Vince Gilligan on the Breaking Bad finale

News Louisa Mellor 4 Jan 2013 - 08:51

Breaking Bad showrunner Vince Gilligan has said a few words on the forthcoming finale to AMC's celebrated drama...

There’s a distinct concern in the world of TV criticism that, should Vince Gilligan and co. sustain the current superlative quality of Breaking Bad in the show’s final instalments, there just aren’t going to be enough celebratory adjectives to describe it. Faced with eight episodes of yet more poised, smart, beautifully acted brilliance from Breaking Bad, critics will become dumbfounded, able only to signal their appreciation via a series of seal-like barks and Angus Young-style convulsive floor spins. 

It’s fair to say then, that the pressure is on for Gilligan and his team. Here’s what the showrunner had to say about writing the lead-up to Breaking Bad’s finale:

On not having figured out the ending early on:

“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.”

On Casablanca’s “perfect” ending:

“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? […] We’re looking for that kind of satisfaction.”

On whether the finale will reflect the opening episode:

“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.” 

On providing conclusions for supporting characters:

“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.”

On whether we can expect more from Breaking Bad after the finale:

“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.”

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It's utterly astonishing, and says so much about the state of UK television, that this has not been shown on British TV

I am actually disgusted that this has not been properly shown in the UK. Everyone I know who has seen it adores it.

On the upside, It means I have a fabulous almost secret TV show and a wealth of quotes to crib that most haven't heard before.

From a marketing standpoint, I think this is what they're thinking across the pond: "It's not been on British TV yet, but we're making so much money from DVD and Netflix sales. Why the hell would we WANT to put it on TV when we're making a killing that way!?"

It has been on British TV. No one watched it.

So why would a network buy the rights to show it if it's already flopped once.

It was advertised well, I remember the adverts now when it was starting, they were everywhere, and on multiple channels. I also remember not bothering with it.
I've since learned that I made a poor judgement call then, but that doesn't change the fact that there were people that just didn't want to watch it. And it's only after watching it that people realise how good it is.

It's a show about a culture that's very removed from the British culture, it's a hard sell, and no one bought it because of that. This isn't the fault of UK television, it's the fault of the UK television audience.

Of course it flopped on UK television... everyone already saw it months earlier on the internet! :D

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