‘Breaking Bad’: How Bryan Cranston Felt About Show’s Epic Ending

by Chase Thomas
(Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)

Breaking Bad was one of the biggest shows of the 21st century. It was not an instant hit, though. Thanks to streaming services like Netflix, the AMC drama really came to prominence when folks everywhere began to binge-watch the early seasons of the program. The rest was history, as they say. The show created by Vince Gilligan became an iconic show for the years that followed. However, the last season, which was split into two parts, like Ozark, is still heavily discussed today. The star of the program, Bryan Cranston, recently revealed his thoughts on the show’s epic ending.

In an interview with THR from 2020, Cranston said, “I was content with the end of ‘Breaking Bad.’ I thought it was the perfect ending. I know I’m biased, but I don’t recall seeing the ending of a show that was so well-constructed, satisfying and legitimate. Everything just seemed to fall into place so extraordinarily well.”

It worked for him and it worked for the audience. It does not always go that way, where most folks are happy with the ending of an iconic show, just look at Seinfeld and Game of Thrones and the reactions at the time.

Cranston did not see with the AMC show. It all made sense. The plan worked out. A satisfying end was had. He concluded, “Don’t give them more than they want. If they start looking at their watch, you’re done. You lost ’em. We want them to go, ‘Holy —-, it’s over? That was an hour? It felt like 20 minutes!’ That’s what you want, and they crave more because it was so well-crafted.”

That’s certainly what Vince Gilligan gave them. A wild ride. But not too much. Cranston was a fan.

Vince Gilligan on ‘Breaking Bad’

It was not always smooth sailing, though, for creator Vince Gilligan on Breaking Bad. Things could have gone a very different way on the program early on.

He told Esquire, “I was going to kill off the character of Hank at the end of that first season, having originally planned to kill Jesse and changed my tune on that pretty quickly because I realized how great Aaron Paul was. Of course, Dean Norris was just as great, but I figured I ought to sacrifice one of the main characters at the end of Season One, because that’s what the ballsy shows do! But the whole shape of the show would have been so different from what you know now, and I think it would have been a much shorter, less rich experience.”

Hank and Jesse obviously became gigantic characters on the program. However, it was Dean Norris and Aaron Paul that shifted Gilligan’s perspective. They were too good to move on from.