By now, you’ve seen and analyzed last month’s Breaking Bad finale. Probably many times. (If you haven’t, spoilers ahead.) But what you haven’t yet feasted your eyes on are the last two pages of the script, written by series creator Vince Gilligan. At an Austin Film Festival event that honored Gilligan, the screenplay to the series finale (“Felina”) was displayed. Better yet, an enterprising fan posted photos of those pages on Reddit.
It’s illuminating to see how Gilligan framed the final sequence of events, such as Jesse (Aaron Paul) speeding away from the compound. In a finale post-mortem interview, Gilligan told EW last month that “the romantic in me wants to believe that he gets away with it and moves to Alaska and has a peaceful life communing with nature.” In the script, he sums it up this way: “From here on, it’s up to us to say where he’s headed. I like to call it ‘something better,’ and leave it at that.”
He pens a poignant scene of the mortally wounded Walt (Bryan Cranston) taking his final steps through Todd’s lab, where Jesse had been working as a slave. “He’s back with his True Love. Jesse left in the middle of a cook, so Walt continues it. He taps at gauges. He checks temperatures… He’s at peace. The cook is going well. He taught Jesse well. All is as it should be.”
Gilligan’s love of and allusions to Westerns bubbles to the surface as he details Walt’s positioning right before he collapses. “Walt’s hand rests against it like a cowboy’s hand rests on the neck of his horse.” He also portrays Walt’s final expression as “one of faint satisfaction.”
Behold Gilligan’s description of the last piece of action as the cops arrive just after Walt expires. “They’re too late. He got away.”