In an interview with The Wrap, Gilligan discusses some of the ways the series could have ended — if his other writers hadn’t convinced him to move in another direction.
1. Rambo Walt?
“Our original version was that Walt would use it somewhat in Rambo fashion,” Gilligan said. “Hand held. But the closer we got to the end we realized how Walt’s cancer would resurface and how sick Walt would be. That felt wrong for Walt to go out brawn over brain, go out like Rambo. Walt on his best day was never Rambo. Very late in the game we came up with mounting it in the trunk and using the garage door motor as a way of sweeping it back and forth and automating the process. Everyone, me included, loved the moments where Walt was MacGyveresque.”
2. Walt the Cop Killer?
“We thought, gee, is it too obvious he’d use it on a bunch of bad guys? … He wanted to be known as Jesse James. He wants the credit. So we had versions that we talked about for instance where the police come to get him. He uses it on the police. But we didn’t like that. It just didn’t seem right.”
3. Even More Rambo Walt?
“We had a version where he goes and breaks Jesse out of jail just as the Nazis were gonna knock Jesse off in jail, and he comes in and uses an M60 to lay waste to an entire prison or a prison bus.”
Gilligan says of the alternate M60 scenarios: “I’m not saying we got far with those, but we would talk them through for hours on end. … We were like, you know what? as bad as Walt is we don’t want to see him killing good guys. If he’s going to use this M60, even if it’s slightly less surprising, let’s see him use it on guys even worse than he is.”
4. Skyler Suicide
“I was leaning toward that and the other writers were like, that’s a bridge too far. Let’s not do that. And they were right. I think that would have been very unnecessary. … I was thinking at some point she went with the Disappearer. We talked about every option under the sun… and one of them was that Skyler leaves with Walt and the Disappearer. … We could almost kinda sorta see where Skyler would go if she was sort of like zombified. But we could never figure out how to get Jr. to go along. … There’s no bringing Jr. if Jr. doesn’t want to go. We talked about a possible version where Skyler and Walt are tied up at a Motel 6 kind of place and he’s talking to her in a bathroom saying, ‘It’s going to be alright… I’ve got a plan. Skyler? Skyler?’ And he finally forces the door open and she’s in a bloody tub or something like that.”