With Breaking Bad coming to an end this month (just four episodes left, sadface) creator Vince Gilligan and and co-executive producer Peter Gould have begun revealing all sorts of fun facts about the series, likely in an effort to soften the blow of the show ending. While normally I'd say that nothing would make up for that, this actually comes really close: A bunch of alternate and abandoned plotlines that were almost used in the show, courtesy of Gilligan and Gould themselves. Seriously—one includes Badger shooting a flaming arrow, because of course.
The storylines were revealed in the new Breaking Bad-themed issue of EW, which is on stands now. There are a ton to go through, so I've just included a few of the very best for you all to skim through now:
Marie shoots the delivery guy
PLOT Convinced there is a bad man lurking around her house, Marie (Betsy Brandt) opens fire on a UPS guy by mistake. (Yes, the gun would be purple.) The idea stemmed from Brandt’s desire to shoot someone on the show. “We loved it, we didn’t know what it meant, we didn’t know where it would go,” says Gilligan. “When Betsy reads this, she’s going to be upset with me: ‘Why didn’t I get to do that?’ ”
WHY IT WAS REJECTED It felt a little too broad and silly. And as Hutchison notes, “Hank would have to get her out of it and that definitely pushed it.”
Jesse calls in fired-up expert archer Badger
PLOT The cops impound Jesse’s car, which contains evidence tying Jesse and Walt to cartel leader Tuco (Raymond Cruz). Solution? “Jesse recruits Badger [Matt Jones], who has a crossbow,” says Gould. “Walt and Jesse construct a flaming arrow, which Badger shoots into the police impound and destroys Jesse’s car.”
WHY IT WAS REJECTED “In the end, we had other things to do,” says Gould, who, in a reference to a similar season 5 scene, adds: “I like the magnet [idea] better. It’s more scientific.”
The back-breaking drug lord
PLOT In one of Gilligan’s early ideas, a drug kingpin (nicknamed Keyser Söze) has one of his henchmen escorted behind, say, a Home Depot. And then things get ugly. “He takes a chisel and says, ‘Pick a number between 1 and whatever,’ and that’s the vertebrae that he chooses to bang the chisel in and paralyze the guy,” says Hutchison. “We loved this idea. It was so gross.”
WHY IT WAS REJECTED According to Gould, it was back-burnered when the writers’ strike shortened the first season to seven episodes. And then when Kesyer Söze eventually became the character of Gus, the writers wondered if they needed to include such a graphic scene, or if his dispassionate and creepy demeanor was simply scary enough as is. In the end, viewers would experience the sudden and shocking violence of that chisel moment in season 4′s “Box Cutter,” when Gus coldly slits the throat of underling Victor (Jeremiah Bitsul).
The “shake and bake”
PLOT Junkies were getting desperate for their drugs during a period when Walt wasn’t manufacturing, so Badger (Matt Jones) or Skinny Pete (Charles Baker) decide to do a “shake and bake.” We’ll let Hutchison take it from here: “You put all the ingredients into a two-liter soda bottle and then you put it on the back of your bike and ride around. The movement of the bike shakes it and causes the chemical reaction. But it’s really dangerous because it can explode. The idea was that would happen and they would be horribly injured.”
WHY IT WAS REJECTED “It’s Badger and Skinny Pete!” she exclaims. “We can’t burn them horribly! That’s terrible!”
The plot with the chisel will haunt my dreams until the end of time.
You can read the rest of the abandoned plotlines, complete with further explanations, over at EW.