The midseason premiere episode of AMC’s Breaking Bad, entitled “Blood Money,” got off to a rollicking start, with DEA agent Hank Schrader (Dean Norris) confronting the cancer-stricken meth overlord Walter White/Heisenberg (Bryan Cranston) in his garage. And Walter, ever the prideful one, issues his brother-in-law a stern warning: “tread lightly."
Since there are only seven episodes left of the hit series, the show’s creator Vince Gilligan decided to have the pair’s inevitable showdown be on the premiere episode because, as he told us, there’s “a shitload of story left to tell… so we’d better make hay while the sun is shining.”
So where will this season of Breaking Bad take us? There have been many wild theories circulating the Internet. Here are the best of the bunch.
WALT KILLS SKYLER
This theory first circulated on Reddit, and was reposted on a Straight Dope message board:
“In Breaking Bad, Walt has a habit of taking on some little traits of the people he has killed. When Walt killed Crazy 8, he started cutting off the crusts of his sandwiches—just as Crazy 8 had done. Gus drives a Volvo. After Walt kills Gus, at the beginning of Season 5 (at the Denny's), Walt is driving a Volvo (w/ NH plates). When Mike and Walt meet at a bar in an earlier season, Walt orders his drink neat while Mike has his on the rocks. After Mike is killed, and Hank offers Walt a drink in his office - he asks for it on the rocks. At that same scene at Denny's, Walt arranges his bacon into his new age. Someone else used to do that. On top of that, he's using Skyler's maiden name on his fake ID. Based on his history of picking up traits from his victims—I believe Walt is going to murder Skyler before the series is over, and it probably had already happened before he showed up at the Denny's in the Season 5 cold open.”
WALT SURVIVES… WITHOUT HIS FAMILY
Breaking Bad’s final episodes are tied to the famous Percy Bysshe Shelley sonnet, “Ozymandias,” which Walter narrated in one of the show’s teaser-trailers, and is the title of the third-to-last episode, directed by Rian Johnson (Looper). “Ozymandias” is about the fall of empire but what does Walter view as his “empire,” and what would leave Walter the most broken? According to star Bryan Cranston, it could be the loss of his family. Cranston shared this little gem at a recent New York Times-sponsored TimesTalk:
“There's a good case for that, that maybe that's the fitful end. And yet, what if the thing he wanted the most—which was the togetherness of his family—what if he lived, and they didn't? Wouldn't that be a worse hell to be in?”
THE COLOR GREEN… AND WALTER’S POSSIBLE SUICIDE
A writer/Breaking Bad fanatic over at Uproxx noted that bad things seem to happen when Walter is wearing the color green. He wears a light green shirt during the pilot episode when he tries to kill himself but there’s no bullet in the chamber, and later, sports a very flashy lime green shirt after disposing of Gus Fring and phoning Skyler to tell her, “I won.” And, in the flash-forward scenes presented during Season Five, we see Walter wearing a faded green jacket at the Denny’s where he appears to be on the run from someone or something. So, the green shirts are getting progressively darker, and when Walter wears green, well, bad things tend to happen. And Walter committing suicide would take the show full-circle.
ONE LAST STAND
Similar to the full-circle suicide theory is one circulating that the show will come completely full-circle to the series’ pilot episode, where Walter White believes he hears police sirens in the distance and, thinking he’s about to be caught, records an emotional video to his wife and son. Of course, the sirens were just fire trucks, and Walter lived to cook again. So, some Breaking Bad aficionados believe that the ending of the series could come back to the start, with Walter in the desert with police sirens in the distance, recording a tearful, desperate video message to Skyler, Walt Jr., and Holly, before either taking his own life, or bowing out Scarface-style in a hail of bullets.
HOLLY WILL DIE
Vince Gilligan has gone on record on numerous occasions about the importance of color in Breaking Bad, and how it’s used to foreshadow certain events. The color pink is important on the show because it tends to be associated with death. There’s the charred pink teddy bear, which served as a motif during much of the show—you know, the one that fell out of the 737 plane and landed in Walt’s swimming pool, losing an eye. Then, when Walt witnesses the plane crash, he’s wearing a hot pink V-neck sweater. And, after Jesse’s squeeze Jane dies, he finds a cigarette she left in his car covered in her pick lipstick. The most memorable image of Walt’s daughter Holly, meanwhile, is of her sitting in her stroller in what looks like a pink bear costume. Let’s hope she doesn’t experience the same fate as that poor stuffed animal.
BREAKING BAD IS A PREQUEL TO MALCOLM IN THE MIDDLE
OK, this theory is completely outrageous and almost-definitely not true, but it’s hilarious nonetheless: Walter loses everything, goes into witness protection, and assumes his new identity, Hal, and starts a new family.