Vince Gilligan on the Breaking Bad finale

News Simon Brew 23 Apr 2014 - 07:02

Breaking Bad showrunner and creator Vince Gilligan talks about how he came up with the show's eventual ending.

This article contains spoilers for Breaking Bad and The Wild Bunch.

As part of Entertainment Weekly's look at finales to popular TV shows, it's inevitably spent some time looking at last September's ending to Breaking Bad. And it's been chatting to showrunner Vince Gilligan about coming up with said ending.

Gilligan told EW that the finale "was glimmering in my brain somewhere in season 3, but I started to think about it more in earnest in season 4". Arguing that the story of Breaking Bad was always finite, Gilligan admitted that "in the early days I really wasn’t thinking about the ending that much, because I was just feeling lucky to have a show on the air at all", but that debates about when the show should come to a close came to a head during the fourth season.

Gilligan went on to say that "we had so many versions of the ending, and we really had boxed ourselves into a certain number of corners well in advance of the ending. Out of cockiness or stupidity, 16 episodes from the end, we had Walter White show up in a beard, long hair, and a new set of glasses, buying an M60 machine gun in a Denny’s parking lot. We didn’t really know how we were going to get to that story point — we didn’t even know what that meant or what Walt was going to use that machine gun for".

He also said that "at one point, we talked about killing everybody - having some sort of Wild Bunch bloodbath of an ending", before eventually going with the mantra of "let's just go with what feels right to us". Walter, however, always had to go. "Walter White, on the other hand, got a death sentence in the first act of the very first episode. It would be less than satisfying perhaps if he didn’t die at the end of the whole thing".

And in hindsight? "I don't think I would change anything", Gilligan says of the Breaking Bad conclusion. We're not sure we blame him, either. Our review of the last episode is here.

You can read the full piece with Gilligan here.

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As Goldberg eloquently expresses, you may think Lost finale was brilliant but it didn't come near to giving all the important answers, and the clear majority of feedback on the recent Lost ending thread shows that most of us here think it was a fail. So perhaps you want to not 'just say' that we aren't paying attention, because we were, and you're wrong.

Agreed, and I totally understand that the characters grow as they write them and it takes a life of its own. But I still don't understand why they would put in a scene of Walt a year down the line, and apparently have NO idea why they were doing it. It's just bizarre!

To be fair Vince does explain it himself:
"Out of cockiness or stupidity" is his reasoning, and then advises others never to do the same, which is amusing.

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