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The 2013 Comic-Con was bittersweet for Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan: the gang won't be back to promote their show next year, because the story that began with Walter White standing in his underwear next to crashed RV is coming to an end starting August 11th. That's when the final eight episodes of Breaking Bad’s five-season run will begin airing on AMC. Of the much-anticipated conclusion to one of the most compelling shows in television history (well, in MY opinion, anyway), Gilligan says only this: "I’m satisfied with the ending. I hope you will be too.”
Sunday's Breaking Bad panel included plenty of commentary from from cast and crew, including some downright fascinating details on what you didn't see during a few jaw-dropping scenes from past seasons. An epic countdown mashup trailer was released to get fans pumped up for the final season -- and most intriguing of all, the audience was treated to the opening minutes of the Aug. 11 premiere episode.
Let me start with a few choice quotes from the Breaking Bad cast during their Comic-Con panel. (Warning: past season spoilers ahead!) When asked if Walter White was in fact an evil man all along, Bryan Cranston said,
Under the right circumstances – need, greed, whatever the case may be, depression — you push those buttons at the right time and anyone can become dangerous. And that’s what happened to Walter White: Those buttons were all pushed at one time, and he was in a dire situation. So he did go from Mr. Chips to Scarface… A lot of different people have their opinions on when that turn was, but to me, really it was that first episode when he decided to try to become someone he wasn’t. And that was it. He was on a slippery slope and sold his soul.
Cranston said Walt's in the "empire business" in the final season:
His ego is peaking. He’s never felt this before in his life. To have this kind of power as an adult. It got to him. He succumbed to it like it was an aphrodisiac and he’s helpless really in that sense now.
Aaron Paul, who plays Jesse Pinkman, said his character "has been through a lot" (understatement of the year, right?) and that going into the final season he's "terrified" of Walt:
He was just this lost kid … struggling to find his way, searching, in desperate need of some guidance, and he finds Walter White. Now he just wants to stay as far away from him as possible and try to stay alive.
A fan asked how it came to be that Walt was able to poison Brock with the Lily of the Valley plant last season. According to Gilligan,
The way we worked it out in our timeline, he had just enough time to do it. Tricky, but not impossible. Walter was sitting out by the pool, looking at the lily of the valley. He crushed it up, put it in a juice box, snuck into Bock’s school and swapped it out. That’s the inner fiction the writers and I worked out. He was a very motivated individual at that point.
When discussing his favorite scenes from the show to date, Cranston called out the season 2 overdose death of Jesse's girlfriend Jane as one of the most intense moments (and holy shit, I AGREE). He added that the original version of the script had Walt pushing Jane back on the bed when she was choking on her vomit -- but that both Sony and AMC had felt that it was too soon in the show’s run for Walt to reveal that level of darkness. Instead, on the day of shooting Gilligan reworked the scene so Jane fell back naturally, and,
The culpable moment for Walt is when he recognizes that this girl could die, and what does he do then?… I think it turned out beautifully.
Finally, Comic-Con fans got a sneak peek at the opening moments of the premiere episode (stop reading now if you don't want to hear anything about the scene before it airs!), and while unfortunately I can't find video of the sequence, it's described thusly by IGN:
We begin with a loud noise that sounds like an airplane engine, but is revealed to be the sound of skateboards as we see some teenagers skating in the swimming pool of an abandoned house. As we cut to the street outside, something becomes clear… We are at Walter and Skyler’s house, but clearly no one has lived in it for a long time. There is a chained gate in front and the house looks terrible.
Sitting in a car out front is Walt, appearing as he did in the Season 5 flash-forward, with a full head of hair and a beard, looking very disheveled, with a stained shirt. He gets out of the car and opens the trunk, where we see the gun he got in that same premiere episode. He ignores the gun and take a tire iron. He manages to squeeze through the small space where the gate is chained and uses the tire iron to break the lock on the front door, going inside. As Walter closes the door behind him, he lets out a small cough.
The house looks terrible inside. People have tagged the walls and flies fill the kitchen, indicating food was left behind – and that the occupants of the house didn’t have time to prepare for their departure. But the most notable thing is the giant word “Heisenberg” spray-painted on the wall of the living room.
Walt looks at the word and then hears the kids skating in the pool, pausing to glance through the blinds at them. He then goes down the hall to the bedroom, where he unscrews a certain wall socket plate… and retrieves the ricin he hid there. As Walt exists the house and goes back to his car, his neighbor has just parked and is taking a bag of groceries from her car.
She sees Walt and suddenly freezes, mouth agape. “Hello, Carol” says Walt, as Carol drops the grocery bag to the ground in shock.
Oooh. This must be from a flash-forward pre-credits opening, right? Can we assume Walt's cancer is back (wasn't he coughing in the season 5 flash-forward too)? Who's the ricin for? What's he going to do with the gun? Where's Skyler and the rest of his family? What's going to happen to Jesse? WHY ISN'T IT AUGUST 11th YET????
While we wait on pins and needles for the final episodes, here's the amazing trailer released by AMC that includes a plethora of our favorite moments from the seasons so far. Yeah, bitch!
Are you looking forward to the final eight episodes of Breaking Bad? What are some of your predictions for what we'll see?
Image via AMC