A few weeks ago, thanks to Brett Martin’s research on his book, Difficult Men, we got a glimpse inside the Breaking Bad writers’ room and at some storylines not taken. This week, Vince Gilligan and his executive story editor, Peter Gould, revealed to EW several more storylines that they ultimately rejected. Of particular interest, since we saw the original notecard describing it, is the bloody mystery box.
What was that all about? Peter Gould explains.
PLOT Actually, it’s not so much of a plot as it is just a mesmerizing image: Walt is in a rowboat and he drops a box that’s dripping blood overboard. It was discussed as a potential flash-forward scene for season 4.
WHY IT WAS REJECTED “We never figured out where it would go,” says Gould. What might have been in the box? “At one point, we did talk about Walt having to bring a piece of Gus to prove that he’s been killed,” he says. “It probably was Gus’ head.”
There are many, many other storylines, some bizarre, and some really cool, that were rejected for various reasons. There was, for instance, a storyline in which Walt would’ve taken care of a bully who was picking on Walt, Jr. Another would’ve involved Walt and Jesse going to a shooting range and bonding over “scantily clad women as instructors.” There was also some consideration given to having Heisenberg open up a legit pharmacy that would’ve sold meth capsules.
Another more vicious storyline would’ve involved a drug lord who asked his victims to pick a number between one and ten, and he would’ve used that number to choose which vertebrae to bang with a chisel and paralyze the victim. That character actually eventually morphed into Gus Fring. There was also a road-trip diversion planned between Marie and Skyler to see their father, who the Gilligan envisioned as Kris Kristofferson.
The coolest rejected plotline, however, might be one on which Badger got to play hero.
PLOT The cops impound Jesse’s car, which contains evidence tying Jesse and Walt to cartel leader Tuco (Raymond Cruz). Solution? “Jesse recruits Badger [Matt Jones], who has a crossbow,” says Gould. “Walt and Jesse construct a flaming arrow, which Badger shoots into the police impound and destroys Jesse’s car.”
WHY IT WAS REJECTED “In the end, we had other things to do,” says Gould, who, in a reference to a similar season 5 scene, adds: “I like the magnet [idea] better. It’s more scientific.”
Crossbows, bitch. YEAH.
For more details on the rejected plotlines, check out the full spread at EW.