Breaking Bad 

Why Breaking Bad’s Dumbest Finale Moment Had To Happen

Breaking Bad wasn't always the most realistic drama, but its finale machine gun moment really stretched credibility, and here's why it happened.

Breaking Bad wasn’t always the most realistic drama, but its finale machine gun moment really stretched credibility, and here’s why it happened. That’s not to suggest that said moment even came close to ruining Breaking Bad‘s series finale, arguably one of the most satisfying conclusions in recent TV history. While some fans wished Bryan Cranston’s Walter White had survived the ending, his story really couldn’t end any other way, considering all the horrible things he’d done.

Walt’s end gave him a chance to do something heroic – rescue his former friend Jesse Pinkman and take down white supremacist scumbags – while also reminding fans of the good man he was before being corrupted by the allure of money and power. It also appropriately made him pay the ultimate price for his myriad past sins, but at least he got to die knowing that the young man he’d once been closer to than almost anyone on Earth was no longer a prisoner.

Before he could accomplish that goal, though, Walt needed to use his considerable brain power to devise a complex trap involving a machine gun and his car trunk that might well make Saw‘s John “Jigsaw” Kramer blush. Thankfully, he wasn’t using it for evil. Still, many fans found the moment way too over the top and implausible to accept, even if it passed a post-show Mythbusters test. It turns out though that Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan spent most of the season with no idea the machine gun trap would even be a thing.

Walt's gun shoots up Jack's clubhouse in Breaking Bad

During a 2018 interview with Uproxx, Gilligan admitted that after writing in Walter White’s acquisition of the M60 machine gun from the gun dealer known as Lawson in Breaking Bad‘s season 5 premiere, he had no real idea in mind for what it would actually be used for. Gilligan figured he and the rest of the writing staff would have time to figure that out over the course of season 5’s 16 episodes, but as the season went by, Gilligan still hadn’t solved the problem. This got bad enough that he strongly considered hoping fans would forget about the gun, but his writers firmly believed the sub-plot needed to lead somewhere.

Finally, Vince Gilligan and company hit on the idea of introducing Uncle Jack and his white supremacist gang as villains, which would require Walt to pull off something big in order to take them down. The M60 is a huge gun, theoretically perfect for taking out a whole room full of people in a rampage. At that point, they knew what they were going to do. Thankfully for Gilligan, most fans, even those who found the gun’s use a bit silly, were willing to go with it in service of enjoying what was otherwise a terrific series finale. While some might wish they had never introduced the gun at all, it was certainly the better move to pay the item off, as having it just disappear from the narrative would have made Breaking Bad look much worse overall.

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