Click photo to enlarge
Actress Betsy Brandt speaks onstage during the "Breaking Bad" panel discussion at the AMC portion of the 2013 Summer Television Critics Association tour - Day 3 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on July 26, 2013 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

BEVERLY HILLS

So how is "Breaking Bad" going to end? Maybe not the way you think.

"Walt has a large reservoir of joy that he's going to spread over the last eight episodes," teased Emmy-winning actor Bryan Cranston on Friday. "I think everyone will be satisfied with the ending where we all hug it out."

Of course, nothing of the sort is going to happen when the hall-of-fame drama returns to AMC for its final run of episodes on Aug. 11. When we last left Cranston's Walter White, he was in a brutal downward spiral. Meanwhile, DEA agent Hank Schrader (Dean Norris) was finally onto his brother-in-law's drug-dealing ways.

Things clearly are about to get messy.

Left to right, "Breaking Bad" creator and executive producer Vince Gilligan and cast members Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul react during a panel
Left to right, "Breaking Bad" creator and executive producer Vince Gilligan and cast members Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul react during a panel discussion on the show during AMC's Summer 2013 TCA press tour at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on Friday, July 26, 2013, in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

The "Breaking Bad" cast -- minus Norris -- convened here for their final panel session at the TV critics press tour and what essentially was a victory lap.

The actual ending of the dark and edgy series, described by Cranston as "unapologetic," was one that had creator Vince Gilligan highly stressed out before he nailed it.

"I'm very proud of the ending and can't wait for everyone to see it," Gilligan told reporters. "I'm cautious, though, and hope that I'm not wildly wrong. But I think most folks are going to dig the ending."

Gilligan reflected again on his original pitch for the show, in which he spoke of taking "Mr. Chips and turning him into Scarface." But has the journey Walt took from milquetoast chemistry teacher to ruthless and sinister drug lord feel legitimate? Cranston definitely thinks so.


Advertisement

"I truly believe everyone is capable of good and bad," he said. "Depending on your influences, your DNA, character, parenting and social environment, the best of you can come out and the worst can come out. Given the right circumstances, every one of us could be dangerous."

Gilligan revealed that a highly thorough, two-hour documentary will accompany the final season of "Breaking Bad" to DVD. In addition, fans will have a chance to dissect the final eight episodes via a new post-show program called "Talking Bad." It will be hosted by Chris Hardwick, who fills a similar role for AMC's "The Walking Dead."

And though "Breaking Bad" is about to be history, one character may live on. Gilligan is hopeful of doing a spin-off series tied to Saul Goodman, the shady lawyer played by Bob Odenkirk.