Worried that the finale of Breaking Bad—which returns to AMC for its final run of eight episodes on August 11—will be a letdown? That the last few frames will fall short of the impossibly high standards set by Walter White & Co. over the preceding five-and-a-half years?
Well, worry not: showrunner Vince Gilligan has assured The Daily Beast that he isn't going to pull a Sopranos and leave us hanging.
"Anyone anxious that there won't be resolution enough at the end of these eight episodes can rest assured that the story very much reaches resolution," Gilligan said Monday in his most extensive comments on the Breaking Bad finale to date. "It will not end in any kind of open-ended sense."
Speaking from Los Angeles, where he was busy editing the final batch of episodes—"We're about halfway through," he explained—Gilligan struggled to "say something of substance" about the end of Breaking Bad without "giving anything away." After much hemming and hawing, he finally settled on a single word to describe the finale: "victorious."
"I'll say this much," Gilligan began. "I'm surprised by how victorious, in a certain sense, the ending feels to me."
Whether "victorious" means that Hank (Dean Norris) nabs Walt (Bryan Cranston), or Jesse (Aaron Paul) breaks free, or even that Walt triumphs over his (many) foes and frenemies, Gilligan wouldn't say. Walt, of course, seems to be overdue for some sort of comeuppance, but Breaking Bad has always resisted tidy moral constructions, so we wouldn't bet (just yet) on seeing Heisenberg dead or behind bars in the end.
However the series concludes, though, getting there wasn't easy, according to Gilligan.
"I was very nervous for the last year that we didn't have an interesting enough way to wrap up Breaking Bad," he confessed. "I have to say that we were in the woods for a long time with these final eight episodes. Creatively, I felt like I couldn't see the forest for the trees, and I was sort of trying to hack my way through the jungle of this story."
But eventually Gilligan and his team found what sounds like an ideal solution.
"I'm very proud of these final eight," Gilligan said Monday. "They go like gangbusters. There is no downtime in them. We are racing to the finish. I think they end the show in as satisfying a manner as we could possibly come up with."