"This is a story about a man who transforms himself from Mr Chips into Scarface." It only took that one line for writer Vince Gilligan to convince studio bosses to make Breaking Bad, the phenomenal drama from AMC about how cancer-stricken chemistry teacher Walter White decides to create his own crystal meth empire, and the deadly consequences that follow.
After five breathtaking seasons, the show's last episode on 29 September will finally reveal the fate of Walter White/Heisenberg. The internet is abuzz with anticipation and frenzied speculation over how the last 75 minutes will pan out, so without further ado IBTimes UK takes a look at what could happen in the Breaking Bad finale.
The last shot of penultimate episode Granite State lingered on the empty seat at the bar where Walt had previously been drinking, setting us up for his return to Albuquerque. As the flash-forward at the start of season five revealed, he arrives back home and purchases a car loaded with an M60 and plenty of ammunition, seemingly prepared for a climactic showdown.
It appears this shootout will be with Uncle Jack's neo-Nazi gang, as he looks to get revenge for their murder of Hank and Gomez, as well as the $7m they stole from his burial spot at To'hajiilee. This would certainly fit in with the Scarface narrative, seeing Walt as a lone gunmen taking on a group of gangsters, and also matches the Western theme that has run throughout the show if Walt serves as the gunslinger returning to rid the town of outlaws.
Predicting how it will pan out is a much trickier affair. Whilst you'd assume the gang members will be killed, will Walt emerge unscathed? To die in a shootout would certainly be dramatic; the fitting culmination of his descent into this violent world. Even if he were to survive, his death (which must happen) will then have to come at the hands of his cancer. The deadly diagnosis was the catalyst that sparked the catastrophic chain of events in the first place, and so would not only make sense within the show but also tie in with the previously referenced Shelley sonnet Ozymandias; that despite our efforts to create a legacy we can't overcome our own mortality.
If Walt does take on the gang, what will happen to his once loyal companion Jesse? Having to endure the greatest hardship of the show's major characters, in the last two episodes alone Walt told him how he caused Jane's death, before his last love Andrea was killed before his very eyes by Todd as a means of stopping him from escaping.
I once thought that Jesse's death (which writer Vince Gilligan had initially planned at the end of season one), would have to happen as a necessary tragedy for Walt to suffer, seeing his protégé, and to a certain extent adopted son, taken from him. But after everything the two have been through, surely they need to reach some form of reconciliation before the end? I'm praying that Jesse survives and takes care of Brock, charting the opposite direction of Walt by leaving this violent world behind to become a responsible and loving father. If Walt has shown how we all have the potential to break bad, surely Jesse is the example of how we can all break good?
Todd and Lydia
Jesse is certain to have one more run-in with Todd before the final curtain. The congenial southern gentleman of Todd is a complete sociopath, a demented mirror of Jesse, who will even kill a child if they get in his way.
What is most intriguing ahead of the finale is how his relationship with Lydia will develop. Is his affection for her so strong that he'll follow her previous suggestion and kill Skylar? It certainly wouldn't be out of character for him, and would confirm Lydia, and the corporation she represents, as Walt's greatest foe. We've already seen Walt return to collect the Ricin from his house, suggesting that someone will meet their end through poison. Whilst it could be any of the major characters, one particularly interesting online theory suggests the ricin could be placed in the camomile tea Lydia is always seen nervously sipping.
Skylar, Flynn and the White Family
If Walt succeeds in bringing down the meth empire he helped create, what will happen to his family? The omens might not look good for Skylar, but surely it would be excessive to see Flynn and Holly killed as well? We've already witnessed the tragedy of Flynn finding out that the heroic ideal he held of his father was a myth, and it would be too much to bear to see the innocent children who played no role in Walt's empire end up caught in the crossfire. Perhaps Marie, the bereaved sister who had tried to bring Flynn and Holly over to the Schrader household earlier this season, will finally get her wish and bring up the children in a stable and loving environment.
Of course these predictions could all be wrong, and we might be left with an infuriating ending in the style of Lost or The Sopranos. The genius of the show's writers have left us guessing the outcome until the very end, in what is sure to be a fantastic finale. If you have your own ideas or mad theories as to what will happen, let us know.