'Breaking Bad' Final Episodes: Everything We Know (So Far)

THR gives a spoiler-free look at the AMC hit's upcoming season, as told by Bryan Cranston, Anna Gunn and other stars of the show.
Aaron Paul and Bryan Cranston in the "Breaking Bad" episode "Blood Money"

Breaking Bad's return is just hours away, so it's time for one last look at the upcoming season before Heisenberg and Hank duke it out.

The stars of the series are sworn to secrecy, but have given The Hollywood Reporter  what teasers they can about the AMC hit's final eight episodes. While THR has viewed Sunday's episode, this post does not include any information about it, save for what the castmembers have revealed.

So no need to worry about big spoilers, as long as you are caught up from last year.

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1. Walter is "trying to stay alive."

When last we saw him, Walter White (Bryan Cranston) was retired from the business, with untold millions sitting in a storage facility. Everything seemed perfect, but the flash-forward at the beginning of season five told us a haggard (and seemingly on the run) Walt would celebrate his 52nd birthday by buying a large gun. 

Cranston tells THR when we see him in the upcoming episodes, Walt isn't spending any time reflecting on his sins because he's continually pushing forward.

“He lives moment to moment. He doesn’t have the luxury of retrospective thought,” Cranston says. “He’s trying to stay alive."

2. There's "no controlling the situation" for Skyler.

Skyler (Anna Gunn) spent much of last year's episodes keeping her children away from Walter for fear one of his rivals might murder them.

Gunn tells THR in the new season, we find Skyler "in a bad place" and "not having a good time."

"She's taken all the action she can to control the situation, and now I think she understands there is no controlling the situation. There's nothing to be done. She's in a place where she's hoping time will take care of things and everything will somehow work out."

Gunn adds: “She’s hoping against hope that Walt means it when he says he’s out of the business and maybe they can get away with this crazy situation. But there’s part of her that knows deep down it’s not likely.”

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3. Lydia will be "cold and calculating."

Scottish actress Laura Fraser tells THR her character Lydia is "more brutal and cold and calculating" in the upcoming season. While in the previous half of season five Lydia was forced to help Walt, Jesse (Aaron Paul) and Mike (Jonathan Banks) for fear of being killed, she's now a willing participant. "She's becoming more comfortable in meth land," Fraser says.

4. Saul has "his back against the wall." 

Bob Odenkirk says Saul is quite worried in the upcoming episodes. We've already seen him hire a bodyguard (Huell, played by Lavell Crawford), but things sound like they are getting worse for the criminally talented lawyer.

"He's so worried," Odenkirk tells THR. "When it started, he had all the danger at arm's length and he felt free to make jokes and sort of enjoy the danger around him. But he's no longer enjoying it. He's really got his back against the wall and a gun to his head and somebody's hand on his throat. So it's interesting to see him try to wiggle out of this."

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In season four, Saul gave Walt the name of a man who could make him disappear. Does Saul have an exit strategy this season?

"Every time you see him, his brain is on fire, trying to look for an exit," Odenkirk says.

As for that proposed Saul Goodman spinoff, Odenkirk speculates of possible settings: "I think Saul would get out of town and either go to Vegas or L.A."

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5. Will Walt Jr. Die? Go to college? Open a breakfast place?

Who knows if Walt Jr. (RJ Mitte) will pay the price for the sins of his father. Mitte does promise fans “there will be no loopholes. There will be no endings that are dreams."

“I think the fans are going to love it," he tells THR. "I think everyone is going to react to it very well."

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6. Key characters will be introduced.

Composer Dave Porter tells THR he will be revisiting key musical cues from the series for the final eight episodes -- something he has not done previously on the show. He also says there are characters we will meet who are important enough to warrant their own cues.

"There are some new characters we haven't even met yet, and there's some new situations for Jesse, for which I wrote a lot of music in a meter of five. Your brain is so in tune with the 4/4 beat that when you throw in that extra one, that extra step, it gives it a little hiccup, an extra level of discomfort the audience may not notice, but they’ll feel," Porter says.

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7. Skinny Pete and Badger are back!

We don't know what roles Jesse's best friends will have in these eight, but Charles Baker (Skinny Pete) says his character and Badger (Matt Jones) have always had an inkling Jesse was going through tough times.

"We're kind of trying to be respectful of his privacy and just try to be there for him. I think that's why we work so hard at taking him away from it [the pain]. We know that something is affecting him, but we don't really know what," Baker says. "We don't think it's our place to try to get it out of him, and even if we had tried, I don't think he would have told us. Our place, we feel, is to just try and bring him back into the fold."

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8. The writers pulled out all the stops.

George Mastras, who earned an Emmy nomination for writing last year's train heist episode "Dead Freight," tells THR: "I feel like they are some of the best episodes of the entire series."

"There's the feeling that 'Yeah, we're really going to put it all on the line, and we're going to go for it,'" Mastras says. "They were hard-fought, and we put a lot into breaking them.  A lot of blood sweat and tears went into figuring out the last eight."

So there you have it.

We're still two months away from seeing how it all turns out, but why not try your luck at predicting the future? Weigh in on our poll below on how you think the series will shake out.

E-Mail: Aaron.Couch@THR.com
Twitter: @AaronCouch