‘Breaking Bad’: Bryan Cranston Says There Was a Scripted Reason Walter White Left His Watch In the Series Finale

Breaking Bad continues to fascinate viewers years after it concluded. Walter White (Bryan Cranston)’s journey ended in 2013, although Breaking Bad has expanded into the prequel series Better Call Saul and the Netflix film El Camino. Still, the original journey of school teacher Walter becoming meth magnate Heisenberg still has fans poring over clues. Cranston himself recently debunked a popular theory.

[Spoiler alert: This article contains spoilers for the finale of Breaking Bad.]

Breaking Bad series finale: Walter White touches meth equipment
Bryan Cranston | Ursula Coyote/AMC

Cranston appeared on IMDB’s That Scene with Dan Patrick podcast on Dec. 8 to discuss the series finale of Breaking Bad. Patrick asked him about Walter White’s watch, and Cranston offered a brand new interpretation, with confirmation that it was in the script. 

Why did Walter White leave his watch at the gas station in ‘Breaking Bad’?

The finale of Breaking Bad concluded many of the significant stories of the series, including Walter’s relationship with Skyler (Anna Gunn) and his own life. One of the details that continues to fascinate fans is when Walter leaves his watch behind at a gas station. This is the watch that was a birthday gift from Jesse (Aaron Paul.) 

Bryan Cranston at the gas station in Breaking Bad
Bryan Cranston | Ursula Coyote/AMC

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“To me, it was leaving the past,” Cranston told Patrick. “Ridding himself of any talisman that put him back to who he was at the beginning of the show or any association with that. He was given that watch by Jesse Pinkman.”

Previous explanations for the ‘Breaking Bad’ watch incident 

As late as 2020, there was a theory floating around that there was a simple explanation for the watch. Screenrant reported that Cranston filmed the final scene of Breaking Bad first, and wasn’t wearing the watch. So, when filming earlier scenes, they had to explain where his watch disappeared to. If true, that would make it a simple continuity fix. However, Cranston disputes this report. 

Bryan Cranston debunks the continuity theory 

Patrick told Cranston the continuity theory, that the filmmakers simply had to explain why Walter’s watch disappeared. Not only did Cranston confirm leaving the watch was intentional, but it was written in the script before they ever shot the final episode of Breaking Bad.

Walter White talks on the phone during an episode of 'Breaking Bad
Bryan Cranston | Ursula Coyote/AMC

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“No, this was not continuity,” Cranston said. “It was specifically written in the script that he leaves it behind specifically to not be a part of that world anymore. He’s transitioning. He knew that was the end of his days. He knew he was not going to survive beyond that day and he was leaving everything behind. That was a symbol of that.”

Source: That Scene with Dan Patrick podcast

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