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How Dying Teen Influenced 'Breaking Bad's Final Episodes

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Remember the dying Breaking Bad teen superfan to whom the show dedicated the first of its final eight episodes?

Show creator Vince Gilligan explained at the time that Kevin Cordasco influenced this season in ways he couldn't elaborate on, not until the second-to-last episode aired.

The Calabasas teen got very close to the cast and crew during his six-year-battle with neuroblastoma. Series creator Vince Gilligan offered to fly him to the set in New Mexico and even reveal the show's ending, but Cordasco was too ill for the trip and too determined to see the ending for himself to be spoiled.

Sadly, the 16-year-old died on March 11 and never got to see how Walter White's felonious story ends, but he did end up influencing the story in a pivotal way.

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We assume you've all watched Sunday night's ep, "Granite State?" Because we're going to get into some spoilers here.

As Gilligan said on this week's "Breaking Bad Insider" podcast (per The Wrap), "I [asked Kevin], 'Is there something you feel is missing from the show?' He said, 'You know what, I want to know more about Gretchen and Elliott. I want to know more about Walt's backstory with them. I want to know what happened.'"

Gilligan added: "The very fact that Kevin mentioned Gretchen and Elliott led us—the writers and I—to reintroduce them, reincorporate them into the story."

In the episode, the duo—college friends who started an extremely profitable company with Walt before cutting him out—appear on TV as Walt has just called from a remote New Hampshire bar to give himself up. When he sees them denying his contributions, he leaves the bar before he can be apprehended. Next stop: Albuquerque.

"Walt seems to change his mind there," says Peter Gould, who wrote and directed the episode. "He's all ready to get caught, and then he sees the video…"

"It works as a catalyst," said Bryan Cranston, who had visited Cordasco at Children's Hospital in Los Angeles.

The final episode, which airs this Sunday, will finally (we assume) show Walt putting that long-hidden ricin cigarette and M60 machine gun to deadly use.

Related:
Season Premiere Of 'Breaking Bad' Dedicated To California Teen Who Died Of Cancer