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Breaking Bad: Could Sunday Have Been the Series Finale?

Breaking Bad finaleIf you watched the season finale of Breaking Bad on Sunday night, it may have crossed your mind that it could have easily served as a series finale. When the episodes were being shot, the fate of the TV series was still very much up in the air due to contract issues between AMC and Sony. Thankfully, the show was renewed for 16 final episodes.

Was this episode conceived as a possible last episode of Breaking Bad? A recent Time interview with creator Vince Gilligan answers that very question.

The show’s future at AMC, if I’m remembering the timeline right, was still in open question during the production of this season. So were you working towards something that could have worked as a series finale in a worst case scenario, and did you also have to work with the idea in mind that there could have been multiple seasons after this one?

Gilligan: Yes, exactly. Right on all accounts. I tend to — I’m pretty neurotic and somewhat negative as a personality type and I — while most of the time I don’t think it helps me in my day-to-day life, I think that’s one area where I benefit from being that is when I think in terms of how much longer will the television show go on and to that end should I give, just in case season four is the last season we ever do, should I give the audience as much of a proper ending as possible. And the answer is always yes. At the end of every season the answer to that question is always yes. Let’s try to have as satisfying a season-ender as possible because you never know. In television, it may serve as the series-ender. Season four was no exception to that. Conversely, though, I knew that everyone involved, the studio and the network, wanted to find a way to make it all work out for an additional season or seasons. And to that end I didn’t want to do too much with a season-ender and therefore hobble myself and preclude later possibilities.

You can read the whole interview here.

What do you think? Would you have been satisfied with the season four finale if it had been the last episode?

 

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

RonniE October 13, 2011 at 8:49 pm

whatever happened to Mike? I never saw him in the last episode or the one before that. I thought it was a great ending. I don’t really know if another season would help it or just make the show seem like it stayed on longer than it should have. But I still have questions lol. DEA, Saw, Mike, Are they clear or is there any evidence left? If it was the shows final episode, I wish they would of told us before hand.

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RJ October 12, 2011 at 8:06 pm

One of the best shows on TV, no question. The imagery of one of the final scenes (when Skylar was on the phone with Walt) was amazing. The look on her face when she realized what her husband was capable of was priceless. Also, it was ironic that the entire family was under police protection from a mysterious threat, but the biggest threat to them is the only family member who is absent… The man they least suspect.
Sunday’s episode could have easily been the series finale, but I’m glad it wasn’t.

I’m thinking the final season will focus on Walt’s downfall, ending with Walt’s death at the hands of his protege Jesse. The same way Gus was killed by Walt when he got too arrogant, and the Cartel was killed by Gus when they got too arrogant. Walt is becoming a monster, no matter how he justifies it. And if there is one thing this series has consistently shown, it is when one man gets too powerful, there is always another who will take his place.

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adam October 12, 2011 at 8:43 am

Once I recovered from the sheer awesomeness of the finale, the first thing that crossed my mind was that this was meant to be a series finale if it had to be. The whole theme of the show is to see how far a normal guy would go once he “broke the bad barrier.” And Walt became the most evil person he ever knew, doing something that not even Gus would do. What’s more, he did it out of necessity and no other reason, which puts him on even shakier moral grounds. We have a science teacher who managed to justify his way into poisoning a child (not to mention putting the next-door neighbor in harm’s way earlier), and it showed just how far we can fall once we “break bad.” Had it been a series finale, I would have been very satisfied that the destination was well worth the journey (something that rarely happens).

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Kim October 12, 2011 at 12:15 am

At first I liked the series is not particularly. But now I am a big fan It is one of the most exciting series. I think it’s ok when the series ends after Season 6. Too many seasons are not good. Scrubs was, for example, getting worse and worse. Or How I Met Your Mother should come slowly to the end times.

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Rassoodock October 11, 2011 at 9:34 pm

The final 16 episodes may contain some residual elements of danger or jeopardy stemming from his business with Gus, but the main story arc will be about the man Walt has become and how he reconciles that with what is left of his former life, if that is even possible.

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Argent October 11, 2011 at 5:17 pm

I can.

The season finale has nicely put them all out of danger and out of prosecution; it looks like everyone who knew what they were doing or at least knew about the money they made (Gus and the cartel capos of course but also Ted, Jane, Gayle, and all of Gus’ henchmen) is dead- except for Mike. And I seriously doubt he would go after either of them as he has no reason.

The only other two are Skinny Pete and Badger. Between the two of them they don’t have any solid evidence however, and didn’t know anything about Gus, the cartel, or the meth super lab.

Still, Walter supplied meth to thousands of people, ruining their lives. He needs to pay for all that. Jesse himself deliberately preyed on people trying to recover from drug addiction by going to their meetings and trying to get them re-hooked (that’s how he met Andrea). Both of them conspired and murdered Gayle. In fact since they got together they have spread death and destruction everywhere theyve gone.

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RIchard October 11, 2011 at 5:16 pm

IDK, here’s my response to people’s horrified reactions to the finale.
Michelle McClaren said it perfectly. I mean, yeah, Walt HAD to do it. The DEA was not going to guard them forever, and they probably would’ve just thought that that was a “giant jerk-off” as Hank put it. Then after everything was clear Gus would murder, MURDER, Hank, Marie, Skyler, Walter Jr., and HOLLY. Yeah, a baby. Walt played a gamble on the kids life, but he knows so much about chemistry, that he was fairly certain the kid would be ok. So, yeah a kid is sick for a little while, then hes fine, so he can save a baby’s life. So yeah, he did it without actually sacrificing the kid, or giving him any permanent injuries. Otherwise, a baby would have been murdered.

Also, typo in your article. I’m sure there are typos in my comment, but anyway,

“If you watched the season finale of Breaking Bad on Sunday night, it may have crossed your mind that it could have easily served as a season finale.” I think you meant series the 2nd time around.

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admin October 11, 2011 at 6:44 pm

RIchard ยป Thanks!

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Jason October 11, 2011 at 2:24 pm

I can’t imagine how they will improve upon that finale, but I’m glad there’s 16 eps left.

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