How will 'Breaking Bad' season five end?

Consider the theories, examine the clues, and share your prediction

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The first of the show’s final eight episodes appears on Netflix this week (Mon Aug 12), and speculation about the ending is rife. Will Heisenberg (Walt’s criminal alter ego) become the head of an untouchable cartel? Will sleuthing DEA brother-in-law Hank get the better of him? Or will angry Mexicans shoot the chemist down in a bloody gun battle? We weigh up the delicious options…

  1. The theories
  2. The evidence
  3. Make your prediction

The Shakespearean ending

The five series of ‘Breaking Bad’ have more than just a mathematical connection with the five acts of a Shakepeare play. In particular, Walter White’s over-reaching ambition smacks of Macbeth’s ascent to the throne of Scotland. Like the Thane of Glamis, Walt’s had to bump off a few major players to become top dog. The scene is set for Birnam Wood to come to Albuquerque, and for Heisenberg to be overthrown big Willy style. Likelihood: 5/1

The 'Sopranos' ending

It’s conceivable that, like ‘The Sopranos’, ‘Breaking Bad’ might only give us meagre food for thought at its conclusion, rather than the full buffet of carnage we’re all hoping for. ‘The Sopranos’ closed on an ambiguous ‘what the hell happens next?’ note that only hinted at impending violence. Vince Gilligan, however, rarely misses an opportunity to show a man with half his face blown off. Likelihood: 10/1

The 'Godfather' ending

If Walter White has a cinematic equal, it must be Michael Corleone. The central character in Francis Ford Coppola’s film trilogy gives everything for his family, only to finally realise that he’s alienated and endangered the ones he loves. Bryan Cranston has hinted that Walt’s fate could be similar: ‘What if he lived, and [his family] didn’t? Wouldn’t that be a worse hell to be in?’ Likelihood: 4/1

The 'never saw it coming' ending

‘Breaking Bad’ has redefined the ambit of the screen drama, and pulled off one of the most ambitious character progressions in history. The most likely outcome is, therefore, one that shakes things up yet again. Saul Goodman – the show’s morally vacant lawyer – could usurp Heisenberg’s throne, for example, thus setting the scene for a rumoured spin-off show. Or what about Walt’s cancer? Might the disease finally get the better of him at the point he seems most invincible? Wherever the bolt strikes from, you’ve got to bet on Vince Gilligan pulling something out of the blue. Likelihood: 2/1


  1. The theories
  2. The evidence
  3. Make your prediction

'Breaking Bad', the final season, is available on Netflix from Mon Aug 12.

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