Turns out we’re not quite done with “Breaking Bad.” Creator Vince Gilligan released one last Breaking Bad Insider Podcast on Tuesday that revealed five possible alternate endings for the show. Also, Britney Spears weighed in on the finale, but we’ll get to that in a second.
Here’s how the five endings break down, as transcribed by Time:
»“Our original version was that Walt would use [the machine gun] somewhat in Rambo fashion. … [But] that felt wrong for Walt to go out brawn over brain, go out like Rambo. Walt on his best day was never Rambo.”
Two interesting notes to take away from this possible ending. First, it seems that the writers were keeping the ending fluid right up until the final script (or just before it). We’ve heard that the writer’s room for “Breaking Bad” was somewhat improvisatory, but this whole rundown certainly confirms that.
Second, this ending was foreshadowed by the scene of Walt watching “Scarface” in season five, episode three. In the movie, Scarface goes down, well, Scarface style, in a hail of bullets. Heck, way back in 2012, Gilligan even told Rolling Stone that Walt was Scarface. So of all the alternate endings, this seems the most plausible.
»“We thought, ’Gee, is it too obvious he’d use [the machine gun] on a bunch of bad guys?’ … So we had versions that we talked about — for instance, where the police come and get him. He uses it on the police. But we didn’t like that. It just didn’t seem right.”
Again, it seems like Gilligan and company had Walt buy his weapons in the beginning-of-season-five flash-forward before they knew where it would all end. Other big question about this ending: Would Walt have been taken down by the police before settling things with Jesse and Skyler?
»“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 an uses the M60 to lay waste to an entire prison or prison bus.”
So many questions about this one. Jesse’s in jail? Why were the Nazis going to kill him? Walt takes out a prison bus? This seems to indicate not just an alternate ending, but an entire alternate season five.
»“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 forced the door open and she’s in a bloody tub or something like that.”
…And in a certain way, what’s worse? Skyler left with her life destroyed, shaking with terror in her kitchen and smoking, estranged and isolated from everyone she’s ever known and loved? Or Skyler dead in a tub? Not advocating suicide by any means, but Walt’s wife didn’t end up too well in either version of the show.
»Jesse and Walt Jr. die.
There’s no transcription for this part, but essentially Walt sets up a death trap after Jesse is killed by a drug dealer. Walt Jr. goes to help the drug dealer, only to cause both himself and the dealer to die. Considering Walt, Jr. dying would probably only be a way of punishing Walt, rather than completing any sort of story arc, this probably would have been a weak choice.
“I thought it was really sad. I didn’t like it at all. I didn’t think he should have died…maybe they’ll do another episode where the ambulance comes and revives him.”
Just spitballing here, but Spears could play the EMT who revives Walt. She and Jesse Pinkman each hold one part of the defibrillator, and with a panicked shout of, “Work, bitch!” bring him back to life. Then they all dance into the sunset.
There’s your alternate ending.