When last we saw Walter White (Bryan Cranston) at the end of Breaking Bad Season 4, he had just decimated Gus Fring's (Giancarlo Esposito) face with a wheelchair bomb that former enemy Tio Salamanca (Mark Margolis) had willingly strapped to himself. Then it was revealed that Walt had used the poisonous Lily of the Valley to endanger poor young Brock in an attempt to get Jesse (Aaron Paul) back on his side. With both Gus and Tio out of the picture, one could imagine that Walt would be eager to get out of the drug trade and back to a normal life. That certainly won't be the case when Breaking Bad Season 5 returns this summer.
Instead of shaking it off and making like a Calgon commercial, Walter White has no intentions of getting up and getting out of here. Instead, he is poised to take over for Gus Fring as the new villain of this hard-hitting and critically acclaimed series. There are only sixteen episodes left, and according to Vince Gilligan, the story will continue to creep down the dark and dangerous path its been on since the very beginning.
Giancarlo Esposito's Gus is out of the picture, and he leaves quite a hole in this tension filled serialized saga. Who do you fill that hole with? Heisenberg, of course. Which points to either Jesse (Aaron Paul) or Hank being the truly redemptive hero of the entire enterprise. And you can expect couch ruining story climaxes for each and every one of these guys. But Vince Gilligan is making it clear. There can only be one true bad guy, and that finger is suddenly pointing to the once mild mannered schoolteacher Mr. White.
"[Gus] leaves a big void, and hopefully we fill it with Walter White and a few other characters perhaps. It'll be different, but hopefully, just as interesting. [The Chicken Man]? those are big shoes to fill.
We are following the same thread that we've been following for four seasons now. We are essentially taking a good guy protagonist and turning him into a bad guy. Walter White still has a little further to go down that dark path that he's very willfully put himself on.
Does Walt do what he does for the good of his family, or are there other reasons that he does the things he does? On some level, is it ego and self-aggrandizement? Does he feel good about the things he's doing? Does he feel powerful? Those are the questions I think one has to ask one's self when they question whether or not he should cut bait."
It is being speculated that Breaking Bad Season 5 may split its run of 16 episodes into two halves, much like AMC did this winter with The Walking Dead Season 2. At this time, no solid launch date has been set for the return of Walter White and Breaking Bad, but you can guarantee it will be one Hell of a bummer summer for all characters involved. And one heck of a ride for those of us at home.