Breaking Bad: Inside Season 5
Warning: This post contains spoilers for previous seasons and speculation on Season 5
Taking a closer look at the final season of Breaking Bad
Season 4’s explosive finale titled “Face Off” was written in a way that it could serve as a series finale because the show runners did not know if there would be a Season 5 due to tense negotiations between AMC Network and Sony Pictures Television who produce Breaking Bad. “Face Off” brought a definitive closure to the cat and mouse showdown between drug czar Gustavo Fring and chemistry-whiz turned meth-cook Mr. White. As emotionally satisfying as “Face Off” was, there are still a number of plot threads to tie up in Season 5. Here are some possible storylines I would like the show to explore:
• Walter White vs Heisenberg – One of the most engrossing aspects of the show is the dichotomy between Mr. White and his alter-ego Heisenberg. Can the two symbiotically co-exist or will one destroy the other? Walter cannot simply put on or take off his pork pie hat as he chooses; Heisenberg is a part of his DNA. A disturbing example from last season was when an inebriated Walter essentially tells Hank at the dinner table that Gale could not be the genius-mastermind Heisenberg. His dark desire for recognition, power and control is a malignant force that could lead to his undoing as much as Heisenberg is his survival mechanism. Will Walter have to choose a humble life as a family man or will he be consumed in his quest to become the new drug kingpin?
• Hank Schrader vs Walter White – Will Hank discover that his brother-in-law is the criminal Heisenberg? Hank has come close many times but Walter has consistently stayed one step ahead, sabotaging any efforts or leads that could put his secret in jeopardy even if it means swerving his car onto on-coming traffic to prevent Hank from investigating the laudromat. Although the laudromat is now destroyed, Hank has an uncanny ability to find evidence and put pieces together. Gus is dead, but he knows Heisenberg is still at large. If Hank picks up on the trail again, Walter might be forced into lethal action or risk loosing everything.
• The Return of Gus? – In an interview last year with The New York Times, series creator Vince Gilligan confirmed that there was back story on Gus that was left out, which they may come back to later. “We may come back to it in the future. As I told (actor) Giancarlo Esposito, and I told him a few months ahead of time what we were planning for the end of the (fourth) season , I was very apologetic that we were going to lose his character. But I also hastened to point out that even though characters may die on “Breaking Bad,” they don’t necessarily rest in peace. In other words, we flash back in time quite often on this show, and we revisit old characters who have already met their demise. And because of that, who knows? We may well see Gustavo Fring again in the future.”
• Consequences – For many television series, a new season means a fresh start to new storylines while avoiding past events. However, the assassination of Gus will not provide a blank slate to the lives and character development of Walter White or Jesse Pinkman. With Gus out of the way, Walter now has a choice whether to takeover as the new kingpin or leave his criminal life behind him. But can Walter ever really escape from his past actions? Mike, who we last saw suffering from gunshot wounds in Mexico, will undoubtedly return and won’t be pleased. Will Walter become the drug cartel’s next target and will Jesse find out that Walter was behind the poisoning of Brock? The relationship between Jesse and Walter is fragile at the best of times and volatile & combustible at its worst. The addition of any new element (another bad pun I know) or circumstance could easily set off a chain reaction of events and irrevocably damage their partnership. Will we be rooting for Walter when all is said and done or will we want him in prison … or worse?
Watch Behind The Scenes teaser featuring Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul on the set of Breaking Bad Season 5: