With production of Breaking Bad season 5 set to begin in early 2012, fans of the series are waiting with anticipation to find out what happens to Walter White when the series comes to an end this year. But has that information already been revealed by Walter White himself, Bryan Cranston?
In two separate interviews, over a year apart, Cranston discusses what he believes to be the only possible conclusion to the series: “Walter White will die.” How will he die? Well that’s more complicated – though Cranston does hint at what may be the driving force behind Walter’s death wish.
Looking back at a video interview with Jeanne Wolf in 2010 (shortly before Breaking Bad season 4 began production), Cranston said that he felt “pretty damn sure” about the fate of Walter White, while at the same time admitting that he doesn't know what direction in which the series will head.
"I don't know where it's going, but I'm pretty damn sure that he'll die at the end of this show. At the end of this show, Walter White will die. How he will he die? I really, honestly don't know - and I've never asked [Vince Gilligan]."
You can watch the video of Cranston's interview from 2010 below:
Jumping ahead to shortly after the Breaking Bad season 4 finale, Cranston spoke with TV Line about the future of his character. While remaining adamant about not knowing what’s going to happen in the series too far in advance, Cranston's theory of Walter’s death remains – but it appears to have also evolved.
Instead of simply stating that Walter is going to die, Cranston explains that Walter White “knows he’s going out in a year” - and then continues by revealing why Walter White cannot escape death, no matter what.
"It’s been such a journey for me and for this character that it didn’t make sense for me to know too far ahead, because Walt has no idea what’s ahead for him, even an hour. So I don’t ask [Gilligan], and I don’t read my scripts too far in advance.
I think Walt’s going to a place where he truly enjoys the empowerment that his situation has given him. And even though he knows he’s going out in a year, from lung cancer, he’s going to go out big. He’s going out big."
Even though his cancer is currently in remission, Walter specifically said (in an episode from season 4) that it can come back at any time – and Cranston believes that time is now. With a death clock hanging around his neck and Cranston believing that Walter is going to choose to "go out big,” the speculation now becomes on how big is "big" and who else is involved.
While some may quickly dismiss this as pure speculation, one has to acknowledge that next to series creator Vince Gilligan, Cranston knows the character of Walter White better than any anyone else. And since Breaking Bad is one of the most honest narratives on television, in terms of character arcs (even if it does tend towards the fantastical from time to time), it’s a reasonable assumption that an actor of Cranston’s caliber would be able to intuit the fate of Walter Water, a character he has played for over four years.
Now there’s only one question left to ask: What does Bryan Cranston believe is going to happen to Jesse? If Walter White is going to go out big, perhaps Jesse is the one that closes the book on his longtime partner.
I suppose we’ll just have to wait and see.
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Expect Breaking Bad season 5 to premiere late summer 2012
Follow Anthony on Twitter @anthonyocasio.