How Would You End 'Breaking Bad'?

“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.” – Vince Gilligan

So how do you think “Breaking Bad” will end this Sunday? Will Walt survive? Jesse? The family?

Speculation on the Internet is rife. One person suggested that Hal, the “Malcolm in the Middle” father also played by Bryan Cranston, wakes up and it was all a dream, that Hal had fantasized about becoming Walter White.

That would be too much of a steal from “Newhart.” In that final episode, Newhart as Dr. Hartley in “The Bob Newhart Show” wakes up with his wife, Emily (Suzanne Pleshette), and tells her that he had this frightening dream about running a Vermont inn with a crazy bunch of hangers-on. A variation on the 'Malcolm' idea has Walt being placed into the Wilkerson family as part of the witness protection plan

Funny, but too trivial and comedic for “Breaking Bad” (though the early episodes were quite humorous). Waking up to find he was cured of cancer but his family was all dead or lost to him would be more like it. But for a show that could traffic in surrealist touches — the human head atop a turtle — “Breaking Bad” was always frighteningly realistic.

Here is some of the online speculation:

Aaron Sjoholm via Second City: "The zombie apocalypse happens, and AMC writes Walt into The Walking Dead."

David Tobia via Neon Tommy: Vince Gilligan has decided to title it "Felina," an anagram for finale. Marty Robbins’ "El Paso" "chronicles the story of a cowboy who falls in love with a woman named Feleena. The cowboy kills a man who hits on Feleena, and the cowboy is forced to flee town out of fear for his life. But while away, the cowboy desires to return to the town and to his love, Feleena. Upon returning to town, the cowboy is gunned down and dies in Feleena's arms.”

Patrick Pastrana via Northern Star: “Jesse Pinkman … will lie to the gang that has enslaved him and say, ‘If you want the meth to be blue, I need mercury.’ … As they wait for the final results, Jesse will throw a chunk of fulminated mercury at them. The force of the element will be destructive like it was in season one, and the element will destroy the lab along with the gang that enslaved him.”

Bart_Vandalay via Reddit: "Holly says Dada."

bfisher91 via Reddit: "Whatever we predict, the real thing will be better."

Here are the first 4 1/2 seasons in nine minutes if you want to catch up.

And if that's your intro to "Breaking Bad" you should also know that there's a new drug-dealing gang that killed the old one, then murdered Hank, and captured Jesse to cook crystal meth, as Walt went into the criminal version of the witness protection agency. Walt decided that New Hampshire wasn't for him and is headed back to New Mexico.

Given the flash-forwards from previous episodes — we saw him with an M60 and ricin — I’m predicting that Walt will survive a shootout with the drug gang. My guess, though, is that Jesse won’t survive and neither will Walt Jr., leaving Walt Sr. without any sons as his cancer spreads. The baby? Too creepy. But speaking of the flash-forwards, who burns the house down and writes “Heisenberg” on the wall, as we also saw? Walt Jr. would again be the most likely suspect.

Producer Vince Gilligan, though, has always been at least one step ahead of everyone.

What about you? How would you end it? Leave a comment below and let’s see who comes the closest.

More on "Breaking Bad" and Bryan Cranston:

This program aired on September 27, 2013. The audio for this program is not available.

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Ed Siegel Critic-At-Large
Ed Siegel is critic-at-large for WBUR.



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