‘Breaking Bad': Vince Gilligan Shares 5 Alternate Endings

'Breaking Bad': Vince Gilligan Shares 5 Alternate Endings

No. 1: Walter White goes Rambo

The writers of “Breaking Bad” gave Walter White his M60 before they knew who it would kill.

Vince Gilligan says in the final “Breaking Bad Insider” podcast that he and his team had no idea, when they gave Walt the machine gun at the start of the final season, that he would eventually motorize it mow down Neo Nazis. They didn't even know the show would have Neo Nazis.

Also read: ‘Breaking Bad': What It All Means

It was a classic case of the “Breaking Bad” writers writing themselves into a corner and trying to find a way out. They created Uncle Jack's gang in part because they needed villains worthy of a massacre, Gilligan said.

“We went through every possibility in the book,” he said. “You're planting a flag at that point… We were saying you know what? An M60 machine gun, Rambo's machine gun, something cool has to happen with that. We'll figure it out later.”

See photos: ‘Breaking Bad’ Cast Steps Out in Hollywood

As he has done since the start of the podcast, Gilligan gave fans a remarkable look inside his team's writing process – and the potential endings they tossed out. Fans will want to listen to the podcast in its entirety, but here are some of the rejected ideas:

1. Walt Goes Rambo
Our original version was that Walt would use it somewhat in Rambo fashion,” Gilligan said. “Hand held. But the closer we got to the end we realized how Walt's cancer would resurface and how sick Walt would be. That felt wrong for Walt to go out brawn over brain, go out like Rambo. Walt on his best day was never Rambo. Very late in the game we came up with mounting it in the trunk and using the garage door motor as a way of sweeping it back and forth and automating the process. Everyone, me included, loved the moments where Walt was MacGyveresque.”

Also read: ‘Breaking Bad’ Finale: 5 (Sort of) Loose Ends (Video)

2. Walt Kills Cops
“We thought, gee, is it too obvious he'd use it on a bunch of bad guys? … He wanted to be known as Jesse James. He wants the credit. So we had versions that we talked about for instance where the police come to get him. He uses it on the police. But we didn't like that. It just didn't seem right.”

3. Walt Takes Out a Jail
“We had a version where he goes and breaks Jesse out of jail just as the Nazis were gonna knock Jesse off in jail, and he comes in and uses an M60 to lay waste to an entire prison or a prison bus.”

Gilligan says of the alternate M60 scenarios: “I'm not saying we got far with those, but we would talk them through for hours on end. … We were like, you know what? as bad as Walt is we don't want to see him killing good guys. If he's going to use this M60, even if it's slightly less surprising, let's see him use it on guys even worse than he is.”

Also read: Can Bryan Cranston Escape ‘Breaking Bad's’ Success?

4. Skyler Kills Herself
“I was leaning toward that and the other writers were like, that's a bridge too far. Let's not do that. And they were right. I think that would have been very unnecessary. … I was thinking at some point she went with the Disappearer. We talked about every option under the sun… and one of them was that Skyler leaves with Walt and the Disappearer. … We could almost kinda sorta see where Skyler would go if she was sort of like zombified. But we could never figure out how to get Jr. to go along. … There's no bringing Jr. if Jr. doesn't want to go. 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.”

Also read: ‘Breaking Bad's’ Aaron Paul Mashup: The Ultimate Jesse Pinkman ‘Bitch’ Reel (Video)

5. Jesse Dies, Then Walt Jr. Dies
This wasn't necessarily a finale ending, but it was an idea Gilligan kicked around before Season 1 even began. He says he considered a sequence in which a very ruthless drug dealer – he would include elements of Gus Fring, Krazy 8 and Tuco Salamanca – would kill Jesse. Walt, “filled with rage,” shackles him in a basement. He rigs a tripwire with a shotgun, so that the dealer can kill himself by pulling it. Walt wants the dealer to do it, so he begins torturing him from the ground up. He starts at the toes and begins “lopping off bits of this guy and cauterizing it with a blowtorch or something.” This goes on for weeks, but the dealer won't kill himself. Eventually Walt Jr. discovers him and tries to give him some water. When the dealer realizes Walt Jr. is Walt's son, he trips the wire and kills them both.

Also read: ‘Breaking Bad’ Finale: Just Perfect (Video)

Gilligan said no one at AMC was wild about the idea, and eventually his team of writers – “people with more sense,” he joked — reined him in.

“And you'll notice we never actually did that scene,” he said.

  • Kurebeachsurfer

    Glad they ended it like they did. Those seem lame.

  • Cuyahoga Avenger

    I was on board from the beginning.

    After watching the first season's pilot episode, I thought the ending would be akin to Walter actually beating cancer…and then end up spending the rest of his life behind bars.

  • Kevin Rubio

    Proof read your article man. “The Disappear” ?!

    • Kevin Rubio

      Now I should take my own advice. but: “…and one of them was that Skyler leaves with Walt and the Disappearer…”

      There's the exact line.

      • zeroapostle4ever

        “Disappearer” meaning Saul's guy that allows you to disappear without a trace. It's a nickname, not a grammatical error.

        • James


        • Guest

          Yeah, bitch!

        • EsojSounds


  • s3cc

    To see Walt Jr. die at the very end would have been quite disappointing. He should have died waaaaaaaaay earlier!

    • Heisenberg

      Don't float that idea again….

      • theonewhoknocks

        Just poison all the breakfast food in his home. You're guaranteed to get him.

        • Heisenberg

          If that were to happen,I'd suggest you don't drink any tea around me.

        • Greg

          made me laugh

  • bbfan

    They could have somehow gotten the family to be killed instead of Walter White. Walt would be crushed but then would still go ahead with the ‘Empire Business’ which shows how much he loved cooking and running a drug cartel.

    • ksb

      That would show viewers he started off doing it for the famly but got absorbed so deep, he started doing it for himself and stopped caring about the family.

  • heezus

    I reckon at the end he should have cooked one more batch with the Rican. Walt would be feeling like a monster due to the debt and pain he had caused through peoples addiciton and wanted to settle it final solution style. I thought that's where it was going through when he met go with Todd and the chick in the diner.

    • Sam

      I thought by “Rican” you meant Puerto Rican and I spent a couple minutes trying to figure out who you were talking about haha. Now I see that you meant ricin.

      • heezus

        Yeah stupid autocorrect

  • jacksonm

    Wow, they shot the scene in the season premiere with him with the gun in his trunk, but no idea yet how they would use.

    Ballsy! Very very ballsy!!! But they made it work, and that is all that matters.

  • sathy

    Jannet makes 100 DOLLARS in a day 0n the internnet. She
    has been fired from work for 5 m0nths but last m0nth her payment was 14,481
    DOLLARS just working on her home pc for a few hours. look at this for more ­s­i­t­ℯ­6­4­.­ℂ­o­m

    • Heisenberg

      Tread lightly!

  • John Wuethrich

    can we still have #4 in an epilogue? it really doesn't seem mutually exclusive and she kinda deserves it for being the person who one night orders a killing of jesse then flips when the wrong person is killed not even by walts hand… she just as much broke bad. but this time as with every other time she did something morally questionable she pretends to have the moral high ground.

    • Lewis P

      Everyone in this show broke bad. Why does Skyler need to off herself because, in a moment of (drunken!) weakness she called for a hit out on an unstable meth-addict who threatened to burn down her home and was in a position to kill Walt and his family? To flip the script: As with every other time Walt did something morally questionable he pretended to have the moral high ground. You're just hating.

  • etownconcrete

    wish woke up to lois and the kids like malcom

  • 1234

    I wanted him to toke up some of that blue meth as he died. For the first and last time ever.

    • Martijn van Brandevoort

      Me too, for a second I though he was going to go for it in the lab. But I guess that's just not Walt.

  • Greasy

    i don't believe vince gilligan about not knowing what walt was going to do with the gun. all the scenes where he had a full head of hair and a beard were surely all filmed together? i mean, bryan cranston didn't grow hair and a beard, film the flash forward scene, shave his head, film the rest of the series then grow it back again.
    also the neo nazis were introduced in a previous series, the arranged the prison assassinations.

    • TheRawBeatsdotcom

      They filmed the first half of season 5 a year before these latest eight, so yes, Bryan Cranston wore a wig. It wasn't all filmed together. Nazi's were not introduced until the final episode of season 5A

      • Greasy

        right enough, the first half of season 5 seems like such a long time ago that i thought that todd was introduced a lot earlier than he actually was.

        • jimbo88

          What? Bryan Cranston does't wear a wig and the Goatee is fake. He uses makeup effects, headcap, and a fake beard. See the making of Walter White.

          • Greasy

            so his hair in both the flash forward and the last 2 episodes is bryan cranston's actual hair, and when he's bald it's a bald wig?

          • boobies r fun

            he does wear one actually

  • Chakintosh

    I bet the lamest end scenario mentioned here is better than Dexter's ending…

  • wordsmif

    I always thought a good story line would be for Walt Jr. to start using meth. Falls into the wrong crowd at school, etc. Walt Jr. gets strung out, possibly dies from meth, then Walt has a moment where he realizes the damage he's done…and then keeps cooking.

    • screagle101

      That would've been really good

  • Stephen Lee Contreras

    The current ending was terrific.

  • Katie Tapia-Lynch

    I am so freaking glad number 5 didn't happen.

  • Patrick Swan

    I had always assumed they were saving the inevitable meth lab explosion for Walt's demise. I thought that's how he intended to go out, when he approached the tanks. But no, no meth lab explosions at all.

    • CapnFoo

      There was a massive meth lab explosion after Walt killed Gus. There was no need for walt to blow up the Nazi's meth lab. He viewed it as his love, his “precious” as Vince Gilligan used Lord of the Rings terms to describe is affection for the lab.

  • DreamShoes

    Just one thing: the video doesn't include season 5 B Bitches, ad they aren't in order- just wanted to point it out

  • Theodore Trout

    Dang !!! I was predicting ever since we saw her in the pool that Skyler would kill herself, especially after Marie says “Why don't you just kill yourself?”

  • Gloria C.

    Best written show on cable television ever – even better than network TV.
    Wouldn't have changed a thing – Vince Gilligan – pure genius

  • godkaos

    Walter should have used the exploding rocks he used in the earlier season. just a big explosion.

  • hector… noooooooo!

    6. Jesse kills walt. Everything as is but when walt slides the gun to jesse and says do it, you want this. Jesse brutally honestly lets walt know how evil and how much of a bastard he has become. With a great speech like in the hospital bed when hes been beaten by hank. Although this one with some home truths for walt. And to cap off the series jesse says “you know how you said we're going to hell.. you first bitch!” Bang! Im no vince gilligan but I like this ending, mainly cause I felt watching that walt slowly steals jesses soul. And killing him is the only way for jesse to be ‘free’ in himself. Cause hes going to jail.. I want a job vince.