Breaking Bad Series Finale to Have a Polarizing Casablanca Style Ending
Breaking Bad fans still have a long way to go before the final eight episodes debut on AMC this July. With several burning questions still left to be answered in Season 5, series creator Vince Gilligan recently teased a few developments regarding the end of this highly-successful show. First off, he revealed that while he initially had an idea about how the show would end, the series has continued to evolve.
"I had this strange confidence in the beginning that I had an idea [for the ending] that was sound. But I look back at the life of the series and realize I cycled through so many possible endings, it would be disingenuous to say I had always had it figured out. It has evolved in the last five years and probably has some evolving left to do. I read interviews with showrunners all the time who say, 'I know exactly where this thing is headed.' I always find that very interesting, and I don't doubt them for a minute. It's just I can't see my way clear to do that because the characters in Breaking Bad are in a state of constant change by design. When a character will be a different person five or six or ten or sixteen episodes from now, it's hard to predict the future."
He also revealed there are still two more episodes left to write, and that the writers are taking twice as long as normal, or three and a half weeks, to break these last stories. The creator also teased that there will be moments from the original pilot that will be alluded to in the last episodes.
"Are there echoes of the beginning that we should have in the end? There's a certain kind of circularity that might be pleasing. We think a lot about that, in fact."
Fans are no doubt wondering how this journey will end for Walter White. Will he go to prison? Will he be shot dead by Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul)? Or, will he finally succumb to the cancer he has been dealing with. Vince Gilligan spoke about his own views on good vs. evil, and how that doesn't necessarily relate to the world in Breaking Bad.
"I'm very cornball in my own view of the world. It just makes sense to me that bad people should get punished and good people should be rewarded. I know it doesn't work like that in real life, but there's always that yearning. Oddly enough, I don't feel any real pressure to pay off the characters, morally speaking."
In the mid-season finale, "Gliding All Over", Dean Norris' Hank makes a surprising revelation about his brother-in-law Walter. The series creator revealed that Hank's character evolved into a modern-day Columbo.
"We discovered Hank is very, very good at his job. You know, I love the TV show Columbo. Hank is like a postmodern shout-out to Columbo."
He also spoke about the show's minor characters, revealing it has become difficult to give them all a satisfying ending, although he did tease that Bob Odenkirk's Saul may survive.
"Sometimes it's hard to give them all their due and make them all wrap up beautifully. That's another big fear I have. I like to think of Saul as a cockroach in the best possible way. This is a guy who's going to survive while the rest of us have been nuked into annihilation. He'll be the worst-dressed cockroach in the world."
He also compared what they want to do with the show's finale with the ending of Casablanca.
"No one gets everything they wanted. The guy doesn't get the girl, but he has the satisfaction of knowing she wants him. And he doesn't get her because he has to save the free world. What better ending is there than that? I'm not saying we're going to approach that or reach in that direction. Our story doesn't line up [with Casablanca]. But we're looking for that kind of satisfaction."
The executive producer said that the series finale will be the all-encompassing ending, and fans should not expect a movie or any other incarnation of the series.
"Rightly or wrongly, there will be a conclusive ending. Our story from the beginning has been designed to be close-ended. It's very much designed to have a beginning, middle, and end and then to exist no more."
While he knows fan expectations are high, Vince Gilligan knows the finale won't please everyone, but is hoping more people walk away enjoying it than hating it.
"We're not gonna please everyone, we're not gonna please everyone. This is what I keep telling myself so I can sleep at night. It's going to be polarizing no matter how you slice it, but you don't want 10 percent to say it was great and 90 percent to say it sucked ass. You want those numbers to be reversed."
AMC hasn't announced an exact premiere date for Breaking Bad's return in July, so stay tuned.