Let’s start this news article the same way the Breaking Bad panel started their time in Hall H on Sunday at this year’s San Diego Comic-con: by viewing a series recap. (Sorry, I don’t have access to any of the new season footage that screened.)
Warning: this video and recap of the panel that follows contain series spoilers!!! So, if you haven’t seen Breaking Bad or are still catching up, you may want to come back another time.
What a great way to set the scene. After the video, panel moderator Chris Hardwick (The Talking Dead) joined show creator Vince Gilligan, Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, Anna Gunn, Dean Norris, Bob Odenkirk and RJ Mitte. The first big surprise? Well, besides Bryan Cranston walking out on stage with a Bryan Cranston mask on to surprise the crowd? That the last eight episodes of the series will be followed by Talking Bad, a recap show in the same vein as The Talking Dead, albeit with a more serious tone. We’ll see if Hardwick is capable of reining in the laughs, but all in all, pretty great idea.
The Breaking Bad panel offered some great insights into the characters and the actors that portray them. For instance, for Bryan Cranston, there’s no doubt that his Walter White was a bad man from the get-go, not just evil manifesting in later season. Walter was, Cranston said, bad from the moment he decided to cook meth, and getting progressively badder after that. The panel also talked about some key scenes that were rewritten early on (like Jane’s death) to keep Walter’s spiral into heavier deeds a gradual descent into madness rather than a full on flip.
Another interesting but not really surprising fact is that the Breaking Bad set is actually a funny place to work. One would think it kind of has to be in order to keep dark humor and intense situations/themes in perspective. I can certainly imagine Cranston, Paul, Gunn and the rest of the crew shaking off some of the vibes of a particularly draining scene with some humor. And the “we should get a robot line”? Totally improv’d, leading to maybe one of the most famous lines uttered on the show.
The show’s ending? Creator Vince Gilligan said that he, the writers and actors are happy with the way the show will conclude. And he hopes fans will be too. Everyone will find out sooner rather than later; Breaking Bad‘s final episodes begin on AMC on August 11th, only a few weeks away.