Though Breaking Bad tied up in what some might consider the most satisfying season finale of all time, there are still a few loose ends. And as Executive Producer Vince Gilligan plugged on last night’s post-show recap, “Talking Bad,” there’s at least one of those loose ends you’ll never get to see tied up.
Talking to host Chris Hardwick, Gilligan noted there was an entire deleted scene from the finale that never made it to film. In the bit, right after Walt discovers the location of his former partners Gretchen and Elliott Schwartz, the erstwhile Heisenberg is “made” by a kid in a nearby diner. Walt soon realizes that not only does the kid know who he is, but also that Walt used to teach him chemistry. Hey, remember that? When Walt used to teach chemistry? Good times.
So Walt does what Walt does best, intimidating the kid, offering him money to keep quiet, and before he leaves, asks the kid one question: “Was I a good teacher?” The kid says he remembers an experiment Walt showed his class, spraying chemicals through flames to make different colors. “What did you learn from that?” asks Walt. “That chemicals sprayed through flames can make different colors,” says the kid.
Though the bit was eventually cut for time, budget and because it seemed to play out similarly to the crucial Walt/Schwartz showdown in the next scene, it will show up as script pages on the eventual DVD. It’s fascinating to consider, though, because of all the closed circle bits in the finale, the only point that wasn’t touched on was Walt’s time as a chemistry teacher. It’s also, in Gilligan’s description, a pretty much perfect Breaking Bad” scene, mixing danger, crime and a simple, plain undercut of humor.
Another interesting bit, on why Walt leaves his watch at the phone booth earlier in the same scene: continuity. Toward the beginning of this final season, viewers were treated to flash forwards, snippets coming up that turned out to take place during this week’s final episode… And the production team screwed up. In one flash-forward scene, Walt was wearing a watch. In the next, he wasn’t. So they made the decision during filming the finale to explain this gaffe, by focusing squarely on Walt removing the timepiece.
There’s also the “artsy-fartsy” reason that Walt knows he’s entering the “end game,” according to Gilligan; and time doesn’t matter anymore. Though really it’s because they screwed up the continuity, let’s be honest.
Finally, Gilligan noted on the quiet end of Walter White, that, “He is with his precious, you know, in Lord of the Rings terms. He is with that meth lab that he and Jesse designed, his baby so to speak. He is at peace with himself. He has accomplished the thing he set out to accomplish, sixty-two episodes of television ago.”