Vince Gilligan hasn’t spoken a ton about Breaking Bad since doing the press rounds after the mid-season finale last August. What we did find out then, however, is that he didn’t yet know exactly how the show will end. That, apparently, hasn’t changed, although he and the writers are down to the last three episodes, and they seem to be vacillating on a few different directions.
Over on Vulture today — and I can’t recommend enough that you read the entire interview — Vince Gilligan discussed, at length, the end of the show. While giving away no spoilers (except, perhaps, the fate of Saul Goodman), Gilligan offered nine clues as to what elements may be worked into the finale, and what viewers can expect. I’ve taken the liberty of breaking them down below.
1. He and the writers have not yet made a definitive decision on how the show will end.
“I had this strange confidence in the beginning that I had an idea [for the ending] that was sound,” he said of Walt’s fate. “But I look back at the life of the series and realize I cycled through so many possible endings, it would be disingenuous to say I had always had it figured out. It has evolved in the last five years and probably has some evolving left to do.”
2. Not everyone will like the ending.
“It’s going to be polarizing no matter how you slice it, but you don’t want 10 percent to say it was great and 90 percent to say it sucked ass. You want those numbers to be reversed.”
3. He’s hoping it will be as satisfying as the end to Casablanca.
“Our story doesn’t line up [with Casablanca]. But we’re looking for that kind of satisfaction.”
4. The end will likely echo the beginning.
“Are there echoes of the beginning [the pilot episode] that we should have in the end? There’s a certain kind of circularity that might be pleasing. We think a lot about that, in fact.”
5. The end will hopefully feel both surprising and inevitable.
“We try to have a surprise around every corner but inevitability as well. The opposite of surprise. It’s something that I feel should and will be an important component to the end of the series. To me, that is an interesting thing and a thing to be embraced, that feeling of ‘I think I know where this is going.’”
6. Walter White should be punished, but he won’t necessarily be.
“I’m very cornball in my own view of the world. It just makes sense to me that bad people should get punished and good people should be rewarded. I know it doesn’t work like that in real life, but there’s always that yearning.” But “I don’t feel any real pressure to pay off the characters, morally speaking.”
7. There will be an homage to The Godfather.
“We’re always asking ourselves, How does this relate to The Godfather? In the finale, we may give even a more overt tip of the hat.”
8. Saul will survive.
“I like to think of Saul as a cockroach in the best possible way. This is a guy who’s going to survive while the rest of us have been nuked into annihilation. He’ll be the worst-dressed cockroach in the world.”
9. There won’t be a movie. The end of the series will be the end of Breaking Bad.
“Rightly or wrongly, there will be a conclusive ending,” he told me. “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.”
(Image Source: Dean Norris’ Twitter)