Seven ways Breaking Bad could end

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Seven Breaking Bad fanatics take turns guessing the show's outcome.

Bryan Cranston as Walter White and Aaron Paul as Jesse Pinkman in a scene from Breaking Bad.
Bryan Cranston as Walter White and Aaron Paul as Jesse Pinkman in a scene from Breaking Bad.

Walter White's suburban drug dream is nearly over, and speculation is rife as to how Breaking Bad's last eight episodes will wrap up.

Has Hank discovered Walter's secret? Has Walter's cancer returned? Will Jesse really give up on the meth game? How will the new drug cartel fit into things? Will Jesse discover what really happened to Jane? Will Skyler finally crack and dob in her errant husband?

And why oh why does Marie Schrader love the colour purple so much?

Needless to say, if you're new to Breaking Bad, these last eight episodes aren't the place to start. Go get yourself a boxset and sit down on the couch for a weekend marathon. You deserve it.

But the first episode of part two of season five - screening on Soho on Monday at 9.30pm - doesn't muck around in addressing Breaking Bad's loose ends.

In fact, it races through them at a hectic pace. After another revealing flash forward, it starts right where we left off, with DEA agent Hank's cliffhanger Heisenburg toilet revelation.

And it ends with a breathless white knuckle showdown that is surely one of the show's best ever scenes.

As Aaron Paul told TimeOut: "It's going to be a violent sprint to the finish line."

We asked seven Breaking Bad fanatics to predict the show's outcome:

Paul Casserly, TV blogger

If this were Coronation Street we could expect a light rail disaster, a pregnancy and someone taking off to live in New Zealand as part of the exit strategy. But I think Walter will more likely die than end his days propping up the bar at the Tauranga RSA.

There were some naysayers, but The Sopranos curtain call was a genius full stop - period. So this thing will surely go out with a bang. Death, prison, and getting away with it, are all on the table, though Walter will need to redeem himself a little more before we wish him that well. I would very much like to see Walt's fugly Aztec SUV again, and for Jesse to say "bitch" 20 more times and hook up with Skyler.

As for the final moments: Like pot in Colorado, meth will become legal in the state of Arizona, and Walter will go legit, ending up selling his pure blue on the stateside version of The Family Health Diaries. The last words of the epic series being: "If pain persists, see your doctor." Either that or they'll all be taken out by wayward light-rail, except for Jesse, who'll end up running a pokies joint in Botany Downs. (Jesse bitch compile link)

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Steven Holloway, online sports editor

When Walt dies of cancer in the first episode back, chaos reigns in Albuquerque. First, Jesse Pinkman discovers that the multi-million dollar meth empire has been left to him, via a cryptic post-dated email message from Heisenbergbaby@hotmail.com. "Soz about Gale and Jane etc etc lolz. It's all yours now. Lates."

But Pinkman insists that he is 'out' of the game, and forwards the message on to his best pals Skinny Pete and Badger. "You guys want the biz? I'm out yo."

Skinny Pete and Badger do indeed want the biz, and spend the next seven episodes running it into the ground in 24-esque real-time. After six hours and 34 minutes of getting high and making terrible decisions, they are arrested.

Critics hate it.

Nicky Park, Life & Style online editor

The penny has dropped for Hank and Walter is pretty quick to figure that out. Heisenberg needs to get back in control of the situation. He might say he's out of the business, but his ego has grown to mammoth proportions and we know he's got evil in him. We all know the tab of ricin is still taped behind the power socket in the bedroom - we're just waiting to see who will swallow the fatal bait.

It's all happy families back at the White's suburban home. We're watching a standard family get-together by the pool. Walt fetches Hank another beer, it's the last in the six-pack. He drops in the poison. He announces that he will have to head to the store to get some more Budweiser.

Walt races away from the domestic scene, gathers as much cash as he can from the storage unit that Skyler has shown him and flees town. He calls on corrupt, yet lovable, lawyer Saul to make him disappear. Cut to the scene of Walt that opened the final season, a haggard, hairy man, sitting in a bar with a car boot full of weapons.

There are pieces of the puzzle that I know I've forgotten here - the cancer, the carwash, the deceit of Jesse and the kids - there's just so much to pull together, it does my head in thinking about the potential conclusion. I am so ready for a rip-roaring end. But then what?

Dominic Corry, movie blogger for nzherald.co.nz

I began to lose hope for anything resembling redemption for Walter White when he allowed Jane to die in season two. At that moment, I started shifting all my hopes and dreams to Jesse Pinkman. As Walter got even worse and Jesse became the show's inadvertent voice of moral reason, I found myself hoping that Breaking Bad would culminate with Jesse taking Walter down both literally and figuratively. That's my fantasy, but I fear Vince Gilligan's dark heart probably won't allow for such an emotionally fulfilling finale. I'm steeling myself for the absolute worst. I can't picture anybody getting out of this alive. It's gonna be great!

Kris Shannon, sports reporter

Tired of living a lie, Walt decides to leave the meth business and turn his gambling addiction from a cover story into reality. But his hubris again comes to the fore in his new profession and, after a Las Vegas roulette dealer refuses Walt's demands to "say my name," he puts every cent of his meth money on red. The ball lands on black and Walt returns to Albuquerque with nothing but a silly nickname.

With teaching high school chemistry out of the question for a man of his ego, Walt turns to Jesse, knowing his former protege made $5 million from his cut of the stolen methylamine. Walt pleads with Jesse to give him a loan so he can resume cooking but Jesse has invested all his money in the rapidly-growing magnet industry.

Walt, defeated, heads home to Casa Blanca to find Skyler sitting in the dark, draining yet another bottle of pinot noir while waiting patiently for the cancer to come back. Realising his wife hates him, his son would rather be called Finn than share his name, and baby Holly doesn't even recognise him, Walt decides to take drastic action.

He finds the ricin capsule hidden in his bedroom, swallows it and says, feebly, "I was the danger", before choking to death on his own vomit.

Jesse, meanwhile, enjoys a major financial boon when his magnet stock skyrockets, becomes the second youngest billionaire after Mark Zuckerberg, and opens the Jane Margolis Centre for Drug Rehabilitation.

Robert Smith, nzherald.co.nz homepage editor

Walter White isn't getting out of this series alive - he has to pay for all the terrible things he has done. His pride and arrogance has led to the inadvertent deaths of hundreds of people, he has deliberately put children in harm's way to further his own dubious goals and he has showed little real remorse for all the horror he has caused. He might be the protagonist of the series, but he has become the real villain of Breaking Bad and a fairly loathsome human being over the last five years, and he will fall because of it. The real tragedy is that he probably won't be the only one to pay the ultimate price, and Jesse or a member of Walt's family will probably be lost in the final crossfire. But Walter White is going down.

Chris Schulz, assistant entertainment editor

Vince Gilligan has promised a proper conclusion to the show, so we're not going to get a Sopranos-style fade to black. Everything - from the machine-gun toting Walt in season five's flash forward, to Hank's last episode-ending 'aha' moment - hints at a showdown of epic proportions. The question is, between who?

My money is on Skyler and Jesse forming an unlikely alliance - both certainly have the motivation to orchestrate Walt's downfall, and know him well enough to find a chink in his armour. I'd like to see them conspire to bring Walt down using one of his own ingenious methods. Perhaps the long lost green beret guy who goes missing in the classic Pine Barrens episode of the Sopranos shows up.

I can't wait for the ending, yet I'm also dreading it. Cold turkey is going to be a bitch.

* How do you think Breaking Bad will end? Post your own endings below.

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