Breaking Bad Exclusive: Vince Gilligan Teases "Heart Attack" Conclusion, Saul Goodman Spinoff

at . Comments

Brace yourself but, in case you weren’t keep track, only three episodes of Breaking Bad remain.

Now, take a deep breath because, according to creator Vince Gilligan, who jumped on the phone with me this morning, you’re going to need all your strength to keep it together for those installments.

No spoilers here but we did talk about the series as a whole, the return of Walt’s cancer, Todd’s role since he came on the scene late in the game and, of course, the Saul Goodman spinoff.

Here's what the man who created one of the all-time classic series has to say about its end ...

TV Fanatic: When you hear people say that Breaking Bad is possibly or definitely the best show in TV history, how do you wrap your head around that? Can you?

Vince Gilligan: It’s insanely flattering and feels good to hear anyone say that but it also scares me greatly for the future. Let’s put it this way, it would even be more enjoyable and pleasurable if I had announced my retirement from the business but since I want to go on and do other things after this, human nature being what it is, you think ‘how am I going to top this?’ Really, the odds are I’m not, ever.

This is really lightning in a bottle. We writers on the show did our best to do the best work we were capable of but everybody does that. Everybody is always working the hardest to do their best work. There’s a sudden element of lightning in a bottle, some magic, that came about with this thing that was not due to me, it was due to the luck of casting the actors we did…we always cast the best actors you can find, too, but you never know if they’re going to click but this ensemble did.


TVF: Bringing Walt’s cancer back, I was trying to figure out the reason for that. Was it to bring back some of his humanity?

VG: I don’t think there was an act of thought to give Walt his humanity back. Unfortunately, a big part of humanity is our darker sides and our less loveable and more evil side. I think that is as human as our goodness. As bad as Walt has gotten he has, depending on how you look at it fortunately or unfortunately, remained human.

Having said all of that, Walt’s cancer returning felt like a fitting plot development to the writers and to me because cancer, as a plot engine, is what started this whole journey and it seemed like it would feel, perhaps, like a loose end if the cancer didn’t come back. It also felt real because we’ve all probably all known someone in our lives who very valiantly fought cancer and then a few years later, or 10 years later, 20 years later, back it comes rearing it’s ugly head.

The two-pronged answer is it seemed very realistic to us and it also seemed proper that it make a reappearance in order for that main plot engine of the series at the end of the day to not feel like a loose end.

TVF: I don’t want spoilers even for myself but the last episode ended on this fantastic shootout – God Bless Michelle MacLaren for doing such a good job directing that episode – but how would you define these last three episodes?

VG: I think these last three episodes, not to overstate it, and you could say this about the last eight, but with these last three in particular you need to install a seat belt on your sofa, you need to wear a crash helmet and a diaper. [laughs] I tell ya, this next episode (entitled “Ozymandias”), I think for my money, is the best episode we ever had had or ever will have. It was written by Moira Walley-Beckett and directed by Rian Johnson.

I think people are going to have trouble breathing after this thing airs. It’s tremendous and it’s a great, great hour of television and I’m as proud as I can be of the two episodes that air after that one and both of them are a hell of a wild ride, too. I couldn’t be more proud of these final eight episodes or these last three episodes. I think they’re going to leave us with some sleepless nights.

TVF: I want to ask about Todd (Jesse Plemons). He makes me so nervous with his laid back-ness but is he a threat or an asset moving forward?

VG: I can talk about my perceptions of him and the actor who plays him. I don’t think I can answer your question of asset versus threat because that would be a spoiler. But I think Todd is a character who the writers and I really grew fond of a large part because we love the actor who plays him. Jesse Plemons has brought so much of the character and increased our understanding of the character just in the way he’s chosen to play him.

I think Todd…[laughs]…is just kind of the most loveable sociopath that we’ve ever come across! He doesn’t seem to have an understanding of other people’s feelings in a sense of…the best way I can put it is when he shot that poor kid on the dirt bike. I don’t think he enjoyed doing it just like he wouldn’t enjoy swatting a fly. It’s not like he doesn’t get any pleasure from the act of killing. It just needed to be done. It’s like ‘I think I’m going to go get a sandwich now.’ He’s got a screw loose! The guy is damaged, for sure, but there’s no ill will there, ya know?

Walter White Busted

TVF: You’ve worked with these actors for so long now. Was there a moment in these last eight that surprised you when you actually saw certain scenes on film?

VG: Yeah, I’ve had that feeling constantly with these actors. They really spoil ya! They’ve spoiled me for all future work, honestly. I knew they were great when we hired them but I didn’t know how great. As we got more and more episodes under our belt, my appreciation for these folks only increased.

A good example is Dean Norris and that amazing scene that he plays in 509 when he is in his garage and he and Walt have their first confrontation, where all the cards are on the table and both guys realize that Hank knows who he really is. I thought that scene was tremendous and Dean was fantastic, as was Bryan.

I think there’s a scene with Aaron Paul that just made the hair stand up on the back of my neck. It’s one we’ve already seen out in the desert when he says to Walt, ‘Why don’t you just tell me the truth and say that you want me to leave because otherwise you’re going to kill me.’ There’s another one coming up two episodes from now with Aaron Paul, which I will not say what happens but it is an electrifying moment of acting.

There are moments, honestly, throughout, and just when I get complacent saying ‘Yeah, these guys are great,’ there’s another bravura moment that just makes you think ‘I am so blessed to be working with these people.’ They are at the apex, the tiptop of their game. They’re head and shoulders above anyone else’s game. I’m biased as hell but this is the best cast on TV ever. These guys are so fucking good. I can’t even put it into words properly.

TVF: We got the news of the Saul Goodman spinoff this week. What’s the tone of the show going to be since Saul tends to lean more towards the comedic side of things?

VG: I don’t think it’s going to be an out-and-out comedy but I think there is going to be more laughs and more comedic than certainly Breaking Bad was, though that’s not saying a lot, is it? But we always put as much humor as we could fit into Breaking Bad because I always felt that a show as dark as Breaking Bad would be unwatchable if it took itself too seriously and if it was relentlessly grim so we needed as much humor as we could find to leaven the darkness.

With that in mind, if Breaking Bad is ratio-wise 75% heavy to 25% comedic, which is probably a fair guess, then I think what Peter [Gould] and I are thinking of is the Saul Goodman show would be the flip of that. Don’t hold me to that ratio but that’s the basic idea. It’s certainly not a sitcom but it’s lighter in general with some moments of real drama because Saul deals with some hardened characters and will have dealt with some hardened characters before Walter White.

TVF: Going off the heavy and the light, in these last three Breaking Bad Season 5 episodes, is there any lightness? Even in the “To’hajiilee” episode, we had Todd’s phone with the Thomas Dolby “She Blinded Me With Science” ring tone. Any room in these last three?

VG: As I said, we’d put those more humorous moments whenever we can and I was fearful going into these final eight that there would be no more room for humor, a chuckle or a laugh. I figured in these final eight we’d have no room at all for that kind of stuff and I was very heartened to learn that I was wrong.

Even in these final three, which are as heart attack/serious as any episodes of Breaking Bad have ever been, believe it or not, there is still room for a fleeting moment of levity, if you will.

Breaking Bad airs Sundays at 9 pm on AMC. The series finale airs on September 29th.

Jim Halterman is the West Coast Editor of TV Fanatic and the owner of Follow him on Twitter.


I am Anitna by name. Greetings to every one that is reading this testimony. I have been rejected by my husband after three(3) years of marriage just because another woman had a spell on him and he left me and the kid to suffer. one day when i was reading through the web, i saw a post on how this spell caster on this address, have help a woman to get back her husband and i gave him a reply to his address and he told me that a woman had a spell on my husband and he told me that he will help me and after 3 days that i will have my husband back. i believed him and today i am glad to let you all know that this spell caster have the power to bring lovers back. because i am now happy with my husband. Thanks for baba His email:


My ex-boy dumped me 4 months ago after I accused him of seeing another woman and insulting him.I want her back in my life but she refused to have any contact with me. She changed her line and email address. I was so confuse and don't know what to do. So I reach to the internet for help and I saw a testimonies of how a this powerful spell caster help them to get their ex back. So I contact the spell caster whose name is Dr aluta and explain my problem to him and he cast a spell for me and assure me of 2days that my ex will return to me, and to my greatest surprise the Second day my ex came knocking at my door and i immediately pleaded and ask her to forgive me. I am so happy that my love is back again and not only that,i was awarded a contract of 5 Million Pound for 4 years. Once again thank you aluta,you are truly talented and gifted. Email:{
}. He is the only answer. He can be of great help and I will not stop publishing his good work because people are still talking about him on the Internet and Radio Stations.
His Phone number is +2348052214208


I'm from usa, My life is full of gladness because Dr Ogunjimi has asked me to be happy. What happened to me, was not what i can keep only to myself ,but to also tell the world so that those that were once like me will get their love ones back and be happy once again. I and my lover had some issues which led to our break up, since after then my life has never been the same,I've been confused all my life, i tried all methods to get him back. but he just won't come back to me. But one day during my research on the internet, i came across someone's testimony about Dr. Ogunjimi that was able to bring her ex lover back within few days. Though at first i taught she wasn't real about it. I never believed the testimony, but the other mind of mine said why not give a try to this spell caster and. See if its going to work for me,then I decided to tell my problems to him,by sending him emails,( and he asked me to buy some materials that would be needed for the spell casting,then I paid for the materials, immediately (24 hours) later, my ex came back begging me that he wants me back that he's very sorry for everything he has done wrong to me, that he's planning to come and marry me if I don't mind, that's how I got back my ex boy friend, and I'm also using this medium to tell the whole world about this great man called Dr Ogunjimi .And For those in need of anything he told me that in his temple there is no impossibility now i believe him so much my dear friends, if you need help to bring back your ex lover kindly contact him via email: ( And i promise you that your lover will definitely come back to you. He could help you on the following listed below.
(1) Bring back your lover.
(2) Job promotion.
(3) Job opportunity etc. Contact him today on ( he will help you out.......Try him.


I hate the idea of a Saul spin-off-it doesn't seem right to drag him into prominence on the coattails of BB's success. He's never been too much of a character anyhow, leave it like that. NO spin-off for Odenkirk if I had MY way!


WHy did Marie's house & her clothing get more & more purple as the show went on Breaking Bad?


We know Jesse survives the gunfight because Gilligan slipped in a spoiler when he talked about Aaron Paul's great acting two episodes from now. (Thanks for trying, Vince, but you'll avoid spoilers if you stop talking about it in interviews. But don't stop, lol.)


Saul, Steph & Jsmith: you're all correct. I guess I "jumped the gun" there for a moment. I suppose Chris and I can rest easy and enjoy the remainder of the series. Thanks for putting it all in perspective. :-) I want "Walt" to KILL "Jesse!"


how do you know that jesse is alive in the last episode? Have you not been watching this show? FUCKING ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN!!! ANYTHING, jesses "Awesome moment of acting" Could be a flashback that walt is having or anything. I would not assume that he lives.... at


Yeah, I mean the actress who plays Jane (Jesse's goth girlfriend) is back this Sunday, so we all know THAT'S not in the current time setting!


Jan, it could be a flashback or something else. Just because somebody is in an episode, it doesn't mean they are alive in the current time setting.

Tags: , ,

Breaking Bad Season 5 Episode 14 Quotes

You're the smartest guy I ever met, and you're too stupid to see he made up his mind 10 minutes ago.


I watched Jane die. I was there, and I watched her die. I watched her overdose and choke to death. I could have saved her, but I didn't.