The end is nigh and nigh on impossible to predict. As Breaking Bad draws to a close next Sunday, fans will be speculating as to how the sixty-second episode of this turbulent journey is going to bring events to an end. In anticipation of the final episode, here is a list of the most probable resolutions to this enthralling story of growth, decay and transformation.
SPOILERS below, do not read if you have not watched up to season five, episode 15 – Granite State.
1. THERE NEVER WAS ANY CANCER
In this tale of deception, duplicity and shocking twists, is it possible that Walt just made the whole cancer thing up to get some sympathy from his family and friends, to cover his true life ambition of becoming a drug manufacturer? Of course it is. Everything from collapsing at the car wash in the pilot, to the check-ups and continuous bouts of spluttering, Walt just made the whole thing up. He coughs in private to stay in character, and even when everyone finds out he’s a drug kingpin, he is so into the performance that he maintains the lie even when he is living alone in the snowy New Hampshire wilderness. No doubt in the final episode this will be the most shocking revelation in all of Breaking Bad so far – Walt will sit down with his family, the police, Jesse and Uncle Jack’s crew and say, ‘I never had cancer’, leading to stunned silence and a fade-to-black. The cancer was a red herring all along!
2. GUS FAKED HIS DEATH
As we all know, Gus was extremely cautious. Could he have been so cautions that he planned to make Walt think that he had killed him, but in actuality just faked his death to come back and kill Walt at a later date? It is entirely possible that Gus somehow manipulated Walt’s thirty-eight snub to land pointing at the lily of the valley, and set in motion a chain of events leading to Gus standing in a care home with half a face, making everyone think that he was out of the picture. Remember, Gus was very clever. He could easily have paid the gun dealer to make a special magnetic revolver, had one of his contacts buy Walt the plant (with a magnet in the pot) years before, and then cause Walt to use the lily of the valley to poison Brock to make Jesse think Gus tried to kill him to get Walt on his side so that they would bring about their own downfall later on, and Gus could sweep in and take the money they had made. Think about it. So what happened to Gus after the care home? It’s simple. He took off the half-face mask and went back to Los Pollos Hermanos, working on the till or in the office or something (as far as I recall there hasn’t been a scene in a Pollos restaurant since Gus’s ‘death’), therefore, he could lay low and sit out season five, then come back to finish off Walt in the final episode.
3. SAUL GETS EVERYBODY OFF THE CHARGES
When Walt returns to Albuquerque, he’s not out for vengeance, he just wants to go to court and settle the whole thing. He turns himself in and partakes in a multiple trial with Skylar and Walt Jr. who are both considered his accomplices, but Walt, as always, has a plan. He hires Saul to defend his family, paying him the remaining seven million dollars to come out of hiding (he spent the first million on neat Dimple Pinch and the jukebox in that bar in New Hampshire), and, in a shocking twist, Saul turns out to be a really good lawyer, and gets the whole family off. The judge decides the whole thing was a misunderstanding and that the cancer had skewed his priorities. But then in another shocking twist, the cancer was not real (see theory 1.), which Walt tells Skylar and Walt Jr. when they are all safe at home. This leaves the audience with the message that lying is wrong, and the importance of owning up when you’ve done bad things.
4. WALT AND JESSE KEEP COOKING
It is entirely possible that Walt intends to return to Albuquerque to free Jesse and start making meth again. Walt was offended that Jesse chose of his own free will to continue cooking without him, and when he finds out the blue meth is back on the streets he realises that his priority is no longer the safety of his family (Walt Jr. hates him now anyway), and that cooking drugs is all he’s ever really been good at. It will be like one of those endings where normality is resumed and the main characters continue to do what they did all along, like in The Lord of the Rings where the hobbits go back to living in The Shire or when Shaun in Shaun of the Dead goes back to playing computer games with Ed after the zombie apocalypse. This may also lead to a spin-off, getting rid of all the other characters like Skylar and Marie and Todd and just feature Walt and Jesse cooking like the good old days, and it would be called ‘The Crystal Brothers’ or ‘Icebreakers’ or something.
5. THAT DVD WALT GAVE HANK WAS THE TRUTH
This ending was contributed by my die hard Breaking Bad fan friend Stan, who has been correct in most of his predictions since the start – “It turns out Walt’s fake confession from a few episodes ago is true and the whole series has been made up retroactively by Hank having a massive paranoid breakdown in custody while trying to justify all the horrible stuff he forced Walt to do.” Of course, this theory voids everything that happened after the beginning of Ozymandias, unless Hank is so committed to completing his narrative to the police that in the story he sacrifices himself and creates a fictitious fate for his brother-in-law. Hank goes to prison, but his memoirs are published and picked up by a TV network and adapted to a show to run for five seasons, and Hank is credited as an executive producer on the final two episodes, whose plotlines he created.
Whilst these are the major five likely events to take place, here are some additional theories which are all plausible resolutions to the series:
– Gray Matter take Walt back because of the publicity he can bring the company, and he is let off the charges against him because the company make a big donation to a cancer charity. He is from then on renowned as a reformed hero, but his son no longer loves him for the death of Uncle Hank, making the ending a bittersweet one.
– Walt dies of cancer before he gets home, but he had a backup plan in place should the event occur, and Badger takes over his meth empire. Walt’s last words are on the phone as he dies in the snow, ‘you must continue my legacy, and break bad… break bad Badger’ which is why the title sequence is at the end and the slide reads ‘Breaking Badger.’
– The whole thing was a dream, well not the whole thing, everything in the first episode happened, but Walt foresees the storm of chaos and death that he will bring about if he continues to break bad and decides to leave it at just one cook. He wakes up the next morning, has breakfast and watches TV, then goes to work with a smile on his face.
– Brock was behind the whole thing. Interpret that how you will.
Obviously these are just possibilities, and nothing is set in granite yet, but as unpredictable as Breaking Bad is, one or a combination of these endings is almost inevitable. Be sure to tune in for the final ever episode of Breaking Bad next week!