'Breaking Bad': How 1 Teen Fan With Brain Cancer Influenced a Major Storyline in the Final Season

Breaking Bad showrunner Vince Gilligan drew inspiration from a variety of sources while crafting the narrative about Walter White. Fans have noticed similarities to everything from the 1993 crime thriller Falling Down to the John Wayne movie The Searchers. It’s obvious that Gilligan used so much creativity to come up with the story.

But the source of one important storyline in season 5 comes from a truly unlikely place. Apparently, a teenage Breaking Bad fan had such a good idea for the direction of the final season, the showrunner wrote his ideas into the final episodes.

The final season of ‘Breaking Bad’ is considered almost perfect

Not all shows end on a high note but Breaking Bad remains one of those rare exceptions.

The fifth and final season has some of the highest-rated episodes ever, including the third-to-last episode “Ozymandias” that’s considered one of the best dramatic television episodes of all time. The finale wrapped up the story perfectly, critics say.

There were plenty of loose ends to consider from previous seasons. Breaking Bad writers tackled them all, including one important storyline that a fan suggested.

‘Breaking Bad’ fan Kevin Cordasco contributed to the final season

The season 5 premiere included a dedication to Kevin Cordasco in the credits. Forbes reported that Cordasco was a 16-year-old fan who died in March 2013 after his battle with neuroblastoma, a rare brain cancer. But before that happened he got to meet some of his favorite Breaking Bad cast members.

“I think he was our number-one fan ever for Breaking Bad,” Gilligan said of meeting Cordasco. “He was so smart and astute about the show.”

Not only was he well versed in Breaking Bad history, Cordasco also had some suggestions for the future. “At that point he was at home and I was dreading going over there,” Gilligan continued. “But he was such a wonderful young guy. I learned about my own show from him. At one point I said, ‘What would you like to see on the show?’”

“I came back and reported [what he said] to the writer’s room, and it colored our perception of the show. We added something to these final eight episodes that we wouldn’t have otherwise if Kevin hadn’t mentioned that.”

His influence created the concluding Elliot and Gretchen storyline

Cordasco told the Emmy-winning showrunner that he wanted to know what happened with Gretchen and Elliot Schwartz. Because of his suggestion, Breaking Bad writers had Walt return to their home and threaten them to distribute his money to Skyler, Walt Jr., and Holly.

Little did Gretchen and Elliot know that the “sniper rifles” they thought were trained on them were really just laser pointers that Badger and Skinny Pete were holding. Walt had a long history with the Schwartzes and it makes perfect sense to see them as part of the series conclusion.

Gilligan offered to tell Cordasco what happened in the end. “I said to him that first meeting, ‘Do you want to know how it ends if you promise not to tell anybody?’ Without hesitation, he said ‘No, I’m going to watch it.’”

Unfortunately, Cordasco died before the Breaking Bad finale aired. But his memory lives on in that brilliant piece of storytelling that made the final season even more exceptional.

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