The Word: Why did ‘Breaking Bad’ end like that? Vince Gilligan explains

Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) and Walter White (Bryan Cranston) Credit: Frank Ockenfels/AMC
Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) and Walter White (Bryan Cranston) are done cooking meth together.
Credit: Frank Ockenfels/AMC

And so, it has ended. “Breaking Bad” has gone to the big meth lab in the sky.

Whether things went down as you’d hoped or not, I think we can all agree that the show’s ending was a lot more satisfying than, say, “The Sopranos.” Show creator Vince Gilligan says that finality was deliberate.

“We went through a lot of false starts and endings that went nowhere, but we knew we needed to dot all the Is and cross all the Ts,” he said on last night’s behind the scenes show, “Talking Bad.”

“In some cases unanswered questions are good, but in this case, in a finite and closed-ended show, we needed resolution. ‘The Sopranos’ ending I thought was great, I thought it was perfect for that show. This story was finite all along. It’s a story that starts at A and ends at Z.”

Spoilers for the final scenes ahead: Gilligan also says that, in a way, Walter White got a happy ending. “I think in that last scene, [Walt] is with his ‘precious,’ in ‘Lord of the Rings’ terms. He’s with that meth lab that he and Jesse designed, his baby so to speak, and the lyrics to the song, ‘Baby Blue’ by Badfinger, back that up. And I think he is at peace with himself. He has screwed up his life tremendously and I think he knows that, but he has accomplished the thing he has set out to accomplish.”

That’s the true message of “Breaking Bad,” isn’t it. You can accomplish anything if you work hard and believe in yourself.


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