As much as this is a bittersweet sentiment for diehard fans of “Breaking Bad,” thinking about how the beloved AMC show will end is, well, a whole lot of fun. Or will drive you so nuts, you might consider breaking bad yourself.
If you’re all caught up on the series so far, viewers know that some type of altercation will happen between ex-high school chemistry teacher-turned-methamphetamine cooker-turned-drug kingpin, Walter White (Bryan Cranston), and his DEA agent brother-in-law, Hank Schrader (Dean Norris). It’s an absolute given, thanks to the last still from the first half of season five when we see Hank have an epiphany – on the bathroom throne, no less – that the Heisenberg meth cook he’s been chasing all along is none other than his bumbling, cancer patient brother-in-law.
Not to mention Fox News even posted dialogue for the series opener, “Blood Money,” between Hank and Walt in what seems to be a tense confrontation.
"All along it was YOU," Hank seethes in the opener. "I will put you under the jail!"
"In six months you won't have someone to prosecute," taunts Walt, who, after all, is dying from terminal cancer. Then he adds as a barely veiled threat: "Maybe your best course would be to tread lightly."
With eight episodes left before the series folds, there is rampant speculation as to how “Breaking Bad” will end. And thanks to the creator of the show, Vince Gilligan, and key members of the cast divulging some of the details, fans are waiting with baited breath for the beginning of the end August 11 now that we have some clues.
“To quote a famous movie, there will be blood,” Gilligan told The Los Angeles Times of the show’s ending.
“It’s not gonna end pretty,” Aaron Paul, who plays Walter White’s sidekick Jesse Pinkman, said in a “Breaking Bad” video exclusive.
“It is called Breaking Bad…The likelihood of things getting better are not so good,” Cranston said in another exclusive video. “It’s a roller coaster ride to hell.”
Another clue to how the show will end was given by Bob Odenkirk, who plays shady lawyer/con man Saul Goodman: “It’s a violent explosion of people’s characters and missions.”
“Everyone’s going out in a blaze of glory,” Norris added. “I would be surprised if Walter White is alive at the end of it. My second [guess] would be he’s alive but he has nothing.”
Last Tuesday, Cranston suggested a similar fate for Walt during a “Breaking Bad” talk in New York City. “What if the thing he wanted the most — which was the togetherness of his family — what if he lived, and they didn't? Wouldn't that be a worse hell to be in?"
In fact, Norris and Cranston’s prediction may in fact be exactly what happens to Walt. The New York Times released a still from the first episode “Blood Money,” where Walter White is seen on his hands and knees, dressed haggardly in front of a broken mirror in his bedroom. He is holding a screwdriver to retrieve the ricin he stashed in inside the power outlet season five, episode two, “Madrigal,” which was confirmed in the clip shown at Comic Con in San Diego. Could he be using the ricin on one of his enemies, which now pretty much includes everyone on the show except for his new lab assistant and flunky Todd and partner Lydia Rodarte-Quayle, or on himself?
Reddit users have posted a myriad of predictions for how they believe “Breaking Bad” will end, some of which include the ricin while others are based on clues throughout the series. The possibilities suggested by fans range from Walt dying, Walt being redeemed, Hank committing suicide, Saul getting killed, Walt paying his way into witness protection, Jesse getting murdered or, the funniest of them all, Jesse becoming Mr. Pinkman, high school chemistry teacher. In honor of the final eight episodes, here’s a roundup of eight of the best theories and predictions for how “Breaking Bad” will end.
Prediction 1: Walter White dies?
Perhaps “Breaking Bad” could ultimately end with the fate that has doomed Walter White since his cancer diagnosis? Death. Reddit user TheBigHCK wrote that Walter could end up being separated from his family for some reason, possibly witness protection, and be murdered by an enemy trying to see them again. The Redditor went on to say the finale episode title “Felina” could be a reference to a story by Marty Robbins called “El Paso” where a man wanted by the law wanted to see his love, Felina, one last time.
Flavorwire.com seemed to agree, writing: “And yet, there’s an even bigger bit of potential subtext to this poster. It’s obvious that ‘Remember My Name’ is a callback to ‘Say My Name,’ but why has ‘remember’ replaced ‘say’? That new word, coupled with the bright, white light that forms an off-center halo around Walt’s head, could also imply what fans have been speculating since the beginning of the show: Breaking Bad is going to end with Walter White’s death, ostensibly sometime after his 52nd birthday at Denny’s.”
Prediction 2: Walter White is redeemed?
Another Redditor took the optimistic route, predicting that Walter will be redeemed for his many kills and dangerous actions, since he is after all our favorite anti-hero. The user wrote that the tip Walter leaves the Denny’s waitress, Lucy, in season five, episode one “Live Free or Die” might be his way to buy back his soul, which the user believed was sold when he traded his Pontiac Aztek for $50. In fact, this theory alleged that many clues were hidden within the automobiles on the series as Easter eggs.
Prediction 3: Hank Schrader commits suicide?
Suicide has been a bit of a recurring theme on “Breaking Bad.” Not as much as murder or revenge, but there have been several attempts – some resulting in success – where characters took their own lives. It all began in the pilot episode, when Walter becomes so frustrated with his first day on the job cooking meth, believing the police are about to bust him, that he points a gun to his throat. Then, in season five, episode two, Madrigal CEO Mr. Schuler kills himself by electrocution in fear of being pegged as part of the Gus Fring scheme. Two episodes later, Skyler White attempts suicide in front of her family after being so frustrated with her life.
This heavy theme has led many to believe Hank will commit suicide before the series’ end if the DEA finds out Heisenberg was his brother-in-law all along. While we’ll have to wait and see, Reddit user ShinNakashima said there have been clues to Hank’s suicide throughout the “Breaking Bad” journey.
One scene in particular shows Mike watching a show while Hanks investigates his home, and the line “when a cop kills himself they want a full report” can be heard in the ambient background. Hank also on one occasion pointed his fingers in the shape of a gun to his head. Not to mention, Hank also investigated a suicide case at one point and Jesse even vowed to shoot Hank in his head. This video from YouTube user UnusualVisual spells it all out (fast forward to the 1:00 mark.)
Prediction 4: Saul Goodman is murdered?
It has been said many times over that Walter always picks up a trait from his victims that he kills. After killing Krazy 8, he acquires the habit of cutting the crust off his sandwiches just like his victim. As a user on Imgur pointed out, Walt drives a Volvo in season five, episode one “Live Free or Die” just like former kingpin, Gus, did. So, when Walt gets his hands on a Cadillac DeVille with an M60 rifle in its trunk, it’s hard not to guess that perhaps Walt murdered his lawyer Saul, who also drives a DeVille, and picked up this character trait.
Prediction 5: Walt murders Skyler?
That being said, Walt may end up killing Skyler, since he is seen in “Live Free or Die” breaking his own bacon in Denny’s on his birthday, a tradition his wife always did (thanks to WhatCulture.com commenter Phil). The Denny’s waitress in the same episode also calls him Walter Lambert, Skyler’s maiden name, after looking at his license. Are these two more traits he picked up? He’s also no longer wearing his wedding ring.
(Random thought: Is Walt’s flunky Todd the next Heisenberg? After all, the red-headed assistant is seen in season five, episode six holding the spider he took from the boy, Drew Sharp, he killed in “Dead Freight.”)
Prediction 6: Walt goes into witness protection
As previously mentioned, Walt is seen in “Live Free or Die” in a Denny’s with a New Hampshire license plate and driver’s license using his wife’s maiden name. He’s also sporting some hair on his head and face and dressed much grungier. Could this signal he has flown the coop into witness protection thanks to Saul after Hank revealed his lead?
Prediction 7: Jesse Pinkman is murdered
According to the Redditor who posted this theory as truth, only later to reveal that it was all a joke, Jesse could be murdered by Walt. User breakingbaaad thought up that Walt may poison him with the ricin he saved from season five, episode two and hid in his electrical outlet. Despite saving Jesse on several occasions, Walter has purposely killed parts of Jesse, if you will, on several occasions, like watching his girlfriend Jane die and poisoning his girlfriend Andrea’s son, Brock. So what should stop Walt from killing Jesse, who last said he will no longer cook with him?
Prediction 8: Jesse becomes Mr. Pinkman, chemistry teacher
It’s safe to say this theory will most likely – or even, definitely – not happen, but it’s too comical not to include. Redditor self.Showerthoughts suggested that perhaps Jesse will become a high school chemistry teacher like Walter before he got in too deep in the meth empire. After all, he loves kids. Remember the red-headed boy of those two meth heads in season two, episode six “Peekaboo” that Jesse cares for? Or the boy that gets killed in season five, episode five “Dead Freight” that devastates him? Not to mention his close relationship with girlfriend Andrea’s son Brock and concern for Andrea’s other son, Tomas, who killed his buddy Combo in hopes of joining the gang who works for Gus. Plus, in comparison to Walt’s downward spiral, Jesse has shown the most improved moral compass in his character arch, so he could be the “Scarface to Mr. Chips.”
Bonus: We have to give a hat tip to one theory posted by Redditor mesleepnow we KNOW is 100% correct (below).
The first of the final eight episodes of "Breaking Bad" will air August 11 at 9 P.M. on AMC.