Ending a story might be the hardest part of telling it, judging by the countless books, movies, and TV shows that can’t get it right. The problem, very often, is that a main character who should die, doesn’t. Whether it’s because the writer chickened out of depressing their fan base, or some studio exec told them to keep the character alive so they can make more money off of them in the future, few things kill a terrific tale quicker than a tragic character never meeting their tragic end.
One major exception was Breaking Bad’s Walter White. Everything about him screamed “he must die”: highly illegal activity, tons of financial success, a fatal disease, he kinda turned into a massive dick, and enemies were just everywhere. His story could only end one of two ways: someone kills him, or the cancer does. They chose the former, and it worked.
And yet, because Bryan Cranston just teased that Walter might still be alive and that maybe, possibly, one day, if they pay him enough, the show could come back, people are going crazy with happiness and anticipation. Of course, the character returning would absolutely ruin his story (imagine if Hamlet simply vomited up the poison while doctors sewed up his stab wound, allowing him to live happily ever after). But apparently people will take that chance if it means Jesse can scream BITCH 200 more times.
This may or may not have been Cranston trolling the interviewer, knowing they would run with the story no questions asked, but let’s assume he’s serious. After all, I learned from a very early age to take everything Bryan Cranston-related completely seriously.
Hal was totally political. The blue represents the poverty Democrats leave the average citizen in.
Even allowing for the return of Breaking Bad, Walter needs to stay dead. It can be done — that way people get their precious show back, their precious main character back, and I get the satisfaction of knowing at least one protagonist knows how to climb into a casket and stay there. Here are a few can’t-miss ways to make both things happen:
– Walter White Jr. exhumes his father’s body, has him stuffed, poses him like a big angry bear, and stands him in the corner of his living room. Every episode has at least 25 shots of Taxidermy Walter, even if it makes no sense to do so.
– The White-5000: an indestructable robot with a badass goatee and the ability to cook 500 batches of meth per minute.
– Every episode is just sixty minutes of Jesse and Skyler standing around and asking, “Where’s Walter?”
– Random people start wearing fedoras and goatees and launching criminal empires, suggesting that “Heisenberg” is a Venom-esque alien symbiote that infects the bodies and minds of once-good people and turns them into hardened psychopaths.
– Reveal that Walter White only died on Earth-2517384595, and that an errant comet somehow caused parallel universes to collide. Earth-2517384595 was obliterated in the catastrophe, leaving only Earth-863849, where Walter is alive and well and making tons of money and cooking and being the one who knocks and everybody lives tragically ever after.
Hey, if comic books can pull that bullshit every other week, why can’t AMC?