Breaking Bad Boss Talks Season Finale, Gus' 'Spidey Sense' and the Series' Very Final Scene

[The following contains major spoilers from last night's episode of Breaking Bad.]

In this week’s penultimate episode of Breaking Bad Season 4, a most desperate Walter White was poised to put a lot of his problems behind him by clicking the remote trigger on a bomb he had concocted and planted on “Chicken Man” Gus’ car.

Gus and his goons, however, never got closer than 10 yards from the booby-trapped auto before something prompted the drug kingpin to stop, walk to the outer wall of the hospital garage’s structure and gaze around for a protracted bit — at times in a hidden Walt’s general direction — before ultimately pivoting and returning inside the hospital.

Does Gus now, among his myriad other talents, possess a “Spidey sense,” as some critics (Time‘s James Poniewozik included) surmised in their morning-after recaps? Did something lead him to suspect that foul play was at play? “That’s a good question,” Vince Gilligan, who created the acclaimed AMC series, tells TVLine. “I think [the about-face] stems not from [something that happened in] the parking garage itself, but his ‘Spidey sense’ started tingling in the previous scene, when he was talking to Jesse.”

To recap: Gus had been summoned to the hospital when Jesse, in the wake of young Brock’s ricin poisoning, refused to return to the superlab to complete a cook. Jesse held firm in his stance — perhaps too firm — until Gus uncharacteristically acquiesced, allowing his employee some personal leave. “That was a strange sort of subdued behavior on the part of Jesse,” Gilligan notes. “Jesse was sort of eyeballing Gus very intently with this sort of controlled but not completely controlled anger simmering underneath.” Left to process the encounter, Gus elected not to get into his car, but instead presumably return to confront Jesse anew.

As Gilligan notes of Breaking Bad‘s big bad, “This is an amazingly smart individual who has not come as far as he has without being very cautious and being one hell of a chess player. All of those things contribute to his ‘sixth sense,’ if you will.”

Three other burning questions we ran by Gilligan during a Monday conference call:

WILL IT BECOME CLEAR HOW BROCK CAME IN CONTACT WITH THE RICIN? OR WILL VIEWERS BE LEFT TO MAKE THEIR OWN CONCLUSIONS? | “You’ll have to wait until [next Sunday's season finale],” said Gilligan, “but your questions will be answered.”

WILL NEXT WEEK’S FINALE LEAVE US WONDERING, “WHAT THE HELL WILL SEASON 5 BE ABOUT?” OR SAYING, “OHHH, SO THAT’S WHAT SEASON 5 WILL BE ABOUT”? | “Probably a little more of the former,” Gilligan shared. “But hopefully you’re just going to say, ‘Wow.’”

AS BREAKING BAD NEARS ITS FINAL SEASON, DOES GILLIGAN KNOW HOW IT WILL ALL END? HAS HE ALREADY WRITTEN THE FINAL SCENE IN HIS HEAD? | The answers are no, and no. “I wish I did — but then again I don’t wish I did, because … there’s a lot of invention left to be done on Breaking Bad,” he told us. “We’ve got 16 more hours to fill, and honestly I don’t exactly know where it’s all going to wind up — and I think that’s a good thing. When we get back in the writers room in mid-November, we’re going to do it the way we’ve always done it, which is build it brick-by-brick…. The best I can say is I’ve got hopes and dreams for the characters, but I don’t have any solid plot moments for them yet. We’re going to find it when we find it.”

How do you think Breaking Bad‘s fourth season will end?

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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50 Comments
  1. tvfan says:

    I hope that he had a general idea how to end this crazy show when he started the show. I have always assumed that they did. I am not happy to hear that they are inventing as they go. They have set the bar very high, now is not the time to coast to the finish line without a plan.

    • Mike says:

      Some of the best television out there is “invented” as they go. At least partially. If you went by a pre-written bible…you leave very little flexibility to change your show if something isn’t working. But, for some reason audiences feel more comfortable when showrunners tell them that it has all been planned out ahead of time. (see: LOST) The truth is, no one has written out their entire show ahead of time. They come up with a concept and maybe a basic outline of where the show will go….but it’s subject to change based on how certain storylines are received or how well they work on paper/on screen. Even George Lucas claims he had a bible for his Star Wars saga, but he eventually admitted that he made stuff up as he went (ironically, in a letter to Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse as LOST was ending). The only thing you need to rely on is what happens on the screen every week. Are you entertained? For LOST and Breaking Bad, my answer is a resounding YES. Who cares if they make it up as they go? It actually makes it more exciting creatively if you do make it up on the way. Write yourself into corners and then figure out how to get out of them. Now, people will argue that LOST’s conclusion left a lot to be desired. I disagree, but still argue that the journey is the BIGGEST part of the show you should be worried about. It’s what you invest in on a weekly basis. You shouldn’t be invested in a show just to see how it will end. Hence, why my concluding statements leave something to be desired as well! :-)

      • Gavin says:

        Totally agree with you Mike. The worst possible thing you can do is have a strict guideline to follow from day one. There has to be creativity and sponteniety and room to invent and re-invent.

        Sometimes you may think you are going one direction and the characters will pull you in another. J Michael Strazcynzski used to write Babylon 5 off the cuff and would find this very thing happened. Characters created their own plots and subplots and the writing process took him in directions he didn’t expect but loved and paid off.

        • Cloudy Knight says:

          Many a story has been ruined by a bad or weak ending. The writers should have the flexibility to follow where the characters take them, but they must also have an end game in mind, else the whole thing is ruined by an inconsistent or ridiculous ending.

          • jennrae says:

            The Breaking Bad ending would have to be really bad for it to detract anything from four fan-frakking-tastic seasons, which incidentally were also written as they went along.

          • Mike says:

            Oh, I’m sure many shows have an end game “in mind” including Breaking Bad…but having fully fleshed out what it’s going to take to get there? I think they figure that out as they go. LOST, definitely had an end game planned, there was just a large portion of people that didn’t like it.

    • Alienware says:

      Vince has always said that he doesn’t have a plan for how the series will end, and he has done it this way since the beginning of the show.
      Given that so far he hasn’t done anything wrong, let’s give him a little faith would ya?

  2. Cindy Young-Johnson says:

    Matt -

    As I watched Gus become suspicious and not get in the car, I said out loud the very same thing – “does he have a spidey sense?” After thinking about it the thing sticking with me was that Jesse should have never told him Brock was poisoned. That bit of knowledge meant Jesse probably knew the ricin was missing from his cigarette pack. However, how in the world did Gus get it into Brock? I hope those questions are answered.

    • R says:

      Easy answer, he didn’t. Walt had the kid poisoned.

      • Rock Golf says:

        Walter is a react-er not an actor. He wouldn’t think that far ahead. He also had no good opportunity to get the poison to Brock. I’m betting the real explanation is an accident. Brock steals one of Jesse’s smokes and poisons himself.

        • Stacy says:

          Yeah, I think it was an accident and Jesse was just remembering wrong when he said he had it in the morning.. If it wasn’t then it was probably Walt..

      • Chris says:

        There is no way Walt poisoned the kid thats just not who he is. i think what walt told jessie is what happend.

        • scott says:

          Not who he is? Maybe not who he was… but this show is called Breaking Bad after all. At this point, I would put very little past Walt in his desperate attempt to keep his family safe.

          Also don’t forget about how he allowed Jane to just die right in front of him in s2.

          Also – he didn’t have to have given Brock the ricin. Could have just been a less-toxic poison given at a dosage to make him very sick, but not dead.

          Re; logistics… Huell could have grabbed the ricin cig at Saul’s office and Walt (or one of Saul’s guys) could have gotten the other poison to Brock some other way. Not sure how, though… lol.

          Anyway, we’ll find out after yet another VERY LONG week waiting for the next episode of BrBa.

          • TigerNightmare says:

            It wasn’t Walt. Period. If you think he would do that, you’re watching some other show.

          • Simon Jester says:

            @TigerNightmare – Agreed. Walt would NEVER poison a child.

          • Snsetblaze says:

            What was telling for me was Gus’s line about appropriate action being taken before hanging up on Jessee. When Jessee is sitting at home, he hears the kid was poisoned. I believe Gus knew about the poison Jessee had. Tyrus did have access to the cigarettes. We have seen it before. The only question is – how did it get into the kid. Did Gus or Tyrus walk up to him on the street and say, “hey kid, wanna smoke?” The other option – that the kid took it and Jessee just remembered wrong is plausible. Also, perhaps the mom stole the cigarrette, taking it from Jessee’s pack in the evening, and then kept it for later, and the kid took it from her and was curious.

          • Dennis is a Danny says:

            This is great. I have seen so many comments (here and elsewhere) stating that Walt would never kill a child. Gilligan should be proud, because Walt still has these people who believe in him, and when it comes out next week that he really did do it, it is going to come as a hard truth to some viewers. I kind of wish I was one of them.

        • Thomas says:

          I agree Walt did not do it he had no time or resourse and NO WAY saul would posion a kid he would barely call the DEA for walt
          WALT
          1. He was zaped and hauled to the desert
          2. went to sauls
          3. went home asap to get money
          4 laid in crawl space having a break down
          5 set up his family to be protected
          6. Help pack his family
          7. stayed at home waiting for gus to send someone

          OK
          jesse said he had it in the morning
          now walt was with DEA loading his family in the truck in the morning

          Gus and his men have been poisoning people sinse he came on the show
          How many times has mike used a needle to poison
          The two brothers

          In the sneek peek you see tyrus with a needle
          this entire walt and saul did it is stupid

          I have to laugh at some of the crazy far fetched synopsis people give as if the have never watched the show or maybe they are just kids with no reasoning

        • R says:

          LOL I just came back here to see if anyone called me out on my theory. I love that someone said I’m “not watching the same show” since I was certain Walt did it. Nice.

  3. Rock Golf says:

    “Gus… gaze[d] around for a protracted bit — at times in a hidden Gus’ general direction — before ultimately pivoting and returning inside the hospital.”

    Shouldn’t that second “Gus” read “Walter’s”?

  4. Sarabi says:

    Breaking Bad is the best show on TV right now. I can’t wait for the finale to air. It’s going to be epic!

    • Ebowers says:

      I totally agree…
      I had been hooked on “House” but with the disappointing season finale,the loss of Lisa E,and the total destruction of the title character I needed a new TV Drama

      Thank God I found “BREAKING BAD”

      I dropped House and my new faxorite character is Walter White
      Love Gus and the actor who portrays Jesse is TOP NOTCH;
      Love Frank AKA Johnathon Banks from “WiseGuy”

      Great acting and Great writing can’t beat

      I can’t believe I had missed this show earlier

  5. Carol G says:

    I hate that it will end next season, I wish we could have just one more season!’

  6. Noname says:

    The writer SHOULD have an idea of how the show is gonna end as, just in case the show becomes completely idiotic (see Lost.)

    • TigerNightmare says:

      Lost had many idiotic elements from the very beginning (polar bear, anyone?) and they struggled with filler episodes and reluctantly agreed to a specific end date, only to make their finale a super-sized 2½ hours that a lot of people did not like.

      Breaking Bad has no filler episodes. Breaking Bad has no weak elements. Breaking Bad has no stray plot threads. It is, in a word, flawless. Every other showrunner and writer should take a page out of Vince Gilligan’s “brick-by-brick” method of writing a show to sculpt an amazing, highly serialized story that could only be told on television. I have nothing but the utmost faith that by the time they start filming the first episode of the final season, they will already have the final script written.

      That said, I don’t envy the task of figuring out how to end this breathtaking masterpiece.

  7. ghostwriter says:

    Breaking Bad is easily the best television show I have ever seen. I am absolutely blown away by Bryan Cranston, and by the transformation he is capable of making. I give enormous credit to the producers for seeing the potential in Cranston; I’m not sure that I would have seen it myself. Personally I don’t care if Goilligan has been making it up as he goes along; as long as the shows are this good, I will support his writing approach 100%.

  8. CraigO says:

    I thought it was hinting that Gus saw a reflection off of Walt’s glasses? As the camera panned around Walt at the end it seemed to accentuated the glasses on his head.

    I think Brock accidentally smoked the cigarette. Also, where is Mike? ;)

    • AJ says:

      That was my impression. The glasses angled on his head might have given a reflection. Of course it’s possible he processed something Jesse said and realized Walt had done something significant to turn the tables.

    • Simon Jester says:

      @CraigO – Mike is still in Mexico, remember?

  9. Lyndsey says:

    I’m reminded of a letter Tolkien wrote to his son (who was serving in the RAF in Africa, I believe) while he was writing Lord of the Rings during WWII. As he was describing his progress he mentioned that a new character, Faramir, had shown up out of nowhere & Tolkien didn’t know quite what to make of him! Great literature (and television) only thrives when the characters take on a life of their own…when the story becomes what they will & will not do instead of what the writer decides sounds good!!

  10. BeachBum says:

    One of the key elements, along with the writing, directing and acting, that lifts this amazing show into the pantheon of television dramas (NYPD Blue, The Sopranos)is the incredible cinematography. Each week I am blown away by the sheer beauty of the camera work. Whoever is responsible for this should have a mantle full of Emmys.

  11. swanee says:

    I agree the game has been changed with the threats on his family.

  12. paul says:

    Wow I haven’t seen this episode yet so it sounds like an epic. i hope they have an idea of where this season will end and particularly the season as this is one of the most epic and major crazy tv series i have ever watched with many great twists and turns none of which are common or the same as the series before it. This means that even though they may be inventing on the run they are doing an amazingly awesome job of keeping story and character plot lines going and still managing to get them to tangle and weave into an amazing yet powerful series not to mention the great on screen performances particularly by walter white and jesse. Now that Walter has finally cracked i do look forward to seeing where it all finishes and how it walter or heisenberg becomes the true drug king ping….check it…Pinkman and the brain

  13. ReMMeZ says:

    I absolutely love Breaking Bad. I am as hooked as some of the meth-taking zombies we saw in previous seasons. Aaron and Bryan are the best team in a dramaserie i have ever seen. The amount of chemistry is amazing [lol].

    I have not one single worry that this show won’t end sublime. Every episode especially in the third and fourth season was a masterpiece. Lost, House, Prison Break… there is nothing to compare this with.. Accept for WiseGuy way back in the day [starring Jonathan :-D].. i remember i got the same kick out of that when i was young.. Nevertheless that show [i've got the dvd's] wasn’t half as good as this one.

    17 X 44 minutes.. that’s all that is left.. I can’t wait. Bring it on.

    • Ebowers says:

      Hey Do you remember Sony Steelgrave played by Ray Starkey and
      Mel and Susan Profitt and Roger Lacoco. WiseGuy was AWESOME

  14. Pam says:

    Argh! I am going to miss the finale because – irony alert – I will be in Albuquerque visiting family. I am hoping the city is proud of the show, ergo, a lot of bars will be playing the finale.

  15. Danny says:

    I agree, “Breaking Bad” is the antithesis of “Lost.” The latter started with promise and built to a smashing third-season wrap. The fourth season was compelling, but ultimately disappointing. The two final seasons were misfires, with an inexplicable, lame, anti-climatic finale that stands in the annals of worst-ever final episodes.

    So far, “Breaking Bad” JUST GETS BETTER. Bring on the bad!

  16. Jay says:

    So…I just started watching this show about a couple weeks ago, and have finally caught up. All I have to say, is that this show is brilliant. Crawl Space…was just wow. Cranston and Paul are both incredible.

  17. Nickdread says:

    I think that Guss will be killed off in the last show. Next season, Jesse will rise up and take over and Mike will return to be his henchman.

  18. Wow this is not good at all.. I see a LOST ending in the making they should of atleast got he ending down by last season.. I just hope they don’t ruin this..The Show PRISON BREAK was a really great show until they got to the last season then it turned into the worst seasons I ever seen on TV…Maybe Gilligan should contact the writers of The Shield They know how to NOT mess up the ending

  19. Justafan says:

    Everyone is forgetting Hector. Gus had just pointed out that Jesse killed Hector’s grandson in Mexico. Hector had protected Jesse to the DEA if you recall so this is a major betrayal and he knows about Jesse and Walt using poison to try to kill Tuco. I am sure it would not take much investicating for him or rather someone working for him to find out about Brock being important to Jesse and poison him (perhaps no relation to the Ricin). Jesse could be right about the ricin being taken at Saul’s but not to be used by them or Walt but just to protect Walt from Jesse using it poison Walt! Anyway, Gus may have thought of Hector getting revenge at that moment, or of Walt. Tyrus might have taken the ricin alternatively since he does not like Jesse – could he have just acted on his own? It did not seem to me that Gus poisoned Brock and certainly not Walt. could Mike have returned? Yes lots of possibilities

  20. Paul says:

    I’m just going to shoot with wild guesses..

    Walt will get the help of Jessi ,Saul, and Mike (because Jessie saved him) to just level the building with the lab inside.

    Gus will be in the building when the blast accours. His body never found.

    However he will not die. (Gus) He will return in season 5 with his boys from Chile to take his business back from Walt. Who has his own lab at the car wash.

  21. BradPenn says:

    @tvfan, honestly… around 2 years ago, i would’ve responded similarly to how you are.
    Back when I was a LOST devotee… i used to praise them for knowing from the very start how theyd end it. But now… i believe that that type of mentality.. limits you. Being locked into one plan.. is bad. i mean.. #1… what if something comes up. like Raymond Cruz having to leave due to personal reasons… you have to allow for some flexibility in your narrative… if youre locked into one way, it’s likely things will end badly… but if youre confident in your writing abilities… you embrace the open-ness.. the freedom to go anywhere you want with it. It’s like jazz. just let it create itself.

  22. W White says:

    2 Things don’t make sense 1 when gus tells jesse walt ratted them out to the dea why didn’t jesse say “if he did why aren’t they coming down the steps or the elevator? Surely if he did rat them out he would tell them the secret location” and 2 all the los polos trucks all shot up with dead bodies and such, why has no one run into them in the law enforcement community ….

  23. Frank says:

    Breaking Bad is like the TV equivalent of No Country for Old Men. The notion of “fate” and “destiny” is the foundation. The central message throughout the series is that drugs are bad and ultimately no good will come from it. The writers have done an excellent job showing that the deeper the characters involvement with drugs become the more dire the consequences are. It’s very clever how they depict that every action has a reaction—often not for the good. It’s almost like one of those time travel stories where if you go back in time and alter even the minutest thing it will ripple through to have a profound impact in the future. For example, in the short run, killing Gale seemed to be saving Walt and Jesse’s life, however it might just have been the seed that will ultimately lead to their downfall (if not their demise). Again fate and destiny.

    Walt and Gus are both superb tacticians; Walt demonstrated this a while back in a discussion with Gus when the relationship was in its infancy. The difference is Gus has experience. However, part of the Breaking bad journey has been watching the transformation of Walter; once an under-achieving closet genius that was basically a mouse becomes a lion. Even after all that has happened, I think Gus respects Walt and his loyalty to Jesse. The revenge thing in Mexico showed that Gus also knows the bonds of a partner. In a way I think Gus appreciates Walt’s loyalty and hierarchy of values. Gus knows exactly where Walter is coming from and his reasons for “cooking.”

    Gus being a great manager, couldn’t just let Walts actions go unpunished, however I don’t think he really wants to kill Walt either. I think he was more that willing to let Walt “retire.” However, Walt has mis-read the situation and is going to force Gus’ hand to take actions that he otherwise might not have taken.

    As for the Brock being poisoned, I think the kid took one out of Jesse’s pack (probably picked that one because it was turned around and stood out from the rest of the pack). Again fate and destiny; because of the life style Jesse chose to live (a non-virtuous one) there are negative repercussions. If Jesse weren’t involved with the drugs manufacturing, thus having to deal with a drug lord that he felt he had to poison, he wouldn’t have had the poison in the first place.

    I don’t think they confirmed that the kid was poisoned from ricin, that was conclusion Jesse made. I wouldn’t be surprised if this turns out to be another false assumption that was hastily jumped to. But in the process tipped their hand, so to speak, to Gus about poison. Consider this, Gus realizes that Jessie thinks he did it. I think this is what came to Gus’ mind when in the parking lot. Since Gus knows he didn’t do, but the kid was in fact poisoned (from ricin as far was Jesse thinks) then there was poison. Why? I bet Gus put it together that it was from Jesse that Brock got the poison and more importantly why did Jesse have it in the first place and for whom was it intended for.

  24. alexander says:

    I wish netizens would stop insisting the poisoning was accidental. Do you remember the way the ricin was stored in the cigarette? It was put into a tiny glass vile, which was then put into the cigarette. How do you accidentally smoke a cigarette and ingest the contents inside of a closed glass vile?

    I personally think that Walt did this. Think about the extraordinary things he did just to give his family a better life. Now, the stakes are not just leaving his family with money, but their lives are on the line, as well as Hank’s and his wife.

    Given this desperation, knowing that it is all lost anyhow, I think he would be capable of poisoning the child. Jesse was the only access to Gus, and so he had to manipulate Jesse somehow.

    I think Walt made the decision when he spun the gun. At first he was going to kill himself, but then decided to take one last hail mary pass to save his family. And maybe himself.

    Other thoughts:

    Sometimes Jesse annoys me. The way he speaks with such desperation puts me off. Its as if he is a spoiled child-esque drug addict acting on constant emotion. (of course he is a drug addict and aren’t all drug addicts just little children who want to cry in their mommy’s arms but can’t so turn to drugs to escape their adult responsibilities?)

    Walt was so smart in the first few seasons, but now is making such rash decisions, its disappointing. I was hoping he would eventually take over Gus’s position and run the Meth operation himself w/ Jesse under him. That would have made interesting TV…the interplay between Walt (as kingpin) and Hank (as DEA agent).

    Finally, I always thought at some point they would interlace a plot line with a national level DEA agent who had connections/offered protection to the Cartel or Gus. This would have been interesting, but was never explored. Instead we had to watch the low level interplay between 2 annoying pathetic emotional driven people: Walt and Jesse.

  25. cyberwench says:

    I’m with you…an a awesome show and riveting entertainment…period!! Who cares how or why? Get over yourselves, everyone!

  26. amc says:

    WHO GIVES A DAMN ABOUT LOST,ITS ABOUT BREAKING BAD.
    im sick of all the lost show peepz give it up already,the ending of lost has failed suck it up.

    breaking bad is in now way the same as lost so bagg off

  27. Sandy says:

    I think Gus got what he had coming and the next season may be how they all get on with their lives now. And the Lily of the Valley was the perfect way to “poison” someone I suppose, but it was awful for the kid. Alls well that ends well? I think this show is a trip and those of use who like it are a different kind of breed, so no complaints from me :)