever did! Thank You AMC and creators of BB for ending one of the few shows I love! If you could start a new one about maybe marijuana grower or something I would be all in but now I hate you !

  17. Have the greatest idea for Walter White ending. You will not believe what a turnaround. He will be greatest hero ever. Contact me please. Must hear my idea !!!!

    • Must hear my idea. It really is great !!!!!
      Nothing to lose right??!!

  18. I think it would be a great final scene for Walt to take the Ricin and die at the same peaceful lakeside spot that Mike died. He takes the Ricin, sits peacefully and silently, birds chirping for a minute or so, then Walt falls over just like Mike did. Fade to black. …”Created by Vince Gilligan”.