The AMC hit show Breaking Bad, about a cancer-stricken high school teacher involved in the meth drug trade, returns on Sunday for a fifth and final season. What should we expect from Walt and Jesse this season?
"There's a new sheriff in town is one way to put it," said show creator and executive producer Vince Gilligan about the fifth season of Breaking Bad, in a recent interview. Debuting on July 15 on AMC, Breaking Bad returns with Walt White (Bryan Cranston) poised to reign atop the meth market in Albuquerque.
[Warning: The following article contains spoilers for those who have not yet seen the past four seasons of Breaking Bad]
After getting rid of drug rival Gus Fring (Giancarlo Esposito) in a violent explosion that blew off half his face at the end of last season, Walt returns to drug kingpin once again in the coming season, it's being reported.
Don't expect a smooth ride for Walt. His brother-in-law, the quick-to-anger cop played by Dean Norris, will soon to be on Walt's tail, adding more family drama to an already emotionally complex situation in the White household.
Also in season five we'll see a Walt not fearing for his life like he once did when cancer first reared its tumorous head. "What is a world like where he is not at death's door at every turn?" Gilligan says. "But is in fact ascendant and triumphant. That's what you're gonna see in Season 5."
Anna Gunn plays Walt's wife in the TV show Breaking Bad
In an interview on the Nerdist podcast, Aaron Paul (who plays Jesse on Breaking Bad) hinted the coming season will be one of the best, thanks to many surprises and twists viewers won't see coming.
Gilligan adds, "[Walter's] going to be a harder guy to root for, I promise you that."
AMC hinted at a few other plotlines in the fifth season, such as this poster for Comic-Con and this pic on their website. It's unclear how a new character like Old Joe plays a role in the DIY meth lab.
Strangely enough, the final season of Breaking Bad will be split over two years: the first eight episodes will air this summer, and the final eight will air in summer 2013. Crave Online says it might be a strategic move for AMC: "It will give the network two more summers with one of its most critically acclaimed shows and it will presumably be eligible to rack up more Emmy Awards as well."
Speaking of awards, Breaking Bad has raked in Emmys, including three for lead actor Cranston and one for supporting actor Paul.
Breaking Bad writers have a chemistry teacher a true antihero as Walt endures a whale of a midlife crisis - confused, broke and facing a terminal illness (lung cancer, even though he had never smoked). He turned to cooking meth with the shady Jesse in order to raise enough money to fund his treatments so his family would never be in debt. Through the past four seasons, Walt battled rival drug gangs, had his marriage torn apart, murdered thugs in cold blood and threw a pizza on the roof of his home (you had to be there).
Lest you feel stomach pain from realizing Breaking Bad won't be around after 2013, Cranston didn't rule out a Breaking Bad movie: "It's not far-fetched,” he commented recently, "I wouldn't mind visiting that possibility. And this is coming from a guy who doesn't know anything of how the show's going to end."