Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
David Fincher Says He Shouldn't Have Directed 'The Game,' Dislikes Superhero Movies & Talks "Crazy" '20,000 Leagues' David Fincher Says He Shouldn't Have Directed 'The Game,' Dislikes Superhero Movies & Talks "Crazy" '20,000 Leagues' Matt Damon & Paul Greengrass Are Returning To The 'Bourne' Series Matt Damon & Paul Greengrass Are Returning To The 'Bourne' Series First Look: Angelina Jolie And Brad Pitt In 'By The Sea' First Look: Angelina Jolie And Brad Pitt In 'By The Sea' The Best, Worst And Most Disappointing Films Of The 2014 Toronto International Film Festival The Best, Worst And Most Disappointing Films Of The 2014 Toronto International Film Festival David Fincher Says Differences Over Casting And Disney's Corporate Culture Stalled '20,000 Leagues Under The Sea' David Fincher Says Differences Over Casting And Disney's Corporate Culture Stalled '20,000 Leagues Under The Sea' Recap: 'Boardwalk Empire' Season 5, Episode 2 ‘The Good Listener’ Recap: 'Boardwalk Empire' Season 5, Episode 2 ‘The Good Listener’ Review: 'No Good Deed' Starring Idris Elba and Taraji P. Henson Review: 'No Good Deed' Starring Idris Elba and Taraji P. Henson Watch: First Trailer For ‘Effie Gray’ Starring Dakota Fanning, Emma Thompson, Tom Sturridge & Greg Wise Watch: First Trailer For ‘Effie Gray’ Starring Dakota Fanning, Emma Thompson, Tom Sturridge & Greg Wise Watch: Shailene Woodley Gets NSFW In 2 Clips From 'White Bird In A Blizzard' Plus New Pics Watch: Shailene Woodley Gets NSFW In 2 Clips From 'White Bird In A Blizzard' Plus New Pics TIFF Review: 'Cake' Starring Jennifer Aniston, Anna Kendrick, Sam Worthington & More TIFF Review: 'Cake' Starring Jennifer Aniston, Anna Kendrick, Sam Worthington & More Watch: First Trailer For Rom-Com 'Playing It Cool' With Chris Evans, Michelle Monaghan, Aubrey Plaza & More Watch: First Trailer For Rom-Com 'Playing It Cool' With Chris Evans, Michelle Monaghan, Aubrey Plaza & More Watch: First Trailer For ‘Serena’ Starring Jennifer Lawrence & Bradley Cooper Watch: First Trailer For ‘Serena’ Starring Jennifer Lawrence & Bradley Cooper Tom Hardy Says He'll Never Do Another Romantic Comedy Again Thanks To 'This Means War' Tom Hardy Says He'll Never Do Another Romantic Comedy Again Thanks To 'This Means War' David Fincher Apparently Thinks 'Dragon Tattoo' Sequel 'The Girl Who Played With Fire' Could Get Made David Fincher Apparently Thinks 'Dragon Tattoo' Sequel 'The Girl Who Played With Fire' Could Get Made Fall TV Preview: Our 22 Most Anticipated Shows For The Rest Of 2014 Fall TV Preview: Our 22 Most Anticipated Shows For The Rest Of 2014 The Best Documentaries Of 2014 So Far The Best Documentaries Of 2014 So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The Best Films Of 2014 So Far... The Best Films Of 2014 So Far... The 10 Best & Worst Movie Sex Scenes The 10 Best & Worst Movie Sex Scenes All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More

'Breaking Bad' Alternatives: Vince Gilligan Considered Killing 3 Main Characters; Says One Makes It To Freedom

The Playlist By Edward Davis | The Playlist October 1, 2013 at 12:09PM

“Breaking Bad,” “Breaking Bad,” “Breaking Bad.” The saga and conclusion of Walter White’s transformation into Heisenberg and then his minor redemption in the last episode is all anyone can talk about (here’s our review of the final episode and look for a podcast later in the day). Was the episode too neat and clean? Did Walter White get what he “deserved”? Does deserve have anything to do with a moral universe that’s so complex and chaotic, and where sins don’t always go punished? Without question, the finale and the whole arc of the show is one that’s going to be pored over, and over. But what about the alternative endings and other things we learned in the wake of the show?
9
Breaking Bad, Season 5

“Breaking Bad,” “Breaking Bad,” “Breaking Bad.” The saga and conclusion of Walter White’s transformation into Heisenberg and then his minor redemption in the last episode is all anyone can talk about (here’s our review of the final episode and look for a podcast later in the day). Was the episode too neat and clean? Did Walter White get what he “deserved”? Does deserve have anything to do with a moral universe that’s so complex and chaotic, and where sins don’t always go punished? Without question, the finale and the whole arc of the show is one that’s going to be pored over, and over. But what about the alternative endings and other things we learned in the wake of the show?

The convivial Vince Gillian is always eager to speak on any subject on the show and in yesterday’s “Breaking Bad” Insider podcast, he gave up a couple of fascinating what-if nuggets. Combined with the various interviews out there, and some of the various questions audience members have, we decided to collate seven factoids you might find pretty interesting to say the least. Oh, and it if it isn't obvious already, spoilers abound so buyer beware.

"I pitch some of these ideas and a lot of them probably sound ludicrous." - Vince Gilligan

1. One scenario had the writers killing off Skyler.
An early scenario Gilligan pitched was Skyler (Anna Gunn) committing suicide while on the run with Walter. It would have taken place right around “Granite State" when Walter is relocated to New Hampshire.

"I was leaning towards [this idea] and the other writers were like, 'that's a bridge too far, let's not' and they were right,” Gilligan said on the podcast. “I think that would have been unnecessary. I was thinking along those lines. At some point I was thinking she went with [Walter and] the Disappearer [Robert Forster’s character]—and we talked about every option under the sun, every permutation, every possibility. And one of them was Skyler leaves with Walt and the Disappearer. We could kind of see where Skyler would go, if she was zombified, after she knew of Hank's demise.”

The reason they dropped these ideas was that they could never see Walter Jr. being a party to running away after the revelations of what Walter had done. “We could never figure out how to get Junior to go along because Junior... there's no bringing him if he doesn't want to go.”

breaking bad, season 5

“We talked about a possible version where Skyler and Walt are tied up at a Motel 6 kind of place and he’s talking to her in a bathroom saying, ‘It’s going to be alright… I’ve got a plan. Skyler? Skyler?’ And he finally forces the door open and she’s in a bloody tub or something like that.”

2. What Gilligan calls the “bad pitch” or the worst one ever that made studio execs groan with distaste. It included the death of Jesse Pinkman.
One of Gilligan’s early ideas before the pilot was that Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) would get killed in season one. Walt, so filled with rage with the drug dealer responsible, would go out for revenge. Walter would lock him up in a basement, torture him every day, removing his toes one-by-one and cauterizing the wound with a blowtorch so he wouldn’t bleed out. Walter would give the drug lord a way out—a trip-wire connected to a shotgun pointed at him would finally give him relief from the pain. But the drug lord, being so bad-ass, would never take that option out. This would continue for weeks until Walter Jr. would discover him and try to help. The drug lord, realizing this was Walter’s son, would pull the tripwire, killing them both.

Gilligan said he pitched this idea to the studio execs and everyone was like, "Eww, you are seriously fucked up." “You’ll notice we never actually did that scene,” Gilligan said and he noted throughout the podcast that his m.o. was coming up with wild, morbid, dark ideas and the writers of the show would rein him in. “The good thing about these pitch out meetings is that you pitch out your story to the best of your knowledge, but everyone realizes you can switch things up,” he said.

3. One iteration of Walter’s escape involved a new wife.
They obviously went a little wild with the “what if” writing scenarios. “We talked about Walter having a new wife, a new job,” Gilligan said of his time up in New Hampshire. “We talked about him teaching at some sort of learning annex, teaching chemistry.”

Breaking Bad, Season 5, Final Episode

4. In Gilligan's mind, Gretchen and Elliott do give Walt Jr. and Holly Walt's money.
Some have wondered if, in the wake of Walter’s death, Elliott Schwartz (Adam Godley), Gretchen Schwartz (Jessica Hecht) turn to the cops. Gilligan doesn’t believe they would. “Because I believe—and it’s up to anyone whether they want to believe this – but I believe Gretchen and Elliott are scared enough that they are going to get the money to Walter Jr. and therefore the family,” Gilligan said. The showrunner said the most obvious alternate viewpoint is that it dawns on them that they are not in danger and go to the police. Vince sees their debate like this: “It’s not like we’re being blackmailed to kill someone, we’re just being blackmailed to give a guy’s money to his [innocent] children. Let’s just do it.” Gilligan says simply, “I believe Walt’s plan worked.”

5. In case you’re wondering what happens to Jesse Pinkman after he escapes the Neo-Nazi compound, Gilligan has no doubts.
And as you might have guessed, Gilligan feels the same way about Jesse. “I gotta believe Jesse got away with it. I guess you can say a lot of law enforcement would be looking for him, but I gotta believe he got away.” Where? Gilligan says Alaska which is also a location he brought up in the recent EW interview. “All these terrible things he’s witnessed are going to scar him as well, but the romantic in me wants to believe that he gets away with it and moves to Alaska and has a peaceful life communing with nature,” he told the magazine.

Aaron Paul also mentioned on the podcast that the writers briefly mulled a post-credits scene that featured a bus pulling up in Alaska and Jesse getting off.

This article is related to: Breaking Bad, Vince Gilligan, Bryan Cranston, Anna Gunn, Aaron Paul, Television


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates