Breaking Bad ended almost five years ago, but its legacy endures. Fans can still talk about it, newcomers can binge-watch it on Netflix, and the actors are still approached about it. As it turns out, there's a big death scene that one member of the cast still can't bring herself to watch. Betsy Brandt, who played the purple-loving Marie Schrader, shared the scene she won't watch in a certain episode, saying this to Dean Norris during a recent reunion interview:
I still have not seen that scene, because I...just can't...watch them drag you. And I just can't...I just can't. And I get that it's pretend. It's not like I text like Marie all day and expect you guys to show up at my house wearing purple... It was so fun to be a part of that relationship, because they were, you know, flawed, maybe, but such good people -- and to be part of the love. And I just thought, 'Hank should be in the world,' you know? The world is better off with some people in it, and he's one of them. Like, he should've been in it. And I still, I just -- I can't watch it.
Can anybody really blame Betsy Brandt for not wanting to watch that terrible scene? Despite taking place in what is one of the best and most pivotal episodes of the entire series, Hank's death in one of the very first scenes wasn't easy to see after spending five seasons watching him try to fight the good fight, even if the series required him to fail more often than not. It was after all Walt's story, and it wouldn't have worked if Hank worked out the truth back in Season 2. Seeing Hank come so close to bringing Walt to justice, only to be murdered shortly after his partner in the desert by neo-Nazis was heartbreaking for viewers. His on-screen wife who spent five years acting opposite him would have had it much harder!
Betsy Brandt comments at the EW cast reunion interview indicate that reading Hank's death scene in the script was traumatizing enough that she couldn't bring herself to actually watch it unfold on screen. Dean Norris' stoic performance as a man who knew he was going to die and wouldn't beg neo-Nazis was unforgettable, especially when coupled with Bryan Cranston's panicked performance as Walt tried to convince the neo-Nazis not to kill Hank. The death was tragic and unjust after everything Hank had gone through; still, at least he didn't compromise or beg or try to fight a losing battle when he was already wounded and outgunned. Hank stayed Hank to the very last.
Even though Betsy Brandt still hasn't watched Hank's death scene, she managed to turn in a fantastic performance of her own in the scene in which Marie finds out that she's never going to see Hank again. Marie wasn't the star of the last few episodes, but Brandt made the most of her scenes, and her actions guaranteed that Hank wasn't forgotten. Poor, poor Marie.
Only time will tell if Betsy Brandt is ever able to bring herself to watch Hank's death on Breaking Bad. Five years have passed without allowing her to get over the tragedy, but maybe another five or ten years will be enough. There's always the chance that she'll reprise her role as Marie on Better Call Saul and put her back in the Breaking Bad mood! If you're now in the mood for some Breaking Bad, you can find all five seasons streaming on Netflix. For some more current viewing options, check out our summer TV premiere schedule.