By Alex Zalben
After last night's blockbuster finale, it's clear that not only did "Breaking Bad" end the right way, there's almost no other way the show COULD have ended.... Except, as it turns out, creators Vince Gilligan had a few other outs up his sleeve, according to a post-game interview with EW. Here's a rundown of how Heisenberg might have met his ultimate fate, if things hadn't turned out quite as perfectly:
The Walt Stands Alone
In this first alternate universe scenario, Walter White survives, and everyone else dies (or is completely destroyed in some unknown fashion). "That would be a very powerful ending but very much a kick-in-the-teeth kind of ending for the viewers," Gilligan siad. And we agree. In fact, we kind of thought this would have been the obvious ending since the beginning of the season. That is, until Walt had his game changing realization while watching Gretchen and Elliott Schwartz on "Charlie Rose." From there, and throughout "Felina," Walt was headed on a more redemptive path, which would have made the scorched earth approach an empty one.
The Assassination of Walter White By The Coward Jesse Pinkman
There was a point when the "Breaking Bad" illuminati considered having Jesse pull the trigger when Walt asks him to. Instead, they decided to let Meth Damon (nee Todd) be Jesse's last kill, because killing is, "not a natural fit for him." Instead, the always kind and loving "Breaking Bad" writers, who would never hurt a fly*, decided to let Jesse leave with a small part of his soul intact.
Walt Gets Away With It
...And he would have, too, if it weren't for you rotten kids! This particular path is the least extrapolated on by Gilligan, and seems to be the least likely natural fit for an ending in our minds. What exactly would "getting away with it," have meant to Walt at this point, anyway? He already got his happy ending, right up until Hank discovered "Leaves of Grass" in the bathroom at the end "Gliding All Over." Without the love of his family, and endless power, Walt was reduced to nothing. Dying alone in the meth lab he built, without handcuffs on his wrists was Walt getting away with it.
This isn't one of the alternate endings posited by Gilligan, but would it have killed them to have one shot of Huell sitting in his house, wondering when Hank and Gomez were going to come back? Guess we'll have to wait for that thread to pick up on 'Better Call Saul'.
For more thoughts on the ending, head over to EW.
*Unless it was in their meth lab and contaminating the equipment.