Gilligan, a veteran of “The X-Files” before going on to create the critically revered AMC drug drama, introduced a potential new big bad to the “Breaking Bad” universe this season in the form of Madrigal Electromotive GmbH, a German corporation he describes as “something the size of General Electric, except based in Hanover, Germany.”
“We’re going to meet a couple of these executives who, in the past, have worked very closely with Gustavo Fring , bankrolling his operation, his Pollos Hermanos empire,” Gilligan told MTV News at Comic-Con of the big new corporate entity, which he introduced in “Madrigal,” the second episode of the show’s current fifth season. “The question that arises is, is this an evil empire in its entirety? Or is this just a few executives who were bad apples in this otherwise more-or-less neutral company?”
That might be the current question, but here’s one bit of trivia you likely don’t know: season five is not the first time Madrigal’s been mentioned. Actress Betsy Brandt, who stars on “Breaking Bad” as Walt’s sister-in-law Marie, asked Gilligan during the interview when he first planned to introduce a German element to the crystal meth saga.
“There is a [season three] Easter egg, in all seriousness, if you watch very closely,” Gilligan answered, referring to the episode “Kafkaesque.” “In the teaser, that first opening sequence of the episode, we created a Pollos Hermanos commercial. We created a commercial for Gus’ empire. If you look very closely at the end of the commercial, there’s a tiny bit of legalese that says ‘copyright Madrigal Electromotive GmbH.’ It’s there, going back two seasons.’”
“I didn’t even know that,” a visibly impressed Dean Norris (who plays Marie’s DEA husband Hank) said upon learning of the twist. His on-screen wife was even more stunned. “Oh my god,” she gushed. “Vince Gilligan, you are a genius!”
Can’t say we disagree.
Tell us what you think of “Breaking Bad” season five so far in the comments section below or let me know on Twitter @roundhoward!