In an interview with TVLine over the weekend, Vince Gilligan hinted at the direction his show, “Breaking Bad,” would take in its fifth and final season (the 16 episodes, however, may be broken up into two installments). After a discussion of the lengths that Walter White went to in season four — poisoning a baby in order to ally Jesse with him against Gus — Gilligan suggested new motives at play for Walter White beyond simply supporting his family.
“Does Walt do what he does for the good of his family, or are there other reasons that he does the things he does? On some level, is it ego and self-aggrandizement? Does he feel good about the things he’s doing? Does he feel powerful? Those are the questions I think one has to ask one’s self when they question whether or not he should cut bait.”
As to the direction of the final season, Gilligan offered this:
“We are following the same thread that we’ve been following for four seasons now,” Gilligan told TVLine at this weekend’s Writers Guild Awards, where Breaking Bad grabbed two top prizes. “We are essentially taking a good guy protagonist and turning him into a bad guy. Walter White still has a little further to go down that dark path that he’s very willfully put himself on.”
And how will the show fill the void left by the death of Gus Fring?
Noting that Gus was a “wonderful character” played by “a wonderful actor” in Giancarlo Esposito, Gilligan acknowledges that the dapper don’s memorable demise “leaves a big void, and hopefully we fill it with Walter White and a few other characters perhaps.
That’s the key right there, isn’t it? The show doesn’t have enough time, really, to develop another big bad. So, who will replace Gus Fring? Walter White, of course. The fifth season will likely see Walter turning from dark anti-hero into a full-fledged, bad-ass motherf***ing villain. The show is clearly heading in that direction. Why else would Hank still be alive, if not to eventually discover that Walter is the genius behind the blue meth, and to eventually take him down? If Jesse finding out that Walter poisoned Brock isn’t enough to turn Jesse state’s evidence — and ally him with Hank — then finding out that Walt also had a hand in the death of Jesse’s girlfriend will. I see the final season eventually turning into a duel between Jesse/Hank and Walter.
The question remains, however: Whose side will Skylar take? Is the money and power too big a temptation for her, or will she flip, too? Whatever side she takes, I don’t see Walter surviving the series. Will he go out like Omar? Or will he go out like in a blaze of bullets, like Tony Montanta? Either way, I’m certain Walter will ultimately go down as the biggest, baddest villain of the series.