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Live: Last ever 'Breaking Bad' panel at Comic-Con

Live: Last ever 'Breaking Bad' panel at Comic-Con
Follow live coverage of the final ever for Breaking Bad at Comic-Con, direct from San Diego.
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You'd be hard pressed to find somebody who's seen at least an episode of Breaking Bad who wouldn't rank it as one of the finest shows of recent times.

All good things must come to an end, however, and sadly Walt's days are numbered as the final run of episodes gets underway next month.

The last we saw, things appeared to be back on track for the Whites. Walt had come in for his pay day, given Jesse what he owed and reunited with his family. But then Hank took a trip to the bathroom...

What's next for Walt now that Heisenberg has been unmasked? Is his death an inevitable conclusion to the series? And is there any truth to the rumours of a Saul spinoff series? Join us for live coverage of the panel below to find out!

Please note that all times in this blog are Pacific, which is eight hours behind the UK and three hours behind the East Coast.


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Thanks for joining me for my penultimate panel of this year's Comic-Con, the glorious Breaking Bad. I'm coming to you from Hall H, where we should be underway in a few minutes.

Very few people have left Hall H following the last session. No prizes for guessing what they're all waiting in here for (*cough* Doctor Who *cough*)

The moderator for this panel is the brilliant Chris Hardwick, who's been a mainstay in Hall H these last four days.

Hardwick recounts that the show was nominated for 13 Emmys last week. "It will go down in history as one of the best shows ever," he says. He also reveals that he's going to host a new aftershow called Talking Bad for the final eight episodes. "I will give it the respect that Breaking Bad it deserves," he adds.

We start with a big montage reel recapping the series so far.

Out come the cast: Dean Norris, Anna Gunn, RJ Mitte, Bob Odenkirk, Aaron Paul and Bryan Cranston. They're joined by creator/exec producer Vince Gilligan.

Cranston went out on the main floor today wearing a Walter White mask, which he's come out wearing today.

What did the show mean? Gilligan: "When it started, I very much wanted a job. I did not foresee this happening."

What's Walt's journey been? Has he changed? Cranston: "Every single person can run the gamut of emotions. Under the right circumstances - greed, desperation, depression - you push the buttons at the right time and anyone can become dangerous. That's what happened to Walt. He went from Mr Chips to Scarface."

Jesse's journey? Where's he at now? Paul: "He's been through a lot and now going into the final season, he's terrified of this man. He was just this lost kid struggling to find his way, searching in desperate need of some guidance. He stumbles across Walter White who he's very impressed by, and now he's just wants to stay as far away from him as possible to stay alive."

Paul describes Cranston as "the most professional man I've ever worked with, but also the most immature".

Gunn: "Skylar's dealing with a lot of disappointment inside of herself, but she would never say that to anyone. She's got the same kind of things living inside of her that he has, so when she finds out what's going on, she very specifically stays in the situation and thinks she can outsmart it the way he thought he could."

Can they ever be normal? Gunn: "I think she hopes against hope it might be possible to somehow make it, to let the clock run out, or that somehow it will all work out. In the back of her mind she's always got the kids's safety at heart, but somewhere inside her she knows it's not going to turn out well."

Are The Whites a good family? Mitte: "I think he loves his family. He doesn't know anything about what's going on, so how could he not? At the end of the day, all the stuff they've been through, he really cares about his mom and his dad. He's grasping to whatever he can at the moment."

How did the show affect him? "I'll be 21 in August, I started the show when I was just turning 14. Who am I today, I wouldn't be who I am or where I am without the show, without Bryan and Anna. Most people had high school, I had Breaking Bad!"

Norris: "I love Hank. I think he's a great guy. He's saddled with morality and he can't get round it. He's the one guy that, his conscious won't allow him to do the wrong thing, to his detriment. He could have lied about beating up Jesse Pinkman, but he didn't."

Odenkirk: "Saul is very good at law, he's got taste in clothing, office architecture. He knows how to put on a show. He's a fun character to play - everything is scripted, I just read the lines. I don't improvise at all." Cranston: "As is everything he just said then."

Odenkirk adds of Saul: "He's funny and yet he actually gets stuff done. That makes him pretty wild to spend time with."

Gilligan on casting Odenkirk: "I was lucky enough to work with Bob on The X-Files in 1999, and I only knew him then as a dramatic actor. I would hire a comedic actor any day of the week to do a dramatic role because to me it seems much harder."

Audience Q&A time. Favourite moments? Cranston: "Certainly some iconic dialogue, like 'I am the one who knocks'. For me though, the scene when Walt allowed Jane to die." Paul: "Maybe the 'tastes like a scab' line was pretty great."

When Walt throws the pizza on the roof, was it deliberate? Gilligan: "That cost around $100,000 in CGI."

Cranston says a lot of thought went into getting such a large pizza into the right position but he managed to nail it first take.

How much do they make the show up on the fly? Gilligan: "In the first episode Mark Margolis was in, he's just a guy that rings a bell and scowls. We loved hi,, so we asked how we could bring him back. That's happened with so many people. I met Dean and made Hank more interesting after I got to know him and find out what a great guy he is. The character thus became more interesting. TV is a living, breathing thing that grows with this collaborative effort of people in front of and behind the camera."

We never saw on camera, but how did Walt actually administer the poison? Gilligan: "The way we worked it out in our timeline, he had just enough time to do it but it was improbable. He probably crushed some of this stuff, put it in a juice box or something, probably got into the nursery school and swapped it out."

Was there a point they struggled to accept something their character did? Norris: "Not being able to walk was a tough one." Mitte: "I've always enjoyed playing Walt Jr. I've liked every scene for the most part. There is not one thing I haven't liked and enjoyed about it."

Odenkirk: "I think Saul does everything right and I've never had a problem with a single move he's made. What more can be said? He's the most perfect character in the show, he has life in balance, he lies on the floor and does that squiggly thing with his back. He's a master of the show."

Gunn: "At the beginning it was hard. She's such a shrouded character in some ways. Vince helped me understand she's not a person who's every going to sit in the corner and weep at any of this news that come her way. She's a person that takes the information, processes it and goes into action rather than emotion. She keeps even to herself, in private moments. She doesn't allow herself to break down."

Paul: "Probably when Jesse shot Gale, is when he turned into a bad person. He killed probably the nicest guy on the show. Gale was such a sweet, kind person. All of season three after the death of Jane, he blamed himself for that. He was accepting he is a bad guy and then he proves that by pulling the trigger."

Cranston: "The death of Jane was a key part of this. There was a turn here of the culpability of Walt in Jane's death." He recalls that in the original version of the script, Walt pushed Jane back down as she was choking and directly helped her to die. "Vince thought about it again and came up with a different plan. He's culpable when he recognises this girl could die, and what could he do then?"

Gilligan: "One of the proudest moments was season one and the moment in the fourth episode when Walt gets this Deus ex Machina help for his treatment from their friends and he says essentially 'no', and he goes back to cooking crystal meth. It was the moment all of us in the writers' room argued a lot, and hashed it out, and realised that this is a man who is very prideful to a fault. We knew we had something with this character at that point."

What do they think of fan backlash against Skylar? Gunn: "I think that what I felt as we went along, it was interesting because in a show you need an antagonist. The brilliant thing about this show is you have the anti-hero as the antagonist. So if she becomes someone who becomes really sympathetic, I think it weakens how you feel about him and it undercuts the thrust of the show."

What is Walt's current motivation and drive? Cranston: "Empire. He's in the empire business. His ego is peaking. He's never felt this before in his life, to have this kind of power as an adult. He's succumbed to it like an aphrodisiac. Then it comes together and comes full circle and it gets to the point where he realises Skylar is right, when is enough?"

Is Gilligan satisfied with how the show ends? "I'm so sad the show is over but I am satisfied by the ending. I think everyone in front of the lens and behind it is very proud of it."

We've just watched a clip from the new run of episodes - Walt returns to his house, a shell of what it used to be, with 'HEISENBERG' graffitied across one of the walls. Outside, he returns to his car and his neighbour stands in shock. "Hello Carol," he says, and she drops her shopping.

And that's a wrap on this panel! Join me again momentarily for Doctor Who!

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