That sound you heard coming from your computer, your phone, your tablet, your whosiwhatsit, and your web-enabled whatever over this weekend was the collective noise kicked up by the Internet as it broke, and broke in the best way possible – from joy! While television’s beloved Breaking Bad ended earlier this year, AMC’s game-changing series still has plenty of treats to offer its loyal fans, even if one of them leaked a touch too early on the interwebs.
Fans of the Bryan Cranston-starring show have long toyed with a good-natured “theory” that the end of Breaking Bad would lead into the beginning of Cranston’s other well-known series, Malcolm in the Middle, with his Walter White going underground before turning into Malcolm’s dearly dysfunctional dad Hal. It was certainly a fun idea, if not a totally improbable one, but it seems as if the team behind Breaking Bad took it to heart, filming a jokey alternate ending to the series that sees Cranston reprising his Hal role, alongside Malcolm wife Jane Kaczmarek, and firmly nodding to the fan theory. It’s very funny and very clever – and it’s also very satisfying, and not just because it’s amusing.
The near-four-minute clip popped up on the web this weekend, and while it appears to be a leak from some kind of special new Breaking Bad release (hello, full series on DVD and/or Blu-ray?), the best thing about the clip is that it remained a secret until it actually appeared for public consumption. While the clip was most likely not released on purpose (though you never know when it comes to sneaky marketing these days), its appearance was still a genuine surprise, and those are increasingly rare nowadays.
Musings on our current spoiler culture are commonplace these days, even just around our little website in the sky – our own Rob Hunter recently gave “the final word” on them, which followed a piece by our Christopher Campbell about the actual science behind them, and even our Scott Beggs dug into them way back in 2010 – but even the most astute observations about the rise of the spoiler can’t quite top the thrill of being actually surprised by a piece of entertainment goodness. Cameos are spoiled whole months before films and television shows hit the screen, casting calls are dissected for character clues, and film fans can learn all the twists and turns of a blockbuster before even buying their movie ticket, and while being informed can be good, being shocked and treated by something never goes out of style. In just one little clip, Breaking Bad managed to prove just that.
Of course, the possibility of such a clip had been buzzed about for awhile, but the rumors never took a firm hold and no one ever confirmed it. That’s one way to swat away chatter in order to deliver a special surprise to fans (read: the best way).
As The Huffington Post shares, “Kaczmarek was spotted on the Breaking Bad set and inspired a ton of rumors about a possible guest appearance. She arranged a set visit for her son, George, during the final days of filming Breaking Bad and a fake Twitter account sparked rumors of a guest appearance.”
The actress told the outlet, “Bryan made George an extra in the show. It was in a Mexican restaurant, so for a 13-year-old kid to be an extra and also to be able to eat Mexican food all day…But in the next couple of days, I got an email from Bryan saying, ‘Nice Twitter.’ And I thought, ‘What?’ and I asked my son George and he didn’t know anything about it.” While young George got to chow down on Mexican food and smile in the background of, we’re guessing, the most awkward double date ever (remember that one?), his mom got to make crossover history in one hell of a manner.
If you’ve somehow missed the “it was just a dream” ending, you can check it out below.
The second best thing about the crossover bit is, of course, Bryan Cranston yelping, “yo, b-word!” But you already knew that.