Over its five-season run, “Breaking Bad” has gone through some surprising twists and turns, but there are plenty of other ways the critically-acclaimed drama could have turned out. Not surprisingly for a long-running show, the writers and producers tossed around plenty of ideas that never made it into the final cut, and thanks to a new interview, we have an idea of where “Breaking Bad” could have ended up in some alternate universe.
In a Thursday interview with Entertainment Weekly, series creator Vince Gilligan, coexecutive producer Peter Gould and executive story editor Gennifer Hutchison talked through several ideas that the “Breaking Bad” writing team tossed around, but never included in the show. Some of the alternate storylines are bizarre, some are gory, and some are more than a little ridiculous, but they’re all interesting.
Check out three of the most intriguing alternate “Breaking Bad” storylines below. [Warning: this list contains some spoilers for “Breaking Bad.” Proceed with caution if you aren’t caught up.]
Walt Jr. the bully
Originally, writers planned to have Walt’s son Walt Jr. break bad himself. Walt Jr. was to come home from school with a black eye, explaining to his parents that he was being bullied by another student. Thinking he’s getting revenge on his son’s tormentor, Walt would have planted marijuana in the student’s locker and got him busted. Soon after, it would turn out that Walt Jr. was actually the bully, and he received the black eye when the other kid finally fought back. Good going, Walt.
Ultimately, writers thought it was better to keep Walt Jr. from becoming too unlikable. “We were better served by keeping Walter Jr. a little pure. It’s been really useful for us dramatically,” Gould told EW.
The foreshadowing cowboy
Sometime around season 3, writers wanted to include a side story about a cowboy on the New Mexico frontier over 100 years ago. Designed similar to season 2’s creepy flashforwards, the flashbacks would have ominous parallels to Walt’s storyline in the season.
“It was going to have all these weird tangential relationships with a different cast scattered throughout the season in these three- to four-minute teasers, and it would all somehow in the end come together in the main story,” Gould explained. “Walt would have a showdown at the same spot where this other character had died at the end of those.”
In the end, though, everyone involved thought that the cowboy angle was a little too detached from the main storyline.
The South American prison
As Walt prepared to face off against his meth kingpin former employer Gus in season 4, he was originally set to travel to South America to seek help. Walt would meet one of Gus’ former associates in a prison and come to terms on how to kill their mutual enemy.
“Walt would go into the pit of ultimate darkness in this hellish prison where one guy lies like a king,” Gould said. “He would negotiate with the guy and they would come to some sort of agreement that would squeeze out Gus.”
As intriguing as the prison was, writers scrapped the idea because they were unsure how a mild-mannered man like Walter would make connections with a South American drug lord in the first place. In the end, Walt still teamed up with Gus’ sworn enemy Hector Salamanca in a last ditch-effort to topple the kingpin.