Writing for a Drama Series: “Felina,” Vince Gilligan
Directing for a Drama Series: “Felina,” Vince Gilligan
Writing for a Drama Series: “Ozymandias,” Moira Walley-Beckett
In creating the series finale of “Breaking Bad,” no one scene sticks out to creator Vince Gilligan as either most rewarding or challenging. “The whole thing was difficult,” admits the creator. “Breaking it was tough because we wanted to come up with a fitting ending that would satisfy the fans, which is a more fundamental feeling than happiness. It was just figuring it out as a whole that made me scared and lose a lot of sleep.”
Gilligan won’t, however, lose any shuteye if he doesn’t pick up the award for writing — especially if it goes to his colleague Walley-Beckett. “I think that Moira wrote our single best episode,” he says. Although the episode centers around the death of Hank — the moment, Walley-Beckett says, the entire show had been building up to — the scene Walley-Beckett struggled with most was not the demise of Walt’s brother-in-law.
“For me, the biggest challenge was crafting the phone-call scene between Walt and Skyler,” Walley-Beckett says. “It’s so complicated, because it appears to be one thing and turns out to be something else. And the characters have to ‘act.’ Walt has to appear to be this vile, heinous monster in order to save Skyler. And Skyler is distraught and furious but over the course of a very short conversation has to come to awareness that her husband, who she now reviles, doesn’t mean these heinous things in any way other than to save her. It’s a really complicated Rubik’s Cube of a scene. There was a great debate over whether he could call her a ‘stupid bitch,’ because it was so out of character. He’d never spoken that way to her in his life. And then we realized: that would be a tell. That would be the turning point for her.”
— Carita Rizzo