BREAKING BAD Creator Vince Gilligan Talks the Mid-Season Finale and Planning for the Series Finale

     September 4, 2012


Breaking Bad‘s mid-season finale, which aired this past Sunday, was not as explosive as some of the show’s finales in the past, but it was quietly stunning (quite literally).  The series maneuvered everyone’s favorite (or most hated) high school chemistry teacher turned meth kingpin into some of his (and the series’) most serious territory yet — a great setup for what is bound to be an extremely anxiety-inducing final eight episodes next summer.  Series creator Vince Gilligan recently sat down to discuss some of the finer points of Sunday night’s episode, including where Walt might be headed next, as well as the final eight episodes of the series.  Spoilers, of course, you are not caught up on the series — otherwise, hit the jump for more.

vince-gilligan-breaking-badOne of the biggest questions from Sunday’s “Gliding Over All” stemmed from Walt telling Skyler “I’m out.”  After amassing an indeterminate amount of wealth, losing his main partner (Jesse) and, well, doing away with his other one (Mike), Walt seemed beleaguered and ready to (he surely hopes) renew his relationship with Skyler and his children.  But was Walt really telling the truth about being out of the game?  After all, Breaking Bad doesn’t usually gloss over the gritty truths of the drug trade, so how did Walt slip its grasp so easily?  But Gilligan, according to TV Line, reveals he believes Walt is sincere,

“We can either take him at his word or not — he is of course infamous for being one of the world’s greatest liars — but I tend to believe, personally, that he was telling [Skyler] the truth when he told her that. We’re still working out the final eight episodes [to air next summer on AMC], and my writers and I still don’t know how it’s all going to quite lay out…. But it’s looking like he’s out of the business, for sure.”

breaking-bad-gliding-all-over-aaron-paulFor anyone concerned that Jesse also being “out” and Walt settling his debt with him means less Aaron Paul, Gilligan soothes our fears:

“He’s going to have plenty to do.  It would not be the same show without Jesse Pinkman on it and Aaron’s wonderful contributions…. He’s still got a lot of stuff to do yet.”

(Like magnets, bitch! How do they work?)

Regarding the specifics of the final eight episodes, Gilligan says they are still working things out but are planning to “swing for the fences.”  He also dismissed talk of a movie, saying that it’s not on his radar. As for the rest of the TV series though, and Hank’s bathroom revelations (and where they might lead):

“That is the big question [and] the subject of great debate amongst the seven writers, myself included. Does he walk right out and shoot him…? Do you keep your cards close to the vest? Are you able to control the emotions you feel? Are you in a state of shock? How does one take it all in and process it in a mere matter of seconds?”

breaking-bad-gliding-all-over-bryan-cranstonSo in other words … we’ll find out next year.  Gilligan was also tight-lipped about Walt’s cancer diagnosis, but does say that Walt’s doctor’s visit is no red herring — everything on the show is deliberate.

Finally, when asked about any pressure he feels about the series finale, Gilligan responded,

“There’s no way to please everybody. In fact, the most dangerous thing is to try to come up with that ending that pleases the widest swath of people.  Emotionally speaking, it’s fucking anvils hanging over us! It’s like the idea that the last batter to get struck out is to blame for the team’s entire loss. So yes, the ending will be judged with more scrutiny than any of the 61 episodes that come before it.”

Somehow though, I’m not worried.