Just as horror films have their own rules, so to do TV finales. While not set in stone, many producers realize the tone is vastly different for a comedy closer than a dramatic one. Comedy finales should be about making you laugh one final time, while dramas should be about making you think. It’s safe to say that “Breaking Bad” has given fans a lot to think about going into tonight’s series finale and that’s leading to an influx of speculation about how it will end.
Ironically, it turns out even studio executives may not even be looped in as yesterday The Guardian reported that in an effort to protect the secrecy around the finale the show took extreme “full” measures.
“Leading actors shot their scenes separately where possible, and several different endings were filmed for security.”
While a little over the top, it’s not unheard of as many weren’t clued into David Chase’s controversial ending of his long-running HBO hit “The Sopranos” ahead of time either. Whether you were a fan of the “jump to black” twist or not, chances are you still tuned in to check in out and considering “Sopranos” was on pay cable and “Breaking Bad” is on basic, it will probably lure in more viewers.
However the question then becomes how fans will react to the final episode. Realistically we know Walter White can’t have a happy ending and last week his life kept spiraling even more out of control, but unlike with “Sopranos,” this has been a gradual decline. He’s lost his family, his friends and arguably his sanity, but he still has his precious oil drum of cash.
Over the last seven weeks, “Bad” has broken out in a big way with strong episode after strong episode and last week winning the Emmy for Outstanding Drama Series. Creator Vince Gilligan, whose quest to bring the show to television has been famously chronicled, has yet to let audiences down which has bumped expectations to an extreme level. In fact yesterday Forbes was reporting ad costs for the finale were going off at $250,000 per 30 second spot. Not bad for a show that nobody in the beginning wanted to touch!
While a fan of Chase’s ending, Gilligan has said he won’t be mimicking it because he wants to do something different and that’s a relief to viewers who have invested years into the program. Then again just as audiences have been loyal to “Breaking Bad,” “Breaking Bad” has been loyal to its audience. The series will go down as one of the best shows of all time and its legacy does not hinge on how it wraps up tonight, but that’s not to say all involved with it aren’t focused on the best ending possible.
Regardless of how the extended finale plays out tonight, the series has taken viewers on a grand journey since its 2008 premiere and that’s something everyone can agree on.
“Breaking Bad’s” series finale airs tonight at 9 p.m. EST on AMC.