Do you really want to know how “Breaking Bad” ends?
“I think everyone will be satisfied with the ending where we hug it out and all is forgiven,’’ star Bryan Cranston, who plays Walter White (aka Heisenberg), joked to reporters at the Television Critics Association's summer press tour on Friday.
“Don’t tell them about the musical number ...,” co-star Betsy Brandt chimed in.
As the AMC hit prepares to end its run when it returns for the final episodes next month, big questions remain: Just how much good is left in the chemistry teacher turned meth king? And how much bad is left in Walt's right-hand man, Jesse Pinkman?
“(Jesse's) just emptied out. He just wants to stay as far away from Walt as possible,” Aaron Paul told reporters of his character. “Walt’s true colors were definitely revealed to him towards the end of the last season. He’s terrified of this man. He wants nothing to do with him and he wants to stay out of the business if he can.
“Walt has a large reservoir of good to be shared with everyone else as he spreads his joy throughout the last eight episodes,” Cranston shot back.
The change from good to bad has been gradual but major for Walt. While it used to be Jesse who did the bad deeds while Walt cooked the blue stuff, the one-time teacher is no longer in the backseat. He kills when he needs — and sometimes when he doesn't need to (RIP, Mike) — often putting innocent people in harm's way. (Remember Brock? The other folks in the nursing home?) He's cold, ruthless and in control.
Cranston said the transformation of Walt after his cancer diagnosis to now is not that far-fetched.
“I really believe that everybody is capable of good or bad," Cranston, who is nominated for another lead drama actor Emmy, said. "We're all human beings. We're given the spectrum of emotions as complex as they are. Depending on your influences, DNA and parenting, and education and social environment, the best of you can come out, and the worst of you can come out. If given the right set of circumstance and dire situations, any one of us can become dangerous.”
Yes, Walter is the danger. He is the one who knocks. But what fans really want to know is not the specifics about the finale, but if viewers will be left with some measure of resolution when it all ends.
“What I loved about this whole journey is that I was able to be the mouthpiece for (creator/producer) Vince Gilligan. I wanted it to end the exact way that Vince Gilligan wanted it to end,” Cranston told TODAY.com. “And I can stand here now and say I’m really proud that it has. I think that every fan of 'Breaking Bad' will be satisfied, pleased at the ending. It is very unapologetic and very 'Breaking Bad.' “
The final season of "Breaking Bad" returns Aug. 11 at 9 p.m. on AMC.