Since “Breaking Bad” returned Sunday to kick off its final eight episodes, the Internet has exploded with theories about how the show will end:
‘5 jaw-dropping Breaking Bad series finale theories that would blow us away’
’5 Theories Based on Last Night’s Breaking Bad’
‘Breaking Bad Season 5, part 2 – Our predictions’
SPOILER ALERT: You won’t find any facts below about what happens for the rest of the series — but here’s your fair warning. Don’t want to know what’s happened on the show so far? Don’t like theories about what viewers think can or should happen? Stop reading now.
Are you gone yet?
OK, now those of you left can proceed to this roundup of theories from across the Internet:
Walt kills Skylar and Jesse — foreshadowed by his tendency to take on characteristics of people he kills.
“In Breaking Bad, Walt has a habit of taking on some little traits of the people he has killed. When Walt killed Crazy 8, he started cutting off the crusts of his sandwiches — just as Crazy 8 had done. Gus drives a Volvo. After Walt kills Gus, at the beginning of Season 5 (at the Denny’s), Walt is driving a Volvo (w/ NH plates). When Mike and Walt meet at a bar in an earlier season, Walt orders his drink neat while Mike has his on the rocks. After Mike is killed, and Hank offers Walt a drink in his office — he asks for it on the rocks.” [From a message board]
Now recall the flash forward from Season 5 that shows Walt in a diner, breaking his own bacon into the numbers 52 — just like Skylar used to do — and that he used her maiden name on his ID.
Walt faked his own death.
“In the flash-forward opening segment, we see Walt return to his destroyed home. (Destroyed by whom? Someone not savvy enough to strip outlet covers. Surely the DEA would know to do that, no?) Someone has spray-painted Heisenberg on the wall, indicating that Walt’s secret identity is not so secret in the future; this makes it hard to picture him as a free man, wandering the nation eating at Denny’s and buying machine guns that come with instruction manuals. Walt’s tried to escape before, with the help of the vacuum repair man, and maybe this time he really went for it, convincingly faking his own death so he doesn’t have to look over his shoulder the rest of his life. When neighbor Carol drops her bag of oranges, it’s not just from fear of her neighbor the murderer — maybe she’s seeing someone she thought was dead. No one will believe her, so Walt has nothing to fear.” [The Stir]
Walt Jr. and baby Holly both die — severing Walt’s last tie to humanity.
On Walt. Jr: “I don’t believe Walter Jr. will somehow start smoking meth, suffering from what his father has wrought in a long-ago hatched plan to save his son and family. But he could be collateral damage, most definitely. Beyond the guessing, part of me thinks that Walter Jr. must die. Nothing can hurt Walt more — no bullet to the head, no cancer — more than someone in his family dying.” [Hollywood Reporter]
On Holly: “Vince Gilligan has gone on record on numerous occasions about the importance of color in Breaking Bad, and how it’s used to foreshadow certain events. The color pink is important on the show because it tends to be associated with death. There’s the charred pink teddy bear, which served as a motif during much of the show—you know, the one that fell out of the 737 plane and landed in Walt’s swimming pool, losing an eye. Then, when Walt witnesses the plane crash, he’s wearing a hot pink V-neck sweater. And, after Jesse’s squeeze Jane dies, he finds a cigarette she left in his car covered in her pick lipstick. The most memorable image of Walt’s daughter Holly, meanwhile, is of her sitting in her stroller in what looks like a pink bear costume. Let’s hope she doesn’t experience the same fate as that poor stuffed animal.” [The Daily Beast]
Cancer kills Walt.
Creator Vince Gilligan on Walt’s cancer: “It has been on the backburner. But my writers and I don’t like leaving loose ends. Cancer was the plot engine that got this whole story going in the first place, and it felt wrong to us to not address it again. It felt proper and fitting to us that it might rear its ugly head yet again.” [The Daily Beast]
OK, so not many people think cancer will do Walt in.
Jesse dies — but is it suicide, or does Walt kill him?
Again, from Vince Gilligan: “And now we’re at a point where Jesse just can’t live with the consequences of his actions. He’s got this terrible guilt that will not be ameliorated. He tries to give away this blood money, as he calls it, and indeed, that’s the name of the episode. But nothing seems to help. It just won’t be expunged. It won’t go away.” [The Daily Beast]
On suicide: “Jesse’s been on and off suicide watch since pretty early in the series, and we’ve seen him sit on the floor and sob many times, just as he was catatonic this week. Let’s pair that with another recurring symbol that popped up last night: bugs. Last night a totally demoralized, puffy-eyed Jesse watched a massive cockroach skitter across his coffee table. (Thereby rejecting Hank’s life theory that everyone kills roaches. “I mean, you don’t think about it, you stomp them down,” he said in season two’s “Breakage.”) It’s a call-back to season two’s “Peekaboo,” where Jesse spots a beetle on the sidewalk and gingerly picks it up and gazes at. By “Blood Money,” he’s totally disengaged. In “Peekaboo,” Jesse spent time at a squalid junkie den, where he tried to rescue a neglected kid from its filthy circumstances. This week, he’s completely haunted by the boy’s death he couldn’t and didn’t prevent. He’s not present; he’s not observant; he’s barely alive as it is. His life is meaningless to him, and in between “Peekaboo” and now, he’s had some practice killing some actual bugs. There was the fly in the meth lab, and lest we forget, Jesse and Walt hid among exterminators so they could set up mobile cook-houses. The next time Jesse sees a bug, he is gonna smash it. P.S. He’s the bug.” [The Vulture]
Walt goes down in a big blowout — Scar-face style.
“Maybe it will involve killing Walter. A big part of me hopes so. But that outcome has been fan theory No. 1 regarding the show’s conclusion for a while, which probably means Vince Gilligan won’t go for it. Similarly, tonight’s opening glimpse of Walter’s weapons stockpiling sees the writing team for the zillionth time telegraphing that this will all end in a Scarface-style blowout (Gilligan’s original pitch, remember, was “from Mr. Chips to Scarface,” and Walters Sr. and Jr. were recently seen reacquainting themselves with Al Pacino’s little friend)—an outcome so obvious that it’ll only be allowed to happen in some unimaginably counterintuitive way, if at all.” [The Atlantic]
Walt goes into the witness protection program — and maybe, after that, Walt becomes his old ‘Malcolm in the Middle’ character.
“Hal and Walter White, in fact, could almost be very estranged cousins; not for nothing is there a joke making the rounds that the end of Breaking Bad should be White entering the witness-protection program and becoming Hal.” [GQ]
Vince Gilligan (jokingly): “I can’t tell you how frustrating it was to have to rewrite that.”
Bryan Cranston: (also jokingly) “That may not be as far fetched as you imagine.”