Now that everyone has caught their breath, let's talk more about the Breaking Bad series finale, which was the perfect ending to a perfect series, in our humble opinion. For those who still haven't watched: Get off the Internet, because there are spoilers everywhere, including below!
Walt (Bryan Cranston) got his revenge but succumbed to his wounds. Jesse (Aaron Paul) got away. Walt's family will get the money he earned. And who will ever forget the trunk machine-gun contraption that Walt built to dispose of Jack's (Michael Bowen) group? All loose ends were tied up, except for hearing from creator Vince Gilligan about the finale. Thankfully, he appeared on Talking Bad to talk about the choices the production team made for "Felina" and what scene didn't make the final episode.
Here are highlights from last night's final episode of Talking Bad:
On Wrapping Everything Up: "We went through a lot of false starts and endings that went nowhere, but we knew we needed to dot all the i's and cross all the t's," Gilligan told host Chris Hardwick. "In some cases, unanswered questions are good, but in this case, in a finite and closed-ended show, we needed resolution. The Sopranos ending I thought was great, I thought it was perfect for that show. This story was finite all along. It's a story that starts at A and ends at Z. It's a very closed-ended thing."
On Walt Saving Jesse's Life: Gilligan credited the Western film The Searchers to Walt letting Jesse live instead of killing his former partner. "All throughout The Searchers, John Wayne is looking for Natalie Wood's character, who has been taken by the Apaches. He's going to kill her when he finds her. At the end of the movie, when he lays eyes on her, he can't do it. He sweeps her up in his arms instead and saves her," he said. "We were thinking [Walt] is going to kill Jesse the whole time, we think that's his intent, then he sees him and sees what terrible shape he's in, and instinct takes over, that fondness he's felt for him. Although he hasn't shown it very well over the years, I have to admit."
On Jesse Not Shooting Walt: "The more episodes that were revealed, I realized I didn't want Jesse to take another life," Paul said. Besides Todd's (Jesse Plemmons), of course. "I wanted him dead so bad. I'm so happy Jesse was the one to just take the life out of him." And where does he think Jesse is going after driving away from the compound? "I think he's just driving, driving as far away as he can until he pretty much runs out of gas." Right into the movie Need for Speed?
On Skyler's Mindset During That Final Conversation: Emmy-winner Anna Gunn appeared on the show to talk about the kitchen scene in the series finale and how Skyler viewed her husband one last time. "She sees back to the moment to the man he was once, to the family they once were, to the thing they once had," Gunn said. "She sees it all in that moment, and she sees what has burned down around them." It was also revealed that the camera operator cried during their quiet conversation in the kitchen and had to take his head away from the eyepiece to wipe away tears.
What Was With the Watch? Some fans were wondering why Walt left the watch Jesse gave him for his 51st birthday on top of the payphone. Symbolism? Kind of. Gilligan admits it was mostly about continuity. "We shot that teaser way back in episode 501, and we had Walt in the Denny's, making the 52 on his 52nd birthday. He was not wearing a watch. Then later on, we came up with this fun moment where Jesse, on his 51st birthday, gives Walt that beautiful watch, and he has worn it ever since. And we thought to ourselves, 'Uh-oh, we'd better get this right,'" Gilligan revealed. "Then the artsy-fartsy reason—hopefully you don't think it's too artsy-fartsy, I think he's been wearing it all this time, and he knows he's heading for the endgame. He hangs up the phone, looks at his watch and remembers that his now archnemesis, or one of his many archnemeses, has given it to him, and he doesn't need it any more. So he takes it off and leaves it."
On a Scene That Didn't Make the Finale: After making the call to get Gretchen and Elliot's address, Walt sees a former student of his watching him. He pays him off and even threatens him to make sure he doesn't go to the police. But before he leaves, Walt asks the former student what kind of teacher he was. The student answers: "You were good". This scene was cut due to time and budget reasons.
On Breaking Bad's Legacy: "You want your work to be remembered. You want it to outlive you," Gilligan said. "My favorite show ever was The Twilight Zone and I think about Rod Serling…it long outlived him. But there's kids who haven't been born yet who will know the phrase "The Twilight Zone," and hopefully will be watching those wonderful episodes. I can't say that's what will happen [with Breaking Bad], but you want to have that kind of immortality through your work. That would be wonderful. I'd feel very blessed."
Do you think Breaking Bad's finale lived up to the hype?