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The Darkest Breaking Bad Alternate Ending We Never Got To Watch

For a show initially predicated on one man's struggle to beat the odds and survive a terminal illness, Breaking Bad was — how do we put this mildly? — a bit of a downer. Fans of the show, of course, know that protagonist Walter White (Bryan Cranston), a high school chemistry teacher, feels he is forced to turn to a life of crime — and manufacturing, or "cooking," crystal meth — in order to meet the bills associated with his recent diagnosis of stage-three lung cancer. But this unseemly means to an end soon turns into a dangerous, narcissistic obsession with chemical perfection; Walt becomes consumed with the idea of cooking the perfect product and will not settle for producing anything less than the best.

As fans of.. well, pretty much any entertainment property in history know, dangerous obsessions lead us down dark paths. Over the course of the show, Walt kills more than a dozen people himself. He's also tied to several deaths indirectly. Walt watched Jane Margolis (Krysten Ritter) asphyxiate on her own vomit, rather than helping her, because of the emotional impact he knew her death would have on his partner, Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul). His call for reinforcements results in the deaths of DEA agents Steven Gomez (Steven Michael Quezada) and Hank Schrader (Dean Norris). Walt even poisons Brock Cantillo (Ian Posada) to manipulate Jess into thinking Gus Fring (Giancarlo Esposito) tried to poison him with ricin — yes, we know Brock didn't die, but that's still messed up.

And yet, amid all that darkness, Breaking Bad's ending apparently could have been darker.

One Breaking Bad alternate ending has both Jesse and Walter Jr. die

If you can imagine it, Walter White's tale of drugs and murder had a potential ending that was even darker than the one we got. As Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan said on the final installment of the Breaking Bad Insider Podcast, he had "kicked around" an idea before season 1 that would have had viewers thinking "that guy is just absolutely disturbed," one that involved the deaths of Jesse Pinkman and Walter Jr. (R.J. Mitte). "I pitched a scene that I had in mind — and every time I pitched this, everyone was like 'Ugh, you're disturbed.' But I had this image ... that Jesse gets killed in season one ... and Walt is so filled with rage at the person, at the drug kingpin, drug dealer that kills Jesse, that he's out for revenge." 

Gilligan's idea would have Walt shackle and torture this "really tough badass" in a basement with a rifle or shotgun's trigger attached to a trip wire, giving the torturee the option to end it all on his own dime. Walt starts "working on this guy from the toes up" and "starts lopping off bits of this guy" in the proposed scene, cauterizing his wounds to stop him from bleeding out. Walt's torture victim has such fortitude that he endures this treatment for weeks and won't give his captor the satisfaction of taking his own life. Eventually Walter Jr. stumbles upon the scene and, in his innocence, attempts to help the target of his father's revenge, revealing his identity as Walt's son in the process. At that point, knowing he could cause Walt harm, the drug dealer pulls the trip wire and kills himself and Walter Jr.

It's hard to imagine a Breaking Bad ending that tops Walt mowing down a crowd of people — albeit, white supremacists — with an M60 machine gun, in terms of darkness, but Gilligan's above idea just might take the cake.