Breaking Bad creator/showrunner Greg Gilligan promises that fans will be satisfied with the AMC series’ final eight episodes that begin to unspool on August 11.
In general, popular shows — even perhaps those with solid writing and outstanding editing and visuals like Breaking Bad — tend to run out of steam as they wind down, and series finale episodes in particular often disappoint in a big way.
In an interview that may or may not contain Breaking Bad spoilers, Gilligan seemed to be suggesting that this won’t happen as the Walter White saga reaches its conclusion in season 5. “We worked long and hard to ensure that these final eight — and, in fact, the very last episode — would satisfy an audience. I am guardedly optimistic that we have achieved just that… I feel good about where it all.”
For those who have tuned in late or not at all to Breaking Bad, Bryan Cranston, the actor you might remember as the crazy dentist from Seinfeld, plays Walter White, a formerly straight-laced high school chemistry teacher in Albuquerque, New Mexico, who jumps into meth manufacturing, a.k.a. “cooking,” to create a nest egg for his family after he’s gone. (The White character was diagnosed with lung cancer, and he also has a son with cerebral palsy). With one horrendous and dangerous escapade after another, the show is intense, but it also contains some very dark humor.
The ensemble cast, starting with Cranston as the show’s bad-ass, top-meth-chef anti-hero, do a wonderful job, and the dialogue and the generally unpredictable plotting gives the characters a fuller dimension. This includes White’s difficult relationship with his wife played by Anna Gunn, and his contentious quasi-father-son relationship with his meth-lab partner Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul). The sleazy criminal defense lawyer/money launderer Saul Goodman played by Bob Odenkirk is another great character.
Perhaps one of the most interesting dynamics is supplied by White’s brother-in-law, Hank Schrader (Dean Norris) who just happens to be a DEA agent. On the surface, the Schrader character comes across as something of an oaf, but he is also a solid, loyal friend as well as a crafty law enforcement operative — and whose investigations have finally have begun to make the connection between meth kingpin “Heisenberg,” Walter White’s alter ego, and a member of his own family.
Gilligan mentioned that the final episodes may present an opportunity for a period of self-reflection for Walter White. The creator noted that he considers Walter White “the world’s greatest liar” and that he may or may not realize “who he is” in the final episodes.
Gilligan added that without giving anything away, the ending represents some kind of “victory” for Walter White — whatever that means.
Other quasi-spoilers include more antagonistic relationships (the audience would expect nothing less, right?) and jaw-dropping moments. “We’ve got some stuff that I think is going to be truly satisfying and truly shocking and jarring. It does not always center on moments of violence… You need to really settle down on the couch and pay close attention because it’s going to come at you fast and furious in the final eight episodes.”
Previously, Gilligan admitted that he lapsed into tears while he wrote the last episode and that it will be will be clear-cut and definite rather than vague and frustrating like the infamous ending to The Sopranos.
It has also been reported that a spinoff show featuring the Saul Goodman character may be in the works.
Are you looking forward to the Breaking Bad finale?