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‘Breaking Bad’ Ends With Reveal That Whole Series Was Plot Of Book Marie Shoplifted

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‘Breaking Bad’ Ends With Reveal That Whole Series Was Plot Of Book Marie Shoplifted

LOS ANGELES—Capping off five seasons of critically acclaimed television, the AMC series Breaking Bad concluded its run Sunday night with the shocking revelation that the entirety of the show’s story—from Walter White’s diagnosis with cancer to his transformation into a ruthless methamphetamine kingpin—was in fact merely the plotline of a crime novel that character Marie Schrader had shoplifted from a local bookstore. “What I wanted to create for the finale was an uncompromising conclusion focused on the show’s true emotional core: Marie’s kleptomania,” show creator Vince Gilligan said of the episode’s revelatory last scene, in which flashbacks to beloved moments from the show are intercut with shots of Marie flipping to chapters in the novel such as “Heisenberg’s New Hat,” “Trouble With Gus,” and “The Train Robbery.” “From day one of writing the show, I knew exactly how the story would play out: with virtually all of its central characters other than Marie—including Walter White, Jesse Pinkman, Saul Goodman, everyone—revealed to be fictitious figures in a paperback thriller Marie felt compelled to slip into her jacket in an Albuquerque-area Barnes & Noble. Marie uses this pulp crime novel to help herself deal with the guilt she has stemming from her own very real criminal behavior, which she tries desperately to hide from her husband, local mineralogist Hank Schrader.” Gilligan told reporters he is especially pleased with the final shot of the series, in which Marie closes the stolen book, revealing it had been titled Breaking Bad all along.

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