The Gospel According to Breaking Bad

As seen on Huffington PostWashington PostReligion News Service, Relevantthe OC Register, and FaithVillage.

Praise for the Book

TGATBB-Final-Paperback-3D-Cover-250w“As a fan of Breaking Bad, and as a student of religion and popular culture, it’s now clear to me that I haven’t been paying close enough attention to the series’ moral and spiritual dimensions. Thanks to The Gospel According to Breaking Bad, I won’t make that mistake again.” — Mark Pinsky, The Gospel According to The Simpsons

“One of the better Gospel According To’s I’ve read and I think I’ve read most of them.” — Cathleen Falsani Possley, The Gospel According to the Coen Brothers

3 Reasons to Buy the Book

You’ll help others.

10% of all proceeds are donated to the Oak Ridge Disciple House in Florence, TX, “a non-profit, faith-based, Christian character-building ministry geared towards reaching men who are broken from drug and alcohol addictions.”

You’ll learn much more about the show.

Did you know that nearly every character wears particular colors on purpose? Do you know the exact moment when Bryan Cranston thinks Walter “broke bad?” If you’re a fan, these “trivial” insights will make your rewatchings all the more enjoyable.

You’ll see the wider picture.

While Breaking Bad portrays biblical themes of justice and redemption in very dark ways, our shared cultural narratives (TV and film) often touch on such universal and spiritual issues, if only we’d have ears to hear and eyes to see. Books like The Gospel According to Breaking Bad and many others aim to widen our view of God’s universe.

Where to Buy the Book

Print (includes free Kindle edition): $11.99
Kindle: $4.99
Audible: $14.95 – $17.95

Note that these prices may not be exact as Amazon may offer a further discount. In other words, the prices listed here are the most you can expect to pay.

Stellar chapter illustrations by Wes Molebash

TGATBB-Interior-3D-Problem-Dog

Footnotes

The footnotes are provided here for those that purchased the print version and may desire to visit the many links referenced in the book.

      Ch. 1: “My name is Walter Hartwell White.”

  1. “It was one of those rare moments when you respond to a piece of material so strongly that I knew I had to get in as fast as I could to try to get this role, because the longer I waited, I knew that every actor in Hollywood would want to be a part of this, and fortunately I was the one to get it.”  — Bryan Cranston, video excerpt, The Paley Center for Media, “Bryan Cranston on the Shocking Pilot Script.”
  2. Alan Sepinwall, The Revolution Was Televised: The Cops, Crooks, Slingers and Slayers Who Changed TV Drama Forever.
  3. Breaking Bad was also nominated for the same award in its first two seasons, but lost to Mad Men. One has to wonder if Walter White would ever slip ricin into one of Don Draper’s many, many drinks for this affront to his ego.
  4. Though the style of Mad Men and Breaking Bad greatly differ, it’s interesting to note much of their substance is the same: pride, manipulation, dual lives, questionable morality, etc. However, that’s fodder for someone else’s book to consider.
  5. David Segal, “The Dark Art of Breaking Bad
  6. Chuck Klosterman, “Bad Decisions” / We all know that Chuck’s smart, but when he says that Breaking Bad is the best series of all time, I’m prone to vault him to “brilliant” status.
  7. I hope you will, and if you’re reading this footnote, I’m guessing you’re going to, so thanks!
  8. A Christian inside joke of sorts. Sunday night services, at least where I came from, were sparsely attended, allowing the naive believers who did attend (like me) to think that they were better than everyone else. Yes, it took me a long time to think otherwise.
  9. Oh the follies of youth.
  10. I was the life of every party I never attended.
  11. The reason the Simpsons are yellow? Show creator Matt Groening wanted viewers to think the color settings on their TV sets were askew.
  12. Wholesale slaughters of innocents. Crucifixions. Stonings. It’s a long list. For insight into the troublesome issue of violence in the Bible, read David T. Lamb’s God Behaving Badly.

    Ch. 2: “Say my Name!”

  13. Please don’t misconstrue this section as having anything to do with race. I realize that many people have drastically different words spring to mind with regard to the word “white.”
  14. Mike Flaherty, “The Showrunner Transcript: Breaking Bad’s Vince Gilligan on Season Four and His Experiences on The X-Files”
  15. Nicole LaPorte, “The 100 Most Creative People in Business 2013: 8: Bryan Cranston,” pg. 80, Fast Company, June 2013
  16. Though the footage never made it onto the show, Bryan Cranston actually shaved his head in Season 1, Episode 6, where Walter White shaves his head for the first time. In an act of solidarity, Vince Gilligan also shaved his head, as did many other crew members. According to Gilligan, Cranston shaved many of the crew and became quite adept at the task. AMCtv.com video, “Walt Goes Bald: Inside Breaking Bad”
  17. “I Am Bryan Cranston, AMA
  18. Brett Martin, “The Last Stand of Walter White”
  19. American Institute of Physics, “Quantum Mechanics: The Uncertainty Principle”
  20. “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.” – Job 1:21
  21. The Internet Surname Database, “Schrader
  22. Behind the Name, “Hank
  23. Still, I didn’t think Breaking Bad would end with Walter’s death. More on that later.
  24. R. Alan Orange, “AMC Plans Breaking Bad Saul Goodman Spin-Off.” The fact that the writers talked about a spin-off tipped their hand to at least one fact about the last eight episodes of Breaking Bad: Goodman survives.
  25. Your eyes will hate you for it, but your fandom requires at least one visit to www.bettercallsaul.com.
  26. Lane Brown, “In Conversation: Vince Gilligan on the End of Breaking Bad”
  27. If you’ll recall, this “fugue state” was yet another lie cooked up by Walter in order to disguise his kidnapping by Tuco and his subsequent escape back to suburbia.
  28. AMCTV.com, “Q&A – RJ Mitte (Walter Jr.)”
  29. S.B., “Color Commentary On the Names From TV’s Breaking Bad
  30. Breaking Bad Wikia, “Mike Ehrmantraut
  31. Genesis 17:5
  32. Genesis 32:28
  33. Acts 9:1-22
  34. Alternatively, Paul may have simply chosen to refer to himself by a Gentile name rather than a Jewish name. Since he preached the gospel to Gentiles, this would make sense as well. Luke Buckler, “Why did Paul change his name from Saul to Paul?
  35. I was named after a fictional TV character from an 80s nighttime soap opera.
  36. Revelation 12:17b

    Ch. 3: “Blue, yellow, pink, whatever man.”

  37. Mike Flaherty, â€œThe Showrunner Transcript: Breaking Bad’s Vince Gilligan on Season Four and His Experiences on The X-Files”
  38. That is, until the last few episodes, signaling that Heisenberg has returned to being Walter White.
  39. Dustin Rowles, â€˜Breaking Bad’ Theory: The Internet Unearths The Perfect Metaphor For Walter White’s Soul
  40. Bryan Cranston on Walter White’s look, Nicole LaPorte, “The 100 Most Creative People in Business 2013: 8: Bryan Cranston,” Fast Company, June 2013
  41. Erin Enberg, â€œThe Changing Colors of Breaking Bad”
  42. Called “Blue Sky” in the series,  the writers intentionally ensured that Walter’s meth was blue in order to make it “visually identifiable.” BreakingBad.Wikia.com
  43. AMCtv.com, â€œBreaking Bad Creator Vince Gilligan Answers Fan Questions – Part II”
  44. Erin Enberg, â€œThe Colorful World of Breaking Bad”
  45. AMCtv.com, Quebrando Mal, â€œWhat You’re Saying About Colors on Breaking Bad”
  46. Alyssa Rosenberg, â€œBreaking Bad Open Thread: Wind In the Willows”
  47. Like leaving a copy of “Leaves of Grass” out on one’s toilet.
  48. Pearson Moore, â€œBreaking Down Breaking Bad”
  49. To recap, Walter allowed Jesse’s girlfriend Jane to die of a drug overdose. Her father, the air traffic controller on the fateful day of the collision, was so distraught over the loss of his daughter that he was unable to fulfill his high-stress duties on the job, resulting in that cataclysmic event. Lest you think this series of events might require a serious stretching of real-life possibilities, the Ãœberlingen mid-air collision of 2002, resulting in the death of 71 people, was reported to have been caused by an over-worked air-traffic controller and technology failures. Even more shockingly, the controller at fault was consequently murdered by a father and husband who’d lost his wife and two children in the crash. Wikipedia, Ãœberlingen mid-air collision.
  50. “Vince Gilligan has made it clear that the pink teddy bear of Season Two is an homage to Steven Spielberg’s Girl in the Red Coat in Schindler’s List.” — Pearson Moore, â€œBreaking Down Breaking Bad”.  In that movie, the red coat is the only object in color, a symbol of the girl’s innocence and the Jews’ innocence during the Holocaust. The titular character later sees the girl in a mound of dead bodies that have been exhumed. Innocence has died.
  51. Erin Enberg, â€œThe Changing Colors of Breaking Bad”
  52. Will Harris, â€œBreaking Bad’s Betsy Brandt on the evolution of her character”

    Ch. 4: “Lung cancer. Inoperable.”

  53. Infographic, â€œThe Final Death Toll in Breaking Bad”
  54. This number skews high because of the collision of the Wayfarer 515 and JM 21 flights in the final episode of Season 2.
  55. In Season 5, Episode 2’s “Madrigal,” Mike Erhmanntraut even tells Walter, “You are a time bomb, tick-tick-ticking,” just in case anyone watching the show wasn’t already greatly aware of that fact.
  56. R.J. Mitte, the actor who plays Walter White Jr., lives with a milder form of cerebral palsy than does his character. In fact, he reportedly had to learn how to augment his CP as the series progressed and his character received more screen time.
  57. Later in the same episode, while on a DEA bust of Jesse “Cap’n Cook” Pinkman’s meth lab, Hank tells Walt that if a meth lab mix goes wrong, you could create mustard gas. Apparently, Walter can’t escape the deadly condiment.
  58. A good thing to do in a pilot episode, by the way.
  59. Vince Gilligan and his writers are insidious in the ways they portray the dual natures of Walter White so quickly in succession. This is on purpose, of course, and will be discussed in a later chapter.
  60. AMCtv.com, â€œBreaking Bad Creator Vince Gilligan Answers Fan Questions – Part II”
  61. If you’re a fan of the show, you would do well to pick up Chris Seay’s The Gospel According to Tony Soprano and Alan Sepinwall’s The Revolution was Televised.
  62. Breaking Bad paid subtle homages to The Sopranos. One of the members of the Juárez drug cartel was called Juan Bolsa, which translates to “Johnny Sack,” a character in The Sopranos. Additionally, Season 5’s opener “Live Free or Die” was also the title of a Sopranos episode (as well as being the state motto of New Hampshire). Dustin Rowles, â€œ20 Neat Facts, Cool Allusions, Instances Of Foreshadowing, And Theories On ‘Breaking Bad’”.
  63. 1 Corinthians 15:26
  64. 1 Corinthians 15:55
  65. Had humanity remained perfect and continued to multiply with all of us physically living for eternity is a question for smarter men than me to consider.
  66. Yes, I just quoted Quantum Leap, but you’re reading a footnote in a book about God and Walter White, so judge not lest ye be judged.
  67. It may also occur as Mike’s ultimate penance for the misdeeds that have characterized his life for so long.
  68. Proverbs 16:25

    Ch. 5: “Better call Saul!”

  69. In an intricately woven plot detail, it should be noted that Gustavo Fring was not above using children to carry out his own evil plans. In fact, Andrea’s brother, 11-year-old Tomas, was used to kill Combo as part of a gang initiation, a gang reported to be working for Fring. Combo was a dealer for Heisenberg in Season 2, as well as the contract through which Walter and Jesse found their unmistakable RV, which previously belonged to Combo’s mother.
  70. “I am the one who rings!”
  71. Barring the fact, of course, that you are a real person and Walter White is not.
  72. Andrew Romano, â€œâ€˜Breaking Bad’ Creator Vince Gilligan Reveals the Finale Will Be ‘Victorious’”
  73. Michka Assayas, Bono: In Conversation with Michka Assayas
  74. If this topic intrigues you, I recommend David T. Lamb’s God Behaving Badly: Is the God of the Old Testament Angry, Sexist and Racist?
  75. Billy Coffey, â€œFisher of Men”

    Ch. 6: “I am the one who knocks!”

  76. The narcissistic tendencies we tend to see on reality TV result in a strange, redundant vortex of narcissism, i.e. narcissists are likely to be on reality TV as “the dramatic ones” because their inability to see themselves for who they truly are manages to cause great stress and conflict, one of the necessary aspects of an engaging narrative.
  77. Bryan Cranston, â€œBryan Cranston Picks 13 Favorite ‘Breaking Bad’ Moments”
  78. Proverbs 16:18
  79. Lane Brown, â€œIn Conversation: Vince Gilligan on the End of Breaking Bad”
  80. C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
  81. A few caveats: Walter is directly responsible for five deaths prior to the last eight episodes of the series. In the pilot episode, he gasses Emilio in the RV. In Season 1, Episode 3, he strangles Krazy-8. In Season 3, Episode 12, he famously saves Jesse from an imminent demise by running down rival drug dealers with his menacing Pontiac Aztek. Lastly, in Season 5, Episode 7, Walter surprisingly shoots Mike Ehrmantraut. Considering that he’s indirectly responsible for 247 deaths, his percentage for actually committing a murder is quite low at just 2%.
  82. The Battle at Kruger has been viewed more than 70 million times. In this somewhat gruesome video, a pride of lions attack a baby water buffalo, but it ends well, all things considered.
  83. Are all of Walter’s actions a reaction to his cancer diagnosis? Does he set out, even subconsciously so, to exact his revenge on God by attempting to poison the world he currently resides in?
  84. Of course, all of them have suffered some type of deep, emotional wound, but you see such wounds much more clearly in the case of the latter three mentioned here.
  85. You may not have felt compassion at the fact that Hayden Christensen was the one suffering, but that’s on you.
  86. One could also argue that so much death occurs in our movies simply because death ratchets the stakes higher in any film. Without death, what are the heroes really fighting for?
  87. A contemporary imagining of the punishment Satan faces in Dante’s Inferno.
  88. Martin Miller, â€œThe end nears for Walter White of ‘Breaking Bad’”
  89. Andrew Romano, â€œâ€˜Breaking Bad’ Creator Vince Gilligan Reveals the Finale Will Be ‘Victorious’’
  90. Alyssa Rosenberg, â€œâ€˜Breaking Bad’ Open Thread: Wind in the Willows”
  91. Richard Rene, â€œBreaking Bad, or How to Go to Hell in Five Award-Winning Seasons”

    Ch. 7: “I have made a series of very bad decisions.”

  92. The embroidered pillow boldly and darkly proclaims “Find Joy in the Little Things.”
  93. That said, I still didn’t think Walter would die in the finale, as you read in the previous chapter.
  94. Chuck Klosterman, â€œBad Decisions”
  95. It also helps that Jonathan Banks is a fine actor, finally nominated for an Emmy in 2013 as an Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series. Unfortunately for the voters, so was Jesse Pinkman’s Aaron Paul.
  96. Of course, we know it’s the writers who ultimately hold the strings, the gods of the Breaking Bad universe, but they make Walter appear as the master puppeteer of the series.
  97. “The thing is, if you just do stuff and nothing happens, what’s it all mean? What’s the point?” – Jesse in Season 4, Episode 5’s “Problem Dog”
  98. Chuck Klosterman, â€œBad Decisions”
  99. “I Am Bryan Cranston, AMA”
  100. Vince Gilligan talking to Alan Sepinwall in â€œInterview: ‘Breaking Bad’ creator Vince Gilligan post-mortems season three”
  101. Breaking Bad: Alchemy, iBook, pg. 6
  102. The beginning of Season 5, with Walt in a diner celebrating his 52nd birthday alone and an M60 machine gun stowed in his trunk, is the same way. As a literal “Chekhov’s gun,” this scene is a flash-forward that the writers reportedly devised before fully developing how Walter got from Point A to Point B. See Brett Martin’s “The Last Stand of Walter White”

    Ch. 8: “He was a problem dog.”

  103. Carl Jung, Modern Man in Search of a Soul
  104. Technically, the game wouldn’t have existed in the Breaking Bad universe since it was released in 2010 and the entire series purportedly takes place circa 2008, but you can’t fault the writers for taking the opportunity to use such a well-suited title for this particular episode.
  105. As an intriguing side note, the colors red, blue, and green splash on Jesse’s face as he plays the game, a visual reference back to Walter’s “beakers of change” in the pilot episode.
  106. In contrast, Walter wears dark clothes in this scene, insidiously manipulating Jesse by reinforcing the false idea that Gus orchestrated little Brock’s poisoning.
  107. Jesse calls out the NA counselor here over the reason for the counselor’s own struggle with addiction.
  108. wiNNEBAGO, comment, â€œBreaking Bad: ‘Problem Dog’ Review
  109. Of course, Walter, as ever, is blinded by his own ego. Jesse has a serious girlfriend, which for many is more than enough reason to step away from life-threatening endeavors.
  110. r32mara23, comment, â€œBreaking Bad: ‘Problem Dog’ Review
  111. Jane Margolis: “Do you know what this is?”Jesse Pinkman: “It’s a whole lot of cheddar.”Jane: “This is freedom. This is saying, ‘I can go anywhere I want. I can be anybody.’ What do you want to be? Where do you want to go? South America? Europe? Australia?”Jesse: “Is New Zealand part of Australia?”Jane: “New Zealand is New Zealand.”Jesse: “Right on. New Zealand. That’s where they made ‘Lord of the Rings.’ I say we just move there, yo. I mean, you can do your art. Right? Like, you can paint the local castles and s—”. And I can be a bush pilot.”— Season 2, Episode 12, “Phoenix”

    Ch. 9: “You’re a drug dealer.”

  112. Lane Brown, â€œIn Conversation: Vince Gilligan on the End of Breaking Bad”
  113. Unless otherwise noted, the following section contains statistics and quotes from the National Geographic’s World’s Most Dangerous Drug, an hour-long documentary that provides an informative glimpse into the desperate lives of those whom meth has overtaken.
  114. Donna Leinwand, â€œDEA: Flavored meth use on the rise”
  115. Sobering before-and-after mugshots can be seen at â€œFaces of Meth.”
  116. Google, â€œDefine insidious”
  117. A methaphor, perhaps?
  118. 1 John 1:8-9

    Ch. 10: “What does a man do, Walter?”

  119. George MacDonald, The Princess and Curdie
  120. Let him live:It’s the moral thing to do.Judeo/Christian principlesYou are not a murder.Kill him:He’ll kill your entire family if you let him go.
  121. Shockingly and tellingly, the bloodline that ran from David and Bathsheba through their son Solomon ultimately resolved in the birth of Jesus. To look at the lives of those listed in Matthew 1 for Jesus’ genealogy is to realize that God both loves and uses the morally corrupt for his greater purposes.
  122. 2 Samuel 12:1-7
  123. 2 Samuel 12:13-18
  124. Leo Tolstoy, â€œPamphlets”
  125. “I Am Bryan Cranston, AMA”
  126. SaveWalterWhite.com
  127. Luke 15:11-32
  128. I was peering into the future with this comparison since the last half of the last season had yet to air as of the writing of the first edition of this book. I was wrong about Jesse sacrificing himself for Walter, but a sacrifice did occur by series’ end. I just had the names transposed.
  129. This is to say, I believed a sacrifice would be made on Walter’s behalf. I didn’t think that Walter would die by series’ end, but I thought it’d be interesting if he did so as a heroic sacrifice. However, if that happened, I thought it would negate Gilligan’s intentions to turn Walt from Mr. Chips to Scarface. In many ways, a heroic sacrifice would redeem Walter in the audience’s eyes, just as a possible heroic sacrifice by Jesse would redeem all of his actions. This contrast between my expectations of the finale and what actually occurred is further considered in the last chapter, which was written after the series’ finale.
  130. Brett Martin, “The Last Stand of Walter White
  131. “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” – Romans 10:13For more information on what it means to have a relationship with God, visit PeaceWithGod.net.

    Ch. 11: “I’m in the empire business.”

  132. I’m envisioning an episode called “Return of the Fly.”
  133. David Auerbach, â€œThe Cosmology of Serialized Television”
  134. According to Zap2It’s TV by the Numbers, 2,781,000 viewers watched “Gliding Over All,” the Season 5 mid-season finale.
  135. Lane Brown, â€œIn Conversation: Vince Gilligan on the End of Breaking Bad”
  136. Ibid
  137. Martin Miller, â€œThe end nears for Walter White of ‘Breaking Bad’”
  138. “Breaking Bad: How Much Cash Was in That Storage Unit?” estimates the cash cube to equal roughly $50 million.
  139. This scene screams color coding. Notice the primary colors within the storage room: green money rests atop a red tarp, gazed upon by blue-clad Walter and Skyler.
  140. Madrigal Electromotive’s home country.
  141. Dustin Rowles, â€œ9 Open Questions At The Midpoint of ‘Breaking Bad’ Season 5”
  142. Dustin Rowles, â€œInsane ‘Breaking Bad’ Theory Backed By Questionable Evidence So Good It Might Be True”
  143. Dustin Rowles, â€œ20 Neat Facts, Cool Allusions, Instances Of Foreshadowing, And Theories On ‘Breaking Bad’”
  144. Brett Martin, “The Last Stand of Walter White”
  145. Hal Wilkerson was Bryan Cranston’s previous comedic role in “Malcolm in the Middle.”
  146. Brett Martin, “The Last Stand of Walter White”

    Ch. 12: “You want them to actually miss you.”

  147. For those who thought I feared too much for baby Holly’s safety prior to the last eight episodes: “We had some pretty dark days in the writers’ room. No one was safe, not even baby Holly.” – Vince Gilligan, The ‘Breaking Bad’ Finale Was Not A Dream
  148. Ben Blacker, Fast Company, June 2013, â€œThe Brainiac Box,” Pg. 158
  149. Andy Greenwald, Breaking Bad Series Finale: A Man Becomes a Legend in ‘Felina’
  150. Alan Sepinwall, Series finale review: ‘Breaking Bad’ – ‘Felina’: It’s all over now, baby blue
  151. Kevin McFarland, ‘Breaking Bad,’ Season 5, Episode 16, ‘Felina’: review
  152. Adam Bryant, Breaking Bad “Felina” Recap: How Did It All End?
  153. Maureen Ryan, ‘Breaking Bad’ Finale Review, ‘Felina’: The Big Finish Felt Small At Times
  154. James, Poniewozik, Breaking Bad Watch: Say Hello to My Little Friend
  155. Keatan Lumanog, Twitter
  156. Chris Somers, Twitter
  157. Jana Kinsman, Twitter
  158. Damon Lindelof, Damon Lindelof on Why ‘Breaking Bad’s’ Finale Let Him Say Goodbye to ‘Lost’ (Guest Column)
  159. For what it’s worth, I liked LOST’s ending. Additionally, have you noticed the similarities between the two shows? People yelling “Walt!” all the time, a devastating plane crash, the importance of a chicken restaurant, lottery numbers, flash forwards and flashbacks, a hatch, the notion that characters may have actually been dead at some point though still portrayed as alive on screen …
  160. Sara Bibel, ‘Breaking Bad’ Finale Scores Record 10.3 Million Viewers, 6.7 Million Adults 18-49
  161. Many fans would have liked the series to continue, as evidenced by Jeffrey Katzenberg’s incredible offer of $75 million for Breaking Bad to produce three more episodes for online release. — Breaking Bad and the $75 Million Crazy Plan to Shake Up Television
  162. Marshall Crook, How the ‘Breaking Bad’ Finale Put it All Together
  163. This disconnect could also be an unintentional jab at fathers who adamantly say that they’re working so many hours for the good of their family, when in reality the best thing these men could do is work fewer hours in order to spend more time with their families. Even though Walter’s second job has many attendant dangers to it, it’s the hours that the job requires that serve to further undermine his ardent belief that he’s providing for his family.
  164. Again, one of Walter’s manipulations backfires on him, karmic retribution seemingly destined to out Heisenberg. Had Walter never goaded Jesse into leaving Albuquerque, Jesse would never have been in Saul’s office for Huell to steal his small stash of pot from his pocket, the almost-missable moment through which Jesse ultimately learns about Walter’s poisoning of Brock.
  165. Brett Martin, “The Last Stand of Walter White,” GQ Magazine
  166. Dan Snierson, “‘Breaking Bad’: Creator Vince Gilligan explains series finale,” Entertainment Weekly
  167. Emily Nussbaum, â€œThe Closure-Happy ‘Breaking Bad’ Finale,” The New Yorker
  168. Joyce Carol Oates, Twitter status update, October 4, 2013
  169. Norm MacDonald, Twitter status update, October 2, 2013
  170. Norm MacDonald, Twitter status update, October 2, 2013
  171. Norm MacDonald, Twitter status update, October 2, 2013
  172. “Vince Gilligan Tackles Four ‘Breaking Bad’ Myths,” The Hollywood Reporter
  173. Breeanna Hare, “’Breaking Bad’: Walter White laid to rest with mock funeral, CNN.com
  174. As with most issues in Breaking Bad, this is a debatable point. I could also argue that the finale featured both Heisenberg and Walter White. They’re so inextricably linked by that point that maybe Walter was trying to set himself free from Heisenberg, but he only knows how to accomplish such things in a Heisenbergian way. In other words, Walter has to manipulate Heisenberg to accomplish Walter’s ends. Again, think Fight Club.
  175. Norm MacDonald points to the statement “I was alive” as yet another clue to the “Walter’s already dead” theory, literally interpreting Walter’s words: he was alive, but it’s actually dead Walter that’s speaking to Skyler in this moment.
  176. At first, Gilligan’s music team didn’t agree with his song choice for the ending, but once they saw the dailies of the finale footage, they understood Gilligan’s choice. Breaking Bad’s music supervisor Thomas Golubić then said, “Oh, I get it now . . . This is a love-affair story of Walt and his love of science, and this was his greatest product—his greatest triumph as a chemist. It wasn’t about Walter White as a criminal or a murderer or an awful person. It was him ending on his own terms. It felt creatively right.” — Steve Knopper, Why ‘Breaking Bad’ Chose Badfinger’s ‘Baby Blue’
  177. Ryan Reed, ‘Breaking Bad’ Script Leak Answers Finale Questions
  178. Ryan Reed, ‘Breaking Bad’ Script Leak Answers Finale Questions
  179. If you disagree with this interpretation, read Vince Gilligan’s notes on the finale’s script. In describing the final scene, he writes, “[The police] move in cautiously, their guns aimed. They’re too late. He got away.” — Kris Maske, Here Are The Final Two Pages Of ‘Breaking Bad’s’ ‘Felina’ Series Finale Screenplay
  180. I do not believe that our actions, whether good or bad, work to redeem us, as if we can tip the moral scales to our favor. However, within popular culture and many narratives of our day, good or bad actions are the only way we can see a person’s interior motives made real.