Warning: This story contains spoilers. Don't read it unless you have watched the final episode of Breaking Bad.
ended last night with the
Show creator Vincent Gilligan appeared on the AMC special Talking Bad after the final aired to explain the agonised writing process that went into wrapping up all the acclaimed series' loose ends.
He also revealed several surprising facts about the closer - including the key influence of classic Western on its plot.
Gilligan on how it ended for Walt:
"I think in that last scene, [Walt] is with his 'precious', in Lord of the Rings terms. He's with that meth lab that he and Jesse designed, his baby so to speak, and the lyrics to the song, Baby Blue by Badfinger, back that up. And I think he is at peace with himself. He has screwed up his life tremendously and I think he knows that, but he has accomplished the thing he has set out to accomplish.
On tying up all the loose ends:
"In some cases unanswered questions are good, but in this case, in a finite and closed-ended show, we needed resolution. The Sopranos ending I thought was great, I thought it was perfect for that show. This story was finite all along. It's a story that starts at A and ends at Z. It's a very closed-ended thing."
On why Walt didn't kill Jesse
"The writers and I were thinking of the wonderful western The Searchers. All throughout The Searchers, John Wayne is looking for Natalie Wood's character, who has been taken by the Apaches. He's going to kill her when he finds her. At the end of the movie, when he lays eyes on her, he can't do it. He sweeps her up in his arms instead and saves her ... We were thinking [Walt] is gonna kill Jesse the whole time, we think that's his intent, then he sees him and sees what terrible shape he's in, and instinct takes over; that fondness he's felt for him - although he hasn't shown it very well over the years, I have to admit."
And why Jesse didn't kill Walt:
"The more episodes that were revealed, I realized I didn't want Jesse to take another life," Paul said. Besides Todd's (Jesse Plemmons), of course. "I wanted him dead so bad. I'm so happy Jesse was the one to just take the life out of him." And where does he think Jesse is going after driving away from the compound? "I think he's just driving, driving as far away as he can until he pretty much runs out of gas."
On why Walt left his watch on that payphone:
"There's the cool artsy fartsy reason, then there's the practical reason. The cool artsy-fartsy reason we kinda made up, so I'm going to give you the real reason. We shot that teaser way back in episode 501, and we had Walt in the Dennys, making the 52 on his 52nd birthday. He was not wearing a watch. Then, later on, we came up with this fun moment where Jesse, on his 51st birthday, gives Walt that beautiful watch, and he has worn it ever since. And we thought to ourselves, uh-oh, we'd better get this right. Then the artsy-fartsy reason - hopefully you don't think it's too artsy-fartsy - I think he's been wearing it all this time, and he knows he's heading for the end game. He hangs up the phone, looks at his watch and remembers that his now arch nemesis, or one of his many arch nemeses, has given it to him, and he doesn't need it any more. So he takes it off and leaves it."
On wanting his work to outlive him:
"You want your work to be remembered. You want it to outlive you. My favourite show ever was The Twilight Zone and I think about Rod Serling, [who] started that show 54 years ago this year. It long outlived him - he passed away in 1975 - but there's kids who haven't been born yet who will know the phrase 'the twilight zone', and hopefully will be watching those wonderful episodes. I can't say that's what will happen [with Breaking Bad], but you wanna have that kind of immortality through your work. That would be wonderful. I'd feel very blessed."