With the series finale of Breaking Bad filmed and ready for editing, the internet is abuzz with questions about the upcoming and long-awaited 2nd half of season 5. There is speculation surrounding who will be left standing at the end of Vince Gilligan’s eventual 62-episode ‘mini-series’ and whether or not there will be enough room left in the story to finish with a jump to cinema. Yes. Breaking Bad: The Movie.
While I don’t have insider information about the new shows, I DO have a keen eye for noticing some fun “easter eggs” and other fun facts that you may not have noticed.
1. Bryan Cranston Won The Role Of Walter White on The X-Files
Even most Breaking Bad fans are completely unaware that show creator, Vince Gilligan, was a long-serving writer/director/executive producer for the middle seasons of The X-Files. You can find similarities if you look hard enough and some even smack you right in the face. Bryan Cranston actually starred in a “Monster-of-the-Week” episode of The X-Files (‘Drive’ S6 E2), written by Gilligan himself. Cranston’s success in the role prompted Gilligan to cast him as Walter White when he later came to helm AMC’s now crowned jewel.
2. Vince Gilligan Really Loves Circus-Like Tarps (SEASON 5 Pt. 1 SPOILER ALERT*)
Gilligan has made several nods to his previous works throughout Breaking Bad‘s run, but one of the more obvious winks at his X-Files work is the candy-cane canopy that Walt, Jesse and the Vamonos Pest crew use to conceal their cooking. A nearly identical canopy is used in a Gilligan-penned X-File from season 5 where a misunderstood mutant uses the insecticide to subdue his victims. The ‘Big-Top’ style design alludes to the travelling circus and freak-show themes both shows reflect.
3.HANK!!! Dean Norris Helped Solve an X-File!
The Breaking Bad references almost never end in The X-Files! Hank (Dean Norris) appears in the 22nd episode of the 2nd season which has proven to be one of the best episodes the series produced. An ‘Outbreak’-style contagion is contained in a US Prison and Mulder and Scully are sent to make sure it doesn’t reach the general public. The make-up and effects are still effective, even by today’s standards, and allows us a peek at a young, yet still bald Dean Norris with a little more pep in his step than we’re used to.
4. Aaron Paul has always been Jesse Pinkman
If you have an odd memory that best serves for recollecting 1990’s nostalgia like I do, then you’ll remember the above commercial. Many people might not know that Vince Gilligan had planned on killing Jesse Pinkman at the end of season 1, but his widespread popularity cued Gilligan to think again and keep him as a focal point of the show. My good friends at the relentlessly fresh blog, LionsDenU.Com, posted a rare clip of Paul being selected as contestant on The Price Is Right and exhibits some extremely Pinkman-esque behaviour.
5. From Mr. Rodgers To Scarface
The review that initially drew me to watch Breaking Bad was one from my favourite writer/essayist, Chuck Klosterman. He points out that Breaking Bad is the only story where the main character is ACTIVELY trying to be a bad person. We often see characters whose morality is either static (always good/always bad), characters who struggle with their morality, and characters that begin bad and then the story follows their path to redemption. Walter White ignores every opportunity he gets to cash out and support his family, lovingly. Gilligan said he wanted to create a character that is Mr Rodgers in the premiere and Scarface in the finale. Gilligan even provided some Scarface authenticity when he cast Steven Bauer (Tony Montana’s best buddy) as the sinister Don Eladio.