While the highly anticipated final season of Breaking Bad is set to premiere August 11, star Bryan Cranston and creator Vince Gilligan talk past theoretical possibilities to conclude the transformation of AMC’s cherished meth cooking anti-hero in an interview with GQ.
Though not dropping any life-shattering spoilers throughout the interview, Cranston provided a few altercations to the ending of the show and turned king-pin Walter White. “I had notions,” he said. “Like, ‘What if he created this toxic world around him and, because of his actions, everybody he loved died and he had to stay alive?’ But then I’d think, ‘He’s wrought so much, he has to die. Doesn’t he?’ But if he dies, what does he die of? Maybe he dies of cancer. After all this other danger! But my true answer of how I wanted it to end, my honest answer, is this: however Vince Gilligan wants it to end.”
Gilligan trusts his belief that the final eight episodes “have a real chance of satisfying […] not everybody–there’s no way to satisfy every last viewer–but the bulk of our viewers. I certainly hope so. They satisfy me, and that’s saying a lot.”
Despite Breaking Bad’s writing staff being known for their more collaborative efforts compared to other television, they wrote future plot points with an unset journey of how to get there. “A lot was still in play. You’d be surprised at how much. There were moments that we thought would be very provocative and evocative and interesting, but we didn’t know their exact full meaning yet. We figured we’d make it up later,” Gilligan said.
The writing room particularly had a conundrum trying to find a just ending to the series. “We sat around this table talking about every possible kind of ending,” Gilligan says. “Sometimes you start talking really macro. Like, ‘What kind of responsibility do we have to find a moral in all this?’ ‘Is this a just universe that he lives in, or is it a chaotic universe which is more in keeping with the one we seem to live in?’ ‘Is there really karma in the world? Or is it just that the mechanisms, the clockwork, of the universe is so huge and subtle in its operation that we don’t see karma happening?’ We talk about all that stuff, and then, at a certain point, you stop and say, ‘Let’s just tell a good story.’”