With only four episodes left until the Breaking Bad series finale, the question on everyone’s mind is: How will it end?
According to star Bryan Cranston, who has won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series three consecutive times, the series will end on an “appropriate” note. While viewers may believe that chemistry teacher turned crystal meth kingpin Walter White has undergone a catharsis at the end, the truth is there is a terrible cost attached.
“I think some will feel that, and yet what is the price that he paid,” Cranston said in an interview with Radio Times. “Just like [William Shakespeare’s] King Lear what was the price? He had the loss of his daughters, the splintering of a family and disintegration of a great king and a man to resemble a shadow of himself.”
Fans can certainly see a parallel between Shakespeare’s titular king and Walter. After all, Walter also experiences the splintering and near disintegration of his family and marriage, almost losing his children in the process. And remember Hank’s (Dean Norris) line about not knowing who he was talking to? Walter has become someone unrecognizable, not at all like the milquetoast cancer patient viewers were introduced to in the first episode.
“Here’s my prediction. Before all is said and done, you will continue to vacillate in your appeal and sympathy toward him and then your absolute anger toward him,” Cranston said. “And yet it is a tragedy. We’re talking about a Shakespearean story. This is about the downfall of man.”
“The thing that affects people when they’re watching a tragedy, whether it’s Shakespeare or contemporary, is that the potential of the human being, the potential of a person, was there and it didn’t work out. If we’re introduced to a character that’s despicable and they continue their despicable nature, we don’t sense that as a tragedy because we hated them from the beginning. They’re just the villains.”
The 57-year-old said the final eight episodes were “exactly what [Walter] had hoped for” and that his hope is that he would be satisfied with what he has done over the course of the season.
“And he is,” Bryan Cranston said. “The ending of Breaking Bad is very unapologetic and appropriate and exciting. It’s a roller coaster ride.”
The series finale of Breaking Bad airs September 30.