"Breaking Bad" wrapped the first half of its last season Sunday and — spoiler alert — something happened. Just kidding: Plenty happened as you know, most notably the fact that Walt brother-in-law and DEA ASAC Hank Schrader — was played so masterfully by yet another "BB" standout Dean Norris — now knows the true identity of "Heisenberg."
And much, much more. Vince Gilligan, the mastermind behind "Breaking Bad," spoke with reporters yesterday and I have outtakes from the transcript. And take it away!
— On "swinging for the fences .?.?."
"We are going to swing for the fences in these final eight episodes. And we are going to — it's liberate — it's terrifying and yet it's liberating for me and for the writers to know that these are the final eight hours coming up that we'll ever have for this series. There's been talk of a movie and whatnot. But I could tell you that, you know, none of that is even remotely on my radar right now. As far as I'm concerned, the end of this story is contained within these final eight episodes. And we have — we now have freedom, carte blanche I suppose, to dispense with the timid, pusillanimous storytelling we've been, you know, doing so far. And really I'm joking, and really swing from the fences this time around. "
On how Mike could be so dumb! (Mike — Jonathan Banks, natch — who was shot and killed by Walt down by the riverbank):
"I think turning his back on Walt was probably a bad idea. But I think it was born of Mike having a lot on his mind. He had to get out of town. He was thinking about his granddaughter who he's going to miss terribly. And indeed it was a tactical error on his part. Never turn — I guess the lesson is never turn you back on Walter White. But I think going into that scene, keep in mind too that Walt was the person who warned Mike that the cops were coming for him. Walt was the one who called Mike in the playground and said, you know, you better get out of there. Wherever you are, there's a lawyer who's flipped."
On .?.?. what Hank is gonna do now that he knows Walt is the "monster" he's been chasing all this time .?.?.
"You run through every possible permutation in your head. And that was definitely one of them. Or does he just walk right out and shoot him right in the forehead? Or does he, you know, you know, what are the various possibilities? How do you react to something like this? Do you keep your cards close to the vest? Or do you — are you able to control those emotions that you would feel? And do you feel them all at once or is it a slow burn? Is it — are you in a state of shock? It's hard to put one's self into Hank's head in that moment because you got to think that's the single biggest, most horrible revelation this guy's probably ever had in his life. That this man whom he loves, whom he has affection for, brotherly love and affection. Even though they're not, you know, only related by marriage. But nonetheless they often times do feel like brothers, not just brothers-in-law. And that knowledge, how does one take it all in and process it in just a mere matter of seconds? So these are questions that we have discussed. I'd hate to tell you how many man-hours we spent talking this stuff through. But that's what we usually do with these moments on the show. We get together and we hash it out, and we argue it out. And we try to think through, you know, the chess analogy that I've probably used before is an apt one. We try to think through the permutations and the resulting pluses and minuses of every potential move."