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Warning: Breaking Bad spoilers ahead! Don't read any further if you don't know how the AMC series ends!
Breaking Bad arguably has one of the most satisfying series finales of all time, with Walter White thoroughly decimating a group of Neo-Nazis, freeing Jesse from his captivity, leaving his family with a small percentage of his fortune, and dying peacefully in a meth lab. That said, things almost didn't end that well for him. In fact, series creator Vince Gilligan recently opened up with the rest of the Breaking Bad writing team while discussing the show's 10th anniversary and admitted that one initial pitch for "Felina" involved having Walt be the last man standing after everyone he loved had been killed. Per Gilligan's recollection:
As dark as Breaking Bad ever got (and the show did get very dark at times) it arguably never went that far. That said, Vince Gilligan and his team almost saved their darkest trick for last by leaving Walt -- by all accounts, the character whose life was most consistently on the line throughout the show -- as the only remaining character. The proposed finale would've killed Skyler, Walt Jr., Jesse, and everyone else, leaving him with nothing more than a crumbled empire. "Felina" had a notable body count, but that would've been something else altogether.
That wasn't the only ending considered by the folks behind Breaking Bad. Writer Sam Catlin continued in the discussion with Variety and addressed another possible conclusion that involved Walter quietly dying and not leaving much of an impact on the world around him. Catlin said:
Thematically speaking, that's precisely the opposite of the ending that Walter White ultimately got. Vince Gilligan and his team were eventually able to pay off that Season 5 tease of the M60 machine gun in grand fashion, and Walter was left to be found by the police -- thus cementing his place as one of Albuquerque's most notorious criminals. None of these endings would necessarily be ideal for the average, non-murderous person, but I think it's safe to say that Walt got a more peaceful sendoff than he potentially could've when the team sat down to crack the "Felina" story.
Although Breaking Bad has come to an end, this world created by Vince Gilligan continues to thrive. Make sure to stay tuned for more updates related to Better Call Saul's highly-anticipated fourth season, and hop over to our midseason premiere guide for more information on all of the shows debuting this spring.