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Comic-Con 2013: ‘Breaking Bad’ Panel

Breaking Bad
AMC

Though ‘Breaking Bad’ hasn’t always traditionally been the type of show to feature at Comic-Con 2013, this year the AMC took over Hall H on Sunday to preview the final run of episodes that kicks off August 11. The cast and crew were on hand to speak about their characters’ journeys over the last few years, and tease the explosive finale to come, so what did we learn from ‘Breaking Bad’ at Comic-Con 2013?

Well, despite taking place at the end of the panel itself, we’d be remiss if we didn’t discuss the premiere clip from season 5! We won’t give everything away for the August 11 premiere, but suffice to say the season will begin with a new flashforward similar to the season 5 premiere “Live Free or Die.” A bearded and haggard Walter White returns to a location familiar to fans of the series, which has apparently fallen into disrepair following the calamity of Walter’s life. A character ultimately recognizes Walter beneath his new look, and recoils in terror!

Naturally, series creator Vince Gilligan, and stars Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, Anna Gunn, Dean Norris, RJ Mitte, and Bob Odenkirk didn’t give very much away, but answered a number of questions from the history of the series. “Growth, decay, transformation” is the overriding idea of the series,” said Cranston, creepily fondling a Heisenberg mask that he apparently walked the floor with, and both he and Paul have been playing with. “It’s about change, and accepting change.”

Here were some of the most important bits from todays’ ‘Breaking Bad’ Comic-Con 2013 panel:

  • Moderator Christ Hardwick confirmed himself as the host of ‘Talking Bad,’ which will immediately follow airings of new episodes in the way ‘Talking Dead’ follows ‘The Walking Dead.’
  • Jesse will be “terrified” of Walt in the new season, doing his best to stay away from him and stay alive after having seen so much of his dark side.
  • At multiple points during the panel both Vince Gilligan and Anna Gunn answered questions about Skyler’s character and role in the series, previewing in the upcoming episodes that Skyler continues to believe she can outsmart the world closing in around her. She hopes things will turn out for the best in the end, but likely knows they won’t. As for the character herself, Gunn credits the series for positioning Walt as the anti-hero, and making her more reasonable character unlikable by contrast.
  • “Most people had high school. I had ‘Breaking Bad,’” said Mitte of growing up around the show.
  • Surprisingly, Bob Odenkirk doesn’t’ add any improvisation to his performance as Saul, despite his comedy background. Odenkirk went on to describe Saul as “the most perfect character in the show, who has his life in balance and has no illusions about who he is.” Surprisingly nothing about the potential spin-off, though.
  • Gilligan praised the performance of Mark Margolis as Tio Salamanca and Dean Norris as Hank, whom he admits were much less interesting characters before the actors’ portrayals brought them to life. Margolis was “like getting Michael Jordan to coach your Peewee basketball team.”
  • Posed with the question of how exactly Walter administered the near-fatal Lily of the Valley to young Brock, Gilligan finally admitted that Walter most likely crushed up the plant, put it in a juice box, and got it to Brock at his school. “It would have been tricky timing but he was a very motivated individual at that point,” Gilligan said of “The Evil Juicebox Man.”
  • Among the more difficult moments of the series for the cast, Cranston brought up the heartbreaking death of Jane, which had originally been written to give Walter a more direct involvement with her death. Aaron Paul put forth his shooting of Gale, which proved to himself that he could be the bad guy after Jane’s death.
  • So, what’s Walter’s motivation in the final eight episodes? “He’s in the empire business. His ego is peaking. He’s never felt this before, to have this kind of power. He succumbed to it like an aphrodisiac, and he is helpless to stop it now.”

We’ll be on hand in the coming weeks to preview more of the final eight episodes of ‘Breaking Bad,’ but what say you? Are you sad to see the show ring in its final episodes? Tell us what you want to see from the new episodes in the comments.

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