The series finale of AMC’s Breaking Bad aired last Sunday night to an audience of 10.3 million viewers. So far the finale has widely received positive reviews for a graceful and conclusive ending to the series. The story of Walter White finally came to a close, all loose ends cleanly tied up in the process. While most appear to be happy with the show’s close show creator Vince Gilligan has decided to share a few alternate endings the writing staff had up their sleeves. Perhaps some of this insight could even show us what we will, or will not, be seeing as the alternate ending included in the Breaking Bad complete series Blu-ray release.
In an insider podcast Vince Gilligan explains the alternate twists and turns pitched in the ‘Breaking Bad’ story room:
Skyler White’s Suicide: Early in the podcast Vince recalls a “pitch-out” where he decided that Skyler might also “disappear” along with Walt to the vacuum repair shop and a new life. The couple would end up “holed up in some Motel 6 or some place” where Walt would be speaking to Skyler through the bathroom door. After no response Vince tells us that Walt “finally forces the door open” to reveal Sklyer in a “bloody tub”. What saved Skyler from such a grim demise? Apparently the writers couldn’t come up with a way for Walt Jr. to agree to disappearing along with the family. You go Flynn!
Walt uses the machine gun to free Jesse from prison: In another alternate ending we see Jesse in prison while also in danger of being killed by one of Uncle Jack’s henchmen. The writing team pitched that Walt might use the M-60 to free Jesse from prison and the Aryan gang. Another alternate involved Walt opening fire on police but was dismissed. Gilligan stated “we don’t want to see him killing good guys.”
Walt Jr is in Danger: Gilligan reveals that in the alternate universe where Jesse had been killed off early in the series (as was once intended for Aaron Paul’s now famous character) Walt would avenge Jesse by torturing Jesse’s killer. In Walt’s basement-turned-torture chamber there would be a trip wire hooked up to a gun should the killer attempt an escape. It would unfortunately be Walt Jr. who would discover Jesse’s killer and, in an attempt to save him, be the victim of Walt’s trap.
A whole new life in New Hampshire: While it was clear that Walt would be assuming a new identity in New Hampshire the writers still had to decide what he’d be doing during his time there. “We talked about him having a new wife, a new job. We talked about him teaching at some sort of Learning Annex-type place,” Gilligan says while going on to describe a detailed scene of Walter cooking up a delicious batch of peanut brittle in such a way that shows Walter actually misses cooking up crystal meth. Now that would have been a tasty treat for the audience.
Some very interesting alternates were discusses and these revelations show just how much thinking went into the series’ final conclusion. Gilligan explains “This show would have been…a very different show indeed, if not for all the collaboration starting in the writing room.”