Comic-Con 2012: 'Breaking Bad' Panel

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Mark Davis, Getty Images

Those guys at AMC are cutting it close. 'Breaking Bad' season 5 premieres this Sunday and although teaser after teaser has been circulating about, the best was reserved for its Comic-Con 2012 panel on Friday in Ballroom 20.

Moderated by TV Guide's Mike Schneider, the panel consisted of stars Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, Anna Gunn, Dean Norris, Betsy Brandt, RJ Mitte and Jonathan Banks, as well as Creator and Executive Producer Vince Gilligan. With last season's destruction of Gustavo “Gus” Fring still in our minds, we were anxiously to hear what these folks had to say about the new season and what footage they had to show us.

As the cast came out, the most important thing of all to note was that Dean Norris (Hank Schraeder) appeared to be wearing a fairly Xena-inspired outfit.  So…there was that.  That was followed by the new trailer!  The latest look at ‘Breaking Bad’ season 5 doesn’t offer much in the way of new footage, but certainly hammers home the tense conflict between Mike, who returns from Mexico looking for vengeance against Walt.

We’re not sure what was more awesome, Dean Norris’ outfit, or Aaron Paul and Bryan Cranston, who came out in full body chemical suits!  Also, with a chemical-suited baby!  That Aaron Paul dropped!

The cast remained mostly tight-lipped about the future of ‘Breaking Bad,’ but Bryan Cranston did postulate that the potential “happy” ending for ‘Breaking Bad’ would be for Walter White to die.  Anna Gunn isn’t sure she can un-turn her corner anymore either.  Jonathan Banks seems to think that for as collected as he is, Mike was “lost a long time ago,” and “moves forward with great trepidation.”

Here are a few key tidbits we learned from the panel:

  • Vince Gilligan certainly hasn’t forgotten Walt’s cancer, even in remission, but maintains they won’t leave any threads dangling before the end of the series.
  • Gus was originally intended to be a much smaller role, as was Mike, who was only brought in during season two for an episode Bob Odenkirk couldn’t film, as a cleaner removing Jane’s body from Jesse’s house.
  • “Madrigal Electromotive” will feature heavily into the new season, as the German corporation who backed Gus, and the second episode will even take us all the way to the Rhineland!
  • The overall theme of the new season is “winning, and what it is to stay on top,” says creator Vince Gilligan.  He compares Walt’s ascent to that of Alexander, who wept when there were no more worlds to conquer.
  • Aaron Paul says the entire season feels creepy, and every bit as unsettling as the one scene of Walt’s cackling laughter from “Crawl Space.”  Paul also gets the best line of Sunday’s premiere, saying “magnets, bitch!”
  • There will be an “expansion” of the core group, as more people need to be brought in to re-start the business, and as Bryan Cranston puts it, “you’re only as strong as your weakest link.”  That weakest link will become apparent in midseason, and the new Jesse Plemons character will be important to the overall season as well.
  • Badger and Skinny Pete will definitely be back, and we’ll see a new side to Skinny Pete!
  • We’ve talked earlier about the hidden reveals we found in Breaking Bad promos, but Bryan Cranston says “This Sunday night has the most revealing Breaking Bad teaser we’ve ever shown.”
  • There won’t be any bottle episodes this season, but the fifth episode of the season will be the “polar opposite” of a bottle episode, the first not entirely filmed in Albuquerque.  Part of it was filmed in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
  • Walt apparently does something this season that caused even Vince Gilligan to lose any sympathy for the character.
  • Gray Matter returns!  We’ll hear more about Walt’s former partners in the first eight episodes of the season.

Watch the premiere on Sunday, get excited with us in the comments, and stay tuned for the latest ‘Breaking Bad’ Season 5 news!

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