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Did Walter White Really Die? Why Fans Still Debate Breaking Bad's Ending

Walter White Dead or Alive in Breaking Bad

Breaking Bad ended with Walter White mortally wounded, but did he really die in the series finale? This question has been on the mind of viewers since the series ended in 2013 and, now, we break down both sides of the argument.

At the end of Breaking Bad season 5, Walt (Bryan Cranston) went on a farewell tour of sorts. Around his 52nd birthday, Walt left his wooded seclusion to tie up some loose ends. He visited Gretchen (Jessica Hecht) and Elliot (Adam Godley) to set up his family financially. Walt also gave one last visit to Skyler (Anna Gun) and Holly before he poisoned Lydia (Laura Fraser) by swapping her Stevia for ricin. As part of his drug kingpin grand finale, Walt attack the neo-Nazi compound with a machine gun equipped to his car. Jesse (Aaron Paul) managed to escape after he strangled Todd (Jesse Plemons), while Walt took one last walk around the meth lab. Walt was hit by a ricocheted bullet and the series ended with the antihero bleeding out on the ground.

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Related: Breaking Bad: Why Walter White Left Gray Matter

Walt was presumed dead, but many audience members have questioned that fact since the series ended. The fate of Walt was purposely left ambiguous so viewers would have the chance to interpret their own ending. Series creator Vince Gilligan has not confirmed the character's death, which continued to add to the long-time discussion. Here is some evidence to aid both sides of the Walter White death debate.

Evidence Walter White Is Dead At The End Of Breaking Bad

Walter White Dies in Breaking Bad

Just focusing on Breaking Bad's final scene, Walt was clearly not in good shape after he suffered the gunshot wound. The bullet hit him in the abdomen area which would have put vital organs at risk. Even though he was able to walk around the compound before collapsing, Walt was losing blood. As he stared up at the ceiling, it seemed like he was already passing on.

Even before he received the gunshot wound, Walt's health was already in bad shape. His cancer had returned and he wasn't receiving any professional care. If for any reason he did survive the gunshot to the gut, he probably wouldn't have lived very long due to his other health concerns. This might have been in Walt's mind when he carried out the meth lab attack. It's likely that Walt went there knowing full well that it was a suicide mission. How he died was almost irrelevant.

Evidence Walter White Is Alive At The End Of Breaking Bad

A number of Breaking Bad fan theories have used Walt's cancerous state as a way to argue that he lived the events of the series finale. Blood can actually clot faster for those suffering from cancer so it's possible that it delayed Walt's bleeding enough for him to be saved. This could explain why he was able to walk around and have a phone conversation before collapsing. The cops were arriving when Walt was on the ground and they are trained to care for gunshot victims. Once they found out that he was responsible for the attack, among many other things, they probably would have tried to resuscitate him so he could be properly prosecuted.

Even if he survived, it's difficult to believe that Walt would have been able to escape considering the state he was in (although Walt Jr. actor R.J. Mitte certainly thinks it's possible). With that said, keeping him alive in any way allows the character to return in future projects. Cranston is rumored to appear in the upcoming Breaking Bad sequel movie. Many expected that it would be in the form of flashbacks but maybe Gilligan always intended for Walt to survive.

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