From the very start of the finale, clues that Bryan Cranston's character Walter White would die on Breaking Bad were everywhere. First, there was the "live free or die" New Hampshire license plate on his car, and then the song that played as he starts up his car included the lyric "Maybe tomorrow a bullet may find me." Just as the song suggested, Walt would die of a bullet wound shortly thereafter.
He sustained the injury in the chaos at the compound where a white supremacist group was holding Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) and forcing him to cook meth. In an attempt to right his wrongs with Jesse and get even with the men holding him, Walt showed up (finally) and rigged a hidden machine gun in his car trunk to go off at the push of a car key button. It killed nearly all of Jesse's captors. Jesse finished off Todd (Jesse Plemons) himself, and Walt personally shot Todd's uncle Jack (Michael Bowen). From there, Jesse climbed into a car and understandably sped away from the nightmare he'd been living. Walt, realizing that he'd been hit by one of the bullets, decided to die in the meth lab — surrounded by his beloved cooking machinery. The final shot of the show is Walt, eyes open, dead on the floor as the police arrive on scene.
For a long time, fans speculated that perhaps Walt wasn't dead after all. There were all kinds of theories about why his eyes were open in the scene and how it meant his character might have survived. Cranston even stoked those theories from time to time in the years after the show. “Was there a coroner's report? No. Was there a listing in the obituaries? No,” Cranston said during San Diego Comic-Con in 2018, according to the New York Post. "Maybe Walter White did get away with it."
However, as fun as the speculation might have been, the ultimate party line from both Cranston and Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan is that Walt is 100 percent dead. In June, Cranston talked to Entertainment Tonight about the possibility that Walt could return for the Breaking Bad movie. The actor mused that it would be a little challenging since his character's not alive. "It could be! Could be [in] a flashback, or a flash forward. I'm still dead, Walter White, I don't know what [could happen.]" And, in early October, Digital Spy reported that Gilligan confirmed Mr. White's fate on The Rich Eisen Show. "I'm gonna give you that one, Rich, because I love you so much," he said. "Yes, Walter White is dead. Yes."
The Breaking Bad movie El Camino isn't Walt's story. It picks up where the show left off with Jesse. And while a Cranston cameo via flashback would be a welcome sight for fans, it's time to accept that Walter White is dead and focus on whether or not Jesse can avoid the same fate.