So all the rage in the TV world is this theory regarding the finale that Walter White died in the parking lot of the bar in New Hampshire and everything else after that was a dream sequence inside his mind. The internet went wild for it when Norm MacDonald started tweeting about it yesterday, when in reality this entire theory originated in the New Yorker the morning after the finale. Its a fun theory. Its awesome that some of the camera work and photography and what not was done so carefully and so creatively that it felt like Walter White was a ghost. Its fun to try to put the pieces of the puzzle and prove or disprove whether it was real or not. Different interpretations and theories are what made this show so fun from a diehard fan point of view. But I just don’t buy it. There’s too many holes in the theory for me to take it seriously.
We’ll start off with #1 – Vince Gilligan just said it wasn’t a dream sequence. Yes, I suppose he could just be lying. But I just don’t think he is. We’re talking about a fucking TV show not some government conspiracy cover up.
As for the show itself, the prevailing thought that seems to be circulating around to disprove this theory is that a Walter White dream sequence would never have been able to capture the exact details of Jesse’s captive situation with the Nazis. We see him in the episode exactly how he appeared before – chained up and on a leash – something Walter never had seen. He also would never have known that Todd and his henchman visited Skyler, which she disclosed to him in the kitchen. Not to mention when we first see Jesse Pinkman, he’s daydreaming of his days in the wood shop when he made his mother’s box. Why would Walter’s fantasy include Jesse’s box? I suppose you could say that 74 minutes and 30 seconds of the episode was a Walter White dream sequence where he imagines the exact correct details of things he’s never known and that 30 second bit was a Jesse Pinkman flashback. But now we’re talking about a format of television that this series basically never used. Everything on this show has always been very visceral. Very real. Its always just been a story of a man, in real life, and his choices and actions. I don’t think we’d get a completely fictional dream sequence as conclusion.
Other details people are citing as to why it was fake -
He was the most wanted man in America, just walking around town, and NOBODY caught him???? - Uhhh, we’re talking about a dude with a brother in law in the DEA who built a meth empire for 18 months and never got caught. We talking about a guy who murdered like 5 people and never got caught. He robbed a train, organized prison massacres. Never caught. Now, all the sudden we have a problem with the reality of the law enforcement? One Stoolie tweeted me and summed it up best – Breaking Bad is not realistic, its precise. Pretty accurate description. There have been a lot of things that are insanely questionable in real life – down to 2 fucking planes colliding in mid air – does that mean none of it was real?
He slipped ricin into a SEALED sevia packet and got it to Lydia?? – Yea completely inconceivable that a scientific genius was able to open and reseal a sugar packet. No fucking WAY that could happen. Again, of course its unlikely and unrealistic – but the stage was set in a way. She always drank the tea, she always went to the same diner. When Brock was poisoned there was never ANY mention of how he accomplished that. Do we just chalk that up to some sort of unreal dream sequence too? Its far fetched but not enough to deem an entire episode as fantasy.
His car was too old to have a keychain to pop the trunk! - I used to drive a piece of shit Toyota Corolla with an AM/FM radio. One Christmas I got a CD player installed. I know its pretty fucking nuts but they upgraded the technology. Again we have a scientific genius who’s built car batteries and super magnetic weapons and escaped captivity by rigging up a electrical flame blow torch. Is it weird that he had an old ass car rigged and they popped the trunk? Yea definitely. Does that mean the finale of this show was a dream? For sure not.
He says the words “I WAS alive.” - Holy fucking SHIT Walter was speaking metaphorically in the past tense! FANTASY LAND.
Listen at the end of the day its a fun theory. A testament to the writers and creators that it can be interpreted in multiple ways, any of which are pretty awesome and satisfying television. But at the end of the day I think it was just a viewer friendly finale that people are trying to reconcile in their heads. How could Walter accomplish ALL of that? I dunno, because it makes for an awesome conclusion to an amazing story. And yes, it wasn’t as dark as it had been, but that doesn’t mean it was a fantasy.